||Every Tuesday night for the
last 5 years we have hosted an OFGC jam (of sorts) at Scottie MacBean's
Coffee House in little downtown Worthington, Ohio. We informally
hang up our club banner down at one end of the establishment and set up
2 or 3 amps for various members that might happen by to sit down and
play a couple. Most Tuesdays it's just a bunch of us hacker
amateur thumb pickers like JD Norman, Frank Lefebre, Tom Mathys and
myself (fairly decent music, actually). But, this particular
Tuesday night it was something special - VERY SPECIAL... Kenny
Poole was coming to play with and for us.
|On one hand it's
very very sad that one of the finest finger style jazz guitar
players in the world has terminal throat and stomach cancer, but the glad
news is that Kenny Poole has enough strength to take
advantage of what little time he might have left and is doing the things
he really wants to do. And, coming up from Cincinnati and jamming
with us at one of our Tuesday Night Jams was one of those things he
wanted to do. MUCH TO OUR PLEASURE.
Additionally to our pleasure, was the
fact that Tom Carroll and Tim Cummiskey, two of Ohio's
|finest jazz guitarists, came
to "play" tribute to Kenny. The three of them formed an impromptu
trio with Kenny playing bass. Nowhere in New York City could you
have found any better quality jazz that was played this evening right
here in this little coffee house in north part of Columbus. Kenny
seemed to draw the very best out of two of his most ardent fans and
superb jazz artists in their own right. Tom is a professor of jazz
guitar at Denison University and Tim teaches jazz guitar at The
Ohio State University.
||The coffee house was
packed. The word that Kenny Poole was going to be here
slipped out somehow (lol) and there was standing room only.
|Even way in the back (the
front of the store, actually) there were people standing to catch any
glimpse and sound from one of the greatest masters of jazz guitar on the
planet. And, unlike most coffee houses - these folks listened with
the utmost attentiveness and respect. They simply loved
||Although Kenny has lost a lot
of weight during his early fight with cancer, he seems to be in great
spirits, has plenty of energy - and, is playing the best he has played
in his whole life. He says that every since he's found out his
demise that he seems to have a new approach to his music. And, he
proved it this night with a solo set that mesmerized even the top
players in attendance.
A big part of my personal enjoyment was
seeing the various levels of understanding Kenny's music in the
room. There were non-musicians that had
|never heard him before and
were simply amazed at the music they were witnessing. And, at the
other end of the spectrum the brilliant Tim Cummiskey was absolutely
blown away with how wonderfully Kenny played the very difficult jazz
piece, Nica's Dream. "NOBODY tackles that tune solo,
Palmer," Tim explained, "Let alone eat it up the
way Kenny did. This may be sac religious, but he's as good as Joe
Pass was - if not better."
||Folks, the highest enjoyment
of jazz is all about understanding the depth of the music - which most
of us can't really do. But, through the ears of the truly gifted
we can better appreciate the talents of a master artesian that has spent
his entire life honing his musical excellence as opposed to seeking
monetary splendor - and, we were the beneficiaries of that life this
|Regular Tuesday Night
attendees, Tom and Helen Mathys, are big fans of Chet Atkins style
guitar playing, but this evening they were equally enthralled by Mr.
||JD Norman doesn't sit in that comfy
big chair very often because he's one heck of a thumb picker.....
however, this evening (like everybody else in the room) was gleefully
relegated to the audience. He and his friend Gabby had the best
seats in the house.
|Can you see the very gray hair
on the guy in the lower left hand corner of this picture on the
right??? Well, yep, that's me gittin' about as close as I could
get to kenny... I'd a got in his lap if he would have let
me. And, I apologize (again) for all the whoops and hollers I let
out when he was playing all those massive 7 fret stretch chords. I
never got to see Chet or Joe Pass up this close - but, I can't imagine
either being any finer than what I (we all) saw this evening. Like
Chet and Joe - this man is a true world class treasure - that we will
surely miss when he's gone.
Palmer Moore - OFGC Organizer
|The pictures above are
courtesy of JD Norman and his new digital camera he bought himself for
Christmas.. (Oh, I guess he did git up out of that big chair once or
twice... (lol) Thanks, JD......