This Charming Man:
Ethan Lipton & His Orchestra, Joe’s Pub NYC

all photos Nikon D500s | 85mm f/1.8 3200 ISO | ©

Why lead off this piece with a photo of anyone other than the man who charmed the pants off all those in attendance last night? Just look at’em, why don’t cha. Ok, so you can’t really tell they’re pantless, but joyful smiles and rapturous attention suffice to get the point across.

No strangers to elated audiences, Ethan Lipton & His Orchestra performed the entirety of their third recording, Honker, at the perfect venue for showcasing Ethan’s inimitable brand of performance. Intimate. Anachronistic. Literate. Jazzy and Hep, daddy-o.

Delivered with the timing and panache of a trained stage actor, Lipton’s offbeat observations of everyday life are hilarious without being jokey, acute without being simply clever. Thrift store pants, office politics, yoga, internet dating, coffee breath, old age– no subject is too mundane for serious-ish contemplation. But ultimately, Lipton’s finely-crafted language reveals a classy cat whose love and compassion for his fellow brethren leaves his audience with watery eyes and perma-grins.

Ethan Lipton & His Orchestra, Honker CD Release, Joe's Pub NYC

But it’s not all about Ethan. Composed of Eben Levy (guitar), Vito Dieterle (tenor sax) and Ian Riggs (stand-up bass), this classy as fuck three-piece “orchestra” delivers pro goods without douching it up with slick posturing. The band teases out old-time, gypsy jazz and bossa nova grooves with contagious glee, a mischievous trio of precocious children simply diggin’ on them selves.

The band’s trifecta of recordings are great documents in and of themselves. But they’re simply no substitute for the live performance, where the band’s old-school style and groovy body language are the essential spices that gives this broth its zesty bite.

A brief sampling from the band’s three recordings below.

Photos from the show here.

Support the band’s efforts by purchasing here.

Don’t miss the next go-round: join their mailing list.

Ethan Lipton