I got to hear Dave Brubeck’s quartet last week, and then, the following night, The Lincoln Center Orchestra, featuring Wynton Marsalis, and the best players going. It was interesting to feel the difference—in performance, and song selection, and energy, and solos. I admired the Lincoln Center musicians. They were playing significantly more difficult pieces—including four Thelonious Monk songs—and the solos were freaking marvels—but a quartet, that’s the heart of jazz. The place where each player shines on every song. They’re all watching each other, and hollering yeah!, and though they’ve played together for decades, still, you feel the possibility, the variety, the improvisation.
It’s so right that jazz gets to be my autumn theme. I’ll be thirty-five in January. And I feel more energetic than I have in ages. I shot hoops again tonight, and fell into a rhythm, remembering the mechanics of footwork, and sighting, and the satisfaction of a baseline jump shot. I can hear it. That old, familiar song.