Tag Archives: Cellar Dog

ALL AGLOW IN THE DARK: TAMAR KORN, MARK SHANE, JON-ERIK KELLSO, KEVIN DORN (Cellar Dog, March 16, 2022)

Memorable music flourishes in the most unlikely situations. Cellar Dog (once Fat Cat) at 75 Christopher Street, is dark — and the happy crowd of young people playing ping-pong and other indoor sports can sometimes be, let us say, overly conversational. But one’s eye and ear get used to these imperfections: the world isn’t a concert hall. The delightfully shaded music comes right through, as it did on the evening of March 16, 2022, when Tamar Korn, voice; Mark Shane, piano; Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Kevin Dorn, drums, came out of the darkness to embrace us. And the ping-pong players were dancing at their tables, so they heard it too.

BIG CITY BLUES:

CLOSE YOUR EYES:

and, cosmologically, with an “oration” from essayist-philosopher Michael Ventura, Tamar and the band soar HOW HIGH THE MOON:

An absolutely delightful musical evening. Elsewhere on this blog I have posted three instrumentals by the Kellso-Shane-Dorn powerhouse, and Tamar’s completely touching performances of ISN’T IT ROMANTIC? and YOUNG AT HEART. Watch, marvel, and be there in spirit.

May your happiness increase!

HOTNESS IN THE DARKNESS: JON-ERIK KELLSO, MARK SHANE, KEVIN DORN (Cellar Dog, March 16, 2022)

I’m here to share pleasures: on March 16th, otherwise an ordinary Wednesday night, the OAO and I witnessed a memorable musical constellation. It took place in the darkness, but darkness is not the enemy of swing. Billed as the Tamar Korn Quartet (at Cellar Dog, 75 Christopher Street, Greenwich Village, New York City) it was Tamar, magnificently herself; Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Mark Shane, piano; Kevin Dorn, drums. It’s been my good fortune to know and hear all of them, separately and together, for years. Inspiration was evident, and good feeling.

Three times during the night, Tamar suggested that they trio have an instrumental interlude, opportunities that were memorable from the first bar.

For their first performance, Mark chose the Dietz-Schwartz affirmation (think Fred Astaire, think Henry “Red” Allen): SHINE ON YOUR SHOES:

Then, the very friendly-reliable EXACTLY LIKE YOU (I missed the first seconds, and apologize for it):

and the (musical) question I hope my readers don’t have to ask, WHAT’S THE REASON (I’M NOT PLEASIN’ YOU)?:

And because Tamar sang, acted, danced, so wonderfully, I call your attention to the wonderful song she sang at the start:

They were wonderful. They are wonderful. And there will be more music from this glorious below-stairs event to share with you.

May your happiness increase!

“MOVING SHADOWS WRITE THE OLDEST MAGIC WORD”: TAMAR KORN, JON-ERIK KELLSO, MARK SHANE, KEVIN DORN (Cellar Dog, March 16, 2022)

The basement venue formerly known as FAT CAT (75 Christopher Street, Greenwich Village, New York City) reopened in July 2021 as CELLAR DOG, cleaned up and refurbished — a great gift to us. Here’s a brief 360-degree video that sums up the cheerful ambiance of the place:

But this is not a crabby elder’s post about Those Young People, because their fun makes wonderful music possible. Last Wednesday night when the Tamar Korn Quartet appeared — Tamar, singing, dancing, theatre, joy; Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Mark Shane, piano; Kevin Dorn, drums — the OAO whispered that people were dancing at their ping-pong tables, something that makes me happy and hopeful.

The “stage lighting” for the band is almost nonexistent, but remember what Dante took three volumes to tell us, that we must descend into darkness to rise into paradise. And paradise is what these four bright sparks created for us all evening.

I will never forget this performance: Tamar’s brave sweet first chorus, and then, after the modulation, how she plays with the words and melody as if she were stretching clay or kneading dough. When the late Sam Parkins first saw Tamar, he told me that she “got him right in the gizzard,” in the same way as Louis and Caruso. That wasn’t hyperbole. And the lovely work of Jon-Erik, Mark, and Kevin — listening, urging on, responding, lighting the way for all of us.

Isn’t it romantic? Do we even need to ask the question? And there are more glorious interludes to come.

May your happiness increase!