Mark Lewis Birthday Concert
January 25, 2007
January 25, 2007
(Events took place January 25, 2007)
Word count: 433
Jazz in Kitsap: Real Gone; Real Close
By Paul Festag
Angelica lost her scarf, but, who was looking for it? Everyone was lost in the Jazz. The line-up at the Ponderay was gone, too: Ray Ohls, Rick White, Bud Schultz, Cap DeMiero, Overton Berry, and Art Foxall; Drums, Basses, Keys, Vibes, and Saxes. Man.
"How do you like it, Angelica?" I asked. She didn't answer right away. She had joined her wrap…she was at a loss for words. "I love it! I love it!" was all she could say.
Maybe Angelica's scarf was on the loose, but the Jazz wasn't lost in Kitsap. It found a home at the Ponderay Café and Lounge in Bremerton. Every Thursday night from 6:30 to 9:30, saxophonist Mark Lewis hosts the greatest players in Northwest Jazz, and this night they all came to celebrate his birthday. But, the audience received the greatest gift.
"It's amazing to come down here in Bremerton and find musicians that can walk onto any stage in the world," said Jim Bluhm, who spends his days in the IT department at PSNS.
Ask any of these musicians, "Where you been?" and you'll get a travelogue filled with names like Charlie Parker, Peggy Lee, Stan Getz, Philly Joe Jones, Ivory Joe Hunter and John Coltrane; places like New York, Tokyo, Cairo, Amsterdam, Paris, and Bremerton.
Our Bremerton. At the Ponderay. It's easier to find than Angelica's scarf. Follow the cars down to Callow and 6th Thursday nights and you'll find a different world. Lewis features these players each week, usually in more intimate settings than tonight; he and a pianist or a small combo open the door to a time and place of a by-gone day that, thankfully, has never gone away, never got lost: The Jazz Club.
Tonight was special, though. Lewis, who grew up here and cut his teeth on the boiling nightlife of Amsterdam's music scene, was home celebrating with talent most people only experience in their record collections.
"The thing about these cats playing tonight is a lot of them aren't playing the instruments they normally play," Lewis said about the versatility of the group. "Since we're all together tonight, some are subbing on other things. And they're great. That's how they are. They've done it, so they do it. That's the music."
Jazz musicians used to have a phrase describing a sound they felt was fantastic. It was, "Gone, man!" Well, the musicians and the music here are fantastic, but not gone. Jazz isn't a lost art. It's no more lost than Angelica's scarf. She found it. It was in the same place you can find the Jazz. It's at the Ponderay in Bremerton.