Monday, August 20, 2007

Tidbits from an LA Summer

Packing up to leave in the morning, I have a few remaining glass beads to string on the necklace of this summer's memories. Here's one of my favorites:

We discovered the wonderful Rosalie and Alva's, where we spent three memorable weekend nights. In a cozy block on Eighth Street, comfortably up the hill from all the harbor melee and cruise ship fracas, across from a church and a Chinese restaurant, this longtime ballet school opens up to live music on weekends. It's got a 1921 Steinway, fabulous acoustics, and seating for about 50 people, and everybody there loves music. Our first visit we caught zydecosis from the amazing fiddler Lisa Haley, guitarist/songwriter (and Pedro native) Chuck Alvarez and former Monkees backup guy Skip Edwards.

The second night we donned earplugs for Ohm, a fusion rock/blues band made up of Chris Poland (yes, the former Megadeth guy, I'm not kidding) Ginger Baker's son Kofi, also an awesome drummer, and surreally fabulous Robertino Pagliaro on bass.

Finally, on our third visit we relaxed in our second row seats for jazz by Rick Zunigar, former Frank Zappa bandmate Sal Marquez, bassist Jeff Littleton and Raul Bonda on drums. Though it took Marquez till the second set to get his horns straight, it still was marvelous music.

Rosalie and Alva's doesn't have a liquor license, but there's no uncorking fee for taking your own, and sometimes Matt, Rosalie and Alva's son and the genius behind this labor of love, offers hors d'oeuvres. The cover charge ranges from $10 to $20 a head and is well worth it. We felt incredibly lucky and privileged to enjoy this spot and the superb music. I will miss it in the cold days of the Michigan winter and return to it fondly next year.

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