Sadly, Dan Barrett is flying back to California as I write this. I know he’ll be happy to be reunited with Laura and Andy, but we’ll miss him here terribly.
In the past ten days, he’s done a number of club gigs, a concert, a private party, and maybe some other playing I missed. I couldn’t follow him around as much as I would have liked, but I did catch him on video on three occasions — twice at The Ear Inn and once at Arthur’s Tavern with Bill Dunham’s Grove Street Stompers.
Highlights of those three glorious nights are a-coming!
I don’t know when Dan touched down in New York City, but after a triumphant jazz afternoon playing alongside Dan Levinson, Dan Tobias, Keith Ingham, and Kevin Dorn in celebration of Ray Cerino’s ninety-first birthday party, a joyous event, Dan (after a nap) made his way downtown to that Soho salon of swing, The Ear Inn (326 Spring Street) for another Sunday extravaganza with The EarRegulars.
Here are several performances, featuring the charter co-leaders Jon-Erik Kellso (trumpet) and Matt Munisteri (guitar), with Joel Forbes (bass) and several esteemed joiners-in.
How about a paean to the power of love to keep superstition at bay that isn’t YOU’RE LUCKY TO ME? Rather, I’VE GOT MY FINGERS CROSSED, memorably done by Louis and Fats in their respective recording studios in 1935:
Someone requested DONNA LEE, perhaps knowing what a delicious meal the EarRegulars could make of this variation on INDIANA:
Jon-Erik gave the trumpet chair to his friend and ours Danny Tobias, and the two Dans lingered deliciously in a wistful IF I HAD YOU:
Jon-Erik came back to make a three-man brass frontline. They did a beautiful job on that old favorite, LET ME CALL YOU SWEETHEART, with the innocently tender lyrics. And the instrumental trades near the end are worth their weight in Vocalion test pressings:
And the second-set jam session called in Dan Block (clarinet) and Simon Wettenhall (on Eb alto horn rather than trumpet) for a lively ROYAL GARDEN BLUES:
When I dream about the moonlight on the Wabash, I hope it’s Sunday night at The Ear Inn! (Incidentally, many more marvelous things happened . . . but you’d have to be there to share the experience. There’s nothing like seeing this music live!)