Sunday, February 19, 2012
The Doorman’s Diary: 2.18-19.12
Jam packed from the start. At one point, a pair of scouts from a party of 10 had paid the cover and stood surveying the club looking for seating. They made it though a Sonny Rollins song and were well into a Horace Silver tune with the quintet cooking on all burners when a second couple from the group had entered the door and they conferred and were agreeing that there just isn’t room for all of them. I returned the original couples’ cover—only fair. I joined them outside in the wash of neon where I learned that the jazz club is the post-celebration destination for a company party occurring at the luxury boutique hotel a couple blocks away. I suggested they wait… “The band will be breaking in the next 10 minutes or so and half of the crowd will leave—there will be plenty of room, plus the second set will be even better.” (Which reminds me of a project I want to pursue—recording the regular Saturday night group’s second set. “Second Set” would be the best CD, since the true magic occurs in the hour before closing when the band is loose, daring and sweaty from a night of playing. Some of the best jazz ever played has occurred in that final hour.) I reentered the club and assumed my post as The Doorman—knowing that I can see or learn more by settling into the zen… the taciturn observer sees. I saw the lone jazz-loving young woman with her goofy-looking orange-knit hat. There was the friendly couple sitting at the bar, close to the door. The cute woman would step outside to smoke. As is my custom with lone women smokers, I’d poke my head out periodically to make certain she wasn’t being harassed by passing wolves. When the couple left, the man thanked me for keeping an eye on his wife—“just making sure our customers are safe, sir.” And there were two interracial middle-aged couples sitting on the floor… bookends. Black man / white woman at one table and a white man / black woman at the other. The couples weren’t friends, but they clearly should be. It reminded me that everyone in the jazz club has a story to tell, which I want to hear, but alas… as The Doorman, there are lines of propriety I am honor-bound to observe.