Sunday, January 11, 2004

Jazz and Coffee, All Weekend Long

I've said before that the coffeehouse culture is the best thing that's happened to live jazz in this area, since it allows the up-and-coming bands like 15th Street Jazz and my own school combos to have a place to play until they can crack the rotation of the nicer restaurants (which is pretty much the same five or six bands all over town, but that's a rant for another time).

This weekend was pretty much all about jazz and coffee. Friday night, I went to see 15th Street at a brand-new place called Java Express in Plano. It's not as big as Ke Davi, and definitely has some parking issues (I for one had to park in a field!), but it's a nice little place, and they liked 15th Street so much that they will probably get more gigs there. However, this one was the last one featuring all four original members until at least the summer, as Steve the bassist went back to New York yesterday morning, and Chris went back to Baylor today (can you say "more gigs for Kev?" Yeah, probably...).

That gig was notable also in that I did something really stupid when I left the house: I walked out without my neckstrap. Since I always sit in near the end of 15th Street's last set; since there's not always a lot of space up there; and since Chris has both an alto and a tenor, we have a system: I bring my tenor mouthpiece and neckstrap and play his tenor while he plays alto. This worked great until Friday, when I realized my mistake about halfway through their set. I still played, but we actually traded off using his neckstrap (by putting guitar solos between us on each tune). It was kinda painful to lean up against the window balancing the tenor when it wasn't my turn with the strap, but I got over it.

Last night was my monthly gig at Ke Davi. Since school's not in session, we just added drums to the Kev/Miles/Andrew triumvirate from New Year's and did it that way. It wasn't quite as crowded as it had been during school, but everyone in the band at least had people show up, and Halfling and Chris came up to sit in on The Chicken at the end. Who knows what kind of group will be presented in February, but in the meantime, the "Kev and Friends" concept will probably do some more stuff, because it sounded pretty decent and we had a good time. I definitely want to pack the place next time, though.

Today was gigless, thankfully, but I got together with Miles a bit to work on the big-band tryout stuff, and then we went to Starbucks, so I guess that makes it three-for-three in the jazz-and-coffee world.

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