Small’s Jazz Club In NY: Not only one of the best places for jazz in NY but also has its own label
Tucked away in Greenwich Village, in New York City, is a small jazz club that has grown dramatically over the past decade. Bringing some of the finest jazz musicians the scene can produce, this venue has been home to many a big name – Brad Mehldau, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Josh Redman, Brian Blade, Sam Yahel, Roy Hargrove, Peter Bernstein, Mark Turner, Omer Avital, Jason Linder, Sasha Perry, Chris Byars, Ari Roland, Ned Goold, William Ash, Zaid Nasser, Spike Wilner, Grant Stewart, Larry Goldings, Joe Magnarelli, Guillermo Klein and Norah Jones among many, many others.
Apart from the great atmosphere and the fantastic music this club has to offer, you can also get a peek at SmallsLIVE, their own recording label that draws from live performances. With lost of names rolling through this establishment, the odds of seeing a performance that will be recorded for their label is pretty good. Drop by, have a drink, and listen to some great music at “New York’s Cutting Edge Jazz Club.”
Smalls was created in 1993 by jazz impresario Mitch Borden, a former nurse and the son of an art-gallery owner. The original Smalls was a raw basement space that quickly became the late-night hangout for a multi-generational assortment of jazz musicians. Many masters such as Frank Hewitt, Tommy Turrentine, Bubba Brooks, Jimmy Lovelace and Herman Foster made their final homes at Smalls and shared their musical legacy with an eager and dedicated younger crowd.
Many of the well-known musicians of the current jazz scene cut their teeth at Smalls during this period. The list of musicians who played at Smalls at that time is enormous and includes such luminaries as: Brad Mehldau, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Josh Redman, Brian Blade, Sam Yahel, Roy Hargrove, Peter Bernstein, Mark Turner, Omer Avital, Jason Linder, Sasha Perry, Chris Byars, Ari Roland, Ned Goold, William Ash, Zaid Nasser, Spike Wilner, Grant Stewart, Larry Goldings, Joe Magnarelli, Guillermo Klein and Norah Jones among many, many others.
During the financial trouble that followed New York City after September 11th, Smalls was temporarily forced to close. The control of the space changed hands briefly but the popularity of the club did not allow it to end. In February of 2007, musicians Spike Wilner and Lee Kostrinsky partnered with Mitch Borden with the goal of restoring Smalls back to its original freewheeling and bohemian vibe. The club has been beautifully renovated and a full bar is now in service. The comfort and feeling of the club is amenable to after-hours hangs and the music again goes all night.
The Recording Label
Not only is Smalls a great jazz club, but its also home to their very own live recording lable, SmallsLIVE. They say the focus is to capture top notch jazz groups in live performances at the club. The goal is to take advantage of the wonderful acoustic qualities of the room and preserve the excitement of a live performance. Artists are booked for two or three nights and recorded in an unobtrusive fashion. The audience hardly knows that a recording is taking place!
The artists are given full control of the material and of the choice of the cuts. The SmallsLIVE team of engineers, Ian Hendrickson-Smith and Glen Forrest, deliver the highest-level of sound quality, focusing on the strength of the room sound. The digital masters are then transferred to analog tape and then back to digital to create and warm and natural sound.
Cover is $20, after-hours half-price. They don’t take reservations, so show up early for the show you want to see. Under-age people are welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Smalls Jazz Club
183 West 10th street
New York City, NY 10014