The anticipation of Day 2’s events was palpable. The American Legion on 132nd Street! Before that Steve and I had a great walk around Central Park , visited 2 Mac stores (yes, I bought an iPad 3) and we got caught up in the Greek parade! At 5:00 we congregated in the lobby and started to make our way up to the Legion. We arrived at 5:45 and proceeded to be pummeled by music for the next 5 hours! Karen, and Barbara the wonderful servers were amazing as usual and Marie in the kitchen was pumping out those collard greens, fried chicken and rum cake like there was no tomorrow. I can’t really explain the Legion, its unexplainable. You just have to experience it. What I can tell you is that you cannot find a better vibe in the city anywhere, ever. It’s a phenomenal hang. It as the highlight of last year’s and I’m sure it will be this years highlight.
Day 3 was an early start! We had a tour at the Steinway Hall on 57th Street. I have to admit I wasn’t looking that forward to it but it was an absolutely tremendous tour. Dan Micelli (head of sales) gave us the tour and he was extremely knowledgeable and very passionate about the Steinway brand. It was really cool to hear the history of the piano and of Steinway. After a quick break and bite to eat it was back off to The Village to for our first private event. Smalls Jazz Club was the host and the band was Mike LeDonne – piano, Peter Bernstein – guitar, John Webber – bass and Joe Farnsworth – drums. How could it get any better than that? IT CAN”T! There were amazing. Some great tunes: Stanley T’s Let It Go, The Chant, Spring Is Here, Love I Found You, Green Dolphin St. They were really cooking and Smalls is such a happening place!
We dispersed after and were all to meet at the Vanguard at 8:00. Joanne, Steve and I went upstairs to a cool little coffee shop and had a coffee and were then joined by John Webber. We sat there for about an hour and a half telling stories and having a good time before heading over to Arturos for mussels and pizza! Back to The Vanguard at 800 and a performance by The Vanguard Orchestra which left me feeling a bit cold. I don’t know, it just didn’t do it for me this time. Having said that I was very very very tired. Convinced I was gonna have an early night I got egged on to go to Smoke for late night which we did and got to hear some cool players. LeDonne again, Mike Carn on bass who sounded fabulous, Joe Farnsworth, Andrew Beales (alto saxophone), John Farnsworth (tenor saxophone) and a host of others! It was a jam packed day and a fun one!