In a sweet beautiful way a song can open minds to receive messages made murky by biases and prejudice. A melody written in the innocent sincerity of the song writer’s experiences has a way of penetrating anger, hurt, shame and so many other emotions. A good song, a wonderfully written song can and will make you fall in love. It will make you cry. It will make you hate injustice. A song, a simple little song can change the world.
And beyond the song, music especially live music is exhilarating. Even slow sweet tunes are made better by a good live band. Coupled with a passionate soulful articulate singer, nothing can match the sound. No computer generated tune can compare to those calculated strokes of the drummer’s sticks to drum. Or the deliberate way the piano player’s fingers cuddle the keys. And certainly not the way the saxophone player’s long deep breaths of control and science push out forceful thrusts of poignant sound. Ah, yes, there is nothing better than live jazz music.
So when I was invited to attend a birthday celebration on the 23rd floor of the Pfister Hotel inside Blu, I was thrilled. Blu is an after five bar and lounge that is known for its elegant appearance, superbly blended cocktails and most importantly its live music. Actually, it sits in a location that perfectly illustrates Milwaukee’s skyline and lake views, so my expectations were pretty high. I was not disappointed, Blu’s views were spectacular. The lowered lights created a dark romantic vibe that enhanced the city lights. I was in love.
Sitting in comfortable cigar chairs arranged in convenient conversation areas around the band made me feel grown up and special. The atmosphere was perfect. The wait staff seemed overwhelmed by the crowd and could have been a tad bit more responsive but they were friendly and knowledgeable. The drinks were priced well, comparable to other downtown spots in the city. My current favorite drink, Moscow Mule was on the menu so of course I had to order it and for $10 it was well worth the price. It was made deliciously and served as per course in a tin cup, but I wished the lime juice would have been sweeter.
Then the band started to play, the Kevin Hayden band to be exact. Sounds from this band caressed my soul. The soft even stroke of Kevin’s talented gripe on the drum sticks was surprising. I wasn’t used to a drummer being so subdued, but it worked. It really worked. Next Marcus Adams joined in with his sax. He is an amazing sax player with great talent and the sounds he produced easily swept me a way. But perhaps what brought home my desire to return to Blu was the charming brilliant voice that is Joe Jordan. His voice is amazing, masculine, yet sweet, soulful, dramatic and melancholy but in a good way. I could listen to him all day. The entire room was enthralled.
Speaking of the room, it was filled with a diverse crowd of young, old and mixes of races. This is something Milwaukee is not known for, but here I sat in a crowd of people who did not all look like me. Some did. Some did not. It was wonderful. My Brown Face in this Place was happy.
I loved every minute of my experience at Blu and I will be back because it is yet another wonderful example of my love, my city, Milwaukee.