Cafe Borrone in Menlo Park, California, looks like a perfectly nice restaurant in the middle of a shopping mall — but it has hot jazz every week. (Wish that the mall nearest to me could get this idea.) And Rae Ann Berry is there, faithfully.
She captured a particularly rewarding session by Clint Baker’s Cafe Borrone All-Stars on May 14, 2010, from which I’ve taken Jelly Roll Morton’s WININ’ BOY (there’s been a small fervent discussion of whether it’s WININ’ or WINDIN’ or WINDING or WiNDING BALL and what those terms suggest . . . the usual consensus is that they refer to various types of male sexual prowess: use your imaginations).
On this lengthy soulful version, Clint is at the drums, doing splendid things with cymbal accents; Bill Reinhart is providing a powerful string bass pulse; Jason Vanderford takes a rare acoustic guitar solo late in the performance; Robert Young emotes beautifully on the soprano sax; Jim Klippert not only anchors things on trombone but takes an impassioned vocal; trumpeter Leon Oakley finds just the right mute for each chorus; Ray Skjelbred “makes that old piano [in this case an electric keyboard] sound exactly like new,” or even better, with right-hand splashes and solid chords.
A wonderfully cohesive group – – – especially in the middle of grilled chicken salads. Don’t deny their names!
Thanks, as always, to Rae Ann, to the band, and even to the shoppers and diners who make this gig possible.