Sunday, March 20, 2011

SuperMoon Over Romance and Jazz

Saturday night is apparently date night at the movies, or at least it was tonight at the Westhampton, where the audience was easily 90% couples, treading up the stairs in pairs as if to the Ark (except I don't think the animals brought buckets of buttered popcorn with them).

And it was crowd of a certain age because it was a movie about finding love after multiple failures. "Barney's Version" told the story of a flawed (overweight, alcoholic, smoker, curmudgeon) but ultimately likable man disappointed by past relationships who eventually meets a women who completely captivates him.

He pursues her until he wins her (necessitating a divorce before she will allow him to do so) and a long-term successful relationship ensues. Until, that is, this flawed man feels threatened and cheats on her; then she walks and he is destroyed at losing the love of his life.

His wooing of her, sincere, romantic and utterly convincing, is no doubt the reason that Paul Giamatti got a Golden Globe for the role, but much credit also goes to the script.

The dialogue between the two is completely believable for two people who meet as adults, with a fair amount of life experience behind them, but wide open to the possibility that great love is still possible.

The pleasure they demonstrated in each other's company was palpable and a real treat for any hopeless romantics in the audience besides this one. I did wonder briefly how it might have affected the less-than-happy couples there, though.

Walking out of the historic theater, the first thing I saw was the Supermoon and it was absolutely beautiful, incredibly big and bright. Scientific explanations aside, I prefer to think that it was further proof that something wonderful is out there.

My head full of romantic (and maybe even achievable) notions, I went to Emilio's to hear Moore and O'Leary for an evening of jazz. I think the last time I'd been there was for a Jazz Society show with my friend Dave and that had been a couple of years ago, so I was a tad overdue. Luckily, the gaggle of fourteen-year olds and their parents were on the way out.

My very talented friend Marshall (of local band Marionette) was playing saxophone (which I'd never heard him do) with his partner in jazz Jacob Moore on guitar; sitting in were C.J. Wolfe on drums and Wyatt Allen on upright bass.

I had met Wyatt at the Folk Fest last fall, where we'd discussed my live music frequency and we've since run into each other at loads of shows. But it was my first time hearing him play and, in fact, the first time these four had played together.

Beginning with "Beautiful Love," they did a great job working their way through a selection of jazz music described by Marshall as "normal jazz, nothing weird," and appropriately ending the set with "How Great is the Love?"

The short answer? Don't know, but open to finding out. Only then can I give Karen's version.

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