Maupin/ Williams Project Live at Club Rhapsody Okin
They say there are about 8 billion souls currently kicking about this small, blue theater-of-the-absurd. Figure the odds of any two of us bumping into each other and actually taking an interest, actually checking each other out for more than five minutes, actually discovering you both share a common heart. The common heart. Talk about miracles. Two people come together and hang out, maybe fall in love, maybe talk about the big issues 'til four in the morning. Or maybe - just maybe - two heretofore strangers decide to try and create something together to hold out for the rest of us: Like hope. Like music. John B.Williams and Bennie Maupin found each other, found that common heart. And really, how can any of us truly know the rest of us - if not for what we each put out there into empty space for all the universe to see and hear. Sure you can think you know something about Bennie and John B. by their histories, both meeting while playing with the great Horace Silver back in the 60's and going on to play with the likes of Yusef Lateef, John Coltrane, Lee Morgan, Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock & the Headhunters, Freddie Hubbard, Dizzy, Nancy Wilson, Andrew Hill Count Basie, Louis Armstrong etc., et al; Or maybe you think you can know them by Bennie's reeds or John B.'s basses. Maybe by the way they hang out, dress the parts, or look you in the eyes. Gentlemen? Definitely. Old pros? Absolutely. Cool Cats? Give me a break! These two were cool when cool was still lukewarm. Maybe you'll know something about them from this collection of tunes: From the cosmopolitan energy of the city and you-and-me-just-trying-to-get-through-doing-no-harm-and-having-a-few-smiles-in-between of "John B.'s Eb Minor Blues"; to the cool breeze from the far - off ocean of "Gratitude"; where you can relax and remember that everything's perfect already; to the mystery and seduction of "Neophilia"; to the steady pulse of life in "Moonflower"; to the confident self-assurance of "Love The One"; to the life-goes-on rhythms of remembrance of "Walter Bishop Jr."; to the you-think you've-got-problems? Wisdom of "Message To Prez"; to the hip "by-the-bay" acoustics of "See The Positive". Maybe. But how can any of us truly say we know each other? The Masks run deep and hearts can remain in far off lands forever out of reach. But Maybe, just maybe, it's enough that two folks out of the billions came together, liked the sounds, shared the pain and joy, and decided to play for each other. And Then for us. Yeah. Sounds good to me. Thank you. Bradley Rand Smith.