“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!

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

  1. Thanks for the posting Michael! It was nice to see you back in New York.

  2. Thanks for the playing, Danny! Next time perhaps you’ll be able to stay longer!

  3. Andreas Kågedal

    Nice music! Thanks for posting!
    I have noticed that I have a little bit of a problem hearing the bass in your recent clips, and being a bass-player myself, I really miss that. I realize that this might be problem on my side with the audio-settings in my computer and my headphones etc. Or the bass player actually played really soft. But possibly you have accidentally (or on purpose?) enabled some “wind noise cancellation” or “low-cut filter” in your camera, which removes the low end of the audio spectrum. Just a thought.

  4. Dear Andreas,

    You have been very gracious to me, so you will get a (long) detailed answer. I am delighted that you are a bass player, by the way!

    I used to make videos from a seated position at the Ear — a table next to the band but off to one side: I was nearly in front of the bass player, so I am sure the resonance and depth was better. But visually it was not as good: I was shooting the backs of people’s heads and capturing the band (at best) from the side or too close to get a picture of what was a quartet in a small space. Now I have moved to a barstool in front of the band, perhaps six feet away. I am probably closer to the horns than before, and their bright louder sounds come through fine. But I understand if you say the bass sound is now diminished. One cannot serve two masters, someone once said, and I have chosen to make better videos — in a more uncomfortable seat, I assure you — rather than have solid bass sound off to the side. (Incidentally, before switching positions, I asked a few of my most loyal friends / viewers which they preferred, and they all said that to see the faces of the band the second way was very gratifying.)

    The other thing, of course, is that the hum of chatter and chairs and low noises that permeates the Ear may be drowning out the bass. But I am so much amused by your gentle idea that I had the technical ability to deal with wind noise cancellation or filters. Someday I might read the whole owners’ manual. It hasn’t been needed yet. All I can say is to suggest that 1) you aren’t losing your hearing; 2) I am not discriminating against bassists, and 3) maybe you’ll have to fiddle with the tone controls . . . All the best, Michael

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