Girl Talk

Four months ago, we lost our beloved aunt Jean Pagnard. Later, we had a memorial, a lovely one in Akron, Ohio, and we said our goodbyes, we hugged and cried. She was 101 years old, but a thoroughly modern woman. She was old school, but never afraid to embrace the new. She lived life on her terms and she lived it well. Maybe that’s why this song seemed so appropriate. Girl Talk



A guy named Frank

It was late one night in a midtown club, after a drink (or two). I noticed a gentleman and his lovely wife seated next to us, and following the singer’s lead-in (“My buddy over there wrote this next song”), I introduced myself. “So, you’re a songwriter,” and after a bit of conversation, “Oh, and you’re an adman?” All that seemed more than enough, and it was. Frank Grant and I formed a friendship and in the course of the ensuing months, wrote these tunes at long distance. We both like to think of ourselves as well-adjusted, friendly fellows blessed with pretty darn good lives. The protagonists depicted herein are products of our imagination and bear no direct resemblance to any of the actual sad sacks we may have run into in the course of our years in New York City, or anywhere else. And life proceeds. Click here for a listen and thank you for doing so:

Mr. Griffiths’ arrival

I first saw Paul Griffiths on the “stage” that Charlie Harb sets aside for his Friday night revelries at the cafe. I was knocked out, and then later when I caught Paul’s act at the nearby Make-Out Room, he sang a song he’d written that stopped me in my tracks. It was “Arrived Just in Time,” and all I wanted was for him to sing it again. That kind of moment. I knew Paul casually from playing the cafe with the Jazz Beaus. But when I approached him later about recording the song, I think he may have blanched a bit. “What does this guy want?” Somehow I managed to convince him that all I really looking for was an opportunity to realize the tune with some modicum of production, and allow its brilliance to shine. I guess he believed me, because we got it done, and here’s the link: Thanks for giving it a listen.

Charlie Harb

Charlie Harb and his lovely wife Kris own the eponymously-named Charlie’s Cafe on the northern slope of Bernal Heights in San Francisco. I’ve known them since Mitzi and I moved to the district a couple of years ago, and I stopped in one day for a coffee and doughnut. Delightful people, always ready with a hello and a quick chat. Perhaps a bit of neighborhood intel. Charlie often hosts Friday night gatherings, featuring widely diverse musical groups, poets and other interesting local types. The Jazz Beaus have had the pleasure of playing the Cafe several times, and this Friday, May 17 at 7:30 pm will be a return visit. Drop by and join the party already in progress.

Ramiro Cairo

I met the man a few years ago during an Open Studios tour of his house on Bennington Street in Bernal Heights. Mitzi and I had considered buying the same house, before we moved into our present abode a few blocks away. I walked in and he showed me his beautiful and intricate artwork, And in passing, told me he was also a drummer. I said I’d take note and that one day we might play together. When it finally happened, I realized he was very likely the best drummer I knew. Fast forward and I get to play with this fellow and two other gents, who are also among the best musicians I know. Tom Disher and Eric Scheide form the rest of this week’s version of the Jazz Beaus, and we’ll be at the Cafe Royale this Saturday, 9-12 midnight. Hope to see you there.

Mo’ Beaus

13Apr19JazzBeausEric Scheide. Ramiro Cairo. Tom Disher. And me, in the middle. Jazz Beaus at the Royale, next Saturday, April 13, 9 pm-12 midnight. 800 Post Street near Leavenworth, SF. Swingin’ tunes, funky funk, good times. Cold beers and other lubricants. Handsome Will Weston behind the bar. We’re happy to return to one of San Francisco’s last great joints, and we hope to see you there.

Sic transit

Last night we convened at our old stomping ground, the Rev, set up the gear and proceeded to have ourselves a time. Burnin’ on every tune. Crowd calling for more, smiles on every player’s face, even the bartender telling us to turn the damn music down. In short, a good night. But as the last clipped note of “Joy Spring” gave way to Brother Louie on the house stereo, it was over, forever. We all clapped each other on the back, exchanged hugs and went home. Might happen again, might not. Live music is a transitory thing.