Today’s “Fab 5” / Selected NYCity Events – SATURDAY, NOV. 30, 2013
For other useful and curated NYCity event info for Manhattan’s WestSide check out:
♦ “Notable NYC Events-Dec.”, because the holiday season kicks into high gear in December;
and also “on Broadway”, and “Top10 Free” in the header above.
♦ For NYCity trip planning see links in “Resources” and “Smart Stuff” in the header above.
Look who’s here at Carnegie Hall for his annual Thanksgiving concert –
it’s Mr. Alice’s Restaurant.
“This annual soiree hosted by Woody Guthrie’s son Arlo and assorted famous friends is a firm Carnegie tradition. So is the audience’s fidgeting around the 15-minute mark of “Alice’s Restaurant,” Arlo Guthrie’s satirical folk jab at 1960s counterculture; in concert, he’s known to push this college-radio favorite to a festive 45 minutes. This year, he reunites with Pete Seeger and Guthrie Family for another evening of folksy renditions and down-home anecdotes.” (Stacey Anderson – NYT)
Isaac Stern Auditorium, Carnegie Hall,
At 8 p.m./ $12.50 to $45 remaining
Ann Hampton Callaway, ‘Songs I Wish I’d Written’
“It’s altogether fitting that singer-pianist Ann Hampton Callaway makes a specialty of Mel Torme’s iconic routine built around the standard “Pick Yourself Up.” This extra-long, multi-faced orchestration mashes up Jerome Kern with Johann Sebastian Bach; in fact, Torme even makes beautifully sonorous noise out of singing Bach’s very name itself. We tend to forget that before Mel, jazz singers and comedians were in two different categories; it was up to Mel to create very funny shtick that was also highly musical. Ms. Callaway is perhaps Torme’s greatest living heir apparent: gifted with an amazing low voice, a miraculous level of musicianship, ears that can hear around corners, a gift for both arranging familiar standards and composing new ones, all of which works hand-in-hand with her sense of humor.
She also has a knack for finding material, from both the classic and more contemporary songbooks, ranging from the Gershwins (“Love Is Here To Stay”) to Joni Mitchell (“A Case of You”) and Paul Simon (“Bridge Over Troubled Water”) Before Torme and then Ms. Callaway, it would have seemed impossible to expect all these attributes from a single artist, but these days, nothing’s impossible.” (WSJ)
54 Below , 254 W. 54th St.,
At 8pm / $60-$70; at 11PM / $35-$45
468-7619 / 54below.com
LOS LOBOS (Saturday through Monday)
“In 1973, David Hidalgo and Louis Pérez, two kids at Garfield High, in East L.A., surprised each other with their weird tastes in music. They started playing together, and after some homemade forays into composing and recording, they enlisted Cesar Rosas, Conrad Lozano, and Steve Berlin, who remain the core of the band today.
By mixing traditional Mexican sounds into whatever was happening in the Top Forty, Los Lobos became local favorites before hitting it big nationwide, with their cover of “La Bamba,” in 1987. They are touring to celebrate their fortieth anniversary as well as the recent release of “Disconnected in New York,” an album they recorded at City Winery last year.” (NewYorker mag)
City Winery, 155 Varick St
At 8PM / $45-$65
(they added a third show but are still sold out, try the wait list for all 3 nights).
212-608-0555 / citywinery.com/newyork/
These engaging international rockers, known for their lively sets, blend traditional Brazilian music like forró with American jazz and funk. They took that alchemy through West Africa as participants in the State Department’s American Music Abroad diplomacy program and recently released an album, “The Devil and the Diamond.” (Anderson-NYT)
S.O.B.’s, 204 Varick Street, at Houston Street, South Village,
At 8:30 and 10:45 p.m. / $15.
(212) 243-4940, sobs.com
“Prism” is the name of both this super bassist’s new quartet and of its recent début album. With the pianist Craig Taborn, the guitarist Kevin Eubanks, and the drummerEric Harland in tow, Holland has all the firepower he needs to produce the surprisingly fusion-esque music he’s seeking. The results are enormously fun, in a hyperkinetic mid-seventies manner, and the sixty-seven-year-old Holland sounds like he’s thoroughly enjoying himself.” (NewYorker mag)
Birdland, 315 West 44th Street, Clinton,
At 8:30 and 11 p.m./ $40, with a $10 minimum
(212) 581-3080, birdlandjazz.com
Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm dates and check times, as schedules are subject to change ==============================================================================
A PremierPub and 3 Good Eating places – Tribeca
B-Flat / 277 Church st (Btw Franklin/White)
There are some places that are tough to find, then add a layer of mystery when you do find them. B-Flat has a nondescript, almost unmarked door at street level – today’s speakeasy vibe. Open this door and you face a dimly lit stairway down to their basement location. It almost takes a leap of faith to follow the stairs down to their interior door. But open that door and a pleasant surprise awaits you.
It’s a basement jazz spot all right, but not like any traditional jazz joint you may have been to before. This place looks as fresh as today, probably because it’s only been open for 6 years. Even though it hasn’t had a chance to age gracefully, the cherry wood accents and low lighting make this small space very inviting.
There is always jazz, often progressive jazz, playing over their very discrete, stylish bose speakers, setting just the right tone as you find a seat at the bar, or one of the small tables. There is wine and beer available, but this place has some expert mixologists making some very creative cocktails, which I’m told change seasonally, a nice touch.
Come at happy hour and tasty cocktails like the el Diablo or the lychee martini are $8 – not bad. I am a sucker for any drink made with lychee and how can you not try a tequila drink named el Diablo. There is also nice selection of small bites available at happy hour and a food menu that is as innovative as the cocktail menu, so this does not have to be a happy hour only stop.
It wasn’t surprising to find a tasty prosciutto and arugula salad with yuzu dressing, but I did not expect to find such a good version of fried chicken breast on the apps menu. Here it’s called “Tatsuta.” Best bet is to sample happy hour, then dinner on a Monday or Wednesday night, when you can finish with no cover live jazz that starts around 8.
This place is tough to find (look for a small slate sandwich board on the sidewalk out front advertising happy hour) and on some nights when there is no live music it may be a little too quiet for some. But I think it’s worth searching out if you want a place with good music, food, and especially drinks, away from the maddening crowd.
Phone #: 212-219-2970
Hours: Mo-Wed 5pm-2am; Th-Sat 5pm-3am; no Sun
Happy Hour: 5-7pm every day; $8 cocktails + special prices on apps
Music: Mon/Wed 8pm
Subway: #1 to Franklin; walk 1 blk E to Church; 1 blk N to bFlat