I was away for Thanksgiving and got back late Sat night. I realized at the end of Sun, that I spent the entire time since I got back in the East Village. I am sorry I had to miss The Duo, but I did at least catch up with live music a little last night.
First, I got sucked into watching most of Mo Better Blues, a Spike Lee movie on HBO. That was really good, with lots of great music. I hope to catch the beginning that I missed another time. I see that Terence Blanchard played the trumpet parts, and that Tain was in the movie because you can’t really fake drumming in a film. Pretty cool.
I wanted to get to Jimmy’s for 4 tenors but I couldn’t get motivated in time to get out the door at 7. Instead, I opted for the 1st set at The Stone. I already know of Okkyung Lee, the cellist, and I recently noticed that Kjell Bjorgeengen is doing something with Marc Ribot at Issue Project Room next month. I didn’t realize he was just going to do visual stuff. That I could take or leave, it reminded me of something you might see at MOMA, and something I would pass by without much thought. Just some colors and light on a couple of small tv screens. That meant it was more like a solo cello show for me, which I enjoyed. I see in the listing that he was the only attendee at her solo concert. She was having trouble with one of her strings, but still sounded really good and pretty different. I left feeling good and ready for more cello.
11/25 Sunday (SK)8 pmOkkyung Lee & Kjell BjorgeengenKjell Bjørgeengen (visuals) Okkyung Lee (amplified cello)Norwegian visual artist Kjell Bjørgeengen's art practice is an investigation of reality. Over the years he has collaborated with Evan Parker, Keith Rowe and Marc Ribot and many others musicians. After being the only audience member in Okkyung's solo concert a few years back, they are playing together for the first time at the Stone.
I went to the 9pm set at Jimmy’s (www.freestylejazz.com), for Marty Erlich/Eric Friedlander duo. That was excellent. I love both of them, and they did not disappoint last night. That has a little more structure than the 1st set at The Stone. Marty is the freestylejazz curator this month and mentioned that it’s booked through Feb, but it seems a lot of people don’t know about it. One thing that would help is if they would update the website with the shows through Feb.
Here’s something I found on Dee Pop’s Myspace page talking about the series:
Hi everyone, I thought i would try and explain what is going on with the Freestyle Creative Music Series. Some of you know i have been doing this for a little bit. I am not sure when i officially started trying to do this but it is mid to late 90's. First i booked the INternet Cafe, then it moved to CBGB's for 4 years. Now 2 years at Jimmy's. It's been alot of Sundays. My policy running this series has always been to have the music pay for itself. In other words: no sponsers, no backers, no benefits. Periodically - actually weekly - i would suppliment the door with my own money. Given the nature of the beast this all points to bad business but business is what i am trying to avoid in the first place. It's about the music! God what a cliche and load of bullshit but yet it is the sole purpose for trying to do this in the first place. So countless lost dollars and hours later, i realize i am tired. Marc Ribot recently said artist run series are doomed to failure. Hearing that stung. And the new realm of the downsized art world. Back to the lofts and basements and other hiding spaces. Well even the rent on the cardboard boxes the homeless use has gone up. Sorry it's late. I didn't even mean to start writing this tonight so it's stream of conscoiusness or nothing at all. I will be booking the series through the rest of the summer. After that i will offer up blocks of a month to eligable curators. As every space has its pro and cons, Jimmy's has been fairly stressless. It is a nice little room for small group music. I wouldnt want that option taken away in a playing field that almost already doesn't exist. Wanna run a series?Do you have your own ideas?A vision? A younger, more provacative demand? Let me hear about it.Still stubborn and still trying,Dee
I still wanted more and was still on West Coast time, so I decided to continue my East Village music crawl and headed to Louis 649. Turns out it was Ari Hoenig Trio + Joel Frahm. That was excellent. So excellent, I had to stay up a little later than planned and catch some of the 2nd set. I love it when the drummer is the bandleader. The arrangements were great. It was also great to have both a guitar and sax. The guitarist is Gilad Hekselman. I saw his trio one of the last 2 times, and he’s the one who made me less than impressed with John Abercrombie. I hadn’t seen Ari for a few years I think. I remember seeing him at 55 Bar. He’s great and I loved what he was doing. There were a lot of “cool cat jazz” songs with great drum intros.