This is a sort of EarRegulars prequel, since the current version got rained out of their Sunday-afternoon ecstasy at the Ear Out, in front of the Ear Inn, 326 Spring Street. With luck and sunshine, they will be back next Sunday.
Watching this beautiful souvenir of hot times, I think, “Now THAT’s the way to do it!” The Thursday-night informal sessions at Jazz at Chautauqua — a weekend delight that I first attended in 2004 — were always friendly, loose, and joyous. And sometimes they “scraped the clouds.” Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Scott Robinson, tenor saxophone; Ehud Asherie, piano; Andy Brown, guitar; Arnie Kinsella, drums, all have their say and rock the room. And yes, there are heads in the way of my camera now and again, but they are the heads of friends.
I think Arnie is no longer active — is he living the life of a gentleman farmer on Staten Island? — but I bless him and the other four luminaries, who are tangible presences in my life. My goodness, do they swing!
See you any Sunday at 326 Spring Street, New York, from 1-3:30. . . . where new memories are made.
On three Sunday afternoons this month, I have had the immense privilege of watching worlds come back to life, stretch their limbs, sniff the sweet air, and create boundless joy. I refer, of course, to the al fresco sessions created by The EarRegulars in front of The Ear Inn, from 1-3:30, when the threatened rain holds off.
This coming Sunday, the quartet will be Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; John Allred, trombone; Josh Dunn, guitar; Tal Ronen, string bass. Pray for cloudless skies, Brothers and Sisters.
A week ago, the trio above created wondrous floating sounds — their text being Tadd Dameron’s IF YOU COULD SEE ME NOW, with Scott playing the tenor saxophone, a horn he loves:
If that isn’t love transmuted into vibration, I don’t know.
I said to a friend while we were seated outside The Ear Inn, “During the pandemic, if you’d told me that I would be sitting outdoors in the sunshine, watching and listening to the EarRegulars, I would have said it was cruel to tease.”
But now it’s happened, and it’s glorious. On May 2, the band was Jon-Erik Kellso, Scott Robinson, Matt Munisteri, and Pat O’Leary. Two weeks later (rain got in the way) it was Jon-Erik, John Allred, Neal Miner, and Joe Cohn.
AND on May 23 — which is today! — from 1-3:30, the band will be Jon-Erik, Scott, Pat, and Chris Flory. So if you (in the tri-state area, of course) are sitting home amidst coffee mugs and the remnants of the Times, you could be feeling the spirit at 326 Spring Street. I don’t mean to nag. Just a suggestion.
In case you woke up and said, “Honey, what day is today?” the EarRegulars answer the question:
and this venerable song, so associated with Billie Holiday, is addressed to those who can see live music but choose to live their aesthetic lives through the computer, wherever they are:
Will there be more? Oh goodness, yes. Joy will be spread like cream cheese on a genuine New York bagel.
What could be better? — sunshine, friends, The EarRegulars, swinging rebirth outside The Ear Inn, 326 Spring Street, New York, Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Scott Robinson, C-melody and tenor saxophones, Eb tuba; Matt Munisteri, guitar; Pat O’Leary, string bass, Fats Waller’s I’M CRAZY ‘BOUT MY BABY, complete with verse:
And here’s the JAZZ LIVES Official Mobius Strip: I am posting this video on Sunday, May 16, 2021, and IF IT ISN’T RAINING (caps essential here) I will be outside The Ear Inn, digging the sounds created by Jon-Erik, John Allred, trombone; Joe Cohn, guitar; Neal Miner, string bass . . . while you might be reading this post and listening to the sounds created on May 2. Don’t think too much about it: just enjoy. It’s Newton’s Law — Frank, not Isaac — “With swing, all things are possible.”
Some small history: The EarRegulars ceased playing their restorative Sunday-night gig at The Ear Inn (326 Spring Street) more than a year ago, in March 2020. About a month later, I decided to do what I could to assuage the collective grief and absence by creating a Sunday-night post where I offered video performances by the EarRegulars going back to 2009. It was a ceremonial offering of hope and joy — reminding us of the glories of past Sundays and keeping alive the idea that these communal explosions of life would come again. But my tone was elegiac, because no one could confidently say, “We’ll be right back after this brief pause.”
