A Wail of Two Cities

Eli Yamin and Evan Christopher, photo by John Rogers

Eli Yamin and Evan Christopher, photo by John Rogers

Last week, Evan Christopher invited us to do a concert with him at the University Club in Manhattan.  It was Evan Christopher, clarinet, Ari Roland, bass, LaFrae Sci, drums and myself on piano. The concept was “A Wail of Two Cities: New Orleans to New York.”  Evan put together a distinctive, fiery and sweet program.  We had a great time with the repertoire including several old classics that were new to us.  The early music gave us a wonderful platform for deep blues, swing and great interaction and creativity.  In the middle of the set, Evan and I played a duo rendition of James P. Johnson’s “Carolina Shout.”  Took me a good while to learn all James P.’s notes.  Once I did that, Evan said, “Now keep playing that section there for improvisation.” Now that’s bringing the classics alive and I was thrilled to get on board.   Make Me a Pallet was swinging through the roof and The Mooche was a journey of great depth and diversity.  The University Club Audience was enthusiastic and on their feet by the end.  Thanks to our gracious hostess Corinne Shane and the club members.

Here’s the complete program we played:

Make Me One Pallet on Your Floor

Darktown Strutter’s Ball

Buddy Bolden’s Blues (Funky Butt) (Jelly Roll Morton)

Tropical Moon (Haitian Rhumba recorded by Bechet in 1939)

Carolina Shout (James P. Johnson)

Creole Love Call (Ellington)

The Mooche (Ellilngton)

Delta Bound (Alex Hill)

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