For the past four years and more, Sunday nights in lower Manhattan have been set aside — at least for those in the know — for experiments in hot improvisation. The location was and is The Ear Inn (326 Spring Street, Soho, New York City), 8-11 PM. The bold creators and co-leaders are Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Matt Munisteri, guitar — with a cast of characters of the highest order.
When The EarRegulars were set to make their debut at Jazz at Chautauqua, they followed the opening spectacular, which brought fifteen musicians onstage . . . this little quartet (Howard Alden [sitting in for Matt Munisteri], Kellso, Scott Robinson, and Jon Burr) might have looked fragile on the stage . . . but those who knew these players and the joyous music they create weren’t worried. The EarRegulars — nearly eight hours from the beer and talk of a Soho club, outdid themselves. Here’s the evidence:
She may have been “a peculiar sort of a gal,” but MY GAL SAL didn’t do anyone any harm:
A little Fats Waller pairing: the first song celebrating the virtues of brand-new good behavior, KEEPIN’ OUT OF MISCHIEF NOW:
And as a tribute to (high) fidelity, I’M CRAZY ‘BOUT MY BABY:
Something for Bing Crosby (circa 1934), a special ballad by Scott Robinson, WITH EVERY BREATH I TAKE:
And a patented EarRegular Special, SOME OF THESE DAYS:
Nice to know that this group “travels well”!