Dave Douglas and Brass Ecstasy @ Jazz Standard and "Dedicated to You: Kurt Elling Sings Coltrane/Hartman" @ Birdland
Had a lot of fun hanging out with trombonist (and sea-shell-player :D) Stafford Hunter yesterday (I met him last Saturday when he played with Abdullah Ibrahim). We heard a set of Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy (featuring Vincent Chancey on french horn, Luis Bonilla on trombone, Marcus Rojas on tuba, Nasheet Waits on drums, Dave Douglas on trumpet) @ Jazz Standard (E 27th St). I’ve heard Dave Douglas before (In Tallinn, 2008, totally loved it) - this time it was an all-brass band and the music was more playful and fun. It was their first gig of a long tour that’ll be heading to Europe soon. After that we walked (it’s so nice to walk in NYC in the summertime) all the way to Birdland (W 44th St) and heard the Kurt Elling Quartet featuring Ernie Watts on tenor sax. The concert was “Dedicated to You: Kurt Elling Sings Coltrane/Hartman”. That kind of title and Kurt Elling himself brought in lots of crowds, of course – Coltrane/Hartman music is a favorite for so many people. But it made me miss hearing the real thing so much! Ernie Watts is not really a match for Coltrane. But it was a good concert – the real thing was just so good that it’s quite impossible to go out and do it again these days. Oh, and they actually did a Stevie Wonder song (Golden Lady). People seemed to love it all.
I discovered that musicians here besides being so much fun to hang out with, get in to the clubs for free (with companions) if they have been playing at the clubs long enough. We had some Sex on The Beach and Gin at the bar with Stafford and I met everybody’s favorite bartender around there – James. Birdland is a a nice club for hanging out, seemed really big. It was the last one of the famous expensive ones to check out, I think.