Friday night a friend and I knew why we love NYC. We attended The Music of Gerry Mulligan at Julliard. The jazz pianist, Bill Charlap, was the conductor. In addition to leading the Julliard Jazz Orchestra, Charlap played several of his favorite Mulligan pieces. As if this
weren’t enough, he also gave succinct summaries of Mulligan’s musical development. Line for Lyons was a tribute to Mulligan’s pianoless quartet that played at the west coast club, The Haig. .Everyone who’s interested in jazz knows that Mulligan played the baritone saxophone. I had not realized what a fine composer he was. Thanks to Julliard, now I do. The audience in the Peter Sharp Theatre was a mix of family (“My grandson is the drummer,” a very proud grandfather told me.), fellow students who shouted encouragement whenever their musician pal was cited by Charlan and the rest of us jazz lovers.
It’s great fun being a two hour docent at Judson Memorial Church during Open House New York. People are in awe seeing the LaFarge stained glass windows. They soak up the Judson history and nod approvingly when told that Judson welcomes all, whether you believe in a religion or not is your business as is your sexual orientation. Some know about Judson’s rich theatrical and dance history. Because we don’t have pews, many are surprised it’s an active church. It is wonderful to stand in a church you know well and have other people, in their delight, remind you of how luck you are to be a member of such a special space.