Smalls Jazz Club
Smalls Jazz Club is a jazz club located at 183 West 10th Street, Greenwich Village, New York City, New York, United States. Established in 1993, it earned a reputation in the 1990s as a "hotbed for New York's jazz talent" with a "well-deserved reputation as one of the best places in the city to see rising talent in the New York jazz scene". Its jazz musicians are noted for being "talented, though largely unknown" while its music is characterized as "modern versions of bebop and hard bop". The club's subterranean main room is in a basement, with an original capacity of 50 people, later expanded to 60 people. Smalls Jazz Club should not be confused with Harlem's Small's Paradise, which was founded in 1925 by Ed Smalls and closed in the 1950s.
Smalls Jazz Club was established in 1993 by Mitchell "Mitch" Borden, a former submariner, nurse and teacher. Its atmosphere was characterized as being young, bohemian, and talkative. The music started each night at 10:30 PM and would last until 6:00 AM the following morning. The entrance fee was US$10.00; no alcohol was served. Musicians who played here in their earlier years include Ehud Asherie, Ari Hoenig, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Avishai Cohen, Guillermo Klein, Noah Becker, Omer Avital, Mark Turner, Zaid Nasser, Avishai Cohen (trumpeter), Michael Weiss, Sacha Perry, Jason Lindner, and Tommy Turrentine. The house pianist was Frank Hewitt.
Increasing financial difficulties led Borden to close Smalls on May 31, 2003. The closure was due to declining attendance in the post-September 11 days, rent increase in this part of the city, and a smoking ban prohibiting smoking in indoor public places. Smalls' concerts moved into a pool hall next door, the Fat Cat Club, which was open four nights a week until 2:00 AM. In 2004, the Brooklyn Jazz Underground premiered with four shows at Smalls.
After briefly serving as a Brazilian music venue, Borden and his associates, the musicians Michael "Spike" Wilner and Lee Kostrinsky, reopened Smalls in early 2006. The club was fully restored and refurbished, and the sound quality was improved. Chairs were purchased at 17 different stoop sales, there's a wall poster of Louis Armstrong, there is a full service bar, and continues to be recommended as a top jazz club. The entrance fee was raised to US$20. The first music set begins at 7:30 PM, and now, instead of the all night jazz sessions, there are two or three sets per night. All concerts are broadcast live on the club website, and are available in replay to subscribers, whose contributions support not only the club but the musicians as well. The renovated club has featured artists such as Bruce Barth, Seamus Blake, Peter Bernstein, Jimmy Cobb, Steve Davis, Joel Frahm, Kevin Hays, Ethan Iverson, Jazz Incorporated (Jeremy Pelt, Anthony Wonsey, Louis Hayes), David Kikoski, Ryan Kisor, Bill Mobley, Tim Ries, Jim Rotondi and Neal Smith.
The Impulse! Records label recorded several albums here in the 1990s, including Live at Smalls. The club has its own record labels, Smalls Records under label owner and producer Luke Kaven, and SmallsLive.
Discography, Smalls Live
The new owners of Smalls created their own jazz label, Smalls Live, which publishes some concerts at the club. It is distributed by Harmonia Mundi.
