Getting Out Again….Motor City Wine

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My last day for working this season was April 15. It took me some time to recover. The last few days are always hectic and mind numbing.

By Thursday, April 19, I was in the mood for some music and headed out to Motor City wine for the Mike Jellick Trio. I new they would be adding a tap dancer for part of the evening. The past experiences I have had mixing a jazz and impromptu tap has not been good. The info I had said she was a professional tap dancer which put her above my previous encounters.

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Right to left: Mike Jellick on keys, Eric Nachtrab on bass and Jesse Kramer on drums.

At first, it was only the trio playing. I had walked in after the set had started. I stopped at the bar and ordered a Blood Orange San Pelligrino. The place had almost every table filled. When I was here last, there were very few people. I really like seeing a group begin to get an audience. They did some familiar numbers and Mike did some great improvisation. Then, they called up Claudia Rahardjanoto, the tap dancer. She was really good.

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In jazz, there are sometimes a change in tempo or a change in time signature. The thing I appreciated most about the tapper was that she did not force her dance through the changes. She was much more able than the usual dancer to navigate the jazz changes. It was such a pleasant surprise.

They closed the set with Rhythm-A-Ning by Thelonious Monk, one of my favorites. And I loved it. I could feel the music. I was sitting right in front of the drum speaker so for much of the set, I heard more of the drum than anything hing else. Somehow though, it all worked out in this number. I played it on the way home.

Mike Jellick Trio at Motor City Wine after Big Fun

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After Big Fun at Cliff Bells, I went over to Motor City Wine to see the Mike Jellick Trio since I had not even lasted for one set at Cliff Bells. I had a little argument with myself over it since I have been so very, very tired and not sleeping well. I thought I could stay for one set and just maybe I would satisfy my wish for some live music and get home early enough to get some good sleep.

When I walked in, the band was on break. I got my blood orange soda and settled in at a table to wait for the music. When the band return and started to play, my body finally relaxed to hear the music I like so much.

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Adventurous Jazz

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Last night, August 22, 2013, I finally got out for some music. I went to Motor City Wine to see the Michael Jellick Trio. This one is a gig rather than a jam so it is much more unified event without trying to integrate many musicians.

It was a small crowd which is ambiguous situation for me. It means much less ambient noise. I worry the bar owner will cancel. Last night, it allowed the musicians to experiment a little. I had planned to go to Cliff Bells after one set but the quality of the music kept me for the second set.

The sound here is such that it is a good listening event. They did “One Day My Prince Will Come”. The way this group does it has made it one of my favorites. When I hear the first few notes, I begin to smile. Each time, the intro is different and it is a new song each time. After the number, I was thinking how much I liked it when a friend sitting with me commented on how beautiful it was.

This trio has an amazing calming effect on me. It makes for great sleeping when I get home. Michael Jellick plays with so much complexity that my brain gets tired. Last night, the musicians were on an experimental playground. Michael was changing the volume inside some of the numbers. Michael also did a lot of tempo changes last night. The other kept up with all the changes making for a great sound.

The drummer, Jesse Kramer, kept up with all of it. During one number he used his brushes three ways for three different sounds matching Michael’s play with volume. Last night he used some sticks that had another different sound. After the evening was over, I talked to him and found out it was many little bamboo skewers taped together. Most young drummers do their solos as long and loud. Jesse shows a subtlety and comprehension not usually seen in young drummers.

Eric Nachtrab is relatively new to this trio and is a good fit. His solos are not too long. I am slowly seeing his musical character revealed . Most important though is that he completes the group unified sound.

So, my brain was worn out when I left for home and I was happy,

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A small clip from early in the evening….

Friday Night at Motor City Wine and Berts

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Last Friday slight, July 26, 2013, I checked out various sites to see who was playing where.
I decided to go first to Motor City Wine since they will be moving this week and I enjoy the group that was playing there.

Mike Jellick (keys), Eric Nachtrab (bass) and Jesse Kramer ( drums) comprised the trio for the evening. They are in the picture above. As I walked from my car which I parked in my secret and always available parking space, I thought this is the last time for walking up the very long steps. They were playing when I arrived. I talked to a musician friend of mine who was playing at a nearby venue and was taking his breaks at Motor City Wine to listen to the trio. I sat down and sank into the the music. The music was flawless at least to my ears. I had arrived with my usual impeccable timing, after a couple of songs they took a break.

I talked to some people I know and had a good time. The band started the second set. They did “Someday My Prince Will Come” and did a great job. The improv that Mike did cause me to smile just thinking about it. After the set, I went to Berts to listen to the John Douglas Quartet.

Finding a parking spot was a bit difficult. There is a musical complex with three venues and all of them were going when I arrived. I did find a spot and when I got to the door, the guy who takes the cover charge of $ 5.00 was not at the door. I went in and sat down to listen to the music. The second set is usually a long set and I got to hear about 80 minutes of music. This is my comfort jazz.

They played “Moanin’ ” and I love the way they played it. These professional musicians push each other to be better when they play together. Since some of the numbers are the same each week, it allows the musicians to play different solos each week. Tonight the quartet was John
Douglas(tpt), Mike Malis (piano), Butter Hawkins (dms) and Ibrihim Jones (bass). All the solos this week were interesting and added a new dimension to the music.

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They also played “Grazing in the Grass”(Hugh Masekela) as the last song in the set. It was the first time I had heard them playing the tune. On this one, Ib Jones really stepped out and did a great job. It is a great tune. At one time, it was overplayed but that was long ago and it was time for a rebirth.

After the set, I sat with someone I know and chatted for a few minutes. John came over and I got a hug. We all chatted for a few more minutes.

I left after the set even though there was one more to go. And I went home happy.