View of Calluna interior. Photo by Lisa Hagen Glynn.
BY FRANK KOHL
Jazz has found a new home in Seattle! After a two-year struggle with the pandemic and the mystery of which jazz venues will survive, this gem of a listening room has emerged. Welcome to Calluna, the master work of Jason Moore.
Formally the manager of the once beloved Seattle jazz club, Tula’s, Moore has gone all out to create a space where jazz can sing. His vision and discipline to create this wonderful jazz venue is brought to life in what appears to be a quaintly remodeled home tucked away in the U District. One enters on the ground floor into a large room with wooden floors and seating for about thirty. The first thing I notice is a stunning Yamaha baby grand piano that I soon discover just happens to be perfectly in tune. We arrive early to enjoy our dinner where the food and service were outstanding!
The musicians tonight [February 9, 2022] are pianist, Jeremy Bacon and bassist, Bruce Phares. The music they create is brought to its full potential as it thrives on the ambience of the room and a respectful audience.
I can hear every note and feel the pulse of their interplay. Bacon and Phares are mature and sophisticated players in their own right. The style in which they are playing is reminiscent of pianist Bill Evans and the relationships he had with bassists like Eddie Gomez and Scott LaFaro. Nuance, shading, and subtlety are the elements that allow this music to blossom. The duo opens with “Alone Together,” a well known jazz standard. You hear the melody stated incomplete and fragmented between the players and listen to a conversation where “Alone Together” is simply the topic of discussion. The pulse, like the melody, can change to emphasize what’s happening between the musicians or maybe to simply make a point. A flurry of notes or maybe a couple bars of walking bass followed by a meditative pause. What you’re hearing is art being spontaneously created right before your ears. Unlike the works of Picasso or Monet, the art of jazz performance happens once and then it’s gone. Real life, real jazz. What a pleasure to witness this in an environment where you can hear a pin drop.