I really enjoy live music in smaller settings; the condensed visuals, tight sound, and the intimate and personal interaction between players and audience.
So many memorable moments.
Alfredo Rodriguez, at the 'Jazz Standard', with fingers spreading over the piano keys, powerfully and precisely striking, and then switching in the blink of an eyelash to barely caressing. Occasionally I have to remind myself that the piano is a percussion instrument but after his performance this realization will never be lost.
Then the tiny but vibrant 'Zinc Club' where the waitresses could barely navigate the crowd, yet the audience found room to dance and swivel to the Latin beat.
Saturday night started in Tribeca at the Roxy Hotel, hosting a classic trio of piano, sax and drums in the atrium. Downstairs was Django, with a big Latin jazz band.
Later, to the Rum Bar at the Edison Hotel. Just three hours earlier I had watched the movie Birdman, so the scene where actor meets movie critic was fresh in my mind. Jaymz Bee pointed out this was the same bar, and suddenly I could see Michael Keaton sitting on a stool delivering his diatribe.
Smalls Jazz Club was the tiniest club we visited but it had the biggest band, the Justin Mullens Octet - French horn, 2 tenor sax, bass clarinet, bass, piano, drums. All the musicians had the score in front of them, but they were clearly improvising within the structure. The drummer did a physical warm up before starting, massaging his forearms and rolling his shoulders, which I thought was a bit theatrical, but after watching the physical strain of his performance, and the endurance it required, it was so clear the drums were just an extension of the real instrument - his body.
Experience is the best teacher, and visiting these jazz clubs brought new appreciation, insights and learning about music.
Unfortunately, this trip we didn't make it to the Village Vanguard, Bluenote, Dizzy's Coca Cola Club, or Marie's Crisis Cafe. Woody Allen was playing with his New Orleans band at the Carlyle on the Upper East side, but it was sold out. Maybe next time!
|my new uke! (on the left)|
In Greenwich Village I bought a new ukulele at Matt Umanov Guitars. This is the first uke I've actually purchased as my own, the others have been borrowed or stolen from Rob. As soon as I walked in the store I saw it posing on the counter, and it was love at first sight! A perfect souvenir for the NYC trip.
- this blog was guest-edited by Rob -
Jazz Standard - Alfredo Rodriguez....Cuban pianist.
Zinc -Gregorio Uribe Big Band
Birdland - Molly Ringwald
Rum Bar (Edison Hotel)
Kitano - Ms. Blue
Smalls - the smallest club and biggest band!