Day: August 27, 2010
Whew, Mom and I made it! So we got to the hotel and couldn’t valet…it was okay. So we skipped dinner. So we didn’t get VIP seats. We were there! We checked into a very nice room at the Westin La Paloma Resort with a view of the golf course and fabulous homes, and I texted Monica to let her know that we had made it! I received a mysterious text as well, someone advising that they were in Tucson and would see me tonight. I knew that the area code was from the Denver area….Kathy is coming!!
Monica replied to my text, asking me to stick my head in to the Ballroom, as she was assisting in the table set up. I was in torn jeans and a t-shirt, saving my real outfit for later. I’ve come to notice that I feel compelled to dress up when I go to a Nick Colionne concert….ya gotta come correct! I can just imagine Nick looking at my jeans and shaking his head in pity! I heard music as I was entering the hallway, and it was definitely guitar music. Soundcheck!
I popped in and saw Monica, and we hugged. In addition to Nick playing onstage, I noticed Paul Taylor getting his horn ready, hair pulled back, at the edge of the stage. Monica and I had a quick chat, then she led me to the person that I could buy the concert tickets from. Monica was concerned that she had not seen Paul yet. I say to her in my “Girl, you crazy” voice, “He’s right in there! Right on the stage!” After the tickets were secured, I pointed him out, and then I high tailed it to my room for some rest, listening to a snippet of Nick’s “High Flyin” as I walked away.
I jumped into the bed, to get a quick nap, and then I notice it’s 5:30 p.m.! Doors open at 6:30 p.m., but it’s a first-come, first served situation for us General Admission folks. I wanted to be at the doors at 6 p.m.! I pulled myself together, Mom removed her sleep bonnet, and we were on our way! Why, oh why, did I tell Mom that we had to get in line early? She took the walker, put on the brakes and parked right in front of the door! I’m like, um, Mom, we can be on the side a bit? She ignores me, so I chose to look at the wines offered at the bar. I’m peeking over some ladies who are deciding their libation for the evening. I see (and hug) Monica again, who tells me the other Jazz Chicks are here….and she points to the women leaving the bar area! I had been standing right next to them! I must have been traumatized by Mom’s “parking situation” or by the fact they did not have Kendall Jackson Chardonnay, I don’t know which! They come over and we hug, and I get to meet their friend Michelle. I introduce all to Mom…who always plays it cool and shy, before she starts cracking on me!
We sit a lovely table and are joined by Monica’s family. We had about an hour wait until the show started, so we people watch, with Mom breaking her neck trying to see who’s coming in, talking about folks in shorts and casual wear, commenting about all the Black women with White Men….if you know my Mom, you know she had to go there! A woman walks past me with her date, I catch her eye, and I’m thinking I know her, or I’ve seen her before. It bugs me. I think it could be Tamia (sans Grant Hill), or Cree Summer–but why would Cree be in Tucson, come on!
This concert was a benefit for Women’s Heart health, and we heard a touching story from a young man who had witnessed his mother have a heart attack and subsequently passed away. The whole place was tearing up. Then the Speaker announced the guests in the audience, and low and behold, she introduces Cree Summer from “A Different World“! I was right. I then spend moments trying to explain to my Mom who she was! “She was on the show when Denise was on, remember when Cliff Huxtable’s daughter went to college….” We both gave up after numerous clues, since it was quickly becoming SHOWTIME!
Nick and Paul were on the stage together, it was not one opening for the other, and it meshed very nicely. Nick played his hits, came down into the audience and played, then Nick and Paul had a note competition. Nick would play some complicated notes and Paul would match him on the Sax each time! Amazing! When Paul started playing his hits, the Ladies were ready to hit the dance floor! It was funny, because earlier, Nick told the audience if he saw someone on the floor that couldn’t dance, he was gonna make fun of them. Well, we’re out there holding our own, and a woman jumps in front of Debra and Theresa, starts swaying side to side, with her hands waving in the air, like one of those wacky air people in front of car dealers!
I thought to myself “uh-oh” Nick’s gonna have a field day with this one, but of course he is too much the gentleman to say anything. The Ladies were not too happy, though, since this woman was blocking their direct view to the stage! I kept warning Debra to get ready to jump on stage with Paul, as he often invites the Ladies up to dance on one of his songs. But this time Paul came down to the dance floor! I watched from my seat as Paul serenaded Theresa and those on the floor, and that was a big hit! I think that the other dance floor was jealous that our side got so much attention!
After the show, I asked Mom if she wanted to meet Nick and discuss hat trees with him., she replies yes, and she walks in front of the signing table and parks in front, again! But she was getting tired, and decided to go back to the room before they came out. I escorted her, then as I was returning, loads of people were leaving. I thought that I had missed the signing, but apparently I missed the encore! We knew that we wanted to wait until the end of the signing, so that we could get our group photo, so we hung back. Vernon Barbary was coming past me, and I stopped him to say hi and introduced myself. “My Facebook friend!” Yes, he said it!
- Then the photo shoot was on! Outta control is the best way to describe it! Fun, Crazy and Dangerous (yes, I almost knocked Nick’s hat off)! All the ladies got a picture on Nick’s lap, except me, who got a big squeeze!
And we got individual shots with Paul:
After the meet and greet, us Ladies retreated into the bar, and when we saw Nick walking past, we asked him to join us. He had put on another outfit! 3rd one that I had counted–it could have been more! He came and sat with us for a few minutes, then excused himself, saying he’d be back down and would stop by.
Nick kept his promise. We offered Nick a drink, but he let us know that he does not imbibe. Somehow, I just knew that. He is way too cool to act a fool. I, however, had had enough wine for the both of us! We talked to him about the next concert location, and how his Manager, Carol Ray, could not join him in Tucson. Nick also let us know that he had to leave at 6:30 a.m., and seeing how it was nearing 1:30 a.m., we let him go. He gave us all warm hugs and we told him how we look forward to having him back in Arizona real soon.
We were lucky enough to also run into the drummer for the evening, Ira King. I had previously met Ira a year prior, when he was in Tucson with Dominic Amato. Ira’s sister Deborah sang at a Brunch, and we were so wowed by her voice, Mom had to have a CD! When I told Mom I had sat and talked with him this evening, she was mad that she went to bed early! Ira spoke about his children, music gigs, and was kind enough to take a photo with us! He said we made him feel famous, to which we all replied “You ARE!”
When it was hitting about 2:00 a.m., us Ladies finally disbanded, after hugs all around. We hoped that we could find another gig before our next Tucson venture on New Year’s Eve with Rick Braun! http://tucsonjazz.tix.com/Event.asp?Event=252862