I have had a great deal of pleasure listening to jazz in many places, but the second set at The Ear Inn (326 Spring Street in New York City) on a Sunday night when The Ear Regulars are playing is a true oasis.
After their set break, the musicians are content, relaxed. Their tempos rock; their music is stirring. And there are usually some sterling additions, surprise guests who bring their horns and their talents.
Last Sunday, April 25, 2010, the Ear Regulars were Jon-Erik Kellso, Matt Munisteri, Harry Allen, and Neal Miner. “Some band!” as Charlotte would say.
They played a stellar set, which I captured in a post here, logically called THE FIRST SET (https://jazzlives.wordpress.com/2010/04/26/the-first-set-the-ear-inn-april-25-2010/).
Even better, some official Ear Pals came in: Andy Farber with his tenor sax; Danny Tobias and his cornet; Chris Flory (without a guitar but ready to borrow Matt’s), and Jim Whitney (ditto for Neal’s bass).
In another world, the combination of two tenors, two trumpets, and a rhythm section might have stirred up competition. But not here. High notes and long solos aren’t the rule at these sessions; no, they are much more like a group of friends having a good time.
The original quartet started off the second set with a leisurely saunter through a Ben Webster line (a composition twice removed?), DID YOU CALL HER TODAY? In the interests of full disclosure, I must say that Ben is supposed to have substituted another verb in the title. CALL is based on the chords of IN A MELLOTONE, which is based on ROSE ROOM. The source of ROSE ROOM is yet untraced:
Beginning with Neal, here’s the second part:
Continuing the Ellington-out-of-Riff mood, Jon-Erik called for THE JEEP IS JUMPIN’, a Johnny Hodges version of I GOT RHYTHM — and invited Andy and Danny to the bandstand:
Here’s the rocking last chorus:
Jon-Erik passed the scepter to Danny, who called one of his favorite songs, THIS CAN’T BE LOVE:
Keeping the amorous subtext going, someone (was it Chris Flory, now ready to play Matt’s guitar?) suggested COMES LOVE, a favorite of Kenny Davern and Bob Wilber’s. Jim Whitney had taken over on bass for Neal:
Here’s the conclusion:
Finally, the group (with Chris on guitar but Neal back on bass) romped through LINGER AWHILE, a song that makes me think of a Dicky Wells record with Lester Young, Bill Coleman, Ellis Larkins, Freddie Green, Al Hall, and Jo Jones on board:
I couldn’t linger for too long, but I can’t wait until next Sunday. You come, too!