You've Changed, Perhaps?
The late afternoon light shown off the bell of Andrew Speight's sax and onto the faces of a couple of visitors from Alaska who bore a relation to yours truly: my big brother Tony and his wife Gail, visiting from Anchorage. "I'll Remember April" was the excuse for the first of a fabulous series of long intro alto solos for Andrew in the first set.
April was Tony's birthday, still is, I guess. I remember his singing folksongs back when our belief in social change was young and redolent. He sold me his guitar for fifty bucks. I think "This Land Is Your Land" might have helped first attract Gail's attention at the University of Chicago. So "I'm in the Mood for Love" followed (in Brisbane, in the present day), with Ben Strolorow swinging his long arms, taking the changes for a playful walk.
On the bandstand, it was a suave and singing Sunday, at the bar it was garishly gabby, even during Frank Tusa's prettily picked bass solos.
On his drum kit, Akira Tana, sitting in for Vince Lateano, tapped into a tropical forecast for Diz's "Con Alma", Ben ornamenting the tune's rather academic architecture. Tony pulled down a doctorate at the University of Hawaii; I'm finally finishing up a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at San Francisco State, where Andrew and Akira are gonna be teaching music again in a few weeks. Tony rewarded himself at the 7 Mile with a slice of chocolate cheesecake. He always went for chocolate ice cream at the Dairy Joy, back in Bar Harbor, I went for strawberry. "Rhythm-a-Ning" permitted Andrew and Akira to eke out a duet that was just too much fun.
It slowed down for a contemplation of "You've Changed". Had Tony changed? Had Andrew changed? If so, I think we'd better follow Andrew's suit, he looks and plays like he's pretty blissful. So does Ben. "He sounds a little Gershwin", Jessica Levant commented. To finish off the set and prep for their dinner break, the guys heated up a mix of bop and funk. Should we serve it up as 'bunk'? Al Molina looked over benignly from the bar, like the deity on the ceiling of the Sistine.