Saturday, July 24, 2010

July 25, 2010

Definitely check out the front page article in this week's Bay State Banner, An heir of expectancy, about Guru of Gang Starr. He's the crucial hiphop artist from Roxbury who first fused the then-nascent form with jazz and then kept deepening the connection throughout his career, sadly cut short this spring by cancer.

And here's Hank Jones, who also headed home this year, live at the Village Vanguard in 1977 performing Favors with his Great Jazz Trio. Maybe Hank and Guru have hooked up and are jamming together. If so heaven, or perhaps the other joint, is certainly swinging.

I dig this tune but keep waiting to hear Miles' horn kick in. So what?

Walked up to Ashmont last night, looking to get a bite, and discovered the Ashmont Grill, right in the square. Seated on the beautiful rear patio. Tall stone rubble wall topped with one of brick. The opposite of bamboo. Surrounded by raised garden beds overarching with river birch.

Waiters, etc. came and went ignoring me for fully 15 minutes. Had plenty of time to study the place, feel the rudeness and absorb the ambience. Biggest turnoff - obtrusive music. All stuff I like (Cure, Marley, etc.) - but not for dinner. I'm absolutely adamant about restaurants not playing music. Big mistake, huge negative. It's a social space where you sit and chat and music in that situation is mere needless noise.

As usual when trying out a new place I go for the simple stuff - say a soup and/or salad. That's the true test. No one can foul up things faster and you don't lay out a huge chunk of change to find the lay of the land.

So I got the half Grilled Caesar for $8. Grilled? WTF? A plate of romaine, one central stem grilled, the rest raw. No croutons, one slight slice of garlic baguette, no anchovy evident. The lettuce not fully dried - a major sin in salad making.

I'll give Ashmont Grill another try but I have a sour taste in my mouth. And it wasn't from the menu's described lemon-garlic vinaigrette.

Quote of the Day
Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.
William Penn

Image ... Central Park. An image, extensively edited, from the YouTube video Hank Jones / The Great Jazz Trio - Favors 1977, but uncredited.

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