It wasn’t, as the expression goes, a “one-shot deal” when the EarRegulars lit up both the street and our hopes by playing two glorious sets at 326 Spring Street on May 2, 2021. Nay nay, as Louis says. Rain got in the way the next week, and a few inhospitable droplets spattered the faithful on May 16, but the skies cleared and the EarRegulars did it once again — Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; John Allred, trombone; Joe Cohn, guitar; Neal Miner, string bass. Here are three marvels from their first set. And before you immerse yourself in video-recorded joys, let me point out that Jon-Erik, Scott Robinson, Pat O’Leary, and Chris Flory will be playing there again on May 23, 1-3:30. Neato, peachy keen, and just swell.
LULLABY OF THE LEAVES, featuring the eloquent Neal Miner:
And musically saying the YES! we all felt, ‘DEED I DO:
There’s more to come from this session, but if you can make it to 326 Spring Street on Sunday, May 26, from 1-3:30, joy and swing will be there to greet you in a now-permitted embrace. No livestream at the moment, but if you want to contribute to a virtual tip jar, let me know and I will pass the information on to The EarRegulars’ Accounting Division.
In my little computer-centered burrow, I am snickering at myself. Pandemic-brain, interrupted sleep, failed multi-tasking? You name it, but I realized that I, who prize accuracy, already published “Part Thirty-Eight” here a week ago — skipping forward to January 16, 2011. I’m sorry if it caused anyone a psychic lurch, or if the room suddenly darkened and objects fell in the kitchen. The good news is that none of the severe Corrections Officials wrote in to rebuke me.
And I hope that this error will become as valuable as the “inverted Jenny” postage stamp . . . will the out-of-sequence blogpost be worth 1.5 million someday? A nice thought. But back to music that’s priceless, performed and recorded at The Ear Inn, a shrine that sells beer and chili.
The music from December 12, 2010, created by Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Randy Reinhart, cornet; Matt Munisteri, guitar; Joel Forbes, string bass, is more than remarkable — even though that praise could be said of every Sunday night at the Ear Inn with the EarRegulars.
Starting from the back, the rhythm-and-solo team of Matt and Joel is truly beyond compare, no offense meant to other string players who have visited 326 Spring Street.
The front line — brass ecstasy — is unusual and unusually beautiful. You’ll notice it has none of the reek of Hollywood fakery, where the two trumpeters wage testosterone-war on one another, pointing their phalli upward until the one who can go higher [“He got up to P!” to quote Louis] wins and the loser slinks off, disgraced, to the bar. No, this is friendly brotherly conversation — rare and uplifting, a good model of community even for those who can’t yet push the first valve down.
ROYAL GARDEN BLUES:
JAZZ ME BLUES:
YOU CAN DEPEND ON ME:
Beautiful. Meet me next week (hold on to your chair arms) for Part Thirty-Nine. We can do it.
I am writing this on February 14, 2021 — Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!
From one Sunday to the next, it’s as if time rushes and drags at once. I look out of my window at my snow-encrusted car and consider the very slow pace of melting; I check my watch and three hours have passed. Thank goodness we have things to hang on to: for me and I hope for you, our mystical-magical-metaphysical Sunday nights at The Ear Inn are a landmark and a comfort.
The Ear Inn, 2012 Photograph by Alexandra Marks
This week, our comfort, uplift, and joy comes Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Randy Reinhart, cornet; Matt Munisteri, guitar; Joel Forbes, string bass. December 12, 2010.
Be honest. IT’S A SIN TO TELL A LIE:
Create intimacies. IF I COULD BE WITH YOU:
Realize that everything’s fluid. THERE’LL BE SOME CHANGES MADE:
Now go out and apply what you’ve learned here. I’ll see you tomorrow.
