For nearly twelve years, The Ear Inn has been my Sunday-night shrine (that’s 326 Spring Street in New York City, via the 1 or the C) because of the EarRegulars’ sublime residency.
Two Sundays ago, Jon-Erik Kellso was in New Orleans, making records (I use the archaic term) with Evan Christopher, but the band that Scott Robinson — on tenor saxophone, contrabass taragota, and trumpet — assembled for the night of May 20, 2019, was stellar: Jay Rattman on clarinet and alto saxophone; Chris Flory on guitar; Pat O’Leary on string bass. It was less crowded than usual at The Ear, because (I am told) it was the last episode of GAME OF THRONES. Hence my title.
Beauty paid a visit to 326 Spring Street when this quartet of masters created melodies than floated in the darkness.
And the usual caveats: yes, there are people chatting over their drinks, the image is quite dark at points, and my camera wobbles occasionally because The Ear is not the place to bring a tripod . . . but even the most finicky viewer should be able, through closed eyes, be transported by the Tones: subtle rejoicing scored for four instruments on two rhythm ballads — sweet and slow music with a definite pulse.
Art? Yes, today:
If you don’t think that performance lives up to Berlin’s title, we must politely but vehemently disagree. And this 1945 classic by Harry Warren and Mack Gordon is up in the same clouds:
Jay, Scott, Chris, and Pat made loveliness tangible. As they always do.
May your happiness increase!