Saxophonist Haldeman, an Ann Arbor native, plays straight-ahead bebop and post-bop. He studied in Chicago, where he absorbed the crucial truth, so often lost on the coasts, that forward-thinking styles of jazz rest no less than traditional ones on a blues foundation. He has a joyful attitude and a way of adapting quickly and spontaneously to the ways of the musicians who join him on stage.
On top of all this, there's no cover except for the DJ shows; food and drinks are cheap; and the earrings of one of the regular bartenders are worth a visit all by themselves. It adds up to an unusually well-preserved slice of history, a reminder of a time when modern jazz had organic roots in African-American communities, and a fine evening on the town that's drawing a hip crowd.
[Originally published in May, 2012.]