Le Jazz Hot
It's a hot tail end of a Sunday afternoon. At the 7 Mile, matrons and patrons and whatever the term is for those who aren't yet mamas and papas are sporting fewer clothes, the better to feel the balm blowing in from Bayshore, through the wide open doors. In this Indigenous Summer exchange of energy, there's an alternate form of energy blowing out the other way: the harmonious life force of the Doghouse Jam band. The mama and papa of the Jam are both present, the 7 Mile's Vanessa Garcia seated just outside the doors, chatting smilingly, and Mike Apicelli, former purveyor of the Dogpatch Saloon, where the Jam began, positioned with his mustache and bolo just inside the doors, seated between a couple of attractive women. Life force needs liquid sustenance in this sort of climate, by both patrons and players, and drummer Vince Lateano is impelled to fluff out his t-shirt over his trousers. as the band plays "But Beautiful", but, given the seasonal attire, maybe we can respell it as "Butt Beautiful". Notwithstanding the torpor, saxophonist Andrew Speight puts Vince, keyboardist Ben Stolorow, and bassist Michael Zisman through several sessions of Australian Aerobics, chirping his alto artfully at double time. In similar spirit, Mike A won't let the heat suppress his appetite or his generosity. Back on Third Street, he used to ply us with bowls of chili, here at the 7 Mile he orders large and shares with everyone at his table. Business is so good that the band needs to take a break before their break to track down a busy waitress and put in their own dinner order. This is also an opportunity to invite up a young jammer sporting tinted hair and a Bird & Beckett t-shirt, who proceeds to invite whoever's credentialed to "Teach Me Tonight". SFSU faculty members Speight and Zisman are swinging behind her, with Stolorow and Lateano ably supporting the class. You might miss this lady's trim name --- Thu Ho ---, but you shouldn't miss her vibrant vocals, shimmering like the optical illusions above a sun-baked sidewalk. As the band finishes that first set and sits down to sup, Thu reveals she has in fact been taught at the City College of San Francisco, the Community Music Center, and (most recently) the Stanford Jazz Camp, where she found a mentor in Madeline Eastman, VInce's singing spouse. If we can only hold on to this hipness and this heat, it will be an awesome Autumn.