The Stuff Is Here and It's Mellow: I heard about pianist Ehud Asherie from Kevin Dorn and Jon-Erik Kellso, who raved about him. He's only 28 but understands swing (Teddy Wilson, Earl Hines, Art Tatum) and stride (Fats Waller, Willie "The Lion" Smith, Don Lambert, James P. Johnson). Ehud has two regular duet gigs. One finds him at Smalls (183 W. 10th Street. at Seventh Ave. So.) on Thursday evenings from 8 to 9 p.m. In July, he'll be sharing the stage with the best New York players: Kellso (July 3); Michael Hashim (July 10); Randy Sandke (July 17); Harry Allen (July 24); Dan Block (July 31). Smalls is homey, compact, rather like a living room in the basement. On Tuesdays, Ehud will be playing duets at Roth's Westside Steakhouse (93rd Street at Columbus Ave.) from 7-10 p.m., with Howard Alden (July 1); Kellso (July 8); Hashim (July 15); the ubiquitous TBA (July 22); Block (July 29). Check Ehud's website for more information (www.ehudasherie.com), but don't let the modern jazz scare you off. He plays "Echo of Spring" masterfully.
There's No Place Like Home: Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks are happily playing their massive repertoire of hot and sweet music every Monday (three sets) at Sofia's Restaurant located in Club Cache, at the Edison Hotel, 221 West 46th St. Call (212) 719-5799 for reservations, (718) 376-3489, e-mail Vince at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.myspace.com/VinceGiordanotheNighthawks. Club Cache has a substantial wooden dance floor, and rug-cutting from amateur to championship is encouraged. Mondays are like family reunions as Nighthawks fans greet one another, and there have been appearances by New York luminaries Joe Franklin (inventor of the talk show), trumpeter Bob Cantwell, alto wizard Al Gallodoro (90 and going strong) clarinetist Sol Yaged (a mere 85), and vocalist/comedian Mickey Freeman, famous for his role on the Sergeant Bilko show. On Thursday, July 17, the Nighthawks will be playing at 6:30 and 8:30 at The Dory, 85 North Ferry Road, on Shelter Island, New York (631) 749-8871, http://www.doryrestaurant.com.
Rockin' in Rhythm: The Cangelosi Cards draw wide and delighted audiences. You can find them playing for dancers on Saturdays (July 12, 26; August 9, 23) from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. at Grace (no cover charge), 114 Franklin Street in Tribeca.
Steady Gigs: David Ostwald's Gully Low Jazz Band/Louis Armstrong Centennial Band continues on Wednesdays from 5:30-7:15 p.m. at Birdland. (Ostwald84@aol.com). You can expect to find, among others, Jon-Erik Kellso, Ed Polcer, Vincent Gardner, Wycliffe Gordon, Dion Tucker, Anat Cohen, Joe Muranyi, Ehud Asherie, Howard Alden, James Chirillo, Alvester Garnett, Kevin Dorn, Marion Felder and surprise guests. Recent birthday parties at Birdland have feted Wycliffe himself and Eric Offner, founder of the Sidney Bechet Society.
The Earregulars, the wise and wily quartet created by Jon-Erik Kellso and Matt Munisteri, has recently enjoyed the company of regulars and sitters-in Scott Robinson, Eddy Davis, John Allred, Kelly Friesen, Debbie Kennedy, Matt McDonald, Harvey Tibbs, singers Tamar Korn and Catherine Russell, among other surprises. Its home is The Ear Inn, 326 Spring Street, every Sunday from 8-11 p.m., www.earinn.com. Jon's website is www.kellsojazz.com.
Bill Dunham's Grove Street Stompers continue their half-century run at Arthur's Tavern at 57 Grove Street, every Monday from 8-11 (www.arthurstavernnyc.com). Bill told me about one magical night when the front line was Scott Black, cornet; Brad Shigeta, trombone; Joe Muranyi, clarinet. Magic might happen every Monday!
Warren Vaché has been leading a quartet every Thursday from 7-11 p.m. at Lana's Restaurant and Lounge in Clark, New Jersey (732-669-9024). Lana's also has jazz on Friday's: for information, e-mail email@example.com with "Lana's" in the subject line.
