Silver Stolen Moments
It took a couple of trips to the 7 Mile for me to finally catch up with jazz scholar, musician, and fan Roy Brown, but both trips were enhanced by good, live jazz, so who's complaining? On Sunday, the day of the lively Doghouse Jam, Roy turned out to be under the weather and disinclined to drive over from his East Bay residence. On Monday, Roy showed up early, but even though it was his first visit to the venue, he instantly felt at home. The Keepers of the Flame band were on break between sets, and Roy was able to chat with bassist Chris Amberger, whom he'd gigged with (Roy's a keyboardist), and with drummer Akira Tana. Hornman and bandleader Dave Bendigkeit and keyboardist Dave Udolf had become Roy's new friends by the time I arrived. I brought with me printouts of interviews I'd done and articles I'd written about the late legendary keyboardist and composer Horace Silver, about whom Roy is assembling a master's thesis, in San Francisco State University's Music Department. And lo and behold, after an enchanting start of the second set with Oliver Nelson's "Stolen Moments", the Flames heated up Horace's "Nutsville", with guest drummer Curt Moore popping deliciously behind Dave B's reveilles. There were other Silver moments for Roy to savor, and several that seemed themed towards the daughter that very pregnant 7 Mile staffer Kellie Deweert is about to bring into the world. Dave B raised up the mic to intone Thad Jones's "A Child Is Born", a languid and sparkly in utero dream. "The Things We Did Last Summer", written in the year of my birth, lay like a lullaby, with Dave B's trumpet gently rocking the rhythm, Dave U stroking the baby's newly-sprouted curls, and Chris making gentle waves along the coverlet. Propelling all the jazz-loving mamas and papas and my genteel new colleague Roy back into the cool blue night, there was yet another serving of "Tin Tin Deo", Dave B's muted horn glowing wistfully, Dave U gathering Latin clusters, Chris confirming that blancos have soul, Akira once again displaying the global girth of his united notions. Dave aptly acknowledged the rare sight of 7 Mile owner Vanessa Garcia, still seated onsite at the late end of the music. But then, Vanessa had own mommy, Cleo, there to keep her company.