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The Doorman's Diary

January 2012

By Published: March 16, 2012
On the bill tonight was an established local jazz guitar legend. His trio included a stand-up bass and drums. Celebrating his 79th birthday, the guitarist laid down soulful melodies with his complex fingering on his hollow-body electric. Perhaps slower than in his youth, he still sounded damn good. The club filled comfortably and I, as The Doorman, enjoyed welcoming jazz appreciators in from the cold. Among the throng were a few familiar faces—two couples who show up with enough frequency to be remembered and "journal man," a gentleman who sits at the bar and makes an entry into his journal while enjoying a couple of drinks and listening to the music. It's been awhile since he was last here. There was also a single young woman who entered and tentatively sat at the end of the bar. Once comfortable, she appeared to be truly enjoying the music. It felt nice to know that our place is welcoming and comfortable for a lone person—female or male—to enjoy the live music and a few drinks without complication. As chance happens, a threesome entered the club and sat next to her. It was fun to see serendipity unfold before my eyes as the four of them seemed to become fast friends. The threesome was a couple and a third wheel guy, all about the same age as the lone lady. And yes the third wheel and the lone woman appeared to be getting along. If anything, the four of them had a good night listening to jazz and talking with each other. But one never knows how the power of jazz plays out, especially in the formation of new relationships.

January 21

The full-house crowd tonight brought to mind a famous, super-short Ezra Pound poem:

In a Station of the Metro

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;

Petals on a wet, black bough.

The flow of people into the jazz club was apparitional. It was a blur of faces that all melted together into soft-edge petals. They all seem pleasant and good looking. As The Doorman, I am learning how to read people. A woman tonight reaffirmed something I've discovered: people receive so little positive feedback. We tromp around in the world doing our best, but rarely receive an attaboy or attagirl. As The Doorman, I try to find the balance or pivot point between a compliment and creepy. It's difficult since there's only so much room within the context of my relation to customers entering the jazz club. We had a woman clearly in the 30's to 40's age bracket. When she saw me there ready to screen and collect covers, she said: "Oh! You're not checking IDs—I think if you asked to see mine, I'd probably kiss you!" My response: "I'm not fishing for a kiss, but you do look awfully young, so yes...I need to see your ID." She knew that I knew differently, but in these 15 seconds I reaffirmed what she hopes... that she looks younger than she really is. As I gave her driver's license back, I sealed the deal by saying: "Nice fake ID—be careful, not everyone will let you slide by like I did."

January 22

Cold and snow is predictable, yet when it happens there are many in our locale that adopt an Armageddon attitude. I guess they hunker down in their homes waiting for Christ to show up on a snowmobile hell bent (ooops, heaven bent?) to take on Satan for the final showdown. The club was slow. Among the hardy 15 or so who were enjoying the jazz quartet was a couple who had come to the club last weekend—a dark-haired guy and an attractive blonde. The young woman, while gently brushing her sunshine-color hair aside, said she thinks of jazz when the weather is cold. "Nothing better than being in a jazz club on a cold, snowy night," she said. I said, I understand... it's like listening to an original instruments, all string ensemble rendition of the Brandenburg Concertos on a rainy day. Her cute face puzzled and she responded, "I guess so." I left her to ponder and returned to my post at the door. The mournful sound of the alto clearly defined the quartet's version of Coltrane's Equinox as I welcomed a couple of shivering, snow-wet guests. The young man in the pair is a singer, who was given an opportunity to sing a couple of songs with the band. He wore a retro-vintage white belt and matching white shoes, which was amusing. His voice, phrasing, and presentation needs polishing, but it was generous of the quartet to give him a shot. He'll get there... in due time.

January 28

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