Cost: $12 ticket, not including dinner.
For reasons unknown to me, my husband and I have this tendency of being seated next to the kitchen when we arrive at restaurants or dinner clubs, but tonight we struck gold. Tonight were led to the front table and center stage at the Jimmy Mak Club to hear Patrick Lamb. I kept thinking someone made a mistake and any minute we would get booted out by a more glamorous couple. Instead, I was in heaven all night long. It was a thrill to be spitting distance from one of my favorite musicians and performers.
I first heard of Patrick Lamb a few years ago when he played with the Oregon Symphony. Previous to this, I had not been a huge fan of the saxophone. I always found the saxophone to be a bit too loud or blaring for my taste. Until I heard Patrick Lamb. His ability to emote through his instrument—whether it be the gentleness of a love song or the joy of a good party song—was something I had not felt from the saxophone before. Tonight did not disappoint. He performed with incredible energy. He also has a very pleasant singing voice and always strives for his audience to join in on his entertaining musical ride. Many in the audience responded by either getting on stage to groove with the master of the saxophone and his band or the Master was out grooving and dancing with his audience.
As much as I wanted to get up and dance with the rest of them, I did not want to turn an amazing musical performance into a comedy show—I really don’t belong on “Dancing with the Stars.” But I was definitely there in spirit.
I love the intimacy and wild energy of the Jimmy Mak’s venue. It’s fun place to party without feeling anyone is going to get out of control. While my dinner of scallops was good, I would not describe it as high end dining.
We have seen Mr Lamb several times before, once in Bend and once before at Jimmy Maks, so we excited.
He plays saxophone with a band that is an Earth Wind and Fire/Tower of Power style. A tight band, with a horn section it is high energy funk and for 12 buck he played for three hours. Such a bargain for such good music. Best of all we were seated front row/center.
I know how drums, guitar and piano make noise. But sitting that close I could watch him play and I had no idea how he made the music he did on a saxophone. One of the many characteristics that mark me as old is the need to hear the next day. I already have hearing loss (Kerry might say it is selective) so I was glad I brought acoustic ear plugs. I needed to hear hearts and lungs the next day.
But the acoustics of Jimmy Maks are excellent and, like the Doug Fir, it is nice not to have distortion or echo. It is a good venue and as an old geezer it is nice not to have to stand for the show. And I would have danced, really I would, but the last time I tried to dance they called paramedics thinking I was having a seizure. Sitting for a concert with ear plugs unable to dance. God damn I am old.
The food? I had a Boulevardier for a cocktail. 10 year old Bourbon, Campari Aperitif and Noilly Pratt Vermouth. I usually have one cocktail and a beer with dinner. Not that night. Delicious enough to repeat. And again. The joys of not working or driving.
The one missteak: the New York cut. It was cooked just as I liked it, medium. Perhaps they have a Nurti-matic, in the kitchen, because what I was served was something that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike steak. Unfortunately, medium gristle, tough meat and fat does not a 28 dollar steak make. $2.80. Perhaps. And I am not hard to please. It was the Worst. Steak. Ever.
After two hours of performing there was a 20 minute intermission and I was forced, yes forced, to try the mud pie.
Unlike the steak, which was wrong in every aspect, the mud pie was perfection. So good that Kerry ate about half, rare indeed. How a kitchen can go from 10 to 0 to 10 is a mystery, but I suppose better than having bland food. Looking around the dining room every other dish looked good and I have had meals there before that were fine. So I can forgive one fly in the ointment.
Great music acoustics, drinks and desert all sitting down. Almost a perfect night for an old geezer.