Wednesday, 02 March 2005

Friends, family, and even co-workers have heard me rave on about Kaki King. She’s #1 on my Top CDs list for both 2003 and 2004. So you can imagine how delighted I was to learn she was playing two nights at the Dakota. Yes, I went both nights.

I had never been to the Dakota before. They were originally in Bandana Square, but moved a few years ago into a space downtown. It’s a nice layout and has a feel suited to Jazz performances. I think the food is a bit overpriced (or the portions are too small), but it’s done well and suits the tenor of the club.

I loved the show, but was at the same time disappointed. Kaki was the opening act and, with two shows each night, she only got a 30-35 minute set. I was really left wanting more. She’s a very dynamic guitar player and I can’t say enough good things about her music. I even managed to get her autograph after her set the first night. I can die happy now.

Matt Wilson’s Arts and Crafts (warning, the Web site is pretty awful—thankfully the music was better.) was the main act. A quartet with Wilson on drums, Ron Miles on trumpet, Larry Goldings on piano and Hammond B3, and Dennis Irwin on contra-bass. They played what I call noodly-jazz. Creating music through seemingly random playing and apparent discord.

Here’s where I’m not sure what to think. The audience seemed to appreciate the show, which left me feeling somewhat left out. I guess I don’t understand this sub-genre of Jazz. To me Doc Severenson plays Jazz. Regina Carter plays Jazz. Benny Goodman played jazz.

What struck me is that if I had stuck with banging on my mom’s kitchen pots and flailing at my grandparents piano and organ, I could be a touring Jazz musician.

I realize it’s a limitation in my musical taste, but there you have it. At least I got to see Kaki King play live. I just hope she comes back for a headlining gig soon.