Sunday, December 18, 2005

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usDid something a bit unusual last night; went to see a concert featuring jazz pianist Beegie Adair and her trio at Kentucky Repertory Theatre here in Horse Cave.

As Neil Young once wrote: "Live music is better; bumper stickers should be issued." And while the cocktail-jazz trio type music she purveys usually bores me on record, in person it's quite entertaining. I suppose I should backtrack a bit and explain the situation. Ms. Adair is a native of nearby Cave City, KY, a graduate of not only my alma mater Caverna High School in the 1950's but also of my other mater Western Kentucky University, who has managed to move beyond her humble beginnings to become a jazz pianist of worldwide renown. And also provide me with a bit of egg on my face, because until a couple of years ago I had never heard of her, no jazz authority I. However, when my father-in-law handled an auction for her family some time back, my wife became acquainted with her and became quite the fan, picking up some of her CDs. Of course, it helps that she has recorded more than one collection of Christmas music, Mrs. B being an avid collector of same. I was checking out her bio on her website, link above, and was a bit surprised to see that among her many accomplishments she was the house pianist for the Johnny Cash Show in the '70s, which automatically makes her cool in my book. Anyway, Theresa kept hoping for a chance to see her play live, and it's never really worked out for us to do so (she does play a lot in Nashville, among other places)...but when she decided to do a homecoming concert at KRT, we couldn't pass up the opportunity. All in all, it was a fine evening's worth of entertainment- her repertoire consisted mostly of music by composers from the '40s and '50s, tailored for the audience which definitely skewed older-than-me. The arrangements were crisp and efficient, and her backing musicians were first-rate. Since it was billed as a "Christmas Homecoming" (or something like that) she inserted a couple of medleys of seasonal tuneage, and the whole show was a success, and the only way it would have been better was if I could have sipped a beer or a cocktail as I listened...but that's the price we pay for living in a dry county. I had been thinking for quite some time now that our small, often cash-strapped Theatre should investigate featuring live music shows when the regular repertory season was over, and hopefully this will become a more frequent occurrence. The acoustics in the building were just fine, and would suit itself to other performances of this nature, as well as solo acoustic guitar-type shows and such. There was a reception afterwards at the historic old house which is adjacent to the KRT building, in which I got to hobnob with many of Horse Cave's foremost citizenry. Theresa was hoping to get an autograph on one of her CDs, but the competition for Ms. Adair's attention was fierce, and she promised to come by the office later to sign next chance she got.

And that's how I spent my Saturday night, in case you were wondering!

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