Much of this workweek has been taken up by my reporting on my stay last week at the Mendocino Music Festival. (You'll read the results tomorrow, on http://www.sfcv.org.) So I'm only now posting about my visit to the 7 Mile at the beginning of the week, where the Keepers of the Flame were warming up a fog-bound evening and entertaining some new Danish friends that Louise and I had met at Dick's Place, a lively watering hole on Mendocino's Main Street. Carsten Noerballe and his fiancee Henriette Berg, both teachers from Copenhagen, were seeking good jazz, so we'd told them where to find it. "If they were playing in Denmark," Carsten declared about Dave Bendigkeit and the Keepers, "they'd be in the Top Ten." Dave had enhanced the experience with an expanded arsenal of horns, including a trumpet bent a la Diz (which he deployed on "A Night In Tunisia") a piccolo trumpet (used on "All Blues", about which Carsten exclaimed, "I've never heard it in a funky version!") , and two flugels (one of which illuminated "Stolen Moments"). And then, in walked Al Molina, with yet another trumpet, helping to bring out the gypsy in Dave, as Dave serenaded "Embraceable You". "I like this thing of people sitting in, like your friend there, Al," Carsten offered. "And there are children here," he continued, noticing the sibling tykes scurrying like bop solos around the entrance to the venue. "This is a really good education for them." Carsten shared memories with his childhood friend Patrick Mag, now a Danish immigrant residing in Walnut Creek and seated next to Carsten at the 7 Mile. Aside from Al, Dave was kept company by his fellow keepers, Akira Tana on drums, Chris Amberger on bass, and Dave Udolf on keyboards. And Paul Yonemura, himself a mentor of kid talent as a public school music teacher, sat in for Akira, applying sweet brush work to "Once In a While" and superb show band glitz to Steve Allen's "This Could Be the Start of Something Big". This could have been the start of some shiny diplomatic exchanges between the lands of the late beloved Ernestine Anderson and Hans Christian Andersen. "When I return home," Carsten vowed, "I will say the standard is very high, from what I heard in California."