Monday, October 29, 2012

A jazz evening in Portsmouth, N.H.

Arnie Krakowski
During our visit to Hampton, N.H., earlier this month, we visited Jen's brother Bill Paarlberg in nearby Portsmouth. He took us to the Press Room, a restaurant and bar that programs lots of jazz. 
On the evening we dropped by, tenor saxophonist Arnie Krakowski and the Les Harris Jr. trio were playing upstairs, and we sat downstairs so we could chat freely. It was one of the few times, maybe the only time, when I went out to hear jazz but allowed it to become background music, and I found it really enjoyable as we talked.

Krakowski's laid-back, easygoing, swinging solos wafted down the stairwell and made me think of late Lester Young.

Portsmouth, population 20,000, has a bar with live music seven nights a weeks, mostly jazz. An advanced civilization, to be sure.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Bruton band's CD release at Pappy's

Emcee, Dan Timbrook; recording engineer, Pat Shikany;
cover design and photography, Jay Nicholson

Pappy's stayed open late (9:30!) last night to contain all the music that the Richard Bruton Band discharged at the CD release party.

It was actually a double-CD release party. Cost for the album (above): $5. The album was recorded live in the beer garden of Pappy's on June 26, one of the early 100-degree days of the year. It was a great evening, well worth losing sweat over.

The after-hours music was worth staying for — the fiery and joyous "Song for Bilbao" by Pat Metheny, recorded by Michael Brecker on his "Tales of the Hudson" album from 1996, followed by "If I Only Had a Brain" as a closer.

[By the way, last night was the second time this month I heard the Scarecrow's song. Previously, it was in Springfield-Branson National Airport. We were waiting for our flight to be called when an airline employee stepped jauntily past our seats whistling this tune. A less-than-inspiring choice in the context of aviation, if you ask me … ]

Sid Norris (above) and Richard Bruton (top)
Left photo: Austin Wilson (left) and Ryan Talbot. Right photo: Ian Erickson
Kathe Bruton pops in. The only way to enter Pappy's is through the band.
No bigger than the average living room.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Flea opens; music returns

The Flea has been open for not quite a month, and it's already become a musician-friendly place.

The new bar occupies the space of the former Harlow's at Harrison and Kimbrough in Springfield MO. It looks and feels like Harlow's, the folks are just as friendly, the music is just as good, and the TV's are bigger and wider.

Photos from a jam night, Oct. 16:

At The Flea, the outside merges with the inside. Patrons can take a smoke break
on the patio without missing a note. Paul Rose, left, and Ryan Boone, right)

From left: Quantum Groove members Chris Vanderpool, Paul Rose, Ryan Boone, Cole Gurley.

Chad Graves of the Hillbenders also sat in with twangy-bluesy
contributions to the jazzy, funky jam tunes.
Ryan Boone and Cole Gurley
Paul Rose