The Katrina Benefit at the Morseland went pretty well. A large crowd was in the house, each contributing their $10 for the cause. My daughter, Lizz Gillock, did a fine set of jazz vocals with Joel, her acoustic guitar player. He was a real talent, playing a metal-body Resonator guitar and sounding like Charlie Christian. Lizz covered lots of standards (Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, etc.), then threw in the "Tin Man's Song" from the Wizard of Oz ("If I only Had a Heart"). Lizz nailed the tunes - intonation perfect, lyrics delivered with the right emotions, scat singing was hot. I loved it.
The quality of the Mystery Band set was mixed – we had a couple of special moments, but I fumbled a few things. The best moment came when my bass player, E.G McDaniel, surprised me by kicking off the O’Jays tune, “For the Love of Money.” Mr. G and the Mystery Band had never played this tune before, but I said, ”Yeah! Let’s do this thing.” It worked very well, and the crowd went wild. So this tune is now in our set. Generally, I think we should do more R&B. I ain’t no soul singer, but with a band like the Mystery Band, we can pull it off.
I also stayed late at the Morseland to hear the hip-hop set, and my eyes were opened. A white guy fronted a live hip-hop group. I could only make out every 4th word he was saying, but he was good. And his band was awesome – acoustic bass, keys, guitar drums and sax/flute. I have never heard jazz flute combined with a rapper before – it sounded extremely cool and fresh. The band "sampled" Clifford Brown and Coltrane rather than snipping stuff from the R&B guys. The rapper’s name is Verbal Kent. I now have a new interest - finding the quality in the world of hip-hop. It ain't all about 50 Cent and his gangsta hoo-hah.
It was a long night, but a fine night. It was a great mix of music.