Something quietly miraculous took place on the Upper East Side of Manhattan (Cavatappo Grill, 1712 First Avenue) the evening of March 23, 2017. In several decades of listening intently to live creative improvised music, I’ve noticed that performances ebb and flow over the course of an evening. It’s perfectly natural, and it is one of the ways we know we’re not listening to robots. The first performance might be the best, or the band might hit its peak in the closing numbers. I can’t predict, and I suspect the musicians can’t either.
But when Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Evan Arntzen, clarinet and tenor saxophone; Ehud Asherie, piano; Marion Felder, drums, began to play at Luca’s Jazz Corner — an evening’s concert of ten leisurely extended selections — I could not have known that this would be one of those magical nights that started at a high level of creativity, expertise, and joy . . . and stayed there. Here are the first four performances, in the order that they were created, and the rest will follow.
Burton Lane and Frank Loesser’s 1939 THE LADY’S IN LOVE WITH YOU, much beloved by Eddie Condon, friends, and descendants:
Ellington’s BLACK BEAUTY:
William H. Tyers’ PANAMA:
Lillian Hardin Armstrong’s TWO DEUCES, dedicated to and played by Louis and Earl Hines:
Let the congregation say WOW! And there’s more to come.
May your happiness increase!