Tenor saxophonist Ernie Krivda performs four nights at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café. I called Cory the barber to ask if he wants to catch the 8:30 set Saturday night. Be bop, Cory’s 11-year-old daughter, answers his cellular phone. Alto saxophonist Bobby Watson’s, new album “The Gates BBQ Suite” plays in the background. Be bop tells me that her dad is showering. I tell her to give him the message about the Krivda performance.
“Uncle Chuck, you don’t want to talk to me,” Be Bop asks. Her real name is Inez. A famous jazz drummer, who she met recently nicknamed her Be bop, and she demands everybody calls her that. Inez loved the nickname so much she asked her parents if she could legally change it to Be bop.
“Don’t you have homework, and where is that horrible noise coming from.” Be Bop says her dad sings while showering.
“He sounds like a wounded animal,” Be bop jokes.
“Have the neighbors complained”?
“Uncle Chuck. Dad is a pretty good songwriter, but he has a really bad voice. I would rather listen to my English teacher drag or fingernails down her blackboard than listen to my dad sing,” Be bop says.
Be bop has an open relationship with Cory. She makes fun of him constantly. The ribbing never bothers him. Be bop inherited her mom’s sense of humor. I always enjoy talking to Be bop. For an 11-year-old, she is mature and a good conversationalists. We talk mostly about jazz. She knows the music like a mechanic knows a transmission.
“Is that Bobby Watson’s knew album playing”?
“Yeah, dad bought it a few days ago.”
“Do you like it”?
“Not really. It’s supposed to be a suite dedicated to his favorite hometown Barbeque joint. I'm surprised dad bought it. Dad is a vegetarian. I think it’s odd he would pay good money for a record about Barbeque,”
“Uncle Chuck, the album doesn’t have any soul. You would think music about a soul-food staple would have a lot of soul,” Be bop points out.”
“That’s a good point. Do you have any other albums by Watson?
“Dad have jams Bobby Watson performed on with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messenger’s and most of Watson’s Horizon albums.”
I listened to ‘The Gates BBQ Suite’ a few times, and I was unimpressed, so I understand Be bop feelings about the album.
“It’s really hard now to get into a big band record after listening to the Maria Schneider Orchestra at the Detroit jazz fest,” Be bop admits.
“Maria’s orchestra was amazing. I was reminiscing about that performance yesterday. Maybe, in fairness to Watson, you should take another stab at ‘The Gates BBQ Suite a few months from now after the residue from Maria’s orchestra has worn off.
“I don’t think that will change my opinion,” Be bop says.
“Give it a shot anyway.”
“How do you feel about the record”?
“I’ve heard high school big bands that sound more polished.
“Uncle Chuck that’s mean.”
“The album, in part, was a showcase for the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance Concert Jazz Orchestra. The album didn’t sound like a suite at all.
Be bops asks me to hold on. I hear Be Bop talking to her dad. She informs me her dad is free Saturday evening, and he finds it hard to believe I dislike Bobby Watson’s new record.