So last night, after my son's wedding reception, we stop by Cafe Maude late for a burger and some vitamin M. Fat Kid Wednesdays (Michael Lewis, Adam Linz, JT Bates) were originally slated to play, but we already knew that JT would not be there and Jay Epstein would be (the reason: JT was called to A Prairie Home Companion, where he often plays with the Guy's All-Star Shoe Band, something we didn't know until last night). We're more than ready for Lewis's tenor sax and Linz's bass and the always surprising drums of Epstein.
What we get is a quintet, with Bryan Nichols on piano and Greg Lewis on trumpet. Greg is Mike's dad, a musician for more than 30 years, but I have never heard him play, and he rarely plays with Michael.
We arrive in time for Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman," during which the famously chatty crowd at Maude actually quiets down to listen. Also in the house: saxophonists Scott Fultz and Chris Thomson, trumpeter John Raymond, bassists Matt Peterson and Graydon Peterson. Michael's mom, Mary, is there, too--I don't think I've ever heard Michael play in any of his many bands without seeing her in the audience, which says a lot for both of them. Later we talk and she recalls the days when Michael was a boy and he and his father would listen to music and play for hours.
On the way out, we pass Michael and Greg chatting on the patio. "I love you, Dad," Michael says. "Let's do this again."