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SmallsLIVE/Mezzrow Newsletter
May 7th, 2018
 
In the days of medieval China, when great Chan masters lived and taught, monasteries existed throughout the land.  These monasteries were centers for their communities.  An abbot presided over the temple and living there was a stratum of monks, from the eldest and most experienced to the neophytes who had just shaved their heads to enter into monastic life.  The purpose was to practice the Dharma and further understand the question of self.  Hour and hours of practice training the mind, studying the words of the great ones and applying oneself assiduously to the work.  Each day was ritual and services and the people of the town would come to participate and watch.  Because they were moved and edified by the spiritual work, the citizens could live in harmony.  For the monks, sharing the spiritual food with the laity was of primary importance.  In turn, the laity shared their actual food and nourishment with the monks.  The abbot was an accomplished monk in his own right. He also had the special ability to organize and inspire.  He had the respect of monks greater in accomplishment then he as well as the respect of the young ones just setting out.

Great monks, traveling the land would make stops at the various monasteries in order to teach and share.  The abbot would often invite a great monk to rise to the dais and give a sermon on the Dharma.  In the cases of very famous monks the audience would become enormous, swollen with both great monks and eager young monks as well as highly education laity and various curiosity seekers.

This week in our monastery at Mezzrow we had the great visiting sage, Denny Zeitlin.  I pulled my hair out urging young ones to come to hear this great monk rise on our dais and play/speak on our Steinway and to experience the true Dharma of his jazz.  I’m not speaking of just his brilliant and original creations of improvisations but also in his manner and his life.  A great monk is not just about his or her ability to play but their ability as human beings.  To accomplish and truly live a great life.  In the case of Denny his career was set for being a jazz superstar.  At age 26 he released Cathexis (which I later found out meant “a strong feeling for something”, in psychological terms).  He established himself as a true original and modernist of the highest order.  It is startling to listen to Cathexis and realize the year in which it was created.  It could stand easily today as one of the celebrated young pianists on the scene, not from 1964.  But Denny was also talented in medicine and decided to pursue a career as a psychiatrist.  Not surprisingly, he is celebrated in that field as is witness by the number of psychiatrists that came to Mezzrow this week, admiring him in both of his fields.  A life as a psychiatrist – but what about music?  I can tell you that there is no gap in his playing.  I should say that many great monks were in attendance at Mezzrow to witness this event – many highly accomplished pianists.  It was fascinating to speak with each of them and to get their reaction, see their amazement and admiration.  Many were in agreement with me that Denny was playing at the best of his entire career.  Denny’s playing comes from a place, somewhere deep – a place not affected by years and Denny is now 80.  Denny is still growing and discovering.

For me I found myself agreeing so much with Denny’s musical point of view.  It’s a thought process that I identify strongly with – the Dharma of instant improvisation with as little preparation as possible.  My great teacher, Harry Whitaker, also thought this way.  Pure spontaneity.  Familiar material that, because it is so familiar, can be shaped into whatever form you want.  Pure freedom, but in the form.  Endless possibilities, chains of idea, linked one to the next and played with great feeling and attachment to the soul.  A cathexis, if you will of freedom of ideas and great feeling.  True jazz Dharma, take note!  If you think too much about it you will miss it, if you prepare to much for it you will ruin it.  Delicate.  The esoteric essence of jazz.

I look forward to seeing you at the clubs!

Regards,
Spike

 

Monday - 5/7
Harvie S, Roni Ben-Hur & Tim Horner

Consummate bassist Harvie S and his band return to Mezzrow for an evening of jazz trio not to be missed.

 Doors @ 7:30 PM
Seatings at 8 and 9:30 PM

Pasquale Grasso "After-hours" @ 11 PM

To advance purchase a reserved seat click:
CLICK HERE TO RESERVE

Tuesday - 5/8
Joel Ross, Kalia Vandever, Harish Raghavan & Craig Weinrib
 

 Doors @ 7:30 PM
Seatings at 8 and 9:30 PM

Mezzrow "Polite Jam Session" @ 11 PM

To advance purchase a reserved seat click:
CLICK HERE TO RESERVE

Wednesday - 5/9
Erin McDougald, Rob Block, Dean Torrey & Cedric Easton
 

Doors @ 7:30 PM
Seatings at 
8 & 9:30 PM
Pete Malinverni "After-hours" @ 11 PM

To advance purchase a reserved seat click:
CLICK HERE TO RESERVE

Thursday - 5/10
Mark Soskin & Jay Anderson Duo

 
Doors @ 7:30 PM
Seatings at 
8 & 9:30 PM
Spike Wilner "After-hours"  @ 11 PM

To advance purchase a reserved seat click:
CLICK HERE TO RESERVE

Friday & Saturday - 5/11-12
Ehud Asherie with David Wong & Rodney Green

Pianist Ehud Asherie is steeped in the tradition of classic jazz piano but remains his own man - a solid and swinging player. He's joined by David Wong on bass Rodney Green on drums for an evening of trio in our listening room.

