In the days of the Big Bands, some of the organizations had virtual revolving doors when it came to the people who played together. Creative minds and bold personalities often clashed, sometimes mixing into a soup of anger and resentment. People walked away, sulked and then found other venues for their talents. Today, we don’t have jazz bands of such size and scale, but if we did, I have a secret weapon to bring such an organization together in harmony, on stage and off.
I’d start with the vibrant Chick Corea on keyboards, paired up with Lionel Richie and Brian McKnight. Lionel would write the songs and share the vocalist spot with two incomparable ladies, Patti Labelle and Gladys Knight. Brian could play any of the eight instruments that he has mastered, but I think I would ask him to be the drummer when he wasn’t collaborating with Chick and Lionel. The sax section would be Kenny G and Mindi Abair. The guitars would be Marc Antoine and Ken Navarro with Christian McBride on bass. I’d finish off my band with Walter Beasley on clarinet and Ramsey Lewis on the Steinway grand piano.
And why would I put all these folks together? Because they are all Geminis, with birthdays starting on the 23rd of May and running to the 20th of June.
According to the traits ascribed to Geminis, it would work perfectly because they are adaptable and versatile, have a strong sense of self, are lifelong learners, great communicators and team players, up for anything. They thrive in social situations. They are big picture folks who don’t get sidetracked, and they are excellent multi-taskers.
So, as soon as I can get their agents and promoters out of the way (and after I win a few million in a lottery) I’m going to hit the road with my experiment, the Gemini Jazz Band. Tickets anyone?
~Lydia Barnes (email@example.com)
Our Smooth Video of the Week: May 28 birthday boy Marc Antoine teams up with Paul Brown on one of Marc's standards, "Latin Quarter."