vrijdag 22 juni 2018

Chris and his magic flute


It was a lazy evening in the lounge area of the cruise ship and we were enjoying the jazz combo playing. Piano, double bass and drums. The musicians were very professional and experienced. Suddenly the piano player, the spokesman of the band announced that a guest musician would join in. A thing like that is always exciting: I love it when good artists start jamming.

The guest musician was a man called Chris, a short man with glasses. He looked a bit like a giant had pressed him into this shortness. He played the soprano saxophone. I love that instrument, it can have such a warm and thrilling sound. Soon we noticed the man knew the melody, kept playing the notes of the melody in a strict way. No adventures. In itself that does not have to be a problem, the other players can fill in the adventure. But it becomes a problem when the notes that are played are getting delivered in a shrieking way. I got goosebumps, but not because of the beauty of the sound.

After one song Chris was thanked, he walked back to his seat and put his instrument back in it's case. We ordered another beer and life was fine.

The next evening we sat in one of the bars on the ship. They were starting to do karaoke. Not my thing and I often pity the poor people who get lured into murdering songs. The presenter of this session had problems finding a first victim. But there was a man coming for the rescue: Chris with his soprano saxophone was going to play instead of singing. We decided to have a beer somewhere else on the ship, not wanting to hurt our ears again.

On the next evening we were sipping our beers in the bar. The house band, a cover band, had been playing for a few hours, much to our joy. It was midnight and they packed their things. The bar did not close. Normally people could choose some music from a computer system, touch screen on the wall. (A modern jukebox.) I had some nice tunes in my mind, but somebody beat me to the screen. It was Chris and he had his instrument case under his arm.

The singer of the band whispered to the guitar player: "He surely is not going to..."
The guitar player reacted: "Oh yes, he is!" Bass player and drummer shook their head in disbelief and we decided it was probably time to go to our cabin and sleep. No need to let our ears to be tortured.
When I looked back one more time while walking out, the guitar player and the drummer were still shaking their heads.

On the last evening we sat again in the lounge, the jazz combo played and we had a good time.
Until the piano player started talking: "I see our friend Chris. Are you joining us again?"
I could see the man and he did not have his case. Chris shook his head, obviously said no.
"That's a pity!", said the bandleader, "Maybe next time."
I think that Chris was the only person not to hear the irony in his voice.

We sank back in our chairs and ordered a new beer.
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