Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Gov't Mule @ Hammerstein 12/30/08

I was actually not thrilled at the thought of Mule at Hammerstein, without Andy Hess. I did want to go to Angel Orsanz, but I didn't even make it down early enough to try to get a ticket out front those nights. So, I guess I didn't want to go that badly. I was also in a disagreement about no Andy Hess. I'm also not a fan of Hammerstein. I don't think I've been there since that last MMW Halloween show.

So, I went a little late last night. I got there at around 10pm and Ivan and Marc Quinones were on. Looking at the setlist from Hidden Track, provided below, it must have been Spanish Moon.

Now, one thing I've learned from hanging out with The Kanes is that you can't be present when you are disagreeing with the way your life is showing up. I was in such a disagreement about the venue and the bass player, I couldn't get into it. I didn't want to check my big coat, so I held it. I didn't want to move up front with my big old coat, so I stayed in the back. In spite of all that, I could tell the bass player fit right in and that the music was good. I also had fun socializing in the back because I kept seeing people I know back there.

Then, I decided to check my coat and they said it was too late and told me not to leave it lying around or "they" (someone at the establishment) might take it and throw it away. I went back up and hung out in the way back socializing and trying not to leave. I then ran into my very dear old friends who I often only see at Mule shows these days. It just hit set break and we moved up closer together.

It was so much better up close, in a better state of mind. I got completely lost in the 2nd set and realized regardless of how I feel about Andy Hess, he's not there and I should just listen to the band that's up there. I got really into it and love the bass player, Jorgen Carlsson. He's awesome. They're all awesome.

After the encore, Warren said something like they are going to take a break, see you tomorrow night. I think tonight is going to be great, and I will have to be there. I have a ticket, but wasn't sure what I wanted to do. The only thing I've consistently known for sure is I will be at The Duo late night.

Set 1: Blind Man In The Dark, Lola Leave Your Light On, Gameface, Towering Fool, She Said, She Said-> Tomorrow Never Knows, Spanish Moon *with Marc Quinones and Ivan Neville*, Into The Mystic *with Marc Quinones*, Kind Of Bird *with Marc Quinones*

Set 2
: Like Flies, I Think You Know What I Mean-> When The Levee Breaks, Time To Confess, Red Clay *dedicated to the memory of Freddie Hubbard with Jimmy Vivino, Jeff Young and Marc Quinones*, Drums *with Marc Quinones*, I’m A Ram, Mule *Who Do You Love Tease*
Encore: Come On Into My Kitchen Intro -> 32/20 Blues *with Jimmy Vivino and Jeff Young*

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Jazz Gallery Reducing Covers for Some 2nd Sets

It looks like Jazz Gallery is offering reduced admission for the 2nd set for selected shows. That's a great idea because the 1st set is often full and sometimes the 2nd set is not.

Robert Rodriguez Trio @ The Zinc Bar 12/29/08

I have off this week, so I could do music after I instantaneously transform at Monday Night Alive. That ends at 9:30, which would have been too late for most of my list of potentials. Then I saw in the regular gig section of AAJ that this was finally my opportunity to see Ron Affif at The Zinc Bar. He plays there every Monday and I've been wanting to go for years. I get to Houston and see it moved. I was surprised because I didn't hear about it. I finally found the announcement posted here.

The new space is nice. It's bigger, so it's not as tight and it's got a much better sound system. It does have a decent vibe, but nothing will match the old space when it comes to vibe. However, I like having the room and the sound and it still looks like they book great music. There's all these nice little tables facing the large stage down in the seated area. There's also a bar in the back with lots of room and some little sitting nooks back there. While I loved the old spot, I didn't go there much in recent years because it was too tight and sometimes hard to get in. This has some room and I love how dark they keep it.

I'm going to assume Ron Affif took the night off. That announcement and the website say he still plays Mon nights, and I forgot to ask. I didn't realize he wasn't there until the Robert Rodriguez Trio came on at midnight. I got there at 11:30 and was thrilled to be able to get and survey the Jan AAJ. Before I read anything, I page through it looking at the club reviews, articles, and especially the ads of what's coming up. I'm psyched because this looks like an especially good issue. I'm also a little bummed I have to miss some really great shows when I go to Costa Rica in Jan, but there's also some great shows for the parts of Jan that I'll be here.

Anyway, the Robert Rodriguez Trio was awesome. I didn't retain the bass player and drummers names, but they were all awesome. I chose to sit at the table way up front, which was a good move. There were lots of loud talkers, I like to think it was due to high tourist season and not so regular, but we will see. That location will probably bring more tourists always. At one point in between songs, the bass player came off the stage and walked around to make a point that people need to shut up and listen. That worked for a while. It wasn't quite so bad after that. I was able to tune the talkers out because I was so close. If there is ever a listening night, it looks like it will be easy to dance by the bar, just behind the seats. For the last tune Robert's brother Michael came up and played trumpet.

It was just some very good straight ahead jazz. I really thought each of them were great and each caught my attention at different points.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Bustle in Your Hedgerow @ The Knit 12/28/08

Wow! That was certainly the best Bustle I've ever seen, or at least that's what's in my memory. I've only seen them about 20-25% of the opportunities I've had, though. I think they've evolved, at least in my head. It was more than just having an awesome tribute band play the great songs and remind me of the albums.

Marco was really stretching it and taking it in new directions. I think they all were, I was just noticing Marco more. All of them together were amazing and I didn't feel like I was at a tribute band show, but seeing a great band who were making some awesome tunes their own. There were some tunes that were played closer to the originals than others, and they didn't stretch it THAT much. I would love for this to develop a little more into something a little more creative. Then, I want them to make a live DVD at Le Poisson Rouge. It just kept coming to me over and over so I had to mention it. I also had an idea of adding Mike D. and Skerik as special guests sometime. There were some parts where I thought the vibes or the tablas would be great. How about at jazzfest latenight at Tips?

Joe Russo definitely gets my MVP award. There were a few times where I wasn't quite into it for whatever reason and all I had to do was put my attention on Russo and I was completely blown away every time.

