Pseudo Jazz Vipers


October 07, 2005


In these times, anything is a good thing. Just seeing saxophonist Joe Braun and bass saxophonist Tom Saunders play at Angeli's on Decatur Friday night was nice. It didn't matter that rest of The New Orleans Jazz Vipers were in Austin. An added bonus was trumpeter Jack Fine, who was sitting in. Considering his lengthy presence on the New Orleans traditional jazz scene, I'd say Fine should at least be an honorary Jazz Viper.

Braun, Saunders, and Fine were joined by a guitarist and bassist. It didn't matter that it wasn't the Vipers. What mattered is that the band was solid in a time that wasn't. They played recognizable songs well. They were a crowd pleaser for the thirty or so people eating dinner or drinking at the bar.

A part of returning to normal is hearing a favorite band play favorite songs. It's the cushion of something familiar.

It can't be overstated how soothing it was to sit still and let Fine entertain me with one of his bawdy, jivin' solos. This was dance music. If you think there's no link between traditional jazz and hip-hop, look again. The band had the spirit. The band had the groove. It was easy to fall into.

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