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Rob Mariani at All About Jazz

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ARTICLE: NEW YORK BEAT

Minton's: An iconic Jazz Haven Re-opens in Harlem

Read "Minton's: An iconic Jazz Haven Re-opens in Harlem" reviewed by Rob Mariani

An iconic jazz haven is born again.

It's a name I don't think I've heard spoken of in many years. And so when I learned that after many years, “Minton's Playhouse" was re-opening at its original address at West 118th Street in Harlem on the ground floor of the old Cecil Hotel, I was ...

ARTICLE: PROFILES

Greg Abate: The World Can Sleep Better

Read "Greg Abate: The World Can Sleep Better" reviewed by Rob Mariani

Only about 10 minutes late for a lunchtime interview with saxophonist Greg Abate, driving up to the restaurant he's clearly visible, standing by the door looking at his watch and scanning the parking lot with a slightly anxious expression on his face. Unlike some of the other famous and infamous players of bebop and jazz, Abate ...

ARTICLE: FIRST TIME I SAW

Billie's Last Chorus

Read "Billie's Last Chorus" reviewed by Rob Mariani

She came on last at a concert that started at midnight at the Lowe's Sheraton on Seventh Avenue in The Village. It was one of those big, everybody-gets-to-play jam sessions they called concerts then, and it probably cost the promoters less than what Kenny G spends on hair gel these days. But there were at least ...

ARTICLE: FIRST TIME I SAW

Connie Kay Plays the Drums Impeccably

Read "Connie Kay Plays the Drums Impeccably" reviewed by Rob Mariani

The impeccable Mr. Connie Kay plays perfectly." If you say that sentence out loud in a chamber where there is just the slightest echo, and emphasize the “p" sounds and the hard “c" sounds just a little, you get a feeling of what this remarkable percussionist's drumming actually sounds like.

In all music, I ...

ARTICLE: FIRST TIME I SAW

Lullaby of Birdland

Read "Lullaby of Birdland" reviewed by Rob Mariani

This month, instead of writing about a jazz personality, I decided to write about a room. A jazz room which sadly no longer exists but that had a personality as unique as the great musicians who played there. I'm talking about a club called Birdland-- the original Birdland on Broadway near 56th Street in Manhattan's Times ...

ARTICLE: FIRST TIME I SAW

Saturdays With Mort (Fega)

Read "Saturdays With Mort (Fega)" reviewed by Rob Mariani

Coming out of the fifties at 19 years old, I'd had my fill of doo-wop and R & B. One windy Saturday afternoon in April, I heard this music on the radio coming from a little station in New Rochelle, NY, WNRC AM & FM. There was no sledge hammer back-beat and no loopy falsetto singing, ...

ARTICLE: FIRST TIME I SAW

Who's The Hippest Chick In Town? Anita.

Read "Who's The Hippest Chick In Town? Anita." reviewed by Rob Mariani

Who the hell shows up at a midnight jam session at the Loews Sheraton Theater in Greenwich Village wearing white, elbow-length gloves, a little, flowered print dress and a hat that looks like an inverted birdbath? Who dares to show up on stage like that where guys like Zoot Sims and Conte Condoli and Al Cohn ...

ARTICLE: FIRST TIME I SAW

Miles On A Good Day

Read "Miles On A Good Day" reviewed by Rob Mariani

The men's room at Birdland was, like the rest of the club, pretty much about economies of scale. A pair of urinals too close together. One cramped toilet stall. One gray-jacketed, tired old attendant who maybe could feel the vibrations through the walls when Philly Joe was playing “Two Bass Hit. But there was no way ...

ARTICLE: FIRST TIME I SAW

Cooking with Philly Joe

Read "Cooking with Philly Joe" reviewed by Rob Mariani

Sitting over by the bar in the cheap seats at Birdland during a Monday night jam session, I watched a group of aspiring young drummers roll their eyes and shake their heads in disbelief. I saw them nudge each other, smile and even laugh out loud. They sat forward with their chins on their hands watching ...

ARTICLE: FIRST TIME I SAW

Diana Krall

Read "Diana Krall" reviewed by Rob Mariani

The twilight skies over the aged wood shingled roofs at the Newport Tennis Hall of Fame were looking ominous. The air was damp and flecks of rain started and stopped as we walked into the beautiful Stanford White-designed courtyard with its hanging flowerpots and dark green shutters. It was like traveling back to another era of ...