It's Christmas Eve, 1968. I'm 14 years old, limping around Greenwich Village on crutches (sprained ankle) in the dead of winter. Sheet ice and stairs! One of those flights of stairs leads from my father's loft down to 14th Street. Another leads down under the street to the Village Vanguard. My dad introduces me to the owner, Max Gordon, who is kindly, tiny, and owlish. Max sets me up at a little table with a Coke. I sip and wait for...Rahsaan. Joe Texidor drifts to the stage and starts checking out his percussion tree. Dick Griffin warms up his trombone. The band assembles and kicks into a Christmas Eve set. Silent Night becomes a jazz waltz on flute. Greensleeves a modal flight for manzello (soprano sax). And the brightest moment of all: Rahsaan performs the Hallelujah Chorus...by himself, on 3 saxes! I don't recall the walk home; perhaps all that brightness melted the ice.
Congratulations Tony! The CDs are in the mail (that's snail, not email -- electronic delivery awaits some more bandwidth). Check out all the entries! Even add your own bright moment. Just don't expect the big prize.