Jazz and hockey

 

(2002) 

A couple seasons ago I dropped by a local spot called Jax to see the Eldad Tarmu Quartet. He plays the vibes, and I’d come across his great Aluminum Forest in the local record shop for two bits, so I was thrilled to see them at Jax just down the street and over the river in Glendale. As the band was setting up the television behind the stage was showing a Kings game. The bartender had forgotten to switch it off and as Eldad & Co. went into some crazily tempo’d piece I continued watching the game behind them. It was a perfect soundtrack. I had always suspected it, and had watched games soundlessly at home with jazz on the stereo, but here was live proof. At one point it was four-on-four on the ice that matched the four players on stage who, just for a moment, were actually trading fours. I watched astonished. Eventually the bartender switched the television off and I concentrated on the actual performance. But man, the energy of small group bop and hockey was such a perfect fit, at least to this addled mind. Hell, it was beautiful.

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