I have off this week, so I could do music after I instantaneously transform at Monday Night Alive. That ends at 9:30, which would have been too late for most of my list of potentials. Then I saw in the regular gig section of AAJ that this was finally my opportunity to see Ron Affif at The Zinc Bar. He plays there every Monday and I've been wanting to go for years. I get to Houston and see it moved. I was surprised because I didn't hear about it. I finally found the announcement posted here.
The new space is nice. It's bigger, so it's not as tight and it's got a much better sound system. It does have a decent vibe, but nothing will match the old space when it comes to vibe. However, I like having the room and the sound and it still looks like they book great music. There's all these nice little tables facing the large stage down in the seated area. There's also a bar in the back with lots of room and some little sitting nooks back there. While I loved the old spot, I didn't go there much in recent years because it was too tight and sometimes hard to get in. This has some room and I love how dark they keep it.
I'm going to assume Ron Affif took the night off. That announcement and the website say he still plays Mon nights, and I forgot to ask. I didn't realize he wasn't there until the Robert Rodriguez Trio came on at midnight. I got there at 11:30 and was thrilled to be able to get and survey the Jan AAJ. Before I read anything, I page through it looking at the club reviews, articles, and especially the ads of what's coming up. I'm psyched because this looks like an especially good issue. I'm also a little bummed I have to miss some really great shows when I go to Costa Rica in Jan, but there's also some great shows for the parts of Jan that I'll be here.
Anyway, the Robert Rodriguez Trio was awesome. I didn't retain the bass player and drummers names, but they were all awesome. I chose to sit at the table way up front, which was a good move. There were lots of loud talkers, I like to think it was due to high tourist season and not so regular, but we will see. That location will probably bring more tourists always. At one point in between songs, the bass player came off the stage and walked around to make a point that people need to shut up and listen. That worked for a while. It wasn't quite so bad after that. I was able to tune the talkers out because I was so close. If there is ever a listening night, it looks like it will be easy to dance by the bar, just behind the seats. For the last tune Robert's brother Michael came up and played trumpet.
It was just some very good straight ahead jazz. I really thought each of them were great and each caught my attention at different points.