The Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band featuring Woody Allen - "The Early Years & Michael's Pub"

Back around 1971 the jazz band, now known as The Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band featuring Woody Allen, began its stint at Michael's Pub - an upper East Side supper club which regularly featured performers like George Shearing and Mel Torme. And so began a twenty five year tenure that ended with Michael's Pub closing its doors in early 1996.

Here is a picture of the band circa 1978, with Woody Allen on clarinet, Dick Miller piano, Babara Dreiwitz tuba and Carmen Mastren on banjo. Some of the early history is nicely documented in this 1984 New York Times article and a piece called "Play" from Time Magazine by friend and author Tom Sancton. ( I began working with the ensemble as a "first call" substitute beginning in May of 1992, thanks to Dick Dreiwitz who was the groups trombonist for the "Michael's Pub years".)

A rehearsal band was put together by banjoist and longtime Woody Allen confidant, Eddy Davis in late 1989. The intent was to capture a more "authentic" sound and flavor of the true New Orleans style. Out of those recorded rehearsals spawned the Bunk Project CD and ultimately the Wild Man Blues tour in Feb/March of 1996 (documented in another Tom Sancton article for Time Magazine).

The group returned from Europe in 1996 and I became a permanent member of the band in the Spring of that same year. With Michael's Pub now closed, the band temporarily found a home at the Parker-Meridian Hotel, just down the street from Carnegie Hall. In 1998, The Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band featuring Woody Allen began it's run at The Carlyle Hotel, where we remain today. Since that original tour of Europe, the band has subsequently returned five more times and is in talks to visit Europe in December of 2007. Information and an up to date concert schedule can be found here or by following this blog.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,