Thursday, May 5, 2016

Ecstatic Jazz @3QD

On Monday I posted a piece at 3 Quarks Daily, Ecstasy at Baltimore’s Left Bank Jazz Society. As I remark in the piece:
Best jazz venue I’ve ever been in. Of course I’ve got my quirks. I’m not a night person, so I don’t go to jazz clubs that often. By the time the music starts cookin’ at a regular club I’m ready for bed. But those sets at the Famous started at 5 PM on Sunday afternoon. Well, they were scheduled for 5 which, allowing for local quirks and prerogatives, generally translated into 5:30 PM or thereabouts.

And that was fine. Gave us time to chat, check out the used records for sale, maybe go to the Kentucky Fried Chicken around the corner and get a bucket of the Colonel’s Original. You could order something from the kitchen on the days it was open – fried chicken, collard greens, sweet potato, biscuits and gravy, grits, aka soul food. Or maybe get some set-ups, bring out your own liquor, and get loosened up. By the time the music started up we were mellowed out and ready to luxuriate in delicious sounds.

I heard a lot of great music in those days, but I don’t remember most of it. When the music goes through you, that’s it. It’s gone. Nothing to remember, though the aura lingers and one aura blends with another until all that’s left is a numinous presence in your mind: the Famous!
Here’s Rahsaan Roland Kirk – one of the musicians I heard at the Left Bank – performing with McCoy Tyner, Stanley Clarke, and Chick Corea:

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