In the spring of 2009, Irv Williams is playing a shiny new tenor saxophone. He has a young miniature schnauzer named Ditto who, in Irv’s words, is “very exuberant about everything.” He’s writing new songs for his next CD, his fifth since 2004. He has two regular weekly gigs, one at the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis and the other at Il Vesco Vino on West Seventh in Saint Paul.
The Turf Club is an historic landmark in the Twin Cities music world. One might wonder how this club set in the Midway—the land between downtown Minneapolis and downtown Saint Paul—amongst porn and pawn shops, liquor stores and Ax Man, maintains a name at all. This is not the hubbub of nightlife; no river views, no skyscrapers, no horse carriages or antique fire trucks, no pretty street lights, no Snoopy. It's University bus stops and Snelling traffic.