Reality is no obstacle

Aug 05, 2008 Reality is no obstacle

Chick Corea with Return to Forever’s reunion concert, Columbia, Maryland (August 4, 2008). Copyright Jon Katz, P.C.

The amazing SunWolf proclaims that "Reality is no obstacle," which at first blush might seem fanciful, but when examined more closely makes perfect sense when considering that many competing would-be realities are usually involved in a criminal case, and jurors and judges have various ways of deciding what is reality and how to handle that reality, sometimes including convicting the utterly innocent and acquitting the clearly guilty.

At its worst, reality can be as stifling as a stench-filled outhouse in the boiling hot humidity, as depressing as a diner with rancid food and grimy walls, and as fatal as a plane crash. At its best, reality is an amazing thing.

The great thing about music and art is the ability to transcend, alter, and re-perceive reality. See how many times a person loses one’s blues through great music or other performing arts, for instance. When a trial lawyer is in touch with the wonder of great music and other great performing arts, s/he can translate that into more dynamic and effective trial performance, rather than droning on and on and on and on and on and on in court.

No musician is more infectious to me in that spirit than Chick Corea. Chick Corea is the most infectious to me when performing with his 1970’s Return to Forever lineup with Stanley Clarke, Al Di Meola and Lenny White. To say the quartet today is as magical as ever is an understatement. I am still wondering whether I was dreaming last night to have experienced the Maryland leg of their first reunion concert tour in a quarter century, at least starting into their third song, and lasting into their seventh or eighth and last (which might be akin to it usually being best to catch the second or third set of a jazz club performance), ending at the 11:00 hour when noise rules permit no more music-making at the open-air Merriweather Post Pavillion.

On the one hand, the band did not play any new compositions. On the other hand, the four delivered amazing interpretations and variations on their original themes. The band’s most magical piece is the one that requires no wires: Romantic Warrior. Its song title most relevant to criminal defense is the "Duel of the Jester and the Tyrant." What an approach to defanging the tyrant.

The band picked up where it left off in the late seventies as if three decades had never intervened. Imagine working as closely, harmoniously, and compellingly as that with our own clients and witnesses. Imagine infecting our clients, witnesses, judges and juries with that magic. Then, imagine bridging that imagination into reality. Jon Katz.

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