Sweet rhythm captivates me,
Hot rhythm stimulates me,
Can’t help but swing,
Swing it, brother, swing . . . .
Billie Holiday sang these words with the Basie band in 1937, and they came to mind this morning when I heard the good news:
Jon-Erik Kellso, Ehud Asherie, Kelly Friesen, and A.N. Other will be starting a potentially steady gig at Sweet Rhythm (88 Seventh Avenue South, New York, New York 10014, 212-255-3626, between Bleecker and Grove Streets) this Sunday, October 26, from 4 – 7. A paltry $10 cover charge, an attractive menu. (http://www.sweetrhythmny.com.)
By 4 PM, most New Yorkers should have read all that’s fit to print in their Sunday Times, and they can bestir themselves to walk in that special late-afternoon autumnal light.
The timing is right for other reasons. Jazz musicians tend to be nocturnal, and noon is the middle of their night, so brunch sometimes seems like an affront to their senses: bright lights, people being unduly cheerful, the smell of eggs and bacon.
And for the rest of us, those oppressed creatures Jo Jones called “the nine to fivers,” a Sunday night gig sometimes means feeling even more downtrodden when the alarm clock goes off at 5:45 on Monday morning.
This seems just right. I look forward to being both Stimulated and Captivated. You come, too.
P.S. Readers who know their New York jazz history will know that Sweet Rhythm used to be Sweet Basil, where (among other pleasures) Doc Cheatham did Sunday brunches for a long long time. And he lived to be a vigorous jazz patriarch. Maybe this site has some good anti-aging karma in its walls.
P.P.S. In the name of accuracy — an hour after posting this blog, I remembered that Billie actually sang “Deep rhythm,” but I am not going to let evidence like that destroy my tenuous intellectual construction. Kellso’s rhythms are deep, too.