As of Sunday, May 2, a dream came true when the EarRegulars — Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Matt Munisteri, guitar; Scott Robinson, tenor and C-melody saxophones, Eb tuba, and Pat O’Leary, string bass, performed “at” The Ear Inn, out on the sidewalk, in the sunshine, to a happy crowd.
Nothing is certain in this life, but optimism has taken the place of mourning, so the Sunday-night mood at JAZZ LIVES will no longer be a wistful look into the past but a celebration of what is happening NOW.
In the past few days, I’ve shared videos from that May 2 performance: I’M SORRY I MADE YOU CRY, DON’T BLAME ME, CHINATOWN, An EDDY DAVIS ENDING, HINDUSTAN, and GEE, BABY, AIN’T I GOOD TO YOU? — which you can visit easily by going backwards through the postings. Today, however, the most appropriate piece of music to the theme (perhaps not exactly death and rebirth, more like induced-coma-and-bringing-the-patient-back?) is the venerable Chicagoan THERE’LL BE SOME CHANGES MADE:
The May 9 performance was cancelled beforehand because of rain, but I expect to have more joyous sidewalk-phenomena to share with you. Dreams do come true, and wonders never cease. Welcome back, heroes.
I’ve always felt Don Redman’s plaintive love song deeply — posed as a question, explaining devotion to someone who needs an explanation, which makes it more poignant (“Don’t you understand why I do these things for you, my dear?”) — GEE, BABY, AIN’T I GOOD TO YOU?
Hot Lips Page, Jimmy Rushing, Billie Holiday, and Nat Cole sang it . . . but even if you know only the title, you get the feeling. And the EarRegulars specialize in feeling.
Here they are, laying it on us, outside the Ear Inn, on May 2, 2021:
Delightfully, this is not meant to be a single remarkable occasion, like the appearance of Halley’s Comet in the night sky. No, the EarRegulars have plans — pray for no rain! — for Sunday, May 9, 2021, with Kellso, Munisteri, O’Leary, and John Allred, trombone. What’s that? “It’s Mother’s Day, Michael!” “Doesn’t Mom deserve the best?“
Did you miss the joys of May 2 that I’ve posted so far? Get comfortable and let yourself be pleasedhere. And if you understand the significance of this event and the promise of Sundays to come, you will notice more people grinning as you get closer to Spring Street.
Yes, the stories you’ve heard are true. “It happened. I felt it happen.” Last Sunday, from 1-3:30, the EarRegulars (Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Matt Munisteri, guitar; Scott Robinson, C-melody saxophone, tenor saxophone, Eb tuba; Pat O’Leary, string bass) brought color to the cheeks of a moribund city — resuscitation or resurrection, you choose — and it was wonderful. Skeptical? See and hear more here.
And they will be doing it again on Sunday, May 9, same time, same place, only with John Allred in for Scott.
Here’s a wondrous journey to the Exotic East — HINDUSTAN, with key changes from C to Eb on every chorus. Romping is what I call it:
This Sunday, from 1 to 3:30, at 326 Spring Street. No dress code, but expect to help the Ear by purchasing something to eat. Bring cash for the musicians, please. Good tipping is good karma. And decorous behavior: no capers in the street with your beer sloshing. But otherwise . . . bring open hearts and ears.
I’m not being facetious at all. Last Sunday, May 2, a kind of spiritual rebirth took place outside 326 Spring Street from 1 to 3:30, when that blessed little band of swing creators, the EarRegulars, played two uplifting sets to a happy audience. They were Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Matt Munisteri, guitar; Scott Robinson, C-melody and tenor saxophone, Eb tuba; Pat O’Leary, string bass.
They will return on Sunday, May 9. Details below.
Here are a few of the savory performances I captured — in a small puddle (at least metaphorically) of bliss.
Because family relations between children and parents can be fraught, how about I’M SORRY I MADE YOU CRY?:
On a similar thread of contrition, DON’T BLAME ME:
After the music has ended, you and the family can do the right thing and take Mom to Chinatown for really good food — no fruit cup or green salad with walnuts and dried cranberries, but all sorts of delicacies. Hester Street, Mott Street, and more. Here’s the music to inspire you all:
Probably everyone sentient in the audience knew and loved Eddy Davis, and I know the band certainly did. So Scott launched them in to one of Eddy’s surprise-false-second endings, a kind of Hallelujah! Appropriate to spiritual gatherings:
So, Sunday, May 9. Mother’s Day. Celebrate it with these four mothers of inventiveness: Jon-Erik Kellso, John Allred, trombone; Matt Munisteri, and Pat O’Leary.
