Nice double-header at The Stone last night. I feel so privileged to live so close, which makes it easy to go often. First up was Will Bernard, Todd Sickafoose, and Ches Smith. I never saw Will Bernard in that context before, so free and avant-garde. It was very good! It got a little grooving at times, somewhat free at times, and all around a great set. It was interesting that they were reading music most of the time.
Will knows the earth is covered with music! He would occasionally comment on the sounds coming from outside and notice the good ones. He said they were mainly playing tunes off of a record called something like Directions to My Place. Something along those lines, but not exactly. He said they are about to reissue it on vinyl cylinder, and then melt it. I’m glad to see he recently moved here and I’ll have to watch out for him a little more. It seems he’s a lot more diverse than I thought.
Will Bernard, Ches Smith and FriendsWill Bernard (guitar) Ches Smith (drums)Will is a recent NYC transplant, Palmetto recording artist and original member of Peter Apfelbaum's Heiroglyphics Ensemble and TJ Kirk.
Then, over to the little café I really like. It was too hot for hot tea, so I went for the peach iced tea that she told me her coffee supplier makes. It’s owned by a French lady and has a nice vibe and very pleasant atmosphere. It’s right around the corner on 3rd, in between B & C, closer to C.
Back to The Stone. Ah, so that was the sax from the other night, in Paul Shapiro’s Midnight Minyon, instead of Apfelbaum. Erik Lawrence. This time he had a baritone, tenor, straight soprano sax, and a flute. The other night he had a tenor and curved soprano sax. He was great regardless of whatever instrument he was using at the time. I was especially enjoying and impressed by the flute. I don’t know what he was doing, but it sounded kind of like a guitar at times and kind of like a percussion instrument at times. It was unique and excellent. Bernstein was great as usual. Before the show, he commented that each night he has to learn how to play the trumpet anew. Now, of course that’s not true or he wouldn’t sound so great, but I guess it was about how challenging it is and each moment is different.
Allison Miller didn’t make it. The drummer they had was excellent, so she wasn’t missed. I didn’t catch his name and never saw him before. I think it was Eric something, but not sure. There were lots of photographers there, so I’ll probably be able to find out eventually. I think one guy was a professional who was hired to take pictures. I overheard him talking about they didn’t call him to do Van Halen and he and the guy he was talking to thought that was weird because he’s the guy they would call. I’m getting kind of sorry I’m not going. They were my favorite, and I mean favorite band in High School. I was obsessed with them. Obsessed.
Anat Fort played piano on 2 grooving songs. She’s been on my list for a while, but haven’t made it. I’m going to make more of an effort now. She was great and definitely added to the groove. This was also my first time seeing Rene Hart. Excellent! Great groove. He really had me in another world at times.
I’m now sorry I didn’t pick up the cd. I think after this Bernstein/Stone run, I’m going to have to stop into Downtown Music Gallery and pick up the ones I didn’t get at the time. So far, I want this Hipmotism and Paul Shapiro’s 2nd one.
Erik Lawrence and HipmotismErik Lawrence (baritone and tenor saxophones) Steven Bernstein (trumpet, slide trumpet) Rene Hart (bass) Allison Miller (drums)This quartet recently released their 1st CD. Erik and Steven have been members of The Levon Helm band for the last three years..this is a soulful and poetic project.
Looks like a few people I never saw before playing the 1st set with Bernstein tonight. I’m not sure if I can make it, but I’m going to try.