I had to put this video up. I’ve been processing the loss of one of my dearest friends, Paul Peterson’s, mother, Jeanne Arland Peterson.
I’ve been reading the outpouring of love, sentiment and prayers to the Peterson family… and let me extend my condolences and celebration of her life.
I was particularly struck by how many people said they never met her but felt they knew her just by her massive presence in the Minneapolis music scene for so long.
Well, I’m one of the lucky ones…
I wanted to put this video up of a night over at Paul’s house when we were all sitting around singing “Standards”.
This women was/is so gifted they would just call out a tune, spur of the moment… a lost art… as people have gotten so careful… trying to make sure everything is *just right* before they begin.
But this was classic old school… get up, give it a shot… do your best.
So when asked what I’d like to sing I said, “How about Sophisticated Lady” which was a song I did on our Chicago Big Band Album.
Jeanne asked me for my key… I started singing what felt comfortable and she went right in…
2 things I wanted to point out, and when you see the video you’ll see it, hear it.
This woman took MY KEY, (or so I thought ;), and when she starts *soloing*? Check that out… I want to ask all the keyboard players out there if you were given a key to suit a singer, how many of you would be able to just launch into the type of soloing she did?
Once you know that, your mind will be blown… she wasn’t saying, “Well, can you do it in THIS key? It’s better for ME.”
No, she was serving the feature, the voice, and she had NO PROBLEM putting her own voice into the mix.
So the 2nd thing I just LOVE about this video is when it gets to the bridge of the song, “Smoking, Drinking…” I forgot that on our record Robert Lamm took over the bridge so the key adjusted for him to do it down and octave… or maybe I should have known to take it down too… but, I did what felt right and when I got up into a *comical* range vocally, listen to Jeanne! In the MIDDLE OF THE SONG, she says, “That’s not your key, is it?”
To this day, that is Paul’s and my catch phrase! I’m celebrating this beautiful woman/mother/talent by praising her honesty and integrity to the MUSIC!
And once again, I am reminded of how lucky I am to have met, played with and had a relationship with one of the great human beings on the planet.
So that makes Phil Ramone and now Jeanne we’ve lost recently.
Again, the ultimate wakeup call… ENJOY THE DAY… IT’S LATER THAN WE THINK!
I love you Jeanne… I know you can hear me… thank you for the few wonderful moments we shared, so far.
And to the Peterson family… you all know how madly in love I am with you all… my heart aches and sings with you all today.
Your friend forever, Jason