Sunday, December 27, 2009

Bobby Floyd Trio at Bexley's Monk. Annelise Maurer review for Bexley Public Radio.

Friday evening, December 18, 2009. I have never been to the Monk before but tonight I’m going there to listen to a jazz group and write a review of the music for Bexley Public Radio. This will be my first visit to the Monk and my first radio report ever, if the radio station accepts my review.

Bexley’s Monk. The “monastery” across East Main Street from Trinity Lutheran Seminary.

I'm a musician but not really into jazz. This is a new experience for me and I’m going to hear the Bobby Floyd Trio as a favor for friends at Bexley Public Radio. The review is extra. I wonder if the radio station will broadcast my review.

I don’t know what to expect but upon approaching the Monk’s front door, the members of the band welcome me with smiles and nods through the window. I am glad to have come.

I arrive perhaps five minutes late. The house is full. What a beautiful venue! Warm, tasteful, polished. The atmosphere is a perfect match to the alternating carols and standards wafting above the highly sophisticated din of the main bar.

I circle the house several times slowly, in the hopes that an open seat might somehow appear. “This is a classy place,” I note to myself, “and I am glad I dressed well.”

Not that it matters in any practical sense, since, having secured the corner seat most longitudinally distant from the band, try as I might, I can not get a drink.

Instead I get stares. Has some disaster befallen my hair, my scarf ... no. Am I young, alone, and unable to afford more than one modest well drink? Indeed, and it is as if the accomplished and affluent have sniffed me out. I love you, Bexley, I'm one of yours. Why the attitude?

I recall the half-year I lived on Martha’s Vineyard: once in a blue moon I’d put down my farm-work for a cocktail and some fresh catch in town, only to be stared at, and stared at, and stared at, or simply gazed straight through as if I didn’t live and breathe at all. Massachusetts royalists, Massachusetts Tories. But I don’t expect this attitude in Ohio. There are no Tories in the Midwest.

At the Monk, a couple standing behind me ask for some beers, and are quickly acknowledged, and served. Yet here I sit, and all I’ve managed to garner is a wine list plus absolutely no kind of practical attention from patron or staff.

Until, miraculously, half an hour later, an older distinguished gentlemen shows up: my father. Within seconds we are waited upon. Magically, two better seats free up.

I let my feelings of inadequacy slide and get down to the pleasure of really listening to the music.

The Bobby Floyd Trio, featuring Columbus’ own Bobby Floyd at piano, Reggie Jackson on drums and Derek DiCenzo on bass. These musicians wear the absolute calmest, happiest expressions as they toss melody and key change back and forth like casual banter among old friends.

That's one way to tell a good ensemble: they move as an organism. Symbiosis.

You can also tell that Individually, they’re accomplished artists, completely at home in their medium, as evidenced by their solos.

A classical pianist myself, I focus my attention on Mr. Floyd, and find the experience akin to hearing a foreign language: the reason and meaning are lost on me, but the sound-shapes and expressive subtleties are just curious enough to grab a good hold of my attention and keep the interest going.

Admittedly, I leave before the trio’s three-hour set is up; after one very excellent Rob Roy my stomach reminds me that I'd skipped dinner, and I think I can’t afford to feel hungry here.

The trio plays on, a medley of Christmas carols now, and the crowd mellows, as I pull on my hand-me-down coat and gloves.

Outside it is snowing. A charming evening for a Christmas prelude.

Editor’s note: Annelise writes “once in a blue moon” about dining out during her summer of farm labor on Martha’s Vineyard

On Thursday December 31 this year there is a blue moon. The full moon that will appear on the last day of calendar year 2009 is the second full moon of that month and hence it is a blue moon

Editor’s second note. Annelise’s father should have arrived earlier and offered his daughter dinner that evening at the Monk.

Editor's third note: The Bobby Floyd Trio returns to Bexley's Monk Friday January 15, 2010.

Bexley Public Radio Foundation broadcasting as
WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM, Local Power Radio
2700 E. Main St., Suite 208
Columbus, OH 43209
Voice (614) 235 2929
Fax (614) 235 3008

Bexley Public Radio Foundation is exempt from federal taxes under IRC Section 501(c)(3). Donations are deductible from federal income taxes for individuals who itemize. Checks may identify the payee as Bexley Public Radio Foundation or WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM.

Design is copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Bexley Public Radio Foundation. Text is copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Annelise Maurer.

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