JAZZ TAKES OFF NEAR LAX

JAZZ TAKES OFF NEAR LAX

Posted by The Argonaut | Jun 19, 2018 

SAM FIRST IS A PASSION PROJECT OF MUSIC, ARCHITECTURE AND CLASSIC COCKTAILS

By Richard Foss

 

 Tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III leads a Saturday night gig at Sam First, an authentic old-school jazz club built for the new millennium Photo by Maria Martin

Tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III leads a Saturday night gig at Sam First, an authentic old-school jazz club built for the new millennium
Photo by Maria Martin

It’s halfway through the first set, and the contrabass player alternates between plucking at his strings and bowing, slapping and strumming them. A trombonist sometimes plays softly and melodically, sometimes unleashes sharp dissonances, and often doesn’t play at all. The pianist’s fingers glide up and down the keyboard, either gently tickling the ivories or pounding crashing chords. The Mark Dresser Trio’s performance is riveting, and the audience is watching with such respect that not a whisper interrupts the quiet passages.

The room isn’t large — it might fit 70 people if packed — but the stylish midcentury chairs and coffee tables take up some space that a money-hungry owner would leverage for more seats. There are also a few seats by the bar — a conspicuously well-stocked bar, I might add. The bartenders know their classic cocktails and understand the special nature of the room, so when a customer orders a shaken drink they take it behind a door so the sound won’t interfere with the music.

Read the full article on the Argonaut
https://argonautnews.com/jazz-takes-off-near-lax/