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Friday, August 31, 2012
Saturday, August 25, 2012
I've noticed it on other nights and simply labeled it a sign of the times. Last night I extrapolated. We will see the demise of purse snatchers and pick pockets. Better policing? Improved morals? No, no. The Debit Card Generation. Those in their 20's and early 30's don't carry cash. I had three different groups of two or three jazz customers in that age range at the door that hemed and hawed, fumbled around when I asked for the $5 cover. The generally ask for an ATM and then are faux shocked when they learn that we don't have one. Also characteristic is the discrete-transaction thinking pattern. They don't see The Door connected to the Jazz Club. It's the thinking that if they can't pass through the door, there's no option for getting in. Interesting... very interesting. Tonight we have a duet - which is always tough for filling the club. Several parties veered away when they didn't see horns or bass. We are geared for the quartet or quintet, I guess. Traditional jazz. One interesting couple we had, paid the cover with cash -- big cash. The gentleman opened his wallet and fanned through a bunch of $100"s before handing me a Grant. He wasn't doing it to show off, it was clearly his style. I remarked that he's clearly a rebellious spirit - not joining The Debit Card Generation. They laughed an understanding laugh.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Sunday, August 12, 2012
An usually sparse crowd tonight. A young woman came to the door looking for the owner. She’s a jazz singer, whose been living in New York for the past three years. She is tentative, gentle, and very nice—all traits that get her pushed to the side in a highly competitive music scene. As we chatted further, it became clear. Her daddy apparently has some renown in jazz and she had sung with his group. She described an incident where she had sung a solo in a song and daddy had the musicians stop playing so he could chew her out for some kind of transgression. After learning about her father publically humiliating her, I understood why she is the way she is. The same night of that incident a woman walked up to her and said that her voice reminded her of her grandmother and to promise that she’ll never stop singing. That moderated the slap from her father. I felt bad for this young lady. She’s 31 and still seeking the approval of her father, who clearly is a controlling bastard who is probably threatened by her talent. In the process of talking with her I was encouraging and offered advice to listen to her own voice that will tell her what to do in her singing career. I told her to take one step at a time and make sure the steps are going forward. She thanked me for my encouragement and advice and asked how I knew all of this. I said, “Sweet young woman, I AM The Doorman.”
Saturday, August 11, 2012
The old timer super-accomplished jazz guitarist played with a taught trumpet player, stand-up bass (YES, the way jazz bass should be), and a drummer. It felt right and clearly sounded the way jazz should sound. A small group came to the club. They are headed up by a hyper-enthused gentleman who is a long-time jazz drummer and includes a friend and her adult son who are visiting from Greece. I was glad to see an irregular regular show up with his seeing-eye dog. I made sure to phrase my greeting better than the last time, when I said something like “You haven’t seen us in awhile” – ugh! The couple accompanying him are regulars and the man in the couple is a hand percussionist. Suddenly a pair of bongos appears in his hands and he joins the group for a couple of numbers and adds some Latin spice to the music. Very impressive contribution, since the quartet clearly has heavyweights that leaves no holes in their music. It was neat to see how seamlessly they made room for very note being expertly pounded on the skins. The absorption was complete. Later in the night a couple arrives that I immediately fall in love with. I know that doesn’t sound professional for The Doorman to admit, but it was clear that they are both genuinely good, friendly, and from the astute perspective of The Doorman it was clear they belong to each other. When he was at the Men’s Room, I learn that she’s 28, they’re on their 5th or 6th date, she loves jazz and blues but he doesn’t, he’s a kind and gentle man, he’s more of a dog person where she is neutral on the dog vs. cat question, and she has a 9-year-old daughter. I looked into her cute face and said, “If you at all wonder whether there’s a future with this guy, let me bestow the wisdom of The Door on you… your daughter can see through any façade, game-playing, or walls better than Superman’s X-ray vision, so if she likes him and thinks that he’s genuinely good, my advice is to set the hook and reel him in.” She nodded her head vigorously and said, “That’s exactly what I’ve been thinking, you’re right!” I returned to my post and crossed my fingers in the hopes that I am privileged to be witnessing the beginnings of a beautiful relationship.
Saturday, August 4, 2012
When the world zigs, we zag appears to be the philosophy of the jazz club owner. This is the weekend of a nearby jazz festival, so we have blues scheduled both nights. Tonight we have an incredible old time bluesman and his group. A superb drummer, the blues guy was accompanied by guitar, bass, and keyboard. The guitarist is probably the best blues guitarist I've ever seen. Solidly middle-aged with long dreads, the guy knew his guitar better than his lover's body. He was restrained when called for and aggressive when needed. He added sparkles and flourishes when necessary. At one time he did the Jimi thing of playing behind his head and at all times knew which note to play. The band did a pseudo country tune and someone gave him a shot glass and he added slide guitar accents to the song. A similarly-aged white guy (the band was black & blues) had joined them for one set and played trumpet. He added tasteful brass zingers. At the break I complimented the guitarist and told him I wanted to be there at the moment he's unleashed and looses control. "I love the guitar," he admitted. I also caught the trumpet man when he was leaving. While I was complimenting him, he said "I think I know you from a different context--I’m sure I do." I should have said, "You’re mistaken, I am merely The Doorman." it's part of The Doorman code to never reveal any other identity than being guardian of the door. I violated a prime directive and discovered that our paths have crossed, but never intersected. Close call - need to re-read The Doorman's Handbook and abide the rules!