Tag Archives: Indian Summer

BOB HAVENS PLAYS VICTOR HERBERT at the ATLANTA JAZZ PARTY (April 26, 2014)

For those who find such facts significant, Bob Havens, trombonist and sometime singer, was born on May 1, 1930. . . . which makes this April 26, 2014 performance even more delightfully amazing.  Talk about being ageless! In this brief but compelling example of Havens playing a few choruses of Victor Herbert’s INDIAN SUMMER at the Atlanta Jazz Party, he shows off all the musical virtues that have made him legendary: his ease of manner while accomplishing virtuosities; his melodic embellishments that ornament rather than obstruct the melody; his rich round tone; his respect for the composer’s intentions; his singularity.

Bob is accompanied here by another octogenarian, going strong, Bucky Pizzarelli, guitar, and a few youngbloods: Rossano Sportiello, piano; Paul Keller, Ed Metz, drums.

INDIAN SUMMER was a beauty to begin with, then embellished by Sidney Bechet, Coleman Hawkins, and others — but Bob’s casual unaffected version, created on the spot, is an endearing masterpiece:

May your happiness increase! 

THEY’LL BRING BACK THE POWER TO NEW YORK: MARK LOPEMAN, JON-ERIK KELLSO, MATT MUNISTERI, ROB ADKINS AT THE EAR INN (326 Spring Street, Soho, New York)

I originally wrote this blog before Hurricane Sandy . . . and called it WHERE BEAUTY GOES ON SUNDAY.  This is still appropriate — but in view of New York being rainy and windy and with many of my friends being without electrical power, I thought I should change the title.  The EarRegulars can reset the cosmic balance — making the world EarRegular, as it were.

And (on a personal note) I write this from London, where my dear jazz friend JSA has offered shelter, good music, and solicitude — nothing new!

Last Sunday, October 21, 2012,  was dark, gray, and rainy.  The beautiful October we have been having — INDIAN SUMMER with or without Coleman Hawkins — isn’t permanent.

But the music inside The Ear Inn, created by The EarRegulars, was warming in every way.  The original co-leaders were there, beaming: Matt Munisteri, guitar; Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet . . . and they were joined by Rob Adkins, string bass; Mark Lopeman, reeds.

Pay attention! — to quote the late Jake Hanna.

Here are two beauties from that evening.

A sinuous IF I HAD YOU:

A romping MILENBERG JOYS:

Thank you, dear Gentlemen, for making the warm weather stay around for a few hours more.

May your happiness increase.

DARK RAPTURE (AT THE EAR INN)

My title comes from a 1939 Count Basie Decca record featuring sweet Helen Humes, wondrous Lester Young, odd lyrics, and a difficult arrangement that Jo Jones said that gave the band trouble.  But this post is about the DARK RAPTURE found Sunday nights at the Ear Inn (326 Spring Street, 8-11 PM) when Jon-Erik Kellso and Matt Munisteri (or their friends) co-lead The EarRegulars.  Last night was an extra-special quartet: Jon-Erik and Matt, tenor saxophonist Harry Allen, bassist Neal Miner.  And the Ear is very dark, the jazz often rapturous.  Here are three performances by this intimate, intuitive group. each player visibly and audibly inspiring the others.   

After a trotting Buck Clayton blues, SWINGIN’ AT THE COPPER RAIL, Jon-Erik suggested a song by another trumpet player named Louis, SOMEDAY YOU’LL BE SORRY, at a bouncing tempo:

One of the great virtue of the EarRegulars is their broad and deep repertoire: they know many songs that aren’t SATIN DOLL.  Matt loves to play TISHOMINGO BLUES, and Jon-Erik likes LOUISIANA, AIN’T CHA GLAD? and HAPPY FEET — the latter associated with Bing Crosby and the Rhythm Boys, but recorded most memorably by the 1933 Fletcher Henderson band (the magical group with Henry “Red” Allen, Dicky Wells, Coleman Hawkins, Hilton Jefferson, and Walter Johnson).  It’s one of those songs that, played properly, rocks by itself.  (Incidentally, must I point out that it has nothing to do with a recent animated film about penguins?):

And the last few days in New York (or perhaps the Northeast) have been atypically warm and balmy — so Jon-Erik said, “We really have to play INDIAN SUMMER,” and they did, beautifully:

(I stopped recording at ten minutes — attempting to placate YouTube — so that viewers must imagine a few more notes of the coda.)

Such music makes the darkness shine!