I drove over to Sedona today to hear a group I had read about. ZAZU calls itself a gypsy jazz band, modeled after the likes of Django Reinhardt and Stephanie Grappeli and Le Jazz Hot in the good old days in Paris. With only two guitars and an upright bass, they recreate the sound beautifully.
The players are, from left to right, Larry Czarnecki, Steve Douglas and Ken Aurich. A great group.
But my big surprise of the day occurred on the road back to P.V. from Jerome. There's a large overlook down the canyon into the Verde Valley. Usually there are many cars there with tourists oohing and ahhing and taking photos. But today . . . there was something different.
That's right. A very accomplished drummer with his entire kit blasting out rhythm over the canyon. When he finished playing I said "that was great but where's the rest of the band?"
He responded, "Oh, they're always late. I'm always the first one to arrive and the last one to leave."
But then he grinned and said he just didn't have a gig this weekend and needed to get his jollies. As I left, he was beating out more sounds on his drums.