Given all that, the real part that was worth everything was the Metzger long solo at around 1am. I mean, that goes down as one of my favorite musical times of the year! You had to be there, but it was absolutely phenomenal. I'm going crazy just thinking about it again. I can't even remember it, I'm just getting the feeling back. It was really really amazing. It happened after he was grooving for a while on Marco and I think he got inspired to really kick it up. (note: "grooving" isn't quite the right word, but he was really into listening to Marco for a bit and then whipped out this solo).

Each of them blew me away at many different moments. This is a BAND!

When I got up front for a while toward the end of the 2nd set, I was mesmerized by Driewitz for a bit. He was really fun to watch as well. I think the level of playing is why I want a DVD.

The drum solo was impressive. I was amazed at the power he had when he played the drums with his hands.

If they keep that up, and I get more opportunities, I don't think I'm going to miss them anymore.

Oh - and I enjoyed getting down to Buzz Universe in between sets. I didn't make it in time for their first set. It was a lot of fun.

The whole thing ended around 2. I think the 1st set was about 50 min and the 2nd set was about 90. It was a great way to go out at The Knit. I'd like to think I'll be at the new location at some point, but you never know.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Club d'Elf @ Crash Mansion 12/27/08

I got there at around 11:40 and they were on. They probably just came on because they played until 1:15am. There were only about 40 people there, most of them sitting. That always amazes me because I know many more would enjoy it. I thought maybe people would come after Mule at Angel Orsanz. I think people just don't know they would like it.

It was great as usual. I was getting annoyed with the talkers. Toward the end, Micro thanked the audience for listening and not talking, so I guess it wasn't that much.

I loved it all and never seem to get tired of their material. They do keep introducing new material, though. I love the soulful tune where Rivard sings a few lines. He doesn't sing much, and I always love soulful singing, just not mediocre singing that dominates the music.

I especially enjoyed the last 45 minutes, but it was all great.

Mat Maneri (elec viola), Brahim Fribgane (voice,oud & perc), Mike Rivard (bass & sintir) & Dean Johnston (drums)

Improv Night @ The Stone 12/27/08

This was the annual year-end Improv Night and they try to make it a little more special. I keep saying I want to get there early, but again I got there at 9:55 and they were already on and it was already pretty crowded. After about 8 more people, they declared it sold out. It was very hot, but it's only an hour and the music helps me forget the heat and stuffiness.

There were so many people, many of them only appeared once. I just couldn't get going in time for the 8pm show, I'm sure that was great as well. They couldn't do the grand finale with everyone at the end. There wasn't enough room. There were lots of people on the floor up front.

When I got there, Sylvie Courvoissier and a clarinet player were on. It was such a nice pairing of instruments. It sounded great and set a nice tone for the evening.

Next, it was Mark Feldman, Shanir Blumenkranz, a drummer, and then someone got Sylvie to stay up. It was awesome. Later, I heard Zorn refer to the drummer as "Jerry". When I googled "Jerry, drums, Tzadik", I get Gerry Hemmingway, which looks like it might be him.

Then John Zorn, Ikue Mori, and Eyal Maoz come up. Zorn suddenly sees Craig Taborn is about to go downstairs, so he asked him to stay up. I got the feeling he just got there, so he wasn't there for the first set. He curated January, and it looks fabulous. I'll be gone for 2 weeks in the middle, but I have every set I'm in town on my list of potentials. It was a wonderful combination of musicians and I loved the music.

Then I got really excited when I saw Billy Martin come up. He did an incredible duo with an alto I don't know. I was kind of glad to be stuck in the back so I could move a little more than if I was sitting.

Craig Taborn and Okyuung Lee did a beautiful piece. Feldman had set me up to be in "string mode" earlier, so I was so glad to get some more.

The next piece was by far my very favorite: Billy Martin, Ikue Mori, Cyro Baptista, and Chikako Iwahori, the Tap Dancer in Beat the Donkey. Cyro played the barimbau
, and I remembered that I've seen him play it a number of times. I noticed it more the other night at the Billy Martin solo, probably because he had more energy on it since it was so new for him. For this piece, Billy was on the kit, but still played some percussion and Cyro did his percussion thing standing next to Billy. Chikako was standing back by Ikue for a while and then danced sitting in a chair for a bit. She got up again toward the end. It was a tight space.

It was 10:56, and Zorn came up with some people and said "all right, one more". It was Gerry's idea. It was Zorn, Gerry, Sylvie, and Shanir. A very nice way to go out for the last Improv Night of the year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Pamelia Kurstin @ The Stone 12/23/08

I'm still very curious about the theremin, so I ended up at this 2nd set. I'm not sure if she did something different 1st set as she was excited in the middle and said it was her first time playing with the laptop/keyboard player and the drummer. I'm sorry I didn't get their names.

She was quite different from the other 2 theremin players I've seen. She was making bass sounds and had lots of pedals and a couple of boxes plugged in as well. This is a good description of what she does from the Theremin World site:

Pamelia is one of the most precise and talented thereminsts on the planet. Her walking bass theremin technique must be seen to be believed! She was featured in the Moog Music Etherwave Pro demo DVD and is touring with the band Barbez. Pamelia is also known for her work using looping pedals to layer multiple theremin parts together to provide her own accompaniment.

In addition to the bass sounds, there was sometimes some sounds that sounded spacey and were probably more what you tend to hear from the theremin. I kept thinking of the old tv show, My Favorite Martian. I found some samples from the soundtrack online, and I don't think it was quite that. That theremin sound was very familiar to some kind of martian tv or movies from around that time, though.

The music was pretty diverse. It would be on the groove side, the quiet side, the punk side, etc. while always being creative. Pamela was very happy to be challenged by playing in something totally new and not doing her same old thing.

They played for about 80 minutes. I really liked the drummer. I do have to admit there were parts where I got a little bored, but I think that was due more to my interests than the actual music itself. For the most part, I enjoyed it.

Mingus Orchestra @ Jazz Standard 12/22/08

I went to the 2nd set. The bassoon was phenomenal, Donny McCaslin on tenor was awesome. They were all awesome. I could have done without the vocals, though. They were apparantly written by Elvis Costello. Why mess with greatness?

Some of the tunes were 50 years old. The first one was dyn-o-mite. The next one made me think of a film or a cartoon. The 3rd tune was conducted by the trombone player while he played, which was interesting.

The one with lots of bassoon was my favorite. He was really great. I don't think I've seen him before, but I'll have to start keeping an eye out.

