A Little Night Music

Photo from Wikipages.com

I had a very musical evening last night. It all began in the Grand Central subway, where I met up with a friend who was playing trombone in the terminal. Her band, called the Dramatics band, includes 2 trombones, a trumpet, a saxophone, and some awesome drums. They play jazz/ African fusion tunes in various subway terminals nearly every day of the week.

We went with her to Le Poisson Rouge, a relatively young venue in the West Village. There was a $10 cover for an evening of 2 shows, something I won’t normally pay. When you walk into the establishment, you’re greeted by a hanging fish tank and a dark room. The performances occur downstairs, through a red lobby with interesting throne chairs, in a large dark room with a spacious stage and ample seating. The space lacked the dinginess many other musical venues in the area possess.

The show last night began with Ethan Iverson, an inventive pianist. He played innovative renditions of a variety of jazz standards. My favorite was Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, which he played with melancholic intensity. Some of his other playing was a bit too much for me, a non-musician, but he clearly has a lot of talent. Next up was Gabriel Kahane and his band, a singer-songwriter group.  The band’s charming leader had me cracking up with his humorous anecdotes that punctuated their songs. I was most impressed with their violin player, Rob Moose, whose fast fiddling stole the show. We left as they continued their set, but had thoroughly enjoyed a melodic evening.

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