Vlad and Barney were in Cleveland for some recording at Mind Fry Studios. Tonight however they were downtown in Cleveland. They were looking for some live music and were having a hard time finding anything they liked. They had stopped in at a couple places and it was all crap. The one place over on Superior by the bridge sometimes had good jazz but tonight nothing. They still stopped there because they wanted a drink. They knew the woman who tended bar and they liked her. She had a nice easy going demeanor. Plus she was hot. They came in and went up to the bar. There was a decent crowd for dinner and some jazz played softly on the system Karen, the bartender came up and said “look what the cats dragged in... you guys back in town I take it. Gigs or recordings?”

“Recordings.”Barney offered .

“What’ll ya have?” she asked. Vlad ordered a vodka while Barney went with a Two Hearted Ale.

“Where can we hear some good jazz tonight?” Vlad asked Karen. “We’d hope you might have something.”

“Only Friday and Saturdays” she said apologetically. “Let me check the Bop Stops schedule for tonight. And she disappeared into the office for a bit. Vlad was looking straight into the mirror behind the bar while Barney spun his stool around to look out at the room. Karen reappeared with the drinks and news that Mike Fink is at the Bop Stop. Vlad knew Mike. He was also from Russia. He was a sax player. Stone bopper. He had wanted to join the Consort a few years ago and often hit Vlad up for an audition. Vlad liked Mike but knew he wouldn’t be a good blend for the Consort. He just told him Babakar wasn’t looking for anyone. Vlad looked at Barney with a look of “Want to go?” Barney agreed.

“He starts in 15 minutes.”Karen added.

“We can arrive fashionably late. I don’t want to rush our drink.”

“But you’re Russian.” Barney punned while Vlad just raised an eyebrow. So they finished their drinks in a relaxed fashion. Then they drove over to the Bop Stop. They had John McGrail’s car, a 2010 Honda with a pretty decent sound system in it. The Bop Stop was located in the Hingetown section of Cleveland. Vlad and Barney didn’t understand the name but they knew where it was. Barney was driving and it took them about 10 minutes to get there and find a parking spot. Hingetown was just across the river from the bar they were at. When they got there the got 2 seats near the back and more drinks. Mike was already playing. Indeed it was Bop. They were at the appropriate club given it’s name. His group was a quartet rounded out with piano bass and drums. The drums were an electronic kit and the bass was an upright electric bass. It was good. Mike was playing very well Vlad was thinking. Barney seemed to enjoy it as well. But it was when the piano player took off that it really got hot. She was amazing. Both hand just all over the place. The other 3 left stage while she, her name was Ava Jones Day, just owned the piano. When they had walked back on to the stage to join her and finish the tune the audience exploded. Barney was thinking how sad it was that the room was only 1/3 full. It was a good room with a good band. At the end of the tune Mike announced they would be taking a 15 minute break and they’d be right back. As he went towards the green room Vlad walked over and hit him gently on the shoulder.

“Vladimir Polchinski, what the hell are you doing in town. Consort right.... got to be that.” 
"Indeed. Barney’s right over there. We just thought we would head out for a night on the town and wanted to hear some jazz. When I saw your name I told Barney we gotta go. Sorry we’re late. We didn’t find out until about ½ hour ago."

“Glad you could. If you're still here after and feel like tipping back one that‘d be great.”

“I think we can do that. Have a great second set.” Vlad said turning to return to his seat. No one else had any idea what they had said as the conversation was all in Russian.

He went up to Barney and said “Feel like getting a drink with him after the show?”

“Absolutely. I’d like to meet that piano player. Damn she is hot.” Barney raved.

“She is hot and she can play her instrument too." Vlad chuckled impugning Barney’s’ intentions.

So the second set was better than the first and Ava was smokin’ hot. When they got done Barney and Vlad hung out at the bar until Mike came up. Vlad ordered 3 Vodka’s. Barney knew it was a tradition so he drank the vodka though he normally didn’t drink much hard liquor. Still how could he refuse. So the three raised their glasses and tossed back the clear fluid. It was then that Ava was walking by the three and she said “Goodnight Mike” Mike then called her over and introduced her to Vlad and Barney. “Nice to meet you. You got some great CD’s”

“Thank you, can I buy you a drink?” Barney queried hoping to get to talk to her more but she said “No thanks I’ve got to get back to the hotel.” in a matter of fact tone. Then she gave the 3 a general smile turned and left. Barney looked at her as she walked away. “You’re right Vlad... she IS hot.”

“Yes and you just got shot down.” and the 3 all started laughing though Barney’s laughter was the quietest.