Yes, it’s that time again! — although our secret is that any time is good to hear The EarRegulars. A wintry Sunday night is what we have, though, and a metaphysical visit to The Ear Inn, 326 Spring Street, is a warming experience. Let’s drop in for the second part of a session from November 14, 2010, featuring Dan Block, clarinet and alto saxophone; Pete Martinez, clarinet; Matt Munisteri, guitar; Jon Burr, string bass — with a nice theme being (mostly) the music of Irving Berlin. Tommy Dorsey and Bunny Berigan didn’t make it, but MARIE stands on its own without them:
Always welcome, some 1936 romantic optimism:
A different kind of romantic ardor, courtesy of Fats:
And a delightful visit from Tamar Korn, who sings LAZY RIVER:
Finally, a return to Berlin with Tamar’s THE SONG IS ENDED:
See you next week. Keep the music playing: when it’s most dark, it sustains us.
Since time is a field rather than a series of beads on a string, we can savor 2021 and 2010 at once . . . as we will do now! October 17, 2010: Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; West Coast luminary Dan Barrett, trombone; Matt Munisteri, guitar; Joel Forbes, string bass. . . . and welcome surprise guests.
Where? Why, EAR! (For those who haven’t been taking notes, that’s The Ear Inn, 326 Spring Street, New York City, where the EarRegulars have made us happier on Sunday nights since the summer of 2007.)
For Louis and Fats, I’VE GOT MY FINGERS CROSSED:
ROYAL GARDEN BLUES, with sitters-in Dan Block (clarinet), Danny Tobias (cornet), and Simon Wettenhall (Eb alto horn):
DONNA LEE plus INDIANA, scored for the original Quartet:
IF I HAD YOU, with Danny Tobias sitting in for Jon-Erik:
Jon-Erik returns to make it a brass trio for LET ME CALL YOU SWEETHEART:
What exquisite sounds: what other-worldly swing. It happened, and it will happen again. And, yes, I’m an optimist, otherwise I wouldn’t be here. Come join me on the trip, however you define it: pleasures await.
Grab your coat, grab your hat . . . at least in theory.
We’re continuing with the brilliant music, romping or pensive — created by the EarRegulars on September 26, 2010: Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Scott Robinson, tenor saxophone; Matt Munisteri, guitar; Pat O’Leary, string bass:
The Ear Inn, 2012 Photograph by Alexandra Marks
ON THE ALAMO:
and Bob Barnard, cornet, in a properly Louis mode, sitting in for Jon-Erik, for CHINATOWN, MY CHINATOWN:
Then, a glorious exploration of Ray Noble’s THE TOUCH OF YOUR LIPS:
My calendars tell me that this is the last Ear Inn / EarRegulars posting I will do in this most dramatic year, 2020. I will continue to share the enthralling music from the recent past into 2021 — as long as it takes for us to be able to meet again in the temporal-physical universe.
Chronicling these precious evenings is a bittersweet pleasure, but the joy of celebrating this music and the wonderful people who so generously create it is nothing but sweet. See you on the other side, at 326 Spring Street. We live in hope.
Ready to get ready? Snow boots, ridiculous headgear, two pairs of gloves (for when one is left behind)? Let’s prepare for cyber-joys at 326 Spring Street, New York . . . the EarRegulars at the Ear Inn, lifting spirits, no spirit too big or too small.
Correction: I realized that we don’t have to go outside. So slippers and fleece sweatpants are perfectly appropriate attire. Sorry if I frightened you.
Now that we’re settled in . . .
I’d forgotten about this marvelous constellation, but it happened on September 26, 2010: Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Scott Robinson, tenor saxophone; Matt Munisteri, guitar; Pat O’Leary, string bass, and — dropping by — the legendary Bob Barnard, cornet:
An easy-rocking BEALE STREET BLUES, just what Doctor Jazz prescribed:
BEALE STREET BLUES (concluded):
The first of two evocations of the Eternal Feminine, A PRETTY GIRL IS LIKE A MELODY. Bob lives more than twenty hours away by air, so he didn’t get to join in here. I note now, ten years later, that the last dozen or so bars of this performance are missing. I blame YouTube, but You are free to blame Me:
and a truly lovely SLEEPY TIME GAL, music that feels like an embrace:
Aren’t you glad we did? See you next Sunday, although you are free to nose around JAZZ LIVES in the interim.
