NDR Notes

I hope you’ll look up the Norddeutscher Rundfunk Big Band. In brief, they are an 18-piece big band jazz band that would make Basie, and Canton, and Ellington just laugh and clap their hands at how good the tradition they set is being carried on. And believe it or not, the band is 46 years old. Somewhere earlier I mentioned that they in fact solo as though they had been born in NY or New Orleans.

Going on, I didn’t realize that Joe’s new CD with the NDR, was a real concept project with songs designed around a central theme. The title of the album is, “The Children Of The Sun.” As Joe tells it, when he was in St. Croix, he came upon the ruins of the slaves quarters who worked the land, and made the rum, and harvested the sugar cane, and his eyes were glued to the endless blue sea surrounding the island. He was deeply touched by the realization that there was no escape from this island. No running away. The writers who wrote about this period referred to these children as, “children of the sun.” In a sort of blinding flash of light of understanding, we almost said together out loud, “Porgy and Bess were the children of the children of the sun, and what an amazing coincidence (it surely wasn’t on purpose) that my Porgy and Bess program, fit so perfectly with the Children Of The Sun.

We recorded a couple nights, and just maybe we’ve captured this wonderful coming together. Our hope is that we can bring this program to America. Ok thanks everybody I’ll see you next time.

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