I’m confessin’ what a lesson and a blessin’ in Essen. Who knew? Go figure. I take their reaction as a standard across the board for this new music that Joe and I are doing. Well… Joe’s music is absolutely new. New compositions, children of the sun. And I’m doing new music for me and my audience. The children of the children of the children of the sun. The Gershwin’s called them Porgy and Bess. Children of the sun. Son’s and daughters of slaves. And to be sure, I am one. And Joe is one. And everyone in the world might have an ancestor who is a child and a children of the sun.

Engaged audience, rapt attention, a lot of smiles. They got the setups. Reacted to my take and versions on the normal in this music. Something that is really special is that men don’t like to react to this. And don’t challenge them with your eyes. Let them breathe and hear it and think it’s a voice out of the mist. Then they’ll relax and go and ride with Miles. I sing to some distant figure in the mist somewhere between the balcony and the audience.

When the song is over, I’m sure that they all went with me… new approach. I’ve always sung some personal music to the heart stuff. With writing that I write, and the songs that I choose, which I hope are as sensitive and poignant as Gershwin and Joni Mitchell. And there aren’t many. “Well I came upon this child of God, he was walking on down the road, and I asked him where are you going, and this he told me… We are stardust, we are golden, and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.” Please see stars and supernovas, and planet creation and accretion.

New way to end the evening that gives the audience a chance to react and show their appreciation for Jorg Keller, the NDR orchestra, and Joe Sample all at once we stand there and thank them. And then me and Joe leave the stage. Well, with the orchestra still standing there it’s obvious that we will do encores. And so Joe Sample and I rejoin NDR for encores.

How do you follow, “Take 5?” Well, only with the quietest ballad in the world, “Midnight Sun.” Come along, sit forward on the edge of your seat. As big as it could be made, they got it. Here in Essen. Essen, sweet Essen.

I’m going to stop now. I could go on and on and on. But I’ll just point to my opening remarks about Essen being a high standard of response from my old friends in Germany. Gawd I love you. You sent me forth.

Hi Siggi. Hi Fritz.

Love, Al

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