Back in the spring, I was listening to some friends play in Mellow Mushroom when I happened to look back and see Brian Farrow standing in the doorway. Sometimes (a lot of times) this happens. I’ll be out somewhere and Brian will just appear, or I’ll suddenly stumble upon him on the sidewalk, or in a crowd. Tonight he was playing with a quartet at Columbia Station across the street.
Columbia Station’s a great little venue because it has huge plate glass windows that open up to the street, so if there’s live music, you can hear it clearly from the patio or even down the sidewalk. There was no one in the place that night except the musicians.
I sat on the barstool nearest the piano, which is where I like to be, because being a pianist myself, I like to be able to see the pianist’s hands as he’s playing. Brian was on bass just to the left, and behind him were a saxophonist and a clarinetist. The lights in the bar were low, quite yellow, and it was very humid. It had been raining. The quartet played for two hours, standards and a few extended ballads. We stayed until after midnight.
Toward the end, two other guys came in, so it wasn’t quite a private concert, but almost. You can never predict when you’re going to luck out on something like this. You can start out wandering around Adams Morgan and wind up with a magical night of music all to yourself.