Last night, Jessi
and I were walking back to Central Square from Davis Square. As we were going through Inman Square, we passed Ryles
, a jazz club on Hampshire. Jessi and I are both huge jazz fans, and, to some extent, jazz musicians. We've walked passed it a dozen times, and every time I always say we should go in there. Last night, as we walked by, we noticed that the stage was set up for a big band. About 30 paces past the last window in I stopped and realized, 'wait, did that drum say "BASIE"?!?'. A few minutes of 'there's no way', 'how cool would that be?' and such and I had to run back to the door to check the calendar.
Sure enough, on the board, at 6:30 and then at 8:00: The Count Basie Orchestra
. It was 7:00. Just enough time to walk home, change, and walk back. So we bought two tickets and did exactly that.
It was an unbudgeted, spur of the moment, $50 expense. But boy was it worth it. They were amazing. Every single musician in the band, upright bass, piano, guitar, two tenor saxes, two alto saxes, a bari sax, three trombones, a bass trombone, and four trumpets, was fantastic. They played some great pieces, including one from the 30s, one from the 70s, and some more modern ones. Five of the band members were actually hired by Count Basie before he died (in 1984), and baritone sax player John Williams has been with the band for 50 years.
All in all, it was an indescribably great evening, and a fantastic reminder the Boston has an amazing jazz scene. Plus a good reminder that it's been several months since I was last at Wally's
, something that absolutely must be fixed.