Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sure Beat Watching The Sox Last Night

I made a very smart decision last night.

I avoided last night's Red Sox-Indians game. I went instead to jazz great John Pizzarelli's gig at the Blue Note in Greenwich Village. I would follow the game on my cell during pauses in the concert, which I did.

And the news was always lousy when I did. The Sox ran into old friend Justin Masterson, who pitched a two-hit shutout, and the Indians rolled, 11-0. (It was a lot closer than that, as the Tribe scored eight in the eighth against Boof Bonser and Joe Nelson.) Clay Buchholz wasn't bad over seven, but Masterson was simply superb.

Anyway, it was the first time I saw John live. And he was as great as Masterson last night.

I've gotten to know John over the years, as he is a regular like myself at the BLOHARDS meetings. He's a huge Red Sox fan as well as a real gentleman, and he's been my "helper" in giving out my prizes when I do trivia there. (John also did a really funny "Carnac" bit this last May.) John played 13 songs with his quartet, which included his brother Martin. (And no, he didn't play anything connected to the "Foxwoods" commercial he is most famous for doing.)

He has a great report with the audience, and his banter in-between tunes is terrific. (He even kidded his dad Bucky, who was in the audience, about only being there because "the Mets game was rained out.") John played many songs from his newest album, "Rockin' In Rhythm" and the band sounded tight and very focused.

John concluded the night with one of my favorites, "I Like Jersey Best," the song by my friend and fellow BLOHARDS member, Joe Cosgriff (who I was with last night). The song is a tour-de-force for John, and he sings it in "mashup" style, mimicking many singers, like Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and even Billie Holiday. It was a terrific way to conclude a great show.

I got a chance to be with John after the show and meet the other band members. (And I also enjoyed meeting Tom Bailey, the GM of the Blue Note. He's also a Sox fan and BLOHARDS member, and he was wearing a "2004 ALCS Chokers" shirt. He's my friend for life!) If you ever get a chance to see John live and in person, I would recommend you certainly do so.

Whether the Red Sox are scheduled to play or not.

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