Mingus Orchestra
Donny McCaslin - tenor & soprano saxophone
David Lee Jones - alto & soprano saxophone, clarinet, flute
Ku-umba Frank Lacy - trombone
Kenny Rampton - trumpet
Michael Rabinowitz - bassoon
John Clark - French horn
Doug Yates - bass clarinet
Jack Wilkins - guitar
Boris Kozlov - bass
Donald Edwards - drums

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christian McBride @ Dizzy's 12/20/08

It was easy to hop on the C train and head up to Dizzy's. I didn't want to miss this and I was running out of time.

It was great. I wasn't the only one dancing, either. There were a few of us, which is a nice rarity. It was getdown music, after all. It was nice to have Ron Blake there. I'm not sure if he was there the last time I saw Christian at the Village Vanguard. He was great.

We even got a quick little medley of the basslines of a bunch of great Old School Funk tunes while Christian was explaining some of the music he was into. I think it was off the cuff because the other guys wanted to join in, but weren't quick enough. He would tell us how they used to listen to this and then play a funky recognizable bassline. Then he would say "or this ..." And play something else and so on. I enjoyed it

Then they did Weather Report's Havana. He explained how Weather Report blended genres and didn't stick to any set thing. That's what his band is trying to accomplish. I'd say they are doing a good job of it, and doing it their own way.

It was a great 3 band Sat night.

Christian McBride Band
Featuring Christian McBride, bass; Geoffrey Keezer, piano; Ron Blake, tenor saxophone; Terreon Gully, drums.

DMG Benefit @ Roulette

I had trouble leaving on time because I got sucked into a movie on HBO. I ended up tearing myself away at a huge part, where 3 big things were happening. Still, I did see the beginning before and eventually I'll catch up with the end, it is HBO after all.

I got to Roulette at 8:40 and they were already on, as I knew they would be. Anything with John Zorn in it tends to start on time or occasionally a few minutes early.

I am so glad I came out for this. It was awesome. Belogenis, Blumenkranz, and Wollesen already have a CD together, Unbroken. The 1st set was them with Zorn sitting in as a special guest. It was awesome. I loved it all. After a while, Zorn sat down and it was just the trio. We also got some great Shanir/Kenny duo time. The bass solo and drum solo were awesome. There was a lot of groove to a lot of it as well. I loved it. It ended at about 9:20.

There were also some great cookies and fruit courtesy of Bruce and Manny.

The next band was The Downtown Horns, Roy Campbell, Daniel Carter, and Sabir Mateen. That's always good. They also had special guest Steve Dalachinsky read some poems. He read one for the new DMG, one for Roy, and one from listening to Daniel. I think there was a 4th for the New Year. That set was approximately 9:40-10:25.

I am sorry I couldn't make it to the benefit at Bowery Poetry Club on 12/17. I had intended to go, but as usual, couldn't get myself to leave the department Holiday Party. I learned so much about jazz from going to Downtown Music Gallery. Even their display window is a wealth of knowledge. I used to go and buy anything that looked interesting from the used CDs. I would also by the new ones when they had plastic around them with one of the artist's names and an exclamation point. I remember when Bruce sold me the new Albert Ayler box set. It was like magic the way he was showing me the contents. There was no way I could leave without that box. Its still one of my favorite things that I own. He told me they sold 100 of them and the company gave them a free one. Now that I know the drill, I can easily understand why it was so popular with their clientele.

Anyway, it was a great night and if you aren't already familiar with DMG, check them out online and at their new location.

Hal Wilner @ The Stone 12/19/08

I didn't know he played anything, I only knew of him as a producer. It makes sense though.

He had a whole arsenal of electronic equipment for his solo performance. Lots of pedals and buttons you push with your foot. He had that whole elaborate setup hooked up to a guitar and a mic embedded in a piccolo trumpet. The drum kit was set up behind him, but he didn't play it at all.

It was great and I was into it the whole time. Jennifer Charles, this month's curator, is opening me up a lot more to electronics. It looks to me like you have to really be in the moment during the performance to play something like that. You can't think too much or it probably wouldn't work out so well. I'm sure there are many possibilities for what would work, though.

We were allowed to stay through for the Medeski solo the next set. I know I would have loved it and thought it special, even though I've experienced some Medeski solos in the past. I just didn't feel like sticking around. I was tired and hungry.


So, I wrote that earlier this weekend and I just checked the listing and see it was supposed to be a few other people and not Hal at all. That was a bad weather night, so the others probably couldn't make it. Now I'm curious what happened with the Medeski show.

Hal Willner's Parade
Yuka Honda (electronics) Sean Lennon (voice, guitar, piano) Trevor
Dunn (bass)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Peter Bernstein group feat. Jimmy Cobb @ Small's 12/18/08

I decided on a plan, Pete Robbins Silent Z at Cornelia St. at 8:30 and then Steven Bernstein at The Stone at 10pm. The only problem was I was off a night for the Cornelia St. gig. I didn't realize it until I got there, at about 8:45ish. I then decided to change gears and go to Small's, still with an idea I might go to The Stone at 10. I got to Small's at 8:55pm and the first band was finishing up. I knew that meant I had no shot at getting to The Stone, but realized that was fine since I was really tired and needed to be alert for work the next day.

I'm happy to report it was a good call. Although, I don't think I could have gone wrong with any of my potentials. As soon as the music started, I realized I was definitely in the mood for some stellar straight-ahead jazz. It was awesome. I wish I caught the names of the bass and piano players because they were great and worthy to be up there with Bernstein and Cobb. I think I've seen Cobb before, but it might have just been he was in the audience at Jazz Standard and didn't sit in. He was great.

I loved the set and I really like Small's. They're pretty laid back and I can dance. The only downside is I stay toward the back so I can dance, and there was some chatter back there. Not a lot, but it always bothers me.

It started at about 9:30 and I decided to leave at 10:20 so I could make my way back to the east side. They do let you stay for as many sets as you want, but I just couldn't do it that night. Another time I would have loved to have stayed for the 2nd set.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Gene Ween Band Tour cancelled

Oh well. I was interested even though I'm not into Ween. I've seen the other 3, Dave Dreiwitz, Scott Metzger and Sir Joe Russo, play together enough to want to see this.

