From the recording Nine Decades of Jazz featuring Billy Wallace
Ode to Joe (2014) I wrote this tune in honor of my musical soul mate, Jazz Pianist Joe Bonner, with whom I worked with for 22 years. He often said he invented me. The song originated at a wedding in Palm Springs, for my friend James. The name was inspired by Joe's "Ode to Trane" which he wrote in honor of Coltrane after his passing. Ten days after this recording I received word that Joe had passed away. The night before Joe passed Billy and I performed at the Mercury Cafe and out of the blue I decided to sing some of the tunes I often sang with Joe. It was haunting and beautiful. That night Billy heard a part of me that he never known. At Joe's memorial Billy and I performed "Ode to Joe" which represented so much of my time with Joe. Billy also played "The Nearness of you" which was Joe's first tune he learned at age 4 from his Uncle Harry Gay, also a pianist. Joe left a legacy of music that will live on.
Now your gone and the memory of you lingers like a song on a lovely winter day,
what went wrong, if I held you close and tight would you have stayed,
Now I pray that the angels who have taken you away, take you to a lovely place to stay,
until our hearts and souls can meet again.
The moon was high as we played beneath a balmy summer sky, how time goes by
then we knew that