Awaken Café, Oakland

October 26, 2012


This was a bit of a whim. Was at Mark Baugh-Sasaki’s sculpture opening down the street (Krowswork) with Irena, Gage and Linda. Thought it might be fun to check this out (free, after all), and I’ve been wanting to check out Johnston for a while know. He is quite a good trumpet player.  This is his band that plays Balkin folk tunes/jazz, or something like that, and the tunes all have him singing on it – which is fine, ok, not my thing, but way less bothersome than jazz singing since it was lullaby/folk-ish. Plus, Awaken Café sort of intrigues me, ever since seeing Amendola vs Blades there. Got to see maybe half of the set (plus, it was with a group so it was chatting and drinking (cacoa, of course)).  Each tune was similar – singing, solos, singing – but the trumpet solos were quite good and I’d like to hear more. This also turned out to be another 4 nights in a row of shows – Ron Carter at Yoshis last night, then Tony Malaby Tamarindo tomorrow and Roscoe Mitchell with Tyshawn Sorey and Hugh Ragin the next. Delicious when that happens.

DARREN JOHNSTON – trumpet, vocals