Welcome to MOTUS’ Pop Up Twilight Nocturne Lounge. The roadies are still busy setting up for tonight’s performances and I must say, it may well be our best lineup yet.
Before the music starts and you order a drink we have to time-travel to tonight’s pop up venue: 1980’s Detroit. Welcome aboard the fantasy night flight: it’s a balmy spring evening and we’ve just arrived in the lobby of the Hotel Pontchartrain (aka “the Ponch”) for the weekly P’jazz concert. We take the elevator to the rooftop terrace, stroll over to the railing and gaze south across the Detroit River at the lights of Windsor, Ontario and sigh. Then we weave our way through the sold out gathering of urban professionals and take a seat at a not quite big enough table and order cocktails - Crown Royal Manhattans, I believe.
P’jazz on the Pontchartrain’s terrace is a wildly popular ticket in Detroit’s financial district in the 1980s, catering to the after work crowd and featuring some of the best live jazz anywhere. It’s the perfect place to chill. Our featured cocktail this evening was created in 1937 in a restaurant directly across the street from the Ponch called the Pontchartrain Wine Cellars. It’s called Cold Duck and no, dear, André did NOT invent it. When made correctly it was quite good.
One Part fine Burgundy Wine (Chilled)
One Part fine Champagne (Chilled)
Fruit was discouraged, a champagne coupe required
Our alternate featured cocktail for this evening is the Red Eye, suggested by BakkenWag:
2 shots vodka
½ shot Campari
½ shot extra-dry vermouth
1 shot fresh orange juice
Shake all ingredients together with ice in a shaker and strain into a
chilled glass. Garnish with two candied cicadas* on a stick, if
Little Mo reports however, that he has eaten our entire supply of candied cicadas*, so if you want a garnish, you’ll have bring your own. I’ve reprinted Bakken Wag’s recipe below if you care to make them. The only tricky part is finding the cicadas as I understand they only emerge once every 17 years.
I see our first group is taking the stage now; Ramsey Lewis, founder of the Urban Knights,
They are going to perform my absolute, all-time favorite chill tune, Hearts of Longing. I think you all know the drill by now: if you need a drink or a refill just nod at Little Mo behind the bar. He knows what you want.
If you’d like a special treat, here’s a link to a video of the Urban Knights’ legendary concert in Washington, D.C. from 1996. Audio and video quality aren’t so good so we settled for this rendition:
Hearts Of Longing: Urban Knights
Taking the stage next is one of my two all-time favorite blues guitarists, Stevie Ray Vaughn (RIP). These days Stevie is usually found jamming with my other all-time favorite blues guitarist, B.B. King, somewhere east of Eden, butt tonight he’s agreed to time travel to my lounge to perform Riviera Paradise. So without further adieu…
Riviera Paradise: Stevie Ray Vaughn
And here’s a tune that’s quite special to me, and perfect for a chill-set: Bob James, Women of Ireland
Women of Ireland: Bob James
Followed by the awesomeness of Santana:
Europa (Earth's Cry Heaven's Smile): Santana
Wrapping up this evening’s program, we welcome a P’jazz favorite and regular, from across the river, Alexander Zonjic, performing Oblivion…which seems to be a great way to wrap up the first 4 months of the primary season. If you haven’t yet reached it, oblivion that is, I see Little Mo’s still behind the bar.
Oblivion: Alexander Zonjic
And now, most everybody has headed out of the Motor City for the ‘burbs. Butt for those of us still swaying to the music and still nodding to Little Mo, here’s an encore for last call: Ronnie Jordan performing After Hours (The Antidote)…and who doesn’t need one?
After Hours (The Antidote): Ronny Jordan
1 pound cicadas (Ed: Only 1 pound, more would be excessive!)
1 cup white sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
3 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spread cicadas in a single layer over a
baking sheet. Roast for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until the
cicadas start to turn brown and are thoroughly dried out.
Stir together sugar, cinnamon, salt, and milk in a medium saucepan.
Cook over medium-high heat for eight minutes, or until the mixture
reaches the soft ball stage at 236°F (113°C). Remove from heat, and stir
in vanilla immediately.
Add cicadas to sugar syrup, and stir to coat well. Spoon onto waxed
paper, and immediately separate cicadas with a fork. Cool and store in
airtight containers. – be sure to keep the lid on, as these little buggers seem to have more staying power than cockroaches.
Now relax, enjoy the show, don’t eat too many of those candied cicadas, and if you’re designated driver doesn’t show join Raj and me at the Lafayette Coney Island for some late night fare. We can call for an Uber car when we’re done.
NOTE: Tickets for tonight’s performance have been provided courtesy of the Concert Database.