When “Listen to This!” is a Gift
The most gratifying time I ever recommended music to someone, I was about fifteen (Tegan, the blogger, here). I considered my mom’s close friends to be like aunts when I was growing up. My mom’s friend Paula, who lived a few towns over, had given us a lot of mix tapes over the years, and I had discovered a number of my favorite artists through her. Then one day, I read an interview with an indie singer/songwriter who it sounded like I would like, and who was going to be playing in the town where Paula lived. My mom and Paula and I went together – a few of my teenaged friends questioned the fact that I went to concerts with my mom, but we had the same taste in music, I automatically had a ride, and she often bought my ticket, so I saw no reason not to. After the concert, Paula said to me, “that was great – thanks for finding her!” I felt so proud that after years of recommendations from Paula, I had a recommendation to share.
This memory came up for me because when talking about weekend plans, a friend recently mentioned to me that she was going to Ryles for the jazz brunch. “I’m looking forward to it,” she said, “I haven’t been to Ryles in years – I keep meaning to go back, but what got me to go this time was that a friend strongly recommended the pianist who’s playing, Yoko Miwa. Have you heard of her?” I had to chuckle, and I explained that I’m not only a fan but the trio’s blogger. The conversation, and the memory it triggered, made me think about two things. One, it’s easy to go for years without going to a beloved restaurant or venue, or the show of a musician you love, unless someone or something reminds you. Two, recommending music to someone can be a very big and very personal gift.
The Trio’s drummer Scott Goulding remembers, “When I was only 16 years old, and visiting my sister at Harvard, I was standing around in Harvard Square at night when someone offered me a ticket to see Stan Getz at the Regattabar. I had heard his name but didn’t know much more about him other than he played saxophone. I ended up becoming a huge fan. I feel it must have been fate though because I never had a chance to see him perform again before he passed.”
Do you have any special memories of a time when you recommended music, or found a new favorite artist through a recommendation?
Who have you recommended the Yoko Miwa Trio to?
I took my apartment roommate in NJ, to see Branford Marsalis and Jeff Tain Watts, plus the late Kenny Kirkland at Carnegie Hall in NYC. He knew nothing about jazz, and was blown away by watching Branford and his band play like silk for the next hour and a half. He was even more blown away when we had seats on the floor, and I took him backstage to meet Branford, so I could say hello. He told me it was one of the coolest nights of his life, and liked Branford even better because he was such a nice guy.
I have recommended the Yoko Miwa trio to everyone who has an interest in music. She is the finest jazz piano player in the United States that is active today ,and she is technically perfect. She is like a flawless machine when she plays. Scott Goulding is a tremendous drummer.
Thanks for sharing the great story John! Thank you so much for recommending the trio and thank you also for the kind words of praise, we really appreciate it! Hope to see you soon.