New York State of Jazz

The Iridium
Times Square, NYC

Bar Thalia @ Symphony Space
Upper West Side, NYC

Yeah, NoLa and KC...but we’ve also got that jazz magic here in NYC. Every single night. Whether it’s legends or local heroes, we’ve got it covered. And this weekend was just another reminder.

Closing out his 2-night Iridium stint, Saturday night’s late set by the legendary Mr. 335 was simply pure delight. Backed by an excellent 5 piece band—which included the astoundingly impressive playing of his son, bassist Travis Carlton—he ripped thru choice cuts from his catalog and a smattering of Steely Dan faves including “Black Friday”, “Josie” and “Kid Charlemagne” for an intimate but adoring crowd who celebrated every note and every nuance of his 90 minute set.

[Decker flanked by Bryant (left) and Greene (right)]

On Sunday, the rainy October night was the perfect backdrop for the deep, mellow groove of the great Mr. Decker, a singular jazz vocalist and local treasure. (Full disclosure: Decker is a professional colleague and dear personal friend.) Performing alongside the brilliant guitarist Freddie Bryant and outstanding upright bassist Hill Greene for a small but enraptured audience of uptown jazz fans, Decker’s velvet smooth baritone was every bit as impressive as on his multiple critically acclaimed albums. But among a night of gems, like the standard "Come Rain or Come Shine" and a series of wonderful originals, there was an unexpected curveball: a bossa nova-flavored take on The Beach Boys classic “God Only Knows”, making it clear the old dog’s not averse to showing us his new tricks.