Keiko Matsui and the Tao Babe


Okay. I have to admit. This post has nothing to do with Taoism. I just wanted to show off my photo with Keiko Matsui, taken only hours ago. She was live, at Yoshi’s in San Francisco this weekend, and I went to see her. The woman is awesome! She will be in town for one more night, Sunday, May 10th, but tickets are sold out.

Guilt-ridden am I about this posting that I have to add something related to Taoism. The woman caresses and pounds her piano in a perpetual state of Wu Wei. We could all see how she simply ceased to exist as an individual and merged physically with her instruments, weaving and waving her body to the sound waves as they emanate from her instruments. She became one with the music, and performed without thinking. I could tell she had tapped into the Creative Energies and was allowing it to run through her and use her as a instrument, so that it could express itself in sound. It is the greatest honor to be used in this fashion, as it denotes being one with the universe. It was a great performance, and highly recommended by this Tao Babe.

Speaking of the Tao Babe… I came late, as is wont to do by a Tao Babe of my great lazy ass stature, so all the best front-row seats had been taken in what was already a sold-out show, but if you have ever set foot in Yoshi’s you would know that in a small venue such as this, there really is no BAD or nosebleed seat in the house.

I found the absolute last seat still available to a commoner Tao Babe without advanced reservations. It was the last chair to the right of a third floor booth, wedged into a corner. Let me put it into perspective. If I was any fatter, I wouldn’t be able to sit between the wall and the tiny table in front of me. But precisely because it was far to the corner, no one wanted that seat, and it turned out to be the best seat in the house. I could see her clearly, as the booth was directly above the stage, and only slightly to the right of her. More importantly, I didn’t have anyone immediately in front of me to spoil my view, or anyone behind me or to my right. It was almost like a private showing.

When she came out onto the platform, everyone hushed and she began playing. To say I enjoyed it would be an understatement. I was so moved by her, and so inspired. She brought along four other musicians to accompany her, a guitarist from South America, a sax player from Chicago, a drummer from Denver, a percussionist from LA, and a bass man from New York. This is all recited from memory though, so I could be wrong. The dynamics between the players was palpable, the air, electric. We all oohed and ahhhed , and we clapped and shouted, and in rare moments, I could hear whispers from the audience about how magical she was.

The audience. Ah, the audience was something else. A good group of them were musicians themselves, and the rest was the upper-class, cream-of-the-crop society. Keiko Matsui is a musician for the musicians to enjoy, as well as one that an audience with discerning tastes flock to. For a woman with no addictions, I have to get my highs from somewhere, and since her style of fusion jazz (with the emphasis on jazz) is not just addicting but also uplifting, I got my fix in a most satisfactory manner.

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