Thursday, February 26, 2009

No Regrets, No (Re) Morse

Last night was the last night for the Wednesday night jazz series at the Morse Theater in Rogers Park. I've been playing for that since the beginning, which was last December. We had expected to enjoy a long residency there, shaping and forming a weekly event that we had hoped would have caught on as a regular "jazz thing" in Chicago.

If you've not yet been there, you're just about too late.

The organic menu, along with the spectacular boutique wine list, is gone, although the physical bar/pub part of the facility remains. So much for the idea of dinner and a show. Of course, they still have some food service, but only minimal. Just enough to satisfy the liquor license regulations.

There are also, still, a small handful of concerts that are coming up in the next few weeks; events that were booked a while ago. Deposits have been paid, tickets have been sold, etc. Some shows, however, had to be cancelled. No reasons given, although one could speculate if one wanted.

One doesn't.

After those shows are over, that, as they say, will be that. The venue, in it's present form and incarnation, will cease operations. The short story is that the investors don't see eye to eye with the folks running the day to day operations. So the investors are pulling out, taking their proverbial ball, going home, and calling it a partnership. Barring any unforeseen love and affection between the two sides, or a sudden enthusiasm for a long and dragged out lawsuit on management's part, the worst can be expected.

Which means that yet another Chicago music venue is closing it's doors.

Another one.

It's a shame, really. There were lots of big plans in the works for the future. On the Wednesday nights, alone, there were plans for a Freddie Hubbard night, a Fathead Newman/Ray Charles night, and a tribute to Impulse Records, which was to feature a sextet of some of the heaviest of Chicago heavyweights (yours truly would have been included in all of it).

We were drawing an audience, too. Not an easy thing to pull off on a Wednesday, let alone in the winter, in Chicago. Brrrrr.

The ideas and plans that we had were ambitious, innovative, and, most of all, creative. Oddly enough, though, it appears that this particular business venture, which was creative by nature from the beginning (music venue, hello...), is going to be lost for exactly those reasons I just gave.

Creative projects generally instill fear in financiers (we used to call 'em patrons) these days. Better safe than sorry and all that jazz.

No pun intended.

Too much dough was spent on this place. Millions and millions of ducats. So it is doubtful that it will just be shuttered. The Morse is a state of the art place, physically and technologically. So something will live and breathe in that building when all is said and done. Will it be a theater? A dance club? High end restaurant?

All of the above?

None of the above?

Whatever the case, another really cool gig is gone. Eventually, there just won't be any good ones left. Lord knows, clubs are dying slowly and steadily and Live Nation is poised to take over the universe. Eventually we'll all be wedding singers.

So it goes...

No comments:

Post a Comment