Here's your perfect night: The valet parks your car, you pay the $35 admission, you mingle while sampling small plates of food and then take a seat as the folks at Mansions on Fifth present "Into the Cool," the latest in their Tuesday Concert Series.
It might be hot, humid and raining outside, but inside the Grand Hall of the Shadyside venue it will be the cool sounds of '60s jazz taking you to a special place and time.
Your guides tonight are Mike Tomarro and his friends, James Moore, Max Leake and Paul Thompson, all of whom are local artists of note coming together for a special event.
"We all play together a lot in various configurations, various bands," said Mr. Leake, 55, of Verona. "It's sort of the way it works. You work with somebody in a band and you form friendships and you start working together in different situations.
"We don't really join bands anymore. That's high school stuff. We're all professionals, we all read music, we play various styles of music, we can play shows.
"In jazz, you do a lot of freelancing. I've belonged to bands when I was younger, when I was playing rock 'n' roll and stuff like that. Now, I work with Roger Humphries all the time. I'm his steady piano player."
Mr. Moore will be playing trumpet, Mr. Thompson is on bass and Mr. Tomarro wields the woodwinds.
"One thing that's unique is that there's no drummer," said Tania Grubbs, music director for Mansions on Fifth. "The bass player and the piano will provide the rhythm. It's an acoustic evening in a very intimate space that the Mansions provide."
"That's one of the special things about this," Mr. Leake said. "You're playing in a beautiful old house with gorgeous woodwork. It's an interesting environment. It's like we're playing a parlor concert back in the 1800s."
But the music will be straight out of the West Coast jazz of the 1960s. Works by Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, Gerry Mulligan and other artists of that era.
Mr. Leake and Mr. Tomarro came along after that music was made, but it's hard not to love it.
"Mike and I kind of grew up in the same era, the '70s," said Mr. Leake, who also works in multimedia development at the University of Pittsburgh. "He was in Connellsville and I was at Thomas Jefferson and we knew each other back in those days.
"Today, he's head of jazz studies at Duquesne University. We all know him through that. We've done other things. Mike started a band called The Three Rivers Jazz Orchestra.
It was a larger band, featuring a lot of Mike's writing. We try to do special events every once in a while just to keep it interesting."
And tonight should be interesting.
"I don't very often play this style of jazz," Mr. Leake said. "It's very particular to its own style, so it will be interesting to play. A lot of the songs from that era of music are not ones that we play regularly in jam sessions."
So is there a chance that they might mess up here and there during the performance?
"We don't mess up," Mr. Leake said. "And when we do, we turn it into an idea anyway."
"Into the Cool" will be presented from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Mansions on Fifth, 5105 Fifth Ave. If you can, call 412-381-5105 to make a reservation, but they probably can squeeze you into the Grand Hall if you come unannounced.
Dan Majors: firstname.lastname@example.org. This story originally appeared in The Pittsburgh Press. To log in or subscribe, go to: http://press.post-gazette.com/