Pianist and singer Johnny O'Neal never learned to read music, but didn't really need to: He was one of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and even convincingly imitated the fast-fingered Art Tatum in the biopic Ray. Now, after decades off the scene — and with his health under control — he's re-establishing himself in New York as an incredible old-school performer.
Jazz Night in America visits him in one of New York's most intimate rooms: The new 30-person basement room Mezzrow. O'Neal plays there every Monday night, where we find him welcoming special guests to the stage.
- "Born To Be Blue" (Tormé/Wells)
- "In Good Hands" (O'Neal)
- "Stardust" (Carmichael/Parish)
- "Fee Fi Fo Fum" (Wayne Shorter)
- "Ray's Idea" (Ray Brown)
- "I'm Your Mailman" (based on "Bye Bye Blackbird" by Ray Henderson)
- "Teardrops In The Rain" (Bennett/Tepper)
- Blues Medley/"Every Day I Have The Blues" (Memphis Slim)
Johnny O'Neal, piano and voice; Luke Sellick, bass. With Stacy Dillard, soprano saxophone; Brianna Thomas, voice; Tivon Pennicott, tenor saxophone; Ben Paterson, piano; Carlos Abadie, trumpet.