Who Could Ask For Anything More?
You don't need to ask for more jazz following the end of April and Jazz Appreciation Month. It's waiting for you every week in every month at the 7 Mile House, so make it here in May, starting tonight (Monday) with Dave Bendigkeit. (That's a rhyme, Dave.) The sun-washed photo above was taken yesterday, as Jam co-leader Andrew Speight played "No More Blues", to a bossa beat ("Chega de Saudade") by fellow co-leader and drummer Vince Lateano. Andrew and Vince pretty much succeeded in banishing the blues, except for the t-shirts worn by the waitstaff in honor of the Warriors, triumphant against the Trailblazers earlier in the day. Moving on to "Body and Soul" without need of a (musical) head, Andrew blew very lovely very long arpeggiated solo lines, before taking up the mike for a vocal affirmation that, "I got my gal". Both Andrew and Ben bubbled out ticklish musical quotes, adding to the fun, and Mike Apicelli, former owner of the fabled Dogpatch Saloon (origin of the Sunday jams), responded from his table by handing out oysters. Ready to join the Spring joy on the second set were trumpeter Al Molina and vocalist Kay Kostopoulos. Remember, live jazz performance also needs a live audience, so get down tonight to where you pay no cover charge to hear the best sounds in the Bay Area.
CODA: The tune "Chega de Saudade", whose English title is a pretty faithful translation, was said to be the first recorded bossa. It was written in 1958 by Vinicius de Moraes and Antonio Carlos Jobim, the latter of who told me, in an interview from his home in Rio: "Brazilian music used to be very negative. . . because we come from things where the blacks have sad music, and the Portuguese, their fados are always like a lament. Suddenly, bossa nova started to say: 'Let's go to the beach! I want to see that beautiful girl!' So, let's accentuate the positive, as Johnny Mercer once said." This song helped serve Dizzy Gillespie's purpose of accentuating the purpose on one of his happiest albums, Dizzy On the French Riviera, in 1962, with arrangements by a young Lalo Schifrin.