I had a glorious opportunity this past weekend to visit James “In2jazz” Knox in Oakland. One of the highlights of the visit was a Tribute to Lee Morgan at Oakland Yoshi’s. The show featured the music of Lee Morgan performed by a stellar line up of Billy Harper, Bennie Maupin, Eddie Henderson, David Weiss, Geri Allen, Dwayne Burno and Billy Hart. Every musician was a strong contributor to a wonderful performance. I was personally drawn by the appearance of Bennie Maupin. I have long enjoyed his music with Morgan as well as other players such Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock.
When enjoying the horn line up and listening to the poignant stories, I knew I was looking at a line of survivors. Billy Harper and Bennie Maupin told some of the most interesting stories of their experiences with Lee Morgan. They have survived the life that Lee Morgan did not. That makes it a survivors row on stage.
Everyone should have a “bucket list”. It provides one with goals and direction of what you want to do in life. Time can pass before your eyes. Seeing Bennie Maupin perform was one of those things on my personal list of musicians to see perform “live”. Live music.