It seems as if the weather is finally changing to the clear blue skies and soft gentle winds of spring into summer. This is the New York weather I love the most. It means I get to hang in Washington Square Park and sit in with the park musicians on my melodica (tip of my hat to Ryo Sasaki and his group). There are tourists everywhere and jazz music permeating the park. Little groups playing, musicians practicing. Man, New York is still, and always will be, the capital for Jazz music, a beautiful mixture of human beings and all kinds of interesting things. Good vibes, good times.
I'm really psyched to officially announce our 4 new titles on SmallsLIVE, all are now available as a collectable CDs on our website CLICK as well as iTunes. SL0032 Harold Mabern w. John Webber & Joe Farnsworth, SL0033 Alex Sipiagin w. Seamus Blake, David Kikoski, Boris Koslov & Nate Smith, SL0034 Joe Magnarelli w. Mulgrew Miller, Dwayne Burno & Jason Brown and SL0035 Will Vinson w Lage Lund, Aaron Parks, Matt Brewer & Marcus Gilmore. All really good projects with amazing cover art and photos. I hope you check them out.
At Smalls This Week -
Monday night we have a interesting double header. Starting with pianist Dred Scott and his trio at 7:30 PM. Dred is a really great pianist and difficult to categorize because he has such a broad range, definitely eclectic but really creative and unpredictable. He'll be there with Spencer Murphy & Bill Campbell. Following Dred is our resident Ari Hoenig who will be playing with two highly creative tenor players - Joel Frahm & Tivon Penicott and, as far as I know, no bass or chords. It's going to be a lot of tenor but all these guys are "turn-on-a-dime" improvisors. Check it out.
Tuesday night I'll be there with my trio at 7:30 PM. At 10PM is the Smalls "Legacy" Band with the great Frank Lacy as well as the also great Josh Evans, Theo Hill & Stacy Dillard. This band has been regular on Tuesday nights and PLEASE don't take them for granted. This band is a veritable tsunami of sound. If you haven't had a chance to hear this group, come out and take the opportunity. You won't be disappointed, I promise.
Wednesday night we present one of the truly finest younger pianists on the scene, Adam Birnbaum. Adam has been getting a lot of attention lately, has been touring with Al Foster among others. On Wednesday he's coming in with a quartet featuring the amazing Dayna Stephens on tenor, Matt Brewer on bass and the great Billy Drummond on drums. This is going to be a killing show. Be sure to stick around for the "Round Midnight" concert featuring the trio of Marc Devine, who is always swinging and tasteful.
Thursday night we present another pianist who doesn't get heard too often at Smalls - Mattew Fries, who's coming in to do a CD release with Phil Palombi on bass and Keith Hall on drums. Our "Round Midnight" concert features one of our Smalls regulars, Carlos Abadie - Carlos has been a fixture on the New York jazz scene for years and just keeps growing and growing. He's a modest man but plays with a huge heart and has an excellent quintet with Joe Sucato on tenor, Peter Zak on piano, Clovis Nicholas on bass and Luca Santaniello playing drums. Carlos is also the subject of this week's interview with Spencer Murphy for our SmallsLIVE interview blog - CLICK HERE to read it.
This weekend we are really happy to have Jimmy Greene back at Smalls. He's coming in on Friday and Saturday night with his excellent quartet featuring Xavier Davis on piano, Reuben Rogers on bass and Greg Hutchinson on drums for the 10:30 PM slot. Besides being an amazing and inspiring musician, Jimmy is also an inspiring and amazing human being. His poise and bravery in light of the horror of the tragedy that he and his family endured is a lesson for all of us. Please help us welcome Jimmy back to Smalls - LOVE WINS!!
Our 7:30 PM concert on May 4th features a very rarely heard artist - Joey Cavaseno. Joey is an old friend of mine from my conservatory days. He was a jazz prodigy and then made an amazing career for himself as a rap producer "G-Clef" - now he's back at Smalls doing a tribute to an artist that he holds in the highest regard - Duke Ellington. Be sure to come out for this rare appearance.
On Sunday we have a plethora of wonderful shows. Starting at 4:30 with Mara Rosenbloom who is doing her CD release show. At 7:30 PM we present two of the finest veterans of the guitar in a duet - Chris Flory & Joe Cohn. At 9:30 PM is the amazing Johnny O'Neal and his trio and then for our "Round Midnight" show is pianist Tuomo Uusitalo and his trio who will play a set and then host a jam session.
So - please be sure to get outside and enjoy the wonderful sun and weather and then come by in the evening to our little house of jazz on West 10th street. We welcome you!
Thanks to Bob Kenselaar and All About Jazz for this interview.
"Since its launch in 2010, the SmallsLIVE record label has been offering a substantial sampling of the outstanding jazz talent consistently featured at Smalls Jazz Club in New York City's Greenwich Village. Musicians who appear on the label range from the great veterans Harold Mabern andJimmy Cobb to contemporary players at the top of their careers like Larry Goldings and Roy Hargrove, not to mention a mainstay of the Smalls scene: up-and-coming young musicians quickly making names for themselves, such as Dezron Douglas and Marcus Strickland." - read the entire article below:
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1:00 PM to 3:00 PM - Vocal Masterclass with Marion Cowings $20 entry - $40 to participate
Marion Cowings - Vocalist
4:30 PM to 7:00 PM - Smalls Showcase Presents: The Mara Rosenbloom Quartet Official Songs from the Ground CD Release! (Fresh Sound New Talent Records)
Sean Conly - Bass , Mara Rosenbloom - Piano , Darius Jones - Alto Sax , Nick Anderson - Drums
7:30 PM to 9:45 PM - Sunday Evening Duets with: The Chris Flory Duo
Joe Cohn - Guitar , Chris Flory - Guitar ,
10 PM to 11:30 PM - The Legendary Johnny O'Neal ($20)
Johnny O'Neal - Piano ,
11:30 PM to close - Afterhours Jam Session with: The Tuomo Uusitalo Trio
Jay Sawyer - Drums , Tuomo Uusitalo - Piano , James Robbins - Bass