Look! We’ve made it through another week, and I hope without damage to our hearts, our relationships, the furniture. And as a reward, may I invite you to join me, metaphysically, for some teleportation to 326 Spring Street, The Ear Inn?
Never mind that it’s September 5, 2010. If that makes you slightly queasy, just have your seat belt low and tight across your hips. Or hold on to what (whom) ever you can. The noble participants, continued from Part Twenty-Six, are Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Dmitry Baevsky, alto saxophone; Ray Macchiarola, guitar, and Neal Miner, string bass — with Mark Lopeman, alto saxophone, joining in. (I think Danny Tobias had an early teaching gig on Monday, so he is here only in spirit.)
A groovy I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT YOU’RE IN LOVE WITH ME:
Saxophones only, please, for SLOW BOAT TO CHINA:
AFTER YOU’VE GONE (Part the First):
AFTER YOU’VE GONE (so brief, too good to ignore, to document Kellso-joy):
Only a fool would disagree with Billy Kyle. But reserved for what, and where?
We’re a day late for a celebration of Coleman Hawkins’ birthday, but Hawk would be pleased to know that there were noble tenor saxophonists playing at The Ear Inn on 326 Spring Street, Soho, New York City, in these videos from June 27, 2010, featuring Harry Allen and Scott Robinson on tenors; James Chirillo, guitar; Greg Cohen, string bass.
Asking the musical question:
WILL YOU STILL BE MINE? — where the quartet is joined by violinist Valerie Levy and tenorist Evan Schwam:
BLUE SKIES, scored for sextet:
WHERE OR WHEN, with Valerie and Evan:
WHERE OR WHEN, concluded:
BROADWAY, with guests Valerie and Evan adding to the fun:
TOO LATE NOW, back to the original quartet:
ON THE ALAMO:
STOMPIN’ AT THE SAVOY:
STOMPIN’ AT THE SAVOY, concluded:
Bless these musicians, for what they give us so generously.
I’m told it’s Sunday again. How this happened, I have no idea, but here we are.
Sunday means that it’s time to saddle the cyberspace pack animals and head to 326 Spring Street, The Ear Inn, the home of happy ears, for a restorative session with the EarRegulars: our weekly uplift. I am assuming you can find your way “there,” to the previous twenty-two weekly posts. If not, just ask.
Ready? Bang your ruby slippers together and it’s Sunday night, June 13, 2010. And although our Guardian Angel might be Billy Kyle, that night it was a quiet, witty, irreplaceable fellow from New Jersey, Bill Basie — with the swinging music being created by Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Andy Farber, tenor saxophone; Chris Flory, guitar; Neal Miner, string bass:
Here’s Herschel Evans’ DOGGIN’ AROUND:
and a Youmans melody that started its life with Jimmie Noone and still keeps its freshness, I KNOW THAT YOU KNOW:
For Ruby Braff as well as Herschel, we have BLUE AND SENTIMENTAL:
Thinking of Lester Young, we have Andy Farber, Dan Block, tenors left and right; Chris Flory, guitar; Fumi Tomita, string bass:
Beautiful, isn’t it? I know better times are coming, and I hope to celebrate with you all at 326 Spring Street . . . sooner rather than later.
I confess I’ve been a little distracted by the events of the past week, but I haven’t forgotten what we all do on Sundays. Priorities. So let me escort you, once again, to The Ear Inn, 326 Spring Street, for our weekly prayer meeting.
We return to the summer of 2010 — June 6, for two selections by Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Dan Block, alto saxophone and clarinet; Jon Burr, string bass; Matt Munisteri, guitar. The first one’s a full-tilt version of the Rodgers and Hart THIS CAN’T BE LOVE, where everyone navigates the turns magnificently:
And the EarRegulars were joined for their second set by a venerable jazz hero — Robert Sage Wilber, then 82, with his curved soprano saxophone — for CHINATOWN, MY CHINATOWN:
Join me next Sunday for more controlled explosions of joy.
This is my antidote to the gnawing signs that winter, yes, winter, is coming — even though it’s over sixty degrees outside, the radiator is swinging out Blakey-fashion in my apartment and online sites are offering me forty-pound Thanksgiving turkeys for the crowd that exists in their imagination.
