On Friday, April 29th The Brass Lamp exhaled the smoky gypsy jazz of Hedgehog Swing out into the brisk night of Downtown Long Beach’s The Promenade. The quartet’s two sets of gypsy and jazz standards were spritely and easy to listen to in the café’s glowing warmth.
The Brass Lamp is a local establishment. A wrought iron medley of wine bar, coffee shop, and bookstore rolled into one. There are few local options that manage to successfully create the allure of “Amsterdam chill” and they do it well.
There are several comfortable chairs, couches, and tables for eating, reading, and playing board games (put your game face on and leave the deed to your house at home kids). Need to get away from the noise? Sure, they have your answer. Several private reading rooms will help you block out the noise (ten times more effective than a tin foil hat). But when you’re in the company of seasoned gypsy jazz musicians there’s no need to seek sanctuary in a recess.
The quartet carried a colorful blend of electric bass, gypsy guitar, drums, clarinet, and saxophone. They didn’t hold back either as the guitarist ran through his lines so fast you’d think his hand was about to run off the stage and leave a puff of smoke like The Roadrunner.
The songs they played included “All of me”, “Blue Skies”, “Stardust”, and “I’ll See You in My Dreams” among others. Both wind instruments were an added bonus as most gypsy jazz ensembles are comprised of string instruments. So they definitely brought something new to the table. And in the middle of their second set a couple of un-named swing kids lindy hopped their way to the stage and unearthed magic from radio days of old.
If you’re in town drop by The Brass Lamp or catch Hedgehog Swing. You won’t regret it.[adrotate banner=”4″]