Lu Reid's Sunday Jam
at The Shrine
2271 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. between 133rd & 134th, Harlem (NYC)
In New York City, there's downtown jazz, and there's uptown jazz. Downtown, you can pay a hefty cover charge to hear the "big names", with a 2 drink minimum, only to be hustled out the door unceremoniously after a 2 hour set so they can cram the next crowd in.
Lu presides over the Sunday afternoon jam, playing the standards with an impeccable core band of bass, drums, keyboards, guitar and himself on the trumpet, along with a floating cast of visiting soloists, including singers and various instrumentalists. The musicians are multi-generational and multi-ethnic, some no doubt culled from the hordes of talented students in this town to guys like singer Fred Nelson, who's obviously been at the game for decades.
Check them out here - that's Lu in the white shirt with a different line up than the one I saw, but the same kind of loose vibe and tight playing. It turns out Lu is as charming as he is talented, so don't be afraid to say hello on the breaks.