Thursday, August 2, 2007
Meet Kansas City's Jazz Audience
Meet Kansas City's most enthusiastic jazz supporters. (I'm fourth from the left.) As I told The Pitch a few months ago, I'm tired of being one of the youngest people in the room when I attend live jazz events. And my hair turns grayer by the day.
These are desperate times for jazz. Acclaimed new releases by Ornette Coleman and Sonny Rollins struggle to sell 10,000 units. In Kansas City, The Phoenix jazz club is shuttered, hopefully only temporarily.
Will any jazz enthusiasts remain twenty years from today?
Hippies may be jazz's last hope. They dig improvisation and appreciate a groove. Every decent jam band counts John Coltrane among its influences. Back in May, I attended one of two sold-out shows at the Uptown Theater by jazz-inflected act Widespread Panic. A week or two later, I caught jazz-funk band The Greyboy Allstars at Crossroads. Who was there? Me and 500 hippies.
Ken Lovern knows this. The area jazz organist plays Friday night at Davey's Uptown as part of the "Jerry Garcia Memorial Stomp." That's a good gig, the type that's needed if the music is to forestall its date with a bottle of formaldehyde.
(Lovern gig tip via The New Low Down; photos borrowed without permission from web.)