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!