I went to Cliff Bells in Detroit tonight, May 28, 2013 to hear some jazz and have dinner. It was billed as the Marcus Elliot Quartet, but I knew that Marcus was on tour.
Tonight the quartet was Michael Malis (keys), Stephen Boeghold (drums), and Jeff Pedraz(bass). They were joined by Vincent Chandler on trombone. The scheduled bass player was Ben Ralston. He had a car accident on the way to the gig and totaled his car and was not hurt. they called Jeff and he filled in for the first set. Because of the delay, everything was an hour late.
I walked in towards the end of the first set and not the beginning of the second set. I have to admit here that trombone is not my favorite jazz instrument. I will also say that Vincent Chandler is one of the best. The best song they did while I was there was “Caravan.” They did a good job but I am still not sold on trombone in jazz as the only horn in a group. And this is only my uninformed opinion. i will say overall given the scare the musicians had, this was a good evening. My attitude is probably is best expressed in an old joke:
What’s the difference between a frog crossing the street and a jazz trombone player crossing the street?
The frog may be on his way to a gig.
And the dinner…..
I wasn’t very hungry and ordered the House Charcuterie Board. I haven’t eaten there for long time and was not impressed. I heard they were better. The plates had been stacked in the refrigerator. I am sure they were covered. But, the olives had a crease in them. The grapes were squashed and definitely not juicy. The various meats were congealed and plastered to the plate. I got less hungry. I asked for the top plate. It was marginally better although since the meats were cold, they were still plastered to the plate.
Sometimes it is a partial miss.