Gertrude, my van's GPS system, sometimes takes a notion that we should move along roads less traveled -- or at least less traveled by me. So it was on Saturday. My destination was Alpharetta (Boy, it's been a long time since I've uttered the word "Alpharetta," much less gone there!). Jazz vocalists Audrey Shakir and Jane Blackstone were putting on a pair of workshops and a concert at the Steinway Piano Galleries, so I thought, hey, maybe they can teach me to find the right pitch, and if not, at least I can play with the Steinways without having to fork over enough money to buy two more vans. Anyway, my assumption was that Gertrude and I would hit 316, then 85, then 285, then Roswell Road. Something like that. But no. Gertrude had me exit 316 onto 120 (well before 85 and just past what has been for the past several years the traffic choke point from hell during construction of the taj-ma-intersection at 316 and 85). I might have said no. Gertrude usually can take no for an answer. But I said to myself, what the heck. 120. Go for it. So we wound this way and that, making our way north and west through the vast sandyspringsness of the metro ATL. Until we hit Duluth. On the outskirts of Duluth, a member of the local constabulary stood before a barricade and refused us passage, directing us to the right. Of course, Gertrude has no clue about these matters. So when I turned off onto the detour (Something festive having to do, I think, with bicycles, was happening in Duluth. Whatever it was, a lot of people thought it worth their while to pack the downtown streets to see it.), Gertrude went into her "make a u-turn, if possible" thing. Right. She's going to insist. And there's no way. So I'm on my own somewhere in the not-Athens. All I can do is drive on, hoping she'll relent. She does, finally, and we make our way by what I'm sure is a route neither she nor I ever would think of taking, to Alpharetta. All of which is prologue to what I wanted to say. I have some cool shots of the workshops and concerts over at my tumblr blog for athensjazz411.com. Please drop by and browse through the posts.
Posted by Bob Brussack at 07:13