In Another Silent Way
Each venue creates a different environment which influences the way a musician is playing and the way the public engages with the creative process. While on tour the clubs become your home. Sometimes they all become one- that place where you are left only with music. As important as the space are the people working- the spirit of the place is a combination of both. I usually like taking some time walking around the club while warming up, kind of feeling the place.
Jazz Showcase Chicago: I have arrived early for rehearsal, the club was totally empty. While sitting on stage in front of a Steinway grand, model D, a huge picture of Charlie Parker is looking at you. When you look in the empty hall, there is another large photo of John Coltrane behind the bar. Well, do you dare to play a few notes? Magical atmosphere – and Joachim is able to catch it. Village Vanguard, March 1978, Bill Evans trio with Mark Johnson-bass and Philly Jo Jones – drums. Since I have lived in walking distance from the club on 141a, Reade St, I used to go there often. On the right side of the small stage is a bench, close to the drummer. During the 2nd set a small, stocky and dangerous looking guy sat next to me and said: “Are ya a musician?” “Yes, I am piano player”. “Do ya know Kind of Blue?” “Of course, Bill Evans plays on that recording”. He keeps testing me: “Could ya name the songs?” “So what, Blue in Green and …”, he interrupted me and said: “One song Bill doesn’t play, do ya know?” “Wynton Kelly plays that Bb flat blues called Freddie Freeloader”. “Good. That’s me”. I was looking at him confused and he explained: “Man, I was Miles´ boxing sparring partner in that gym on 98th. Miles called me Freddie Freeloader.” Jazz clubs are the only places where you could experience a story like this.
Joachim Feigl has captured the beauty of these jazz performance venues in a way that gives audiences a chance to feel the room as musicians do. Musicians usually become acquainted with each of their homes to present music before the audience arrives. These photos capture the essence of what musicians feel in those times in a classic manner. The care that each venue takes to make their rooms feel warm and fuzzy yet sophisticated and elegant are as unique and valuable to the music as the sounds of all the musicians that they present. This book is a beautiful addition to the way we carry forth jazz in its second millennium.