Worried about crazy traffic this weekend? Stay here in GP!

From Eric Whittington at Bird & Beckett Books on Chenery:

It’s a big weekend coming up… the playoffs get underway Saturday with the Giants hosting the Reds… Hardly Strictly Bluegrass runs Friday through Sunday… Litquake starts Friday and runs for eight or ten days. When will you find time to come to your neighborhood bookshop?

Well, here’s what we can offer in Glen Park… no baseball, unfortunately, or football either, though we do have a radio, and we’ll be checking it surreptitiously from time to time!

But on Sunday, Litquake comes right here to Bird & Beckett when we host five writers who cut their teeth on the radical politics of the late ’60s and continue to be avidly engaged… Elaine Elinson, Hilton Obenzinger, Jonah Raskin, Nina Serrano and Barry Willdorf. 2 pm, Oct. 7.

As for Hardly Strictly Bluegrass? Well, jazz certainly isn’t hardly strictly bluegrass, now is it? You couldn’t hardly get less strictly! And we’ve got a stupendous booking on Sunday at 4:30 in our “which way west?” series — trumpeter Jay Sanders, pianist Adam Schulman, bassist Eric Markowits and drummer Smith Dobson recreate and elaborate beautifully on the music of late 1950s jazz icon Kenny Dorham. Dorham’s name is not all that widely known any more, but to the jazz cognoscenti he remains one of the really great trumpeters and composers of the era. And this band has done a magnificent job on their recent CD of Dorham’s music. We can guarantee a terrific small group evocation of some subtly killer music. These are all top young players on the local scene, and they’re coming to your neighborhood!

And of course tomorrow, as on every Friday, you’ll find the Glen Park jazz party that’s been going on non-stop for the past ten years. For exactly ten years, since October 2002, we’ve never missed a Friday. Help us celebrate that landmark this month by coming down and mingling with your friends and neighbors, and digging the music. Bassist Don Prell’s Seabop Ensemble plays tonight, with Jerry Logas on reeds, Michael Parsons on piano and Chris Bjorkbom on drums.

Now, some very sad news. Anyone who knew her will be shocked to hear that Mary Goode passed away suddenly last week. From what we can tell, her heart simply gave out on her at home. It was an amazing heart, and many of us loved her very, very much. She was 68, had her health issues, but none of us ever would have thought she’d go just like that. Mary was one of the first people poking into the bookshop back in its first days, intrigued by the jazz implications of the “Bird” in Bird & Beckett, and told me endless stories of her recently deceased husband, John Markham, a drummer who had traveled widely, played behind Sinatra, Peggy Lee and many others, etc. She introduced me to a number of John’s close associates, jazz musicians who populate the Bird & Beckett Friday scene to this day. Of course, I see her through that jazz perspective, but her career as a nurse (lately on the job at the Symphony and Opera, taking care of culture mavens overcome by the emotion of the mus ic, no doubt!) made her well known to countless folks who mourn her passing as well. She was extraordinarily kind, adored kids and anyone a little vulnerable to society’s rigors, and really quite hilarious. Hardly any of us could figure out what she was talking about half the time, but that never stopped Mary! A viewing and mass will take place in East Palo Alto on Oct. 8 and 9, and a celebration of her life will happen on Oct. 28 here at St. Finn Barr’s on Edna Street. Expect a lot of jazz musicians to show up for that one, instruments in hand. Call us for details.

We miss you, Mary!

Thanks all.

Eric Whittington, prop., since 1999
Bird & Beckett
653 Chenery Street
San Francisco
(415) 586-3733

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