Urgh, the regular blog posts have become a think of the past. So tough to find the time.
Last night encapsulated why I LOVE owning a jazz club and why I HATE owning a jazz club. If you know me well, you konw I always concentrate on the POSITIVE……stop laughing….so lets start there. By the time 8:00 the club was absolutely packed with people and although I have spent the better part of a month being up at 5AM, not getting a lot of sleep, and certainly not spending ANY time practicing or playing my saxophone, the rush of adrenaline took over and I had a great night playing the music of Stanley Turrentine with a really stellar group of players: TONY FOSTER piano, RUSS BOTTEN bass and JOE POOLE drums. I have been pretty down on myself lately (probably fatigue more than anything) and I needed a night where I could play, have fun and actually feel like I have something to say. Mission accomplished!
Now to the bad part. Although I was filled with joy when I walked in just before 800 I also instantly knew that it was going to be ‘one of those nights.’ I don’t know, how or why I knew that but I guess after owning jazz club for 12 years you kind of pick up on some things and can gauge a crowd very quickly. I was right..AGAIN!! I don’t want to paint the whole audience with one brush. I would say 90 per cent of the people that were there were attentive and appreciative. Actually come to think of it even the ones that were chatty were appreciative but so unbelievably annoying. One table of 10 who appeared to be having a good time, right up at the front of the stage were chatty all nigh, despite being told to quiet down several times by me, my staff and other tables. Literally every item of food brought to their table, they hated. The best part was the salmon……they complained they didn’t like it. Their fork and knife hadn’t even been unwrapped and the food had not been touched. Not one morsel. These people were clearly out to be pains in the ass. The funny part is one of the woman came up to me and said “it’s our first time here and we’ll definitely be back.” I would’ve loved to have said ” please don’t” but I am after all in the tough business of owning a jazz club and we need as many people as possible.
In the break I had the great pleasure of meeting a young man and his two friends. Well versed, nice to talk to, interested in the business and it was a great chat. At the very end of the chat he decided to tell me that he had a gift of putting words together in a freestyle rap kind of way and he would just LOVE two minutes on the stage to which I very politely said “no, this is not the venue for that but thanks” We went and did our set. At the end as I was introducing the band and saying goodnight he came to the side of the stage and tried to get my attention. I ignored him and we finished the night. At the bar later he pulled me aside again and told me AGAIN how gifted he was and that he would be tasteful and it would go with the music etc. I politely said “sorry, not interested, we are a rehearsed band this is a show.” He proceeded to needle me and needle to me and finally I just walked away. It’s too bad because up until that point he was a nice guy.
Im not sure what makes people think they can act like that. Oh well the night was fun all and all and the best part is we get to do it all again tomorrow night.