Saturday, October 8, 2011
The Doorman’s Diary: 10.7-8.11
Our scheduled group had to do some reshuffling last week. Today is Yom Kippur, perhaps the holiest and most solemn high holiday for the Jews. The band's leader and two members are Jewish and would be observing the Day of Atonement. The tenor and singer, whose voice I absolutely adore, were here, as well as fill-ins for drums and bass. And replacing the group-leader, was an incredible guitarist. When the jazz vocalist wasn’t singing the group ran wild with jagged avant-garde. The singer did an incredible slow-pace, Porgy and Bess-style version of Summertime in honor of our unseasonably warm weather. With door and windows wide open to the warm air, her smooth and controlled voice carried lazily outside the club like a do-nothing summer day. I’ve never heard the song sung more beautifully. As I was imagining myself laying on a South Carolina sand dune soaking up summer, I was happy to see BPB show up. Big Pappa Bear is the name I’ve chosen for a customer who looks like a huge brown bear. When he filled the doorway a couple of weeks ago, my initial thought was this guy could be trouble. Then I looked into his dark, big marble eyes and could see he’s a gentle spirit. He has a giant smile, huge laugh, and a timber-rattling voice. We connected. Tonight, when he showed up with his lady, he gave me a bear hug that compressed all 24 of my ribs, the sternum, costal cartilages, and the 12 thoracic vertebrae. He settled at the bar and later when the tenor who plays in the house band was called up for a number, BPB—being familiar with the musician’s talent—boomed out “THAT’S MY BOY!! HE’S SO COOL! LOOK AT HIM, HE IS SO COOL!!! The bear had spoken. And everyone in the jazz club and even those outside walking past, had heard Big Pappa Bear speak!