I plan to enjoy some time with the EarRegulars at The Ear Inn. You come too.
Last week, I presented a lovely long set by Jon-Erik, Scott, Matt, and Neal (these names should be familiar to you by now) with guest Julian Lage. If you missed this excursion, feel free to join in here.
Here are the closing selections from a long late-spring (May 30, 2010) session at 326 Spring Street, featuring in various combinations Danny Tobias, cornet; Chuck Wilson, alto sax; James Chirillo, guitar; Murray Wall, bass — and guests Dan Block, clarinet; Pat O’Leary, cello and bass; Tony Steele, bass. . . .although not everyone is present on every number. I didn’t need to be reminded how much we all miss Chuck, who moved to another neighborhood two years ago. Goddamnit.
(The selections performed earlier that night will appear next week in Part Twenty. Have faith.)
BEALE STREET BLUES:
AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’ (the conclusion, very brief, good to the last drop):
LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME:
LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME (the conclusion):
And a final romp on CHINA BOY by the original Quartet:
Until we meet again, ideally in person but perhaps here only for a time, may your Ears be full of good sounds.
Wow. It’s Sunday again. How the days go by so quickly when it feels as if more than half of our former lives have been put in the freezer . . . a puzzlement, as the King said. Here‘s the record of last week’s pilgrimage to the Soho Shrine, The Ear Inn on 326 Spring Street.
And now, we spin the dial on the cyber-roulette wheel and take you back to May 16, 2010, when the EarRegulars were Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Pete Martinez, clarinet; Matt Munisteri, guitar; Greg Cohen, string bass.
Let’s start with a pretty song, one that could be our national anthem these days, I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES:
Now, the fable of a remarkable Texan, I’M A DING DONG DADDY FROM DUMAS:
DING DONG DADDY (concluded):
I looked up Dumas, Texas, and it’s just under 1750 miles from New York, a straight shot of 26 hours in the car. All things are possible for those who believe:
WILLIE THE WEEPER had a wonderful dream. No words, but join him:
Care to Stomp? Here’s MAHOGANY HALL STOMP, with Dan Block, tenor, sitting in, a performance that astonishes me ten years later:
For the final song of this offering, I’M CONFESSIN’, Dan sat out, and they were joined by Alex Norris, trumpet, from Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks:
Let us all believe in Miracles. Honestly, we should.
Someone asked me last week, “Michael, aren’t you tired of that Ear Inn series?” and I answered, “Not at all. I’m doing it to keep my spirits up,” and then I added, to be less self-absorbed, “Our spirits. When we can all go downtown to 326 Spring Street and hear the EarRegulars on a Sunday night, then perhaps this retrospective can take a vacation. But not until then.”
Here‘s last Sunday’s pilgrimage, in case you were otherwise occupied (and heaven knows there is enough to occupy us).
Herewith and henceforth, some musical souvenirs of the fun that was created on May 2, 2010, by Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Andy Farber, tenor saxophone; Matt Munisteri, guitar; Danton Boller, string bass. It’s a smaller than usual bill of fare, but by this time I had purchased a camera that was less afraid of the dark, so you will see more.
THE MAN I LOVE, scored for trio: Messrs. Farber, Munisteri, and Boller:
Halt, miscreant! SOMEBODY STOLE MY GAL:
Variations on W.C. Handy, rechristened by me BEER STREET BLUES in honor of Jon-Erik’s mute:
and the concluding strains of BEER STREET BLUES:
Thank you, kind creative gentlemen. I look forward to the night when what is now virtual becomes tangible. Line up for hugs.
Are you ready to join me on our Sunday pilgrimage to the Shrine of Sounds, where the EarRegulars and friends gambol and inspire? I hope so.
