the first video is just a cool one I found while searching for the second one, which is a 15 year old video of Mr. Washington plying his trade. This post might be a little shorter than my norm, busy day on hand, but more coming on the weekend to get my numbers back up! Enjoy!
She was glad she admitted her lack of knowledge regarding jazz music right up front, because the first sound that assailed her ears upon re-entering the Blue Room was Horace Washington on a flute, and if she had professed to be an expert she would have had to pretend that this did not seem foreign to her. Her friend Chris was a flutist back in her day, and she was also taken aback by this, but it only took a few bars before they realized that this was really working. Washington played the tenor and alto sax as well throughout the evening, but it was clear that he preferred the flute, and if the fabulous playing was any indication, the flute preferred him as well.
Yes, a hallmark of the Horace Washington Quartet was Washington himself, an accomplished reed man on saxophone and of all things flute. Later she was to find out he was a mainstay in Kansas City, recording in the early 90’s and playing venues like the Blue Room for decades. The other band members were also quite good, but of course she didn’t catch their names. The guitarist looked like he’d blend in better in the Oak Ridge Boys, but he was awesome. The ease and flow of relaxed, classic jazz filled the room and the audience shouted out praise at the end of each piece. This was a different music experience than they had tasted on Tuesday; the setting and the type of music made it more personal, and their increased comfort in each other’s company changed the dynamic as well.
After the second set, the two girls spoke with a glance and called a powwow at the bar with the staff to discuss late night food offerings in the area. It was still too cloudy for an enjoyable dessert at Skies; there was mention made of Jardine’s, which also had live jazz, and of a couple of wine bars. Their own Apollonia drew them a cocktail napkin map detailing the location of one such place and they were off in pursuit. They never did find that location, but they reconnoitered and decided on a late night Tapas bar in the vicinity of their freeway entrance. They pulled in late, later discovered the place was due to close just a half hour after they arrived, but the staff was more than happy to serve them, and they were lost in conversation almost immediately.
Chris headed to the bathroom leaving her friend checking out the menu. She perused it top to bottom and decided to issue a test to her refound friend. When Chris returned she said, “Look through the tapas list and see if you can guess which one would be my first choice.” It was a silly, frivolous game she knew, but she had a feeling that almost anything could happen. And happen it did, when Chris ordered flawlessly, choosing exactly as she would have done herself. Her eyes sparkled as she marveled aloud over this with the waitress, and Chris laughed and blushed.
When they left an hour later, they left behind only two servers calmly polishing the bar in anticipation of their exit. She returned Chris’s insight when they rounded the corner of the building to find two young men loitering in the parking lot between the girls and their cars, and changed the pitch of the conversation to soothe Chris. They reached their cars unimpeded and headed back home.
Upon their arrival they found that Chris’s husband had come home two days early from his South Dakota hunting trip, and the couple spent some time on introductions and bringing each other up to speed on the week of events. She just watched their interactions and was pleased after some time to realize she liked this guy. He was intelligent and friendly and very much just himself in a way that calmed and reassured her. So nice to feel that way about the spouse of a friend. They all soon said good night and headed to bed exhausted.
What a day it had been for her, with all it’s changes and it’s wonderful surprises. She struggled to achieve the sleep she so needed, thinking ahead to what the new day would bring, realizing that her time on this trip was slowly winding down. Eventually though, some reading and a glass of water slowed her mind enough to release her from consciousness.