Choose wisely. Tell Mom a remarkable treat awaits. You won’t be telling a lie.
However (and this is serious) please tell her that outdoor gatherings have their own set of rules: patrons need to be aware of the laws as far as spilling over beyond the Ear property, and standing around drinking outside, not bringing their own chairs and beverages, etc., or blocking the sidewalk or street. If Mom stands in the middle of the street with her open IPA or blocks traffic, these gatherings will not continue. But she’s reasonable, I know.
Today the image is different, surprising, but I think appropriate:
That’s Janus, the Roman god of doorways and thresholds — the icon with two faces, one contemplating the past, one looking into the future.
Why has JAZZ LIVES descended into mythology? This post looks both ways as well. For nearly a year, I’ve been reminding viewers / listeners of the heroically uplifting music made at The Ear Inn by the EarRegulars — to keep our sprits up in the darkness of inertia and isolation. Today, May 2, 2021, perhaps while some of you are reading this, I hope to be at 326 Spring Street — live and in person, surrounded by other mortals — enjoying the playing of the EarRegulars for the first of a series of Sunday-afternoon outdoor concerts (1-3:30 PM). They will be Jon-Erik Kellso, Matt Munisteri, Scott Robinson, and Pat O’Leary.)
So that is the three-dimensional non-virtual future, soon to be the present, yet I couldn’t leave you in silence and darkness: although this post is short (I have to run), it still celebrates what has been created.
From January 23, 2011, the EarRegulars: Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Tad Shull, tenor saxophone; Matt Munisteri, guitar; Neal Miner, string bass:
May 2, 2021, will bring its own joys and surprises. I am certain of this.
Postscript: IT HAPPENED. And it was wonderful. Those four heroes swung, soared, played, traded phrases in the most delightful way, and those who know the EarRegulars and the Ear Inn had tears in their eyes. Of relief, of joy, of a return to blissful possibilities. The Fellas (as Nan Irwin calls them) played two sets of long leisurely performances, eleven of them. Who knows? You might be able to see some of what happened. And perhaps . . . .
Scott Robinson wrote this elegy for Eddy Davis on April 8, 2020, and I couldn’t improve on it.
I’ve just lost one of the dearest friends I’ve ever had in music. Eddy Davis was a highly significant and influential presence in my life. He was a fiercely individualistic performer… a veteran of the old Chicago days when music was hot, joyful, exuberant and unselfconscious. A character and a curmudgeon, who could hold court for hours after the gig. And a loving mentor who helped younger musicians like myself learn and grow in this music. I had only played with Eddy a handful of times when he called me in late 1998 to say that he was forming a new band to fill a weekly Wednesday spot at the Cajun on 8th Avenue. He wanted me to play lead on C melody saxophone, in a little group with two reeds, and no drums. This by itself gives a clue to what an original thinker he was.
I already knew that Eddy was a proficient and highly individualistic stylist on the banjo, who sounded like no one else. What I didn’t know, but soon found out, was that this man was also a walking repository of many hundreds if not thousands of tunes of every description, ranging far beyond the standard repertoire… with a fascinating background story at the ready for nearly every one. I quickly learned that he was also a prolific and idiosyncratic composer himself, with a wonderfully philosophical work ethic: write original music every day, keep what works, and throw the rest away without a backward glance.
Eddy was also what used to be called a “character”: affable, opinionated, hilarious, and irascible all in one, and above all highly passionate about music. What I learned over the ensuing 7 ½ years in Eddy’s little band, I cannot begin to describe. I came to refer to those regular Wed. sessions as my “doctor’s appointment” — for they fixed whatever ailed me, and provided the perfect antidote to the ills of the world, and of the music scene. Over the years we were graced with the presence of some very distinguished musicians who came by and sat in with us, including Harry Allen, Joe Muranyi, Bob Barnard, Howard Johnson, and Barry Harris.
