Friday, January 4, 2008

MinnPost: Cafe Maude

This week's MinnPost is about Cafe Maude, where the food is tasty and the music (especially the jazz on Fridays) is not at all what you'd expect to hear in a fancy bistro in a sleepy southwest Minneapolis neighborhood.

The woman who books the music (who insisted on anonymity in the article, which got me into trouble with my editor) told me more about how she does it:

"I have a very particular ear. I'm bringing in people who are doing something different.... It also has to do with personality. Whose ego can handle that room? It's noisy. People have to be able to handle that.... I'm giving the clientele what I want, not what they want.... I know what I like. I'm trying to feature free jazz as opposed to straight jazz.... We thought we were going to hear complaints, that the music would be way too out. But everything we've brought in has gone over.... People think they're coming to dinner, and we bring them in touch with their soul."

It's risky, it's different, and I can't imagine any other restaurant in town doing it. Yet Maude is working—because of the music? In spite of the music? Or maybe the music is just sonic wallpaper for people who go because they've heard they should or they want to try something new. Who knows? Meanwhile, the prospect of seeing Mike Lewis tonight makes me happy.

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