Some of New York Cities finest (and we’re not talking about the police department) modern jazz musicians take us back to the beginning of the century on a tour of The Sidewalks Of New York.......”Tin Pan Alley”. Here, some of our youngest and most revered cutting edge New York based jazz musicians take a 360 degree turn, while churning out an utterly imaginative yet poignant approach to an historic and captivating time of history. American icons such as Irving Berlin, W.C. Handy, Jerome Kern, George M. Cohan and others not so famous are brought to life in exemplary and vivid fashion. Painist Uri Caine, trumpeter Ralph Alessi, clarinetist Don Byron, vocalists, and The Sidewalk Of New York Choir are among many who bring to life tunes such as Eubie Blake’s “Charleston Rag”, Berlin’s “Everybody’s Doin’ It” and Shelton Brooks’ “Some Of these Days”. Needless to state, these folks did their home work as the portrayals of life in New York during the days of mass immigration, Ellis Island and the vast melting pot for various ethnic groups are true to life, as if you were there. Stefan Winter’s brilliant production along with classy packaging and old black & white photos of New York City all add to the fascination and excitement. There is plenty of humor within these 77 minutes of music, such as the Yiddish and slightly tongue in cheek rendering of the familiar Northworth/Von Tilzer baseball classic, “Take Me Out To The Ball Game”. Also, there are several instances of typical New York City barroom gatherings where entertainers or common folk siezed the stage or stood atop tables recanting fables and foibles of their Rabbi or life on the streets.
The musicians and vocalist’s more than dutifully reflect this somewhat carefree time period, as it all seems so natural here. Listening to “Tin Pan Alley” is a totally satisfying and entertaining aural documentary of years gone by...An enjoyable experience which becomes increasingly relevant and topical as we approach the year 2000........ * * * * *