Munich, Germany – 2015

Munich, Germany – 2015

Guten Morgen! We’re in the car to the airport and leaving town again. Are you out of breath? Maybe a little bit dizzy? Well I am, and there are five other band members, 2 sound guys, and an organizing manager who are really puffin’ hard. What a bunch of sissy’s J. Just kidding!

Well the truth is that there are some young bands who will go out on much longer tours and who will party even harder than they work. I never could do that. Something suffers. Well we’ll be home soon. We just finished a wonderful night in Munich at the Bayerisch Hof Hotel (one of my favorite hotels in the world, along with the Pfister in Milwaukee). And believe it or not, Ingrid Volgard, the owner, has jumped in headfirst and decided to continue some jazz aspects of what was a bigger festival called “Sin-clavier Sommer” that was sponsored by the city. This is an unprecedented move and I can’t even imagine the detail of this undertaking…a private hotel doing six days of jazz. I shouted her name all night long and reminded everybody on how important this was.

My musical history in this city almost mirrors the important details of my career on the continent. Right now, you can see me in a red shirt on YouTube performing “Take Five” from 1977 and that would have been the period when I sang my first date in Munich at a little tiny club called the Spectacle (about 110 people). This was the time when people in Hamburg and people at the Berlin jazz festival were raving about this crazy American singer doing so many wild things with his voice. All of this was apart of a small explosion for me that opened up the rest of Europe from Oslo to Naples. And so I take the joyful opportunity to keep reminding these sons and daughters and nephews of those first audiences that we have something special together.

This performance space in the hotel was surely no doubt designed as a ballroom where Munich dignitaries and socialites gathered for very special occasions. But it was as if though the nymphs and muses spoke to the architect while they were sleeping and influenced the design so that it’s a perfect place for doing music with double balconies and railings that are beautifully carved and ornately painted in gold-like stuff, and the whole deal makes you feel like, “wow this is amazing!” And there they are in the front row with their knees almost touching the stage…so close that they can walk away with Larry’s flute. This is a great way to experience music, live and in your face. And it’s so loose and comfortable that it’s like we’re in a living room drinking wine in front of a fireplace. It’s fabulous that this is so obvious and is felt and sensed by everyone there. It’s as though you’ve been cut off from the rest of the world and things seem to go in slow motion, almost silent.

They sang great on the choruses and inhaled some great solo playing from guys in the band. Also, we’ve been showcasing some new material on this tour and they’ve added a final punctuation of “Yes, record that!”. This was an intermission evening and even though we planned it to be equal halves, the second half went way longer than we anticipated. But it was wonderful and beautiful and all smiles, and lots of gratitude for a wonderful tour. One more time I pined for taking advantage of such an intimate setting and the casual hanging out with guests and audience. That’s fun stuff.

That’s it for now. I’ll see you in a couple of weeks in Maine. For now I’m going home to be with my Babay, Ryan and Jen, the dogs, and my own bathroom. Wooo-wee!



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