Saturday, April 21, 2007

Jay Jay and the Top Note Lounge

Jay Jay and the Top Note Lounge

Art assumes that the Schulman’s will wake up early because of the time difference and bicycles up to Shintoshin to meet Michael for breakfast. There is no indication that the family is awake and Art returns to our apartment and crawls back into bed. We connect with Michael mid morning at Starbucks inside the Naha Main Place Mall and after our coffee we stroll Michael through the electronics department, a visual and mental overload to me, but of extreme interest to Michael, a Microsoft colleague of Art’s.

The report from the hotel is that Annya has a high fever and understandably, both Helene and Michael want to stay close by to check on her regularly. We eat a late lunch together at a Japanese restaurant inside the Mall. Each “teishaku” is presented on a lacquered tray arranged with smaller plates and dishes; Michael and Helene are delighted with the meal. Helene returns to the hotel to be with Annya while Art, John and Michael walk over to Kokusai Street and Heiwadori Market. I take this opportunity and return to our apartment, pack up my weekly wax carving and bicycle to the post office to ship them to my casters back home. Later in the afternoon, Michael returns with Art and John and sees our small apartment, meets John’s beetles, and takes a nap in the quiet of John’s room.

We have evening plans to go to a concert at the Top Note CafĂ©, a nightclub lounge adjacent to the Libre Garden Hotel. Jay Jay, a Kubasaki high school alumni and friend of Art’s, is a popular local vocalist with quite a following of adoring women. Weeks ago, he invited us to tonight’s performance and conveniently the club is next door to where the Shulman’s are staying. We hope to eat dinner before the performance, but our time is short and we resort to eating from the limited “snack” menu at the club. The food is expensive and bad however the club is intimate with seating for perhaps 100 people and we choose a table against a back wall. There are quite a few American’s in the audience and Jay Jay entertains to all in a smooth mix of both Japanese and English. He is extremely handsome, a beautiful blend of Okinawan and American with chiseled features and a golden voice. He sits casually on a high stool, microphone grasped in manicured hands and belts out tunes from American Classics. His talented band backs him up flawlessly and I wonder if we have somehow been transported to a Vegas lounge act. This is Michael’s and Helene’s first night in Naha and they are slightly taken aback, but we are all soon under his musical spell and enjoying the evening. Still jet lagged, Helene and Annya return to their rooms before the close of the performance, but Michael stays to the end and Art and I dance to the last few songs.

No comments: