Last night I had the pleasure of seeing my buddy and bigtime Red Sox fan, Alex Minasian, at the Kitano Hotel on Park Avenue, as he and his trio did his first headlining gig in New York. Alex is a terrific jazz pianist, and he was there with bassist Ron McClure and drummer Yoron Israel, both longtime jazz veterans with impressive credentials. I also had the pleasure meeting both gentlemen before the show, along with Alex, who was understandably nervous before the gig, as we knew there would be a jazz reviewer in attendance.
I got to know Alex from Trivia Night at Professor Thom's many months ago. He won one week, and then I won the next. We then got to talking one night and decided to combine forces, we were an unstoppable team on Trivia Night! Alex told me about his love of jazz music, and I told him I was a fan as well. He invited me to his first gig at Columbus Circle. I was blown away by his playing.
The Trio went on just after 8, and they did a great six-song set that lasted just over 70 minutes. I was there with his parents and a few other friends, and the Kitano Hotel has a very intimate jazz room. Alex and the group did jazz standards in their set, from legends like Jimmy Van Heusen, James Williams and Bobby Timmons. This is the third time I've seen Alex play live, and once again I was really impressed with his talent. And I must admit, rather envious, as growing up, I always dreamed of being a musician (and a drummer in particular), but I never had the talent.
The Trio did two sets, but I could only stay for the first. I'll have to check with Alex to see how the second one went. I'm sure he and The Trio knocked them dead in that one as well.
I look forward to reading a great review of Alex' show soon (I saw the critic taking notes at the show last night). And if you like jazz and see the name "Alex Minasian" on the marquee, you should definitely check him out. Alex is definitely one of those young jazz musicians whose "keeping the flame" of classic jazz alive and well.
And I expect to see him back at Trivia Night once again this Monday night!!