OK, this isn’t about vinyl… but something I love to do is record live music and produce video. You walk into Rooster’s Roadhouse in Alameda, CA., and wonder if you’re in the right place. It’s dark, divey and in the middle of a mostly industrial side of the island (which is just east of San Francisco). The Bob Enos Legacy (jazz) band plays there every Wednesday night for free. The rest of the week it’s mostly rock bands, I think. I arrived at about 6:15pm and ordered the ribs and quaffed it down with a Negra Modelo. The beer was better than the ribs, but I heard the bbq chicken was pretty darn good. Slowly but surely, band members arrive and start setting up. By 8pm, a decent crowd has arrived. The place won’t hold many but by night’s end, it’s filled with people who enjoy big band jazz. To my knowledge, Bob’s band doesn’t rehearse. The members simply show up, sight-read and play. On the first tune of the night, baritone saxophonist Lew Petrinovich called out the song and also explained what parts of the song the members were to play. I believe the band considers their time at Rooster’s to be a sort of rehearsal, or practice for themselves. I’m sure that most of them play elsewhere.
The drummer this night was filling in and was rock solid. I noticed other reed players who were different from my last visit here, more than a year ago. So while they aren’t the Basie band, they’re a fun listen. Do they make mistakes? Yea they do. So what? Good luck finding an 18 piece jazz big band playing in the San Francisco Bay Area every week for free.
Don’t be confused…there are two men named Bob Enos, both of whom played in bands. One died in 2008 and played with Roomful of Blues. This Bob Enos passed onto the great beyond in July 2013 but the band keeps playing and that’s a fitting testament to the man who was Stan Kenton’s copiest many decades ago.
Got a few minutes? Check out a still photo montage and medley of four tunes I recorded on May 21, 2014!
If you’re wondering, the audio is from a Tascam DR07mkII WAV file. I have other jazz and pop music vids at my Youtube channel, Surfkaanapali2day. You can find two more vids on Bob’s band there, too, from when Bob was still living.