Wednesday, October 31, 2007

African Dance

I took a great afro-caribbean dance class last night. It was a lot of fun. There were 3 drummers: djembe, conga, and one with a couple of dunduns and a cowbell. The teacher, Marika, is a cute small funky girl. She was lots of fun. She said she teaches Haitain, Cuban and something else, all in one class. She also funks it up, which makes it much more fun for me.

It was a lot of fun and I hear people chanting on the ceiling. It’s really due to the vibrations and acoustics of the room, etc, but there was a time when I actually believed it was people’s dead ancestors. I read about in some of these articles, which are great:

I’ve taken sabar dance from Senegal with Babacar M’Baye before and Guinea West African Djembe with Thulani, who is a friend of mine. Thulani also plays sabar and sings in the Jane Getter Band. That’s where I got the desire to check out the sabar class, it can be funky. The Senegalese dance on the offbeat, like funk. I kind of stopped because it was rough on my feet. This afro-caribbean fun class is more to my liking. It’s only an hour, so we don’t do the technique part, which is the part I’m not crazy about. That’s because I don’t like being told what to do, and the teacher is very intent on us learning the proper techniques. They don’t even like us to dance if we aren’t good at it. I also found the sabar class wasn’t as good because it’s only 3 sabars. Thulani had djembe and dundun and it is much better. She’s taking a break from teaching, but I’d go back if she started up again. I keep looking out for Cheikh M’Baye and Sing Sing Rhythms, who sometimes play in NYC. I believe there’s more than just sabar and Babacar dances in that.

This is a pretty cool link to look at different types of drums:

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Boca Raton

I’m heading to Boca Raton for a quick trip this weekend to visit my family. They want me to take them to some music. I see Dumpstaphunk is at The Culture Room, but I doubt they mean THAT late. I have no desire to see Karl Densen, just not my thing. His trio is opening. I have had this conversation with many people, and have come to the conclusions: he’s often great late night, he knows how to bring it out of Tiny Universe, I really like Tiny Universe. I did enjoy when he did a duo with Johnny Vidocovich 2 jazzfests ago at d.b.a., but that fizzled once Skerik showed up for a song and blew him away.

Anyway, it looks like there are some places to go for music in Boca itself. I have been wanting to check out Gigi’s for some time now, so that is probably going to be it. There’s also The Funky Buddha Lounge, which looks like it probably has good tea as well. Yeah! Music and tea are 2 of my favorite things! My sister would like it because she can smoke. The 3rd possibility for Fri is Iko Iko at The Backroom Blues Bar.

This is no NYC, but better than nothing at all. I am sorry I’m unable to check out Takeover BAM on Sat. I’d also likely be at Jazz Standard, The Stone, and Jazz Gallery this weekend if I were here.


Gigi’s Tavern:
The Funky Buddha Lounge2621 N. Federal HwyBoca Raton, FL 33431561.368.4643Hours of Operation:7pm - 2am: 7 days-a-week
Start with our chill environment; fall back into a couch, relax on a sofa or just grab a seat to unwind. Enjoy Over 70 microbrew beers, 30 wines, 40 teas, and over 40 shisha flavors... we hope to be introducing you to new pleasures for a long time to come!So come for the atmosphere, for the live music and varied entertainment we offer almost every night - Our knowledgeable, courteous, and funky staff welcomes you into our home, with hopes that you'll come to call it yours.


I do a Word of the Day for my friends at work. I figure it’s appropriate to put the music words here as well. Today’s word is theremin. I recall seeing Dave Dreiwitz playing it when I saw Mad Cow at Tonic a couple of years ago. I was searching for when it was and who played and discovered that Mad Cow is really 2 guys who will extend the band with different people at different times. That was a great show. Calvin was very excited when he saw the piano on stage, so he made sure to play that for a bit, and that was excellent. I remember no one was there because there was something going on in Prospect Park that day, but I loved it.

I was intrigued by the theremin, but I never did anything to find out what it was. I saw it this morning in the listings for Issue Project Room on 11/3, a band called Barbez. I haven’t made it there yet, I can’t do it on Sat, or it might have been the night.

MAD COW makes it's way to NY! Mad Cow regulars Dion Paci & Calvin Weston join forces with Dave Dreiwitz (WEEN) & Andrew Weiss (WEEN, ROLLINS BAND)for some lo end experimentation.
Show Time:8:00pm

ther·e·min (thěr'ə-mĭn) n. An electronic instrument played by moving the hands near its two antennas, often used for high tremolo effects. [After Leo Theremin (1896-1993), Russian engineer and inventor.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth EditionCopyright © 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Company.Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

an electronic musical instrument; melodies can be played by moving the right hand between two rods that serve as antennas to control pitch; the left hand controls phrasing
WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.

Theremin An unusual electronic instrument developed in 1919 by Leon Theremin. The Theremin had two antennas and was played by moving one's hand closer to and further from them. One antenna controlled the volume and the other controlled the pitch. A skilled Theremin player could produce a wide variety of interesting sounds and musical phrases. The sound of a Theremin is a sort of eerie whining type of sound and was used for "effect" in some popular music of the '60's and '70's (for a good example check out the beginning of Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys). After modern synthesizers became commonplace the Theremin faded into relative obscurity. Today there are still some die hard Theremin fans out there with clubs and users groups. Also, Bob Moog (a major developer of the modern synthesizer) is now building and selling new hand made units though his company, Big Briar.
theremin Considered the first electronic musical instrument, invented in 1919 by Russian born Lev Sergeivitch Termen, which he anglicized to Leon Theremin. The theremin is unique in that it is the only musical instrument played without being touched. Interestingly, when granted a US Patent in 1928, there were 32 prior patents referenced, going all the way back to Lee De Forest. A theremin works by causing two oscillators to "beat" together. The beat frequency equals the difference in frequency between the two signals. Beats are a physical phenomenon occurring in the air when sounds are mixed. A theremin uses one oscillator operating well above the upper limit of human hearing as a reference tone, and another oscillator whose frequency is varied by the proximity of a human hand, for instance, to a capacitive sensing element shaped like an antenna. A typical machine has two antennas and you play it by moving your hands nearer to and farther from the antennas. One antenna controls the volume of the sound, while the other controls the frequency, or pitch, of the sound. Used together you can creates sounds that can range from being very sci-fi-ish -- a sort of quivering sound -- as heard in early sci-fi movies like The Day the Earth Stood Still, to very complex jazz licks. The theremin even appears as Dr. Hannibal Lecter's favorite instrument in Thomas Harris' bestseller Hannibal (Delacorte, 1999). It was the theremin that got Bob Moog (inventor of the Moog Synthesizer and considered the father of modern electronic music) interested in electronic music. Moog Music now makes some of the world's best theremins.
See the Theremin web ring for additional info; and to view the fascinating, bizarre, and stranger-than-fiction true-life story of Leon Theremin, check out the film (available on video), Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey, by Steven M. Martin (1994), including several performances by Clara Rockmore, perhaps the best theremin player ever.

