Kurt RibakJass bassist Kurt Ribak has served as a kind of real-life alter ego to my fictional private eye, August Riordan.
In Candy from Strangers, August plays a gig with his sidekick Chris Duckworth at the House of Shields. I picked the venue because Kurt has played there frequently, often accompanying singer Lorna K.
And in Runoff, I pretty much ripped off Kurt and Lorna's whole set list in the description I gave of August's and Chris' gig at Shanghai 1930.
Last night I attended a fantastic show Kurt and his group, the Kurt Ribak Trio, gave at at Yoshi's, San Francisco's premiere jazz club. Although the club prohibits photography (ahem), I managed to snap these pictures of Kurt and Lorna performing, as well as this one of Lincoln Adler soling on Kurt's composition "Pseudoafrocubanismo".
In a further example of real life inspiring fiction, Kurt was kind enough to allow public radio station KQED to use "Pseudoafrocubanismo" in the recording they did of the first chapter of Candy from Strangers.
Kurt and his group have three albums out: the self-titled Kurt Ribak Trio, More and their latest, Gone. Check them out--they are all excellent. After hearing it performed last night, I particularly commend Kurt's tune, "Tango Para Mi Padre" from Gone.