Last night Yo and I went to Twins Jazz club on U Street with our hip hop dancing, filmmaker friend, Zohar. It seems crazy we’ve never been there before being that it’s about a 10 minute walk from our pad. I guess Bohemian Caverns had our full attention until it closed last year. It was the Kenny Rittenhouse R&B quintet that got us up and out. Great band, great music.
Twins is one of those intimate, upstairs city venues with crowded tables and enthusiastic fans, some of whom have been going there for a decade – maybe two. If there’s a seat at your table, someone’s going to be joining you. Next to us was an unlikely duo – a black man in his 60s who has followed jazz in DC his whole life, randomly paired with a young woman from Argentina who is a Doctor at Children’s Hospital. Neither had much in common, except their love of jazz.
The band played some high energy be-bop, mixed with sultry ballads. They played an alt-rhythm version of C Jam Blues and an original composition called 9 to 5, using “9” chords in a 5/4 time signature. They were joined by tenor sax player, Grant Langford, from the Airmen of Note, and a pianist, whose name I can’t locate, who dominated the keyboard, singing along with his improvised notes.
Outside the window by our seat was one of many colorful murals in DC. There is a long tradition of murals in the jazz corridor which has spread across the city. I couldn’t find an explanation for this one, although we think it’s a scene from Columbia, referencing the menacing AUC, a paramilitary drug trafficking militia. If someone out there knows the story, please let me know.