Re: Bill Stewart
Marcus is such a killer. His playing with Vijay Iyer makes my head spin. He's probably my favorite "young guy" as well. He is only like 4 months older than I am... and he is already one of the most incredible musicians on the scene.
I like Justin Brown a lot and Jamire Willaims as well. But Marcus is so versatile, so musical. I can't recall listening to him and thinking that he was overplaying or trying to make the music about himself. He plays whatever is needed to make the music happen.
The small's live feed is incredible. Every drummer who is interested in jazz should check it out every now and then. Great players are there every night. When I was last there as first act was finishing up, Bill Stewart, who was playing the 9 to 12 spot with Jon Gordon's band walked in. He sat down at the bar and got a beer and paid for it in quarters. It was excellent. He just sat there quietly by himself, with his cymbal bag and beer, checking out the music. He then proceeded to kill it during his set.
Ari Hoenig is probably the mayor of smalls. Every monday he plays there with different configurations - always interesting, always creative. Small's is like church.