Last night in West Oakland, local cat Howard Wiley on tenor sax, New York cat Jaimeo Brown on drums and bassist Devon Hoff blew through Bird, Trane and Ornette in a wild improv night. Wiley will be at Intersection for the Arts next month. Go.       

In its inimitably enlightened cultural policy, the City of Berkeley let Beanbenders improv music club close on downtown’s Shattuck Avenue to be replaced by a much-needed Kinko’s. Yoshi’s jazz club moved from Claremont Ave. to Jack London Square, transmogrifying from a rare listeners’ and musicians’ spot to the usual drinkers’ paradise. Is anyone listening? Can anyone hear?

Whether or not the Bay Area’s renowned improv music scene made or makes a pile of money, it earns the Bay Area world-wide admiration and recognition. Coincidentally, it educates its listeners instead of patronizing them. If either Oakland or Berkeley actually had an enlightened cultural and social policy, those cities would fund or help raise funding for an improv music club.

- Gloria Tanchelev [Saturday, January 6th, 2007]


From the editors