Rifftides reader Arthur Hill writes from somewhere in Oregon:
Yes, Virginia—there is a jazz club in Salem, Oregon, called Christo’s, a restaurant and lounge. They recently announced that with the closure of Jimmy Mak’s in Portland, “We have been asked to host, for a continual run of second Saturdays, the Mel Brown Septet.”
The next engagement in the run will be on May 13th at 8:30 pm. Unless they have knocked down some walls, it is a small space (maybe about 44 can be shoe-horned in), so reservations are a must (503-371-2892, but don’t call until after 5 pm, as they are all in the kitchen.) Musicians listed are Brown, drums; Gordon Lee, piano; Tim Gilson, bass; Renato Caranto, tenor sax; John Nastos, alto sax; Derek Sims, trumpet; and Stan Goetz. On Thursday, May 4th, the club will have trumpeter Dmitri Matheny’s group and further into the month a trad jazz group on the 13th; Chris Brown Quartet on the 20th. These all start at 7 pm, two sets that are usually over around 9:30. I have no idea how they have been are able to do this for the past several years. Most shows sell out.
Thanks to Mr. Hill for his alert.
Mel Brown’s groups of various sizes were mainstays at Jimmy Mak’s for years. It’s good to know that he’ll be in action in Salem, an hour south of Portland on Interstate 5. From one of Brown’s gigs at Mak’s in 2009, here is his septet with Gordon Lee, piano; Derek Sims, trumpet; Renato Caranto, tenor saxophone; Warren Rand, alto sax; Andre St. James, bass; Stan Bock, trombone; and guest trumpeter Farnell Newton, who has the first solo on a blues that may or may not have a title.
For information about Mel Brown at Christo’s, go here and click on Lounge.