Days 16, 17, 18, 19

This week I’ve had the pleasure of playing with the Alex Graham Quartet at the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI.  This is a unique gig.  The DD is a true jazz listening room and fantastic restaurant that hires bands to play from Wednesday though Saturday night.  Very few establishments in the world still do this for jazz groups, and I feel very lucky to be able to perform here.

Not to mention that the band is killing.  Alex is a talented and smart cat and it’s always been a pleasure playing with him.  The pianist in the group is Detroit arranger-extraordinaire Scott Gwinnell.  Scott is not only a great arranger, but a wonderful pianist.  I always get the feeling that Scott’s comping approach is informed by his compositional mind.  The drummers have been different every night, so far, but last night and tonight Nate Winn is joining the group.  Nate is one of my favorite drummers to play with, and I think we lock up pretty well.  The other drummers, Sean Dobbins and Rob Avsharian, gave the music their own personal touches too.  Everyone has been killing so far.

So far, the houses have been packed every night.  It’s a very heartening feeling to know that there are jazz fans still willing to spend a little money to hear the music.  This is one of the main reasons why I’ve been so happy to move to Detroit.  In the two years since I’ve been here, I’ve met a lot of great jazz fans who have proven that jazz may not be lucrative, but it is an essential and appreciated art form.  I commend Andrew Rothman for founding and sponsoring the Detroit Groove Society, which brings in national artists to perform salon concerts at his house.  Yet another special venue dedicated to the preservation of jazz.

I’ve had a busy week of performances, which has made the blog idea easy, but has left little time to actually input the information.  Today’s post is brought to you by the letter D for the Dirty Dog.

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