Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Kansan Walks Into a Portland Bar

Hankering for live music while stranded without transportation in a suburb northeast of Portland's downtown last Sunday evening, I dejectedly cross-referenced local listings against Google Maps. I spotted a nondescript post for a 8:30 p.m. "jazz jam" at a joint with the unpromising name of Clyde's Prime Rib Restaurant and Bar. It was exactly one mile away. I began walking.

I was encouraged to find that the parking lot at Clyde's was full. I was even more pleased when I secured the last open seat at the bar of the lounge that housed the jazz jam. Host Ron Steen, a personable drummer, seemed to know all sixty people in the room. (He even chatted up a sweaty stranger at the bar.)

The house band was impressive. When guests began to arrive, however, I felt as if I'd entered a jazz lover's dream. A rhythm section of bassist Essiet Essiet (Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers, Bobby Watson) and drummer Dick Berk (Ted Curson, George Duke, Cal Tjader) supported a bunch of lesser known but equally impressive musicians. The most immediately distinctive character was David Leshare Watson. He's something else.

I don't know if my sublime experience was a result of karmic serendipity or if the city's jazz scene is on fire. Either way, I wish I wasn't currently sitting 1,803 miles from Clyde's.

(Original images by Plastic Sax.)


WLIB said...

Fucker! You come to Portland and don't even let me know. We are no longer friends!

On Jazz Musings said...

Being right along sandy, you could've taken the 12 bus to tony starlights or continued toward downtown and the pearl district. I hope you were able to catch some of portland's fiery jazz scene. Lots of good stuff here.

RIP said...

Great response Lee! Only a left wing zealot would communicate in that manner. Thanks for validating our stereotype.

RIP said...

Which side of the fence are you on?

If you ever wondered which side of the fence you sit on, this is a great test!

If a Republican Jazz Musician doesn't like guns, he doesn't buy one.
If a Democrat Jazz Musician doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

If a Republican Jazz Musician is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat.
If a Democrat Jazz Musician is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

If a Republican Jazz Musician is homosexual (Yours Truly), he quietly leads his life.
If a Democrat Jazz Musician is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.

If a Republican Jazz Musician is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
A Democrat Jazz Musician wonders who is going to take care of him.

If a Republican Jazz Musician doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels.
Democrat Jazz Musicians demand that those they don't like be shut down.

If a Republican Jazz Musician is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church.
A Democrat Jazz Musician non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.

If a Republican Jazz Musician decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.
A Democrat Jazz Musician demands that the rest of us pay for his.

If a Republican Jazz Musician reads this, he'll forward it or post it so his friends can have a good laugh.
A Democrat Jazz Musican will delete it because he's "offended".


Happy In Bag said...

Hey, RIP- I approved your comments, but I probably won't publish similar musings in the future. I suppose that make me a "left wing zealot."

Thanks for the lead on the Matt Otto download at your blog, On Jazz Musings.

I didn't want to implicate you in my privately-funded, fact-finding, skinnydipping-themed trip, Lee.

Happy In Bag said...


Anonymous said...

Hey RIP. Are you sad that nobody rose to your bait? sniffle sniffle. "I wanted someone to reply with something incendiary so I could feel smug and superior"

Anonymous said...


DeJuan said...

Oh my gosh!! Great observations RIP. Right on the money.

Nigel said...

No baiting going on. What did RIP say that you'd like to debate? Its pretty darn close to accurate.