Joe Daley introduced his trio last night and then revealed their game plan. “What we do is we converse with one another for about an hour or so and you get to listen in.” The set began with an extended vibes intro by Warren Smith. He played vibes on Van Morrison’s “Astral Weeks” and hundreds of other records. Joe Daley joined on keyboard and Scott Robinson joined the conversation in with a deep, soulful baritone sax part. Warren Smith moved to Timpani. He is on the road with two kettledrums and they sounded so good. He is in his eighties now and he told me he fell in love with the instrument in school and he used to sneak into the band room to play them. I told him I loved the way they sounded in Sun Ra’s band and he told me he played with Sun Ra for a few dates in New York.
The prettiest piece they played featured Joe Daley on drone flute, an wooden instrument with three shafts, the outside two just playing one note each while the melody (in A minor) is played on the middle one. Scott Robinson played another wooden flute and Warren Smith played the drum kit with his hands. Joe said they always finish with a memorial piece and the one he played last night was dedicated to his late wife, Naomi. They were married for forty five years and she passed away just as they retired two years ago. It was mournful, sad and beautiful.