Monday, October 29, 2007

10/27&28 @ The Stone

I was able to go to 4 sets of music last weekend, all at The Stone. I was exhausted on Sat, otherwise, I would have done William Hooker duets with Sabir Mateen and Ted Daniels at Metro Baptist Church, then Lionel Loueke at Jazz Gallery, and then Will Bernard at Blue Note. Instead, I figured checking out the 2 solo sets at The Stone would suffice and I could get some rest.

I was intrigued when I walked into The Stone on Sat at all the gear Ben Perowsky had set up for his solo gig. He had some big electronic thing and wires hooked up to various things on his much expanded drum kit. There were a lot of cone-shaped bells attached, which from his website I see are made by Pete Engelhart.

The cone-shaped bells reminded me of something you might hear in a Church. I liked the sounds. He also had 2 round electronic drum pad types things that made very interesting sounds. One sound that came out made my ears echo inside the ear. It was wild.

He seemed to be having fun and commented this is what he does all day long. I enjoyed it, it was quite different.

Next up was Briggan Krauss. He opted out of the solo set he was scheduled for and brought some friends to play a quartet of mostly his music. He played one ancient Chinese song as well. It was a good set. This consisted of Karen Waltuch on viola, Mike Sarin on drums, and Kato Hideki on octave and tenor banjo.

I’ve seen Karen before, I think when Steven Bernstein used to do something Sun nights at Bowery Poetry club. It might have been once a month. There was a show with Karen, Charlie Burnham, Matt Munisteri and Bernstein. I think there might have been one more (probably Briggan), but no drums or bass because Tony Scherr and Kenny Wollesen were on other gigs.

I was trying to remember when I saw Kato Hideki before, and it was at The Stone with his band, Tremelo of Joy. I actually have the review I wrote last year, and I figured I’d put it below.

Briggan’s music is quite different from Tremelo of Joy. It was more like ancient Chinese music. I don’t know how else to describe it, so I’ll stop there. I was also pretty tired, and hate to admit I don’t remember it very well. I do remember enjoying it while I was there.

Sun night I went back for Marcus Rojas tuba solo. Just the tuba, and a couple of mics. I like solo shows because I can focus on what goes on with one instrument. It was really cool to watch how it’s played, and how he can get different sounds by the way he blows into it and how he presses the keys. It was pretty cool. I’ve seen him as a side-man many times, so it was nice to just focus on his tuba. I was also reminded that there was a recent article in All About Jazz about him. His wind-power was pretty impressive.

I knew I’d have to come back for the 2nd set when I saw Charlie Burnham walk in. I didn’t make it to his set or MTO in this Bernstein run. It was Gina Leisham (leader of Kamikaze Ground Crew), Charlie, and Marika Hughes on cello.

I’ve seen Gina sit in with Peter Apfelbuam’s NY Hieroglyphics and I think occasionally in MTO as well as once in Kamikaze Ground Crew. She is very talented. I didn’t know she also plays piano and wine glass, but it makes sense. She sang most of the songs, but the voice was just another part of the band. It wasn’t about singing, which I is when I’m fine with it.

She started out on the piano. Then, she moved to the wine glass. She had a large bubble wine glass with a little bit of water in it. She would occasionally use the water to wet the rim and then rub her finger around the rim to make this beautiful sound. Every once in a while, she would also knock the wine glass with her knuckle. It was really nice.

Later she went to the accordion for a few songs. I’ve seen her with that plenty of times.

Then, finished up at the piano. Some of the lyrics were poems and some stories. Charlie and Marika were stellar. That was my first time seeing Marika Hughes.

Very beautiful music and a great way to close the weekend.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I went to Tremolo of Joy last night at The Stone. It was great. It is the bass player, Kato Hideki's project. He kept saying how he intended for the music to be angry and he thought the music reflected our times. He kept saying there was a lot of screaming in the music. It was very intense and excellent.

I can accept not dancing at The Stone, and I have a feeling I could if I really wanted to, but I love the intimate setting and I again got a great front row seat. I wanted to move, but I preferred being a few feet away from the performance.

The drummer was a substitute, and I didn't catch her name. I found this blip on Roulette's web site (they are there in Nov), because I didn't quite understand what he was saying about the Native American hunting cry.I am having trouble trying to describe how great it was. It was stellar, avant-garde "bang you head" kind of music. Kato Hideki (bass) Marco Cappelli (guitar) Briggan Krauss (reeds) Christine Bard (drums, electronics)

"Tremolo of Joy is a hybrid band utilizing old & new musical elements. The music is shaped around the imaginative melodies of Kato Hideki. The group builds on this foundation with tools like canon (delay), counterpoint (reverse), human loops and live electronics. The result is combines chamber music syntax with the rhythmic excitement of rock 'n roll. Tremolo of Joy: the vocal cry of Native Americans prior to a hunt or fight.


Black Elk regains consciousness after experiencing his vision and feels as if he has returned home after a journey. His parents tell him that he was deathly ill for twelve days and that Whirlwind Chaser, the medicine man, cured him. Black Elk’s father gives Whirlwind Chaser a horse to express his gratitude. Black Elk wants to tell people about his experience, but he feels that the meaning of the vision cannot be put into words; he is afraid that he will be misunderstood. Whirlwind Chaser tells Black Elk’s parents that there is something special about him, which makes Black Elk afraid that he knows about the vision.

Black Elk feels alienated from those around him and wishes he were back in the place of his vision. He goes hunting to forget about the vision, but cannot shoot a bird because he remembers that the Grandfathers of his vision told him he would be a relative of the birds. He does shoot a frog, however, and then weeps at having killed it.

