But Bruce McNichols, of the Smith Street Society Jazz Band, just sent me good news.
John Gill, that understated virtuoso of the banjo, National guitar, and trombone, and a compelling, loose-limbed vocalist, has got an August gig — Sundays from 7 to 11 PM at the National Underground. What’s more, he’s assembled some of my favorite individualists — Terry Waldo on piano and vocals, McNichols himself on banjo, soprano sax, and vocals, Brian Nalepka on bass, tuba, and vocals, and the pensive but ferociously swinging Kevin Dorn on drums. You’ll have to visit the club every Sunday in August to see if Kevin can be enticed to croon a chorus by the end of the night. I imagine the joint will jump with John’s own mix of ragtime, hot jazz, blues, and rockabilly. I won’t be there and I’m sorry I won’t hear John sing: he knows the lyrics to both “Tishomingo Blues” and “Did You Ever see A Dream Walking?” How many men can say that?
The National Underground is at 159 East Houston Street (at Allen Street) (212.475.0611) and this band is a rare treat. Bring several large handkerchiefs, a bottle of water from the freezer. Don’t miss it!