18 September 2011

An embarrassment of riches

Jazz is everywhere around me here. A large part is being in Greenwich Village; some part is in the time of year, the nice weather and the holidays and even the 9/11 commemorations. Here are some snippets of other bands I’ve come across.

Ehud Asherie led a trio at Smalls late one night. This was a standards outing of old school friends who never did actually form that band. Nightingale in Berkeley Square and tunes by Sinatra, Gershwin and Dizzy. I found Ehud’s piano choppy and well behind the beat and his rhythm section mates easy and steady. Bassist Neal Miner plays weekly with Annie Ross here in Manhattan, but that was just another one I didn’t get to. Ehud Asherie (piano) played with Neal Miner (bass) and Jason Brown (drums) at Smalls.

Josh Evans led a quartet that was the host band for a jam late one night at Smalls. I was particularly taken to hear the lovely Goodbye by Gordon Jenkins which I know it from Charlie Haden’s Quartet West (given some prompting). Also blues and originals and a Walter Booker hard-bop tune. Josh had a clear influence from Miles. I found Rick Germanson’s piano very inventive and very easily dissonant and Tyler Mitchell’s bass very ready to enter long pedals. Nice band. Josh Evans (trumpet) led a quartet with Rick Germanson (piano), Tyler Mitchell (bass) and Jerome Jennings (drums).

We were staying at West 4th Street, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues. It’s a lively and noisy street and has turned out to be incredibly central to lots of jazz. Taking different corners on Seventh Ave in recent days, I’ve discovered another three jazz venues. One was the Garage. It’s more restaurant than jazz club, but the Lou Caputo Quartet playing standards for a tourist crowd. We caught them in the first set, and perhaps too early in the day. They were livening up nicely in the second set, but we had to go. I was interested that a name from my old jazz record collection was playing, Calvin Hill, who’s played with Max Roach, McCoy Tyner and Pharaoh Sanders amongst many others. Another hugely solid bassist with firm hands and easy presence. Lou Caputo (flute, clarinet, saxes) played with Don Stein (piano), Calvin Hill (bass) and Randy Petschauer (drums) at The Garage.

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