Tim Roberts

Jazzin'
By Tim Roberts

"We didn't miss a beat," was how she described it.

Sadly, yet graciously released from their regular Wednesday night slot at The Rudyard Kipling, Sandy Neumann's Jazz Jam has relocated to the Comedy Caravan, where you can catch it every Wednesday night at a somewhat later time, from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m, shortly after the comedians perform.

For seven years the jam session, where a handful of local jazz performers and even a few lucky amateurs backed Sandy's vocals, had been a mainstay at the Rudyard. Throughout its run audience attendance had been inconsistent the place would be filled one week, virtually empty the next which is not surprising in a town where jazz is, truth be told, the least-supported of all the scattered genres of music in Louisville. But on the final night of the jam at the Rudyard on April 5, the place was packed to the grouting. "You couldn't get people in the door," Sandy said. "I wanted to say, ‘Just kidding.'"

Still, the last microphone stand hadn't been packed away before Tom Sobel's Comedy Caravan invited the jam to its new home. One week later, the jam resumed in a different spot. Sobel is hoping to make the Caravan another haven for, as Sandy put it, "the stepchildren of Louisville music." The Louisville Jazz Society already uses the Comedy Caravan for its series of shows, plus it will be the place to hear the Roger Dane Big Band on its trips through town.

Joining Sandy during the jam are Todd Hildreth on keyboards, Greg Walker on guitar, Sonny Stephens on bass, and Colby Inzer, son of Louisville Music veteran Denny Inzer, on drums. Admission is still free.

Jeff Sherman has announced the dates and lineup for the 2000 Bellarmine Jazz Guitar Clinic. It will be on June 12 and 13 at the college's school of music, featuring Gene Bertoncini, Kenny Poole, Peter Bernstein, and Jeff himself as clinic leaders. The clinician concert/jam will be at Wyatt Hall on the Bellarmine campus on June 12 at 7:30 p.m. For more information about the clinic or the concert, call Jeff at 452-8182 or check the website at cas.bellarmine.edu/jazz (no WWW needed). You can also write him at Bellarmine Jazz Guitar Clinic, 2001 Newburg Road, Louisville, KY 40205-0671.

It's a little disheartening when a band with whom you're in regular contact whether by email or press releases or even word of mouth suddenly stops sending you stuff. The first assumption is that the bad has called it quits, a quite common feeling since fortunes in this industry can fluctuate with the unpredictability of a three-year-old's moods or bladder-control ability. Such was the case with Bloomington's BeebleBrox, a quintet noted for their tight fusion and dry sense of humor. After 1998's Dominant Domain and a single appearance in Louisville in early 1999 (at the restaurant-turned-sports bar formerly known as Mason's on Frankfort Avenue), BeebleBrox seemed to have vanished.

But temporarily, and for two good reasons.

The band's husband-and-wife founders, Monika Herzig and Peter Kienle, have added a family member: Melody Valentina Herzig, born on September 29, 1999. Monika describes their daughter as a "real jazz baby. She loves to hang out with us at gigs."

During the BeebleBrox hiatus and pregnancy, Monika managed to make a new CD with her Acoustic Project: Melody Without Words, a collection of distinctive originals and standards, was released in March on Acme Records. It swings. I'll have a full review of it in next month's issue. In the meantime, check out all things Beeble at www.acmerecords.com.

"Jazzin'" columnist Tim Roberts really panics and dreams up all kinds of awful "what if" scenarios if he doesn't hear from you. He had thought that a horde of carnivorous ants had made off with the members of BeebleBrox after their van wrecked on a dark highway one late night as they drove home from a gig in the uppermost corner of western Iowa. To prevent his fantasy life from taking over, he invites you to send your jazz-related dispatches to tim@troberts.win.net, or to his attention to the editorial offices of Louisville Music News.