Music everywhere

It has been a week full of music. On Wednesday we joined a group of friends at the Chianti jazz café in Beverly. As the players were setting up we feasted on chianti (of course) and olives. I recognized the percussionist when he pulled out his tablas. He was the same who played with the Afghan orchestra earlier this year at the New England Conservatory. The band, Natraj, is a fusion jazz group, fusing Indian, American and African music into the most wonderful pieces. Our friends have become groupies and we can now see why.

On Friday we went to see and listen to Toots and the Maytals, affectionately called Toots and the Maytags by our friend Edith. In the pouring rain we headed out to Salisbury, a place that seems further away from my mind than Cairo or Karachi. The concert was in a building that was anything but interesting on the outside, especially in the rain. To my surprise it housed some spectacular places inside. If you had the good luck to sit near the window you could see the waves lapping at the edge of the building right below you. An adjoining restaurant was just as nice – a congenial crowd, and a spacious and comfortable layout.

I had put on my ortho boot to provide some support to my ankle. It also made it possible for me to head onto the dance floor for those reggae songs that one cannot possible listen to in stillness. Up front a mix of generations moved rhythmically with the beat while Toots was masterfully working the crowd: we answered his calls, stamped and cheered and sang along with his most famous songs. It was a ‘The harder they come’ night with a thousand and more memories, making the atmosphere relaxed and joyful with only a few boozing a little too much, but not getting in anyone’s way except their own.

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