December 1st, 2014

Dear Friends:

I hope everyone had a good holiday.  I think Thanksgiving should be every day of the year - we should always approach life with an attitude of gratitude and thanks.  I am thankful for the wonderful music I've seen and heard in the last few nights.  Really special shows at Mezzrow thanks to Gerald Clayton and Ben Wendel - the club was packed and you could hear a pin drop.  Meanwhile at Smalls we had Mark Whitfield, who came in with his two sons (Davis on piano and Mark Jr. on drums) for a family affair.  They had the house rocking - what a scene!  Multi-generational musicians performing and hanging.  Yes, I am grateful.

Been reading further from Eddie Condon's "Scrapbook of Jazz" - wonderful anecdotes.  But the best thing is the forward, which was written by none other than John Steinbeck, who it turns out was a good friend of Condon's.  They had a mutual admiration for each other's work.  Condon even tried his hand at some prose "in the style of Steinbeck".  I wanted to quote something from Steinbeck's intro which made me smile:

"I have known musicians - not as you have - but a little.  They are the most confused, childish, vicious, vain people I know.  On the other hand they are the most generous.  Their wills are like those of children.  Their cruelties have no more sadistic background than has a small boy when he pulls the wings off flies.  Their domestic relations are a mixmaster type.  Business confuses them, and so does politics.  They almost seem in themselves to live outside ordinary law and common ethics.  Now, the reason I am saying all of this is that it is also true that I know of no group which has such direction in work.  They aim at excellence and apparently nothing else.  They are hard to buy and if bought they either backslide into honesty or lose the respect of their peers.  And this is a loss that terrifies them. In any other field of American life, great rewards can be used to cover a loss of honesty, but not with jazz players - a slip is known and recognized instantly."

What astute observation from one of America's greatest writers!  I am thankful!

PS - folks have been asking about New Year's eve at Mezzrow.  We have an amazing show (which will include champagne and some food.  CLICK HERE to find out more about it!

I wish everyone the best and hope, sincerely, to see you and meet you at either Smalls or Mezzrow.



7:00 PM Solo Piano Every Night.
12:00 late shows on Fri & Sat.
$10 admission AT THE BAR at all times
Monday - 12/1
The Legendary Johnny O'Neal
Sets @ 9 PM & 10:30 PM & 12

Johnny O'Neal is a beloved figure on the jazz scene - come find out why!  The soulfulest singer/pianist around.


Tuesday - 12/2
Roberta Piket & Hillard Greene Duo
  • Pianist Roberta Piket has an original voice.  A modern thinking player, Roberta is also a compelling composer.  With her is the veteran bassist Hillard Greene.

    Sets at 8:00 PM & 9:30 PM

Wednesday & Thursday - 12/3-4
Adam Birnbaum & David Wong Duo

Sets @ 9:00 PM & 10:30 PM

Pianist Adam Birnbaum has been making a name for himself by working with Al Foster amoung others.  With him is the stellar bassist David Wong.

Sets at 9:00 PM & 10:30 PM


Friday, Saturday - 12/5-6
Aaron Parks & Ben Streets - Duets
Sets @  8:30 PM & 10:30 PM 

Pianist Aaron Parks comes in for a weekend with bassist Ben Street.  This is sure to be an evening of joyful musical interplay, lyricisim and great jazz feeling.

Sets at 8:30 PM & 10:30 PM

Sunday 12/7
Grant Stewart w. Tardo Hammer and Paul Sikivie

Sets at 9:30 PM and 11:00 PM

Grant Stewart is a master improvisor.  With a gorgeous full tenor sound and a brilliant be-bop conception Grant loves the American Songbook.  Tardo Hammer is a master pianist and  is a true New York jazz veteran.  Tonight they play trio in Mezzrow's Music Room.


(a selection of featured shows)

For our full schedule please go to

Monday - 12/1
Jochen Rueckert Quartet 

Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM
w. Mark Turner - Tenor Sax, Lage Lund - Guitar, Matt Penman - Bass, Jochen Rueckert - Drums 

Drummer Jochen Rueckert takes the helm with an all-star group that features the amazing Mark Turner.    Please stick around for the great Ari Hoenig and his group following this show.
Tuesday - 12/2
Smalls Legacy Big Band

Sets at 9:30 PM & 11 PM

Frank Lacy is the force-of-nature trombonist comes back with the Smalls Legacy Group.  This bombshell sextet is not to be missed!
Wednesday - 12/3
Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio

Sets at 9:30 PM & 11 PM
 w. Melissa Aldana - Tenor Sax, Glenn Zaleski - Piano, Pablo Menares - Bass, Francisco Mela - Drums 

Winner of the Thelonious Monk Competition, Melissa's clear and lyrical voice is bringing her world-wide recognition.
Wednesday - 12/3
"Round Midnight" With:
The Adam Larson Quintet

Midnight to close
w. Adam Larson - Tenor Sax, Can Olgun - Piano, Matt Stevens - Guitar, Matt Penman - Bass, Jason Burger - Drums 

Adam Larson is a versitle and energetic improvisor.  He comes in for a "round midnight" set with a great group.

Thursday - 12/4
Ulysses Owens Jr. & Friends
Birthday Celebration

 Sets at 9:30 PM & 11 PM
w. Benny Benack III - Trumpet, Braxton Cook - Alto Sax, Christian Sands - Piano, Corcoran Holt - Bass, Ulysses Owens - Drums 

Drummer Ulsses Owens celebrates his birthday at Smalls with some of his good friends who all happen to be amazing jazz musicians.  Come out to celebrate with us!
Thursday - 12/4
"Round Midnight" With: 
The Nick Hampton Band

Midnight to close
w. Nick Hempton - Alto Sax, Dan Aran - Drums, Tadataka Unno - Piano, Dave Barron - Bass 

Nick Hempton is a vastly underrated player with a deep sound and real beautiful lines.  Don't miss the chance to discover this great musician.
Friday - 12/5
The James Weidman
Aperturistic Trio

Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM
$20 for this show.
w. James Weidman - Piano, Harvie S - Bass, Steve Williams - Drums 

Longtime piano player for Joe Lovano, James Weidman is a joy to listen to.  With him is the legendary Harvie S on bass and the fantastic Steve Williams on drums.
Friday & Saturday - 12/5-6
Scott Wendholt/Adam Kolker Quartet 

Sets at 10:30 PM & 12 AM
$20 for this show
w. Scott Wendholt - Trumpet, Adam Kolker - Tenor Sax, Hans Glawischnig - Bass, Anthony Pinciotti - Drums 

Scott Wendholt and Adam Kolker are seasoned vets of the jazz scene and have a book of fantastic arrangements and originals.  This is a serious band for serious jazz fans.
Saturday - 12/6
The Tad Shull Quartet

Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM
$20 for this show
w. Tad Shull - Tenor Sax, Rob Schneiderman - Piano, Paul Gill - Bass, Joe Strasser - Drums 

Tad Shull may have the biggest tenor sound around.  With the excellent Rob Schneiderman on piano, this is a swinging quartet.
Sunday - 12/7

Sets at 4:30 PM & 6 PM
w. Matthew Fries - Piano, Phil Palombi - Bass, Keith Hall - Drums 
Pianist Matthew Fries returns to Smalls with his excellent trio Tri-Fi which features the stellar work of Phil Palombi on bass and Keith Hall.  Please come out for this Sunday afternoon concert.
Sunday - 12/7
Behn Gillece
The "Well Tempered" Quartet
Sets at 10:30 PM & 12 AM
w. Behn Gillece - Vibraphone, Spike Wilner - Piano, Brain Charette - Organ, Anthony Pinciotti - Drums 

Vibes, Piano, Organ and drums - "well tempered" indeed.  It's going to be a killer show.


Monday - 12/1, 1 AM to close
Afterhours with : Jonathan Michel

Tuesday - 12/2, 7:30 PM to 9 PM
The Spike Wilner Trio

Tuesday - 12/2, 12:30 AM to close 
The Next Generation Sessions with Kyle Poole

Wednesday - 12/3, 6 PM to 9 PM
Tap dance Jam! With Michela Lerman


Thursday - 12/4, 6 PM to 9 PM
"Early Bird Sessions" with The Joel Press Quartet


Friday - 12/5, 4:30 PM to 7 PM
Friday afternoon open jam session with Ai Murakami

Friday - 12/5, 1:30 AM to close

Saturday - 12/6, 4:30 PM to 7 PM
Saturday Afternoon Open Jam Session

Saturday -12/6, 1:30 AM to close
Afterhours with Joe Farnsworth

Sunday - 12/7, 1 PM to 3 PM
Vocal Masterclass with Marion Cowings 
$20 entry, $40 to participate

Sunday - 12/7, 7:30 PM to 10 PM
The Legendary Johnny O'Neal

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