Wednesday, January 6, 2010


hoy es el dia del reyes (today is the day of the kings.)

thus the usage of all lower case.
respect for kings, if you will.

today is the day that everyone exchanges their presents and does all of that kind of holiday stuff. most everything is closed today, markets and stores and things like that. tabernas and restaurants, though, are open and thriving. i ate at the alleged best indian restaurant in madrid, and since i´ve not yet eaten at any others, i´d have to say that the rumors are true. it was muy fantastico.
and of course, i can´t recall the name.

i´ve been out to 2 open jam sessions so far this week (and yes, i know it´s only wednesday. i can stop any time. really.)

on monday was a place called segundo jazz. i´d say it was fair to midland. nice joint, comfy room, but there were no other guys who came to play, except me.

i mean nada.


plus, the audience was not really there for the music. kind of an upscale crowd, and very chatty. also, the club was kind of in an upscale barrio (a barrio popular,) so i guess it´s not too surprising. birds of a feather and all. i didn´t mind, though, as i got to play several tunes with some decent players with no lines and no waiting.

tuesday night was a club called el junco. this joint was far superior: attentive audience, dark, smoky, convivial, etc. also, there were some really good players there, although they were typical jazz snobs (that´s universal, i guess. and yes, some of my best friends are the said jazz snobs. sorry to offend.) kind of like a bunch of peacocks showing off their plumage.

too cool for school, i guess.

but i suppose i´ve probably done that, too, once or twice in my time, so what comes around really does go around. i´ll just have to mold and bend them a bit.
stroke their egos for a change.
no problem.

tonight, i´m going to go listen to flameco. there´s a place right down the street from me that is supposed to be hot, hot, hot. i had heard some flamenco in seville, but not yet here, in madrid. in seville, i saw this homeless guy, actually, who was hanging out in this little (i´m talking broom closet little) alleyway taberna. it was one of the most interesting places i´ve ever been to, and not at all a music club (at least not in the sense that most of us would think of). he had a bedroll and all of his stuff stashed away in a corner of the bar, playing for tips and drinks, and the love of it all. he sang and played guitar, and did both very well.

i mean really, really good.

he was, as i said, homeless.

and a junkie.

the king of flamenco in spain is a guy named Cameron de la Isla (the shrimp of the island). he is revered here, almost like a god. after the dictatorship ended in spain in the ´70´s, there was a major renaissance in art and music (sex, drugs, and rock and roll, basically,) and this singer modernized the style, mixing pop and blues with the traditional flamenco. it´s really cool and exciting music (boy, that´s a lame description.)
truly, though, it´s exciting, and vibrant and some of the most interesting music i´ve ever heard.
i´m going to have to really absorb it if i ever hope to do it.

here´s a link to him.
here too.

just so you know, cameron is dead now.

he was also a junkie.

so it goes...