Good things happen at Cafe Divine (1600 Stockton Street, San Francisco, California) — the food and the North Beach ambiance — but for me the best things happen on the third Sunday of each month, when the Esteemed Leon Oakley, cornet,and Craig Ventresco, guitar and banjo, improvise lyrically on pop tunes and authentic blues for two hours. I posted four performances from their satisfying June 15, 2014, session here. I was taught as a child to share . . . so here are five more beauties, in living color both in the view and the soaring improvisations.
STRUTTIN’ WITH SOME BARBECUE (with Craig on banjo, delightfully):
BLUES IN F (nothing more, nothing less — evoking Joseph Oliver):
MARGIE (that 1920 lovers’ classic):
And two songs that make requests — one spiritual, connected to Bunk Johnson and Sidney Bechet, LORD, LET ME IN THE LIFEBOAT:
and one secular — I think of Pee Wee Russell with TAKE ME TO THE LAND OF JAZZ:
Which they do. More Divine Music to come.
May your happiness increase!