May 27, 2008
An Off Note

We hadn't been to the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee for a couple of years, so we were surprised this weekend to discover what to us were several new venues, such as Pyramid Alehouse and Marilyn's, both on the K Street Mall. They were more intimate than traditional settings like Turntable Junction and the Hyatt Regency ballroom, but in the case of Pyramid Alehouse the jubilee's organizers might want to rethink their strategy.

While the acoustics were fine, Pyramid Alehouse wasn't the best environment to showcase a band like the blues ensemble Marshall Wilkerson and Smoked Sugar. Sightlines were poor, there was no dance floor to speak of, the game but short-handed staff couldn't keep up with fans who wanted to be seated, and restaurant guests who were there to eat and drink rather than to be entertained apparently felt put upon, leading to requests that the music be toned down.

Imagine that, at a jazz jubilee.

Pyramid Alehouse did have one advantage over other settings, however - a wider selection of beers, even if this weekend didn't provide the most beer-friendly weather.

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