I went to the Village Vanguard last night for the Dave Douglas Quintet. It was my first time seeing him and it was excellent. Very lively and really, just great. I thought they were all excellent. I was surprised the one that stood out the most was the keyboard player, who was not Uri Caine as listed on their website. James Genus wasn’t there, either, but the bass player was good. I know they had the correct lineup in the advertisement in the Dec All About Jazz.
Dec 04 - Dec 09DAVE DOUGLAS QUINTETDonny McCaslin-sax, Eric Revis-fender rhodes, Orrin Evans-b, Clarence Penn-d
I also loved the drummer, Clarence Penn. The horns were stellar, as expected.
It was very lively. Even the ballads were lively.
I got a new appreciation of the Vanguard last night. I decided to sit closer, and it wasn’t super crowded. It had such a wonderful feeling. I was able to groove in my seat and just enjoy everything. The last few times I’ve gone, I tend to sit in the very back so I can get up and dance. They have no problem with that. As a matter of fact, the last time I was there was for Christian McBride, the late set after the Ron Carter thing at Carnegie Hall. It was really grooving and I was the only one dancing. I almost died when Christian mentioned he was so glad to see someone dancing, even if it wasn’t to the beat, and was trying to get others to get up. It didn’t work, but I was able to melt back into the background again after that.
I often don’t like it up front if it’s really tight. But, last night, I realized just how great that place is and how lucky we are to have it. I love that it’s in the basement, unpretentious, and they always treat me nicely when I go. Sure, nothing tops the treatment at Jazz Standard, and Iridium does have a little bit nicer people, but The Vanguard is really nice for a hot tourist spot. At one point, Dave Douglas mentioned Mavis something that I never heard of and asked Lorraine if she ever played there. The answer was no, but then he commented on how great the room is and how many great people have played there. I really felt it in that moment.
I love how it’s cash only and the $35 cover includes $10 worth of drinks. I just love it there, period.