It comes with cool summer rain... a lightness from being washed clean of responsibility for the night. Two patrons--men just north of middle-age--enter the club. One hands me a fistful of singles for the cover charge; the other, who is wearing a wrinkled black tropical-flower print shirt, carefully cracks open his leather billfold and hands me a fifty with a Ulysses smirk. I deftly slap the change into smirk-man's open palm and suggest they grab the last couple of stools at the crowded bar filled with the odd assortment of colorful birds who have flocked here for jazz.
The energy in the jazz club is swirling like the wind outside, focusing all attention to the drama-lit stage where the quartet readies to launch into a first song... their version of Freddie Hubbard's Little Sunflower. The piano player tickles the keys like the rain pitter-pattering the windows as a lovely rhythm is established and the tenor leaves his menacing sax parked next to him at the ready for the night ahead while defining the song's signature with an emotion-surging flute.
A dark-hair angel at a nearby table, sips her Manhattan in the candle glow, crosses her smooth legs, and poses in the beauty of the song. She is emblematic of the night's promise...a night of the yearning for who knows what....anything is possible.
As the song slowly but deliberately unfolds, I need to blink hard a couple of times because I swear the club is filling with a field of sunflowers...thus is the magic of this jazz night.