This morning at 2:00 a.m., I left the following the end of the last set of the after hours gig at State Street Bar & Grill at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and headed over to Flatiron Cafe down the street to see what would transpire at the jam sessions that are starting up there each night at 2:00 a.m. Although I always enjoy hearing the after hours house band of Bob Sneider, Mike Melito and Phil Flanigan, there wasn't much happening last night other than some really talented students of Bob, plus two members of 5 Corners Quintet from Finland. I wanted to say hello again to Tom, the owner at Flatiron and check out the scene so I headed on over (don't know where the energy came from, but Tom's large cup of coffee was a great help). Aaron Stabell's Bending and Breaking band was playing and I really enjoyed the set. While some members of Christian Scott's band and sax player Timo Lassy of the 5 Corners Quintet were present, by the time I left only Scott's drummer had sat in and Lassy had left without playing. However, talking with the owner I found out the night to be there was the previous night when it all had come together beyond his wildest (well he has some even bigger ones for tonight's session) dreams.
In the early hours of Wednesday, those who were at the Flatiron Cafe were in for a real treat as Wycliffe Gordon, Robin Eubanks and Gray Mayfield, as well as members of Bonerama showed up and jammed with the musicians Quinn Lawrence put together for the event (how many trombones does that make?). New blogger for the Democrat & Chronicle Anna Reguero was there and apparently it was an amazing night (as listening to Wycliffe blow often is...). As Anna put it:
Big shots like these guys don’t come to jam sessions at 3 a.m. in small cities to show off. For example, Gordon plays in the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra — trust me, he doesn’t need to prove himself to anyone. They come because they love to play — anywhere and with anyone.
That is what makes these after-hours gigs special. When they click, they REALLY click and leave you with a music experience that is indelibly inked into your memory. The after after hours gig at the Flatiron will be going on until the end of the festival. Who knows who will show up each night?