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Gratitude, and a Jazzgasm

It's always a restaurant that's either faking it really bad or doing a fabulously genuine act of caring about its customers when you're enjoying a vegan banquet of veggies and rice you never dreamed could taste so good and the music suddenly gets turned up. Staff's rocking out as early as 7 with us all here? Huh. I wonder what's up.

Birthday by the Beatles brings them dancing and streaming out of the kitchen to sing and jump around. Somebody here at Cafe Gratitude is having a birthday (maybe I'll get to be that one later this year).

Check out some Book of Yum photographs and its fine, more detailed narrative which highlights the gluten free and vegan aspects of this amazing menu. If you've got any major ailments or morals to survive through or play out, just plan on draining your wallet here- gratefully.

I am convinced these folks could pull anything off vegan- creme brulee, egg custard, bread pudding!

After being washed in gratitude and spirituality, our evening proceeded with a trip to Yoshi's where we were thrown elbows first (and screaming) into highly technical, disjunct and amazing jazz. Roy Hargrove quintet was amazing.

The experience was like watching 4 guys jockey for a chance to be in the spotlight with varying degrees of limelight-seeking energy.
The drummer was most fun to watch- he danced as he played. The pianist was existential, we aren't sure he cared about anything--though with an East Coast, straight-faced precision, he was awesome without the physical symptoms of ego. Roy and his cohort reeds player, Justin Robinson spent most of the night switching on and off lead, making their wind instruments respond to bionic fingers and mute devices. The energy of it all made the instruments sound like women wailing in pleasure. After all, what is, what could jazz really be about for these guys? Just a speculation, but it's definitely what I got from watching--just a whole lotta coursing sexual energy.

But the most fun I had was watching the psychic dance of bass player, Danton Boller as he followed and intertwined with the dancing drummer, Montez Coleman. He'd peek out from underneath his hands on the cello strings to smile like a child at the drummer. These two truly enjoyed the spotlight without the energy of fericiously seeking it out. Now why can't folks drive around Oakland shaking the back end of their cars out in stereo bass to the sounds of one of his drum solos?

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