Further Thoughts on the All-Stars

OK, not to get too weird and stalker-y on the Santa Fe All-Stars — because I fear sometimes I can be with independent creators (as, nominally, one myself) — but there's something I left out of my recent post. These things happen, I'm composing them in my head for a while, but some of it drops during the actual typing …

The Santa Fe All-Stars make me wish I could play an instrument.

I got no sense for it, and even after several years of clarinet back in junior high, I'm sure I couldn't even make sense of sheet music in front of me. But the way they perform up on stage, it's a gathering of people who are very, very good at playing music who genuinely seem to really, really enjoy the opportunity to play with other similarly talented folks. They look to be having such a good time, as are the people watching them. Makes me jealous.

That first time we caught them at Tiny's, they were doing sets of about 45-60 minutes. During the break, members would head out into the crowd, meeting and talking with people they knew, catching their breath. I'm sure Susan spent some time with us and then … time clouds it … was it her or Joe? Somebody just got back on stage, started noodling around, was joined by whichever one I'm getting wrong. It became recognizable … House of the Rising Sun. Gradually, everyone else just came up on stage and joined in in a gentle improvisational (?) jam. It was the anniversary of Katrina, but the moment — this is why you catch live music, to get those times where it just all comes together.

As I said, jealous.

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