|"Blood on the Keys"|
|6/4/1998 - Just finished performing this evening with my trio at the Knitting Factory fest in New York, in a performance which capped off a very hectic week of rushing around the globe. Just this morning I left Ismir, Turkey to make the 12 hour journey home with only a couple of hours to spare before the Knitting Factory hit. I played the festival in Ismir with David Murray's big band, which was preceded by a date in Moers, Germany the day before, and in Verona, Italy the day before that. And I began this hectic week with a performance with my group Rhythm-Dance at Birdland here in NY, on May 28th. The concert was recorded for RCA Victor, and two tracks will be used for a compilation disc to be titled "Live at Birdland" to be released in the fall. |
This first gig of the week at Birdland I think might be particularly memorable not for the performances, although I was quite pleased with everyone's contribution (the group included Kenny Davis on bass, Billy Kilson on drums, Kahlil Kwame Bell on percussion, Hugh Ragin on trumpet and Christian Howes on violin) but for a severe cut to my thumb I seemed to have incurred during the first piece. Now I've cut my hand before while playing, and it's in fact always been a source of "battle scar pride" among the more "physical" players of the past, including one of my mentors, Don Pullen - the more "flying keys" and "broken strings", the better, etc., etc... :-). But never before had I managed to somehow open a gash which was so perfectly positioned as to make it seemingly impossible to stop the blood from freely flowing. My predicament was that I didn't want to destroy the flow of the music, and so I hesitated to stop, take a break, wipe the keys, fetch a bandaid, etc., etc. So unfortunately I chose to continue until the entire keyboard was covered with blood, and my hand still refused to stop bleeding, even after someone finally got me a bandaid and a towel. To make a long story short, I ended up cutting the set short, fixing myself (and the keyboard) up, and hitting hard in set #2, though ironically set #1 seemed to go ok, as well; something about the adrenaline of the moment, I suppose....Of course, now for those who were aware of what was going on, the gig may very well be remembered more for the mess I made than for the music :-)....