Monday, April 1, 2013
Put It Where You Want It
I felt an incongruous sensation as I left White Recital Hall on Tuesday. It's a feeling I associate with abbreviated sets at rock festivals, canned hip-hop performances and uninspired outings by country stars. I'd been had.
I paid $16.50 at the door with the expectation that I'd experience a proper performance by Joe Sample. I was wrong. The influential musician was participating in a taping of 12th Street Jump. The previous 12th Street Jump events I'd attended were free. I interpreted the $16.50 charge for Tuesday's program as an indication that Sample would give an additional performance apart from his role in the radio show. Nope.
The five selections that featured Sample- "Put It Where You Want It," "Nica's Dream," "It Happens Every Day," "Street Life" and a blues vamp- lasted no more than 25 minutes. Although the support provided by the house band of Joe Cartwright, Tyrone Clark and Mike Warren was solid and Sample's playing was engaging, I was counting on a separate set. Besides, 12th Street Jump's comedic segments were something I had to endure rather than enjoy. Comparable variety shows like NPR's A Prairie Home Companion, Whad'ya Know? and television's The Colbert Report don't appeal to me either.
The rare sour experience served to remind me that the quality-to-cost ratio on tap on Kansas City's jazz scene is exceptional. First-rate free events- Jazz Winterlude, the Prairie Village Jazz Festival and twice-weekly gigs at the Blue Room among them- abound. Cover charges for performances by the region's elite musicians rarely exceed ten dollars. Even the most expensive tickets- $50 for the American Jazz Museum's Jammin' at the Gem series and $40/$50 for the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra- give patrons a tremendous bang for their bucks.
Even though I won't get my $16.50 back, the imprudent investment I made in 12th Street Jump has provided me with a new appreciation of the ongoing bargains enjoyed by Kansas City's jazz fans.
(Original image by Plastic Sax.)