Saturday, September 26, 2009

Beantown's Favorite Fruit

Our indefatigable, ubiquitous mayor was...of the Beantown Jazz Festival on Columbus Avenue today. Mayoral challenger for Nov. 3rd, Councilor Michael Flaherty was not. In fact, his next scheduled event is for Oct. 1st in Charlestown — the campaign kick-off.

I was there for the music and did expect candidates for council or mayor. Wandering the length of the festival several times, I didn't see any of the former in four hours and only one for mayor. There were thousands of jolly locals, almost certainly saturated with registered voters.

Regardless, I finished a great show by Joe Louis Walker, the only blues on the sked. I rolled over to catch the first couple of numbers of Jane Bunnett (flute and soprano sax) with Elio Villafranca on piano; she was sort of wispy and comparatively LITE Latin jazz.

I just had to catch Berklee's P0Funk Ensemble, whom Prof. Lenny Stallworth funnels into reprising Parliament Funkadelic's strong music and weird 70s drag. I may post at Harrumph! on this because my high school (Plainfield, NJ) classmates were the original Parliaments. That was George Clinton's first band, who dropped the s at the end and then added Fundadelic as he invented funk music.

To my surprise, before the heavily made-up young honkies playing music originated by black guys in conks and fros started, a clump of big shots took the mic. Beantown Jazz Festival founder Darryl Settles was joined by the likes of Berklee President Roger Brown, who in turn introduced Da Mare.

Brown was none too subtle. In an apparent ad lib performance, he recounted years of solid support for the festival by Menino. He also stirred the crowd by introducing him as the next mayor. The huge audience in front of the stage was largely middle aged white folk, probably from the South End and probably Menino voters. They acted like he was the reason they had come and cheered mightily.

For his part, the mayor was as comfortable and casual as ever. He charmed with his folksiness as usual and bragged on the city and not himself — citing the simultaneous JP open studios and the international cycling races at City Hall. Where else, he asked rhetorically. Of course, it might be a lot of medium to large cities, but today it was Beantown.

Tom though was the fashion victim today, more than the youth from P-Funk. They dressed up for attention on purpose.

Our longest-serving mayor wore an apricot-colored pullover. The effect was somewhere between someone with a failed paint-on tan and a Shmoo®. (Click thumbnail for a larger view.)

There's no way a man of his age and somatotype should dress like a piece of fruit. Yet, it was only amusing and not terrible on him. His relentless sincerity and avuncular patter made apricot OK today.

For the others, who knows? Flaherty may well be in a bunker strategizing. Ayanna Pressley needs to sew up the fourth council spot but her sites don't indicate any action today. Andrew Kenneally wants that seat too and was with Da Mare before the jazz festival in an Uphams Corner ribbon cutting, but not tagging along to Columbus Avenue.

Tom Menino doesn't seem to have to campaign to be campaigning.

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1 comment:

POPS said...

Tito Jackson was there