May 19th, 2014

Dear Friends:

I wanted to relate a story that my good friend the saxophonist Ned Goold told me recently.  It had to do with the late great pianist Hank Jones.  It turns out that a few years before his death one night Hank came by Smalls simply to listen to music.  Ned happened to be the leader of his group that evening and was, of course, surprised to see this great jazz legend and master sitting at the bar to listen to him.  Ned played his full set and Hank sat quietly throughout the set listening.  After the set was over Hank came up to Ned and paid him compliments on his music - he told him sincerely that he liked what he heard.  After they spoke for few minutes more Hank said to Ned: "If you see me leaving in the middle of your next set it's because I'm not feeling well but not because of your music - please don't take it personally."  Ned was touched by this gesture of courtesy bestowed upon him by this great gentlemen.  It made me understand the modesty and kindness of this man.  Hank knew that a historically minded musician such as Ned Goold would attribute an enormous amount of importance at having Hank Jones at his gig.  He also knew how sensitive musicians are and showed great respect and compassion by giving Ned the courtesy of apologizing for leaving early.

 There's something about real jazz masters that involves a humbleness and self effacement that you don't see normally. Subsequently this week we had the great Al Foster hanging out for two nights at the club and I had the opportunity to have a conversation with him.  I found Al to be genuinely humble to such a degree that it really surprised me.  A musician of such greatness and depth who genuinely felt inadequate in being recognized as such.  No false modesty, no bragging - just a understanding of his own place in the lineage of this music and the enormity of the scope of the tradition.  We can all take lessons from men such as Hank Jones and Al Foster - real courtesy and respect to all other musicians and a true modest approach to this music and to life - assuming nothing.  This is something all of us need to face in light of our day to day ego struggles and pride issues.  The music is greater than all of us and it's best simply to be respectful, polite and compassionate.

I wish all of you a great week and sincerely hope to see you at the club!



(a selection of featured shows)

For our full schedule please go to

Monday - 5/19
The Dan Tepfer Trio
Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM

Dan Tepfer has been winning international accolades for his interpretations of Bach and his forward thinking improvisations.  Catch him tonight with his trio with Matt Brewer and Rudy Royston.  Following Dan at 10:30 PM is the amazing Ari Hoenig and his quintet which features the amazing Gilad Hekselman on guitar and Tivon Pennicott on tenor saxophone.  Also with Eden Ladin on piano and Orlando LeFlemming on bass.
Tuesday - 5/20
The Spike Wilner Quartet
Sets at 7:30 PM & 9:00 PM

Come out to hear this neurotic but otherwise engaging pianist with his quartet featuring the hard swinging Yotam Silberstein on guitar, Dezron Douglas on bass and Anthony Pinciotti on drums.  At 10:30 PM is the amazing Smalls Legacy Band featuring the great Frank Lacy.
Wednesday - 5/21
The Harold Mabern Trio
Sets at 9:30 PM & 11 PM

It's always a privilege to be in the same room as this jazz master.  Harold Mabern exudes warmth, feeling and deep deep groove.  His excellent trio features the great Joe Farnsworth on drums and Essiet Essiet on bass.
Wednesday - 5/21
The Willerm Delisfort Group
"Round Midnight" - one set.
Wilerm Delisfort is a lyrical and hard grooving pianist with a forward thinking concept.  Stay for his set "round midnight" which features the work of  the soulful Lummie Spann on alto, Benny Bennack on trumpet, Jonathan Michel on bass and the tasty groover Anwar Marshall on the drums.
Thurday 5/22
The Pete Malinverni Trio

Sets at 9:30 PM & 12:00 AM

Pete Malineveri is a pianists pianist.  Original in concept and with a great depth of feeling and concept.  With Pete is the truly solid Doug Weiss on bass and the amazing Jason Brown on drums.  Not to be missed!
Friday 5/23
The Ralph Lalama & "Bop-Juice"

Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM
$20 for this show.

Ralph Lalama is a grizzled warrior of the New York jazz scene and his concept just gets deeper and deeper.  His trio "Bop Juice" is at telepathic levels and features jazz drum legend Clifford Barbaro and the tasteful and stoic David Wong on bass.
Friday & Saturday - 5/23 & 5/24
The Mark Soskin Quartet 

Sets at 10:30 PM & 12 AM
$20 for this show.

Mark Soskin is a true pleasure to listen to.  The man that Sonny Rollins turns to when he wants a pianist.  Mark is coming in this weekend for a two nighter with his excellent quartet that features the highly under rated Rich Perry on tenor, Jay Anderson on bass and the spiritual and swinging Anthony Pinciotti on drums.
Saturday - 5/24
The Billy Mintz Quartet
Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM
$20 for this show.

Billy Mintz is a master drummer and not nearly well known enough.  If you haven't heard him please come out to discover this wonderful musician.  In his quartet is the truly great Roberta Piket on piano and John Gross on tenor sax.
Sunday - 5/25
The Lezlie Harrison Duo

Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM
$20 for this show.

Lezlie Harrison has the true jazz feeling that is so often missing in the vocalists of today.  She can sing a ballad and also swing hard.  Please come out and check Lezlie and her wonderful voice.  At 10PM is the amazing jazz legend Johnny O'Neal and his great trio.
Sunday - 5/25
The Ken Fowser Quintet

Midnight Show
$20 for this show.

Ken Fowser is an up and coming saxophonist who's been cutting his teeth over the last several years and is coming into his own as a bandleader.   With Ken is his partner in crime Behn Gilece on vibraphone and the excellent rhythm section of Rick Germanson, Paul Gill and Joe Strasser.

Mon, "Afterhours" -
Spencer Murphy Jam

Tues, 7:30PM to 10PM -
Spike Wilner Trio

Tues, "Afterhours" -
Kyle Poole "Next Generation" Jam

Wed, 6PM to 9PM -
Michela Lerman Tap Jam
Thur, 6PM to 9PM

The "Early Bird" with:

Fri, 4PM to 7PM -
OPEN Afternoon Jam

Sat, 4PM to 7PM -
OPEN Afternoon Jam 

Sun, 1PM to 3PM
Marion Cowings Vocal Masterclass
($40 to participate)

Sun, 10PM to 11:30PM  - 
The Legendary Johnny O'Neal


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