Friday Night: Breezin’ in Harlem
Spent a lovely evening (the weather was really fine for a change) with Gordon Polatnick’s Jazz Tour in Harlem. As Gordon Polatnick said, there is no place like Harlem – I totally agree. It is so much different from any other NY neighborhood. Gordon has this really relaxed laid-back kind of humor and a lot of connections all around Harlem – which make the tours a lot of fun besides being informative. We had a nice walk through some important spots from the early history of jazz, followed by a really nice east-asian/mediterranean/mexican/african tasting dinner at a place called the Shrine (with live jazz music that evening, but it’s generally more like a world music venue) at 133-134 St. I really liked the place a lot, it had a great fresh and lively vibe going on.
Afterwards, it was back to St Nick’s Pub with the group. I think it was the house band playing, standards like “All of Me” and so on. It was nice, but a little later I felt like going for some more adventurous kind of music, so I started for John Zorn’s Improvisation Night at a club called the Stone (in East Village). I actually didn’t make it further that 2 blocks from St. Nick’s – there I met a really beautiful stanger and for even for my own surprise joined him for his party in Harlem. I think he was a mix black and Spanish and turned put to be an amazing dancer. Besides some wild dancing we had a couple of beers and a smoke (they were looking for a roommate and I almost moved in with him and a white girl who was also living there – we would have formed a real crazy power trio) and then returned to St. Nick’s a little before midnight. The band that was playing there was just amazing – it was so groovin’ that you could eat pure love out of the air! One of my top groove experiences ever 🙂 They were playing songs like George Benson’s Breezin’ , light and happy love music. I’m really a fan of St.Nick Pub and Harlem now. Incredible place.