Monday, October 15, 2007

Ben Allison + Improv Night

I first went to Jazz Standard for the Ben Allison Quintet. Actually, they had changed their name a couple of days ago to Man Size Safe. That was also the first tune, which Ben explained was inspired by Dick Cheney. He said he heard recently that they found a man sized safe in his office, and that got him curious. He was kind of funny with his commentary throughout the set. I especially enjoyed the last song, Blabbermouth. That was dedicated to those people who wait in line to get into a jazz club, sit up front, and then talk through the whole show. He said that used to happen to them a lot in the early phases of his career. He mentioned the 1st Iridium Club was over by Lincoln Center and had terrible sound. He played one of the first gigs there and Heraldo Rivera was up front with 4 women, who looked like they were probably escorts. Heraldo was blabbermouth that night for the entire set. It was a good, high energy song.

That wasn't quite enough, though. I am really excited about the rest of the month at The Stone and I saw Steven Bernstein was gonig to be at Improv Night. I hadn't made it to any of the benefit nights yet. Part of it is I've had it in my head that it will be hard to get in. I've heard it isn't that hard, and I figured I'd go down for the 10pm set. I got there a few minutes before 10, and yet again, the best seat in the house was open and waiting for me. I get a great front row, "living room" seat about 85-90% of the time I go there.

Well, I'm going to make it more of a point to get there for Improv Night more often. It started with Steven Bernstein, Kenny Wollesen, Krauss, and Shanir Blumenkranz. Excellent! Next up was Zorn, Ned Rothenberg on sax, and 2 trumpets. Wow! Then came Eyal Maoz, Shanir, and a drummer. Great! We had the 3 trumpets after that, with Bernstein commenting they had to do it. The finale with everyone, Kenny went to get some percussion toys out of the car and shared the kit with the other drummer, Rothenberg on clarinet was truly a great finish.

I do have to remember to bring earplugs for the rest of the shows at The Stone this month. Bernstein had an interesting mic for his slide trumpet that I don't recall seeing before. I'm not quite sure what it did, but I'll try to pay attention at future gigs.

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