Let us begin with music from the second set at The Ear Inn, 326 Spring Street, on Sunday, April 25, 2010: Ben Webster’s line on IN A MELLOTONE, which was based on ROSE ROOM — Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Harry Allen, tenor saxophone; Matt Munisteri, guitar; Neal Miner, string bass — asking the musical question, DID YOU CALL HER TODAY?
and the second part, the length of a 10″ 78 rpm record:
Then, another hint of Ellingtonia — Johnny Hodges’ line on I GOT RHYTHM, called THE JEEP IS JUMPIN’ — which adds Danny Tobias, trumpet, and Andy Farber, tenor saxophone to the mix . . . for ten minutes:
because it would be cruel to leave out the final forty-five seconds, here they are:
Mr. Tobias calls his favorite tune, THIS CAN’T BE LOVE, where he’s joined by Andy Farber, Harry Allen, Matt Munisteri, and Jim Whitney, string bass:
A new constellation of brilliant friends plays COMES LOVE: Jon-Erik Kellso, Danny Tobias, Harry Allen, Andy Farber, Chris Flory, guitar, and Jim Whitney:
and we know LOVE takes its own time to . . . . arrive:
Finally, the song that always amuses me by its paradoxical nature when it’s the last tune of the night, LINGER AWHILE, a gift from Messrs. Kellso, Tobias, Allen, Farber, Flory, and Miner:
Joy. And while we contemplate the joys of a decade ago, let us keep our eyes comfortably fixed on a future not yet realized, but one we hope for.
Once again, it’s time for the joyous pilgrimage — virtual, for the moment — to the Shrine, The Ear Inn, 326 Spring Street, to have the EarRegulars raise our spirits. I’ve posted a dozen small celebrations so far, which you can immerse yourself in here.
And we’re back — at least in the world of video-performance of joy. Here’s the wonderful evidence from April 25, 2010, with Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Harry Allen, tenor saxophone; Matt Munisteri, guitar; Neal Miner, string bass. The opening song from a splendid session was a Chicago jazz classic with roots in Oliver and Bix, performed as a Basie stroll. I speak of ROYAL GARDEN BLUES:
“You’ll miss me, honey!” “When?” “Oh, SOME OF THESE DAYS”:
A tender I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT YOU’RE IN LOVE WITH ME:
Historical London, perhaps a century ago — LIMEHOUSE BLUES:
Harry’s chosen feature, SEPTEMBER SONG:
and a little caffeine, not needed with this quartet, TEA FOR TWO:
I will have the second-set jam session to share with you next week, barring natural disasters and emotional crises. But let us keep looking forward with hope to the return of the real thing, at the intersection of Hugging and Restorative Sounds. I know I can loosen my stiff legs and relearn the way to 326 Spring Street, and you can also. (Your legs are your own business.)
Pandemic-time moves so slowly and so rapidly at once. Here we are. September looms. It’s Sunday again. And you know where we spend our Sunday nights, whether in actuality or virtually: 326 Spring Street, New York City. This is the twelfth post in my series, and for those of you who have missed a few, here is a link to the eleven sessions that have gone before. Make yourself to home.
Let me guide you gently back to a wonderful night, April 18, 2010.
Hello, Benny! AVALON, with Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Matt Munisteri, electric guitar; Julian Lage, acoustic guitar; Harvey Tibbs, trombone; Jon Burr, bass:
How about ONE HOUR, even compressed, of joy? (Ask Einstein’s grandma.) Cornetist Marc Caparone joins the band. Somewhere, Ruby Braff smiles:
Marc is in charge of WHISPERING, with Harvey Tibbs, Dan Block, clarinet, Matt Munisteri, Jon Burr, Julian Lage:
PERDIDO, to start –Jon-Erik, with Marc Caparone, Harvey Tibbs, Dan Block, Andy Farber, tenor saxophone; Julian Lage, Matt Munisteri, Jon Burr:
PERDIDO (concluded) .
THREE LITTLE WORDS (you can make up your own) with Jon-Erik, Marc, Harvey, Dan, Nick Hempton, alto saxophone; Andy, Matt, Julian, and Jon:
THREE LITTLE WORDS, concluded:
This wonderful long session — these videos capture the entire second set — is offered in the New York bagel spirit. The Ear Inn doesn’t serve bagels, but in most bagel shops, when you order twelve, there’s “a baker’s dozen,” an extra.
