[18 May 2011]
The Café Extra-Ordinaire might not be as well-known as the Village Vanguard or Birdland, but in the world of Minneapolis jazz, Bobby Jackson’s storied venue was just as iconic. It was a musical destination, a spot that saw such indelible names as Freddie Hubbard, Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Elvin Jones stop in whilst jet-setting between coasts. The Café Extra-Ordinaire Story is the seventh release of the Jazzman label’s Holy Grail series. It’s from a 1977 private press LP featuring Jackson’s crack house band, which played between headlining acts, running through a septet of inspired performances that transcend the myopia of criminal, financial and interpersonal issues miring the shaky state of the club at the time. This is a deep, beautiful, challenging jazz album that any fan of the Impulse! or Black Lion labels of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s could easily appreciate.