Eddy was generous with his strong opinions, with his knowledge and experience, and with his encouragement. But he was a generous soul in other ways as well. When he heard that I was building a studio (my “Laboratory”), he had me come by the apartment and started giving me things out of his closets. A Roland 24-track recorder… three vintage microphones… instruments… things that I treasure, and use every single day of my life. When my father turned 75, Eddy came out to the Lab in New Jersey and played for him, and wouldn’t take a dime for it. When I got the call last night that Eddy had passed — another victim of this horrible virus that is ruining so many lives, and our musical life as well — I hung up the phone and just cried. Later I went out to my Laboratory, and kissed every single thing there that he had given to me. How cruel to lose such an irreplaceable person… killed by an enemy, as my brother commented, that is neither visible nor sentient.
One night at the Cajun stands out in my memory, and seems particularly relevant today. It was the night after the last disaster that changed New York forever: the World Trade Center attack. There was a pall over the city, the air was full of dust, and there was a frightful, lingering smell. “What am I doing here?” I thought. “This is crazy.” But somehow we all made our way to the nearly empty club. We were in a state of shock; nobody knew what to say. I wondered if we would even be able to play. We took the stage, looked at each other, and counted off a tune. The instant the first note sounded, I was overcome with emotion and my face was full of tears.
Suddenly I understood exactly why we were there, why it was so important that we play this music. We played our hearts out that night — for ourselves, for our city, and for a single table of bewildered tourists, stranded in town by these incomprehensible events. They were so grateful for the music, so comforted by it.
The simple comfort of live music has been taken from us now. We must bear this loss, and those that will surely follow, alone… shut away in our homes. I know that when the awful burden of this terrible time has finally been lifted, when we can share music, life, and love again, it will feel like that night at the Cajun. My eyes will fill, my heart will sing, and the joy that Eddy Davis gave me will be with me every time I lift the horn to my face, for as long as I live.
It should be clear that the passionate honesty Scott offers us when he plays also comes through his words.
Here is an audio document of one of those Wednesday nights, March 29, 2006, recorded at The Cajun. Eddy Davis, banjo, vocal; Conal Fowkes, piano, vocal; Scott Robinson, C-melody saxophone; Orange Kellin, clarinet; Debbie Kennedy, string bass; Fernando Kfouri, trombone (on TAILGATE RAMBLE). I wish I had been less intimidated (underneath his Midwestern affability, I sensed there was a core of steel in Eddy and I initially kept my distance, although I did develop a friendly relationship and did create videos) and brought my video camera, but I’ve left everything that was recorded that night in — including Conal going in search of his car, which had been towed, between-songs chatter, and more, for those not fortunate to be there fifteen years ago or other times.
Tonight, my friends tell me, is Super Bowl Sunday — or, for those more of my ilk, it’s also the Puppy Bowl. In real life and real time, the Ear Inn would not have featured music on this Sunday. But because this series of blogposts is (sweetly) in unreal-time, except for the swinging 4 /4 the EarRegulars manifest, we can violate those conventions. And the music, as always, is Super.
Come back with me to November 21 (Coleman Hawkins’ birthday), 2010, for a few touchdowns by Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Scott Robinson, tenor saxophone plus whatever else, Matt Munisteri, guitar; Greg Cohen, string bass.
You know, they called her “Frivolous Sal.” I still don’t know why:
that beautiful expression of romantic incredulity:
and (perhaps logically?) romantic optimism:
Optimism will sustain us. I’ll have a big bowl, extra hot sauce. And napkins.
Grab your coat, grab your hat . . . at least in theory.
We’re continuing with the brilliant music, romping or pensive — created by the EarRegulars on September 26, 2010: Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Scott Robinson, tenor saxophone; Matt Munisteri, guitar; Pat O’Leary, string bass:
The Ear Inn, 2012 Photograph by Alexandra Marks
ON THE ALAMO:
and Bob Barnard, cornet, in a properly Louis mode, sitting in for Jon-Erik, for CHINATOWN, MY CHINATOWN:
Then, a glorious exploration of Ray Noble’s THE TOUCH OF YOUR LIPS:
My calendars tell me that this is the last Ear Inn / EarRegulars posting I will do in this most dramatic year, 2020. I will continue to share the enthralling music from the recent past into 2021 — as long as it takes for us to be able to meet again in the temporal-physical universe.
