On Sundays, during warmer months in Albuquerque, an old Railway train barn opens its huge metal doors. Vendors set up inside to sell produce, art, clothes, soaps and lotions, health food, get signatures for green projects and alternative lifestyles, listen to music and enjoy.
This Sunday, I come to see Chadd’s jazz quartet, Sax Therapy.
It is quaint here, 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 barn, 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 style blues wail to start.
Chadd negotiates his bari with ease, his eyebrows going up when he hits the upper register and eyes looking to the ground when he goes low.
I’m not sure but think I hear a train whistle moving towards us in straight four four time.