Charlie Wilson is a pianist who lives in Cincinnati and plays out on a rare occasion, usually in the company of King Reeves, an equally talented vibraphonist. Sometimes the two of them work as a duet and sometimes they expand the lineup to a quintet. Decades ago, while he was living in California, Charlie played with Don Cherry – and this goes back far enough that it was actually before the Ornette Coleman Quartet that changed the shape of jazz. After moving to Cincinnati, Charlie toured with Roland Kirk.
You may have caught wind of the fact that UC beat Syracuse in the Big East semifinal game; there may even be a reader or two who watched the game on TV. I caught bits and pieces toward the end, but it happened to be taking place during a phase of the day when cabin fever was getting to me. My cure: walking up and down Ludlow Avenue with no particular destination. (I’m good at that, by the way; I think a lot of people are.) Along the way I saw through windows people jumping up and down and cheering whenever a ball went through a net on the end of the court where they wanted it to go through. Even a light winter tends to make us a feel a bit rusty when it comes to revisiting the places we visit much more frequently when the weather is warm, and as I walked up Ludlow I wondered if I’d end up feeling like George Bailey did when his guardian angel takes him on a tour of Pottersville. Continue reading “Willy and Haneef: Street Musicians Extraordinaire”