Monday, August 9, 2010

Jazzing Up a Vacation’s End

The last night of vacation is often a melancholy affair. Our foursome decided on a temporary distraction with a visit to the Atlantic Jazz Yard at 37 Wilmington Avenue in Rehoboth Beach. Open since Memorial Day, the venue boasts a spacious open-air courtyard between the main dining area and backyard lounge, with live jazz nightly from 8:00-11:00pm. The Yard will hopefully fill the void left by the closing of the much-beloved Sussex County jazz mecca, Sydney’s on Rehoboth Avenue.

Just dodging the earlier thunderstorm, our party relaxed in the breezy courtyard under plenty of tree cover (should the rains have returned). We were soon joined by a full house, enjoying the “lavish Prohibition-style cocktail” menu including “Sea Foam Fizz”, “Hemingway’s Daquiri” and “Penicillin”, along with yummy nosh like the kobe burger, lobster & corn salad and grilled flatbreads.

But also enjoyable this night was The Tap Room Trio, a Philly-based ensemble that now plays as the Yard’s house band every Wednesday and Thursday night. The guys – Dave on Hammond organ, Matt on drums, and group newcomer Dan on guitar – are in their mid-20s, but they play like they caught the jazz bug decades ago. And you can see they enjoy it.

Dave notes their favorite thing, and the main staple of their repertoire, is improv. Their set ranged from smooth, easy-rolling melodies to frenetic, wheeling notes; yet, they transitioned easily through each and kept the courtyard – filled with a nice demographic mix – lively. Although Dan is new to the group (joining 6 weeks ago), you wouldn’t have known; they played off of each other effortlessly. Dave’s organ work was fun to watch, as he moved from mellow to manic, and Matt had an impressive drum solo as well. Their musical influences include Jimmy Smith, Wes Montgomery, Grant Green, Blood Ulmer and Big John Patton.

Atlantic Jazz Yard is open Wednesday through Sunday 5:00pm to 1:00am, now through the end of the Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival (October 13-17, 2010). It will reopen again in the spring.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the kind review, glad you enjoyed our playing and hope to see you at a show again sometime soon.