Tonight Ryan and I headed to Smalls, a tiny basement jazz club in the West Village. Shamefully, this is the first jazz club I’ve been to since moving to the city.
First up were the Mike Hashim trio – sax, double bass and keyboard. I swear each musician was a character actor. I particularly enjoyed the pianist who mixed more classical melodies with the jazz rifts.
But after their set came the real winners: The Smalls Legacy Band, made up of a trombone, trumpet, tenor sax, piano, bass and drums. This was far more off-book and even though some of them looked like kids, ooh, could they play.
The room filled up as we made the most of the generous happy hour(s). But Smalls has thought through the logistics of a snug room by popping mirrors above the drums and keys so we could see what we were hearing.
Another fan enjoying the atmosphere was Small’s in-house cat, who reclined along most of a bench and napped despite the ruckus. As the crowd grew, grown men were squeezing onto the end of the bench so as not to wake the moggy.
This was a low-key night and I wish I could have stayed for hours. But it seems like a perfect activity for when people are in town so I’m sure I’ll be heading back. Who’s coming for a visit?