Free! Free! Free! The clever people at the Louis Armstrong House Museum have launched the "Hot Jazz/Cool Garden," a free traditional jazz concert series which will take place in the museum's Japanese garden on Sunday, July 20 and August 24, 1-3 p.m. The series began on June 22 with the Walker Street Orphans and will feature the Lounge Leader on July 20 and the Red Hook Ramblers on August 24. During their performances, tours of the Louis Armstrong House will be only $5 a person. For information, including directions, visit www.louisarmstronghouse.org. To learn more about the bands, check out http://www.myspace.com/walkerstreetorphans, and http://www.myspace.com/redhookdixieramblers. They may be new to RAG readers, but who knows if one of them has a new Louis for us?
On July 23, Cynthia Sayer (www.cynthiasayer.com) will give a free concert in Roger Sherman Baldwin Park in Greenwich, Connecticut, from 7:30-9 p.m., with Jim Fryer, Mike Weatherly, bass, and Pat Carmichael, drums.
Those Jersey Jazz Wizards: The New Jersey Jazz Society (www.njjs.org) continues to host wonderful events. At the Bickford Theatre, on July 7 (Monday), the Summit Stompers will be back; on July 21 (another Monday), it's the 24-piece Silver Starlite Orchestra. On July 30 (Wednesday), at the Ocean County Community Library, Kevin Dorn and the Traditional Jazz Collective will return. And there's more: the Australian seven-piece band, the Wolverines, will be at the Bickford on Monday, August 4. On the 5th, Paris Washboard will grace the stage, with pianist Jeff Barnhart on hand. August 18 marks the return of Dan Levinson's Palomar Quartet, with new Goodman material, featuring Mark Shane, Matt Hoffmann, Kevin Dorn, and Molly Ryan. Cornetist Dan Tobias, who thinks deeply about Ruby Braff and Buck Clayton, will be leading a quartet featuring Vinnie Corrao, Frank Tate, and Jim Lawlor, on Wednesday, August 20, at the OCC Library.
Jazz for Lunch: The fine singer Catherine Russell will appear in the "Jazz in the Garden" series at the Newark Museum on Thursday, July 31, from 12:15-1:45 p.m..
It's So Peaceful in the Country: On Saturday, July 12, Derf Noble and his Keystone Jazz Group will give a concert featuring Jon-Erik Kellso, Randy Reinhart, trombone; Dan Levinson, reeds; Nolde, piano; Brian Nalepka, bass, and Kevin Dorn, drums, with Molly Ryan on vocals. It will take place at 8 p.m. at the David A. DeWire Center in Eagles Mere, Pa., http://www.emfoa.org/index.html
Judy Carmichael will be part of the Bay Street Annual Theatre Gala (July 19 in Sag Harbor, New York) and the Gala July 27th Southampton, N.Y. "Jazz at the Beach" fundraiser for Southampton Historical Society on July 27 (631-283-2494 or www.judycarmichael.com.)
Jazz at Lincoln Center will be paying tribute to Django Reinhart and Stephane Grappelli on July 30 at 8 p.m. in Rose Hall: the familiar names include Bucky Pizzarelli, Howard Alden, and Harry Allen. (www.jalc.org).
Don't forget the Great Connecticut Traditional Jazz Festival (Friday, July 25 - Sunday, July 27) at Moodus, Conn. For tickets and information: (800) HOT-EVENT, or www.sunriseresort.com/jazz.html
On the last Thursday of every month, the Constitution Jazz Band (with Bruce McNichols, Simon Wettenhall, Herb Gardner, and other stalwarts) will play for a "Dixieland Buffet" at the Silvermine Inn and Tavern (www.silverminetavern.com.), 194 Perry Avenue, Norwalk, Conn., (203) 299-5474.
Kevin Dorn and the Traditional Jazz Collective will be appearing on Wednesday, July 9, at Cafe Steinhof in Brooklyn (7th Avenue and 14th Street), and on Friday, July 11, at the Garage, 99 Seventh Avenue South, for a late late gig (10:45 p.m.-2:45 a.m.).
No One Could Take Their Place: We lost the stalwart reed player Franz Jackson (Earl Hines, Fletcher Henderson, his own bands). For a lovely tribute, visit Hans Koert's fascinating "Keep Swinging" website: http://www.keepswinging.opweb.nl/newsletter.htmÿ
I'm always happy to hear about upcoming gigs, so send news to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. But tempus fugit: news has to reach me before the fifth of the month to be included in my next column. Since our favorite musicians don't always know their gigs a month in advance, check their websites and get on their e-mail lists to know it all!
Check out my blog, "Jazz Lives" at http://jazzlives.wordpress.com, for more jazz news and on-the-spot photos.