Highline says refunds will be given at the point of sale. They already have someone else scheduled, Pajo. I'm not into singer-songwriters myself and there are too many other great options in the jazz arena tonight, including Dizzy's, Jazz Gallery, Cornelia St., Small's and The Stone. Decisions, decisions.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Diva @ The Stone 12/17/08

All I had written down was Ben Perowsky and Marcus Rojas. I didn’t explore further as I was up for whatever they had to offer. It was awesome. They started a little late, about 10:20 and played til about 11:20. Marcus got there a little late, but before they started. When they came up from the basement, Ben closed the door before Marcus came up. One of his friends in the audience asked about him and we were informed that he didn’t have his mouthpiece. Then we were asked if anyone had a tuba mouthpiece. You never know in a place like The Stone, but there was only a French Horn mouthpiece in the audience, which wouldn’t work. I immediately thought it strange than Marcus wouldn’t play anyway, having seen him be extremely versatile with his instrument. Sure enough, he was on the stage right after that thought, sans mouthpiece, to add great sound to a great ensemble.

They had the lights dimmed very low, and Perowsky was laying on some serious beats for most of the performance. There were many interesting looking electronic apparatuses around. A lot of stuff on top of the piano and one of the drums and just all over the place. Rojas just had a mic, but that didn’t stop him from being interesting. If I had to name it, I would say “avant-techno”, but that’s probably not doing it justice. It was awesome. Lots of chair-bopping going on. I’m surprised I didn’t get up and start really dancing. I wanted to.

The whole thing was awesome. Blume is listed as having a guitar, but he just had a laptop. It was sometimes hard to figure out what sounds were his and what were Rojas. Rojas had his back to us, so we really couldn’t see what he was doing. He was indeed playing that tuba and doing some kind of vocals at times, sometimes through the tuba. He also used the tuba as a percussion instrument at times. I really liked the piano.

It was all somewhat surreal. The weather and the ambiance added to it.

Ben Perowsky (drums)
Danny Blume (guitar)
Glenn Patscha (piano)
Marcus Rojas (tuba)
Diva is a new project led by drummer/composer Ben Perowsky. He will be joined by "Liminal" founder Danny Blume, as well as long time improv associates Glenn Patscha and powerhouse Marcus Rojas for an evening of beats and melodies.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

L'Orchestre de Contrebasses @ The Connelly Theater 12/14/08

I didn't get my Dec AAJ until this weekend. I think I just fully recovered from Thanksgiving. In spite of all the tempting great things going on, nothing was grabbing me and I was going to stay in. I decided to take a quick look in AAJ and that's when I saw this listing.

It wasn't too far from me, so I rushed down there. I got there at 8:30 and only missed the 1st piece. This was awesome! 6 basses playing excellent music. It was also a performance. I can't wait to watch the DVD! I never buy DVDs, but this was a must have.

There's still time to catch this. It plays through 12/21. Go! I might have to go again. It reminded of the big band in Berlin. Probably because they were wearing all black, the music was great, and they were so entertaining.

They kept moving around into different formations. Sometimes they would all 6 play together, sometimes it would be a subset for all or a portion of a piece.

They were also very entertaining. At one point they were simulating driving a car or a boat or a car to a boat. They did a piece where one guy played in the background and 2 guys were dancing around with their basses in the foreground. My favorite was when they all had the basses upside down in front of them, like "bass people", and were playing the strings more like percussion.

It was really excellent. I highly recommend it.

Darcy James Argue's Secret Society @ Jazz Gallery 9/13/08

I was pretty happy after Zeb and didn't really need any more music. I was pretty tired. Still, it was easy to take the L to the E and get over to Jazz Gallery. I'm glad I did. It's not the type of ensemble where seeing it again after only a few weeks makes a difference. They did 2 new pieces as a result of the commission.

Jazz Gallery is going to have a lot of large ensembles in 2009 due to getting a couple of grants to commission them. This was the start. It was a good choice for a start.

I enjoyed the music. I like the new one that features the alto a lot. It was a nice show and I'm glad I didn't bag it like I almost did. I almost turned around while waiting for the E at 8th Ave. I had noticed I blew off the Symphony Space thing the night before by accident and realized I was kind of tired. I'm glad the train then came right away or I might have missed the show.

Michael Attias @ Zebulon 12/13/08

I got there at a little after 9 and they were already on. They played til about 9:40. It was Attias on tenor, Nasheet Waits on drums, Jacob Sacks on keys, and Thomas Morgan on bass. It was great. I was pretty happy with the set. I was also happy to see it there. I like Cornelia St., but I like how there's more room and the setup at Zebulon more.

Billy Martin @ The Stone 12/12/08

I could watch a Billy Martin solo all day and all night. I got there at 8:10 and he started 1 minute after that. I had my standing spot, which was the best vantage spot.

He played the drums a lot. He also had a table setup with lots of congs/gongs On his right. On his left he had a suitcase full of small percussion instruments. He played most of it.

There was an intriguing bow/percussion thing. He said its from Brazil and is called a barimbau. It was really cool and I like the sound of the string and percussion together.

He then mentioned he likes to play this other Brazilian instrument and he breaks out a tambourine. That was great. It looks like it was a pandeiro, from this wikipedia entry.

At one point, he broke out 3 thumb pianos and lined them up to play all 3. They looked exactly the same, but sounded a little different.

He played for an hour and then ended. He realized he hadn't played these 2 interesting African-looking small marimba type things. He said he would so something quick and referred to his son. I'm not sure what the connection was, but I enjoyed the piece.

That was great. I realized the next night I had a ticket for Symphony Space I forgot about, but that was great and I was happy for it. I was too tired for anything else, so that was it.

Cosa Brava + Ceramic Dog + + @ The Knit 12/11/08

I wasn't thinking about how I had to get up early when I strategized that I would go to both the Tap Bar and Main Space shows. It turns out the staff thought paying one cover was sufficient. It was $25, which I think is their highest cover anyway (I think the Tap Bar was $14). There also weren't many people at the Tap Bar show, so it was good to get another body in there.

In other words, I got to see 4 bands last night for $25.

