Daily Archives: November 27, 2021

A HOT WEDNESDAY NIGHT IN CHELSEA, FIFTEEN YEARS AGO: EDDY DAVIS, JOHN BUCHER, SCOTT ROBINSON, PETE MARTINEZ, JESSE GELBER, DEBBIE KENNEDY at The Cajun, New York City (June 7, 2006)

The scene: The Cajun, painting by Barbara Rosene. In private collection.
The star: Eddy Davis, banjoist, singer, composer, mischief-maker.

I don’t remember details about this particular Wednesday night at the Cajun — which was soon to close to make way for a high-rise apartment building. But my digital recorder stands in for any gaps in my memory, providing wonderful evidence of what happened more than fifteen years ago. Here is a romping sample — CIRIBIRIBIN, suggested by cornetist John Bucher, sitting in for a set with Eddy, Pete Martinez, clarinet (subbing for Orange Kellin); Scott Robinson, C-melody saxophone; Jesse Gelber, piano (subbing for Conal Fowkes); Debbie Kennedy, string bass. It wasn’t “Dixieland”; it was more an evocation of the sleeves-rolled-up music one heard on Fifty-Second Street, at Eddie Condon’s, a year or so later at The Ear Inn: loose, friendly, playful, expert but hiding its expertise. I think it’s a memorable nine minutes, and when I first unearthed this disc, more than one computer refused to transfer it, so I played it more than a dozen times in hopes that I could vault over the barrier. I loved it more each time, and I hope you will share my enthusiasm.

The building is gone; some of the musicians have moved to other neighborhoods, but the sounds they made and the emotions they evoke are so durable as to be timeless.

May your happiness increase!