We’re riding home from the concert, and what a wonderful night it was again in Deutschland. But Joe Sample continues the story in the car about what he saw in West Texas, and what he experienced as a child of the children of the children of the sun. He explains on stage every night the inspiration for this new music that he has written what happened because he was in St. Croix and realizing that slaves on this island had no escape, no underground railroad of sympathetic people who open their houses, hallways, basements, and churches to slaves trying to escape the darkness and servitude. That particular chapter happened only in America during the Civil War when Union soldiers exclaimed to the South, “a new day is coming.” And slaves ran on foot to Ohio and Chicago. Joe looked at the stones that were huge and mammoth and they must have been important at some time, he thought. And the locals said, “well of course, Mr. Sample, this is where the slaves made rum, made sugar cane, they picked cotton, and there was no escape. And Joe looked out and saw they made rum, sugar cane, they made the wealth of a new nation. They made the bankers rich in New York. And Joe looked out and said, “All this wonderful blue water. No escape.” That began, “Children of the Sun.”

And here’s the amazing thing, this audience in Dortmund understood, and got the importance and poignant and significance of these stories and applauded Joe’s discussion of things so many times unheard and unrealized. They understood Joe’s description about the depths of slavery, and so much American wealth made by slaves. Oops not a pleasant story.

And now I walk out with my straw hat in imitation of Sportin’ Life.. Gershwin’s.. George and Ira.. who in fact did write about the Children of the Children of the slaves. See Porgy and Bess. One of the grandest operas and musicals ever created for the heart! Amazing!

What a sensitive and heartfelt Afro-American jazz story written by the Gershwin’s and Dubose Heyward. And they got it. And applauded every chapter of Joe’s new material.

Oh my God I would like to think that an American audience would be so sensitive and smart and inclined.

Anyways boys and girls, the NDR orchestra plays at a level above all of this social description of things. They don’t funk around.

Working with a music stand between you and an audience that blocks your vision of some faces in the nearby front rows has always seemed a probable disturbance until I’ve really found myself in the situation. Even though the Gershwin music covers such a serious tone it is written with such a sense of humor that you can easily find yourself in moments of hide and seek behind a music stand. Now that’s covered some scope. Joe and I consistently now are doing, “Take 5” as an encore, “Midnight Sun,” “Mas Que Nada,” and, “C.C. Rider.” It stretches out the evening another 20 minutes, but wow they’re ready for it, and definitely don’t want to go home. By that point we’ve been out there 3 hours since intermission time, and from their arrival time to this point it’s 4 hours in a theatre. This is really getting to the borderline of intelligent absorption. Oh yes to be sure there is another one. But I’ve never been near an audience that “gothic bezerk” and jumping in place. Thank you Dortmund for being so receptive. You paid attention to quite a long evening. Including an intermission, and still you ask for 3 more encores.

We have to keep meeting like this. And more often.

Love, Al

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