Friday, October 15, 2004

Makes Me Want To....mmmmmm

Ever versatile, ever trying new things , last night after spending most of my day writing, editing, and teaching, I was off to the Blue Note for a night of many firsts.

I was going to the Blue Note to get my equipment to begin doing interviews for some radio news pieces I am working on. The equipment itself (a beat up but really good mic, a mini-disc recorder, and headphones) was pretty self explanatory. What made me nervous was interviewing people. I have been interviewed for television and radio before. When I know the topic at hand, I'm pretty good in front of a mic/camera. I get nervous everytime I perform but usually once on stage I function on automatic. The idea of taking to strangers and asking them questions on something I know little about made me all shakey. My partner and teacher went inside. He was going to interview the musicians between sets. I never have been very good at talking to other women so not surprisingly I interviewed mostly men. Being thrown cold into this process wasn't easy but once I was warmed up it was kind of fun and I actually think I got at least two really great interviews.

As a member of the press I got to bypass the line at the Blue Note and was given a great seat right by the stage. The event was Ray Barretto's 75th birthday. I've been a fan of Barretto for a few years, nothing heavy duty though, as well as a fan of other legends on the bill including Francisco Aguabella and Patato Valdez. I ordered a glass of red wine and sat back.

The first thing I noticed were the number of hot hot Latino men who were seated after I was. These men were not on the line as I was interviewing, damnit, so I didn't get a chance to flirt with them.

Pero once the music started it was over. Latin jazz, with its roots in Cuba, Puerto Rico and of course the Bronx (as well as many other places) is such a primal yet complex genre that defies definition. It really is something you need to feel and I felt it. Barretto, Aguabella, and Valdez were incredible. Men with such experience and range. Valdez was absolutely adorable, all what 4 feet of him??!! He reminded me of an old tio that every Latino family has, you know the one who makes dirty jokes and laughs loudly con ese gusto de vivir? Barretto was intense. Watching him, not even listening to him, but just watching his facial expressions as he played and listened was moving.

So moving was the experience that I wanted to find the fastest and cheapest way to Harlem to get sex. I mean this was music to fuck to. But at the end of the set, I just took the subway back to Rego Park.


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