RIP Mulgrew Miller
I first heard this tune on the album Live at Kimball’s by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers.
Some years back I found myself, for reasons too complicated to explain here, on the banks of the Danube in the lovely town of Ulm, Germany. I stepped off the train lost, exhausted and sick, but within hours I had met so many kind and generous people that my headache and my worries melted away. I thought I would just be passing through but ended up spending 9 days there, playing music and making many wonderful friends.
One man I met was even nice enough to give me a free day at his spa if I agreed to play jazz at his sister’s birthday party. He said he had formerly worked as a masseuse at Schloss Elmau near the Austrian border. When I heard Brad Mehldau’s song of the same name yesterday, I was overwhelmed by warm memories of Ulm. Here is the tune:
Many people say the mark of a great song is that it can be played in any style or instrumentation and still be captivating. By this standard, Hermeto Pascoal is one of the best songwriters alive. I learned a number of his pieces for a recent gig, and since then I haven’t gone a day without listening to his work. Hermeto is a multi-instrumentalist and prolific composer whose influence I hear in the writing of many modern musicians, and now I add myself to that list.
This is one of the tunes I learned for that gig, one I’m sure I will play again in the near future.