If It's Sunday. . .
August 21, 2016
. . . then it must be the 7 Mile House, and time for a Doghouse Jam. But which Sunday is it? "I Didn't Know What Day It Was," Andrew Speight and his crew admit musically. Well, these weeks go by so quickly, why don't we just take a couple of 'em, as my spoonerizing old friend Robert Heilbuth used to quip, in one swell foop. If it's August 21st, then Mike Apicelli has just returned from my (not his) home state of Maine. The Jam's own original home was Mike's former saloon, the Dogpatch, and as Mike is reminded, Ben Stolorow always knows what microsecond it is, or should be, Michael Zisman always puts the 'Happy' in 'Happy Hour', even on a Sunday, and Vince Lateano is the pulse which gave rise to time in the first place. For a trip through both time and space, Andrew takes us "Back Home Again In Indiana", even though none of are from there and none of us were even a glint in our granddad's eye in 1917. To help us on our way, Andrew wields a wee "Shave and a haircut/Two bits". Then he brings up guest trumpet Dave Bendigkeit for "I Concentrate On You", with the horn focusing on pretty bling, making it glitter and gleam so. You've heard these cats serve up "Tin Tin Deo" as a regular, but this time ti feels like it's melting in the Rio sunshine, while they relax over cocktails with the bikinied Beach Volleyball competitors. Vince's simulated timbales might get him entrance to Cuba (relatively) Libre. "What Is This Thing Called Love?" For Mike A, it's his first time hearing Andrew put aside his alto and sing tenor. Never did that at Dogpatch, as far as we recall. Ben's quote from "Habanera" might be a call-back to the previous tune, if you're following my and his eclecticism. And Dave and Andrew exchanging vocals? That's an argument for a new Olympic category: Team Scatting.
After a break, we find ourselves in August 28th, with an abundance of guest jammers and a menagerie of noisy natives involved in various rituals.
"It Wouldn't Be Make-Believe", and in fact it's so real, so far beyond the penny arcade, you ought to be filling that tip bucket with inflated tips. Guitarist Tom Linder, a Doghouse regular with his spouse Nina Goldfeather, may be channeling some Les Paul. These guys are great, and if you think you have to make-believe, then you ain't Ben Stolorow, and you ain't really happy. Jimmy Gallagher, one of several real drummers, is a power source, his snares thoroughly drilled. Lilian Wu, sporting her blue-and-gold Warriors t-shirt, comes off the bench and up to the drum set for "Triste", sunnyfying a soulful stroll to Ipanema, while Moko Funaki whispers a hookahful of dusky wisdom on bass, and Ben and Tom take a toke of "Smoke On the Water", right in the middle of the Jobim bossa. "Have You Met Miss Jones?" Apparently Andrew has, or somebody like that, and she's taught him to get in and out of tight arrangements. The musically ubiquitous Ben deploys a few Steve Reichian repeated patterns, perhaps in tribute to that composer's impending 80th birthday. And speaking of the San Francisco Symphony, ex-second-chair bassist Larry Epstein steps up for "Dolphin Dance", bringing wonderfully full foundations and fills. Andrew's scat has become a crowd-pleaser, and he's prepared to send them home happy with the advisory, "Let's Fall In Love". Michael Zisman finishes the evening on bass, generating sunbeams with which he and Andrew can enlighten their students at San Francisco State; the semester is upon us again, folks.