Tim Roberts

Jazzin'
By Tim Roberts

Welcome to the first month of the last year when we will have that little 19____ at the top of our checks. It's been like that for almost 100 years. Some things are just slow to change, I guess. So if you're apocalyptic, get ready for eleven months of watching the clock count down to the Last Days. I read where you should have plenty of bottled water and sacks of pinto beans stored away. After January 1, 2000, you may be more gaseous than Saturn, but you'll be better fed than the rest who foolishly ignored all the warnings and ended up starving and naked in the riot-torn streets.

But if you're apocalypsoliptic, you have eleven more months before you are compelled to dance to steel drum music, shouting "Daaayyyy-oh."

On to the real stuff:

Mike Tracy proudly announces that the University of Louisville's Jazz Week 99 is all planned out and ready to swing. It will take place at the music school on the Belknap Campus February 22 through 27. Noted guests this year will include the New York Voices, Tana Reid and bassist Rufus Reid, the Ray Brown Trio, and the Hal Galper Trio. And, as always, jazz historian Hal Miller will have is Wednesday night show of rare films of vintage jazz performances. Check back here next month for a full schedule, admission prices, and more.

Some news concerning the Java Men - Todd, Ray, and Craig will be in performance on Thursday, January 14 at the Rudyard Kipling with guest artist Paul Brown and the Science Gravy Orchestra from Columbus, Ohio. Featuring mostly original music that Paul wrote, this outfit consists of a guitar, sax, bass, drums and a three-piece string section, with a sound that contains Latin and classical underpinnings.

Paul, who has twice appeared in Guitar Player magazine, described it as " very eccentric and appealing. It's got a good sense of humor about it."

This performance is part of a guest artist series the Java Men started last summer with Chapman stick performer Greg Howard. In that performance, Howard played the first set, followed by a short Java Men set, then they all came together for a lengthy jam. You might expect the same with Paul Brown and the Science Gravy Orchestra.

The show starts at 9:00 PM at the Rudyard Kipling.

The Java Men and Splatch will participate in the taping of a pilot television series that will highlight some of Louisville's finest bands. According to the show's producers, the plans are for each episode to feature two full bands and a solo act. Check back here in the coming months for more details.

Another restaurant in the city is going to gird itself for a difficult task: bringing live jazz to its patrons each weekend. Starting this month, Mason's, at 2636 Frankfort Avenue (formerly known only by its street address - 2636) will feature a rotating schedule of three of the city's best known jazz acts (two of them already heavily mentioned in this column)- the Ron Hayden Group, Splatch, and the Java Men - on Friday and Saturday nights, from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. Splatch kicks off the first weekend of jazz there on January 2. They will also perform on January 15 and 16.

This is a bold move for the restaurant's young owners. It takes planning, knowledge, heavy promotion and kegs of fortitude to make live jazz work in this city. You can help by paying them a visit when the bands play. For more information, call Mason's at 897-2636.

See you in thirty.