I started in the Tap Bar for Jordan McLean
. He's got a project Fire of Space that sometimes plays Zebulon. I was curious to check him out. The first piece was a solo. He had a trumpet, flugelhorn and a little table full of electronics. Lots of knobs and dials. The trumpet and flugelhorn weren't hooked up to any cords but the mic was. The end piece was a duo with a singer. Then there was 1 more solo. I liked the one with the singer the best. The other 2 were heavy on the electronics and very mellow. I think I just wasn't in the mood for that and would like it more another time.

Ceramic Dog was phenomenal. I always forget just how great they are. I go knowing they're great and I love them, but when they start playing I always get a deeper appreciation. I should have gone to The Stone last week. They mainly did songs from the album, but they felt different. The "live at The Knit on 12/11" version. Phenomenal.

The only downside was it was too short. The set and the encore were probably less than 45 min. Still, it was great.

I went back upstairs to catch some of Organ Nation which was pretty good. Unfortunately, it's difficult to google them, so I can't figure out anything else. There was an organ, drums, baritone sax, and something else, maybe trumpet. It was good for a little setbreak hit.

I was happy to see Zeena Parkins and Carla Kilstedt were in this. And, Zeena didn't have a harp. Someone mentioned he always gets Zeena and Andrea confused. I had never connected the 2. It turns out they are cousins an do look a little alike.

I loved this band and the Middle Eastern type tone. Carla was having problems with her pedals. I had to tear myself away because of the getting up early thing. I'm looking forward to seeing them again. I need a cd and I need to see that again. It was very special and was good for that type of stage. It looks like they just formed in March, so there may not be a cd yet. It also is a good sign that there will likely be more chances to see them again.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy @ LPR 12/9/08

The 1st show was just a warmup to this amazing event. I mean, how can you go wrong with a bunch of great horn players and Nasheet Waits on drums? Answer: you can't. You can't possibly.

What a nice choice of brass instruments as well. Tuba, but not just any tuba, Marcus Rojas has a very unique and interesting approach to the tuba. He even plays it standing up! Luis Bonila is awesome on trombone. Vincent Chancey was first introduced as playing the French Horn, but then Dave Douglass quickly corrected it to just horn. I see the answer in Wikipedia. Interesting.

Anyway, this music was phenomenal. Douglas mentioned Lester Bowie and the old Chicago jazz scene quite a bit. There were some melodies I recognized. The music was new and fresh and just influenced by old stuff. I'm looking forward to catching this again.

Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy
Brass Ecstasy featuring Vincent Chancey, Luis Bonila, Marcus Rojas, Nasheet Waits

Indo-Pak Coalition @ LPR 12/9/08

I got 2 emails from Le Poisson Rouge that day. The first said I could show my ticket for the Brass Ecstacy show and get into this early show for free. The 2nd said I could show my ticket to the 1st show and get into the 2nd for free. But, I had already bought tix for both shows. I ended up selling my ticket for this early show to my friend, so it worked out and I didn't feel gipped. Actually, I wouldn't have felt gipped even if I did pay the whole whopping $35 for both shows.

I really loved the guitar, tablas, alto sax trio. It was great. Rudresh told us there were problems with the tablas due to the weather. That was interesting ... India is pretty hot and its somewhat cold in NYC. I couldn't tell there were any issues. I did think there was something up with the guitar, though. Maybe not, but it seemed there were some additional sounds created by the strings somehow. Still, it was a great set that went from about 7:50-9:10. Then they told us we could stay but asked us to clear the room so they could do a sound-check. We hung out at the other bar while they did that and went back in close to 10.

Indo-Pak Coalition: Rudresh Mahanthappa (alto saxophone), Rez Abbasi (guitars), Dan Weiss (tabla)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Upcoming: Winter Jazzfest 2009

I'm disappointed I'll be away, but at least I can add these people to my list. It's a great way to check out emerging and established great artists. It's one of my favorite events ever.

Aaron Parks, Ayelet Rose Gottlieb, Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber, By Any Means featuring William Parker, Charles Gayle, Rashied Ali, Claudia Acuna, Dafnis Prieto Sextet, Don Byron's Ivey Divey Trio with Jason Moran and Billy Hart, Gary Bartz - Ommas Keith Project, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, Jason Moran's Bandwagon, Jonathan Batiste Trio, Lafayette Gilchrist Trio, Marco Benevento Trio, Robert Glasper Trio, Sarah Morrow "Elektric Air", Sexmob plays Sexotica, Tar Baby featuring Orrin Evans, JD Allen, Stacy Dillard, Eric Revis, Nasheet Waits, Taylor Ho Bynum, Theo Bleckman with Todd Reynolds String Quartet, Toshi Reagon & BIGLovely, Will Calhoun Group

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Cristian Amigo and Kingdom of Jones @ Yippie Café 12/3/08

Another great RUCMA show! This one was upstairs at the Yippie Café. I like it better than the last time I was upstairs. I think it was because it was so early, still light out, and there were a lot of people talking in the back who weren't there for the show. This time, it felt really good there.

The music was great. They did one long, uninterrupted thing from about 8:10-8:45. It was very funky at times and it got a little psychedelic at times, and was always somewhat experimental. I had no problem dancing to that! Then they did something more bluesy. I think they did one or 2 more and ended up playing for an hour.

It was a lot of fun and the right time as I'm still catching up on my sleep from travelling last weekend.

Cristian Amigo and Kingdom of Jones
Wednesday, December 3 @ 8:00 pm
Yippie Café: 9 Bleecker Street, near Bowery
General Admission: $10 Students and Seniors: $7
Cristian Amigo, electric guitars
Izzi Ramkissoon, bass. laptop
Gonzalo Martinez, drums Rami El Asser, percussion

Wayne Shorter & Imani Winds @ Carnegie Hall 12/2/08

That was awesome. I was surprised it was only about 45-55% full, but there was a lot going on that night. I'm so glad I finally got to see Wayne Shorter. The closest I came before this was that tribute night in Paris. I was especially excited he plays with John Patitucci and Brian Blade. I know they've been playing together a long time, but you never know. Also, Carnegie Hall, and almost anywhere else, is much better than Blue Note, which is where I think Wayne is playing next.

The show last night started with Imani Winds, which consists of a clarinet, bassoon, flute, oboe, and a french horn. Their relationship with Wayne started with a commissioned piece he wrote for them a few years ago. They first did one of the pieces they often do, before they met Wayne. It was nice and kept me engaged. Then they did Wayne's piece, which was also great. This was the its NY debut.

