January 31, 2009

Sailing the Seas with Wayman & Co.

I just returned from another year of smooth jazz cruising with jovial, big-hearted bassist Wayman Tisdale and a heavenly lineup of other artists, all bent on providing us with the best in smooth jazz entertainment.

I was, as usual, taken by the personable and gracious nature of most of the artists. These are the folks with whom you sense a kinship and friendship so uncanny that it all can seem so surreal at times. Artists like Wayman, Gerald Albright, Kirk Whalum, Jonathan Butler, Marcus Miller, and surprise guest Dave Koz all seem to be so much more than smiles designed to drum up future business or patronage. The feeling of well-being that exuded from them was all too genuine.

From the engaging talent of Kirk Whalum, Jonathan Butler, and Dave Koz to the riveting journey through Marcus Millerís career, told via his irresistible music and Q&A session held jointly with Wayman, this array of personalities made this cruise something over which those who missed it might moan and groan for some time!

Not a moment of electric, pulsating funk or silky, mesmerizing smoothness was lost on me--or any other cruiser, Iíll bet. Each sun-baked day and each star-filled night was enveloped by the sweet ambience of music made to move. Add to that the very special accommodations that were arranged for those of us who still wanted to part of our new presidentís inauguration (big screen TV displays in the concert lounges), an event that was swollen with jubilation, and we, quite simply, had it all.

When I think about what motivates me to sign on for yet another year of this spectacular and never-disappointing outing, I am often at a loss for any one motivator. Of course, the music and artists would top the list, but thereís more. Coming in as a close second is the camaraderie among fellow fans, camaraderie that says allís just so right with the world--at least for one entire week of some of the most blissful vacations this side of a dream.

Posted by Ronald Jackson at January 31, 2009 8:26 PM