Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

All That Jazz

Cheryl writes of our Jazz adventure on this final night in New Orleans. We went to Preservation Hall to sit on hard wooden benches (and for a while, stand at the back because there was no space on the hard wooden benches) and listen to jazz for most of three hours. If you enjoy the music, it's a great experience. I don't ordinarily seek out this stuff, but I'm happy to listen to it and I enjoyed it a great deal. As Cheryl said, there was no amplification -- but the room didn't need it. And the place just oozes "atmosphere" -- which is one way of saying that it's a dark hall that looks to be in dire need of repairs.

Many years ago, through the end of elementary school, I played the clarinet. I gave it up in high school; I'm not good enough, nor did I want to take the time it would take in practice to become good enough, but I at least know the basics of the instrument, and thus I took particular interest in the clarinet solos. Except that I couldn't figure out the instrument from a distance. The keys didn't look quite right. After the show, I went up and thanked the clarinetist individually, and admired his instrument. He explained that his clarinet was over a hundred years old and used a key pattern different from modern ones -- more like that of a saxophone. I wasn't especially good with a clarinet when I played regularly; I would have been completely hopeless. As I put it, "I gave up on the clarinet when I concluded it was a torture instrument, at least for the poor player." But he was very good, as were all of the others in the band.

We had popped out for a quick dinner between the band's first and second sets, so we didn't have to scramble for something to eat when the show let out at 11 PM and instead we headed back to the hotel. Bourbon Street is a little bit slower on a Sunday night, but things were still banging along as we made the trip back through Sin City.

I'm sure glad that we have a 2 PM check-out on Monday. Our flight isn't until about 5:30 PM (it's the converse of the one from MSP that got us here). We have a late-night arrival at SFO tomorrow night. Unfortunately, we've been booked into a window-center seat pair on the MSP-SFO leg, and all of the aisle seats have "pay us extra if you want to sit here" tags on them. I may not be in the greatest shape when we get home very late Monday/early Tuesday.
Tags: cheryl, music
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