This… is a reflection going back almost exactly four years. I had been inspired to actually put down on paper, some feelings about recent events. A couple Thursdays prior, I witnessed some religious zealots with, what I thought were, some interesting tactics – at first. There was also a bombing in India – where my wife was. I mean, not only was she in the country (or sub-continent, as it were) but actually in the city – IN the shopping center/district where it happened. She had left less than 24 hours prior, but with a 12 1/2 hour time difference – I wasn't sure (until the next day). So what did I finally get down on paper?
Well, I had also interviewed Kristin Korb the night prior.
If you're not into jazz it wouldn't surprise me if ya didn't know who she is. I hope to change this for as many people as I can.
In a nutshell, in the jazz world, she's a bass player, vocalist, teacher, and an arranger. She has fun cooking, too. But now to step back a few paces. Some were introduced to her with the 1996 Telarc release – Introducing Kristin Korb With the Ray Brown Trio. I was. Seems she asked Ray for a bass lesson, he liked her vocal work, and it went from there. Introducing… is a fantastic release, containing not only some of the coolest versions of A Night in Tunisia, Take the A-Train, and Ain't Misbehavin', but without a doubt – THE most seductive, yet playful, Peel Me a Grape you can hope to ever hear. I don't care WHAT you think you've heard elsewhere.
But then when you see her perform live…
She was at Galli's in Rancho Cucamonga as a 3-piece. Llew Matthews played keys. He plays on one of Kristin's most recent releases, Why Can't You Behave? If you get the chance – see him ANYwhere you can.
Dean Koba was on drums. He was described as "not her regular drummer, but her regular sub". Ya'd think Kristin and he jam every hour/day. This is how in-sync they were. His playing is a real exploration of the instrument – SLIDING the sticks or brushes, or using the wire loop at the opposite end of the brush. All this instead of just whacking the skins.
But maybe this is why these three played together back then. EACH ONE OF THEM explores. I mean REALLY explores – rather than just trying to hit the notes they did the night before. They ALL really find (or invent) humor in the pieces. You can see this in their faces. When Llew would suggest a tune, Kristin was just as excited to hear about it as we were. You hear her say, "COOL!" and then a little heh-heh. They interacted, not only with each other, but with the audience as well. I couldn't begin to quote all the joking that went on – and I took notes!
So what will you hear if ya pick up one of Kristin's discs or see her live? Probably 75 – 90 percent standards – with some originals, and without a doubt, original arrangements. I challenge you, on a night with Kristin, to hear something you've heard before. She has a passion for taking a song, and seeing where it could go. You're Blasé almost put her to sleep once. This won't happen when you hear HER play/sing it. With the arranging and changing – EVERY song is fresh.
Kristin, by the way, has very recently gotten married… and moved to Holland. Clearly, you WON’T be able to go see her next Saturday, or the Saturday after. But… BUT… she DOES still come back to the area to perform. Some private concerts – some open to the public.
So this - is what became my first blog – a frickin' book. THIS is what made me start taking notes on some of the many entertainment opportunities we have out here. Some will point out that maybe I shoulda written about my wife and the bombings in India as a first blog, but my thoughts were that with the time difference, she wouldn't know about it for another 12 ½ hours anyway.