Durham is a great place to hear music these days, with a proliferation of new venues in and around downtown. Beyu Caffe has become a regular beacon for good jazz, and last night featured a jam session with the trio of saxophonist James Gates.
Richmond native James "Saxsmo" Gates attended Berklee undergrad back in the 80s, and was lured to Durham a year and half ago to attend NCCU's Masters program in Jazz Studies. Ernest Turner, who got his jazz degree at the University of New Orleans, played organ. I'm told the drummer filling in was Devon Fuller, but I have to confirm that. Meanwhile, two of our top horn players 'bilingual' in Latin and jazz idioms came out to the jam: Blu Thompson and Al Strong.
It was good to be stepping out again in the Bull City, after a pattern of frantic travel alternating with cozy hibernation over the winter holidays. Here are some videos from the night:
BONUS: Watch the first 10 minutes of "Night and Day," with solos by Saxsmo, Blu, Al, and Ernest--CLICK HERE FOR LINK to PT. 1