by W. Kim Heron
When he was around town, everyone knew about Scott Petersen the saxophonist. What everyone didn’t know was that he suffers from cystic fibrosis, and that taking up the sax as a kid was, at least in part, a way to deal with the congenital lung-clogging illness. Now 51 — and after a dozen years as an ex-Detroiter in San Francisco — his life depends on a double lung transplant.
That’s why many of his old Detroit friends and fans from the worlds of jazz and R&B are putting their instrumental prowess where their hearts and admiration are in a fundraiser to help E-Dog (as Petersen was nicknamed). Marcus Belgrave, Thornetta Davis, Johnnie Bassett, Paul Keller, Walt Szymanski, RJ Spangler and the Sun Messengers have all signed onto The E Dog Benefit at Cliff Bell’s on Tuesday, June 17, beginning at 8 p.m.
Petersen is still playing, though he needs two hours of lung treatments to prepare for a gig. But he can’t leave California for the benefit because he’s on constant call should his transplant lungs become available at the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center.
Cliff Bell’s is located at 2030 Park Ave. near Grand Circus Park in Detroit.
A few of other random events-of-note on the horizon: Guitarist Nels Cline (best known for bringing his edge to Wilco after years on the far less visible edges of the music world) brings his Nels Cline Singers to the Ark in Ann Arbor on Thursday, June 5. Trumpeter Marcus Belgrave celebrates his 72 birthday with a stand at the Dirty Dog, June 11-14. Aki Takahashi — the classical pianist whose Hyper Beatles album stands alone among Fab Four tributes — is at the DIA on Friday, June 27. The Beatles project included arrangements by folks like Frederic Rzewski and John Cage. Besides selections from Hyper Beatles, Takahashi will play works by Morton Feldman, Erik Satie and Christian Wolff.
Scott Petersen: Help from his friends in the D...