New York, New York!

Manhattan, Brooklyn, Harlem, Long Island, Queens, Bronx, People from New Jersey, Upstate New York—What a rush!

We played the Nokia Theatre in Times Square with Christian Scott, a young prodigy trumpet player from New Orleans.

I arrived a day early and did some radio and TV to promote the concert. It’s a rare opportunity and I jumped all over it—Long day, but refreshing to find a continuing interest from media.

I’m sure God’s prayer log is overflowing into the universe with “Dear God, it’s Paris tonight… Lemme get it right; It’s LA, It’s London, It’s New York tonight… let me get it right” Soooo it was wonderful to be back in my hotel room sitting on the side of the bed at midnight blubbering and mumbling over and over again, “Thank you, Father, we got it right.”

This was only the second performance of the new program with the new approach and presentation (see last entry about Disney Hall in LA). We did some fixes at sound check, and did our cool new slow burn intro into Look to the Rainbow. Nokia was sold out.

NYC has been a home base, old friend core for me since the beginning, and they welcomed me back home. So satisfying! The band got it, too. We could feel the surprise and delighted reactions to Sweet Potato Pie, We Got By, and You Don’t See Me, all home base tunes.

It was warm and friendly all night long; Fire and Rain with John Calderon’s classical guitar intro was a big hit.

On stage, I mentioned the real big security guard at KISS FM who shook my hand with such sincerity that it melted my heart.

And I watched one of the most precious things ever happen right before my eyes… The beginning and growth of a new friendship—I know it was the first Al Jarreau concert for this lady in the first row. Tentative at first, then starting to smile and get the little nuances and humors in the music, and the different feelings and emotions to share. She took the ride and we blew kisses to each other at the end of the evening, acknowledging things—her husband, too.

Then there was one more mystical magical moment; Mark Simmons (drums) and I went back out, head to head, on one mic, for some two man vocal percussion. We do this all the time and it always dissolves into laughter because of some funny lick that we came to—Not tonight! Somehow we came up with the perfect tempo for Boogie Down, the encore closer. The band heard it and slammed right into the opening vamp. I was blown away!

Thanks for the magic, New York! We got it right!

Love, Al

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