Saturday night, we had the privilege of sitting with my husband’s sister Maho and her husband Volker and an assortment of their friends in a coffeehouse called The Copper Coin in Woodstock. We were there to hear The Peter Ponzol Quartet play jazz.
The Copper Coin is a cool space just right for jazz, with an eclectic mix of tables, sofas and chairs all facing a small performance area in the front. In the back, you can get coffee, beer, and wine, sandwiches, and pastries.
Ponzoi is an American saxophonist who trained and played in New York. He then lived and performed in Germany for twenty years. He is now back in the States and this was his 2nd appearance in the US in 10 years. The man is 80 years old!He certainly doesn’t sound it, although he is definitely a confident, competent master of his instrument.
This type of jazz is a different beast than the blues I review most often. It is more smooth and sensuous, burrowing under your skin and into your mind,. It can lull you until the drummer calls you back to attention again. I think it is best enjoyed either alone or in a convivial group who also appreciate the music, as we were Saturday. Except, of course, in a club with a dance floor, on which couples can sway together. But yes, in a coffeehouse, a group is best so you can all politely show your appreciation together at the end of a marvelous solo from the piano player, the bassist, the drummer, or the saxophonist. By the later numbers, there were even some polite shouts of approval, for Ponzol truly has put together a wonderful band, worthy of a man with his talent.
I am told that there is music at The Copper Coin every weekend and that it is always free. I commend the place to you. I also suggest you catch Mr. Poncol and his band if you get the chance. For those occasions when only cool jazz will fill your senses and your soul, this is just the sort of group you need.