Long ago and far away, I was walking home from my very prestigious job selling chocolate chip cookies to tourists in Boston's Quincy market.
As I was contemplating how meaningless my life was, I was interrupted by the sound of four older gentlemen jazz musicians playing for a crowd of, well, at that time of night...nobody.
They were sitting on a park bench: tuba, banjo, cornet and reeds. I watched a song or two, bought a five dollar cassette, and went on my way.
Fast forward about 10 years, and I was locked away in a hotel room in New Jersey, trying to learn a guitar solo to a Steely Dan song that I was to cover for the "Me, Myself and Irene" movie soundtrack with my band The Push Stars.
I couldn't learn the song properly, couldn't play the solo at all, so I said f#@* this, and wound up back in Boston with the session only days away. It was then that I found myself dusting off my cassette collection, when I came across the long forgotten tape...The Commonwealth Jazz Quartet.
Suddenly I had the crazy idea to do the song in my own style and bring in the jazz quartet to play the solo section. So I called the contact number on the back of the cassette only to find out one of the guys had died and the group was relatively inactive. But there was another guy in town, John Clark, who is the ringleader of a whole feast of traditional jazz musicians (or Dixieland, as some call it) around town.
Luckily my band was open minded, and together we pulled off the song, and I made a bunch of new friends that I respect greatly. So meet the Wolverine Jazz band. These are musicians who play a lost art and the lost songs from a time long before computers, reality television and even rock n' roll.
So I wrote some new songs, asked if they'd record with me, and we did. But we did it the old fashioned way, all live, all one night, perfection and pro tools-not an option.
And every time I hear them play, I feel the same way I felt on that summer night in Quincy market a long time ago; that the meaninglessness of life can be washed away by something greater-the sound of great musicians stealing notes down from the heavens. >/p>
And there I was...gone again...