When I moved to Cleveland in late 2019, I was eager to plunge full-time into a jazz scene that looked like New York’s to me. That notion might be laughable to longtime citizens of The Land, but from the jazz desert of Erie, Pennsylvania, that’s how Cleveland looked to me. Consider this ten-day period in Sept. 2019 when Bop Stop presented a cavalcade of stars that would make even the most hardened New York booker bow in respect and awe.
Even with stars in my eyes I knew that such intervals are few and far between. But every rule needs an exception as proof, and one has arrived this week where in the course of three nights, Cleveland will host concerts by the brilliant tenor saxophonist Ben Wendel, vibes wizard Joel Ross and the mesmerizing poet, community activist and truth-teller Moor Mother.