My title comes from a 1939 Count Basie Decca record featuring sweet Helen Humes, wondrous Lester Young, odd lyrics, and a difficult arrangement that Jo Jones said that gave the band trouble. But this post is about the DARK RAPTURE found Sunday nights at the Ear Inn (326 Spring Street, 8-11 PM) when Jon-Erik Kellso and Matt Munisteri (or their friends) co-lead The EarRegulars. Last night was an extra-special quartet: Jon-Erik and Matt, tenor saxophonist Harry Allen, bassist Neal Miner. And the Ear is very dark, the jazz often rapturous. Here are three performances by this intimate, intuitive group. each player visibly and audibly inspiring the others.
After a trotting Buck Clayton blues, SWINGIN’ AT THE COPPER RAIL, Jon-Erik suggested a song by another trumpet player named Louis, SOMEDAY YOU’LL BE SORRY, at a bouncing tempo:
One of the great virtue of the EarRegulars is their broad and deep repertoire: they know many songs that aren’t SATIN DOLL. Matt loves to play TISHOMINGO BLUES, and Jon-Erik likes LOUISIANA, AIN’T CHA GLAD? and HAPPY FEET — the latter associated with Bing Crosby and the Rhythm Boys, but recorded most memorably by the 1933 Fletcher Henderson band (the magical group with Henry “Red” Allen, Dicky Wells, Coleman Hawkins, Hilton Jefferson, and Walter Johnson). It’s one of those songs that, played properly, rocks by itself. (Incidentally, must I point out that it has nothing to do with a recent animated film about penguins?):
And the last few days in New York (or perhaps the Northeast) have been atypically warm and balmy — so Jon-Erik said, “We really have to play INDIAN SUMMER,” and they did, beautifully:
(I stopped recording at ten minutes — attempting to placate YouTube — so that viewers must imagine a few more notes of the coda.)
Such music makes the darkness shine!