I ended up at Jazz Night again. I hate Jazz Night.
I hate Jazz Night because I think that everything good that happened to jazz happened between 1962 and 1969, and that everyone who made jazz interesting is either dead or Peter Brotzman. I ended up at Jazz Night because I was pissed off and needed a drink and a half hour away from the amniotic warmth of my apartment.
Tonight's performance was from a combo of mid-20s white kids. They looked college. The trumpeter was short and nerdy. The bassist I don't even remember. The drummer is the only good thing I ever see at Jazz Night, and I like him a lot because he plays drums with the seeming purpose of making them sound like things that aren't drums. He doesn't play beats; he plays sound effects. The sax player is like the living embodiment of everything I hate about people who play jazz, or in bands at all. He played like someone trying to play like someone who is sure to get his dick sucked as soon as he sets his instrument down. He occasionally stepped back and sat down in a chair, looking worldweary, the chair obviously set up before the performance by him for the purpose of sitting down and looking worldweary. He would sit in his chair and then stand up and approach his sheet music stand and glare at the sheet music and scowl and play a saxophone that looked calculatedly beat-up. All in all it was the most unspontaneous display of pre-scripted spontaneity I've seen since the last emo show I went to. The kid was actually wearing a beret. A black beret, as if he wanted everyone to know so desperately that he was into jazz that he actually wore a black beret out in public. "Has it?" I asked myself. "Has that actually ever got him laid?" I did some quick math in my head, estimated Chicago's population of female grad students with retarded social skills and a desire to get with anything sort of approximating "edgy artist" before settling down with a courduroy-clad English professor, and figured it had.
Meanwhile Bruce was behind the bar. Bruce plays sax too, but he plays sax in a metal band, so I think he's cool. And he gives me my first drink for free, and I'm broke and like to drink.
I got done with my second and last beer as the combo got done with their song. I stood up from the stool and walked out of the room and everyone applauded.