The names of these players -- drummer Carl Allen, pianist Mulgrew Miller, bassist Cecil McBee, sax player Don Braden, trumpeter Terell Stafford, trombonist Conrad Herwig and guitarist Bruce Arnold -- may not fall readily from your lips when you ponder today's roster of steady and sure Jazz players.
However, billed collectively as the New York City Jazz Superband, they're some of the best around. And they've paid their dues. Allen played with, among many others, Sonny Stitt and Freddie Hubbard; Miller emerged from the long and foreboding shadows of Art Blakey and Betty Carter, while McBee toured with Alice Coltrane, Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett, Wayne Shorter, Pharaoh Sanders and Sonny Rollins, among others. Braden has recorded eight albums as a leader and was music supervisor for the now-defunct television show Cosby
. Catch as catch can, because these greats are only in town for one show, sandwiched between teaching workshops at the University of Dayton's Midstates Summer Jazz Camp 2000 and a weekend show at Gilly's.