RESPECT: a feeling or understanding that someone or something is important, serious, etc., and should be treated in an appropriate way
It is the little things that make the difference. They add up and suddenly the Dirty Dog Jazz Café is being described as the best jazz club in America. They have earned their reputation by serving up top notch music, food and service. Underlying the quality is the club’s respect for the customers and the artists, respect that is earned and comes sincerely from within each of the team members. Respect is imbedded in the DNA of both the management and the staff.
One of the unseen acts of respect happens when an artist arrives at the airport for a booking at the Dirty Dog. He is picked up by Darrell Garrett and accompanied until he is comfortably situated for the sound check at the club. They aren’t just driven, they are befriended.
Darrell asked for this assignment. He saw a need and filled it. Darrell is the marketing coordinator at Mack Avenue Records and the product manager for The Detroit Music Company. He knows music. He cares about musicians, and the artists that ride with Darrell know that he cares. Darrell has the respect gene, and what a gift it is to our guests.
Spending time with Darrell is a delight. He has a rare ability to be knowledgeable and personable at the same time.. He listens, he is calm, and he is appreciated by those getting off a flight into a new town.
Darrell is Detroit and Detroit is Darrell. They have been knocked down, and they get up. They live with pain, but they carry on. Darrell was in a serious accident which would have qualified him to lay back and fade away, but like Detroit, that is not going to happen. He remains available to help others and is always ready to spread some joy.
Alongside Darrell through his tough times has been his wife, Sol. Sol has boundless energy and enthusiasm for any task she takes on. She knew the importance that music had for Darrell and encouraged him to use music to help him to recover.
Darrell mentions his time with James Moody. Anyone who has been fortunate enough to have been in a room with Moody will never forget it. After being with Moody you can retire from conversational life and hang up your ears, because it won’t get any better except maybe hearing Darrell and Moody together. I would have loved to hear the two of them share their stories while Moody was with us.
If you ever wonder why the out of town musicians seem to give us a little more, think of Darrell. Good people do make a difference.
Here are some snippets from a conversation I had recently with Darrell and Sol.
Here is a video of Moody in a playful mood.