Barney and Jean-luc had just left. They were heading over to a local bistro. The rest of the Consort that had been assembled that day had gone off to other commitments. Babakar Wade and John McGrail were sitting in the kitchen of the Mind Fry Complex. A pot of tea was steeping. On the table was a bottle of Calvados and 2 glasses.

“Sorry for having to use regular whiskey glasses, all our snifters have been broken. Even the little one that you liked so much.” John said.

“It’s OK, shall I pour us a bit while the tea steeps.” Babakar asked.

“Absolutely. It is well deserved after today’s creation. I know you were planning on finishing up the recording of “The Iberian Rhino” but I think you made the right call. That was a cool groove they had going there.. Get it while the iron is hot or whatever that phrase it” John said.

“It’s a good thing you were here. I had gotten detained out in Chesterland at the cottage. I didn’t know you were going to be.” Babakar said.

“I actually wasn’t but I knew you guys were recording and I was out for a walk. Total coincidence.”

You see a neighbors horse had gotten out and was blocking the road. Wouldn’t move. Reminded me of my first horse Lester. He had a stubborn streak in him.”

“I remember Lester. A fine steed.” John said going back to his first days in Senegal when he had met Babakar. “When the groove started to really pump I figured I might as well click on the recording. I figured it might be something but when Jean-luc started to spit out those lyrics whew, that was when I really was glad. A bit scathing but man.... I’d hate to be the person who inspired that. Wonder if Barney will get it out of him.” John said. The group, save Babakar, had tasked Barney with finding this out.

Shaking his head Babakar added “ He won’t say. It’s not his way. Jean-luc will keep the details to himself. I can’t say I blame him.” Babakar lifted his glass in John’s direction and said “Cheers” they clicked glasses and each took a slow taste of the brandy.

“So you got a lot done on the tune. It doesn’t seem complete quite yet don’t ya think?” John queried.

“No, I wouldn’t release it like that but it is close. I was thinking Clore* is in town visiting Ms. Dannon. I think they are having a girls night out this weekend. I’m going to venture we might be able to steal her away for a quick session. I thought some vocals where Barney played his first solo, sort of background but also close to the guitar level might be good. What do you think?”  

“Yeah, I could see that. Didn’t know Clore was in town.”

“She’s not yet but I think J. Kinslow mentioned she was coming in tomorrow or Thursday. It wouldn’t take long and she has always been eager to join us.”

“That is the first time I have ever heard Jean-luc do any type of vocal. It was a spoken word thing but he also had the idea of the ‘nobody likes you line’. Didn’t know he wrote.”

“I did. I may be the only person in the band that has seen his poetry. He’s actually quite talented but he doesn’t think so. He down plays his ability more than he ought to. Perhaps this will bring him out some.”

“Maybe. The gang can harangue him into it. Peer pressure and all.” John said smiling deviously. Babakar laughed and shook his head.

“You didn’t play anything on this piece. Do you think you might add some guitar or anything Babakar?” asked John.

“No, I don’t think so. The groove doesn’t need anything else. Perhaps I might add a vocal to the chorus but it was sounding quite good as it was. I don’t feel the need to be on everything. Sometimes the best thing a person can play on a piece is silence.”

“True. I’ve know too many people who just can’t play less. It can be frustrating as a songwriter. I think it is why I have had so few bands playing my music. Nothing worse than hearing your songs and not liking them.”

“Yes, I can imagine. The Consort never does that to me. I am very lucky to have come across this group of people. Everyone is so good at listening.”

“It’s why I played solo for such a big part of my life. I may not always know what I want on a piece but I definitely know when a part is not right. It’s just a hideous feeling. It’s embarrassing to be up in front of people when you don’t like how it is sounding. The audience may not notice but you do and it’s just about the most horrible feeling. At least artistically.” John added. Then he lifted his glass again and said “To the Consort... may they never cease to listen.” Babakar touched his glass to John’s and then went to the stove and poured the tea.


*Clore Terry a female vocalist that has previous worked with The Consort and John.