September 11, 2007
Something about jazz-it never feels quite at home in the wrong environment.
Like a hearing some Coleman Hawkins performed in his hometown performing arts center-posh-with a bunch of wannabe rich, white-haired white people filling out the seats (all reclining, all with armrests). So what? Even Bitches Brew as a soundtrack to sunny day swimming in some secluded fishing pond-while perfect-isn't truly at home.
For want of jazz club cut from the cloth of Kansas City's halcyon days, Lawrence cats can come damn close every Thursday night. The dank, dark, red-lit vibe of the basement at the Eighth Street Tap Room is perfectly suited for jazz (except that the bass, fully upright, would scrape the low ceiling). And the Snuff Jazz ensemble is perfectly suited for Lawrence-they're young and immensely talented musicians, with chops in all kinds of genres.
Guest host Sarah Smarsh catches three members of the rotating lineup before they take the stage to discuss the virtues of the Tap Room, jazz snobbery, wee instruments and the nature of Snuff Jazz groupies. On tap: Horn man Mark Southerland (Malachy Papers and TJ Dovebelly), bassist Josh Harshbarger (Kennedy Center jazz fellowship recipient) and drummer Josh Adams (Ghosty).