Last set, last night, I stroll into just what I expect at Catalina Bar and Grill, the lovely sound of vibe music. Hutcherson on Monk is a wonderful thing. Tonight Bobby is here with some of the Los Angeles local heroes; Joe Bagg on piano, Tony Dumas on bass and Ralph Penland on drums. The second set is full of mellow swing as the four date stint winds down to a close. Bagg certainly tears up an organ and proceeds to do the same on the piano. I am sure that every pianist is inspired by Monk. I spoke with him after the gig and he said that he felt something different the last time he played with Bobby. It seemed as if his playing elevated to a higher level that was significantly noticeable to him. That just goes to show you that all of the pros keep learning some thing new every time they play, especially when you have the opportunity to play with such a jazz master like Bobby Hutcherson.
Bobby has got to be one of the sweetest, nicest, coolest and most loving musicians in this business. He always travels with Rosemary, his wife, and this time his son Teddy was on hand to check out the set. Bobby’s laugh and smile are unmistakable. When he plays, you feel all of the joy his character emanates. As a new tune begins, Bobby starts to play and the room is as quiet as 12 inches of snow outside on a Brooklyn night. (I bet you did not know that I knew what that was like!) Something sparked Bobby to play a solo lullaby version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and the audience was enamored. For me, it was the official beginning of the Holiday Season and this was the absolute most beautiful way to bring it in!