Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 12:55 pm
"We just played an absurd concert to nobody," Mount Eerie's Phil Elverum says, as he faces a sea of empty red seats at the Folger Shakespeare Library's gorgeous Elizabethan-style theatre in Washington, D.C., just across the way from the Supreme Court. Serendipitously, a group of schoolchildren had toured the oak halls of the library just minutes before, and would take cover in each other's coats from the gray rain outside.
In 2013, the Jazz Showcase in Chicago, founded and still run by Joe Segal, celebrates 65 years of presenting jazz. The venue has hosted NPR recordings several times, including Toast of the Nation 1989. That's when trumpeter Clark Terry brought a quintet into the club, featuring his long-time friend Red Holloway on saxophone. Now 92, Terry — who played in the bands of both Count Basie and Duke Ellington — is universally recognized as a living legend. He and his band were in great spirits as 1989 turned to 1990.