At one point in last night’s symphony/Larry Jensen Concert (featuring Rob McLean, Al Walker, Conductor Ben Boldt-Martin, & composer/arranger Richard Mascall), I looked out at the audience from the cello section and saw people who I KNOW have only heard Larry play in bars. They were sitting beside folks who don’t go into bars, but who regularly go to Church and to Symphony concerts. Interesting cross-section – proof, if any is needed, that the music on offer was equally eclectic.
Every one there loved the songs, the strings, Larry, Rob & Al, the experience of music on that level of excellence. Many knew the words, and sang along. Heads bobbed, feet tapped, shoulders rocked back & forth to the rhythm. Tears flowed even, in response to Lars’ song about the Gulf oil spill.
In a way, all of us have come to own these songs and their sentiments, just by hearing them renewed this way again, and over again. Some of Larry has become embedded in us too, as we continue to provide larger and broader permissions, deeper respect and support of his work, in the marriage of audience and performer.
But as good apples can only come from a good tree (you can add sugar, curry, raisins, custard, but you can’t ever make the apples yourself), in the final estimation, Larry’s songs are purely his – born of his own unique sensibility and skill.
I’m glad, for one, that he chose to share them with Richard Mascall and the GBS last night. Once again, we’re all better off for it.