I'd not gone on-stage to sing since this shit happened. It
was with a great deal of trepidation (okay... outright terror) that I picked two
tunes last night and got up and performed them. A lot of the fear had to do with
having to look at the (now-empty) seat mom always occupied in the back of the room.
Heck, if I was so weepy earlier in the day during rehearsal, how in heaven's
name could I be sure I could hold it together during performance, in front of a
hundred or more people? It occurred to me I was getting weepy during rehearsal
not only because I was thinking about mom, but because actually going back
on-stage to work with my favorite pianist (Joe McWilliams) and the rest of the
band was just emotionally charged; joyful. I accepted the fact that I was an
emotional (up-and-down) mess. Oh, let's not forget that right next to where mom
used to sit was the spot where, occasionally, my father would sit. Excuse me
while I get a tissue...
The one time that I broke up a bit (queer on an up-beat tune like "Day In,
Day Out" by Johnny Mercer and Ruby Bloom — not the David Bowie song of the same name) was mistaken by all (except, of course, for the musicians) to be
some sort of new vocal inflection. Someone actually complimented me for the
"growl." I came clean and told them I wasn't growling, I was crying.
Arlen's "Summertime" was performed as a duet with a young lady
who was in the audience and who has a superb operatic voice. She put me to
shame, vocally, but as soon as she loosened up and started to swing we
discovered that we had a sensational contrast of sound going on and we both had
a lot of fun, as did the band. I'm not bragging but the audience really loved
the stylization and the sound. Even though I went off-key and off-tempo at the very end.
Tonight's a hit with Jocelyn Pleasant and her organ trio. That, my friends,
calls for the blues; "Moanin'" "I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues" and perhaps "You Put It On Me." After all, they
say to really execute a blues tune well you gotta hurt. Well, I hurt,
now; just enough... not too much. Let's see what happens.