Standing Bear speaks to affirm that Black Elk suffered his illness while the Indians were moving camp. He says that after he recovered, Black Elk was not himself and seemed more like an old man than a young boy. Standing Bear goes on to say that the big bison hunt, which took place shortly after Black Elk recovered, distracted people such that they did not notice Black Elk’s strangeness anymore.

Black Elk continues his story about the bison hunt. A crier came to the Indians one day and told them to break camp because a large herd of bison could be hunted nearby. Standing Bear remembers that the hunt was in July and that, at the age of thirteen, he killed his first mature buffalo. Black Elk describes the great celebration after the successful hunt and the games the young boys played, including endurance trials, as part of the festivities.

As Black Elk grows older, the meaning of his vision becomes clearer to him, but he felt alienated as a boy because of his unique experience of the vision. Black Elk frequently feels as if he is pulled back into the world of his vision when he sees or feels something that reminds him of the vision—in this case the birds his father is hunting. At these times, Black Elk often says he feels “queer” (disconnected from the present reality) and longs to be in the world of his vision. Whirlwind Chaser recognizes Black Elk as someone who participated in the sacred, however, and alerts his parents, using language similar to the Grandfathers’ language in Black Elk’s vision. The adults marked the child’s destiny and nurtured his special gift. The acknowledgment of intuitive or extrasensory experience is an outstanding aspect of Indian culture. Indians placed value on this kind of experience and did not think it pathological or criminal.

For the most part, however, this is a straightforward chapter about cultural practices after the more abstract relation of the dream vision. Some of this chapter’s content is of almost anthropological interest. A crier alerts the Indians that bison are to be hunted close by, pointing out that the Indians did not keep livestock for food; they relied on animals in the wild. They had scouts to look for those animals, just as they might have scouts keeping track of an enemy. They break camp to go to where they might find the animals. The crier guides them on their way, even directing them when to let their ponies rest, to dig some turnips they come upon, and to be watchful of their children. The scouts come to the council tepee, smoke, and reveal the location of the bison herd. The crier had all the hunters ride out to kill bison. The hunters rode almost naked, outfitted with bows, arrows, and sharpened knives. The Sioux, great warriors, borrowed much from their war practices for hunting.

Standing Bear’s story about killing his first mature bison makes it understood that the hunt was a demonstration of manhood as well as a result of the necessity for food. Until that day, he had killed only a calf, but he was determined, at the age of 13, to show that he was a man and kill a yearling. The reader might remember this story when Black Elk states, toward the end of his narrative, that an indication of the degeneration of Indian society is how late boys become men. Standing Bear also says that the women are making the tremolo of joy at the hunt, the same kind of vocal cry that they use to cheer a war party.

Butchering took place at the site of the hunt, and the fresh meat was loaded onto the horses as they went home. The little boys, too hungry to wait for the feast later in the evening, ate as much fresh liver as they could. When the hunters returned home, the advisors ate first, and then they invited others into their tepee to eat. The women make drying racks out of branches and sticks to dry the meat for long-term preservation. Everyone is happy at the feast that night, which included dancing and singing. These events that Black Elk identifies as happy times have to do with the traditional life of the Indians; the Indians are happy as long as they can pursue life freely engaged in their traditional cultural practices. Sharing the meat reveals the communal nature of Indian life. The advisors do not hunt, but they are the first to enjoy the meat from the hunt because their wisdom is so important to the others. Their invitation to all others to partake of what is a gift to them exhibits their generosity. In a children’s game, associated with the hunt celebration, the boys act out stealing the meat. Black Elk really tries to steal a bison tongue and is badly frightened when he thought he was caught; in another game, the young boys compete for the distinction of having the most chapped breast—in other words, having suffered the most exposure to the elements; in another, the boys put sunflower seeds on their wrists and endure the pain of their being burned off. If they cry, they are called women. These games illustrate the importance of the hunt and the value the Sioux placed on physical bravery.
Throughout these events, Black Elk is reminded of the world of the Grandfathers when he sees animals or birds that were in his vision or hears a sound, such as thunder or the whistle of an eagle that he associates with his vision.

Minneconjou: one of the six bands that made up the Lakota Sioux tribe, of which the Oglala , Black Elk’s band, is also one.
crier: an official who shouts out announcements.
scout: a person sent out to observe the tactics of an opponent.
chacun sha sha: the bark of the red willow.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Stone 10/25/07

A very excellent evening at The Stone Last night.

Fight the Big Bull was awesome. I can see why Steven Bernstein likes them. They are reminiscent of Sexmob and MTO in the music they were influenced by. It was very soulful and the guitar added a lot. The description on The Stone is their bio from their website and seems to be pretty accurate. It did have a gospel flair, but was also quite different. Definitely has a Spanish bull-fighting flair as well. I had to get a cd for $8, I wanted it and I kept thinking about them traveling so far for almost no money and to play for a bunch of mainly their friends in NYC. The room definitely felt very VA.

I see the songs from the cd are available for streaming on their website and on their myspace page. Well worth checking out.

Fight The Big Bull
Bob Miller (trumpet) Jason Arce (saxophones) Jason Scott (saxophones, clarinet) Reggie Pace (trombone) Bryan Hooten (trombone) Cameron Ralston (bass) Matt White (guitar, tunes) Pinson Chanselle (trap set, percussion)
An amalgamation of saxophones, trombones, trumpet, guitar, bass and drums, Fight the Big Bull is a display of spontaneous emotion filled with powerful significance and baptized in the traditions of the music. They are a band with such a wide palate of emotions that your tin heart cannot escape being moved—a freaky gospel choir/dance band full of horns and love that you should never ever miss. They are also marvelous people who are very charming conversationalists and operate with the understanding that in a world flooded with production and marketing all people want is to hear the truth—Fight the Big Bull has a very big heart, too big to lie. "From Richmond, Virginia....1st NYC performance"

Each one of them was an excellent musician. It was a tough room for them to play. The drummer was a little worried because he couldn’t see or hear the lead guy (the excellent soulful guitar player). It worked out fine, and I bet if they were in another room with monitors, etc. it would be even better. I was pretty happy at the end of that show.

