I love having one or more steady weekly jazz gig to rely on for pleasure. In New York, the week leans towards The Ear Inn (326 Spring Street, Soho) where the EarRegulars play every Sunday night from 8-11.
In California, where we are at the moment, it’s the No Name Bar in Sausalito (757 Bridgeway) where Mal Sharpe and the Big Money in Jazz Band play and cavort every Sunday from 3-6 PM.
Last Sunday, August 12, 2012, the Masters of Melody and Mirth were Mal himself, trombone, vocal, and improvisatory wanderings; Andrew Storar, trumpet, vocal; Don Neely, metal clarinet, soprano saxophone, vocal; Si Perkoff, keyboard, vocal; Sam Rocha, string bass; Carmen Cansino, drums.
IN the video highlights, that follow, while you’re admiring the front line: Andrew’s shining, understated leaps and rolls, Mal’s gutty melodic underpinnings, Don’s soaring lines, don’t forget the rhythm section. Si makes that old keyboard sound better than anyone else with his cheerfully surprising chords and rustles; Sam could support a huge band with his rocking foundation, and Carmen would make Jo Jones break into a large grin because her time is splendid and she gets the punchline of every musical joke. (You don’t always see Carmen in my shots but you hear her, and the band knows she’s there.)
Here are some highlights from the afternoon’s festivities.
Let’s begin with an intriguing pairing. JAR is an otherwise unrecorded piece of folk poetry, a collaboration between Horace Gerlach and Lawrence Ferlinghetti; when Andrew sings the Claude Hopkins – Alex Hill song, it has no hesitation, no “WOULD” in the title, because Andrew is a very earnest fellow who WILL do anything for you.
SWING THAT JAR / I WOULD DO ANYTHING FOR YOU:
The Forties Ellington favorite, whose title has been bent into a variety of shapes by witty jazz musicians, DON’T GET AROUND MUCH ANYMORE:
Don Neely is a very candid fellow with a deep affection for Fats Waller, so IT’S A SIN TO TELL A LIE was a natural choice:
A romping TIN ROOF BLUES (with some socio-political commentary from Mal):
Not only does Don want everyone to be totally honest, he also encourages marital fidelity in MAKIN’ WHOOPEE:
Although Irving Berlin’s song is somewhat sad, the atmosphere at the No Name Bar is reassuringly cheerful, as evidenced in THE SONG IS ENDED / CLOSING CEREMONIES:
Our Sunday pleasure!
May your happiness increase.