I was too exhilarated on the evening of October 6, 2013, to put my feelings into words. The music played at The Ear Inn — the second set of one of the EarRegulars’ Sunday-night revival meetings in swing — was extraordinary.
The EarRegulars on their own are a splendid group — led by trumpeter Jon-Erik Kellso and featuring guitarist Matt Munisteri — with an extensive coterie of gifted friends who send us creative gifts Sunday after Sunday. This Sunday the quartet began with John Allred, trombone, and Pat O’Leary, string bass.
The guests were a brassy bunch (with the exception of string bassist Murray Wall): Warren Vaché (imported from New Jersey) and Menno Daams (from the Netherlands), cornets; Shannon Barnett (from Australia) and Harvey Tibbs (from uptown), trombones.
The second set was a glorious yet expert conversation — friendly musical dialogues at the highest level. Yes, the solo playing was brilliant, but the easy mastery of the common language (riffs, backgrounds) was just as thrilling.
The first selection here was suggested by an elegant woman from Edinburgh whose name eluded me (I hope she reads this blog so I may identify her properly). Her jazz credentials are perfect, for she asked for Herschel Evans’ line for the Basie band of 1937-9, DOGGIN’ AROUND. A sextet of brilliant players assembled: from the left, Warren, Menno, Jon-Erik, John (in the front line); Murray and Matt in the rear:
And as if four horns weren’t enough, how about a few trombones for IN A MELLOTONE? Warren left for New Jersey after dramatically taking some bills out of his pocket, stuffing them into Phillup DeBucket and announcing loudly, “Tip the band, you cheap _____!” and vanishing into the night.
Menno, Jon-Erik, Shannon, John, Harvey, Murray, and Matt rocked not only The Ear Inn but probably the entire five-borough area.
Before this set at The Ear Inn, I had been at Michael Kanan’s studio, The Drawing Room (56 Willoughby Street, Brooklyn) to experience the beauty of Abigail Riccards singing and Michael at the piano. The very moving evidence is here.
An amazing evening.
May your happiness increase!