There are 8 of them altogether, and they fit just fine. I am wondering how it’s going to work with MTO tonight. I can’t make it, but if I were going, I’d try to get there early. You never know, Sexmob didn’t fill up until after 10, and the fact they are doing 2 sets, it might be all right. I also remember plenty of space for MTO when they did their Bowery Poetry Club residency a few years ago. Still, I think they are more popular now and since they don’t play practically every month at Tonic, 3 sets, it might bring out a lot of people, for The Stone, that is.

This potential dilemma reminds me of when I saw the big, amazing orchestra last year. There were 15 members, and they outnumbered us in the audience, who only had about 14 seats or so anyway. I recall over ½ of the audience came from down south to see one of their friend/family members. I can’t remember which one. But, I do remember thinking what a shame it was that no one realized how excellent and special this orchestra was to come down and sit in the hot room for an hour. I remember Steven Bernstein and the other Japanese slide trumpet sitting way back by the bathroom.

6/7/06 Wednesday 8 and 10pm
Satoko Fujii Orchestra NY
Satoko Fujii (piano) Oscar Noriega, Andrew D'Angelo (alto sax) Ellery Eskelin, Tony Barba (tenor sax) Andy Laster (baritone sax) Herb Robertson, Steven Bernstein, Dave Ballou, Natsuki Tamura (trumpet) Curtis Hasselbring, Joe Fiedler, Brian Allen (trombone) Satoko Fujii (piano) J. Granelli (bass) Aaron Alexander (drums)CD "Undulation" pre-release concert.

I do know that MTO tends to be able to sit pretty tight together, so I’m sure it will work out.

Anyway, I enjoyed the big band from VA. Their encore was an Allen Toussaint arrangement of The Band’s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”. Very nice. The whole set was excellent.

A little break and then on to one of my favorite shows of this Bernstein run:

Peter Apfelbaum (tenor saxophone, piano, composition) Will Bernard (guitar) David Phelps (guitar) Marcus Rojas (tuba) Justin Brown (drums)A special one time project for the Stone and a first time meeting between guitar virtuosos Bernard and Phelps.

When I walked in, I was a little surprised to see Apfelbaum setting up the drum kit. Then, I remembered the last time I saw him was with Dafnis Prieto at Jazz Standard and he was doing a lot of great percussion. Dafnis would introduce him as “Peter Apfelbaum, on all that stuff” because he had just too many instruments in front of him to list. I remember thinking how great he was at the percussion at the time.

The drummer had 102 temp with the flu, which is how we got this special treat. Apfelbaum brought his own symbols and swapped them in the house kit. He also brought some more interesting metal percussion things and those clicker moroccan things I’ve seen Brigham Frigbane play on many occasion. He also had his tenor and occasionally added that into the mix.

The whole jam was wonderful. I was reminded of the best of the Greatful Dead jams. I think it was Phelps that gave it that feel. I haven’t heard anything that good, purely improvised jamming like that, in a long time. I’m getting really happy again just thinking about it. They were all excellent and know how to meld together and jam. I do think Rojas could have used a mic. He was sitting, unlike the show last week where he stood for the entire set, which just seemed so difficult.

The Electric Troubadours just went on my list of cds to get and bands to look out for.

That show was probably my 2nd favorite, well maybe it’s a tie with Sexmob. Shanir was definitely my favorite so far.

Turns out Will Bernard is playing in MTO tonight. That’s great. I wonder if Matt Munisteri will be there as well. I think he adds a lot and I enjoy it when he’s there.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Paris Jazz Scene

I decided it was time to start seeing the world through music. I started last year with the Telluride Jazzfest. This year, I found this trip to Italy with the NY Open Center entitled "Food for the Soul" that looked good. It was only for a week, though and I'd prefer to take a longer trip to Europe. I realized this was a good opportunity to go to Paris first and start exploring the jazz scene. I was only in Europe once, about 15 years ago and I didn't really like jazz then. I did most of the tourist things back then so this trip could be more about doing whatever I feel like, with the express purpose of exploring the jazz. I'd had the desire for a while, ever since I started noticing that whenever French artists come here, they are excellent.

I kept wishing there was a book about the Paris Jazz scene. I kept searching on the internet and finally found a book called Paris Jazz. It's a good little book. It talks about some of the classic old jazz clubs that no longer exist as well as some new ones. I marked the ones that the book said are still open that looked interesting. I also found a couple of websites and did some more searching. In the end, I went on to google maps and just typed in "Paris Jazz Clubs" and found several clusters of them. I marked them on my comprehensive book of maps, which already had some of them already marked on there.

After doing the research and reading a great book of essays called Paris, Paris, I decided I wanted to stay in the Marais.

I didn't want to spend a fortune on the hotel, but I also didn't want to stay in a dive and I wanted to have a place to stay before I got there. I found some reviews on the internet for Hotel Beauborg and it looked like a good place to stay in a prime location, right by Pompidou Center. It was a great hotel and reasonably priced at 125 Euros a night, which included tax. That is a great price for the location and it was clean and the rooms are soundproof, which is good for sleeping in.

I got in late due to runway traffic at JFK. I arrived at the hotel around 2pm on 9/1 and was able to check in immediately. I went to bed for a few hours and went out walking around, checking out the scene and trying to walk by the jazz clubs. I was asking around, looking for the "all about jazz" or "time out NY" of Paris, with my almost non-existent French. I finally found out a guide to get is "Pariscope".

I didn’t buy it that day because it was toward the end of the Pariscope-week. I was fortunate to find a copy in a great café another day, so I read the listings there. Even though it was in French, I could decipher who was playing and where. I also had my book of maps and jazz club notes to help me figure out what might be good. The magazine was still only valid for a couple more days, though. I ended up at Les 7 Lezards for some local less-known artists. It was pretty good. I got a kick out of how they had to write on the house drums “please do not touch the drums” (in French, of course). That says a lot about French people. Then, a guy actually did touch the piano keys while he was walking by. It was a nice, intimate room with a great vibe. I saw a piano trio: Jolic le Masson (piano), Jean-Jacques Avenel (bass), and John Betsch (drums). I enjoyed it. I think it was 15 Euro. I was sick of sitting toward the end, though. I kind of wanted to look for more at around 1am, but realized I should go to bed and get my bearings and make sure I’m wandering around safe areas. I was – Paris is pretty safe, especially in the Marais area.

