Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Chillin' with Mindi Abair

A few nights ago my wife and I attended a Mindi Abair concert at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley in downtown Seattle.

Mindi Abair, pictured here in one of her promotional photos, is my favorite smooth-jazz musician. (You can find a link to her website under my Music Category). Her previous performances, from 12-14 Feb, were sold out but I managed to make on-line reservations for Sunday night's show (15 Feb).

Jazz Alley's entrance is literally located in an alley off of 6th Ave. What initially struck me about the place was how DARK it was. I practically needed NVG's (night vision goggles) to find my way around! The low-light does however, create a sense of intimacy especially under the mezzanine where we were seated.

We arrived at 6:15 for dinner which gave us over an hour before Mindi's performance. Jazz Alley is an upscale restaurant disguised as a downscale dive. The food was excellent and served in just the right-sized portion. We finished our dinner in plenty of time to spare before the show although dinner was still being served during the performance.

Mindi was introduced to the crowd by my favorite Seattle DJ: Diana Rose of KWJZ (also linked under my TV, News & Radio section).

Diana, who hosts the station's City Lights program, is responsible for getting me hooked on smooth-jazz. When I first moved here I was scrolling through the radio-station frequencies when I came across her warm and throaty voice. I thought "Wow! She sounds nice!" And eventually I realized, "Hey and the music's pretty good too!" So I've been listening to this station for over 10 years now and when I think of smooth-jazz, I think of Seattle.

As a musician, Mindi was fantastic! She's one of those rare performers who sounds as good live, on-stage as she does recorded with the benefit of a recording studio. My wife thinks she sounds better live than recorded. We also made "Jazz Alley history" that night. This was the first time the restaurant was broadcasted live over the internet via Tour TV:

I was hoping to provide a link so readers can watch, but I guess it was a live-only broadcast. That, or I simply haven't figured out a way to access Tour TV's archives.

I'm still getting use to being a "pajamas media" blogger. In my haste to make the concert, I forgot my camera and the one CD I currently own, A Life Less Ordinary. So I didn't get a chance to take Mindi's picture or get her autograph--even when I stood less than arms-length from her while waiting for my wife.

So if you're in Seattle and like jazz, you can't go wrong with dinner and a show at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley. And if Mindi Abair's playing anywhere near you--go. You won't be disappointed.

The evening was a double-5 star event for us: 5-stars for Jazz Alley and 5 for Mindi's performance. And if you're concerned about cost, we figured the dinner and concert cost half as much as a typical stadium concert. Plus Jazz Alley provides a warmer and more personal atmosphere.

Jazz Alley's website:

Since I can't find the "Live from Jazz Alley" program on Tour TV, here's a consolation prize--a performance of Do You Miss Me? on YouTube:

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