This December 2nd at Indianapolis' Jazz Kitchen, two worlds collide when local smart-assed lounge lizards The Leisure Kings meet their musical match in the person(s) of Brent Wallarab and a cadre of Indianapolis jazz all-stars. Wallarab and 13 other perfectly well-respected and upstanding Indy jazz musicians, performing under their nom-de-lounge: Red Barron and his Midtown Blowers, will put their reputations, careers, and self-respect on the line as they provide lush musical backing for the notorious Leisure Kings upon the occasion of the release of their first album, Total Lougification. The album will be available for sale at the event in both the CD and 8-track tape formats.
For the past 5 years, The Leisure Kings - an Indy keys-and-vocal duo specializing in rendering loungy versions of metal and rap tunes and consisting of Michael Wiltrout (vocals) and Sean Baker (keys) - have been perfectly content to cheese it up on a smaller scale, performing club shows and private events, not bothering anyone (other than the people that they bother). All that will change now that this unholy alliance of high and low art has formed.
It all started when Wallarab, co-founder and -director of many excellent local ensembles, including The Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra and The Midcoast Swing Orchestra, attended one of the raucous Wednesday night Leisure Kings shows at Agio Restaurant downtown. At the show's conclusion, for reasons known only to himself, Wallarab approached Wiltrout and Baker and proposed to supply the music charts and musicians necessary to flesh out their show into a 16-piece extravaganza the like of which hadn't been seen in Indy in, well... ever. The Jazz Kitchen's David Allee knew a sure thing when he saw it, and the venue and date were set.
Imagine it's 1966 and you've scored Vegas' hottest ticket: a table down in front for the Rat Pack at the Sands hotel. You settle into your seat as the Count Basie Orchestra begins it's overture. Three fabulous wiseacres saunter up to the stage and address their microphones. First up is Ol' Blue Eyes himself, Mr. Frank Sinatra. The Chairman clears his throat and begins to croon the first notes of a song by... Snoop Dogg. When he's finished, it's Sammy Davis Jr.'s turn as he brings his incomparable talents to bear on The Scorpions' "Rock You Like a Hurricane". Finally, ultra-smooth Dean Martin brings the house down with a heartfelt ditty from those West Coast balladeers, Van Halen.
Impossible to imagine, you say? Blasphemous? Well, if you're at The Jazz Kitchen on December 2nd, it'll be a whole lot less impossible to imagine, and the blasphemy's on the house. Admission, however, is not. The best $10 you've spent this year buys you a seat at either the 8:30pm or the 10:30pm show. Tickets are almost sold out for the 8:30 show, and the 10:30's going fast too, so don't dawdle. The Jazz Kitchen is keeping their kitchen open later for the occasion, so the full dinner menu will be available at both shows.
On December 2nd, 2006, the classiest cheese in Indy won't be in the deli section of O'Malia's. It'll be at the corner of 54th and College when the Jazz Kitchen Hosts The Leisure Kings CD release and Big Band Show featuring Red Barron and His Midtown Blowers.
Michael T. Wiltrout