A delicious place and delicious music: the Pegu Club, named for a famous gin-based cocktail (London dry gin, bitters, lime juice, orange curacao, for the curious, served in what we once called Burma, is located at 77 West Houston Street, New York City, one floor up.
On Sunday evenings from 6:30 to 9:30, guitarist / singer / composer Glenn Crytzer leads a quartet — its personnel varies from week to week — that offers an unusually wide-ranging jazz repertoire in the most comfortable surroundings.
On July 26, the three members besides Glenn were Tal Ronen, string bass; Tom Abbott, reeds, Mike Davis, trumpet. Here are three highlights of their very refreshing first set.
First, a song that is an admitted “classic” of “The Great American Songbook,” but one I’ve never heard a jazz group play in live performance in the preceding decade of intense listening. What a delight to hear NIGHT AND DAY:
Something almost as rare, although Mike likes this song and has performed it at other gigs — the 1936 IS IT TRUE WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT DIXIE? by Gerald Marks, Sammy Lerner, and Irving Caesar. 1936 was late to be writing a song about people eating possum [this is the first mention of possum in more than seven years of JAZZ LIVES — make of that what you will]. The cover of the sheet music shows Al Jolson in blackface in a characteristic gesture, a picture I thought the world didn’t need. So it’s not hard to imagine Jolson saying, “I need another song with Dixie in it,” although he didn’t cut himself in on this one. A catchy melody nonetheless:
MY HONEY’S LOVIN’ ARMS — associated with Bing and Eddie Condon — played beautifully here:
Glenn has very thoughtfully laid out the schedule of players here so you can plan your Sunday post-brunch-before-facing-that-tomorrow-will-be-Monday descent back in to reality. I plan to visit there again. It’s a delightful spot. And there’s more to come from this rewarding first set.
May your happiness increase!