Now there was a break between the sets. Their mood was upbeat, the place was likeable. They had done well with the first 6 songs. The audience went along. Their musician buddies hung on Nika's lips and also a little on her neck. Because she COULD talk. And she smelled good. The drummer and the bass man wanted to know from Nika, their saxophonist, which perfume she was wearing today. Because they only too gladly wanted to be able to sniff their girlfriends also soon so deliciously, if they were after the tour again at home.
In the lively conversation droning of the charmingly furnished living room club, the ZigZag, yes, many thought of curves here too, constantly..., they did not understand the strange fragrance name of the never heard brand. Something with mermaid, which would be in strange stores to buy.
So Nika jumps up, curves to the next table but one, where she had noticed a fine fellow earlier, sometimes beaming sympathetically, sometimes looking melancholy. She asks him for a pen to scribble her band-boy 'Prodischiööh' on her Realbooks.
And so, as she leans down, she also catches a whiff of obsession on the charming guy's neck. And this casually dressed man around 50 was by no means wearing the somewhat more harmless Obsession for Men, but rather the Real Stuff: the EdP that requires a gun license.
Tall and lean he was, chatting so animatedly with his mate. His boyish laugh had caught her eye as she watched the audience from the edge of the stage during his colleagues' solos. When he narrated, he gestured almost southernly with his slender hands. That didn't really fit to such a graceful grey-blond curly hair; as little as this heavy obsession. But such quirkiness had always fascinated her: the blue notes of life.
She had continued to soak up his visual vibes from the musician's table, chatting with colleagues, squinting out of the corners of her eyes. His distinctive scent now too, now! Curious appearance the guy, almost jittery alive, extraordinary somehow, ageless. She liked that sort of thing, so fast in her head that some people couldn't quite keep up, and she hardly ever liked to sit still with her body either. Something was always bothering her. Him, too, apparently.
Her pulse quickened, a warm feeling spreading through her belly. Why on earth had he captivated her so quickly during their concert here?
His lively, shrewdly twinkling eyes now smile directly at her. He nods, hands her his pen (oh dear, a 707, taste he has too), pays her a witty compliment on her imaginative sax solos, praises her powerfully smoky tone - and turns back to his friend.
His Obsession does what it must, and gives her the rest: its sensual, ambery shades of vanilla, its deep, minimally-animalic spiciness make her shiver briefly. I hope the man doesn't notice. It was a little (or more?) about her: such a distinctive guy...- hadn't come her way in a long time.
The second set started, they get on stage and continue their Miles Davis homage. Now it's 'Some day my Prince will come'. The trumpeter plays her intro, then they together in unison the melody and this is followed, as always, by the piano solo. Fred is in a good mood today too. She listens to him absorbed, and her eyes roam over the audience. In a moment it's her turn with her 12 bars on the classic, which Chet Baker and of course Miles had modulated again and again, unforgettably - melancholic and at the same time hopefully driving forward. She starts, she gets going. She blows herself into a frenzy, stretching her solo to 36, eventually 48 bars, and narrating and narrating on her saxophone - in slow motion.
The hushed conversations in the ZigZag Club grow quieter. They finally fall silent altogether as one by one in the audience realizes something special is going on. Dionysus, the pithy Greek behind the bar who not only runs the club but is a passionate drummer, marvels more and more spellbound until tears of emotion roll from his dark eyes.
This guy has a big heart and gets what's being remembered, hoped and dreamed here right now from the saxophone of this stunningly vital, tall woman. Whose curves match those of her saxophone so well, and whose gaze alternates between inward, into memories, and dreamily into the audience. As she plays and plays.
Of course, the band colleagues also notice what a special evening this is about to become, and join in: after their own solos, into which sighing interjections from Nika's saxophone are allowed to flow again and again, they also do it differently than usual during the subsequent Screw Ball, the dialogic trading fours: drums, bass, piano and trumpet always play their four bars alternately to the always new, always different, cheekily varying tempo of Nika's four bars, who is apparently just telling her life.
The band seems to fly, the hall to float away; so many pensive (or: painful?) smiling faces. They've been playing the piece - or rather, with the piece and with their feelings - for 20 minutes now. Absolutely extraordinary it was. As the time went on, one after the other in the band and then in the audience had probably realised that this wasn't going to be their every-evening 10-minute version of 'Prince Come', but that today, here towards the fabulous three-quarters of an hour of Coltrane's 'A Love Supreme' they were fantasising and pining, praying and improvising for life.
.................. ................... ....................
'Obsession' is a fragrance that, even after a good 30 years and a few reformulations, is still able to conjure up some of its seductively sensual qualities on the skin and in life. As was customary in the 1980s, it contains pretty much all the fruits and spices, woods and resins that make up an oriental-inspired erotic. And thereby was honked from full horns, but quite finely composed.
Vanilla is at the center. But here, like the simple Broadway melodies by the great jazz improvisers, she is modulated and played through in all possible keys. It sings its gently sweet melody sometimes mildly fruity (in the opening), sometimes sultry floral or dry cedar and sandalwood in the heart notes, and finally mossy, patchouli and vetivery bassy towards the end. Nuances of incense, musk and a passing civet cat add one or two more delightful choruses to this grandly orchestrated vanilla orgy, giving Obsession an animalic vivacity that is hard to resist.
From sweetly painful melancholic blues to growling free jazz outbursts, you can experience almost anything here, as in Archie Shepp's saxophone eruptions. Such a perfume sharpens the senses, makes you receptive to spices and envelops you in a warmly ambered sexiness that seems adult and indescribably sensual.
For hours, this modern classic projects its spellbinding vibes over two arm's lengths. Earlier was even more force and durability; the current, however, is quite enough for a long, elated or passionate evening.