Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Jazz is Alive and Well in Jupiter

I am very fortunate to have a new friend in my life, Nina Motta’s brother, David. 

They were raised in a musical family and David Einhorn has established himself as a leading bassist. Although he lived in Martinique for the past several years, he has recently returned to South Florida to resume his jazz career here as well as continue his other vocation as a journalist.

David has played with some of the great musicians of our time, and was bassist with jazz pianist Dick Morgan for some 20 years, with several CD recordings.  He’s also played with Anita O’Day, Kai Winding, Nat Adderly, Woody Herman, among others.  While in the Caribbean he recorded and toured with jazz pianist Reginald Policard.

Knowing that I play the piano he suggested we get together once a week and play some standards as well jazz classics.  I am not a jazz musician, so I wondered why he would want to invest the effort, but as he explained it was all part of getting back in the grove, particularly with songs from The Great American Songbook, which given a lead sheet, I can play almost anything written.  Meanwhile I dabble still at jazz compositions, particularly ones by Bill Evans, a great enigma to me as a pianist, beautiful melodies with harmonic and dissonance challenges.

After soloing all my life, other than accompanying a singer at one time, playing with a bassist has issues for me.  Suddenly, timing becomes paramount.  Alone, I’ll add or delete beats here and there, where I “feel” the music.  It’s difficult for anyone trying to accompany a musical maverick.  So David as been a taskmaster as well and I look forward to our usual Tuesday sessions as learning moments.  But that will soon end for the summer when we depart for our boat in Connecticut, but hopefully our sessions will resume in the fall.

As David eases back into the South Florida jazz scene, I asked him to keep us apprised of any local gigs he might have and he told me that he would be performing (this past Sunday) at the Jupiter Jazz Society’s 2nd anniversary Sunday Jazz Jam session at the Double Roads Tavern in Jupiter.  Little did we know about this Society and the fabulous stage at the Double Roads (and great Tavern food too).  This jam session is every Sunday from 5 – 9 and anyone with serious talent can sit in, but as a special occasion, they started off with a professional jazz gig, Jérôme-Degey on guitar, John D. Beers III on trumpet, David Einhorn on bass, Goetz Kujack on drums and Rick Moore on keys (Cherie and Rick Moore are co-founders of the Jupiter Jazz Society).  David even inveigled Rick’s group to play a Bill Evans piece in our honor, an embarrassing pleasure.  For an hour this group improvised some of the great jazz classics.  Where have we been Ann and I wondered?  We’ll now be at the Double Roads on Sunday nights when we can.

Once their set was over, and “Dr. Bob” an ophthalmologist had sat in at the keyboards, it was time to hand over the event to the "Jupiter Jazz Youth Ensemble."  If this is the future of jazz it is in good hands.  These kids were fabulous.

As the photograph attests, David goes into another world when he plays.  He’s as intense as I’ve ever seen a bassist and we asked David during the break, just exactly what he is experiencing at those moments.  He replied that the music must come through you, almost from another place.  He’s found that sacred piece of real estate.

We’ll be back and anyone in the area reading this blog who loves jazz is encouraged to do so as well.  Maybe next year I’ll pick out a lead sheet and try to do something myself with the group.  Although an electronic keyboard is not my thing, and playing with a group would test my skills, one never knows!