Here’s a last-minute notice about two New York City gigs that promise extraordinary music.
On Tuesday, June 29th, at Smalls Jazz Club, from 10 PM to 12:30 AM, the Michael Kanan Quartet will be playing. Michael is the pianist whose beautifully subtle work stopped me cold on Dan Block’s Ellington tribute CD. Some contemporary musicians don’t like being compared to their jazz ancestors, but I thought of Ellis Larkins and Hank Jones — Mike is just that compelling and delicate.
And I’ll get to meet the wonderful Joel Press, tenor sax (I decided that he was “the Swing Explorer”) face to face. Joel is both traditional and unclassifiable in the best ways. I’ve heard him experiment with standard repertoire without obliterating it, arriving at surprising places in the course of a performance. And he knows how to swing while he’s exploring.
What could be better? How about Pat O’Leary on bass and Joe Hunt on drums?
Smalls is located at 183 West 10th St in Greenwich Village, and a $20 cover is good for a full night of music.
And for those who can’t get enough, like myself, the next night, Wednesday, June 30, Michael, Joel, bassist Neal Miner, and Joe Hunt will be appearing in the cozy ground-floor space of Sofia’s (221 West 46th Street) from 7-10:30 pm.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to charge my batteries (both electronic and physical) in advance. (A reasonable man would be sleeping and packing, but I can sleep on the plane.) See you there!