The Blue Note

bluenoteI grew up playing piano.  I played for years.  At one point I walked away and then returned because I found it cathartic.  My issue was that I always had a good ear and so I could listen to my fathers classical albums and sit down at the piano with the music in front of me without truly doing the hard work of practicing every day.  I was also blown away by people who music just came out of their body with very little effort.  Once I realized that I would never been like that because it just was not part of my DNA I got off the bench.

My Grandfather, who I never got to meet as he died when my father was a teenager, was a musician who wrote music and was in a band in Chicago with the top musicians of that time.  His parents said being a musician was not in his future but being a lawyer was.  We still have the music that he wrote.

There are a few musts in the Wilson house growing up and one of them is learning an instrument.  We all love listening to music and go to see live music all the time but having the knowledge of playing an instrument and reading music is important.  Jessica took piano and guitar,  Emily had a short lived try at piano, violin and guitar and Josh did piano for a short time but actually stuck with the drums.  He still plays today.  All of our kids definitely have an appreciation for music.

The other night we went to the Blue Note to see live jazz.  Live jazz is an art form.  You will never see that particular performance ever again because it is so free without any words or music sheets to follow.  We saw an incredible array of musicians that night.  I have total respect for what they do, the instruments they play and their love of music but not so sure I actually enjoy the music.  It is more of an appreciation.

It was quite the evening and am glad we went.  It is not my thing but to be able to walk from our apartment to see some of the finest jazz musicians in the world is pretty damn good.  

Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    Hanging out at the Blue Note, listening to poetry slams in the basement of the Cornelia Street Cafe was to me, part of coming of age. And to that rock at Cafe Wha and Herbie Mann at The Village Gate.Priceless…

    1. Gotham Gal

      definitely priceless.

  2. Brandon Burns

    Once upon a time, I was a rather serious musician. Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, Northwestern School of Music, etc. I fell out of love with it as a career choice, but I wish I had still kept it up casually. And my mother even more. I could build a billion dollar company and she would be less impressed with that than if I played at Carnegie Hall.Maybe one day I’ll rent it out and play there to make her happy. 🙂

    1. Gotham Gal

      That’s very cool. What instrument did u play?

      1. Brandon Burns

        Clarinet was what I played in orchestra and majored in in school (before I transferred out of the program). But I was also pretty decent at saxophone and the double reeds (oboe, bassoon, etc.).Though I started with piano, like most everyone else.

        1. Gotham Gal


  3. pointsnfigures

    Yup. Great jazz clubs here in Chicago. I was lucky to see the Preservation Hall jazz band in NOLA. Awesome.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Did that years ago. So much fun

      1. pointsnfigures

        you need a redo. Frenchman’s Street is killer for live music now.

  4. Mario Cantin

    I have 13 guitars and a few other instruments, but I have noticed that my non-musician friends and family find them too daunting, even if they would have some urge to learn to play them. I have recently discovered a neat little instrument called a Merlin ( It was  invented by Robert Godin of Seagull Guitars fame and released in 2014 — it’s a great new source of inspiration for seasoned musicians while being surprisingly easy to play  and therefore “just the ticket” for learning to create music on, in case anyone finds the info useful.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Link didn’t work

      1. Mario Cantin

        I’ve fixed it, my apologies.

        1. Gotham Gal


  5. Sari Louis

    I’m always torn when listen to live Jazz: it’s one of things I enjoyed most in life, but it’s a somewhat sad reminder that I wish I’d stuck to playing any one of the instruments I played when was a kid.

    1. Gotham Gal

      I get it

  6. Jeff Jones

    I love the Blue Note but hate how they rush you out the door for the next show before you’ve even finished your first drink. Best bet is to check out one of their Late Night Groove shows on Fri and Sat at 12:30. Tickets are only $10 and they play until almost 4…and it’s typically not traditional jazz.

    1. Gotham Gal

      good to know.