That was it for the opener. I think it went from about 8:10 - 8:30ish.

When Wayne Shorter came out, he got a standing ovation before any note was played. I felt the emotional energy in the room and it was beautiful.

Then they played and it was awesome. That first piece was about 40-45 min long. Then they did a shorter piece, maybe 2, I'm not quite sure. At about 9:15ish they brought back the Imani Winds. They all played an amazing piece called The Three Marias with Wayne on soprano. Now we saw that those winds could play jazz, too. It was awesome to hear all 9 of them together. It was my favorite piece of the night and quite long. They did another, shorter piece together. And that was it. Then there was a short encore with all of them.

The whole thing, start to finish was about 2 hours.

Wayne Shorter Quartet
·· Wayne Shorter, Saxophone
·· Danilo Perez, Piano
·· John Patitucci, Bass
·· Brian Blade, Drums
With Special Guest Imani Winds

Saxophone legend and NEA Jazz Master Wayne Shorter celebrates his 75th Birthday year with a very special evening featuring his new classic quartet, and the wind quintet Imani Winds in the New York premiere of Terra Incognita, Shorter's first-ever commission for classical artists.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Arts for Art Fundraiser

This just in from Art for Art, the Vision Fest/RUCMA people. Even if you don’t want to go, if you want to help to get another venue with stellar music that will help fill the Tonic void, make a donation. It doesn’t have to be large, you won’t miss $10 or $20 and will benefit in the end anyway. You can contribute right here.



We need your help to build a Center for Innovative Arts in the Lower East Side. Come celebrate art and innovation with us at the Arts for Art Gala on December 15 at the Angel Orensanz Foundation, 172 Norfolk Street. Join us for a festive evening of stellar performances and help us launch this project that will enrich the growing arts culture of Downtown Manhattan!

Artists of all ages and disciplines have come together with the local community to create this vibrant place for mentoring the next generation of innovators, performing groundbreaking work and advancing the distinctive heritage of downtown arts. Your support will enable the first crucial step: identifying a building, in the vicinity of the Bowery, as a permanent home for the Center.

Arts for Arts has received a $100,000 Capital Reserve Challenge grant from the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust. Help us take best advantage of that generous award; we have until December 31, 2008 to do so. If you can't join us at the Gala, please consider a donation at

Now more than ever, nurturing imagination and inspiration in New York City is a vital necessity!

Patricia Parker
Executive Director, Arts for Art, Inc.

Arts for Art, Inc. cordially invites you to a Gala Fundraiser to create the Innovative Arts Center A Place for Innovation in Music, Arts and Thinking

Monday, December 15, 2008
Dinner & Open Bar: 7:30pm - 9:30pm
Performances: 9:30pm - 11:00pm
Attire: Festive

The Angel Orensanz Foundation
172 Norfolk Street
New York, NY, 10002

Margaret Richardson, Obama Transition Team
Marc Lambert, Puffin Foundation
Patricia Nicholson-Parker, Arts For Art, Inc.

Performances by:
Yerba Buena
William Parker's Inside Songs Of Curtis Mayfield
Citizen Cope
Burnt Sugar & Surprise Guests

Host Committee:
Willie Mack
Salman Rushdie
Serge Becker
Tenzin Wild
Simon Hammerstein
Ben Pundole
Josh Lucas

Art For Art Board Members
Lupe Ramos
Happy Massee

Tables start at $2000.
Individual tickets start at $250.
Special Friends & Artists Price $150.
Price for Performance only: $50.
Students & Seniors $35.
Special Performances: 9:30pm - 11:00pm

Please RSVP Todd at:

For more information please email us at
or call us at 212.254.5420

Tickets available through BROWN PAPER TICKETS

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Upcoming: Big Jazz Night @ The Knit 12/2

I'm looking forward to the big Search & Restore final night at The Knit. This is by no means the final night for Search & Restore or The Knit, but it is for that combo. Its 6 phenomenal bands with staggered overlapping sets between the Tap Bar and Main Space, 12/2, 8:30-12. Its also cheap and they hand-stamp. Even if you are going to some of the other phenomenal gigs that night, its worth ducking in and out of there for any gaps in the rest of your schedule.

Here's the schedule:

Search & Restore: Jazz In New York presents...

The FINAL NIGHT of Jazz and Improvised Music at the Knitting Factory!!
2 stages, 6 ensembles, 40 musicians!!!

The Knitting Factory is closing the doors of its TriBeCa location at the top of the new year, and planning to move to Williamsburg at some undisclosed time in the future.

On Tuesday, December 2, we'll pay tribute to the legacy of Downtown improvised music associated with the Knit, with a special showcase featuring literally tens of New York's finest musicians.

Each ensemble will perform for 1 hour, with overlapping sets between the Knit's Main Space (upstairs) and the Tap Bar (downstairs):

ANDREW D'ANGELO / CURTIS HASSELBRING BIG BAND 9pm Main Space(with Tony Barba, Josh Sinton, Elizabeth Schenck, Josh Roseman, Ryan Snow, Eric Biondo, Nate Wooley, Jacob Wick, Jonathan Goldberger, Chris Lightcap, Jim Black)

PETE ROBBINS' SILENT Z 9:30pm Tap Bar(with Jesse Neumann, Mike Gamble, Eivind Opsvik, Ted Poor)

STEVEN BERNSTEIN'S MILLENNIAL TERRITORY ORCHESTRA 10pm Main Space(NYC CD Release Tour with Clark Gayton, Charlie Burnham, Doug Wieselman, Peter Apfelbaum, Erik Lawrence, Matt Munisteri, Ben Allison, Kenny Wollesen)

JAMES CARNEY GROUP 10:30pm Tap Bar(with Josh Roseman, Chris Lightcap, Ted Poor)

TODD SICKAFOOSE'S BLOOD ORANGE 11pm Main Space(with Jenny Scheinman, John Ellis, Alan Ferber, Mike Gamble, Michael Chorney, Allison Miller)

8 PM doors, All Ages$15, $12 students

The Knitting Factory
74 Leonard St
TriBeCa, Manhattan

Aethereal Bace and Drew Gress’ Jagged Sky @ Tap Bar 11/25/08

For my last show before the holiday I went to the Search and Restore gig at The Knit. This Tap Bar show was the only thing going on over there. There were many other options, but Nasheet Waits in one band and Kenny Wollensen in another and the inexpensiveness of it all made this the one for me.

