Tag Archives: Minton’s Playhouse

YOUNG AT HEART: THE EARREGULARS (THE EAR INN, Feb. 20, 2012)

I looked forward to inspiring music last Sunday night — Sunday night sessions at The Ear Inn (326 Spring Street, Soho, New York City) are always emotionally rich and enlightening.  I could trust the four swing masters a few feet away from my perch at the bar:  Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Dan Block (clarinet / tenor); Chris Flory (guitar); Jon Burr (string bass).

After the first number had ended, Jon-Erik told us that the EarRegulars would be celebrating Presidents’ Day by honoring Lester Young — the man Billie Holiday called “the President,” after Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Much of the music made last night had direct references to Lester, and these two performances were standouts.  TOPSY was a Basie classic in the great early period of that band; WAY DOWN YONDER IN NEW ORLEANS was not only a foreshadowing of Fat Tuesday 2012, but a reminder of Lester’s happy childhood in that city, and an evocation of the Kansas City Six.

Here’s TOPSY, that not only points to Lester and Buck, to the Basie rhythm section, but to one of Lester’s most eminent disciples, Charlie Christian — close your eyes and you could imagine this music emanating from Minton’s Playhouse circa 1941:

A romping, building ‘WAY DOWN YONDER IN NEW ORLEANS:

The EarRegulars don’t need to make a special point of honoring Lester Young: their floating solos, resonant sounds, their awareness that space is just as essential as the notes, their twining counterpoint, and fluid swing are homages to the Master, no matter what they play.

NOW WE KNOW! — THE CANGELOSI CARDS

Although the Cangelosi Cards have a well-earned and devoted following, I think that sometimes they have been hard to find for people who weren’t, as we say, in the know.  This situation has just improved.  Thanks to Eve of Avalon Jazz, I found this listing of the places the Cards play on a weekly basis.  Being of an anxious disposition, I would still check with the respective clubs before saddling up for a Cards gig, but this is more information than we’ve been used to in the past. 

And did I mention that the Cards are the closest thing to an unclassifiable melding of a hoedown, a jam session, a fiddle convention, a wondrous interstellar excursion, a mix of Minton’s 1941, the Quintette of the Hot Club of France, old-timey music seventy years ago, the Savoy Ballroom, ecstatic rituals and more?  I did?  Well, it bears saying again — especially since my musical sage and scout, Jim Balantic, whispered to me that Tamar Korn was trying out some Boswell Sisters repertoire with a small group.  Short of the reincarnation of the entire 1938 Basie band, I can’t think of anything better. 

Impatient readers will want to scroll to the bottom of the page, where the elegant homespun calligraphy will greet you.  Others, more prudent, will find themselves attracted by all the information about Eli Smith’s Down Home Radio Show.  Whichever type of information-gatherer you are, you’ll find this schedule invaluable:

Cangelosi Cards



9:30 PM – 1:00 AM

banjojims.com

9:00 PM – 1:00 AM

telebar.com

9:30 PM – 12:30 AM

cafe-moto.com

5:00 PM – 9:00 PM

8:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Autumn Swing Dance
Friday, October 31st – Saturday, November 1st
Monroe Arts Center in Monroe, Wisconsin
For details go to autumnswing.com


 

“The Cangelosi Cards are one of the best bands I’ve seen anywhere. They have a great live show, perfect for dancing! I envy any one who has not yet seen them because you now have the chance to see them for the first time! They keep it strictly real, playing traditional New Orleans style jazz, but continue to see at as a living tradition- and as such bring in influences from outside the cannon, such as country, blues, and early popular music. The level of musicianship is brilliant, bring your dancing shoes.”

Eli Smith – Producer/Host Down Home Radio