4 September 2011
Big city, small club
We’d arrived by bus from DC at Penn Station on 9th Ave. We staying at W4th street, right down 9th Ave, right in the heart of the West Village. All thanks to Megan who had found an apartment just a short block from Smalls and Village Vanguard. This is cool. I saw the sign as we passed for Smalls Friday afternoon jam session. We lodged our luggage and managed 30 minutes and the two bands we saw were both decent with two good double bassists. The first was playing a bop blues as I entered – a common one that I could recognise but not name. The second band was led by a singer, so attractive and involving. An Australian was playing that evening, JC Styles. He was having a CD launch for his organ trio early on. We had a local Italian dinner (very good and homely, as I reckon Italian food should be). I made a return to Smalls (more later). As the name says, it’s small, but drinks are OK and entry covers the whole night and there’s no compulsion to buy drinks (although I do), unlike other clubs. So far, this is jazz Heaven. You’ve maybe seen it on the internet video feed, but here are some pics. The website is wonderful, but live audio feeds and recordings of numerous performances.