Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Doorman's Diary 5.28.13

A little rain dampens the night. It also dampens interest in coming to the jazz club, which is too bad. Rain and jazz are a good match. Just like distant rumbling thunder, the jazz guitar quartet is perfect for easing into a contemplative mood. There are a number in the club's sparse crowd who get it. They know how to comport themselves in a jazz club -- you come to listen, relax, and be cool. There's a group of eight pastel people who don't understand. Every time the bass player takes one of his extended solos -- intricately fingering or strumming with his bow -- the pastels amp up their yakety yakking and cackling laughing. It's times like this where The Doorman needs special powers. I'd hit them all with the Immobolizer -- an energy beam that would render them inert. In their quiet, static state they'd enjoy the music.... hopefully. Pastel people are generally suburban residents who have taken a lark to come to the city for jazz. They wear a lot of pastel colors, horizontal stripes, or colors never found in nature. They are scrubbed clean, usually very white, and consider the chain restaurant TGI Fridays to epitomize extreme nightlife. An interesting black / blonde couple enters with their third wheel. The third wheel is crippled with motor control issues. He uses a cane with a four-point foot and uses two hands to get his drink to his mouth. He has soulful cool jazz eyes that reveal intelligence. It seems like a cruel joke to be stuck in a cattywompus body--but what do I really know? I make sure to give him my card when they leave and tell him he obviously enjoys jazz and belongs here.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

 blue dusk --
 faint memories drift
 in a tenor jive
                  - JW, 5-12-13

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Doorman's Diary 4.26.13

Clear, warm Spring eve and there's no telling how busy the club might be. A man wearing a plain baseball cap is seated at the bar near the door. I remark about the pleasant weather to make him feel at ease. He uses my vague remark to pivot into a series of questions while interweaving autobiography, intending to impress. He's a retired architect from a successful firm that has his name on the door. He plays jazz sax--both tenor and soprano, and he lives in a nice condo with some name like Vantage Peak or Exclusive Heights. He asks pedigree info about the club, the music, and the quartet playing tonight. I catch myself on the verge of defending and bragging. I don't and slip into my doorman-don't-know role, to allow him to feel smug and superior. The facelift blonde with her over-plucked brows enters with a different man than previous visits. She oddly vacillates between prancing cutely like a 16-year-old and acting aggressive like the prison yard alpha. She's scary weird. In between a Coltrane and Monk songs, she springs up from her table and storms assertively toward me, then veers sharply to go to the bar. I couldn't tell if she was going to cuff me or kiss me--either behavior would be in character. I look out the window and above the neon tattooing the darkness I see a full moon, which may explain a lot. There's a woman sitting at a table of six who clearly has been touched with lunar madness. She hasn't stopped blathering since they were seated and guffaws loudly every 20 to 40 seconds. I fantasize that they come, muzzle her, and strap her into a straight jacket. Size Medium will work.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Doorman's Diary 3.22.13

The bartender opens early, so when I arrive it is common to walk into the club with patrons scattered around the bar. A solid couple is there and a group of four further down. A tall bearded man stands trying to monopolize the bartender's attention. He speaks at a volume level slightly higher than the din, which makes me take notice. I look and he has the crazy eye. The tender says at a level matching his: "Here's The Doorman, he will BE collecting the door charge," while he arches an eyebrow. I could have been mean and said, "Is there something wrong with your eye?" Others filter in, but the pace is as relaxing as the jazz guitar quartet. They play John Scofield's "Cool" and it is cool. The drummer, keyboard, and bass add flourishes that match the guitar work. A pair of couples walk in lead by the boss, a dominating woman, who is fueled by alcohol. She hears cover charge and balks. She faux slaps my face but hits hard enough to make me instantly dislike her. One of the men hands me a Jackson to cover them. I was devising interesting ways to torture her when a customer walks past with the tip jar for the band. It's empty and she's making it her mission to fill it for the band. She approaches customers and asks them to toss a buck in for the band. I should have exerted Door authority, but I do what I do in cases where I'm witnessing the unbelievable....observe while thinking "is this for real or am imagining this?" I let her go. I stay at my post and enjoy their renditions of Take Five and Horace Silver's Song for My Father. I enjoy their versions and wonder what it might be like to be on the Great Lakes boat of the one visiting out-of-town couple who promise to float into town some day this summer. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Doorman's Diary 2.22.13

A hard core blues night. Four weather-beaten dudes who know their howlin,' lead belly, muddy, Memphis, and pinetop. They have wrinkles. They have gravel in their voices. They is the blues. The keyboard player is a showman, bobbing, weaving, throwing his head back in agony. The lead guitarist knows his guitar like an English teacher knows grammar. He made it bend, howl, and stab to his bidding. The bass and drums were equally adept. The blues crowd is less refined than the jazz aficionados. They can be cheap and demanding. As The Doorman, I know. A short butterball woman and her boyfriend entered. She wears the pants in the couple and asserted that they should get in at half price. I corrected her illusion. She drank Cabernet and then bought blended shots for herself and a woman sitting next to her at the bar. She let out eardrum exploding whistles every time the band ended a song and stoutly stood gyrating her hips to the music (at least that appeared to be what she was doing). A blues singer joined the group for a couple of songs. I've heard her before and she's as exceptional as the members of the group. She belted out Dr. Feelgood and Gene Allison’s You Can Make It if You Try, which was matched later in the night by the drummer's snarling version of Hootchie Cootchie Man. A true blue blues night it was.

Saturday, February 9, 2013


The Republic of Albania which is the official name of the country is located in Southeastern Europe.

-       -  The Lynx looks a lot like a domestic cat but a little larger and patterns of a cheetah. This animal has long pointed ears and although has been extinct in many parts of the world, it still survives in Albania.

-       -  More than two thirds of the population is Islam. Other religions are Albanian Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic. This country is known for the harmony between the religions to the extent that inter-religion marriages are not only popular but a rule in some parts of the country.

-  The Et'hem Beu Mosque in Tirana (shown) was built from 1794 and completed in 1821 by Mulla Beu. A magnificent architectural design, it is one of the most significant monuments in Albania