You always remember the first time. Where you were,what you were wearing, who it was. My first time was with Eric Dolphy. On the day I first heard him play, music was transformed from camp songs into a deeply personal experience between myself and the artist. I began to pay close attention and to listen to music not only with my senses, but with my heart. I was completely swept away and felt like I had fallen in love, because I had.
Now I am well into middle age, past the time of life when one expects to fall in love. I thought I was well protected from that head-over-heels-at- first-hearing thing. Then it happened- 9:30 pm, September 22, 2002,Monterey Jazz Festival. I entered a dark room with metal with only metal folding chairs, piano, drums and string bass. From the piano rose the most beautiful sounds I have ever heard. I had a sensation of both sinking and floating. I felt molecules rearranging themselves in my body. I was transfixed and several times needed to be reminded to breathe. I was joyfully transported to the pure land where only sound exists.
Who was this magician? A man sat quietly at the keyboard. There was no attempt at showmanship or ingratiating banter, just music like you have never heard in your life - one heart speaking to another. He introduced himself as Weber Iago and I knew from that moment, that I could happily spend my life just listening to this man play music. Over the years, I had come to forget the power of beauty in the hands of the truly gifted. Is that love? I guess it is, the easy kind with no agenda,no pain, just joy and pleasure in the work of this wonderful artist.
I am especially glad to recommend Weber Iago's work to those who don't yet know him. In the midst of the struggle we face in our violent and uncertain world, Iago's music is a timely treasure. Check it out, and I invite you to let yourself fall in love, again and again. "Falling in love again, what am I to do, can't help it."