“Jazz brunch.” Sure, the phrase may bring a sneer to hipster lips. There is the air of lounging gentrifiers smugly quaffing their champagne and quiche while lame piano tinkles in the background.
However, put the accent on the jazz, and the good news is that drummer Brooks Tegler has found a new home for his afternoon swingathons. Actually, it’s an old home. Tegler has returned to the Irish Inn at Glen Echo, following the recent closing of the Starland Cafe. The drummer/music historian was a featured Sunday attraction there for 13 years, when the place was simply the Inn at Glen Echo. (Interesting history of the restaurant/roadhouse here.)
“Overall it’s gone pretty well,” says Tegler about the new gig, noting that “You can’t go back. It’s the same building, roughly, the same location, but very different people, very different slant on what they want to do. And completely out of touch as far as local jazz, live music in general. The only live music they’ve ever had there was a bunch of Irish musicians coming in on Monday nights and playing for beer. So, this is a bit of a shock to them.”
“But,” he says, “they like the money they’ve been making for almost a month.”
Tegler and his jazz pals had “a bit of a bumpy ride last Sunday,” when faced with attempts to “pull down a massive screen and play the basketball game while we were playing.” Tegler’s band wasn’t alone in feeling the effects of March Madness. (See The Unforgettable Fake.) And in this increasingly video world, the problem is not going away.
“I work in Europe and Japan every year, and I’ve watched gradually that disease start working its way over there,” he says “But you can still find places where they would be just dumbstruck at the notion that they would turn the television on while there was live music.”
Tegler is hopeful that the new owners will be open to his suggestion to taking the music outside when the weather warms up. “‘Cause I always like to do that,” he says, adding with a laugh, “Then they can pull the damn screen down and watch whatever the hell they want.”
Here’s a Pop Quiz Tegler did in 2003.
So, what are you doing Sunday afternoon?