Hearsay: Wednesday, July 18, 2002
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Cool Jazz, Hot Pants

Once in a blue moon, the original members of Bertha Coolidge get together and perform in public for their adoring fans. When the band tears it up at Black Dog Tavern, meat-marketeers who obviously think hooking up goes better with kick-ass jazz coloring the background than, say, hip-hop or c&w, turn out. Somebody told HearSay that the Sunday night jazz jams at the Black Dog have started to be more about that divine moment when a bloke or sheila realizes that he/she might actually be having sex with someone after the tab is paid than about the jazz. And while HearSay will begrudgingly concede its acquaintance’s point about how the crowds at the otherwise low-rent Black Dog have gotten progressively more attractive over the past few months (HearSay has even begun showering again!), it doesn’t necessarily agree with the fact that good-looking, sharp-dressed people can’t appreciate jazz. (Diana Krall, anyone?) Yeah, I know, it’s kinda like saying an NFL cheerleader wouldn’t make a good prosecuting attorney, but ... you never know.

Anyhoo, let it be said that Bertha Coolidge inspired people of various degrees of attractiveness to dance in whatever tiny spaces could be found in the packed house. That’s right, dancing. Try and deny it, but there’s a funkiness about Bertha that transcends pure, classic, that-which-cannot-be-tarnished Jazz-with-a-capital-J. Is it “smooth”? Eh, not quite. More like fusion-ed. The occasion for the gig was the temporary return of original Bertha drummer Rick Stitzel, whose sweet home is now Chicago. He was back in the Fort teaching a class at Collin County Community College and playing behind local troubadour Brad Thompson for a few shows. Stitzel’s in town, Black Dog hosts jazz jams — the genesis of the gig was elementary. And — not to dis Michael Pellecchia, who does an outstanding job orchestrating the jams and playing his ass off at the Black Dog every week — but there were a lot of people happy to see Bertha this time around.

“It’s been great,” Stitzel told HearSay between sets. “We’ve got a great response. People really seem to be into it.”

The band’s working on getting out a live recording, and Stitzel tells HearSay that he will remain part of Bertha (which in Stitzel’s absence gets help from Paul Stivitts) as long as he continues making it back every six weeks or so. He also says he wants to bring the rest of the group — Aden Bubeck, Joey Carter, and Paul Metzger — up to Chi-town for a few gigs. And HearSay’s pretty sure that Chicagoan jazz fans aren’t really into socializing while the music’s going down. (Eee-yeah.)

Email this Article...

Back to Top


Copyright 2002 to 2017 FW Weekly.
3311 Hamilton Ave. Fort Worth, TX 76107
Phone: (817) 321-9700 - Fax: (817) 335-9575 - Email Contact
Archive System by PrimeSite Web Solutions