Mr Magic…Smooth Jazz…Smooth Cocktail

Diana and I love concerts.  We really do love going to concerts.  And we have become very spoiled because in recent years, we have splurged a bit in order to get the best seats we can…or that we can afford.  Sometimes sitting on row CC is okay, especially if we have seen the artist before.  But most of the time, if it is one of our favorites, even if we have seen them before, we will spend the coin to sit in row C instead of CC.

This year promises to be a busy concert year.  And many of the concerts are ones we have already seen…such as:

U2

Keith Urban

Chuck Berry

Kenny Chesney

and Bon Jovi…

…and I hope that list is not complete yet.  There are a lot more concerts I would like to see, but not sure if they will be touring, or near St louis.

We have always enjoyed all (okay most) kinds of music and going to concerts.  When we first started dating, in 1975, we would venture to a lot of different concerts.  Most of them at the time were R&B, soul, jazz, etc.  We were at more than one concert in which we definately stood out.  I remember feeling out of place… if it wasn’t for the music that served as the common denominator.  The music was the common bond…true then, true today…regardless of the genre of music.

It was about this time that we “discovered” smooth jazz…which of course is different than the jazz I had already experienced through my father…jazz such as Coltrane, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, etc.  “Smooth jazz” was not quite as “jazzy or eclectic”.  Less, much less improvision than the jazz of John Coltrane or Miles Davis.  (Drew has heard me listening to some of this and he liked to call it…porno music.  I started to ask him how he knew what porno music sounded like…but I thought the better of it) In a word, it is much smoother.  (duh?)  It is generally described as a sub-genre of jazz music that uses instruments traditionally associated with jazz but is  influenced by R&B, funk, rock, blues and pop music styles.

Some of the early pioneers were just paving the way for this genre of music in the mid-70’s…Chuck MangioneSpyro GyraGeorge BensonBob James…and one of my favorites Grover Washington Jr. Grover was king.   A soul-funk-jazz sax player that ruled the reeds of the sax.  He was also one of those musicians that we enjoyed seeing in concert…at the Kiel Opera House in St Louis, which is currently undergoing major renovations and to be opened after 20 or more years.  It was the perfect venue for this kind of a concert, just intimate enough for an intimate style of music.  Unfortunately, Grover died much too young, like many great artists.   At the youthful age of 56 (I am 55, yikes!) he died of a massive heart attack while waiting in the green room, after just taping four songs for The Early Show at CBS Studios.

So in his honor, I have adapted another drink and named it after one of his most memorable songs, and one of my favorites…Mr Magic.

Mr Magic

  • 2 oz. rye whiskey
  • 1 oz. St. Germain liqueur (Elderflower liqueur, Thatcher’s works well also)
  • .25 oz. St Elizabeths Allspice Dram
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 dashes chocolate bitters
  • 1 egg white
  • Cracked ice
  • Put all of the above ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
  • Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a cinnamon stick.

This might be best served as a drink to enjoy after dinner.  Or perhaps late at night…listening to some music.  Regardless, enjoy it.  It is smooth, just like the jazz that Grover Washington Jr use to entertain us with…at his concerts and today in his music.

If you haven’t heard any of his stuff…take a listen to a couple of his tunes…Mr magic…Knucklehead…Soulful Strut…Just the Two of Us (with Bill Withers).  It might not be your first choice of music, but I doubt if you think it will be terrible either.  I like it…even if it does sound like “porno” music…Don’t ask!

Grover, left us too early.  Our lives are filled with people like this.  I hope this can be a reminder for us all to make the most out of each day…each moment…each friend, love one, and acquaintence.  He graced us with his presence and left a legacy of wonderful music.  I hope we can give grace to one another…and be proud of the legacy we leave behind.

Cheers! To Life and Each Other!

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Published in: on February 22, 2011 at 11:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

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