Jax in Glendale has shut down. I don’t think they had booked much in the way of jazz in years, though they certainly did at one time. I loved the place back then, tables so close you could stare right up into a horn’s innards and had to duck the spit valve. Saw moments of jazz brilliance there, incredible things. Wrote up a lot of Jax gigs in Brick’s Picks too, even filled the place on a couple occasions. Last night we were just remembering all those Thursday Nights with Jack Sheldon. Where do you start, Jack would sing, how do you separate the presence from the past? How do you deal with all the things you thought would last, that didn’t last? He’d lift his horn to his lips and solo, a beautiful take on the melody, exploring the tune, the room, his trumpet at last fading into air, just air, and then nothing. Outside Glendale was deathly still at 2 am, unaware that anything had happened at all. Jazz is a music of the now, improvised, unrecorded, leaving nothing but memories. Then the joints shut down and you drive past and remember. Where do you start?


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