I am not musically inclined – rhythm has never claimed me as her own, be it while dancing, or just tapping fingers to keep the beat. (Forget actually trying to play an instrument). However, this much I know – listening to music is unmitigated pleasure. It's a source of revelry and joy as well as free therapy for malaise.

In other words, I spend a lot of money on concerts and CDs! With that justification of my squandering habits off my chest, let me get on to my real point.

Every so often, I have had the opportunity to be at a concert where the music is truly real (IMHO). It is usually a confluence of geniuses, whose towering minds allow for no ego and the music is played out of sheer joy, camaraderie is created on-stage through majestic talent recognizing the same. [The key, I believe, is the towering mind + humility, witness the shambles of the 3 tenors]

The list is as follows:
  • Paco, Al and John (San Fran 1996). Maybe not as good as their first concert, but they still had the magic, 15 years later at the 15th SF Jazz festival.

  • Ali Akbar Khan and Allah Rakkah (Kolkata, 1993). I am fairly ignorant when it comes to Indian classical but when music moves and mesmerizes, what do you need to know.

  • Bela, Stanley Clark and Jean-Luc Ponty (New Bedford, yesterday). My muse today. So much virtuosity, seeping off-stage and gathering up the crowd. Clark shuts his eyes and thumps the double bass, his eyes closed in some sort of an ecstasy; Bela, with his wry humor, humble yet mischievous as he plays with his boyhood legends; Jean-Luc, an apparition from elf land, swaying to his own musical swirling cloud.

I am indeed fortunate.

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