Aha! So “liens” means “links” and it looks like 7 Lezards has some links to some great resources:

My second day was spent sleeping late, getting over jetlag. No big deal, because I was more interested in the night since I did most of the tourist stuff before. I was disappointed to see a few Starbucks around. I refuse to go there unless I am really desperate, which wouldn’t happen in Paris or NYC. I will note that any café where I got a tea to go was given in a teeny, tiny cup. I expect that to change over time. Still, when I sat in the cafes for tea, I usually got a nice big pot. It’s so nice to sit in those cafes.

It was Sunday night, and I felt the best option I could find was the Jazz Jam at Les 7 Lezards, which was free. No cover, no tip jar. I first had a wonderful pot of tea upstairs and it is a great café as well. The jazz was excellent. Lots and lots of different musicians. I really liked the oboe, I don’t recall seeing that very often. It gave a middle eastern flair to the music. There were lots of people on stage at a time and they knew how to jam for the most part. The only bad moment was when a guy brought a microphone and sang. He wasn’t that good, and I don’t like singers in general. Luckily, they only let him do 1 song. I had a couple of glasses of wine and ended up dancing in the back. It was great!

I was so well rested I needed more music. But, it was Sun night. I decided to bite the bullet and check out the Guiness Bar, which had a classic rock cover band. That was pretty wild. Those French people really know how to let loose and scream and get into it. It was annoying that this one guy kept drumming on the table very, very loudly with his arm. He was sitting pretty close to the band. I resisted the urge to say “they have a drummer”.

These Americans kept asking for ACDC and they finally delivered “Highway to Hell” and people went insane. It was fun and good for a ½ hour before calling it a night. It felt more like a vacation because I’d never do that in my own town.

Monday I felt great and over the jetlag.

I tried to go to the Jazz Jam at Le Basier Sale, but it was too crowded and there was a singer. It would have been good, but I wasn’t up for it. I had done a lot of walking that day and really had a great day. I think that’s the one night I skipped the music, but it was Mon. I did go back to the club the next night and it was nice when it wasn’t so tight.

The jazz highlight was indeed Tues night. 3 clubs, 3 bands, 3 sets each, doing 3 different genres of the music of Wayne Shorter, for 20 euros. There were no minimums at any of the jazz places I went to, and plenty of people didn’t order anything. I do think the Guiness Bar had a 10 Euro minimum, but I’m not sure.

Each of these bands were exceptionally good.

Paris Jazz Club présente : "Une entrée, trois clubs" Wayne SHORTER est en ville...Thomas SAVY "Ugetsu" SextetThomas SAVY - saxophones ; Christophe LELOIL - trompette ; Jerry EDWARDS - trombone ; Carinne BONNEFOY - piano ; Simon TAILLEU - c.basse ; Fabrice MOREAU - batterie

Le Basier Sale:
Autour de Wayne Shorter ERIC SEVA & STEPHANE CHAUSSEÉric Séva saxes soprano/sopranino/baryton,Stéphane Chausse clarinette/clarinette basse, Alfio Origlio piano, Jérôme Regard contrebasse, Mathieu Chazarenc batterie

the Volunteered Slaves "Tribute to Weather Report"
featuring Olivier Temime
Jérôme BARDE - guitare bardophone ; Emmanuel DUPREY - fender Rhodes ; Akim BOURNANE - basse ; Julien CHARLET - batterie ; Arnold MUEZZA - percussions ; Olivier TEMIME - sax

First up, I didn’t realize they were each playing 3 sets, I thought we started in Sunside, then went to Sunset and then to Le Basier Sale together. I loved the sextet at Sunside. Grooving, all excellent musicians, worthy of a great jazz club here in NYC.

Then, I went downstairs for the tribute to Weather Report, which was phenomenally funky and just great. That was the right room for it, I could dance in the back and it had a great vibe. They had cushiony seats all over the place, but also plenty of space for dancing in the back by the bar. I only caught ½ of their set because they were on simultaneously with the other bands, but the times were a little staggered.

I went next door and up the stairs to Le Basier Sale and we were told we wouldn’t have to wait long for the band. Another excellent band worthy of a great jazz club in NYC. That music seemed to have a little more of a world influence, the sextet was more jazz, but very lively jazz.

Then, I went back to Sunset to finish up with more of the Volunteered Slaves. You could tell this was one of their places where they play a lot and they felt very at home, with their regular fan base, etc. They did a lot of their own music for their 3rd set. It was also pretty good. Toward the end of the night, it was the bartenders birthday, so they broke out a cake and sang, “Bon Anniversaire” or something like that, to the same tune as our own “Happy Birthday”. The cake looked phenomenal, but no one offered me any, and I don’t speak the language.

I knew that was good enough to hold me for the next 9 days of probably little or no music aside from an ipod. I’m looking forward to going back again next year and exploring more. I really want to check out the Barbes area, which I think has a lot of world music.

Here’s a good link for future trips:

And, if I can decipher this, it looks like it might have info:

Mario Pavone + Rashanim

I went to the 1st set at The Stone, Mario Pavone. Good stuff. I would call it lively jazz. It was very good and intense. I find it interesting that he categorizes himself as avant-garde and tends to play that circuit. I think I’m getting jaded because I didn’t think it was so new or different. It was great, however. I thought it was something you’d here at a fancy jazz club that plays great music, like Dizzy’s or something. Bernstein was awesome. I loved the drummer. He was a little different. The piano was a nice touch. They did one song with just the piano trio and Mario commented that’s the core and the music builds up from there as opposed to starting larger and building down.

