Friday, March 19, 2004

Mariana & Piotr - 17/03/2004, Brussels

Mariana (voc)
Piotr Paluch (p)

Seeing a couple of friends/acquaintances perform for the first time. Talented pair of kids and funny stories about the ups and downs of having a famous musician as piano teacher. Mainly, though, the evening reminded me to continue bashing the "attentive Europe" myth.

It pops up in so many interviews of non-European musicians who, understandably, enjoy their lucrative European tours. "They have so much respect for the arts," blah, blah blah. They never ask Steve Lacy about things like that. Or Archie Shepp. I'll come back to him.

So what do you do when the PP Café patrons couldn't give a toss about what you're doing over there in the corner? You just dig into your own groove, listen to your partner and tough out the shitty gig, as generations of jazz musicians have done before you and countless more will long after you're gone.

"My Foolish Heart," "My Favorite Things," a nice rhythmic vamp and middle-east tinged vocals to lope down "Caravan"'s camel trail: weapons to block out that uncaring portion of the world currently referred to as patrons, and even some portions not referred to as such, like loud motorcycles. Amazing: Win them over with a soul/gospel flagwaver and get an encore as a birthday table engages in whipped cream warfare. What would Archie Shepp do?

Archie Shepp is coming next week, in duo with pianist Amina Claudine Myers. Remember him? He recorded albums with titles such as "Fire Music" and performed in prisons. He doesn't need the rowdy patron crap, but we were assured things would be different. Don't miss it if you're in town (24/03, rue Jules Van Praet).

Mariana complained that they'd added an extra "n" to her name in the concert listings leaflet, so I pointed out that on the outside it stated "February/March 2004," but then went on to list March and April concerts on the inside.