- Johnny O'Neal - Live at Smalls (Recorded June 16, 2013)
- Peter Bernstein - Live at Smalls (Recorded October 16 & 17, 2012)
- Frank Lacy - Live at Smalls (Recorded October 16 & 17, 2012)
- David Berkman - Live at Smalls (Recorded January 2 & 3, 2013)
- Rodney Green - Live at Smalls
- Will Vinson - Live at Smalls (Recorded December 4 & 5, 2012)
- Joe Magnarelli - Live at Smalls (Recorded August 31 & September 1)
- Alex Sipiagin - Live at Smalls (Recorded June 25 & 26, 2012)
- Harold Mabern - Live at Smalls (Recorded June 22 & 23, 2012)
- David Schnitter - Live at Smalls (Recorded November 11, 2012)
- Tyler Mitchell - Live at Smalls (Recorded April 15, 2012)
- Grant Stewart - Live at Smalls (Recorded April 6 & 7, 2012)
- Dezron Douglas - Live at Smalls (Recorded March 23 & 24, 2012)
- Ralph Lalama and Bop Juice - Live at Smalls
- The Jesse Davis Quintet - Live at Smalls(Recorded December 13, 14, 15, 2011)
- The Lage Lund Four - Live at Smalls (Recorded May 3 and 4, 2011)
- The Rick Germanson Quartet - Live at Smalls (Recorded July 15 & 16, 2011)
- Joel Frahm Quartet - Live at Smalls (Recorded February 28 & March 1)
- Bernstein, Goldings, Stewart - Live at Smalls (Recorded January 6, 7 & 8 2011)
- The Tim Ries Quintet - Live at Smalls (Recorded December 3 & 4, 2010)
- The Flail - Live at Smalls (Recorded October 8 and 9, 2010)
- Bruce Barth Trio - Live at Smalls (Recorded September 29 & 30, 2010)
- Cyrille Aimee And Friends - Live at Smalls (Recorded September 26 & 30, 2010)
- Jazz Incorporated - Live at Smalls (Recorded August 27 & 28, 2010)
- Spike Wilner Solo Piano - Live at Smalls (Recorded July & August, 2010)
- The Ben Wolfe Quintet - Live at Smalls (Recorded May 25 & 26, 2010)
- The Omer Avital Group - Live at Smalls (Recorded April 5 & 6, 2010)
- Ari Hoenig And Punkbop - Live at Smalls (Recorded February 8, 2010)
- The Jimmy Greene Quartet - Live at Smalls (Recorded February 19 & 20, 2010)
- Planet Jazz - Live at Smalls (Recorded January 8 & 9, 2010)
- Ethan Iverson, Ben Street, Albert Tootie Heath - Live at Smalls (Recorded November 16, 17 & 18 2009)
- The Jim Rotondi Quintet - Live at Smalls (Recorded October 21 & 22, 2009)
- The Seamus Blake Quintet - Live at Smalls (Recorded August 31 & September 1, 2009)
- The Neal Smith Quintet - Live at Smalls (Recorded August 23 & 24, 2009)
- The Ian Hendrickson-Smith Group - Live at Smalls (Recorded February 8 & 9, 2008)
- The Steve Davis Quintet Feat. Larry Willis - Live at Smalls (Recorded January 7 & 8, 2009)
- The Peter Bernstein Quintet Feat. Jimmy Cobb - Live at Smalls (Recorded December 17 & 18, 2008)
- The Dave Kikoski Trio - Live at Smalls(Recorded November 18 & 19, 2008)
- The Kevin Hayes Trio - Live at Smalls (Recorded August 13 & 14, 2008)
- The Ryan Kisor Quintet - Live at Smalls (Recorded May 16 & 17, 2008)
Discography, Impulse! Records, The Smalls Years
- Jazz Underground – Live at Smalls (compilation)
- Omer Avital Group – Kentucky Girl
- Charles Owens Quartet – Scenic Roots
- Jason Lindner Big Band – Exophony
- Zaid Nasser Quartet – Everything Happens to Me
- Across 7th Street – The Kettle Is Whistling
- Frank Hewitt Sextet – Prince Albert
Discography, other recordings at Smalls
- Kurt Rosenwinkel – East Coast Love Affair (Fresh Sound, 1996)
- Richie Vitale Quintet – Live at Smalls (TCB, 1997)
- Kurt Rosenwinkel – Live at Smalls, Vol. 1 (Bootleg, 1999)
- Yves Brouqui – Live at Smalls (Elabeth, 2001)
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- Kirchner, Bill (14 July 2005). The Oxford Companion To Jazz. Oxford University Press. pp. 725–. ISBN 978-0-19-518359-7. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
- Sandke, Randy (2010). Where the Dark and the Light Folks Meet: Race and the Mythology, Politics, and Business of Jazz. Scarecrow Press. pp. 161–. ISBN 978-0-8108-6652-2. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
- Jazz times. Jazztimes. 2007. pp. 117, 150. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
- New York Times Guides (18 November 2004). The New York Times Guide to New York City 2005. New York Times Books. p. 316. ISBN 978-1-930881-10-5. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
- Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 16 December 2006. pp. 42–. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
- "Best New York City Music Venues".
- "New York Magazine Bar Guide".