Mario Pavone Project
Mario Pavone(bass) Craig Taborn (piano) Michael Sarin(drums) Steven Bernstein(trumpet, slide trumpet)

I wanted more but didn’t feel like sticking around The Stone for a horn duo, even though I’m sure it was awesome. I then remembered there was some Jewish thing going on at Bowery Poetry Club and Rashanim was on the bill. I decided to head over and check it out. When I got there, there was a funky band playing and I figured it was worth the $7 to stick around for a bit. They ended quickly and there was going to be some poetry before the next band. The 1st guy was pretty good. I’ve seen him around the jazz circuit, at Vision Fest or something. He was reading a few poems from a book he wrote for Charles Gayle. He was an excellent reader and the poems had a lot of rhythm. They were kind of depressing, though. Next up was a woman who was difficult to listen to, she just had no energy in her reading. Then there was a guy who when they introduced him said he was guaranteed not to suck. Well, he sucked. At least according to the 1st 90 seconds, which was about all I could take. I took a break in the other room and came back when Rashanim was setting up. Unfortunately, the poets went long and their set was only 25 minutes. However, it was an excellent 25 minutes and saved me from being tired today. They played from 10:35 – 11, and were just excellent, every moment. It was rocking, grooving, free, etc. They had a guest drummer and I’m not sure who he was. He was great, though. I wanted a cd, but again didn’t want to wait until they packed up. They had to get off quickly so the next and last band could come on.

Overall it was a very nice evening.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Stone 10/23/07

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.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Cover the Earth With Music

I picked up this free magazine in the vestibule of St. Mark’s Books because I was curious about it, “Arthur”. There is an interview with Yoko Ono about “her access points into the avant-garde of the 1950s and 1960s”. The article was semi-interesting. The best part was when she was talking about how “there are 2 industries in the world. One is the peace industry and the other is the war industry. The war industry people are very much together. They are so united they don’t even have to talk to each other. They know they want to kill and make money. But the peace industry people are such idealists and perfectionists. We’re arguing ourselves to death. ‘The way you’re doing it is not right.’ If we can become more gentle and generous to each other, if we can love each other we can get together and we’ll be a good force. And our force has to be just as strong as the war industry people or more. And when I say ‘force,’ it has to be viable as well because the economy is controlling the world. Of course the war industry is much more viable than the peace industry. But people are opening up to appreciating art or music. And that’s going to do it. I’m doing that and I’m sure you are too. We’re trying to cover the Earth with music. And the power of music will heal the Earth. And we should concentrate on that rather than saying ‘What are we going to do with that guy?’ We don’t want to know about that.”

While I’m not 100% sure covering the world with music is the answer, I love this sentiment and I think there is a lot of truth to her take on the war industry and the peace industry. I’d rather just be and since I love music, I can simply do that. Everything is so much better when I’m completely music focused. Since I stopped paying attention to the war stuff, things are much better for me. I now understand the concept ‘what you resist persists, grows stronger, and dominates your life” from Ariel and Shya Kane. I think the peace industry is really the “resist war industry” and is just unknowingly helping keep it around and in our focus more.

Somewhere else in the interview she talks about attending a Japanese school called Judaku. She said she had an assignment to listen to all the sounds in the city that day and transpose it into musical notes. I often hear music in strange places, like rain, the bus, etc. during jazzfest or when I'm going to a particulary large amount of shows during a period. It's been happening a lot lately. So, I think the Earth is already covered with music we just need to learn how to listen better.

Brad Sheppick Trio @ The Stone 10/21/07

I couldn’t stay up for Peck Almond’s Kalimba Project. I really wanted to, and I hope to catch it another time. I didn’t get a nap, and I barely made it through Brad Sheppick’s set at The Stone. It was very good. Just a regular jazz guitar trio, but very good. I’m not sure if I ever saw him before. I think I was kind of drained though and had the music been more up, like Calvin Weston’s the night before, I probably could have stayed. It was very nice and a good opener for an evening.

Brad Sheppick Trio
Brad Sheppick (guitar) Gary Versace (organ) Mark Ferber (drums)
Brad Sheppick's long standing trio and a NYC mainstay.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sat 10/20/07

I went to a play my friend is in for the matinee, Scarcity at The Atlantic Theater. I think that was the last weekend for it. It was pretty good. There was some really nice music before each scene. I see from the Playbill it was composed by Jason Mills, who also performs with a 5-piece Afro-Brazilian soul band Beetroot. I'm going to have to check them out sometime.

Because of the play, I was late getting my nap. I didn't wake up in time to make it to Charlie Burnham's set at The Stone. Oh well. I did make it to Calvin Weston's and it was wonderful.

G Calvin Weston and the Nassira Project
G Calvin Weston (drums, trumpet, vocals) Tom Spiker (guitar, bass) Brian Marsala (keyboards)

Brian Marsala had lots of different percussion and keyboard instruments including some kind of middle eastern type thing that sounded amazing. He also played a little fisher price electronic keyboard. These guys know how to improvise. It seemed to have a little more structure than Mad Cow. It got grooving at times. Kind of reminded me of Burnt Sugar, but with a little less structure.

Then I went up to Jazz Standard for the late set of Omar Sosa. That was excellent. A very nice way to end that evening. The bass player was great. It was also nice to have so much percussion coming out of 3 guys. Nice latin influence in there. I bought a couple of cds I'll have to lislten to tomorrow after I listen to Marco's.

Friday 10/19

What a nice weekend! I'm really enjoying Bernstein's curating at The Stone. He was late for the first show on Friday, and I was a little worried. Turns out he had a lot of trouble with parking. He said this week is the first he's played in downtown Manhattan in 6.5 months. Hopefully this woke him up to get back more often. I'm sure no Tonic has something to do with it. I really miss that place.

I wasn't too worried when he was late to the first show because I could have seen any of them do a solo show. I do think Steven made a big difference when he finally made it, though. It was a very nice way to start off the evening.

Michael Blake's Hellbent
Michael Blake (tenor saxophone) Steven Bernstein (trumpet, slide trumpet) Marcus Rojas (tuba) Calvin Weston (drums)

Sexmob with Calvin Weston was absolutely fantastic. It was so nice to see them in a such a tiny venue. It was packed and toward the end, it was almost impossible for me to stay in my seat. It was just amazing from start to finish and definitely the highlight of the weekend for me. I still have Shanir's set the other night as my fav of the curation, though.

On to Joe's Pub for a great Marco show. I really like the drummer, Andrew Barr. I had to stand and dance in the back after sitting so much earlier. Joe's Pub does get to be a little too much at those SRO shows, but it was still excellent. I love it when he has a nice piano to play. It was really great from start to finish.

