Tag Archives: The Mermaid Inn

MARTY and the MERMAID in 2014

I wish I could draw: I would create the cartoon that my title encourages, of Marty Grosz — bowtie and archtop — either embracing or being embraced by or singing to — a Jazz Mermaid. But you’ll have to imagine it for yourselves.

This post isn’t about cross-species romance or a new Disney film. I simply wish to mention that the peerless guitarist, singer, scholar, wit Martin Oliver Grosz, Himself, will be appearing at the Mermaid Inn in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, on these Friday nights in 2014: January 31, April 25, August 29, November 7.  The music runs from 8:30 PM – midnight. The cast of characters will shift during this Tour, but cornetist Danny Tobias is a certainty; expect a bassist and perhaps another horn. The Mermaid Inn is located at 7673 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19118: (215) 247-9797.  It is cozy and neighborly, and the prices will not appall or astonish.

Here are two videos I recorded during one of Marty’s 2013 appearances — with Danny Tobias, Dan Block, and Ed Wise — inducement for the Faithful to mark their calendars and go:

‘WAY DOWN YONDER IN NEW ORLEANS:

WE’RE IN THE MONEY:

May your happiness increase!

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MARTY AT THE MERMAID (Part Two), or CHESTNUT HILL CAPERS with DANNY TOBIAS, DAN BLOCK, ED WISE (May 17, 2013)

“Worth a trip from anywhere!” was the tagline of a radio advertisement: I thought of it many times during my recent sojourn to the Chestnut Hill suburb of North West Philadelphia to hear and record Marty Grosz and a congenial group of fellow Swingsters: Dan Block, clarinet / alto saxophone; Danny Tobias, cornet; Ed Wise, string bass; The Great Percusso, whiskbrooms and suitcase.  (The identity of  “Percusso” is concealed for legal reasons.)

See here and here for music created earlier that night.

And for those who want to begin mapping their next trip to this cozy version of Swing Street, The Mermaid Inn is at 7673 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia · (215) 247-9797.

Here’s more from the evening of May 17, 2013 — hijinks in swingtime.

WAY DOWN YONDER IN NEW ORLEANS:

A suggestion from Dan Block (creator of the delicious head arrangement) that we hope is financially accurate: WE’RE IN THE MONEY — with a bonus of a singing audience member:

My request, since I so admire Marty as balladeer in a Red McKenzie mode: I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT YOU’RE IN LOVE WITH ME:

For Bing!  LOVE IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER:

Mister Waller, I presume?  I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES:

ROSE OF THE RIO GRANDE:

ALL MY LIFE:

SWEETHEARTS ON PARADE (add The Great Percusso):

SUGAR:

Appropriate for the journey home in the dark: THE WORLD IS WAITING FOR THE SUNRISE:

Thank you all, ladies, gentlemen, and Mermaids alike.

May your happiness increase!

MARTY AT THE MERMAID (Part One): MARTY GROSZ, DANNY TOBIAS, DAN BLOCK, ED WISE (May 17, 2013)

It took a great deal of energy to make the long journey from the JAZZ LIVES headquarters in suburban New York, to The Mermaid Inn in Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia — cars and bridges and tolls and service areas and heated dialogues with my aging GPS and the kindness of friends.  But it was worth it.  The result of the trek was another opportunity to see Martin Oliver Grosz, the Trolloope of Tempo, and his lyrical, imaginative friends Danny Tobias, cornet; Ed Wise, string bass; Dan Block, clarinet and alto saxophone.  Here’s a sample.

(The discerning cinematographers in the JAZZ LIVES audience may note that my musical heroes are an unusual shade of orange.  The Mermaid Inn was a cozy, friendly place lit in deep nocturnal hues.  What you see is the brightest image I could produce without added intrusive lighting.)

I’M CRAZY  ‘BOUT MY BABY:

BEALE STREET BLUES:

CRAZY RHYTHM:

JUBILEE:

Worth a trip from anywhere!  The only lapse I must note is that usually Marty invents imaginative names for his bands — the Orphan Newsboys, Destiny’s Tots, the Paswonky Serenaders.  No Homeric epithets, no Raymond Chandler monickers this time.  Marty Grosz and his Able Seamen?  His Swinging Mermen?  You’re on your own.

May your happiness increase!

“A ONE-MAN RHYTHM GANG,” or OUR MAN IN PHILADELPHIA: MARTY GROSZ (May 2013)

“A one-man rhythm gang” is how clarinetist Frank Chace described the Most Esteemed Martin Oliver Grosz, “Marty” to those on an equivalent social level.  I write this not to praise Marty, but to let my readers know that he has two — count ’em, two — gigs in Philadelphia in the very near future.  One is this coming Saturday (May 11) with cornet wonder Danny Tobias and fine string bassist Ed Wise — from 7-11 PM at The Saloon Restaurant — (215) 627-1811, 750 S. 7th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147.  Then, the next Friday (May 17), Marty and his Fig Pickers — make of that what you will . . . in Marty’s world, its etymological origin comes from a Ben Jonson play — which means Danny, Ed, and perhaps another hero — will appear at The Mermaid Inn from 8 PM to midnight.  7673 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia · (215) 247-9797.  I hope to make it to one or both of those gigs . . . if the creeks don’t rise, etc.

Perhaps you have only a dim sense of the Blessed Martin Grosz?  Let me refresh your memory with two impromptu videos (sub rosa, with a low-level digital camera) I shot at the 2007 Jazz at Chautauqua party — with Professors Dapogny, Robinson, Block, Giordano:

ARKANSAS BLUES:

FROM MONDAY ON:

Marty Grosz knows how to swing.  Don’t miss these opportunities to join the oceanic motion.

May your happiness increase.