Wandered into Jax last night with Fyl for a late dinner. There was a trio happening, but the way the piano is there you can never see the player unless he’s my size, and there aren’t that many Andy Langhams in jazz. But this cat was playing some beautiful be bop…his voicings were gorgeous. I figured he was a veteran because you don’t really hear that kind of sound anymore…it’s much more strong-fingered now, much firmer on the keys, all that classical training I suppose. But this guy’s chords floated over the melody, and I’m trapped in my limited language chops here, trying to describe something I can’t actually understand. Let’s just say I dug it. So I got up from our booth and went up to the stage and peered way over the piano, and there, bent over the keys and completely lost in his music was Frank Strazzeri. Of course, I should have known that sound. Not many of his old west coast bebop comrades still working. But he’s at Jax pretty regularly, and is a real treat for us jazz fans that are left…..keep an eye out for him. Certainly was a nice surprise last nite.
(That was March of 2012. Frank passed in in May of 2014, and Jax shut its doors in April, 2016.)