I really enjoy getting out to see and hear what the creative musical minds of the day are producing. The challenge is that the businessman schedule and the artsy music man schedule overlap on different ends of the 11pm-6am time period. The businessman always uses his fancy logic and big words to talk the artsy music man out of doing anything interesting. Artsy music man needs to find something better than PBRs and ringing ears to negotiate with.
Every once in a while, I do manage to drag my lazy butt out to one of the many bars or music venues around New Orleans to catch a performance. It helps when there's either somebody I really want to see or I know somebody in the band. On this particular night at Saturn Bar, Dane Terry was the touring pianist with Andrew Graham & Swarming Branch. I first encountered Dane in my high school music theory class. Not that he was enrolled in the class; he'd just wander in periodically to pester the teacher and make people laugh. Oh, and he'd occasionally put on a show behind the baby grand.
Let me back up. I've learned to half-assed play several instruments over the years. I've studied a little music theory. I've played in front of different crowds with different groups on different instruments. The point being that I'm not a complete ignoramus when it comes to understanding what goes into playing instruments and making music. I know that most people have to practice a lot just to achieve a level of basic competence. That's most people, but of course, there are exceptions.
Dane would sit at the piano during our class and bang out whatever intricate little piece of music crossed his mind. I'd say he did this from memory, but I don't think that the pieces were necessarily memorized in the traditional sense (i.e. repeated over and over again). It's probably more accurate to say that they were being recreated from some sort of audio-visual echo that had been imprinted on his brain. Watch a song get played and it could be reproduced. Frigging impressive, there's no other way to put it. Add several years of additional training to that natural ability, and now I'd call it f*cking impressive.
It was great seeing somebody doing something that nature seems to have engineered them for. Not everybody has such a talent so it would seem a shame to go unused. How many other people have these differently wired brains? We can only hope that they're out there putting on their own shows for us to marvel at while we grumble to ourselves "why can't I do that?"
As for my scheduling issues - PBRs were consumed, my ears rang. Score one for artsy music man.