KEEPING THE FLAME
The Sports Bar Spirit at the 7 Mile needed a lift after the Warriors' embarrassing encounter in Oklahoma City on Sunday. And Monday dawned bright over the Bay Area, with a colorful column in the San Francisco Chronicle, accompanied by an online video, honoring 7 Mile favorite and occasional guest vocalist Buzz Brooks, purveyor of the one-of-a-kind Kabaret Kab. Buzz savored his fame and his adobo at his table that evening, with Dave Bendigkeit's Keepers of the Flame band staving off the chill of dusk. The crowd was chattier than usual, but Dave made even the talkers sit up and take notice, blowing an ascending reveille on "Fifth & Vermouth". Fans enjoyed unusually clear sight lines on Chris Amberger's magic, since he'd left his familiar stand-up bass at home to instead make marvelous use of an electric bass, which he'd taught to walk and talk. Akira Tana grinned at all the white noise and persevered through it. The drummer was a bit surprised, though, at the the tempo called by the trumpet leader for "Cherokee Sketches": "You want it that fast??" But Akira more than managed to cross the land bridge to the territory of hyperbop, where he was greeted by whoops of appreciation from the crowd. The set lists were unusually variegated, allowing also for the long, sweet caramelized lines of guest saxophonist Noel Jewkes, visiting with several family members and vocalist Kay Kostopoulos, the day before their regular Tuesday gig at the Seahorse in Sausalito. Other guests included vocalist Sherri Roberts and drummer Paul Yonemura. Between sets, and before getting to his own scrumptious 7 Mile dinner, Akira played mentor to Anthony, a young musician about half the height of Chris's standard bass, who soloed briefly and showed he already knows how to get around a drum set. As the 7 Mile returns to Sports Bar status tonight (no music on this Tuesday), let's hope the Warriors will manifest their know-how.