Wednesday, June 05, 2013

'Once Upon a Summertime'

There we were, together again, me and Mike Finn, The Square Room, downtown, Robinella, Jazz Lunch.

Mike and I spent most Sunday nights together for several years, listening to Robin sing, back in the good ol' days. Mike is celebrating his 70th birthday and invited some friends and coworkers out for lunch. It felt good.

Robin performed a tribute to Blossom Dearie, the dearly departed jazz singer and pianist, one of the last of the great New York supper club singers. She opened with "Once Upon a Summertime," and weaved her magic web around everything from Charlie Chaplin's "Smile" to Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Surrey with the Fringe on Top."

I floated away, to that place I go whenever my buddy Robin makes her music, a destination I like to call "stop-time." Because time stops. And for an hour or so the whole darn world makes perfect sense. The colors faded to glorious monochrome and all we needed was a slow-moving ceiling fan and a wisp of cigarette smoke.

Her band today included the fantastic Justin Haynes on piano, trumpeter Vance Thompson, bassist Clint Mullican, percussionist Nolan Nevels and a great guitarist whose name I didn't catch. She closed with "Moonlight Saving Time" and I floated out the door.

Robin has a new CD coming out this month, one she recorded with jazz guitarist Frank Vignola in New York. Stay tuned.

One thing I noticed as I walked back to the car was the hustling, bustling scene on Market Square. Vendors were selling their wares. Kids were playing in a splash pad. If you haven't heard the news, y'all, downtown Knox Vegas is filled with life.

And so was I this afternoon, my belly full of food and my mind mad with music, sweet and simple and sad, once upon a summertime.

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