Sunday, October 10, 2004


A Jazz pub downtown. A place that smells of music. Art on the wall. A "Hall of fame" and posters from past festivals. All is in arranged with what seems to be complete randomness. The place is packed tonight as the saxophonist is no other than Von Freeman. We are waiting by the door, our drinks in hand, for a table.
I watch as people come their reaction to the cover charge. Some people don't blink and shell the money. Others turn around without a word. A woman comes back to ask if the fee applies toward the first drinks. She leaves when told that no. The fee is just an entrance fee. The way to buy your way to jazz bliss.
Because the music is indeed good. Von is Von. But the drummer is the one that gets my attention. The beat is flourished but not overwhelming. He is always there but discreetly, not calling the attention to himself as so many drummers do. The backbone of the small group.
I look around at the people enjoying themselves, feet tapping, swooning. A table is occupied by a group of tourists who snaps pictures of each others and of the band constantly. The bright light of the flash adds to the rhythm of the music. A young man, looking much younger than the twenty-one years required to enter, is eating what looks like an order of French-style onion soup. He is seating right in front of the stage and I see the players through the vision of his wrestling with the melted cheese that extends in tiny strings from his spoon to the bowl. His head goes down and down until the spoon disappears entirely. All I can see now is the top of Von's saxophone and the kid's head in his bowl.


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