Packed house, comfortable surroundings– that’s how Saturday night at Sista’s Place in Brooklyn does music.
On a recent weekend the popular jazz room featured bandleaders Reggie Woods, tenor, and Anthony Wonsey, piano. However, the rhythm section had lots to say as Wonsey joined Eric Wheeler, bass, and Masahiro Sakuma, drums, and Riley Mullins’, trumpet; trading eights with Mr. Woods was simply driven crescendo.
The Quintet fit nicely on the venue’s small stage as they entertained 50 cozy and attentive audience members so deserving of the power, excitement and excellence.
We arrived on the “A” train; the tune that is. It’s a well known composition entitled “Take the A train to Harlem”, co-written by Duke and Mercer Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. The night was devoted to Strayhorn’s music– a prolific composer, writter, arranger, and pianist.
Mr. Woods’ solo on “A Flower is a Lovesome Thing” illustrated his versatility and leadership. Riley Mullins’ horn accompanist was a real treat accentuating the tenor sax.
I owed Mr. Woods this visit; coupled with my birthday, as board member of the Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium (CBJC), I hired him last year to teach elementary school children through an arts initiative sponsored by the New York City Council to offset gun violence in youth, and facilitated by CBJC.
A community-minded professional, Reggie brought artists to instruct students on drums, guitar, piano, vocals and horn to the six-week program entitled “Arts as a Catalyst Against Gun Violence.”
As the bewitching hour approached this recent Saturday the crowd dwindled, and the wee hours gave the room the atmosphere of an old-time Harlem speakeasy. Fitting the occasion, Reggie closed with “My Little Brown Book”, “Lush Life”, and “Johnny Come Lately”.
Viola Plummer, owner, and Ahmed Abdullah, music director run a tight ship, consistently providing world class, cutting edge acts.
Reservations (718) 398-1766 www.sistasplace.org