Harry Allen is one of those rare musicians who needs only his horn to get something started — but when he’s joined by Chuck Riggs (drums), Joel Forbes (string bass), and Rossano Sportiello, a delicious combination of excitement and relaxation fills the room. This happened once again on Sunday, June 10, 2012, at Feinstein’s (the comfortable club nestled within Loews Regency, 540 Park Avenue, New York City). Harry and his friends were there — thanks to Mat and Rachel Domber, the generous spirits responsible for so much good music through Arbors Records and live concerts.
It was a privilege to be there, and the Beloved and I basked in the warm, friendly atmosphere of that room — and the warm creativity of the players. And for the first time, I was allowed to video-record the evening, so consider yourself invited to the extraordinary musical scene created magically by Harry and friends — with surprises to come.
Harry began the evening with a loping performance of CHEEK TO CHEEK that would have pleased Fred, Ginger, and Mr. Berlin as well:
Then, something really pretty — a pensive reading of Kern’s SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES that, surprising us all, segued into a rollicking I WANT TO BE HAPPY with the first of several extraordinary outings from our hero Rossano at the piano:
The familiar anthem of hipness, SATIN DOLL:
And A BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP (with such beautiful support from Joel and Chuck):
A tender MY FOOLISH HEART (did the SATIN DOLL prove fickle?):
Harry closed off the first set — a satisfying offering of jazz — with the always-delicious (Basie-flavored) BLUES, this time in Ab:
Harry and friends have been a regular attraction on the first Monday of every month — for over a year now. (The Sunday, June 10, date was an exception.) They will return on the first Monday of September with more good sounds and special guests. Here’s the schedule:
September 10th: (Harry and the young saxophone masters!) Luigi Grasso, Jesse Davis, Harry Allen, Rossano Sportiello, Joel Forbes, Chuck Riggs.
October 8th: (Harry and splendid singers!) Lynn Roberts, Rebecca Kilgore, Nicki Parrott, Mike Renzi, Harry Allen, Joel Forbes, Chuck Riggs.
November 5th: (Harry and the jazz masters!) Bucky Pizzarelli, Ken Peplowski, John Allred, Bill Allred, Rossano Sportiello, Joel Forbes, Chuck Riggs.
December 2nd: (Harry and the jazz masters, continued!) George Wein and the Newport All Stars
You can find out more about the musical bill of fare offered at Feinstein’s by visiting http://www.fesinsteinsattheregency.com.
And I’ll be back shortly with more music from this glorious evening. May your happiness increase.