How to make a million
Million-dollar ideas? Hey, I got a million of ’em.
Sitting around at Dave Park’s wedding reception at Harlow’s on Sunday, looking at the posters for gigs by cover bands Cheeseballs, Tainted Love and Wonder Bread 5 got me to thinking: If I could find a guy with the looks and sound of circa-1975 Barry White, I could make a million bucks. We would own wedding receptions, at least for the year or so before the novelty wore off. Just get a big guy with a basso profundo who can lay down the baby-making music and mumble some pillow talk over it, and count the money flowing in. Plus, it would be a public service; as Fox News commentator John Gibson has been saying, we’ve got to get busy making more babies who can speak English, or we’ll all end up speaking some other language we don’t understand.
Park, who managed the Deftones in that band’s early years, got a trio sourced from Mind Club to play, and they did lay down some nice baby-making jazz vibes. I was kinda waiting for Ron Burgundy to show up with his flute, but he never did.
All of which whetted my appetite for some jazz-style “action” later on. The SN&R Nightbeat calendar listed some “K-9 Jazz Sessions” at Marilyn’s on K, and I’m a big fan of the possibilities unleashed by teaching pets how to play musical instruments. Cats seem better suited to jazz, where dogs might have an affinity for the blues, although my dog does respond quite favorably to old Sun Ra records. Once I saw a billboard for a Reno casino show that looked promising: “It’s about time somebody put together a revue with a troupe of tap-dancing dogs,” I remarked, this being another of my million-dollar ideas, but, alas, my companion gently reminded me that such tap-dancing pooches were metaphorical and that it would be quite difficult to train a bunch of dogs to tap-dance together in any kind of coherent manner.
There were no dogs playing jazz at Marilyn’s on Sunday, though. Just guitarist Larry Burkhart, whom I recognized from an old job, and his trio: Pete Rose on five-string electric bass and Tim Metz on drums. It was raining outside, and Burkhart was playing his red Gibson ES-335, which had the clear, bell-like tone favored by Pat Metheny, although the music moved from Metheny-style tonal explorations to Pat Martino-like chromatic runs to Jimi Hendrix-style blues flavorings. Rose followed by laying down a lithe low end, but the real star of the evening was drummer Metz, whose astonishing polyrhythmic timekeeping was embellished with a surprising variety of sonic pigmentation and shading. At one point, the trio was joined by Ralph Gordon on flute and tenor sax and Ray Nelson on alto sax for a couple of numbers—I think maybe Herbie Hancock’s “Maiden Voyage” and Miles Davis’ “All Blues”—but, really, it was a stringed-instrument night.
Speaking of rock ’n’ roll: Haven’t heard Iguanadon, former Little People frontman Skinner’s new band, but he’s in a new art show across the street from Marilyn’s at the Toyroom Gallery, at 907 K Street, with John Stuart Berger and Gale Hart. Go. You’ll bark at the moon.