For those of you who wrote in to inquire about her health, Ms. Jazz Lives Ear Inn is back, her tennis elbow and carpal tunnel quieted down by time off and some physical therapy.
When we last left our Intrepid Creators of Joy, the EarRegulars, it was Easter Sunday 2010 — centuries ago! — and they were making music: evidence here. That link, not accidentally, will open the cyber-cat-door to the previous ten postings. Knock yourself out, as we say.
Moving forward — or backwards? through April 2010 — hard to say, but here we are, in hope and swing, beginning with Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Matt Munisteri, guitar; Harvey Tibbs, trombone; Jon Burr, string bass:
CRAZY RHYTHM (Matt Munisteri, Harry Allen, tenor saxophone; John Allred, trombone; Pat O’Leary, string bass):
With hopes that the next time we see each other, there will be no lit screens, just people, friendship, free breathing, and music. Until that day . . .
Before we inch forward,here is the doorway to the previous eight posts of Sunday-evening joy and solace at 326 Spring Street.
Return with us to the thrilling nights of yore, which will come again.
Because I feel that everyone is in the late-summer doldrums, I’ve ladled out a double helping from the glorious session of March 21, 2010. Here, the EarRegulars are Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Matt Munisteri, guitar; Scott Robinson, bass sax; Pete Martinez, clarinet, and guest Julian Lage, guitar.
and a stunning I GUESS I’LL HAVE TO CHANGE MY PLAN — Julian sat back and admired the proceedings:
“No place is grander, I do declare.” Yes, 326 Spring Street but also LOUISIANA:
I hear a CREOLE LOVE CALL:
That NAUGHTY SWEETIE certainly gets around:
Scott leads off, so sweetly, for AT SUNDOWN:
And here’s something that touches my heart — not only the wondrous Pete Martinez making his way so beautifully, but also Scott playing both piccolo and bass sax; and guests John Bucher, cornet; Dave Gross, guitar. It touches me so to hear John quote COLUMBIA, THE GEM OF THE OCEAN. And the chosen text is I NEVER KNEW:
WHISPERING, with the same house band and guests:
And a very nostalgic IT’S THE TALK OF THE TOWN:
Every Sunday night at The Ear Inn was typical — people who knew, knew what to expect — but “typical” was also remarkable. Utter the right invocations to the Goddess of Heartfelt Lyrical Swing and they will have a salutary effect. See you there when the clouds clear.
Let’s start our journey to The Ear Inn earlier today. It’s restorative, you know. If you’re late to the party, here’sa link to the previous seven Sunday pilgrimages.
From March 14, 2010, a session featuring Pete Martinez, clarinet; Harvey Tibbs, trombone; Matt Munisteri, guitar; Neal Miner, string bass, considering I COVER THE WATERFRONT (appropriate because it was a rainy night and the Ear is not all that far from the river);
and a musical assent in ‘DEED I DO:
Finding delight in JAZZ ME BLUES:
Virtual now, for real someday . . . join me in either realm.
For those even slightly late to the gig, here’s the roadmap: this is the seventh Sunday I have been celebrating those high points of civiliation, the Sunday-night sessions at The Ear Inn, 326 Spring Street, New York City — the spiritual uplift provided by The EarRegulars. We’ll wait while you catch up here.
Now, some more fine sounds from January 30, 2010, when the EarRegulars were Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Dan Block, reeds; Matt Munisteri, guitar; Pat O’Leary, string bass / cello. Here’s I GOTTA RIGHT TO SING THE BLUES:
CHINATOWN: Kellso, Munisteri, Block, O’Leary, with guest Frank Perowsky, clarinet:
I FOUND A NEW BABY (in two parts, thanks to 2010 technology) Kellso, Munisteri, Block, O’Leary — with guests Frank Perowsky and Anat Cohen, clarinet; Andy Farber, alto saxophone; Conal Fowkes, string bass:
I FOUND A NEW BABY, concluded:
RED TOP, Kellso, Munisteri, Block, O’Leary, Perowsky, Cohen, Farber, Fowkes:
RED TOP, concluded:
Until we meet again at the Sacred Grounds. To hear Sacred Sounds, of course.