Monday, June 04, 2018

"and I shouted 'OLE!'"

 "Hey, they just announced "No flash photography," and there you go...
sitting there smug in your fancy 2nd-row seat."

The lady next to me touched my arm and said "Tsk. Tsk."

My buddy just rolled his eyes. Again.

Well, if she didn't say that she sure wanted me to know that popping a flash in the first 10 seconds of a show is rude.

Fortunately, I knew HOW to turn off the automatic flash.

I just forgot to do that. Oh, crap!

I didn't see the drummer Dafnis Prieto squinting at his sheet music so I didn't really interrupt the start of the Spoleto concert by the Chucho Valdes Jazz Bata at the Gaillard Music Center.

I did sort of slouch down lower in my comfortable seat as I pressed hard on the OFF button for my flash.

Multiple Grammy-winner Leader Chucho Valdes did not pause and glare or even look at me. He sat at his piano and started playing and the music and fun began.

What a tight Afro-Cuban quartet.

It was nice to revisit my jazz roots: roving solos followed by appreciative applause and on to the next player in a delightful "round robin" of fast-paced music, thumping with percussion, drums, piano and upright bass.

My ear picks up a quick familiar riff from "Take The A Train," or some Dave Brubeck classics. Nice.

Yeah, this is international Afro-Cuban jazz.

I could imagine a broad smile on the face of the late Jack McCray, tapping his foot.

He was a leader in recognizing the jazz history and talent here in Charleston. He helped make a night like this possible when he founded the JAC and it continues to bear fruit.

But, my intent right now is trying to catch a face photo of percussionist Yaroldy Abreu Robles. It isn't easy

Not just his blurred hands as he pounds from one of his congas to another rapidly or picks up a variety of small devices that tings or he shakes and rattles.

I want to catch his intensity, seen with his tight smile and bulging eyes. But mainly I am capturing shots of twin mics framing his face. flash thank goodness.

The other downside of sitting very close to the stage is not having a wide enough lens to capture the whole scene of the four musicians.

This came close and I am glad to see the active bassist Yelsy Heredia is featured.

He was a whirling dervish (what would that be in Cuban?) in almost constant motion that only slowed during brief delicate use of his bow.

The group got to pose and take their "bow" twice.

First when they finished and, again after they came back onstage to satisfy the pleased applauding, standing ovation by the rapt capacity audience.

Even though the show was technically over, I kept the flash turned off.

Didn't want to be an ass more than once.

(Click on the photos and links for more details and information.)

I try to include some samples of the music I hear and at shows like this, it's always announced "No audio recording of any kind."

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