Wednesday Night at Northern Lights Lounge

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Last night, I finally got out for some music. I went to see the Michael Jellick Trio at Northern Lights Lounge. I hadn’t been for a couple of weeks and even though I was really tired from work and a sleepless night the prior night, I decided I needed some music to relax and get away from some problems I carry home from work with me.

As I walked in, I could hear Miles Brown on the bass and Jesse Kramer on the drums. As I walked to a table and sat down,I could hear the complex rhythms of the two instruments combined and I had a different perspective for the moment. These are the moments I live for when listening to music.

I ordered some beef nachos for dinner and leaned back to listen. This time I recorded most of the evening. I have realized that I am such an intense listener and get so lost in the music that I have a hard time recalling just what was played. Or, if I really pay attention to what is played, I don’t feel the music. Tonight, I wanted to feel the music.

The first complete song I heard was “Yes or No” (Wayne Shorter on Juju album). First, I was hearing Michael Jellick play the melody on the keys clearly and beautifully. Then, once the melody in firmly in mind going into the improvisations that I like so much. Going further and further out and still within the song’s framework. By recording, I was much more able to appreciate Miles Brown’s solo on the bass. Then, a melody phrase to hook back into the music and more improv leading to Jesse Kramer’s great solo on drums. And , back into the melody and more improv to the end. Part of what I like about the experience is how cohesive and well these musicians play together.

I felt like the next number was not new to me and could not place it. This one had some funk to it and the rhythms were so different than the previous number. Something about this one for me made me feel good. Since the break came after this one, I left while I was feeling so good.

Mike Jellick Trio and Dinner

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I usually work on Wednesday and my work was not the best on Wednesday. I had an appointment at 6:00 p.m. She called about 6:15 and said what she had would only take a few minutes and she could be there in five minutes. It took 15 minutes. She arrived with a disordered pile of papers. As she talked about what she wanted, I knew it would 2 hours if she could find the paperwork. I did one minor task and set an appointment for Friday. She took my personal pen because she “sneezed” on it.

So, when I decided to go out for some music and dinner, I was peeved. I got to Northern Lights Lounge well after the first set started. The music was good and this time I looked at the menu. I remember hearing someone say that the chicken strips were really good. So I ordered chicken strips and onion rings.

I closed my eyes, relaxed in my chair and listened. It was pretty much what I liked and expected. The trio was Mike Jellick(keys), Jesse Kramer(dms) and Miles Brown(bass). Mike mentioned that they were trying some new stuff. And there was some experimentation using sounds other than keys on the keyboard. I thought I heard something that sounded like a little funk which was also new.

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My dinner came just as the set ended with “Benny’s Tune”. When my meal was placed in front of me, I noticed the paper was not able to absorb the grease.

20130912-150926.jpg I took my extra napkins and tried to remove as much grease as I could from the chicken strips. I soaked three napkins. The server assured me the onion rings were real onions but had been frozen. The result is that it can reduce an onion ring to a combination of onion mush and a hint of the original ring. Who had recommended the chicken strips? I finally remembered that the person who said they were so good was a guy in the place that had been drinking quite a bit. His eyes were either on the chicken strips or his date’s cleavage. That evening he complimented his date on her dress and the server on the chicken strips.

I stayed for the first number of the second set as my stomach was slowly twisting in protest. The first song was written by Miles Brown and called “Blues for AJ”. I really liked the number and just was not able to enjoy as much as I usually would.

Going home was my best option. Today I feel much better and am back to eating veggies, fruit and the food that makes me feel good.

More Music in Midtown Detroit

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Today, Saturday, July 6, 2013, I went to Concert of Colors again. Yesterday I has so many errands and chores that I was not able to get out.

Today, I decided to take a different approach. I decided to see check out music I usually do not see in the normal course of events. Since music is such an emotional experience for me, I might be able to get the same experience from music I usually do not hear. I have a history of being able to appreciate classical, blues, rock, and R&B but for the last few years, I have had a hard preference for jazz. And not all jazz, the soul jazz era. I am trying to expand my horizons.

I parked right next to the pocket park on Parsons where the outdoor stage was set up. So I stopped for a few minutes and listened to Kate Monaghan singeing the blues.

20130706-212150.jpgThe Kate Monaghan Band

20130706-212216.jpgA sculpture in the park

I walked about a half a block to the Max (Max M. Fisher Music Center)to hear Matuto which was billed as Brazilian bluegrass.

20130706-214900.jpg I am not sure why it is called Brazilian bluegrass. It may be because of the fiddle(violin) and accordion. I cannot recall ever seeing a drum kit in a bluegrass band. It might be that they are playing ‘country’ music. The music was fun and there was a lot of dancing. I danced a lot at the PD9 Township Jazz Project and my dancing legs are still a bit wobbly.

I went to the other inside stage to see Fatoumata Diawara billed as Malian wassalou. She is living in exile in Southern France. The musicians with her were from Cameroon and Togo. She has a beautiful voice and plays guitar while singing some of her songs.

20130706-221312.jpgThe songs were not in English. The official language of Mali is French and she was not singing in French. It may have been Bambara which is the main vernacular language. She did talk a little about what each song was about. The delivery was good enough that the language really did not matter. And I did manage to dance again in front of the stage.

20130706-222142.jpg wThe pic is not clear but was the best I could do in the circumstances. After dancing and towards the end of the music, I decide to see what I could find in festival food.

20130706-222603.jpgI got a fruit shortbread. It was on a lemon poppyseed shortbread with blackberries, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries topped with whip cream. It was just what I needed.

I went home happy.