Doors @ 7:30 PM
Seatings at 8 PM & 9:30 PM
5/11 - Taber Gable "After-hours" @ 11 PM
5/12 - Anthony Wonsey "After-hours" @ 11 PM


To advance purchase a reserved seat click:
5/11 - CLICK HERE TO RESERVE
5/12 - CLICK HERE TO RESERVE  

Sunday - 5/13
Solo Piano Salon - No Cover

Join pianist Spike Wilner for an afternoon of solo piano, there is no cover charge for this performance.

Doors at 4:30 PM
Spike Wilner from 5 PM until 7 PM


To advance purchase a reserved seat click:
CLICK HERE TO RESERVE

Sunday - 5/13
Emilio Solla Drumless Trio



Doors at 7:30 PM
Seatings at 8 PM & 9:30 PM
John Merrill "After-hours" 11 PM


To advance purchase a reserved seat click:
CLICK HERE TO RESERVE

Monday - 5/7
Ari Hoenig Quartet

 Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM
     with Ari Hoenig - Drums, Gilad Hekselman - Guitar, Nitai Hershkovits - Piano, Matt Penman - Bass
 
Monday - 5/7
Joe Farnsworth Quartet

 Sets at 10:30 PM & 12 AM
     with Joe Farnsworth - Drums, Abraham Burton - Tenor Sax, Gerald Cannon - Bass, Keith Brown - Piano,
 
Tuesday - 5/8
Spike Wilner Quartet
featuring Joe Magnarelli
 Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM
with Spike Wilner - Piano, Joe Magnarelli - Trumpet, Paul Gill - Bass, Anthony Pinciotti - Drums
Tuesday - 5/8
Frank Lacy Group
 Sets at 10:30 PM & 12 AM

with Frank Lacy - Trombone
Wednesday - 5/9
Danny Kolke Quartet
 Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM
     with Danny Kolke - Piano, Walter Blanding - Tenor Sax, Jon Hamar - Bass, Greg Williamson - Drums
Wednesday - 5/9
Dave Baron Quartet
Sets at 10:30 PM & 12 AM

with Dave Baron - Bass, Joe Magnarelli - Trumpet, Victor Gould - Piano, Aaron Kimmel - Drums
Thursday - 5/10
New York Jazz Nine
 Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM
     with John Eckert - Trumpet, David Smith - Trumpet, Noah Bless - Trombone, Jason Jackson - Trombone, Chris Hemingway - Alto Sax, Jason Marshall - Baritone Sax, Tim Harrison - Piano, Chris Haney - Bass, Taro Okamoto - Drums
Thursday - 5/10
Thomas Marriott Quartet
Sets at 10:30 PM & 12 AM

with Thomas Marriott - Trumpet, David Budway - Piano, Alexander Claffy - Bass, Kassa Overall - Drums
Friday - 5/11
Will and Peter Anderson Quartet
Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM

$20 for this show
with Will Anderson - Alto Sax, Peter Anderson - Tenor Sax, Jeb Patton - Piano, Neal Miner - Bass, Paul Wells - Drums
Saturday - 5/12
Smalls Showcase:
Scott Reeves Jazz Orchestra

Sets at 4:30 PM & 6 PM

$20 for this show
with Scott Reeves - Trombone, Steve Wilson - Alto Sax, Matt Haviland - Trombone, Max Seigel - Trombone, Rob Middleton - Tenor Sax, Vito Chiavuzzo - Tenor Sax, Terry Goss - Baritone Sax, Chris Pasin - Trumpet, Nathan Elkun - Trumpet, Chris Rogers - Trumpet, Andy Gravish - Trumpet, Jim Ridl - Piano, Bill Moring - Bass, Scott Neumann - Drums
Saturday - 5/12
Eric Wyatt Quartet
Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM

$20 for this show
with Eric Wyatt - Tenor Saxophone, Benito Gonzalez - piano, Eric Wheeler - Bass , Chris Beck - Drums
Friday & Saturday - 5/11-12
Robin Eubanks Trio
Sets at 10:30 PM & 12 AM

$20 for this show
with Robin Eubanks - Trombone, Anthony Wonsey - Piano, Gerald Cannon - Bass
Sunday - 5/13
Vocal Masterclass
with Marion Cowings

from 1 PM until 3 PM
The Marion Cowings Jazz Vocal Workshop is a weekly session that gives vocalists a forum to develop the elements that define a jazz vocal performance.
Sunday - 5/13
Chris Byars Original Sextet

Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM
with Chris Byars - Tenor Sax, Zaid Nasser - Alto Sax, John Mosca - Stefano Doglioni - Clarinet, Ari Roland - Bass, Phil Stewart - Drums
Sunday - 5/13
Nick Hempton Band

Sets at 10:30 PM & 12 AM
with Nick Hempton - Tenor Sax
  
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