What's Age Got To Do With It?

WHAT DO YOU GET when you put together a group of people ages 78, 64, 67, 41, 37, 82,  and 36?

Charles Lloyd & The Marvels.

Charles Lloyd & The Marvels

Charles Lloyd & The Marvels

On January 15, 2016, Blue Note released I Long To See You, the profound new album from Charles Lloyd & The Marvels. The album finds the iconic saxophonist and recent NEA Jazz Master in the company of a new band featuring guitarist Bill Frisell and pedal steel guitarist Greg Leisz, along with his longtime quartet members bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland. The album also includes two remarkable guest vocal appearances by Willie Nelson and Norah Jones. — from Blue Note.

The release of this album alone is worthy of a blog post, but that’s only a small part of the reason I’m writing this.

My main point is to highlight the beauty of a multi-generational collaboration, and even more broadly, to acknowledge the power and potential of multi-generational friendships.

I came to this conviction first by seeing it at work in my own life, and then I began to notice it in all walks of life. As I have written before, I am a tested and confirmed introvert. My batteries are recharged in solitude. That’s not to say I don’t have close friends or that I enjoy spending time with friends. I do. But I prefer to spend that time with just a few at a time in a quiet, intimate setting like a coffee shop or bookstore. I’m not saying this is the way it should be, but it is what I prefer.

One day I just sort of noticed something about my friendships, or maybe someone pointed it out to me, but I can count on one of Mickey Mouses’s hands the number of close friends I have that are near my age. Most of my friends are much younger or older than me. I don’t know why. I have a theory or two. But, nothing certain. Maybe I don’t need to know why. I may know more by tomorrow sometime.

Tomorrow night, Charles Lloyd & The Marvels are playing at Jazz At Lincoln Center in New York. I will be there in spirit.

Tomorrow at Noon, I will be having lunch with some of my favorite people. One is 20-something, one is 30-something, one is 60-something and the other is 80-something. I plan to ask them how they feel about being a part of a multi-generational collaboration. I’ll let you know how it turns out.