Jazz at Rick's

Saturday, January 01 2005, 00:00:00

Jazz permeates the atmosphere of Rick’s Café, just as jazz was such an integral part of the music from the 20’s through the early 50’s.  Jazz crosses class lines and international boundaries and is itself a powerful unifying force, a means of communication, a mode of expression.  Jazz fits in Rick’s, and many tunes from the piano repertoire – “Satin Doll” or “Autumn Leaves” - take on a different aspect when accompanied by a trumpet or saxophone.  Likewise others, such as “Caravan” are best interpreted by a combo.  Customers coming to Rick’s reminisced about the jazz scene in Casablanca, particularly during the 60’s and 70’s when a number of local clubs featured live music or played records from extensive collections.  At the same time, musician friends of Issam’s asked if they could drop by with their instruments and play along.  He rounded up a bass guitarist and drummer for a Sunday night, put out the word to others and the Sunday night Jam Session was born.  Throughout the week Rick’s is the picture of warm elegance with the smooth strains of the piano punctuated by the sounds of quiet chatter, popping of champagne corks, clinking of glasses…but on Sunday’s the other facet of the Café’s personality is indulged and the place literally jumps until the wee hours.  Our Jam Session attracts a wide variety of amateur musicians like a sixteen-year-old Moroccan saxophonist, another Moroccan who plays a gypsy violin, a French trumpet player, a Spanish guitarist.  Now Rick’s is known as the place to come in Casablanca for jazz,  and professionals have started to drop by when in town – attracted to the mystique of the film icon and as well the positive vibes from great jazz improvisations.