Published March 17, 2005 in issue 0411 of the Hook
at South Street Brewery
Monday, March 14
Remember Garfield? For a while there, he was probably the funniest cat in the world. He always had the perfect one-liners that made him easy to relate to, even if you weren't a fat lazy cat. I don't know if Garfield was the first to come up with "I hate Mondays," but he hit the nail on the head with that one. Monday is such a blah day. It's the beginning of a new week with a little still left over from last week to choke down.
If your Mondays are blah, and you're looking for something to do that doesn't require participation or engaging in too much frivolous conversation with sometime acquaintances, head down to South Street Brewery for a dose of "piano merriment" courtesy of George Melvin.
South Street is an inviting venue. It reminds me of a tavern in the old English sense (but much cleaner). Not to mention they have an incredible selection of brews. I don't drink, but I usually get one just to taste.
George is there on Monday. So content, he sits behind his two keyboards, laptop, and M-Audio midi-control station reciting tunes like he could do it in his sleep. George is a one-man jazz band built for any occasion, and perfect for a Monday when you need something inviting and downright pleasant to shake off the looming week's obligations.
More times than not, my preference in jazz leans toward progressive and experimental styles. For a while, I found mellow jazz a real turn -off. Then I discovered Weather Report and a few others, and soon I understood the complexities of the smooth stuff. George likes to keep it smooth. Sitting there with his pipe and his well-trimmed gray beard, he seems content just kicking back on the groove.
Even if the jazz he plays is a little too smooth for you, it's hard not to recognize the man's ability to simultaneously hold down the bass-line, accompaniment, and solos. He could very well handle the show on his own, but this particular night he shared the stage with a guitarist who knew exactly the right pockets to play in to fill out George's sound.
I couldn't have picked a better place to be Monday night. I left the house feeling under the weather, but found myself rejuvenated by the comforting vibe of one of Charlottesville's best taverns and a dose of his mellow mood music.
PHOTO BY DAMANI HARRISON