My cousin The Daniel had never been to a jazz show before up until last weekend. It's kinda strange in my eyes considering he himself is a piano player--and a good one at that--and also the fact that he made it into the Marines solely by being a pianist.
He often teeters between being arrogant and haughty a lot of times, especially when it comes to piano playing. One time he told me about a time in high school where he "schooled" another kid on piano. It really riled me up.
"First of all," I told him, "Piano is for pansy bitches like us, so you can't really school someone on anything remotely pansy. Secondly, art isn't a fucking competition. If you're a real artist, you'll find that you'll never reach your goal, because you're always striving for something more awesome. If you want a fucking medal, go play at a church, fag."
It was totally not a nice thing to say, but it was the right thing to say.
Which is why I took him to see Eldar at Catalina's last weekend.
Eldar is this Russian jazz player who, I think, isn't even old enough to drink. We were at the last set of his Catalina residency, among a crowd of no more than 15 people.
Then Eldar played this:
And when The Daniel wiped the drool off his face and picked up his jaw from the floor, he said, "Oh. My god. Why is someone this good only playing for 15 people?"
"Because he's a jazz musician," I said.
The Daniel: Schooled.