On Sundays, during warmer months in Albuquerque, an old train barn opens its huge metal doors to the public. Vendors set up inside to sell their produce, art, clothes, soaps and lotions, health food, get signatures for green projects and alternative lifestyles, listen to music and enjoy the scene.
This Sunday, we come down to hear Chadd’s saxophone quartet – Sax Therapy.
It is quaint inside the train barn, good to see an old dilapidated unused piece of functional architecture used for better than a roosting place for pigeons.
Running across, and embedded in the concrete floor of this large open area, are rails that used to bring trains inside to be repaired, outfitted, cleaned, and re-conditioned. Now, the only Albuquerque train is Amtrak that has ticket sales in what remains of the original Alvarado Hotel. The real Alvarado Harvey House was demolished in the 60’s to make room for buildings that never followed, part of the 1960’s short sighted urban renewal dreams of government elected officials.
Seated at the south end of the train barn, Ruby and I watch dancers twirl to forties style big band music. A college singer croons Rosemary Clooney. Following them is Sax Therapy featuring two alto saxes, one tenor sax and one baritone sax. They do a Monk tune, a twenties style ragtime classic, and a Texas blues wail to start, then move to a show tune and Be-Bop.
Chadd negotiates his bari with ease, his eyebrows going up when he moves into the upper register and eyes looking to the ground when he goes real real low.
I’m not sure but think I hear a train whistle moving towards us in straight four four time.
When you get four saxes playing together you can almost feel your teeth vibrating on the crescendos.