What you’re about to see is true. And I will testify to this under oath. It happened at The Ear Inn (326 Spring Street, Soho, New York City) on Sunday night, January 25, 2015, when The EarRegulars were nobly ensconced, as they should be. (May they always be!)
That Sunday’s version of The EarRegulars was Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Matt Munisteri, guitar; Scott Robinson, bass saxophone; Attila Korb (our friend from Hungary) trombone.
Midway through the first set, the wise suggestion was made that Scott Robinson could play the lead on a selection of his choice. I know that Scott is renowned for interstellar explorations of the most courageous kind, but he is also a deep loving melodist — and here is SLEEPY TIME GAL as proof:
(SLEEPY TIME GAL, if you are not familiar with it, would suggest a cozy woman, ready to curl up in bed — ideally with the singer cuddled alongside — ready for sweet dreams. But the lyrics are different: the singer is a little concerned that his Gal never seems to want to come to bed at all before daybreak. A very different scenario.)
This version, so sweet and tender, reminds me of an unissued Seger Ellis side from 1929 with accompaniment from Jack Purvis, apparently doubling trumpet and trombone — a rare masterpiece. Even the faint annoying tinkling of someone’s smartphone a few barstools away in the beginning of this performance did not ruin the mood.
Later in the evening, musicians made the trip to the Shrine, and some of them had brought their instruments (physical and vocal). The penultimate selection of that night was MY GAL SAL, and the guest artists were Charlie Caranicas, trumpet (seated on the barstool to my left, so you see only the bell of his horn, rising and falling like a heartbeat, but you know he’s there); Evan Arntzen, clarinet; Will Reardon Anderson, alto sax. And they romped:
(SAL, by the way, is much less complex than her SLEEPY TIME compatriot. I can’t speak to SAL’s nocturnal rhythms, but she is a pal, dead on the level . . . someone who would pull your car out of a ditch if you asked her.)
The Ear Inn is a sacred place. I hope you’ve been there and can continue to support this beauty.
May your happiness increase!