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Friday, July 8, 2011

Tom Morgan Quartet

Thursday Night Concert Series
Eric Stein Stage-Oakdale Park
Salina, KS

Lawrence, KS
© Lydia Lowe  7/07/2011

TOM MORGAN QUARTET . . . I love jazz music.  There is a lot of really terrific jazz music out there.  Jazz has a rich and varied history.  I don't think that I have ever heard a jazz piece that I didn't like.  Well, that is until I heard jazz played by the Tom Morgan Quartet.
This group played jazz pieces I had never heard of by people I didn't know.  Or maybe they just didn't play them well.  They played a Dave Brubeck piece that was done so poorly it was literally unrecognizable.  There were no up-tempo pieces during the first set.  It was just ponderous.  I'm not sure where one song began and the other ended.  People in the audience were getting up and leaving in the middle of songs.  I heard several people say, "I have a headache, let's go" and "I feel sick, I think it's time to go home now".  The music was excruciating to listen too.  

The drummer, and leader of the group, Tom Morgan, told some jokes at various times and his timing was just awful.  The jokes were told so that it took me a few moments to figure out what he was trying to say.  By the time I did, the joke wasn't funny anymore and I had lost interest.

Of course, then the band took a break.  They probably should have quit then.  Just called it a night, packed up and left.  But they didn't.  However, the audience did just that.  They grabbed their coolers, folded their chairs and headed off to their cars with their loved ones.  I didn't actually hear anyone squeal out of the parking lot, but it's a wonder that this didn't happen.  The Tom Morgan Quartet soldiered on with a vastly diminished audience.  So many people left the park that the noise level went from voices to crickets singing in the grass.

The Tom Morgan Quartet played on.  No one really knows why.  The audience that was left in the park was comprised of people who were too tired, to drunk or to stubborn to leave before the event was over.  And the band didn't seem to understand that their services were no longer needed.

At 10 p.m. the emcee took to the stage as he always does on Thursday nights to close down the show.  Usually he asks for one more song, a short encore.  The sound engineer seeing the emcee on stage muttered, "Oh dear God, please do not ask for another song".  Thankfully the sound engineer's prayers were answered and no encore was asked for on this night.

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