Chronicling these precious evenings is a bittersweet pleasure, but the joy of celebrating this music and the wonderful people who so generously create it is nothing but sweet. See you on the other side, at 326 Spring Street. We live in hope.
Is the world going a little too fast for you? Is this your internal soundtrack?
Do you feel like a character in a Fleischer cartoon where everything’s too speedy to be brought under control? (I mean no disrespect to the 1936 Henderson band — with spectacular playing on this fast blues, appropriately called JANGLED NERVES — from Chu Berry, Roy Eldridge, Sidney Catlett, Fernando Arbello, and Buster Bailey.)
I believe the following interlude will calm and enliven your nerves at the same time. It happened here, in a vanished but remembered past — the third weekend in September 2009 at Jazz at Chautauqua, Joe Boughton’s creation, at the Athenaeum Hotel in Chautauqua, New York.
Joe loved to begin and end his weekend programs with ballad medleys, and here is a segment of one of them, featuring Duke Heitger, trumpet; Andy Schumm, cornet; Dan Barrett, trombone; Scott Robinson, tenor saxophone; Bob Reitmeier, clarinet; Ehud Asherie, piano; Marty Grosz, guitar; Frank Tate, string bass;, Pete Siers, drums. The bill of fare is MEMORIES OF YOU (Duke), STARDUST (Bob), PRELUDE TO A KISS (Scott), OLD FOLKS (Andy), IF I HAD YOU (Dan, with the ensemble joining in):
Let’s see how you’re feeling tomorrow. Leave a message with Mary Ann.
Only a fool would disagree with Billy Kyle. But reserved for what, and where?
We’re a day late for a celebration of Coleman Hawkins’ birthday, but Hawk would be pleased to know that there were noble tenor saxophonists playing at The Ear Inn on 326 Spring Street, Soho, New York City, in these videos from June 27, 2010, featuring Harry Allen and Scott Robinson on tenors; James Chirillo, guitar; Greg Cohen, string bass.
Asking the musical question:
WILL YOU STILL BE MINE? — where the quartet is joined by violinist Valerie Levy and tenorist Evan Schwam:
BLUE SKIES, scored for sextet:
WHERE OR WHEN, with Valerie and Evan:
WHERE OR WHEN, concluded:
BROADWAY, with guests Valerie and Evan adding to the fun:
TOO LATE NOW, back to the original quartet:
ON THE ALAMO:
STOMPIN’ AT THE SAVOY:
STOMPIN’ AT THE SAVOY, concluded:
Bless these musicians, for what they give us so generously.
News flash: Laura Beth Wyman, the CEO of Wyman Video and a fellow videographer, has pointed out that in September 2014, Jazz at Chautauqua had morphed into the Allegheny Jazz Party and moved west to Cleveland. Since a lesson of later life is that I have to live with my errors, I do so here: some of the prose details that follow are now in the wrong state, but the music still gleams.
Making the annual trip to the Athenaeum Hotel for the Jazz at Chautauqua weekend was never that easy, so once there I felt relief as well as excitement. But it was heavenly once I could see the people I love whom I saw so rarely, and even more blissful once the music began. Now, through the lens of 2020, Jazz at Chautauqua seems poignant as well as heavenly.
So it’s with those emotions — joy, nostalgia, wistfulness — that I offer you eight minutes of an elixir for the ears and heart: ‘WAY DOWN YONDER IN NEW ORLEANS, which used to be a medium-tempo saunter. I present the first recording of this 1922 Creamer and Layton song, with its “Spanish tinge” verse. And note that the Crescent City angels are wearing blue jeans, a garment that goes back to the end of the nineteenth century: see here:
But we can talk about clothing another time. Now, a mighty crew of hot players take this jazz standard for a gentle yet propulsive ride: Marty Grosz, guitar; Andy Schumm, cornet; James Dapogny, our Prof., piano; Bob Havens, trombone; Dan Block, clarinet; Scott Robinson, tenor saxophone; Jon Burr, string bass; Pete Siers, drums. I offer a special bow of gratitude to Nancy Hancock Griffith, who we see briefly at the start: she never sat in on an instrument, but she and her mother, Kathy Hancock, made it all happen.
Such a weekend will probably never come again, but I bless the players and the organizers . . . and I’m grateful for my little camera, that made audio-visual souvenirs like this possible.
