The All*Thursday Chronicles - Special Chillman Edition
by Paul Mondesire
Hello to my Plastic Peeps,
The May 18th All*Star Thursday Command Performance featuring Left Coast Shredmeister Dave Schiller was a
very serious gathering of the Hard Corps of the Big Apple. The weather forecast was foreboding,
calling for a beautiful day with a chance of "isolated thunderstorms" to coincide with the late afternoon early evening rush hour.
HmmmmÉimmediately after the Yankee game which Joey, Fearless, Roger, and the aforementioned Chillman were attending and during our
scheduled prime Jam time? Ah, the weatherman has been wrong before. I could see beautiful blue skies to the East and a line of
dark clouds coming in from the West. But we Noo Yawkuhs are a hearty bunch and pressed on.
When I got to Sheeps Meadow the Ageless, Trevor Brown, Jan from Denmark, and Richie Regensberg making a rare A*T
appearance from LonGuyland, were already playing with the dark clouds now overhead. In short order Ted, Doug, and then
Joey arrived with news of a Yankee loss and a report that Roger, Fearless, and Schillz were on the way. Mr. Fresh, as he was
getting dressed said it best: "It's crucial to start playing before the rain comes" because once you've broken a sweat,
getting wet just doesn't matter so much. Rob, the Yella Designee then arrived so I stopped stretching to make the official
presentation of the Jaundiced Jersey and shortly thereafter the beisbol fans came in.
After greetings the Jams began. Joey, Ted, Jan, and Quinn got up; Myself, Fearless, Trevor, and Richie; then Schillz,
Fresh, and Roger all got going. At about this time Brad arrived bringing the first few raindrops and quickly jumped in with that
last threesome and they instantly got hot. I did notice some very serious disc movement, hein combos and a long stretch where the
disc did not touch the ground from that group. And then the rain cameÉ
Now we pride ourselves on not needing "no stinkin' conditions" and this was our opportunity to prove it.
Richie and Trevor took refuge under umbrellas showing a degree of common sense clearly lacking on the rest of us
who soldiered on as the rain began coming down in earnest. It was right around this time during a particularly hot sequence
that Schillz nailed a reverse spinning Gitosis seal and immediately thereafter the disc exploded in spectacular fashion on the
next tap. Moments later, almost as if on cue, the first thunderclap was heard but we cared not.
Trevor came out from under the umbrella when the rain eased up a little
and used a disc as a camera shield to take some pix of the event. Then
the first man-made threat to the festivities came: The Parkies came to
stop play as they were closing the Meadow. Your intrepid reporter went
into Negotiator mode, charming and cajoling away until I convinced these
fine gentlemen to give us just a little more timeÉYEAH BABY!
It was still raining and there was a little lightning in the distance
when Fearless and I got back to it. We got a nice rhythm and were
joined by Schillz and then Joey. Things became a blur for me at that
point but I do remember Schillz hit a Gitis pull into a nasty combo
passing it to Joey who did a smooth brush combo to a very casual Gitis
seal. What seemed like moments later Donovan the Parkie came to shut us
down but Fresh said "Bandshell?" and the Board concurred in short order.
What came next was something I will remember for the rest of my life.
The key to a Jam at the highest level is not individual virtuosity where one player tries to pack all of his best moves into one sequence. It is to receive the throw, make the appropriate play(s) and pass it on or seal it, to get everyone involved. As the circle remains unbroken the energy level increases and then it becomes special. Upon reflection I thought of Wynton Marsalis who in 1883 won Grammy's in both Jazz & Classical music--that is what came to mind when I envision what I saw. Tournament play fits the Classical format and these guys all have made their bones there. Jazz bring in the freeFLOWing improvisational element that makes Jamming special. The Encore Bandshell Jam with the fearsome foursome of Chillman, Joey, Ted and Fresh is etched in my mind the way the lost Monk/Coltrane sessions must have echoed in the imaginations of those who bore witness. How does one describe that which goes beyond words? When I asked da' fellas what they recalled these were the responses I got:
Rob - "It was hotÉso hot I wanted to bust real bad but I had to just wait and watch."
Roger - "I couldn't tell you any one thing-they just SHREDDED!"
Brad - "When the Flow is right, you can't describe it."
The Bandshell was clear of people for the most part and the Flow was instantaneous. Early on there were two, low Z quick-catch sequences with at least 15 exchanges and suitable seals. Things started to lose control when Ted hit a double spinning reverse Gitosis which Schillz answered with yet another Gitis pull into a massive combo. Right after this came a 6-pass O'Malley with a CHOMP of a perpendicular Scarecrow seal by Schillz. My mind was in sensory overload by this point but I got a quick cel phone video that looked like this: Dave lofted a clock set to Fresh; Fresh takes it against the spin to a rim delay for the angle set back to Schiller who flattens it for control, lets it fall to an angle for a quick brush to a vertical foot brush to Joey who does an inverted front roll off the set passing it to Ted who then works it into a frenzy and finishes withÉwithÉI can't even tell you how that one finished as my brain fell clean outta my head!
The rest of the Jam was a series of highlights with each player taking turns making spectacular plays and incredible passes in order to get the assist on the next most heinous of combinations. There was a roll sequence from Doug to Joey to Ted. There was Left Coast REPRESENTIN' with Mr. Schiller chasing down an errant throw and catching it on the foot with a hopping toe delay. There was Joey somehow making everything he did look as if the disc made a personal request to please finish this soliloquy just so. There were several very Fresh moves and I even spotted two (count 'em) Doug Mugs, not to mention a double spinning BIG AIR Gitis seal by Teddy O. I can't even remember what the BEER move was to the end the evening but the round of High-5's was heartfelt all around.
I must make mention that Mary and the lovely Chrissy, Margaritas in tow joined in at the Bandshell as did Laurence the Parkie who gave us the grace period. He had checked us out last week and then cheered, ooohed and aaahed with the rest of us as I tried to do a little play by play on who was doing what. Finally, there was the incredible dinner hosted by Roger and his wonderful spouse Tricia to top off a very special All*Star Thursday indeed.
Ah yesÉyou were wondering who will be Yella? Well it would seem that several days of precipitation in New England must have made the roads impassable from a certain town known for overly thick beige Clam Chowder and a baseball team who wears Red (fishnet) Stockings. The Board took this under advisement and then voted ALL Y'ALL BAHSTON %$^#$%$'s YELLA!!! ;-)
I know that was a long rant but it was a chapter in the All*Star Thursday Chronicles that will live on in the memories of us all and I wanted to share it with all of you.
Yours in Flight,
Tall Paul, the Jammin' Heaver