Daily Archives: September 6, 2012


One of the great pleasures of this summer stay in California has been the opportunity to hear / enjoy / talk with / delight in the remarkable Mal Sharpe, larger than life and I don’t mean in height or girth.  His music, his wildly improvised deadpan comedies, his stage presence . . . a remarkable fellow indeed.

Once a month, on a Thursday, Mal brings his Big Money in Jazz Band to Armando’s in Martinez — a very pleasant place (more a social club than a nightspot) run by the amiable Roy Jeans.  August 23 was Mal’s “Dixieland” immersion — for our benefit.

He played trombone and sang; Dwayne Rambey played clarinet, tenor saxophone, and soprano, and also sang; Clint Baker sat in the back and directed jazz traffic while playing the banjo or the guitar; youngblood / swing star Sam Rocha gave his all on tuba; fiery Jim Gammon poured his heart into his trumpet; swinging Roy Blumenfeld, drums.  (Notice that a few performances begin with an impromptu Gammon – Baker duet, reminding me of 1928 Louis and Johnny St. Cyr, very happily).

Here are four musical treats and one avian interlude.  For your dining and dancing pleasure, of course.

HINDUSTAN (where there are still a few parking spaces for caravans and no meters):

A magnificent piece of musical architecture — FOUR OR FIVE TIMES — our delight, doin’ things right:

THE SHEIK OF ARABY, clothed or not:

An ancient folktale about a member of the avian family.  Caution!  It contains a naughty word:

And a beautifully earnest reading of JUST A CLOSER WALK WITH THEE:

Wasn’t that nice?

May your happiness increase.


Consider this: scientific proof of what happens when Dan Barrett of Costa Mesa, California, comes to New York City on his annual autumn visit.  As the leaves are dropping from the trees and students are ending the first month of their studies, Barrett brings jazz:

That was one example from Mr. Barrett’s 2011 swing through town — aided and abetted by Matt Munisteri, guitar; Joel Forbes, string bass; Scott Robinson, reeds and jazzophone, and Scott’s brother David on cornet.

The good news is that Dan is coming to New York for another swing sojourn.  Here are a few of the details — provided by The Man Himself.

Sunday, 23: Dan arrives late evening.
Tues, 25: Dan, Howard Alden, Frank Tate play up in Cape Cod (Woods Hole)
Wed, 26: Dan @ Birdland, 5:30-7:15 with David Ostwald’s band / with Ehud Asherie’s band at Little Branch; 10pm-1am
Thurs, 27: AVAILABLE
Fri 28: Dan @ Drew University, Madison, New Jersey, with Dan Levinson’s band 5-7 pm
Sun 30: Dan @ the Ear Inn with Jon-Erik Kellso, et. al (8-11pm)

Monday, 1: Dan will be recording with Molly Ryan, Dan Levinson (10am-4pm)
Tues 2: more recording as above (10am-4pm); then Dan subs for Jon-Erik Kellso (on trumpet) with Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks at “Club Cache'” (downstairs at Sofia’s Restaurant, at the Edison Hotel); (8-11pm).  More recording on Wed 3 and on Thurs 4: Dan flies home.

Californians have opportunities to enjoy Dan’s trombone / cornet / piano / vocals / arrangements — but his New York visits are once-a-year.  So mark off some time on the jazz calendar!

By the way, Dan will be in western New York from September 16 to the 23 — as a charter member of the first Traditional Jazz Workshop at Chautauqua, and then as a c.m. of Jazz at Chautauqua itself.

May your happiness increase.