Wine & Jazz Dinner

Calvin Keys and Jeff Chambers Duo

When: Monday, June 3, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Cost: No cover, dinner reservations recommended (707) 431-0330
Where: Dry Creek Kitchen, 317 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg

Some musicians just don’t like to travel much. Though guitarist Calvin Keys and bassist Jeff Chambers have done their share of international tours with major jazz stars, for the most part they have stuck close to the Bay Area, teaching, gigging and backing visiting artists. This may not have helped them get their names out into wide circulation, but it’s been wonderful for the local scene.

Keys, who honed his soul-jazz chops in the bands of organ masters like Richard “Groove” Holmes, Jimmy Smith, and Jimmy Griff, then got regular long-term gigs with Ray Charles and Ahmad Jamal, is an agile player who floats effortlessly over the fretboard, digging in for sly bursts of funk. His huge hands create the impression he’s molding the guitar like clay.

Chambers, who plays the bass with near-Mingusian authority, has backed practically every top jazz artist you can think of, including Ahmad Jamal, Larry Coryell, Dizzy Gillespie, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, and Archie Shepp to name just a fraction. With an unerring, intimate touch, Chambers gets an almost primal sound out of his stand-up, and his articulation at speed is remarkable. But instead of becoming one of the top-call bassists in New York or Chicago, he has stuck close to San Francisco, teaching in the school system and at several area universities.

Chambers and Keys have worked together often, so when they hit the stage the swing goes nuclear fast, then heads upward from there. It will be such a delight to see them go at it again in the fine dining atmosphere of Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen.