Kirk Whalum Blog
If you've never been to Memphis, specifically to the NW baggage claim, then you won't recognize this image. It's the legendary, Grammy Award/Academy Award-winning artist (and I'm proud to say personal friend) Isaac Hayes. This is the first thing one sees, comfortably situated next to images of Elvis & BB King, near the bag carousel.
I took this picture today when I arrived at baggage claim from our performance at the Long Beach Jazz Festival -- having just learned of Isaac's death earlier today.
Just as I feebly represented our beloved Soulsville there in Long Beach, Isaac represented Memphis in just about every corner of the globe -- and represented it WELL. I recently sat in with he and Natalie Cole live at the St. Lucia Jazz Fest -- a career highlight for me. He was both a legend and a truly humble, kind, fun-loving man.
We will miss him here in Soulsville. It never will again be quite as soulful as "Ike", "Bubba Lee," "Sac" made it. Put it like this, there'll be plenty of soul left, but it definitely won't be HOT or BUTTERED!
And now we rejoice all the more to still have the other half of Hayes & Porter (songs like "I'm A Soul Man, Hold On I'm Comin, When Somethin's Wrong With My Baby..."), my close friend and producer David Porter here with us. David is not only alive and lookin' great, but as you'll see in upcoming movie soundtracks and recordings slated for release this season, ALIVE AND KICKIN'!
Kobe Evan, you are one CUUUUUTE dude! Did I mention that Memphis has a JAMMIN' zoo! That panda Yaya is one greedy gal.
The Oklahoma City show was AWESOME! I try not to use overuse that word, but I really did enjoy it - and I got the impression that the band and (especially the audience) did too. If you happen to have been at that show, drop me a line!
The thing I loved most about tonight's show is that we were free. We played groove stuff, soulful stuff, spiritual things and even Joe Henderson's "Inner Urge." The audience once again proved by their response that people really do want to accompany you on a journey - not just to be spoon-fed the same old "smooth jazz" show. No offense to anyone's approach. The audience wants to know you're human! They want to be impressed, yes. But not so much by a "slick" presentation, but by your vulnerability and honesty in the music. Anybody feelin' me?