I’ve been leading a metaphysical tour group on a psychic pilgrimage to The Ear Inn for twenty Sunday evenings so far, and won’t stop until the world opens up in more welcoming ways. Incidentally, here is the record of last week’s jaunt.
I have been slowly proceeding through my video trove in reverse chronological order. But today I break that pattern because of a delightful event.
Since gigs that I would feel comfortable bringing my camera to are not yet a definite thing, I diligently decided to start investigating my video archives, beginning with the earliest ones, around 2006, and moving towards the present. The task, however, loomed large. For this, I knew I needed an expert crew, so I hired these skilled archaeologists who came to my apartment with their tools and expertise (many of them had worked for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, finding antiquities):
The photo comes from their previous dig: my apartment is not built on sand.
And this is what they uncovered, three previously unseen video-performances from The Ear Inn, April 28, 2013, featuring Danny Tobias, cornet; Scott Robinson, tenor saxophone and taragoto, Dan Barrett, trombone; Joe Cohn, guitar; Pat O’Leary, string bass. It was a band humble to the core, so they played I MAY BE WRONG:
To quote Professor James Dapogny, “When in doubt, play the blues.” And ST. LOUIS BLUES, once overplayed, has turned the corner so that it’s a pleasing surprise when the band heads that-a-way:
and finally (these three videos are all that the team uncovered: I may have had to go to work Monday morning for an 8 AM class) — SOME OF THESE DAYS I was still teaching the eager young men and women of suburbia:
Let us hold hands (even if we are only grasping our left in our right or vice versa) for a prodigiously benevolent future, however you might define it. My definition includes Sunday nights at The Ear Inn, where the deer, the antelope, and the EarRegulars play.
This is my antidote to the gnawing signs that winter, yes, winter, is coming — even though it’s over sixty degrees outside, the radiator is swinging out Blakey-fashion in my apartment and online sites are offering me forty-pound Thanksgiving turkeys for the crowd that exists in their imagination.
I plan to enjoy some time with the EarRegulars at The Ear Inn. You come too.
Last week, I presented a lovely long set by Jon-Erik, Scott, Matt, and Neal (these names should be familiar to you by now) with guest Julian Lage. If you missed this excursion, feel free to join in here.
Here are the closing selections from a long late-spring (May 30, 2010) session at 326 Spring Street, featuring in various combinations Danny Tobias, cornet; Chuck Wilson, alto sax; James Chirillo, guitar; Murray Wall, bass — and guests Dan Block, clarinet; Pat O’Leary, cello and bass; Tony Steele, bass. . . .although not everyone is present on every number. I didn’t need to be reminded how much we all miss Chuck, who moved to another neighborhood two years ago. Goddamnit.
(The selections performed earlier that night will appear next week in Part Twenty. Have faith.)
BEALE STREET BLUES:
AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’ (the conclusion, very brief, good to the last drop):
LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME:
LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME (the conclusion):
And a final romp on CHINA BOY by the original Quartet:
Until we meet again, ideally in person but perhaps here only for a time, may your Ears be full of good sounds.
Hereis last week’s DOWNTOWN UPROAR, with its cast of glorious characters. Or its “glorious cast of characters,” both being true.
JAZZ LIVES takes another Sunday-night trip to May 23, 2010, for a session with Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Matt Munisteri, guitar; Neal Miner, bass; Scott Robinson, tenor sax and cornet, and guest Julian Lage, guitar.
Please don’t make any remarks about my sister (someone completely lovable to whom I owe so much) but here’s OH, SISTER, AIN’T THAT HOT?
It’s getting dark earlier: join me ON THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET:
IF DREAMS COME TRUE we know some of the shapes they will take:
and the DREAMS are so spacious they needed a second part:
The moody WABASH BLUES, plunged to perfection:
and its conclusion:
Here’s the first part of Lil Hardin’s STRUTTIN’ WITH SOME BARBECUE:
and its tasty conclusion (even though BARBECUE was an attractive person, not a meal):
How generous these musicians are — their gifts continue to reverberate. Until the day we can meet in person, keep swinging wherever you are.
Before we inch forward,here is the doorway to the previous eight posts of Sunday-evening joy and solace at 326 Spring Street.
Return with us to the thrilling nights of yore, which will come again.
