Subject: Re: [Harp-L] Buckeye

Jack writes about Jimi Lee:
"Dear Tom and Harp-l'ers,

Thank you for the kind words about  BHF '07. Jimi approached me first via 
e-mail requesting I bring him to  Buckeye. We communicated frequently over 
several months via phone and  (mostly) e-mail. It didn't take long to realize that 
he would be a good  addition to the Buckeye line-up. I had no idea what a Great 
ambassador he  would be to the harmonica world. He is passionate about 
bridging the gap -  and I agree Tom, that he took a big chunk out of the wall.
Don't be too  surprised if he turns up at the next Buckeye.

Thanks  again,
Jack Ely"
.....I have to agree with Jack, Jimi is a wonderful  ambassador.... friendly, 
outgoing, a willing listener  and teacher...he performed the same function at 
the last SPAH, albeit  in the Hallways as a "roving troubador" well as 
at Jason  Ricci's pre-SPAH Harp Blow-Off the night before, always with a 
smile,  and is a down to earth, terrific guy.  
However, by the time he took the stage Saturday night (after the  Banquet) 
after the break - my table and the several around  mine were completely 
deserted.  I can't imagine people not wanting to  stay for his show, and still see it 
as the perception of "diatonics" not  meeting the standards of the folks I sat 
with (all chromatic  people).  Their loss, Jimi did call up the  
afore-mentioned Phil and Shelly ("the Society Boys" not on the  roster this 
year) to perform with him, to the audience's approval.   

The Blues Jams he conducted, though...were tucked away in a much  smaller 
room than is common for the Filisko/Buzz Krantz run Blues there were 
far fewer diatonic people attending Buckeye this  year, more's the pity.  It 
shouldn't have to be leaning heavily  towards one "side" or the other, just to 
make one group feel  comfortable (and I'm primarily a chromatic player).  
That's what  I enjoy most about SPAH, and the Buckeyes where the Filisko group are 
 included....that they incorporate so much of both types of  playing.  This 
bridge has to be spanned...and Jimi sure works hard at  it.
The miniJam in the Lobby with Phil and Smo-Joe trading off  standards and 
jazz to Phil's Music Minus One on his Bose CD player  was an education in itself. 
 These two sound AMAZING together...they  played again Saturday night tucked 
away in a hallway...and there's  something about their two chromatics that 
just cooks for me.   Frankly, I love hearing Phil play a lot more modern Jazz 
music hint, hint  :)  I knew my friend Smokey was good...but THIS good?   Phew!  
He was called back for an encore after his performance Friday  night, he 
played so well.
I hadn't been privy to hearing Bob McFarlane play before, no idea  why.  He's 
an amazing harmonicist.  Wow! SO moving and  pretty.
Wanted to add that I SO thoroughly enjoyed the Friday Jazz  Night, from the 
earlier performances (Smo-Joe, PTGazell (always  phenomenal, smooth and 
understated), AJ Fedor, Danny G (or maybe Danny  played Thursday? It all begins to 
run together, lol), Sandy German) to the  later Jazz Cabaret.  My only 
suggestion later to Phil (Caltabellotta)  is that perhaps more amateurs like me might 
have participated (no one from  the audience did despite the many entreaties) 
had we not been required to  get up on stage to front the CarolBeth True Group. about pressure! 
 Her playing is incredible, I've never played with other  musicians so just 
couldn't bring myself to try it.... Smokey had  played brilliantly, then 
Phil....Jim Lohman, AJ could anyone  as rank an amateur as me even dream 
of being in THAT spotlight, playing  after them?  
So perhaps having the round tables with the candlelight as they  were (LOVED 
that touch)...but perhaps letting us play AT the tables -  mic'ing us right 
there? with the quartet staying on the stage just as  they were set up...perhaps 
grouping the tables a tad closer the  player could communicate with the 
pianist ....would be less  threatening?  I know I can play on "ground" level, 
but not up on  a stage...and certainly not following people of that caliber.  
Just tossing out ideas....
The only real downer to this Buckeye was in the getting there:  finding 
myself on a teensie puddle-jumper plane not allowed to take my  carry-on (with my 
harmonicas) AS a carry-on...watching from the plane as  they flung my bag onto 
the cart taking them to the cargo hold (I can  just imagine how they were 
tossed in there!).  I hadn't packed  anything around them for protection since 
they WERE "carry-on"!   Every one of my chroms was playing strangely with reeds 
out of  alignment by the time I got to Buckeye. On the bright side it gave me  
an excuse to buy one of Seydel's new deluxe Bb chroms :)   Surprisingly, the 
sound and tone has that same bell-like quality as  my Super it'll 
probably become my Bb of choice.  
Playing in the Lobby with Bill the guitarist, Lee's keyboard (sorry,  I've 
forgotten their surnames), Wally Peterman directing us  all...Shelly taking over 
keyboard ....Phil, SmoJoe, Valerie on Chord,  Wally on Chord, Val Peterman on 
chromatic, me coming in on chrom....I know  there were a couple of other 
folks hanging out as well..but we all played  together ....and it was an absolute 
blast.  That was more of a lesson  and help in getting over my stage fright 
than anything else could  be.  I love these people.  They're just so generous in 
allowing  someone like me to listen and absorb and even sit in to learn from  
them.  Valerie won one of the new Seydel Stainless Steel  reed diatonics in A 
for Phil.....very cool.  He promptly tried  it out in the IS loud 
and has a clean, clear tone.  Very  nice instrument.
Rupert helped me gap one of my chroms in exchange for my purchasing  the Bb 
Seydel...taught me some breathing, relaxation  techniques.  Between his input 
and Joe Filisko's Zen breathing  lessons from SPAH 2006, I should eventually 
get it. 
This was supposed to be about Jimi (who still owes me a CD) :)'s 
turned into a partial review of Buckeye, but more later....

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