If a Tree Falls in a Forest …
Mike Norris Jazz Orchestra
Get this. The Mike Norris Jazz Orchestra played without cover charge Monday at the American Rock Bar & Grill in Deerfield Beach, and the number of people in the audience roughly equaled the number in the band. Not long before, the same band played at a place in west Boca Raton for $25 a pop. And another big band performed at a theater, likewise charging $25 to a sell-out audience. At American Rock, you get a scrumptious dinner for much less than that, and drinks at low prices, as well.
What is wrong with this picture? You don’t know what you’re missing, jazz fans – and fans of good music, generally.
The nightspot plans to present big band Mondays indefinitely, but I can’t imagine the series continuing for very long if more people don’t support it. This is a rare opportunity to hear gripping music for the price of an eminently affordable dinner, or just drinks. The Norris band’s rendition of West Side Story, a la Buddy Rich, was alone worth dinner. Its signature piece, the arrangement of Leonard Bernstein’s film score segued from lustrous song to song, with the horns churning out riveting segments of Maria, a trombone solo capturing the haunting essence of Somewhere, and Norris’ stick work rapping out a fair representation of Rich’s mesmerizing solo artistry.
No band will be on hand for the Fourth of July, but trombonist Mike Egan’s electrifying, 16-piece Teacher Teacher Big Band returns July 11. Miss it and be sorry.
Performances are 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. American Rock is in The Cove shopping center on Hillsborough Boulevard, a little east of U.S. 1, south side.