I needed more, more, more so I headed to Blue Note for a little of Pyeng Threadgill's show. It was pretty good. She had a percussionist that night. No Dana Leong, but the bass player was great. The trumpet was also playing some percussion from time to time. I left after she started playing the keyboard. It just didn't cut it after Marco and I saw no resason for her to even go there. She kind of drowned out everyone else just to hit a cord or something. Up until then, the music was pretty good and it got very boring once she sat down. Luckily, I got about 35 minutes before then, and that's all I really needed to cap off the evening.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Thurs 10/18 @ The Stone

It was a nice soulful night at The Stone last night. I had never seen Paul Shapiro before. It was so nice and intimate to get the intro at The Stone and it being their first ever acoustic show. I bet electric is also quite awesome. It was also awesome how he told us about every song and where it came from and what his intentions were. I got a little deeper insight into Jewish culture and rituals in the process. The first song sounded very latin, but it was a jewish song. I found that very interesting. There were a couple of songs where the theme was about the 3 religions of Abraham coming together and the drums on both of those were really nice. Kind of reminded me of George of the Jungle. They have 2 CDs on Tzadik and I wanted to get the 2nd one, but it was hot and no one was manning the store on my way out, so I decided to put it off. I wish I could remember the name of the other sax, Peter Apfelbaum didn’t make this show. There was one song where Shapiro was playing a straight soprano sax and the other guy was playing a curved soprano sax. I was trying to listen for differences in the sound, but since they were both playing different tones I couldn’t tell. I guess the curved soprano sax is what that guy was playing around jazzfest 2003 late night circuit. I remember he blew me away at Critters Vidocovich at Howlin Wolf and I’ve been wondering about it ever since. That was an amazing show, when we had at least 5 saxes on stage doing amazing things at the same time. Definitely woke something up in me.

Paul Shapiro and Midnight Minyan
Paul Shapiro (tenor saxophone) Peter Apfelbaum (tenor saxophone) Steven Bernstein (trumpet) Brian Mitchell (piano) Booker King (bass) Tony Lewis (drums)
Special all acoustic performance by Tzadik favorites Midnight Minyan.

I did come back for Doug Wamble’s set. That was very nice. Only the 2nd time I saw him and this was the debut of this trio playing together. Very soulful, very good. The last song they had Steven Bernstein up with his slide trumpet playing the most soulful tune of the night. Just a great way to send me to bed. Given this week of great guitar and Shanir’s interesting “acoustic” bass, with the elecronics hooked up and the holes covered by duct tape, I’m noticing the guitar instruments a little more. Wamble had a Gibson with 2 f-holes. It seemed more soulful sounds were coming out of Shanir and Wamble and their instruments were more southern or something. I’ll have to pay more attention and ask around a little more to understand this.

Doug Wamble, Ben Allison and Matt WilsonDoug Wamble (guitar) Ben Allison (bass) Matt Wilson (drums)Marsalis Music recording artist (and original MTO member) Doug Wamble in his first ever collaboration with two of the most critically regarded musicians in NYC today.

Overall a very nice night. I really hope I can get into Sexmob with Calvin Weston tonight. I figure if I could get in for Medeski at 8:02 without a problem there is a good chance. The location and no frills, just music factor seems to keep a lot of people away from one of my favorite all time venues. I can’t wait for the Marco show later. I’m worried about being tired, but I want to see the 1st set at The Stone, too. We’ll see how it all works out, but I may need a nap at some point.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Experience Hendrix

It was well done and better than I expected. I could have done without Buddy Guy’s “Experience Buddy” set, but that’s just because I’ve seen that set enough. It was good and if I had never seen him I would have loved it.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen Kenny Wayne Shepard before. Definitely the highlight. It was great in general to see great guitar players doing Hendrix.

It was also a nice follow-up to the outstanding Shanir show the night before. I’m looking forward to Doug Wamble tonight.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Shanir! Tain!

What a show! What a band! Definitely one of my all time favorite shows. Shanir Blumenkranz's new band, which consists of Ches Smith and Briggan Krauss. There was also one song with special guest Eyal Maoz. At least half the audience was guest list artists, including Zorn himself.
The music was amazing! Very soulful. I guess you could call it American Roots meets Avant Garde. I was just filled up with wonderful feelings the entire set, in awe, really. I wasn't quite expecting it.

After about 4 songs, Shanir told us it was music to die by, and that happened today. I don't know what he was referring to, but I got the feeling he lost someone today. All I can say is I felt very alive after that set.

It reminded me of Doug Wamble's music. Krauss seemed similar to other guises I've seen him in, but Ches and Shanir were different from the super free forms I've often seen them in. Don't get me wrong, it was still avant guard and different, just with a little more structure and familiarity you would find with Sexmob or Wamble. Interesting to have Shanir singing a little as well. I kept thinking this must be the latest trend.

Looking back, I should have checked out the next show of Kinan Azmeh on a whim, but I didn't. I did get the one familiar set that could follow that amazing early show ... TAIN!! I finally found something great at Cachaca: Craig Handy with Kyle Kohler and Jeff "Tain" Watts. It took me a while to find it, so I only got about 1/2 hour of the 2nd set, which started at 11:30. They started with a great improvised groovy piece and then played a couple of songs. I left during the Monk tribute song. It was a very nice way to end the evening and Tain was definitely the highlight for me. I enjoyed Handy as well, and had never seen him before. The keyboard guy was good, I just wasn't in the mood for the organ sounds after being in heaven already earlier in the evening.

Of course I'm going to The Beacon tonight, but I must say there is a part of me that is tempted to skip and go to The Stone instead.

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.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Steven Bernstein!

Curating the rest of the month at The Stone! I'm going to try to make as much as possible. Every set looks awesome and I can't wait. I was so happy when I saw it, and I thought "finally".

Sat 10/13/07

I had trouble getting motivated after my nap, so I waited for late night to get out again. I went down to the Mercury Lounge for the Charlie Hunter Trio. I enjoyed it for about an hour and then got tired of it. I really didn't like the vibe there. I think it was due to being so crowded.

I really want him to get a bass player. I know all the guitar players think it's great to watch him play the 8-string both the guitar and the bass lines. I think he could do a lot more with a bass player, or even use the keyboard for the bass line. I first got this idea when I saw Liberty Ellman Trio, which included Derek Phillips, at 55 Bar. Derek commented they were playing Charlie's cd. The bass player immediately said "he needs a bass player". Derek explained Charlie's thing is to play the bass with the 8-string.

