Saturday, May 10, our friend Mal Sharpe took his band, Big Money in Jazz, to play in celebration of the grand re-opening of the North Beach Public Library at Columbus and Lombard in San Francisco. Not only was the library worth celebrating, but the renovation included a new rectangular asphalt playground with plantings around it, the Joe DiMaggio Playground.
The music was celebratory as well, with Mal on trombone and vocals; Leon Oakley, cornet; Jeff Sanford, clarinet and soprano saxophone; Bill De Kuiper, guitar; Paul Smith, string bass.
Mal loves North Beach, “You could be in Greece,” he said, gesturing at the long vista of bright sky and mountains off in the distance. Here are three performances from that afternoon, with cinema verite of picture-taking spectators looking to see where the music was coming from.
During SONG OF THE WANDERER, both a sight-seeing bus and a cable car pass by, behind the band. Jazz has that effect on the universe: everything coalesces all of a sudden.
ON THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET, perfectly apt:
MAKE ME A PALLET ON THE FLOOR:
SONG OF THE WANDERER (an excerpted version, for the outchorus had to compete with local clamor):
Mal and friends have a variety of regular gigs in the city: once a month at the Savoy Tivoli, weekly at Fior d’Italia, Original Joes, and at Tupelo. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, and ask to be added to his weekly email announcements — whimsical, just like their creator.
May your happiness increase!