“Feast or famine,” my mother used to say.
Looks like Wednesday and Thursday, May 6 and 7, are Jazz Feast Nights, posing a moral dilemma of the most pleasant kind.
From 5:30 to 7:15 or thereabouts, David Ostwald and the Louis Armstrong Centennial Band will be celebrating their ninth birthday at Birdland — a wonderful long run — by doing what they do best, honoring Mr. Strong with his music and theirs. The noble participants tonight include Jon-Erik Kellso, Vincent Gardner, Anat Cohen, Mark Shane, and Kevin Dorn. And who knows what other luminaries might stop by, with horns or not?
Tomorrow . . . from 6:30 to 8:30, my man Ricky Riccardi will be conversing with Marty Napoleon uptown at the Jazz Museum in Harlem. Marty is an energetic, funny storyteller with baskets of anecdotage about two stints on the road with Louis, work and play with Red Allen, Gene Krupa, and his own groups. He’s the very definition of “irrepressible,” and I know Ricky will do nothing to repress him. Also Ricky has promised to bring along some rare film footage of Marty and Louis. Take the “A” train uptown to hear a good deal of Marty’s engaging talk.
If you prefer to stay downtown, the competition is fierce — Jon-Erik Kellso and Ehud Asherie will be playing an hour of duets at Smalls, 8-9 PM. Maybe you could listen to Marty for an hour and then scurry down (take the 1 to Christopher Street) and catch that wonderful duet.
Those who complain about the lack of gigs in New York City should take advantage of this jazz cornucopia! “That’s a-plenty!”