Daily Archives: September 11, 2010

“IT’S GLORY”: THE EAR INN (September 5, 2010)

Last Sunday I made my way down to The Ear Inn with great eagerness.  Jon-Erik Kellso and Neal Miner were going to be there along with two players making their debuts at 326 Spring Street: altoist Dmitry Baevsky, whom I’d admired on a duet gig with Ehud Asherie at Smalls, and the remarkable guitarist Ray Macchiarola.

I wasn’t disappointed for a moment, as you shall see and hear.  And the guests in the house made the music even more delightful: Mark Lopeman brought his alto sax and sat in for part of the first set, and cornet master Danny Tobias lit up the room for one number in the second set.  I’m using the Ellington original as a title for this blogpost simply because the music at The Ear was indeed glorious.  Here are a few notable examples in a session of timelesss Mainstream jazz, full of wit, energy, and feeling: 

A leisurely I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT YOU’RE IN LOVE WITH ME brought back Billie and Lester and their Basie-ite friends:

SLOW BOAT TO CHINA, music for two friendly alto saxophones:

AFTER YOU’VE GONE:

And a delicious little scrap too good to erase:

WHEN I GROW TOO OLD TO DREAM:

And the conclusion, which ends with a hilarious little conversation between Dmitry and Jon-Erik before they head for home:

LADY BE GOOD (which I called DANNY DROPS BY on YouTube — features courtly interplay between the two brassmen, the very soul of politeness):

BLUES (a tempo and mood reminiscent of Parker’s):

BLUES Part Two:

TEA FOR TWO:

What delicious music!

OH, SIGN THAT THING!

Another eBay sighting — although by the time I’d come to write this post, this holy artifact had been sold. 

I’d place this as somewhere between 1949-50, San Francisco — because of the constellation of players not usually found together.  Whatever the circumstances and whenever, it is a fascinating collection . . . and the original owner (Francis) had his heroes sign both sides of this scrapbook page, thus giving the prospective owner a Janus-like set of pleasures. 

“Which side do I choose to look upon and revere today?”

I see Joe Sullivan, Wingy Manone, Skip Marr, Johnny Wittwer, and the elusive Len Diamond.

Billy Eckstine, Ralph Sutton, Pee Wee Russell, George Thow, Pat Pattone, and Red Cooper – – – “Lucky Francis!” is all I can say!

SAY IT SIMPLE: JESS STACY

This is the first of an intermittent series of quotations that seem to me to get to the heart of the matter.

They [the public] want a thing to look hard.  You can work up something that is very extremely difficult technically, but if it doesn’t look difficult, they don’t pay any attention to it.  But if you beat your brains out all over the stage, they think it’s wonderful, and yell for more.  What do they know?”

from RIVERBOAT JESS, by Mary Peart, originally printed in Art Hodes’ Forties jazz magazine, The Jazz Record.