I really love Simon Lott. That was part of what kept me there, and it did get quite funky at times. Erik Deutch was too loud and it was becoming annoying for a lot of people.

I decided to bail for Bowery Poetry Club, even though I heard it was very likely that John Mayer would show up. I had just had enough and wanted to really get down. I was also curious what it was like over there. I got there in time for the Sam Kinninger Band. The only problem was that Sam didn't make it. No one knows where he was, but it was unusual for him to miss a gig. I did still enjoy the set, even though you could tell something was missing. I stuck around for the 1st song of the jam, around 3am, but then ran out of wind, so I decided to call it a night.

Fri was definitely the great night of the weekend. I do think I should go up to Jazz Standard and catch some Ben Allison to end the weekend. Hopefully I'll make it.

Thelonious Monk

Would have turned 90 last week. There were lots of tributes. I made it to the marathon at the Winter Garden in WFC for a good portion of it. They had several great pianists play for 15 minutes each. See the listing and description below. They plan on doing this every year for the next 10 years. I really enjoyed it. I was there from about 6:15-9:30. I saw Cedar Walton and Randy Weston and a whole lot more. It was a beautiful evening. I started wondering more about Monk, so I did some googling:
Wednesday, October 10
Winter Garden
Characterized by his unique improvisational style and elaborate compositions, Thelonious Monk is regarded as one of the most prolific innovators of the jazz idiom and one of the founders of bebop. This mini-marathon brings several illustrious master pianists, including Geri Allen, Cedar Walton, Frank Kimbrough, Luis Perdomo, Rodney Kendrick, Helio Alves, Aaron Goldberg, Dan Tepfer, Juan Jose Chuquisengo, Aaron Diehl, Ran Jia, Joel Fan, Martha Manchena, Deidre Rodman, Erno Feher, Joanne Brackeen, Alon Yavnai to pay tribute to the man that penned such classics as ‘Round Midnight’ and ‘Monk’s Mood.’

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Last Night: Fri 10/12

I first went to Parkside Lounge for Afroskull's 10th reunion. They were a little late coming on because 2 saxes, 2/3 of the horn section were late. They had to start without them. Luckily the baritone sax showed up just as they started. It was a bass, guitar, keyboards, drums, awesome bongo/percussionist, trumpet, and the baritone sax. The percussionist is definitely really good and makes it worth going. However, I kept thinking something was missing. I realized what it was when they finally brought up Dan, the last bass player they had, and it went to a whole new level. I wonder what happened to Dan. I used to think it was his band. Dan sat in for 2 songs and then they were going to do 2 more to end the show. I knew I couldn't take the old bass player (or is the new bass, since Dan was the old?), so I ran out to catch the show at Highline. I was the only one dancing at Afroskull, which was disappointing, since it was the kind of thing you dance to.

I got to Highline ballroom in the middle of Chicago Afrobeat Orchestra's set. They were great. I was immediately sorry I didn't go to the whole show. I missed Brooklyn Qawwali Party even though I could tell from the video sample on-line that I would like them. I'll just have to check them out another time.

The Budos Band was phenomenal! I hope they make it over here more often. I think they blow Sharon Jones away. They are actually from Statan Island, not Brooklyn like we all thought.

One thing I realized last night is the baritone sax can be an important part of the funk. At least the aftrobeat influenced funk. Sparked me to do a little googling:

Friday, October 12, 2007


I am intrigued to see Brooklyn Kwali Orchestra at Highline, but it's supposed to start at 7:30 and I'm not motivated yet to get out there. I think I'm going to head down to Parkside Lounge for some of Afroskull's 10 year annivesary gig and then possibly up to Highline for some of Chcago Afrobeat Orchestra and then Budos Band..

Other options include Cornelia St. Cafe and Jazz Gallery. If I don't make Jazz Gallery tonight, I have to try to fit it in tomorrow night. I do want to hit Bowery Poetry Club, though, but I am concerned it's going to be too crowded.

Tonight's options:

Tomorrow night's options:

Last Weekend

I had a nice weekend, starting with Thurs night. I went to Jazz Standard for the Dafnis Prieto Absolute Quintet. It was excellent afro-cuban with a great groove. Thurs night consisted of Yosvany Terry, Dana Leong, Christian Howes, Jason Lindner, and Dafinis Prieto. It was really great and I knew Id have to come back for the Sextet later in the week.

Fri night I went with some work friends to Brighton Beach for the Russian experience. Its an all night drinking, eating, dancing extravaganza. We had a couple of Russian friends with us, so we got some cultural information. There were tons of appetizers on the table, waiting for us to arrive at 8:30. As soon as we got there, a team of waiters descended uncovering the food, taking our bottles of wine to open, etc. One bottle of cheap vodka was included, and some of our party sank to that level after they finished off the 2 we brought. After about an hour of jazz and lots of gorging on delicious apps, it was about time for the show. It was interesting. The best part was the fire dancing with bare feet. The show was kind of fun, but nothing that great. The jazz was ok. I was disappointed when the dance music started because there was only a drummer, sax, and singers, that played in conjunction with the Euro Techno music. Not my thing. After several hours, I was completely sick of it and made a big deal about how I need some soul. Still, it was a fun night and quite an experience. Id like to try it again sometime, but with the authentic live music.

Sat was a hangover day. I finally emerged feeling better at around 6pm. I went and got a ticket to Las Rubias Norte at Joes Pub 9:30. That was pretty good. I was kind of up for something mellow and I enjoyed it. They are a pan-latin group who does other peoples music in an effort to expore latin music and to bring awareness to it. Then, back to Jazz Standard for the sextet: Avishai Cohen, Yosvany Terry, Peter Apfelbaum, Manuel Valera, Yunior Terry, Dafnis Prieto. Really excellent! I enjoyed that even more than Thurs, which was awesome!

Sun night I went to the Brecht Forum for Steve Coleman and 2 other horns. It was excellent, but was wearing me out after a while. He's composing a piece for the American Composer's orchestra at Zankel Hall later this month and he and the other 2 horns are going to improvise on top of it. Sounds like another ploy for the concert halls to get the downtown crowd.

After that, I caught the 2nd set of Stacy Dillard at Cachaca. I loved it. It gave me back all the energy I lost toward the 2nd half of Coleman's 1.5 hour set.