I got there at around 8:40 and Aethereal Bace was already on. The probably came on at 8:30 because they ended at 9:30, so I got a good set. I really love this band consisting of 2 drummers and a sax. This is one of my current favorites. They were just as awesome as the last time I saw them.

I was also reflecting how the 1st time I noticed Nasheet Waits was at a winter Jazzfest at The Knit. Ever since then, I seek him out and get to as many of his gigs as I can. I'm a little surprised to see it was actually Aethereal Bace at the 2008 Winter Jazzfest - I didn't even know! Yup, my new favorite band and one of my favorite drummers. Its a good choice because he's involved in many different projects. (OOOH YEAH - I just saw that Winter Jazzfest will be at 3 West Village venues, including Le Poisson Rouge this year. I'll just let it go that on eof them is Sullivan Hall, it's not so bad anymore since I went there 3 nights in a row).

The next band was quite special. They haven't played together for 10 years. Drew Gress, Kenny Wollensen, Ben Monder, and Dave Binney. Hopefully, this is the start of them playing at least every now and then. They were awesome. The Tap Bar always brings loud drinkers back by the bar, its just the way it is. To get away from the chatter, I had to go sit down in the front row. Thank you loudmouths! It was really nice up there. They have a lot of seats out there for the Search & Restore shows. Before I had been dancing in the space between the sound guy and the seats, which technically was the aisle. Fortunately, it was just me or they might have made me move if more followed.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Parkins/Waterman/Watson /Smith @ The Stone 11/23/08

I was a little afraid when I saw the bagpipes and realized I didn't have earplugs with me. I saw them last minute and I was pretty interested to see this, so I decided to stay and give it a chance.

I'm glad I did. It turns out there ARE ways to make bagpipes quieter, Watson had various corks and stoppers and even a plastic cup. He did get loud at times, and so did everyone else. I never thought it was painfully loud, like that last time I saw bagpipes at The Stone.

This show was awesome. I was front and center, with a very direct view to Waterman. I found my main attention was mainly on him, with just some peripheral attention on the amazingness of everyone else. It was so interesting to watch him. He was making a lot of noise with the cello and various pedals. All kinds of interesting things, like blowing into the F-Holes and numerous other ways of playing this very old instrument.

Now, I was focused on each of the others at various times, Waterman just took up more of my attention time-wise.

This was the first time I noticed Ches's extra large, extra-flat silver cymbal. I feel like it is probably usually there, I just didn’t register it. He gave it a lot of attention during one part of the 1st long, very intense piece.

There were a couple of points where Andrea reminded me of Skerik when she was playing the accordion. She had a lot of pedals and one made similar sounds to what Skerik sometimes does in Garage a Trois. She also blew me away at one point with this sound that I can’t describe, but it was very low, somewhat like a bass, but also very different. She was mainly on the laptop with electronics adjunct and that was quite interesting.

After the long amazing, very intense piece, they decided to do one more short and delicate piece. The bagpipes started it off. He had all the pipes stopped up and it was very interesting to see that it mainly was an air sound. He eventually had some off, some on and I was very intrigued with him.

I’m glad I made it to that. These 2 weeks curated by Jennifer Charles are very interesting.

Andrea Parkins
Andrea Parkins (laptop, electric accordion) Alex Waterman (cello) David Watson (bagpipes, electronics) Ches Smith (drums, percussion)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Jacofest @ Iridium 11/21/08

Iridium is doing 4 nights of Jacofest, which celebrates Jaco Pastorius, one of the greatest bassists of all time. This was put together by Kenwood Dennard, who plays drums and keyboards. It looks like each set would be very different. Many people on Fri stayed over at Iridium from the first set for an additional $10 minimum.

There were a lot of people up there. In addition to Dennard, there was an Indian singer, Falu, Delmar Brown on synthesizer, pianos, keyboard that you strap on, etc., Lew Soloff on trumpet, David Gilmore on guitar, Matt Garrison on bass, Miles Evans on trumpet (Soloff referred to him as "the shredder"), Alex Foster and Butch Thomas on sax, and David Bargeron on trombone and tuba. There was another bassist up there as well.

Kenwood told us he put words to some of the songs. Being anti-singer, I wasn't too thrilled with that. If it didn't have vocals before, it certainly doesn't need them now. But, Falu sounded good singing with them, she has a nice voice. I didn't like it when Kenwood sang, I doubt he's really a singer. It wasn't as annoying as it often is for me, because we had plenty of great musicians up there and very little singing in general.

After the first piece, which was pretty grooving, it got more grooving. I had to get up and dance for a while, over by the wait station, but not in anyone's way. I was so very glad I did get up because at some point Delmar came out and played in the crowd with his keyboard. I really don't like that, so I'm glad I wasn't down there for it. That was also the only time he did it, during that period I was up in the back dancing. Whew.

Then, everyone leaves the stage and they announce Charnet Moffett is coming out to play the Star Spangled Banner. Yeah!!!! I really wanted to see him, and I got to! He did not disappoint. He did a duo with Kenwood. This was the experimental portion of the show and it was awesome. Charnet didn't want to leave and I was certainly happy about that. After a very long jam, Bargeron came back up and played tuba with them and it was awesome. Then the tenor came back up. They did something else. Charnet realized he had to give up his spot back to Garrison, so he did.

Then Bergeron did something on trombone with his daughter on flute. It was great. It was still pretty grooving even though it wasn't as intense.

Then they added T.M. Stephens to the mix, who was very P-funky. He also had a great singing voice. That's when we started P-Funking It Up. TM had us all up dancing, which I was very happy about. I didn't have to move.

Next, the core large band did something great, more rockish I think.

Then, David Gilmore has to leave, it's after 12 now. Charnet wants to play and everyone helps him get up there because we all want Charnet to play, especially the bandmates. It did take a while every time to change bassists for some reason. There was always an issue with getting sound.

