|a photo of the 55 Bar from another night|
Yesterday afternoon, Tom and I and Kelsey's mother Easy loaded Bix into her car seat and headed for the city. Less than an hour later we were parked in front of the Lederhosen Bar, where Easy bought a container of goulash soup to take with us to Kelsey's gig at the 55 Bar (their website HERE).
Just before we stepped down to the door of the place, I glanced to the right. The next-door neighbor is the Stonewall Inn.
The 55 Bar, Tom explained, is located at the heart of much of the city's jazz scene. Just across the street is the Garage, which claims it has the most live jazz in the city (Tom's big band has played there). Half a block up another street is Arthur's Tavern, another jazz place. Not far is Fat Cat, where Tom has also played.
We settled in to some food and drink while Kelsey did her sound check. Several people came over to say hello to Tom, surprised he was up and out so soon. Remains a mystery to me: just 4 weeks out from valve replacement surgery.
And then the early show was on: Kelsey Jillette's American Project with guitar, bass, percussion, and Kelsey. [Along with other video's, including one from Tom's BigBangBigBand, there's a video of one song from last night HERE -- (to hear just the video, turn down the music playing to the left)] They started with an arrangement of Paul Simon's "Slipsliding Away" that almost eased me right off my seat. Kelsey's voice, especially in it's lower registers, is deadly.
The set continued; but Bix got a little too happy and I slipped her into her snowsuit and we slipslid out for a walk.
Around a few corners and a few more and there we were, approaching the bar again. Eight or nine guys standing in front of the Stonewall Inn looked us over and broke into big smiles when then they saw Bix's big eyes taking them in. "Ahhhhhhh" one of them said. "It's true," I said.
During the second set, Easy took Bix out while I enjoyed the music. And then it was 9 and the gig was done.
On our way past Arthur's Tavern Tom looked through the window and saw a saxophonist he recognized. We stepped in, he gave a big wave, and off we went, up the West Side to the Henry Hudson and then over the Harlem River to the Merritt Parkway and we were home in the other Greenwich Village.