Ryan can take credit for all the good pictures in this post (I took the bad ones)

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.

The place was intimate – low lighting, rows of chairs pushed right up to the stage and a charming, shabby bar that made it hard to believe the place is only 20 years old.P1050989

Mike Hashim Trio

Mike Hashim Trio

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.P1060007 20130724-113748.jpg P1060015

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.P1050990

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.P1050992

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?