“Jazz Rabbi” Blows Horn For Ornette Coleman

Greg Wall faced a challenge.

The “jazz rabbi” — a saxophonist who doubles as the spiritual leader of Westport’s Beit Chaverim (or the other way around) — needed a place to blow his horn.

Plenty of local spots feature music. But jazz is often relegated to “background music” — not the high-level listening experience offered at the major New York venues he’s worked, like Joe’s Pub and the Village Vanguard.

Enter 323. The restaurant near Coffee An’ offers a nice, wood-finished listening space. Every Thursday night Wall curates weekly jazz events, with well-known musician and guest stars.

The 2 faces of Greg Wall.

The 2 faces of Greg Wall.

Like the jazz professional he is, Wall improvises well. This Thursday there’s a tribute to Ornette Coleman, the legendary alto saxophonist/composer who died last month.

Sitting in will be Coleman’s longtime guitarist/collaborator Kenny Wessel.

“I’m a firm believer in meeting people where they are,” says Wall. “Whether it’s using my music to make a connection with people in a night club, or teaching Talmud classes on a sailboat” — his Friday morning onboard classes are a whole other story — “I try to remove any barriers that stand in the way of people and their spiritual development.”

That spiritual development — the jazz element, anyway — continues every Thursday night through August 27. Upcoming guests include guitar legend Bob Devos and the New American Quartet.

There is no cover charge to hear the jazz rabbi and friends blow their shofars horns.

(For more information, click on the Facebook page: Jazz at 323 Westport.)

2 responses to ““Jazz Rabbi” Blows Horn For Ornette Coleman

  1. if you love jazz and want to hear authenticity from world class players, this group, and its leader, Greg Wall, are THE group to hear in Fairfield County. And 323 is a hidden gem of a space in plain sight – great acoustics, good sight lines, and fine food and drink at fair prices. Westport needs more of this!

  2. Indeed! I am a regular at 323 for Thursday nights, and working with the owner under the MouseMuse brand to bring more folks to hear Greg Wall and perhaps on other evenings quality club programs. We were given the opportunity last Fall to do one of our signature MouseMuse stortytelling and music programs there. That old tagline we invented for our Westport storytelling, “Awake after dark but home early enough in the suburbs” works for 323. Take in Rabbi Greg’s early set, and the later set if you wish. Order sides, order little pizzas, order oysters or just tap on the table to the no cover charge treat of world class jaxz.