Every one of us has come in contact with someone who, even though he or she may be a total stranger, says or does something in such a kind and considerate way that it brightens even the darkest moments of our lives. Little acts of kindness. These days we need much more of that to counteract all the negativity and finger pointing and divisiveness in our society.
For many years our jazz trio has been playing once a month at the General Store Cafe in PIttsboro, NC. We had decided to take a break from it for a while so last night was our last scheduled night there. For the past couple of years we’ve been greeted by, fed by, and just generally made to feel welcome and appreciated by bartender Kyle Allred. Last night there was a woman we did not know working there who informed us that Kyle had died in his sleep on Monday. He was 53.
I hardly knew Kyle and never saw him except for our once a month visits to the cafe. But he was one of those exceptional people who, no matter how they’re feeling themselves, always make you feel appreciated and cared for. We were all stunned and saddened to hear of his death. It really changed the atmosphere that night. We opened the set with the beautiful J.J. Johnson tune “Lament” in his honor. I had planned on recording the show that night but got so distracted by the turn of events that I forgot to record the first set. But I did get the second set and I think this tune pretty much captured the low key mood of the evening.
There’s an online obituary for Kyle here.
The Bernie Petteway Trio will perform next at Cafe Beyu in Durham, NC on Friday, November 12. 9:00 PM until midnight.