During a disarmingly funny audience greeting at Sweet Rhythm, pianist/keyboardist Michael Wolff revealed that he had played the very first gig at Sweet Basil in 1975. Not bad, he joked — landing his second gig in the same room after nearly 30 years. James Browne, the club’s proprietor and not someone known for his ever-present smile, was cracking up in the back of the room. The music was serious, however. Wolff and his Impure Thoughts ensemble pumped up this dinner crowd with hard-edged, vamp-based, multiculti improv. Bassist John B. Williams, drummer Victor Jones and tabla master Badal Roy joined the virtuosic Wolff, who switched between acoustic piano and Fender Rhodes. Percussionist Mino Cinelu and trumpeter Eddie Henderson were on hand for sterling guest appearances. (Later in the month, Wolff played Joe’s Pub as part of the electric Miles reunion band Children on the Corner.)
Your New York@Night columnist will be on “wedding leave” for the months of December and January. Another correspondent will be filling in for the January and February columns. I’ll be back once I’ve had a chance to recuperate and begin life in my new identity as a husband (!). See you soon.
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