Sunday Jazz: The EarRegulars “Sessions at The Ear Inn”

Manhattan’s historic The Ear Inn has played a pivotal role in the music scene and beyond. In fact it is the oldest bar in New York City that has continuously served alcohol since 1817.

The Ear Inn has a very unique history after being open for two centuries. It dates back to a time where there was African aide to George Washington and The Ear served as residence for John Adams and Aaron Burr, among others. The Ear Inn was nicknamed by patrons as an untitled bar (“The Green Door”) for obvious reasons. As a result, the bar is listed on the National Registrar of Historic Buildings.

ear inn

Recently unearthed recordings courtest of Jazz Lives feature performances from a bevy of jazz musicians in NYC. Every Sunday night at The Ear Inn was typical – those who knew, knew what to expect – but “typical” was also remarkable. 

Ear Inn
The Ear Inn c. 1940 – photo by kathy barbieri

We start back in October 2008, with a video featuring Howard Alden, alongside Jon-Erik Kellso, Danny Tobias, Harvey Tibbs, Evan Christopher, Dan Block, Sebastien Giradot, and Chuck Redd.

“Moonglow,” featuring Tamar Korn (vocals), Dan Block (clarinet), and Harvey Tibbs (trombone).

On June 7, 2009, the EarRegulars included Jon-Erik Kellso and Duke Heitger (trumpet), Matt Munisteri (guitar) and Neal Miner (string bass).

June 7, 2009 features Duke Heitger (trumpet), Harvey Tibbs (trombone), Dan Block (clarinet), Matt Munisteri (guitar) and Neal Miner (string bass), who summon Louis Armonstrong with “Some of These Days.”

Two weeks later, on June 21, 2009, featured Jon-Erik Kellso (trumpet) Harvey Tibbs (trombone), Matt Munisteri (guitar), Danny Tobias (cornet) and Jon Burr (string bass).

On September 6, 2009, enjoy the sounds of Danny Tobias (cornet), Michael Hashim (alto saxophone), James Chirillo (guitar), and Frank Tate (string bass).

The lineup of EarRegulars on November 8, 2009, featured Jon-Erik Kellso (trumpet), Matt Munisteri (guitar), Harry Allen (tenor saxophone), and Neal Miner (string bass).

From the EarRegulars’ session on November 22, 2009, the groups includes Jon-Erik Kellso (trumpet), Scott Robinson (reeds), Matt Munisteri (guitar), and Pat O’Leary (string bass).

From December 6, 2009, enjoy the sounds of Jon-Erik Kellso (trumpet), Harvey Tibbs (trombone), Matt Munisteri (guitar), and Nicki Parrott (string bass) performing “Blues My Naughty Sweety Gives to Me” and “Blues in My Heart.”

From January 30, 2010, the EarRegulars were Jon-Erik Kellso (trumpet), Dan Block (reeds), Matt Munisteri (guitar), and Pat O’Leary (string bass, cello).  Here’s Billie Holiday’s “I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues.”

From March 14, 2010, an Ear Inn session featuring Pete Martinez (clarinet), Harvey Tibbs (trombone), Matt Munisteri (guitar), Neal Miner (string bass), performing “I Cover the Waterfront,” appropriate given the rainy night and The Ear Inn’s location near the Hudson River, plus “Deed I Do” by Ruth Etting and “Jazz me Blues” by Tom Delaney.

From March 21, 2010, the EarRegulars are Jon-Erik Kellso (trumpet), Matt Munisteri (guitar), Scott Robinson (bass sax), Pete Martinez (clarinet) and guest Julian Lage (guitar).

On Easter Sunday, April 4, 2010, the lineup included Matt Munisteri (guitar), Pete Martinez (clarinet), Charlie Caranicas (trumpet), Pat O’Leary (string bass), and Andy Farber (tenor saxophone), who joins in for the closing number. 

Later in April 2010, we are joined at The Ear Inn by Jon-Erik Kellso (trumpet), Matt Munisteri (guitar), Harvey Tibbs (trombone) and Jon Burr (string bass).

Later on, a version of “Crazy Rhythm” by Roger Wolfe Kahn & his Orchestra (1928) featuring Matt Munisteri (guitar), Harry Allen (tenor saxophone), (John Allred (trombone) and Pat O’Leary (string bass).

From April 18, 2010, enjoy Benny Goodman’s “Avalon” featuring Jon-Erik Kellso (trumpet), Matt Munisteri (electric guitar), Julian Lage (acoustic guitar), Harvey Tibbs (trombone) and Jon Burr (bass).

Cornetist Marc Caparone joins the band for Ruby Braff’s “One Hour.”

And finally, Caparone leads the EarRegulars on “Whispering” with Harvey Tibbs, Dan Block (clarinet), Matt Munisteri, Jon Burr, and Julian Lage.

From April 25, 2010, the EarRegulars were Jon-Erik Kellso (trumpet), Harry Allen (tenor saxophone), Matt Munisteri (guitar) and Neal Miner (string bass). The opening song from a splendid session was a Chicago jazz classic with roots in Oliver and Bix, performed as a Basie stroll.

You’ll also find Ben Webster’s line on “In a Mellotone,” “Did you call her Today?,” “I Got Rhythm” and “The Jeep is Jumpin'”

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