Daily Archives: February 13, 2009

“DROP ME OFF IN HARLEM”

Last night (Thursday, February 12) was perilously windy, but Flip and I bundled up and made it downtown to Smalls to hear an hour of duets between Jon-Erik Kellso and Ehud Asherie.

The story goes that Duke Ellington was in a cab one night in the early Thirties with the newspaperman (and occasional songwriter) Nick Kenny.  The following dialogue (hardly Chekhov) ensued:

Kenny: “Where do you want to go, Duke?”

Ellington: “Oh, just drop me off in Harlem.”

( Scholars dispute whether it was IN or AT, but I leave that to those who argue about ON line or IN line.)

Jon-Erik and Ehud take this pretty song at one of many right tempos — a medium glide.  And, luckily, Jon-Erik was in the mood to unleash his Inner Puppy, a friendly mixed-breed that would characteristically lick your face but most often has a whole repertoire of growls to offer.  Listen to the vocalizing he gets here, and to Ehud’s mobile, listening playing.  Lovely, evocative music!