Sunday, February 06, 2005

Two GREAT Philadelphia Jazz Experiences 

If you or anyone you know likes Jazz, and you're in town, check this out! NOT to be missed under any circumstances if you're serious about your music!

EVERY Fri., Sat., Mon. nights
at Bob & Barbara's Lounge
on South St. between 15th & 16th

Nate Wiley and his band have the mojo going if you like old, old Jazz. No one, BUT NO ONE in this town can play Smoke Gets In Your Eyes like Nate Wiley & the Crowd Pleasers. They give that song the most delicious funky slide out of your body experience you'll ever get hearing it. They have a Hammond organ, sax, and bass.

And about smoke getting in your eyes, it's no joke. If you don't like cigarette smoke then you'll just have to wear a gas mask. Last night I was there with Matt McGoldrick, Frank Sherlock, Nicole McEwan and Ron Swegman, and the air was a thick fog of smoke, and there were so many people in that little bar that it made no difference how much snow was outside, you were sweating.

My old boyfriend Angel took me there when I was under age, and I'm convinced the Jazz trio I heard back then was Nate Wiley's (they were in their 60's at the time?). The bar was only half the size it is now, and that's amazing, considering how small it still is, but at least you don't have to crawl on your hands and knees to get out (but I'm convinced Angel was hiding from someone that night he said we should do that, although it was pretty packed, and he was a very impatient kind of guy). Last night I was remembering all the drag queens I used to know who hung out there and got myself a little sad, as most of them are dead now, to AIDS, suicide, and in one case murdered. But Bob & Barbara's does still have drag night, and the Dumpsta Playas.

But COME hear Nate Wiley & the Crowd Pleasers! Relax with your friends, buy yourself the Bob & Barbara's Special: can of Pabst Blue Ribbon and a shot of Jim. These Philadelphia Jazzmen are the music of many wonderful memories hanging out, and when you hear them for yourself you'll have it too.

Now for the second GREAT Philadelphia Jazz experience (trust me, there are MANY more than two, but these two are my favorites!)

Esau Coleman Jr.

from 10a.m. to noon

Esau Coleman Jr. plays piano at the Reading Terminal Market

This year Esau is 80 years old!
He's played with Duke Ellington and other giants. He's been hammering those keys all his life, and recently he told me when I had lunch near his piano for yet another dreamy listen, he said, "Man, I've got a brother two years older than me and he can barely move a finger without being in pain. But me, my music's kept me free and young! Look at these fingers!" And at that he flicked his long, beautiful fingers in the air in front of my face, and then let them fly over the piano.

Esau's piano always has three photographs propped on it:

1) from 1924, he's not even a year old, naked, laughing in a basin of sudsy water.

2) in his marine uniform, age 19

3) from 1950, he's seated at a long, gorgeous white grand piano, while playing for the Jimmy Chapell band

If you love jazz
then get your ass to the Reading Terminal Market!
This man is the music he's digested!

For the LOVE of Esau Coleman Jr., and Nate Wiley & the Crowd Pleasers!

p.s. my favorite new Philadelphia graffiti:
on southeast corner of 2nd & Market (on PW box):


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