Because I feel that everyone is in the late-summer doldrums, I’ve ladled out a double helping from the glorious session of March 21, 2010. Here, the EarRegulars are Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Matt Munisteri, guitar; Scott Robinson, bass sax; Pete Martinez, clarinet, and guest Julian Lage, guitar.
and a stunning I GUESS I’LL HAVE TO CHANGE MY PLAN — Julian sat back and admired the proceedings:
“No place is grander, I do declare.” Yes, 326 Spring Street but also LOUISIANA:
I hear a CREOLE LOVE CALL:
That NAUGHTY SWEETIE certainly gets around:
Scott leads off, so sweetly, for AT SUNDOWN:
And here’s something that touches my heart — not only the wondrous Pete Martinez making his way so beautifully, but also Scott playing both piccolo and bass sax; and guests John Bucher, cornet; Dave Gross, guitar. It touches me so to hear John quote COLUMBIA, THE GEM OF THE OCEAN. And the chosen text is I NEVER KNEW:
WHISPERING, with the same house band and guests:
And a very nostalgic IT’S THE TALK OF THE TOWN:
Every Sunday night at The Ear Inn was typical — people who knew, knew what to expect — but “typical” was also remarkable. Utter the right invocations to the Goddess of Heartfelt Lyrical Swing and they will have a salutary effect. See you there when the clouds clear.
Archaeologists always exult over their discoveries — a bone-handled spoon, a bird-skeleton. Wonderful, I guess. But when I go back into my YouTube archives, I come up with Rebecca Kilgore and friends touching our hearts. I’ll trade that for any noseless bust or porcelain ornament.
So very touching: featuring one of the greatest singers I know in a September 21st late-night set with Duke Heitger’s Swing Band at Jazz at Chautauqua: the other members of the Band are Dan Barrett, trombone; Dan Block, alto saxophone; Scott Robinson, tenor saxophone; Mike Greensill, piano; Howard Alden, guitar; Kerry Lewis, string bass; Bill Ransom, drums:
And the next night, Becky sent the Fellows off so that she and Keith Ingham could perform IT’S ALWAYS YOU, a 1941 Jimmy Van Heusen – Johnny Burke song from THE ROAD TO ZANZIBAR, song — of course — by Mr. Crosby to Ms. Lamour:
Such lovely sounds — beyond compare for knowing sweetness.
When we last left our intrepid friends, they were busily sending joy into the atmosphere. The evidence is here. It’s Sunday again, time to visit 326 Spring Street, even if the visit has to be navigated through the lit screens of the world. Writing that makes me sad, but I am trying my best to think of these days and nights as a fermata rather than the end of the composition. So join me in hope.
Here is hopeful music from the EarRegulars’ session of November 22, 2009: the alchemists of Spring Street are Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Scott Robinson, reeds; Matt Munisteri, guitar; Pat O’Leary, string bass. As I pointed out in a previous post, in those bygone days, YouTube would not allow a video of more than ten minutes at the video quality (1080) I was using. So there are longer performances split in two. We work with what we have.
A swinging act of contrition:
My feeling about the whole EarRegulars’ enterprise:
When someone you admire celebrates his ninetieth birthday (and the publication of his autobiography — published by Golden Valley Press) at a public gathering with music, it would be foolish to miss the festivities. That’s why I took the train to Philadelphia in March to help celebrate (and document) Marty Grosz and his friends rather than spend my remaining years kicking myself that I didn’t. Here are three posts, each with a performance from the Marty Party. WABASH BLUES, JAZZ ME BLUES, and IT DON’T MEAN A THING, for the curious.
But wait! There’s more! Marty essays the famous Alex Hill-Claude Hopkins song of complete romantic cooperation. The creators of mirth and hot music are Marty Grosz, guitar and vocal; Joe Plowman, string bass; Randy Reinhart, trombone; Brennen Ernst, piano; Jack Saint Clair, tenor saxophone; Dan Block, clarinet; Danny Tobias, trumpet and Eb alto horn; Vince Giordano, bass saxophone; Scott Robinson, tenor saxophone and bass taragoto, Jim Lawlor, drums. Incidentally, the song has two titles: either I WOULD DO ANYTHING FOR YOU or the more-tempered I WOULD DO MOST ANYTHING FOR YOU. Your call. My truncated title is because YouTube has a 100-character limit.