Sunday, June 07, 2009

Saturday night at Alva's

My last weekend in Pedro for awhile, we had a date almost as good as the Obamas', and not at taxpayer expense, not that I begrudge them! Our date was dinner with Teddy and Dennis at ShinShin (hot&sour soup, crabs rangoon, lemon chicken, spicy beef, good Mexican beer) followed by a fine jazz set at Alva's -- both in that charming little off-the-beaten- path block of Eighth Street.

The trio tonight was called CPT Kirk (yeah, Captain Kirk), a snappy combo of keyboard, drums and bass guitar -- all original work, all intricate, tight and immensely energizing. The band is made up of Kirk Covington on raucous drums, Scott Tibbs on passionate keyboard, and wiry, Rufus Philpot on dazzling bass guitar. Covington, a husky middle-aged dude with a scuplted white mohawk culminating in a tiny pony tail, let loose with gutty, exuberant vocals I found cathartic, and the interplay between the three was easygoing. The music, as usual at Alva's, is what really matters. As Covington noted at one point -- "it's so quiet...and no cigarette smoke." That's the pleasure Matt Lincir, Rosalie and Alva's son and the major domo of the Alva's series, so lovingly engineers. His audience -- of about 30 or so tonight -- clearly are devoted to the music, and are attentive, even rapturous, listeners. I thought Covington, Tibbs and Philpot (OH! CPT -- now I get it even further) were superb and perfect for Matt's audience -- they seemed totally, lustily engaged. Their fusion of funk to tribal rhythms to hints of boogie woogie to twining, interlocking jazz patterns was electrifying. They played just one hour-long set, enough -- the sound is loud and hits the brain like deep-tissue massage. My brain, always looking for a break from verbal demands, loved it. I wish they had a CD out -- I'd love to try writing to it, especially poems.

The full moon added benediction to the scene, gleaming over Eighth Street and then still dangling over the ocean from our back deck when we got home. Turning the other way on the deck, we could drink in the sparkling lights of the harbor, especially the blue scoops of the Vincent Thomas bridge.

I've really loved this place this time around. I admit it: this time I hate to go back.

2 comments:

greg rappleye said...

That sounds like a great evening.

You have missed nothing in Michigan, that's for sure!

Macy Swain said...

It was. I hated to come back to Flint.