I had this cool bit written about Patti Austin, and restaurants named after parts of the anatomy *other* than Ed Droste's favorite... and the computer ate it.
(My computer ate my homework. That's the new excuse, right?)
So here's the piece I wrote *at* the Jazz Holiday, and damnit, it will have to do.
COACHMAN PARK, CLEARWATER -- Well, I'm embarassed.
I had such grand journalistic visions of being out at the park here all
weekend long, reporting on all the fantastic jazz music and such.
It didn't work out that way.
"An old soccer injury" (doesn't that sound impressive? Youth soccer;
age 11) put my left knee out of competition (it felt like it was going
to be permanent; luckily not). I spent Friday not walking around much.
Overslept this morning, just to put a cherry on the sundae, but now I'm
back out here. Walked in to the sounds of the "other Bay Area's" Tim
Hockenberry band. They played a set of mostly covers, but damned fine
covers, that had the crowd hopping and clapping.
Their set was followed by Bob Seymour and a sponsor break, which
included folks from the Bank of 'Murrica, the St Pete Times, and Mayor
Brian Aungst... or maybe he's Community Relations Director for Time
Warner Cable; he can't really seem to make up his mind which job he
My suggestion: talk louder, people.
Next up were conga player Jerry Gonzales and the Fort Apache Band, an
Afro-Caribbean worldbeat band from, of all places, the Bronx. Playing
with Dizzy Gillespie in 1970 certainly didn't hurt his chops any, and
the current band, including his brother Andy, lays down a beat that is
paradoxically both tight and loose. Just how 'afro-caribbean' it was,
I can't say; it's not a sub-genre I'm all that familiar with. It
certainly sounded like jazz, though, and not the 94.1 kind. It was
also, as I have noted, well played.
But not party music.
For that, you have to look in the dictionary under 'infectious'.
What you'll *find* there is the band Bellevue Cadillac. And they flat
took over the park, tailfins and all. It was a shame they played after
dark, because it made it that much harder to see the impromptu swing
dance competition that cropped up all over the park.
This Boston septet's freshman album is called 'Prozac Nation', but
I'm tellin you what: they ain't on Prozac, no way, nohow. As I sit
here in the back of the merchandise tent typing, there isn't a set of
hips on the line of volunteers in front of me that is *not* swaying in
time with the music. They call it hep-cat jive, and they ain't just
But I'm sure they'll get to it later in the set.
Closing out Saturday night was the unmatchable Patti Austin. She did
her two song allotment of smooth jazz, then let us know we were in for
a little rough jazz... and *damn*, did she deliver.
Ranging from a funk arrangement of "til There Was You" to her two James
Ingram collaborations, to her closing "Test of Time", the music, and
the jokes, never stopped. Demonstrating a delightful though occasionally rough sense of humor,
Patti did pretty long breaks between songs, including "no particular
opinion about politics" ("Don't vote Bush". :-), but never lost the
crowd. She thought it was 35,000 people; the cops think it was more
like 14,000. I don't really care, myself; we all thought the same
"No. Don't go home yet..."
Killer night, and there's still one more day left to go.
Oleta Adams and Fred Johnson tomorrow. See you there.