Baroque and Blue

Michael Morgan peforms Claude Bolling's There were plenty of thrilling moments at Tuesday's Stars of the Festival show, but if I had a fedora, I'd tip it right now to flautist Michael Morgan, who brought to festival-goers' attention the under-appreciated genius of the French composer and jazz pianist Claude Bolling.

Sporting a fedora for the occasion, Michael played "Baroque and Blue" a suitable representation of Bolling's fusion of classical and jazz.

It was a joy to hear, even if Morgan and pianist Donna Richards gently excised the raunchier jazz bits, no doubt because they didn't have the luxury of a drummer and stand-up bassist. (You can get the original version, with Bolling and Jean-Pierre Rampal, here.)

I thought I was the only person in Brockville who ever listened to Bolling. My wife and kids certainly act as though I am whenever I have his music on. There was a time I thought I was the only one on this continent to appreciate him. My father, whose classical tastes I usually follow, derided this piece when I first discovered it as "Charlie Brown music."

(Well, OK, there may be the vaguest of resemblances to the Vince Guaraldi Trio, but he said it like it was a bad thing...)

Bolling is probably an acquired taste, one acquired by people over 35, so kudos to young Mr. Morgan for getting this groove. Glad to see Bolling is up someone else's alley.