Monday, January 19, 2009

What Is It About Italian New Jersey Musicians?!

There are two New Jersey musicians who have influenced me greatly. One of them you all read about nearly every day. The other one I met several years after Jon Bon Jovi, but he has still had that same type of monumental impact. That is my bassoon professor from school.

Well, I had an opportunity to see and hear my hero tonight after about a decade -- he was performing as a member of Windscape, an extraordinary woodwind quintet based in New York City. And when I say extraordinary, I am not exaggerating ... I have always considered them the Yankees of the quintet world because it is literally superstar musicians at every position. Unfortunately, they don't get paid as much as Jeter and company. But damn, they should. Then again, luckily they don't have to deal with Hank Steinbrenner.

ANYWAY, hearing them -- and my teacher, in particular -- made my soul sing for the first time in a long time. He has this sound that can make you melt, but also a groove that just makes you smile.

What?! You think bassoon players can't groove? Ha!

I have always believed there are people who come into your life at just the right moment for just the right reason ... I call them my Elliotts (from the Disney movie "Pete's Dragon.") My teacher was definitely one of those people and he still holds a very special place in my heart.

So, think back ... is there an "Elliott" in your life? Do you know where they are now?

P.S. Since we haven't done "My Music Mondays" here in quite some time, here's a clip that will not only fulfill that requirement, but also help in two ways .... one, provide an answer for all of you who always ask "what the heck is that instrument you play?!" ... and two, to prove that bassoonists can groove. :-) (A special prize awaits the person who can name the two musical pieces you hear on this clip.)

P.S.2. For those of you asking for yet more from the Clinton event last week (the video and my oh-so-eloquent review weren't enough for ya, huh?! LOL) ... I'll hopefully have something posted soon. In the meantime, don't miss the live stream of Jon headlining the Commander in Chief Military Ball, 7pm on Tuesday night at