Sunday, November 20, 2005

where jazz lives

I've always loved jazz music, something I attribute to my Dad. In his college years, he would trek to New York City for evenings of music at Birdland. My brother, Chris, evolved the listenings to fusion in the 70s (Weather Report is still one of my favorites). I delved deeply into big band in the 80s, and spent much of the 90s steeped in jazz from Jellyroll to Dr. John.

While cleaning out my desk clutter (see, I'm still doing my chores), I found a list I used to keep. It contains the names of jazz musicians I saw at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley in Seattle. I went to the first show for the sole purpose of seeing Dianne Reeves, whose music I acquired a taste for after getting a free promotional tape of Never Too Far while managing a Strawberries record store in South Portland, Maine.

I had very little money and basically raided my food fund for the week to go to the show with several people from my office who I'd convinced to go. It was an amazing show. She was amazing. But equally interestingly, I was transfixed by Jazz Alley... a club literally entered through an alley. It was the kind of extravagance I couldn't afford often until I settled into a better job. Once there, I became a regular. The most amazing people played there (still do). Here is the list.

8/92 Dianne Reeves
1/95 Benny Green
2/95 Joey DeFrancesco, Jessica Williams
3/95 Lionel Hampton
4/95 Diane Schuur
6/95 McCoy Tyner
7/95 Joe Sample
9/95 Stanley Turrentine
10/95 Gato Barbieri
10/95 Nancy Wilson
12/95 Dianne Reeves
1/96 Tito Puente
1/96 Yellowjackets
1/96 Dr. John
5/96 Diane Schuur
5/96 Najee
6/96 Garfield High School Jazz Band (don't laugh... they're stunningly good)
8/96 Joey DeFrancesco, Karrin Allyson
9/96 McCoy Tyner
1/97 Tom Grant
2/97 Dr. John
12/97 Diana Krall
1/98 Tom Grant
2/98 Tito Puente
11/98 Jessica Williams, Kurt Elling (went to see Jessica, fell in love with Kurt)

There are several shows I neglected to note (for example, I know I saw the Rippingtons there, but they were not listed). But this is a good representation. Gosh, I miss Seattle. For now, I have to suffice with watching the Seahawks' crushing victory over the San Francisco 49ers. That's my prediction. Keep in my mind that I know less than nothing about football. I go to socialize and snack.

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