Ten years ago, Saturday mornings in the old neighborhood, there was always a 45-minute wait at Breakfast Spot #1 but you'd get a table right away at Breakfast Spot #2. I'm pleased to report that nothing has changed. And the Yukon Gold Home Fries are every bit as yummy as you remember.
If you're serious about the flugel, don't sleep on ACK VAN ROOYEN. To my ears, now that AF and CT have passed, Ack may very well be the greatest living practitioner of the Big Horn. Such subtlety, style, soul and finesse. And what a gorgeous tone! If I ever have occasion to return to Holland, I'm definitely going to inquire about getting a lesson from this master musician.
Dmitri Matheny Group JAZZ NOIR Michigan Tour Diary — Day 15 April 25 Detroit
On the final night of our Michigan Tour we performed at one of the oldest jazz clubs in the heart of Detroit's historic entertainment district: the legendary Cliff Bell's.
What a night!
Cliff Bell's fulfilled my fantasy of what a music venue should be.
The lavish 1930s Art Deco decor and swanky supper club atmosphere set exactly the right tone for an evening of live jazz.
From the moment we arrived, each member of the professional staff (door man, hostess, manager, bartender, waiters, everyone) greeted us warmly and put us at ease. They treated us with courtesy and respect throughout the evening, thanked us for the music, and paid us in cash.
The menu was spectacular and the band dined gratis. I had the shrimp and grits with roasted chilies. Spicy, creamy, delicious.
After dinner, we played to a full house of enthusiastic patrons, mostly couples dressed to the nines. Our sound man Alex really took care of business. The band did not disappoint.
According to drummer Sean Dobbins, I'm now an honorary Detroiter. I feel honored, indeed. As my friend Joan Belgrave so eloquently stated, 'Ain't no swang like Dee-troit swang.'
Dmitri Matheny Group JAZZ NOIR Michigan Tour Diary — Day 7 April 17 Berkley and Ann Arbor
Returning to Southern Michigan after our adventures in the Great White North, today I led a workshop at Berkley High School and played a concert at Ann Arbor's celebrated Kerrytown Concert House.
Warmest thanks to founder and artistic director Deanna Relyea for creating such a beautiful listening room and including us on the KCH schedule.
What a privilege to collaborate with such talents as these: the brilliant young Detroit saxophonist Marcus Elliot,whose debut album I absolutely love; Quad Cities pianist Corey Kendrick, enthusiastically recommended to me by Reggie Thomas; veteran bassist Tom Knific, a world class musician, mentor and friend since my Interlochen days; and rising star Sean Dobbins, that all-too-rare sort of drummer who simmers with quiet intensity, and then—at just the right moment—turns on the swang!
And what an honor to perform for and meet one of my longtime idols, jazz master Marcus Belgrave!
Mr. Belgrave and his lovely wife Joan (a vocalist I knew years ago in San Francisco) are pillars of the Michigan arts community and two of the warmest, most soulful people on the planet. Sassy and I are looking forward to getting together with them again next week.
If I accomplish nothing else on this tour, I did at least survive the terrifying and humbling (yet thrilling) experience of playing 'Stardust' in front of the great Marcus Belgrave.