Last night I went out to a jazz show, and listened pretty intently to the roles of the different instruments within their group.  It is, I think, pretty darn different to the way that classical chamber music works.

Okay, so there are some similarities that I will acknowledge, but let's just look at the particular instruments and their roles.  (Just so you know, I didn't even see a trio last night... I saw some bigger ensembles, but we'll examine trios as an example.)  So a piano trio in classical is traditionally violin, cello and piano, right?  Okay.  And then in jazz, it's piano, bass and drums.  In that order.  So in classical, there's usually a point where each of the instruments gets the chance to be the "soloist."  But in general, I'd say that the pianist's job is to fill out the landscape of the piece... provide the backdrop, so to speak, while the violin and the cello get many more of the dialogues.  (Remember, I'm speaking generally.  Of course there are lots of exceptions, and with trios in particular, these roles are a lot more balanced.)  I feel like in the jazz piano trio, the pianist is not supposed to do landscape.  The pianist is supposed to do a lot of "lines."  Maybe the drums do the landscape... and the bass ties things together.  Is this so?  I might be completely off base, but this is my impression.  And it's really quite hard to jump from one distinct role into the other.  My classical sensibilities are not really used to (in an ensemble, anyway) being front and center, but rather blending and supporting.  So I guess I just need to get used to switching gears.

Okay.  So now, without passing judgement or making commentary on what I saw, I'm kind of annoyed that a lot of the piano "lines" that I've heard recently (again, not just last night,) are not really very meaningful.  I mean, it's pretty easy to just play some upward arpeggios really fast, out of time.  I can do that.  But they just don't serve any purpose.  Or maybe they do, but I'm too dumb to get it.  Can someone explain?  Is all that it is a collection of scales vomited all over the keyboard?  No consideration as to what purpose it serves artistically, or even emotionally?

I've probably just offended some people.  And that is certainly not my intent.  But I want to know.  What, why is it that this is considered "groove?"  Maybe I'm extrapolating the wrong data here, but I have to consider it, because I hear this kind of thing a lot.  Please!  Offer your insight.  I want to know what I'm missing.

And now, on to a less charged topic of conversation, Restaurant Week Spot #2: Perilla.  So I went here last year for restaurant week, and it was completely awesome, then, too, which is why I decided to go back.  So, my first course was a sunchoke salad with lots of microgreens that were hard to eat elegantly, but were absolutely tasty.  (They did not fit nicely into my mouth.  I kept having to suck in the ends after they made long, slimy streaks of dressing across my chin and cheeks.)  Second course was braised goat, and why wouldn't you get the goat, especially when the other offerings are chicken and pasta?  I think not.  The goat was definitely the highlight of my meal.  Tender and succulent, paired with a very tasty quinoa, dollop of sour cream, some cilantro and mint, dried apricot and raisins, middle eastern spices, and the thing that in my opinion made the dish stand out, roasted hazelnuts.  It's pretty rare when you enjoy the end of your dish more than the beginning, but somehow my final bite was a well-balanced collection of each of the dish's flavors, and I let out a satisfactory "Mmmm!!!" as the hearty last unctuousness disappeared behind my lips.  Delicious!!  I ended my meal with a vanilla bean bread pudding that was accompanied with a house-made butterscotch ice cream.  I was slightly worried that it might be dry, but it did not disappoint.  Maybe even one of the best desserts I've had in recent memory.  My tasting partner had a butternut soup to start, which was very lovely.  He had the goat as well, because according to both of us, "We don't want to share."  And we figured that it was what we each had gravitated toward in a big way.  It was the right decision.  His dessert was a trio of very delicate sorbets, which were very nice, but in his words, "They're not that!" with a hard point toward my bread pudding.  If you have the chance, go here.  It is unpretentious, creative, and delicious eats in a relaxed, and very comfortable setting.  Have I sold you?  Next stop, Le Cirque.  If I get my way, my date will be wearing a cape.

Here we go, Day 164:

Oh, and for the improv.  It was a difficult choice.  Go with the one that is a bit different than my normal style, or go for one that is in the usual realm, but kind of beautiful?  Well... it's always this tough choice, isn't it?  And after all of the harsh questions I've posed today, I'm even more sheepish.

But I guess the big question of the day is: what's your role?  To me, to you, to the people around you?  In what context?  Who or what defined your roles?  And are you satisfied?