The Stay At Home Critic
I say all this as a preface to reporting that I recently returned to what is perhaps the most beautiful live venue on earth: Dizzy's Club Coca Cola in the Lincoln Center Jazz complex on Columbus Circle in Manhattan. With a glass wall behind the length of the stage, the view of Central Park and the cityscape beyond is nothing short of awesome. The name of course is unfortunate. Poor Dizzy. His memory sullied by a sticky sweet caffeinated soda. Nothing against Coke but for God's sake Wynton, wasn't there a more tasteful way of naming the joint that wouldn't have precluded the sponsorship dollars rolling in?
Anyway, I went up to Dizzy's last week to see Jackie Ryan, an under the radar, sort of B team jazz singer from San Francisco. While she was okay, nothing special really, her band was a mass of firepower. Eric Alexander is one of the most underrated tenor players around. Then there's the strange case of Jeremy Pelt, a young New Yorker who's been crowned as the new jazz trumpeter to keep an eye on. While he's certainly got chops, they aren’t the kind you could readily distinguish with your eyes closed. Seems to me he needs to live a little more, pay some more dues before he really has something important to say through his horn. And he needs years more of playing and living to develop the kind of distinctive tone needed to really make him stand out.