EASTER SUNDAY AT THE EAR INN (April 4, 2010)

No, there were no large Easter bonnets at The Ear Inn, and no one conducted an egg hunt.  But the holiday was somewhat whimsically celebrated in the choice of repertoire, as you will observe.  

Jon-Erik Kellso was celebrating his own Easter down in New Orleans, so his place was ably taken by trumpeter Charlie Caranicas, who had with him clarinetist Pete Martinez, bassist Pat O’Leary (who referred to himself as “the Keister Bunny,” make of that what you will), and co-leader / co-conspirator Matt Munisteri.  It was Matt’s idea, I think, to begin the evening with (what else?) the Irving Berlin hymn to trust — or is it precariousness?  Anyway, the Ear Regulars began their first set with a jogging I’M PUTTING ALL MY EGGS IN ONE BASKET.  It might be poor advice for the distribution of funds in your 401K, but that never seemed to bother Fred Astaire:

More literally, the holiday theme (and the homage to Berlin) continued with EASTER PARADE — a song that Eddie Condon, my hero, used to play at the start of his springtime Town Hall Concerts.  (I have a splendid version with Stirling Bose, Miff Mole, Pee Wee Russell, and Sidney Catlett in the ensemble.)  Here’s a version for the twenty-first century, no less splendid:

Matt ended the Berlin medley, commenting wryly that the composer had wedded the spiritual and the commercial in American music, with a medium-tempo trot through RUSSIAN LULLABY, a song Louis associated with the Karnofsky family, and one I associate with Ruby Braff, Ed Hall, Vic Dickenson, Sir Charles Thompson, and Walter Page.  Here, I associate it with Matt, Pat, Pete, and Charlie:

In the second set, the wonderful reedman Andy Farber joined in, on tenor — and in keeping with the theme of Easter bunnies, someone suggested COTTON TAIL — majestically lithe and limber here, Peter eluding Mr. McGregor one more time:

These four performances find a splendid quartet and quintet of jazz players who know the common language, who laugh at the same in-jokes, who rock fervently, whose solos have melodic shape, who sing songs.  Happy Easter!  Let jazz happiness reign through the land, not only on Spring Street in downtown New York City.  I’m only sorry that no one thought of I CAN’T GET STARTED.

5 responses to “EASTER SUNDAY AT THE EAR INN (April 4, 2010)

  1. John Choquette

    Loved these guys. Cottontail wow ! The Clarinet guy is so “cool” – and the bass player, too. Bari sax so cool.

    Love your site. Just love it –

  2. Your description of this date made it sound very appealing, so I was looking forward to listening to The Ear session that you preserved for us, but although the music was all first rate, the whole experience was spoiled for me by that loud-mouthed female in the foreground who felt that her inane conversation was more important than the artistry of the musicians! I’ve played enough club dates to know that this is one of the hazards one generally has to put up with, but when I’m the leader on the gig I have, on several occasions reminded such people that musicians deserve some respect & suggested that other environments might be more condusive to their conversation! Unfortunately, this ego malady is world-wide, but “sh-h-h!” & a dirty look works just as well in Europe as it does here! Maybe next time you could place your mic so as to minimalize such disctractions? Keep up the good work!

  3. sorry I typoed “distractions”!

  4. Pingback: EASTER SUNDAY AT THE EAR INN (April 4, 2010)

  5. Because you are a musician and archivist, you deserve a serious answer.
    I am glad that you got some pleasure out of the music and weren’t entirely distracted by the yappers. Believe me, they annoy me, too, when I’m listening or recording.
    But since I’m not the leader of the band, anywhere, I don’t shush and glare. It doesn’t really work anymore (we could lament the end of good manners or the decline of the West, but we know all that already). And when I can I shut out the noise and focus on the band, rather than getting angry at the noise.
    It’s rather like listening to a one-of-a-kind acetate of Vic or Frank Newton . . . do you choose to concentrate on the lousy sound and the scratches, or do you rejoice in what comes through the murk?
    Finally, at The Ear and elsewhere, I am a guest with my video camera. The musicians are very kind and indulgent to me — someone who’s recording their work and publicizing it without paying them for the privilege. So my role is to be an unobtrusive: no bright lights, no getting in their way. The Ear isn’t my living room nor is it a private recording studio, and that’s why my videos look and sound as they do . . . .the price of being on the spot, live, unharnessed.
    My microphone, by the way, is part of the camera, on top.
    Were I to get upset at the limitations of my surroundings, I would stay home . . . and then you wouldn’t get to go to The Ear, even vicariously? Be well! Cheers, Michael

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