There’s good news.
Although this hasn’t been the most severe winter in New York, I’ve been in semi-hibernation for a few months, so it was delightful to get back to hearing live jazz in Manhattan, and to remember why I live about fifty minutes away.
My recent visit — Thursday, March 14 — to Club 75 (or “The 75 Club” for the more formal among us) — was such a pleasure that I have already started to plan future visits. (In the picture below, you can see or sense Richard Wyands, Lisle Atkinson, and Leroy Williams, so you know that this is not Amateur Night somewhere.)
It’s just exquisite. A spacious, beautifully appointed room in a venerable mansion: great sight lines, lovely service (hello, Constantine!), nifty snacks and drinks, and wonderful music.
Last Thursday, I saw Gabriele Donati, Michael Kanan, Doron Tirosh, and Fukushi Tanaka, and I am returning on the 23rd to admire Ted Brown, Tardo Hammer, Paul Gill, and Jeff Brown. And because I am an aging suburbanite, the thrill of having the A, C, E, 1, 2, and 3 a block away AND a huge parking garage across the street is considerable. No cover, although I think making reservations is always a good idea. More information at their website (above) or their Facebook page.
What could be better than a welcoming jazz club? (And I mean “welcoming” very seriously.) Hearing beautiful music there.
I have a new hero: the soft-spoken, modest (in temperament, not talent) string bassist Gabriele Donati. I’d seen his name in the best company — Greg Ruggiero, Harry Allen, and others — but never heard him in person. That omission I remedied last Thursday. He’s an acoustic player with a fine centered tone and lovely intonation — he hits the center of the note. His time is lovely; he isn’t too modern to walk the bass, and he quietly, consistently swings. When you don’t hear him, you feel him.
It’s appropriate that our first conversation had Milt Hinton at the center, and he planned to play one of Milt’s tunes, dedicated to Mona Hinton, who might have spent a few hours at home by herself. This performance sums up what I admire about Gabriele: his subtle melodic expertise, always at the service of the music. His empathic musical partners, Michael and Doron, have been hero-friends of mine for some time as well.
Make room for beauty is what I say.
People of a certain generation might recognize my title as Seussian:
“And that is a story that no one can beat,
When I say that I saw it on Mulberry Street.”
For me, my pilgrimage to Club 75, the first of many, is a story that no one can beat. Thanks to George Aprile for his kindnesses, and to Gabriele, Michael, Doron for the beauty they create. And to Milt and Mona Hinton.
May your happiness increase!