REVIEW: Jazz + Chocolate

It’s official, there is no better combination than jazz and chocolate. It was the Valentine’s Day date to rule them all with Josef Deas’ jazz trio playing classics while chowing down on Zingermann’s triple chocolate cake. The Josef Deas Trio is composed of upright bass, drum set, and trumpet playing pieces by Coltrane and all your favorite classic jazz artists. This was a pleasant surprise for me as more modern jazz is truly a hit-or-miss in my mind. Sorry mom and dad, but I really hate the “smooth jazz” and “watercolors” music channels you made me listen to growing up. The real highlight was the drummer tapping out a complex rhythm with one hand and a different one with the other. He drove the trio through highs and lows. At one point in the performance he started increasing the tempo, over the course of the piece he pushed the trio faster and faster leaving me to wonder if they were ever going to slow down. The bass and trumpet kept in time not missing a single beat. Halfway through the night, our the trio turned into a quartet with the addition of an alto sax. I don’t know the saxophonist’s name but I’ve seen him many times playing sax in a tuxedo outside the Potbelly on State and Liberty. It felt like a special treat to see the busker with such a passion for his craft show up for the performance.
Adding to the general ambiance of the night was an interesting crowd. There were couples slightly dressed up and clearly there to celebrate the holiday, but there were also others just there like it was any other Thursday night. In one corner I watched two women pull out all sorts of pink and red flowers and glittery items as they started to construct what I imagined to be gift bags for a weekend Galentine’s Day party. Meanwhile, the middle-aged couple at the table next to us was friendly and chatty throughout the night. By the end of the show the husband was nodding off at the table as his wife lovingly gazed on and laughed with us at his inability to keep eyes open. My favorite audience member was a little girl probably no older than 3 or 4. She came ambling into the room with her dad trailing along, excited to watch the performance. Her dad informed us that she loves music and just had to watch. I imagine that little girl has a bright musical future ahead of her as I know very few infants with such an appreciation for the jazz classics.

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