CATCH MIKE BOOK LIVE!
with Aaron M. Johnson / Sasha Perry Group
WHEN: Sunday, October 17th, 2021
WHERE: Smalls Jazz Club
(183 W 10th Street, New York, NY 10014)
BONUS: Jam Session (Afterwards)
MEET THE MAN BEHIND THE BASS
LEGENDARY JAZZ BASSIST
It is well known in Philly that some of the city’s most ardent boosters were never native sons or daughters, but usually transplants from smaller cities seeking to make their mark before moving on to the Big Apple. But bassist Mike Boone, a New Yorker and Eastman School of Music grad, bounced into Philadelphia fresh off a second stint with drummer Buddy Rich in 1985 and stayed put. New York City didn’t really interest him (although he plays there a lot), and lucky for us, the green roots he put down here then have grown barnacled, brown, and rich with history.
Bassist Nicholas Krolak, a rising star based in Philadelphia, calls Boone, “The patriarch of the Philly jazz scene, mentor to all…and the torch-bearer of the Philly jazz tradition.” That encapsulates everything Boone is about. Above his own individual accolades as an instrumentalist, which are numerous and deserved, he’s the consummate steward of this music, in this place—a protector of the realm.
When he got to Philly, he put down his electric bass and picked up the acoustic; it was the only way to get gigs with the aging titans who still very much ran the Philly scene then. He immersed himself in that scene, playing at the old, beloved Ortlieb’s, educated by professors like saxophonist Bootsie Barnes, organist Shirley Scott, pianist Sid Simmons, and drummer Mickey Roker.
Boone has preserved that legacy; no one in the city teaches young musicians how to gig and how to become professionals better or more thoroughly than Boone, who, in addition to furiously gigging himself, also teaches at Temple University and is the always opinionated, low-talking pied piper of Philadelphia’s most legit jazz jam sessions—at Heritage in Northern Liberties and Chris’ Jazz Café— where welcoming up a steady stream of present and former students is de rigueur.