Doghouse Jam, 4/17/16, from left: Dave Bendigkeit, Earle Davis, Larry Chinn, Andrew Speight, Michael Zisman, Akira Tana (Photo by Jeff Kaliss)
Was that just the sweet, smokey aroma of Chris's cooking from the barbecue out front, drifting in with the sultry Sunday evening air through the 7 Mile's open doors? Or was that some Kansas City-style hot sauce bubbling out from Andrew Speight's alto sax? Tough to tell, and why bother, when both the jazz and the food are so delicious? My wife Louise Whitlock and I brought our visiting couple Helena Coelho (originally from Brazil) and Michael Wokon (originally from Germany) in to witness this unique Bay Area combination, and they'll never forget it. Whether the weather or some other inspiration (probably not the Giants-Dodgers game), both Andrew's house band, all in short-sleeves, and the featured guests were having a heat wave, Andrew turbotonguing and purposefully overblowing as if he were summoning Trane and Gabriel from somewhere up above. In another trope we hope will last way beyond Jazz Appreciation Month, Andrew traded vocalese eights with guesting keyboardist Ellen Starr. Maybe the first time many of us have heard scatting with an Australian accent. They were followed by Buzz Brooks's artful vocal harbinging of "Summertime"; hey, this is the way we'd like summer to be. Often as not, you only get given names at jams, and I may not have gotten all of them, but I'd want to credit Steve and Michael on drums and Jeff on a particularly poetic guitar, as well as the ever-ingenuous Don Alberts on keyboards and Earle Davis on trumpet, who, it's rumored, we may soon lose to New York. You'll have to put up with a lot more humidity, not to mention humanity, back there, Earle.