Turf Club Tuesdays

Tuesday, March 16

I caught up with some folks at the Turf Club’s Clown Lounge for a dirty martini and some jazz.

OFF THE MAP, (another Brandon Wozniak affair with drummer Jay Epstein and Bryan Nichols on keys) and FANTASTIC MERLINS

It was a real great set up. Wozniak sounded brilliant and delicious as always. Epstein was a fit to be heard- skill, technique- he is a master. Now Nichols, and I wrote a bit about this in my notebook while at the show… there is something about him that reminded me of someone much younger, with a knowledge much older.

There is a poem  I was reminded of by Etheridge Knight called Green Grass and Yellow Balloons. From the middle so you get a sense.

” green grass

and yellow balloons

floating in the sky

you sang of. and sadness too.

softly you sang

your words warming me

and the sea rose in me

and your song sent me spinning

and i thought of e e cummings

mud puddles and colored marbles

and what the fuck was i doing

in this new / england / state–

then your eyes seemed sadder to me

and your words seemed warmer to me

and the sea rose higher in me

and suddenly

i was 4 and you were 40″

The thing I was wondering about was about artists. (and not myself, really).  I wonder if there is just something they know that maybe they’ve always known. A friend says it is something about playing honestly. The Fantastic Merlins for instance, he really enjoyed a few Clown Lounge Tuesdays ago when he was in town, saying that Nathan Hanson-saxophone- had a very honest approach.

My question: is it honesty?

I once dated somewhat of a Roy Hargrove/Monk/Rollins wannabe.

He might have been honest too. But that didn’t make his music any more informative than if he had been lying to us with his axe. Maybe that would have been better. Give them something.

I’m not saying he knew nothing. But he didn’t know what any of the musicians I saw Tuesday knew. They knew and they told me.

A few things:

Nichols has a show coming up with the Zacc Harris Quartet (where Harris, Nichols are joined by Chris Bates and JT Bates) at the Clown Lounge next Tuesday- Jazz starts at 10. I really enjoy their stuff- Nichols knows his way around a keyboard and he doesn’t mind showing you the place. I’m eager to hear more of him and more of his compositions.

Wozniak and the Atlantis Quartet have an upcoming show at the Artist’s Quarter on 3/26 and 3/27. Both shows start at 9pm. $10 cover.

Hanson told me about his affiliation with Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar in DT Saint Paul– Fantastic Merlins play every Friday, music starts at 8 pm, no cover and shows are all ages.

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