Maureen, our friend Joe and I saw Kurt Elling at Birdland Saturday night. I couldn't help thinking back to the HTL get-togethers we had there, instigated by Larry. We had a crowd after one of our visits to Artie's house, and a smaller group for a Lou Donald show that included CJ and Carl. Birdland is a great jazz venue. Kurt Elling is one of my favorite male jazz singers. His voice has a kind of woodwind quality that I can listen to all day. The treat of the night happened before the show when Elling visited tables. We were on an aisle, and to my astonishment, he stopped and chatted with us. He's a very friendly guy, and easy to talk to. His speaking voice is so similar to his singing, which I commented on. That's not true of many singers. We talked about the difficulties a touring musician faces, and some small talk. He left us and stopped at five or six more tables. Our chat made a spectacular show even better. He was backed up by a terrific four-piece band, and later joined by a sax player who I didn't know. It was a great evening that we'll do again soon.