Moscow – 12/12/12

Belarus to Moscow. An hours flight. Both countries are amazing in their own ways! Belarus was simple and quaint, and Moscow it’s busy counterpart.

Ok switch gears. I have a real true friend here in the jazz idiom who is “pure art,” along with Ella, Henry Moore, and Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross. I don’t know how she does it. Her vocal chops are unending. She could stand there beside Stevie Wonder and Luciano Pavarotti, and when those guys are tired, she’d go on. In a country where western music was not allowed until “the wall” crumbled around the fall of 1989 (moments ago), she went and found it way, way before that. And today, she could stand there with me or Krall or Hendrix or Joe Williams, and sing the tradition! But wait folks. This one has acted in 14 movies in Russia, and a Russian play or drama has historically been revered and pointed at as the highest art form of acting, and playwriting that we have known on the planet.

She did the most brilliant television productions I have ever seen. Look out Michael. In terms of the business of putting together the pieces of any production that electrify somebody’s heart, I’ve seen some amazing stuff. And at the center of it, and inventing it, was Larisa Dolina. She comes to the Palladium in Los Angeles and does 14 nights in a row to a cheering, screaming Russian American and American. I’m astounded by the strength and beauty and pure heart and soul.

I couldn’t believe it when she told me she’s doing the dramatic musical Mata Hari!!! Please look it up. There is not enough space here to describe what this production is all about. But, oh yes. She’s on stage acting and singing and acting acting! She’s an actress.

Well, she came and sang with me last night. A few years ago, George Duke, Stanley Clarke, Larissa, and I shared an evening together in Moscow in front of a great jazz audience.

I must close with the fact that she brought me to the Kremlin and we sang before Russian royalty and Russian dignitaries.

We sang, “Roof Garden,” and the people danced and screamed. And tonight my little sista Larissa stopped at the hotel restaurant and laughed and talked like we had never talked before. This is all I have to say about Moscow. Soon we’re going to Italy for Christmas, and soon it will be 2013. Thanks guys!

Love, Al

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