One of my Singapore hideaways is B28. It is a New York styled jazz bar in the basement of a hotel. The main door is found in a side alley – with convenient motorcycle parking out front. On the weekends, Nicole usually leads the band, her tenor sax taking the audience to a wonderful place of comfort, creativity, and on occasion a music twist.
On a recent visit, the band was just about to start the second set. One could anticipate that the tight trio of the first set was going to change with the addition of an additional player with an electric guitar. I wonder about the shift. The audience had bought into the trio. You could feel the acceptance. The vibe was warm, friendly, and in a great place. What it had been was going to be different. The questions of next were on multiple levels. Would the quarter gel like the trio? Would the audience like the change? Would the new be as good or better than the old?
By the middle of the first song we had our answers. It was as if Nicole had quietly listened to David’s old advice; “Use guitars to reinforce your Hallelujahs! Play his praise on a grand piano!” (Psalm 33.2) The band was forming a sound that was bigger, more inclusive, and, dare I use the word, innovative. As the set progressed, I found it hard to remember why I had been satisfied with the first set. Whatever the new was, I found it bigger, better, and more fun.
When something works, even if it is not as big, fast, or as dramatic as one might hope for, I find myself comforted by the fact that it is working. Whatever one might think, hold onto what works! Never risk progress if one has taken a few steps. B28’s music reminded me that it is good to take a chance on change. If one works with more, there are no guarantees but there are possibilities. Others can touch the community that was. More now has a chance.