Chris and I had a rare date night yesterday. Molly went to a sleepover and we went to see a collection of rare jazz videos of artists selected by WGBH’s Eric Jackson. Ever since we moved here, Mr. Jackson has been a household staple. His jazz program runs from 8-12 every weekday evening and in that 5 minute space when Garrison Keillor does the Writer’s Almanac and Eric Jackson plays those first few notes that kick off the next four hours of sublime sounds that fills my livingroom, I find my daily moment of zen.
Chris got home late from work so we only had a brief moment to grab a quick snack from Starbucks so we could make it for the reception before the show. One thing I love about the area where we live is that there are a lot of old independent theaters that are still up and running! Back in February, we went to a Looney Tunes Festival at the Brattle Theatre near Harvard. This show was at the Regent in Arlington which is an absolutely delightful venue. Eric Jackson was actually there and I was so excited to be able to shake is hand and to tell him that even though I’ve only been living here for a little under 3 months, his program has become a huge part of my day. He seemed truly humbled. When I called him “sir”, he insisted that I call him Eric. He asked me where I moved up from and when I told him Plainsboro, he told me that he grew up in Camden. When we first moved to New Jersey, I lived in Haddonfield which isn’t far at all. We chatted for a few moments and I congratulated him on 30 years of playing jazz on WGBH (Boston public radio/NPR station). He may very well have the coolest job on the planet. Jazz Boston was also at the event and I’m planning on becoming a member. We were able to go up to NYC every once in a while and catch a live jazz show but it will be a lot easier (and cheaper!) here and I’m excited to be a part of the scene!
We watched videos of amazing jazz giants such as John Coltrane, Sarah Vaughan, Sonny Rollins, Russell Malone (we saw him in NYC a few years ago), Dave Brubeck and Duke Ellington (who shares a birthday with Molly). Jazz Historian Hal Miller curated the event. We had a great time at the show and Chris and I both agreed that we could have watched Duke Ellington’s orchestra for the entire night. He was quite the charmer! We were hungry so we didn’t stay for the entire show. We left after the intermission and walked over to Tryst for a late dinner. I had an amazing dish of parsnip ravioli and Chris had a burger with truffled fries (that he was kind enough to share). Other than the slightly burned top bun of the burger (They replaced it), we were impressed with the meal. The ravioli was divine! Parsnips are rarely presented so splendidly on any menu so I appreciated it! Another bonus is that Tryst makes their own pickles (there was a fancy pile of them on the side of Chris’ burger) and they’re delicious!
I was proud of the fact that we made the most of our night out. They’re so few and far between so when the opportunity comes, it’s important to seize it! Now, for your viewing pleasure, here is one of the videos that we saw at the theater the other night. Rahsaan Roland Kirk was famous for playing multiple horns at once. He was also blind! He’s in amazing form here!