Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Doorman’s Diary: 1.15-16.11

By definition, jazz clubs should be mellow. An oasis of cool. The club was just that tonight. The tables were filling with pleasant, jazz-loving folk. However, there was a major title-run NFL game involving our team taking place, so the band was glued to a TV in the back. The band reluctantly broke from watching the game. If they were preoccupied with gridiron hope, it didn’t show in their playing. A couple from 50 miles away told me they’re celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary this weekend and came specifically to the club just as they had two years earlier. I urged the bartender to take extra special care, since we'd like them back every year. Right after they were made to feel comfortable, a young woman with dark brown eyes entered the club. I learned she’s 27, a jazz singer, and born and raised in Puerto Rico. I suggested, if she were interested, that she tell the bandleader and that he may invite her up to sing. Which is what she did when the band was on break. I heard the bandleader asking what songs she knew. After the impromptu interview, the old pro mumbled to me that she may think she’s a jazz singer but she doesn’t know many of the old standards. “Maybe, but it wouldn’t hurt to give her a break—if she’s got stage presence and youthful confidence, she could learn any song you like and be fabulous.” I regretted saying what I did because I thought I had crossed the line. But to my relief, he did call her up and her voice was quite sweet. The game had ended in victory for our home team and the club had been filling with the post-game happy-drunk crowd (which is better than an angry / depressed, we-lost-drunk crowd). Last memory of the night: a young man wearing a team jersey doing some kind of joyous, interpretive dance to the music while weaving through the tables. I said to the club owner, while sipping my end-of-shift scotch, “He’s actually pretty good, maybe we should hire him as our official interpretive dancer.” She deadpanned, “He is very fluid but I don’t think I stock enough beer to keep him fueled.”

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