Monday, August 22, 2011

The Doorman’s Diary: 8.19-20.11

There is an ilk of jazz club visitors who are attracted to the venue as a form of entertainment… a performance to enrich their cultural lives. For them, the jazz club experience is on par with attending a play, watching a movie, seeing a parade, or being at a poetry reading. These forms of entertainment can all be seen as self-contained discrete events. There is nothing wrong with the jazz-club-as-performance-event visitors. They are attentive listeners who thoroughly enjoy the band, their performance, and the music. When they leave at the end of the night, they will tell me, The Doorman, that they really had a great time, love the club, and are happy they finally came to the jazz club. I always ask: Will we see you again? “Definitely – and next time we’re bringing friends who will absolutely love it here!” I study their faces, believing that they will become regulars and week after week passes and I don’t see them. I used to be disappointed, but now I realize that someday—maybe weeks, months, or years from now—they will return. And in the meantime, they will have a fond memory of a night of jazz at the club. Tonight our slim audience was filled with a number of the jazz-club-as-performance-event visitors as well as a few who appeared to be plain curious about experiencing live jazz. The jazz quartet gave them more than their cover charge worth of music value. They played a hard-driven version of a mellow Miles Davis’ piece and unleashed the tenor who went wild on Grover Washington’s Mr. Magic. I was disappointed that the quartet’s performance was not fully appreciated by an interesting handful of young people—all with driver’s licenses from different states. A dark-haired woman in the group was enigmatically attractive with a series of five or six lines tattooed on her arms. On her right arm the row of black stripes ran from near her sleeveless dress shoulder down to just above her elbow. The same series of stripes ran around her left arm just above her muscle. So graphically simple and on her they looked, dare I say, sexy.

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