An Die Musik is a venue that will always put on a good show. The small but specialized team members of this music shop and performance space, composed by Henry Wong, Sean Johnson, and George Manning allow for guest performers of the highest caliber to attend this quaint venue on Charles Street. During the weeks before the end of 2012 this writer was able to listen to Benny Golson’s Saxophone, as well as Corey Wallace’s Trombone, and Warren Wolf with the Marimba. These experiences, gave the audiences a lesson to remember- The power of Jazz.
Jazz empowers at many levels. It lead Mr. Golson a life out of poverty in his home town Philadelphia, and an international recognition where his compositions such as “I remember Clifford,” have already 500 different versions. Jazz empowered the audience on that December Friday 21, 2012 because Jazz is unpredictable beauty in an incredibly predictable and structured society. Improvisation allows for musicians to let their guards down, and invite audience’s minds to enter their world of haphazard harmony. The neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks in his book Musicophilia, revealed the ability for individuals with “Dense Amnesia,” can improvise music playfully. In fact, Sacks (2008), mentioned how Mozart was not able to play other people’s or his own music without improvising. The liberating effect of improvisation in music is therapeutic, and one Saxophone player that captivated audience’s at An Die Musik’s Wallace concert, was Brent Birckhead’s improvisation.
Birckhead is a musician that is probably going to have audiences around the world stamping their feet to listen to more of his improvised genius. This good looking young musician has an unparalleled taste and uniqueness that was a true delight and honor to listen. His style is erratic and raw, but it is perhaps this that makes it so interesting to listen. It is truly improvised, and a balanced combination of gut and sophisticated tune, that made it seem effortless. His speed revamped the accompanying musicians.
An Die Musik will be hosting these musicians in the near future, but in the meantime, going on with Sack’s advice, empowered by Jazz can be done in Baltimore in different venues such as Club 347. On Mondays, this low key joint is a jewel in downtown Baltimore, where musicians explore and experiment with the sounds and their audiences absorb these magical moments.