Sabertooth is a quirky band, currently an organ quartet co-led by saxophonists Pat Mallinger and Cameron Pfiffner. It swings hard (and a little off-kilter), mixing favorite standards and a repertoire of cleverly-arranged tunes. Every week, Pat and Cameron play for curious newcomers, rowdy drunks, hardcore fans and musicians coming off their own gigs.
In Chicago, one band holds down a midnight to 5 a.m. gig on Saturday nights — or technically, on Sunday mornings. It's a time slot which seems challenging enough to do once or twice. These guys have been doing it for 23 years.
"It's an after-hours jazz party," Mallinger says. "That's what it's labeled. ...
It's not your average jazz gig."
It all happens in a club called the Green Mill, which doesn't look to have changed much since its days as a Prohibition-era speakeasy. Inside, it seems a bit like a place removed from time – especially if you get to see the basement and the escape tunnels it leads into.
Jazz Night In America follows Pat and Cameron to the Green Mill, then stays up all night with Sabertooth.
2:18 - “White Fang”
12:48 - A tour of the Green Mill’s tunnels
15:19 - “De La Tierra, Somos”
23:18 - The late-night crowds
24:04 - “Everywhere Calypso”
Recorded June 20, 2015 @ The Green Mill
Pat Mallinger (saxophones)
Cameron Pfiffner (saxophones)
Pete Benson (organ)
Ted Sirota (drums)