THE GOTHAM JAZZMEN
A clarinet, a trumpet, a trombone, a piano and drums—At the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts – Lincoln Center and it’s FREE!
And it’s great… standing room only! Age of the audience? My peers, that’s for sure, although the trombonist said, “I see some young people here – they must be in their 50’s!”
We were dancing in our seats, bopping our heads, tapping our feet, clapping our hands, loving the music we all knew, a major part of our memories, at least I know it was for me. Plus, the Jazzmen seemed to be having just as much fun playing for us as we did listening and watching them.
Opening number was Avalon followed by— Am I Blue, Tangerine, Rose of Washington Square, Ida, some Fats Waller, James P Johnson, and Edgar Sampson’s music. (see Kay’s notes on these famous pianists and composers ). Can I say anything more – if you know this music, you know exactly what I mean.
The Jazzmen are all accomplished musicians, Ed Bonoff, drums; James Lincoln Collier, trombone; Lee Lorenz, cornet, Ernie Lumer clarinet; Peter Sokolow, piano; Skip Muller, bass. They are not only great musicians but are composers, arrangers, orchestrators, and writers among their other talents. Lee Lorenz, cornet, also draws cartoons for The New Yorker.
Why I love this music. My dad (handsome guy on the right leaning on the piano) sang with this trio in Rome, New York in the 30’s. Watty, as he was called, besides being a singer, played the violin and tried (tried is the operative word here) to play the sax. He also was an avid collector of vinyl records from the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s and taught all of us ( his 6 children) a great love of music especially of our American standards. He would often call us into the living room to guess what song and who was singing. No prizes, but if we got it right, a grin, as he would put his pipe back in his mouth. So, when this group of accomplished musicians began to play their Dixieland jazz, to the song, Avalon, I started to get teary eyed and then just couldn’t stop smiling throughout the whole set. Wow!
Don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but I often use song titles as subheadings on my posts, just can’t help it! They fit. Like….
I love a piano, I love a piano, I love to hear somebody play….
I am in total awe when I hear an accomplished pianist playing anything. But jazz is something else… when I go to hear jazz, I always try to get a seat where I can see the keyboard. I love to watch the pianist’s hands moving like liquid* across the “ivories”. And, Peter’s fingers’ moved magically as he sang along. (I took piano lessons most of my life, still can’t really play ). * I also can’t take credit for the word “liquid” in this context, I was telling my brother about this post and he said the pianist’s fingers move like liquid- so right, thanks Bro!
All of this is free – and it was standing room only, as I said. The Jazzmen perform every Tuesday at noon. They’ll be ending for a summer break on June 28th, but they’ll be back later this year. It is a treat and a joy to be able to see and hear these great musicians. Hope you get a chance to go. !http://www.lincolncenter.org/show/gotham-jazzmen
Blue Skies – smilin’ at me – nothin’ but blue skies – do I see!
And, when I left – no wine or old fashioned, but a lovely pistachio gelato on the plaza. Named this selfie …”Pink Spoon”.
Important to know: New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is at Lincoln Center – snuggled between the Met Opera House and Mitzi Newhouse Theater. The Jazzmen play at the Bruno Walter Auditorium, there is an entrance on Amsterdam Avenue or you can go through the front entrance of the Library.
Good to know: Check out the exhibits while you’re there. Currently, there is an exhibit of the costumes from Mozart’s opera, The Magic Flute along with a Shakespearean exhibit and Mostly Mozart memorabilia.
Really good to know: Read more about these important jazzmen
James P. Johnson, 1894-1955, pianist, composer, pioneer of stride piano.
Edgar Sampson, 1907-1973,saxaphonist, violinist, composer and arranger
Fats Waller,1904-1943,jazz pianist, organist, composer and singer
Where to eat: In the Library on the 2nd floor is a small cafe, Amy’s Bread and, of course, many places in the area of Lincoln Center
Kid Friendly: –Much older kids, who like Dixieland and lots of grey-haired people.
Restrooms – On 2nd floor
*Disclaimer – I try for correct info on Kay’s Notes– but no guarantees people.