November 24th, 2014

Dear Friends:

Sometimes history just comes and slaps you right in the face!

A friend gave me a book last night called "Eddie Condon's Scrapbook of Jazz" - it's a rare and out of print book filled with photos like a scrapbook with little personal anecdotes and bits of trivia.  It's a personalized history book written by Eddie Condon.  For those of you who may not know who Condon is, he was a guitarist - an excellent musician and from Chicago of the 1920's and 30's.  He was part of the clique of jazz musicians that included Jimmy McPartland, Jack Teagarden, Benny Goodman, Frank Teschmacher, Bud Freeman, George Wettling, Jess Stacy and, of course, Mezz Mezzrow.  These guys were later to be called "traditional" jazz musicians - which meant "dixieland" style but at the time they were on the very forefront of what was happening in music at the time.  Condon was a sharp and charismatic man.  A killer guitarist and also, later in New York, a club owner.  Eddie Condon relocated to Greenwich Village from Chicago and opened a club on West 3rd street which he named "Condon's" - it eventually moved to another location on 52nd street, where it lasted until his death in the early 1970's.  Of course, for me, I love to hear about great musicians who were also club owners and there's more than you'd think - Ahmad Jamal ("The Alhambra"), Shelly Manne ("The Manne Hole"), Lucky Roberts ("Lucky's Hideaway"), Count Basie ("The Baby Grand") among many others.  As I've said, there's no better qualified person to run a jazz club than an actual and bona-fide jazz musician.  I'm proud to be in that tradition.

In his book, Condon speaks about another jazz club in Greenwich Village called "Nick's".  Nick's was located nowhere else but at the corner of West 10th Street and 7th avenue.  Hello!  Supposedly, Nick and Eddie didn't have a great relationship and Nick fired (and then re-hired) Eddie numerous times.  But the scene at Nick's was happening and it was a real musician hang.  Here's a description of Nick's from a tour book of that time:

"Nick's at 7th ave and 10th street in Greenwich Village is smoky, crowded and wonderful!  The band that is led by Eddie Condon, night in and night out, it seems to me the most satisfying band working in Manhattan at the moment.  Beer costs 20 cents, the musicians fear nobody (especially Nick) and the whole atmosphere is conducive to the right jazz."

But what really blew my mind (and made the hair on the back of my neck stand at end) was the clipping from the owner of the club, Nick Rongetti's, obituary:

"Nick Rongetti, fourth-eight years old, jazz pianist and proprietor of Nick's night club at Seventh ave and 10th street, died yesterday at St. Vincent's hospital."

Holy-Moly!  I happen to be a 48 year old jazz pianist/proprietor with a club on Seventh avenue and 10th street!  It continued with this:

"In jam sessions at Nick's he put into practice his theory that jazz musicians should be free to "play as they please."  There is no sheet music on the bandstand in these sessions and the musicians smoke, talk and stroll about informally when not actually playing."

I can't think of a better description of a night at Smalls!  Just amazing!  Karma?  Fate?  Twilight-Zone?  Perhaps...  but more importantly confirmation that jazz music is still alive and well here on West 10th street - an unbroken tradition from the past to the present.  Musicians, clubs, jam sessions - it's all still here and right in the exact same location!  Right here and now!  Don't bemoan the loss of this music.  As they say in Monty Python; "We're not dead yet!!"

Much Love,



7:00 PM Solo Piano Every Night.
12:00 late shows on Fri & Sat.
$10 admission AT THE BAR at all times
Monday - 11/24
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 - 11/25
Ray Gallon & David Wong Duo

Sets @ 9 PM & 10:30 PM
Ray Gallon is esteemed as a pianist in the bebop tradition and as a beloved educator.  A well known face on the jazz scene.  Come discover him in our intimate duet setting.

No reservations needed for this show - $10 cover at the door, open seating.
Wednesday - 11/26
George Colligan & Ed Howard
Sets @ 9:00 PM & 10:30 PM

George Colligan is an original voice on the piano with a modernists outlook and a prodigious piano technique.  Joining him is veteran bassist Ed Howard for this night of music.



Thursday - 11/27

Mezzrow will be closed on Thanksgiving.
Friday, Saturday - 11/28-29
Gerald Clayton & Ben Wendel

Sunday, 11/30
Gerald Clayton & Peter Bernstein

Sets @ 8:30 PM & 10:30 PM
  • Gerald Clayton is establishing himself as the most sought after pianist of his generation, performing to international acclaim.  He has a lyrical touch, a modernist sensibility but with a true and genuine jazz feeling.  

