Beasley ‘sub’ did a good job.

After purchasing tickets in January for the Walter Beasley performance at the Indianapolis Jazz Kitchen, we were disappointed to learn that Walter had a family emergency and was not going to be able to make the trip to Indy. The Jazz Kitchen handled it perfectly offering (with less than a week to go before the performance date) a full refund or allowing ticket holders to enjoy the saxophone sounds of Michael Lington on the same night.

We, Jodi, her sister Chelle and her husband Greg, all wondered who Michael Lington was? We viewed a video clip that the JK sent to us and he seemed to be pretty good. So, with our plans already in place with a B+B for the weekend, etc. we decided to keep our original plans.

Lington {} is a Danish-American contemporary saxophonist, producer, recording artist and purveyor of soul and contemporary jazz.

Our evening started with dinner, naturally, it’s a Jazz “Kitchen”! And food there is always great and didn’t disappoint this time either. My steak was cooked a bit too much, but the cut allowed it to remain tender. They do need to learn that King Oscar style is not a crab cake on top, but the server said it was their interpretation. I said “great… take it off my tab please”, and she smiled and removed it.

The room is just perfect with dinner and cocktails served throughout the hour-long performance with no breaks. The music is right there in front of you, very personal, very intimate. There really isn’t a bad seat in the place.

Michael played some of his ‘hits’ as well as some cover songs and a few from his coming soon new album named ‘Silver Lining’ (release date June 8, 2018). He can certainly play sax… and although some of the other band members were local Indy players, they did a good job of making it seem like they play together all the time… well, almost. There were some disconnects throughout the night, and they just didn’t seem as tight as other groups we’ve seen there.

The Jazz Kitchen {} has been providing jazz and beyond since 1994 and is recognized as one of the “Top 100 Jazz Clubs in the World”, by Downbeat Magazine. The 140-seat supper club style venue is unique offering New Orleans meets Midwest cuisine with a touch of the ‘Big Easy’ represented by Satchmo’s Etouffee, Not-So-Cajun Chicken, ‘po boys and Crescent City Crab Cakes compliment Midwest fresh-from-the-butcher steaks, chops & burgers.

And you would be very disappointed if you didn’t leave room for dessert, especially the White Chocolate Blueberry Bread Pudding. Absolutely delicious!

With a front row table, it is hard not to enjoy taking a few photos during the show. As long as you don’t use flash, they don’t seem to mind. Naturally we don’t shoot all night, and when we do we are not intrusive.

Bottom line: Nice job Michael Lington. You got some new fans, but we still missed Walter!

-Rick Bella for Bella Photography

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