Well I feel like I can finally take a breath of air and heave a sigh of relief - people seem to like Mezzrow! Our new baby jazz club is now at 19 days old and seems to be pleasing everyone that's come in to see it, especially the musicians - which is what was worrying me the most. I really wanted to make a place that The Cats would feel comfortable and at home in. It seems to be that I've succeeded in that. We've been seeing musicians and, particularly pianist, rolling through, having a drink and hanging out. It seemed like a good omen when the great Kirk Lightsey came by after a 21 year-old expatriated stay in Paris. Kirk was a mainstay of the New York piano scene in the early 90's when I was a lad seeking out music in clubs such as Bradley's. Kirk - from the Detroit tradition which includes Barry Harris, Hank Jones, Tommy Flannagan, Roland Hanna and my beloved teacher, Harry Whitaker, has a distinctive sound and feel. It's the way those guys touch the piano. I'd see Kirk with Santi DeBriano in duets all over the place, bought his records and learned his solos. For me to then see him at Mezzrow sitting in on our Steinway - well it felt like a good omen. The other thing that I've been delighted about is the post-gig piano hang that has been taking place at Mezzrow. Young pianists have been coming in and playing for each other and reveling in each other's personal styles. The family of piano players is a special one and Mezzrow is all about the piano. We've seen Sullivan Fortner, Aaron Parks, Ethan Iverson, James Hurt, James Weidman, Chris Pattishall, Emmet Cohen, Sacha Perry, Ehud Asherie, Steve Ash and I don't want to leave out any name (and if I left you out, please forgive me) - but it's been a rich piano hang. Exceeding expectations!
I want to mention that this week Smalls will be closed Monday through Thursday for some long-needed renovations. This means that we will not be streaming for those days. We're going to rebuild our bar and open up more space for seating and the stage and also put some new equipment in. It's been a long time in the making but we're excited to get it done. So... if you want to come here some live jazz you need to go to the other side of 7th ave (across the street from that garage) and descend into our other basement speakeasy called Mezzrow. On Monday we have the great Johnny O'Neal playing three sets. On Tuesday we have a rare appearance from vocalist Rebecca Gilgore who will be singing with Ehud Asherie on piano. On Wednesday and Thursday we've invited pianist Aaron Parks to play two nights of duets. Wednesday with saxophonist Dayna Stephens and on Thursday with guitarist Charles Altura. Friday, Saturday and Sunday I'm delighted to have one of the very best pianist that I know playing with one of the very best bassists I know - Bruce Barth and Peter Washington, reservations are recommended for the Music Room seats.
During the week the set times are 6:30 for our solo piano set (no cover), 8PM and 9:30 for our main shows (we're starting a bit earlier). There is also a musicians set at 11PM which goes to close. On the weekends we do 6:30, 8:30, 10:30 and 12:30 AM sets.
I wanted to clarify the music charges at Mezzrow because it seems that it's not been clear. We have our extraordinary Music Room with 30 seats. The cover for those seats is $20 and you can reserve one on our site. In our Lounge it's just $10 and the sound is great. Please try to make it out and see us at the new club. Check the site for info and reservations - www.mezzrow.com
I look forward to seeing you at our clubs and wish you the best. Please be kind to one and other and do good deeds.
Smalls will be closed
September 22-25th for renovations!
Friday - 9/26 Ralph Lalama & "Bop-Juice" Sets at 7:30 PM & 9:00 PM
$20 for this show
Seasoned veteran Ralph LaLama comes in once again with his amazing trio "Bop Juice"
Friday & Saturday - 9/26 & 9/27 Myron Walden Momentum Sets at 10:30 PM & 12 AM
$20 for this show
Longtime Smalls associate Myron Walden comes in for the weekend with his outstanding group of young players. Myron's original music is grooving and compelling as are his solos.
Saturday - 9/27 The Dave Schnitter Quartet Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM
$20 for this show
David Schnitter is a jazz legend and holds the honor of being the longest standing member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. His sound is vital and his compositions fascinating. Don't miss this overlooked master.