    With Gerald on Friday and Saturday night is the inventive and modern Ben Wendel on tenor saxophone. On Sunday evening Gerald will be joined by the wonderful Peter Bernstein on guitar.




(a selection of featured shows)

For our full schedule please go to

Monday - 11/24
Matt Pavolka's Horns Band

Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM
w. Mike Rodriguez - trumpet, Loren Stillman - Alto sax, 
Jacob Garchik - Trombone, Matt Pavolka - Bass, Mark Ferber - Drums   

Matt Pavolka is a soulful and rock solid accompianist.  Tonight he comes in with his "Horns" band and plays his compelling and beautiful original music.
Monday - 11/24
Doug Weiss Quartet

Sets at 10:30 PM & 12 AM
w. Dayna Stephens - Tenor Sax, Spike Wilner - Piano, Doug Weiss - Bass, Adam Nussbaum - Drums

Doug Weiss is established as one of the "top call" bassists of his generation.  Here he is leading his own group for a collaborative effort and featuring the drum master Adam Nussbaum.
Tuesday & Wednesday - 11/25-26
Tim Ries Quintet

Sets at 9:30 PM & 11 PM
 w. Nicholas Payton - Trumpet, Tim Ries - Tenor Sax, Hans Glawischnik - Bass, Kalman Olah - Piano , Terreon Gully - Drums 

 Tim Ries returns to Smalls for a live date and is bringing with him the great Nicholas Payton for his first-time appearance at Smalls Jazz Club.  Don't miss this!
Wednesday - 11/26
"Round Midnight" With:
Craig Wuepper

Midnight to close 
Craig Wuepper is a modern-thinking drummer with a grooving beat.  He hosts the "Round Midnight" set.  
Thursday - 11/27
Simona Premazzi
 Sets at 9:30 PM & 11 PM
w. Simona Premazzi - Piano, Ugonna Okegwo - Bass, Dayna Stephens - Tenor Sax, 
Adam Arruda - Drums

Spend your post-Thanksgiving evening at Smalls with the wonderful Simona Premazzi and her excellent quartet.

Thursday - 11/27
"Round Midnight" With: 
The Carlos Abadie Quintet

Midnight to close
w. Peter Zak - Piano, Luca Santaniello - Drums, Clovis Nicolas - Bass, Carlos Abadie - Trumpet 

Carlos is a hard-bopping swinger with a great band.  This "Round Midnight" set never disappoints!
Friday - 11/28
 Lamy Istrefi Jr. Trio
Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM
w. David Liebman - Tenor Sax, Diallo House - Bass, Lamy Istrefi Jr. - Drums

$20 for this show.

Drummer Lamy Istrefi returns to Smalls with his special guest star David Liebman and bassist Diallo House.

Friday & Saturday - 11/28-29
The Whitfield Family Band

Sets at 10:30 PM & 12 AM
w. Mark Whitfield - Guitar, Davis Whitfield - Piano, Linda Oh - Bass, Mark Whitfield Jr - Drums
$20 for this show

It's a family affair!  Guitar great Mark Whitfield comes in with his two sons, Davis and Mark and honorary Whitfield Linda Oh rounding out the bass chair.
Saturday - 11/29
Chuck Redd

Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM
w. Chuck Redd - Vibraphone, Emmet Cohen - Piano, Bob Cranshaw - Bass, Kelvin Kanner - Drums

Chuck Redd is a musician's musician.  A real veteran and one of the nicest cats you'll meet.


Monday - 11/124, 1 AM to close
Afterhours with : Spencer Murphy

Tuesday - 11/25, 7:30 PM to 9 PM
The Spike Wilner Trio

Tuesday - 11/25, 12:30 AM to close 
The Next Generation Sessions with Kyle Poole

Wednesday - 11/26, 6 PM to 9 PM
Tap dance Jam! With Michela Lerman

Friday - 11/28, 4:30 PM to 7 PM
Friday afternoon open jam session with Sanah Kadoura 

Friday - 11/28, 1:30 AM to close
Afterhours with Anthony Wonsey

Saturday - 11/29, 4:30 PM to 7 PM
Saturday Afternoon Open Jam Session

Saturday -11/29, 1:30 AM to close
Afterhours with Alan Palmer

Sunday - 11/30, 1 PM to 3 PM
Vocal Masterclass with Marion Cowings 
$20 entry, $40 to participate

Sunday - 11/30, 7:30 PM to 10 PM
The Legendary Johnny O'Neal

     Enjoy SmallsLIVE records!

Our catalog on

Scott Hamilton


SmallsLIVE at iTunes


Copyright © *2104 *SmallsLIVE *All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences