Ivories Jazz Lounge and Restaurant on Saturday, and we had if not a full house, then almost full. I left the house that evening thinking that after the sold out show with Christian McBride on Thursday, there's no way we could have a repeat a mere two days later. Well, Portland did not disappoint me! The owners were happy, the people were happy, and boy, was I ever happy! It's always great to play to an audience. I was also a bit nervous because we hadn't rehearsed at all, and some of my music is, shall we say, not for the faint of heart. Nevertheless, David Valdez on alto, Eric Gruber on bass, and Todd Strait on drums is Portland All Star line-up for sure. And they brought their A Game to Ivories.
As I have mentioned, I feel like Ivories is going to really be the new spot for jazz in Portland. Proprietors Jim Templeton and Art Trafton are really serious about making this a respectable venue. I'll be playing there this Wednesday with trumpeter Farnell Newton, starting at 8:30. I will playing late night jam sessions during the PDX Jazz Festival( February 17,18,24,and 25, starting at 11:45, I think.) We also have some other exciting shows in the works. Please support this venue!
There is another gig coming up which is possibly as exciting as the Ivories gig. Brasserie Monmartre, a French bistro right downtown, is starting a jazz series in the basement of the restaurant. They have music upstairs every night, right next to the entrance. But they are trying to make the basement a real "listening room". Bassist Tom Wakeling is really making an effort to build a scene in this spot. The last time they had a gig downstairs was when they had the Alan Jones Quartet in November. This Friday, February 3rd, I will playing trio with Eric Gruber on bass and Seattle native Matt Jorgensen. I've worked with Jorgensen many times over the years. He's in demand in Seattle and also has his own label called Origin Records which has recorded many of the great jazz musicians of ther Pacific Northwest, as well as some greats from New York. This show starts at 9pm and goes til 12. It's an all ages show. (This means 21 and under allowed.)So don't miss it!