Monday, December 23, 2013

The Night Before a Magic Jazz Fairy Christmas

’Twas the night before Christmas. In a bed in the house
Slept the Magic Jazz Fairy. The Fairy was soused.
Its pre-Christmas tradition: Visit every jazz club,
Once meant two or three, and there was the rub.

For two years ago, when Jardine’s bit the dust,
And critics proclaimed for jazz there’s no lust,
Just foolish musicians with nowhere to play
A music, they said, which had seen its last day.

Few clubs featured jazz. The Blue Room was still here.
Mutual Musicians Foundation brought late night good cheer.
The Majestic on weekends reopened its club.
But The Phoenix booked blues, saying its fans bought grub.

Take Five tried live jazz, its acoustics quite good,
But just who would go to hear jazz in Leawood.
Record Bar booked some jazz, and very good stuff.
Some other clubs tried, but it wasn’t enough.

The Magic Jazz Fairy then reeked of despair.
Because its main mission, to fly through the air
And tell sleeping fans when to find jazz, and where,
Felt mostly futile when so little was there.

Then, on X-Mas Eve, there arose such a clatter
The Magic Jazz Fairy jumped to see what was the matter.
“Oh, I know who that is,” Fairy realized quick.
It was his ol’ buddy. It was a working St. Nick.

The Magic Jazz Fairy and Claus were ol’ chums.
They used to go out and share a few rums.
Fairy peered up the chimney. “Slide down, you old fart!”
The Fairy did yell, “For you, that’s an art!”

Fairy greeted his friend. “Nick! Stay for a rum?”
Santa thought then he said, “I have time for just one.”
“But tell me,” said Clause, “I hear times, they are are rough.”
The Fairy just sighed, “Work, there isn’t enough.”

Each raised a glass and lit a cigar.
“Nick, you know this city. Jazz should be its star.
Fantastic musicians, the best you can hear.
But few places to hear them. That’s how I see the next year.”

Clause leaned in close. “I’m working tonight.
“What can I get you? Fairy, what’s your delight?”
Fairy glared back at Clause. “This isn’t for me.
“It’s for Kansas City. For the whole world to see.

“Great talent is here, but not the venues.
“Nicholas, more clubs for jazz. That would be the best news.”
Santa leaned back and winked then said, “Friend, it is done.
“Next year will be different. But now I must run.”

Fairy leaned in his chair and dipped into sleep.
Did he dream all of this? Fairy heard not a peep.
Yet, when it awoke, Fairy just saw regression,
A jazz scene imperiled by daunting recession.

But then something happened. Fairy found it quite queer.
Some weekends saw Take Five packed front door to rear.
Jazz in the suburbs was drawing new faces.
Musicians and fans found a new jazz oasis.

Then a club was announced for Power and Light.
A new home for jazz, what a welcome delight.
Was the Eve not a dream? Was this by Nicolas’s hand?
The club’s specialty: rum. Said Fairy, “Well, I’ll be damned.”

And ’twas but the start. Soon The Green Lady Lounge
Brought a classic jazz venue to the Crossroads of town.
Then the outskirts of Waldo saw Louie’s Wine Dive
And with jazz on the weekends, a bustling hive.

And then Broadway Jazz Club opened near the Uptown,
A new dinner jazz spot with exquisite sound.
The Majestic now booked jazz each night of the week
And The Phoenix booked more. Jazz fans they did seek.

This isn’t the ’30s. There’s no hundreds of clubs.
But suddenly in KC there’s more jazz than there was.
The talent just grows, with more youth breaking through.
KC’s culture of jazz shines a more vivid hue.

So this Christmas Eve, when the Fairy made rounds
To each KC jazz club, that covered more grounds
For a Magic Jazz Fairy who was happy, not bored.
And the night before Christmas a drunk Fairy just snored.

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