While Charnet was getting plugged in they did a quick great thing. Right before that, they were told they had to wrap it up and make it quick. I'm happy to say they didn't listen all that well.

They finished up with Havana.

It was an awesome 1.5 hour Fest. Now I know why they were calling it Jaco"fest" and not "tribute show" or something. I also want to mention I love what Matt Garrison was doing playing the arm of his bass. He is very talented as was everyone up there. Oh, and Charnet knew Jaco when he was 14 and they used to play basketball together. He said Jaco was one of the nicest people ever.

As a disclaimer, I'm a little mixed up and really don't remember exactly how it went down. That's the jist of it, but I'm sure I'm forgetting things.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Improv Night @ The Stone 11/21/08

I went to the 1st set. I knew it was going to be heavy on the electronics, and that I might not be that into it. Still, I was interested to see people I never heard of.

It started at maybe 8:05ish. Okkyung Lee asked Mattin who he wanted to play with besides her for the 1st piece. He decided to go with Carlos Giffoni because he's familiar with him. I found I had trouble appreciating Mattin's electronics. I think its just something I'm not ready for yet. Carlos was a little more to my liking, but the laptop was a little too intrusive for me. It reminded me of something going wrong with the tv and having to turn it off because the foreign sounds are too intrusive. The piece did get more enjoyable for me a little later. I enjoyed Okkyung throughout the piece.

Next was a trumpet duo with Nate Wooley and Thomas Heberer. That was awesome. I'm interested in the difference in their trumpets and whether Thomas had an extra valve. I now see he was playing a quarter tone trumpet. Nate was playing a regular trumpet, so I could get an idea of the differences. Of course, they both play them in unique and atypical ways, so I just got a little flavor of the differences. I think Nate had a different trumpet for the grand finale,and it looked more like the quarter tone trumpet, but I'm not sure.

I loved the next one. I think it was all-Jewish because Zorn made Cyro come up because he had a qualifying nose. It might have been all the Jewish musicians up there and the music had a Jewish flair. Brian Chase was on drums and Shanir Blumenkranz was on bass. There was also a male vocalist. This one was especially great and probably the shortest.

Then came the 2 trumpets, Chase on drums, and Carlos. I liked that. It gave me a chance to distinguish between Carlos and the Mattin from the 1st piece. The drummer also started playing electonics in the middle of the piece. He abandoned the kit after that.

The pieces were longer than last week, and they started a few minutes late. Therefore, it was time for the grand finale already. Everyone except the vocalist for 10 minutes. That was awesome and took a different route than the earlier electronic pieces. Cyro, Shanir, and Zorn made it work better. I think I just needed more instruments than in the 1st piece.

It was fun and different. I'm probably a babystep closer to appreciating the electronics more in the future.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Annie Gosfield Trio @ The Stone 11/20/08

This was great! I had no idea what to expect, but I definitely didn't expect this! It was great, completely different and new music.

I've seen Annie around at shows, but I don't think I've ever seen her play. I don't think I've seen Roger Kleier either. You probably know I can't enough of Ches Smith. I also have found that anyone he plays with is worthy of high accolades. I would love to go to the 10pm set, which must be starting around now, Oscar Noriega, Ches Smith and Mary Halverson. But, I don't think I can stay up late given my late night last night. So, I opted for the early set with people I'm less familiar with.

It started out improvised, pretty out there music. It wasn't until late in the piece that Ches started playing the drums at all. He was playing the cymbals and the congs and some interesting things out of his stash. Everyone started off a little wierd, meaning atypical, but brilliant. They also meshed very well together. It sounded great and I was glad to be there.

Annie definitely has her own electronic/keyboard thing going on. It's quite different from what anyone else is doing and really great. Roger has some interesting ways of playing the guitar, which in iteself is a little different. I keep thinking I must have seen him before because the stickers on his guitar case look familiar. I just can't remember.

I think it was just one improvised piece. The 2nd piece might have been as well. That started out mellow and then became really rocking. Ches got into this amazing groove that hooked me right in. The whole thing reminded me a little of that 60's style avant-garde way of jamming with a sax trio that I still see a lot. But, it was also way different than that, much more unique. I was getting more and more happy I came.

The next 3 (I think it was 3) were compositions by Annie and they were phenomenal. Even though there were only about 6 paying customers, I didn't want to get up and dance, but I sure felt like it. I now need to look into her CDs.

I'm so glad I went and I'm so glad to discover something completely different.

Annie Gosfield Trio
Annie Gosfield (keyboards) Ches Smith (drums, percussion) Roger Kleier (electric guitar)

Widespread Panic @ Irving Plaza 11/19/08

I wanted to go, but I didn’t have a ticket. I also didn’t want to waste a lot of energy looking for a ticket. My intuition said “email Scott and I’ll get a ticket”. I emailed him as my one and only try, and sure enough, he had an extra. Yeah! We met at the venue at 7:30 and waited in line for the Will Call tickets. But, there was a problem and they said the tickets were mailed to Scott. There was no doubt, we were going in, we just had to get this resolved. I am very impressed with how relatively quick the resolution was. We had to go back outside and call Live Nation ticketing. They then made sure the tickets weren’t used and got them reissued under will call. Then, the box office girl went downstairs to get the tickets. There was even the wrinkle that there 2 Scott’s with the same last name going to the show. Still, we were in there by around 8:02pm, just when Bill Graham and I think his son were giving the Foundation speech. I just don’t see that happening with TicketMaster.

I was surprised to see they were selling tickets at the box office. Once upstairs, I saw it was oversold, very crowded. Bummer. Still, I got my spot and waited. They were scheduled to come on at 8:15, but it was closer to 8:30. In that time, it got too crowded, even though I was towards the back and I bailed on my spot, which was to the left of the soundboard but not under the balcony ceiling. The sound is terrible under the ceiling. I ended up finding a spot outside the door, where I could hear pretty well, see something, and have a little room to dance. I was enjoying it over there. Occasionally, I would go into the room for a bit, just inside the door, where it sounded even better and I could see a little better.

The 1st set was OK. I was disappointed, but I kept thinking it would get really great the 2nd set. There were a few better points, but they kept bringing it up a notch for a song and then immediately killing the vibe with a downer song right after. None of it was bad, but it also wasn’t that great, except for some of the more up songs. Then, it started turning and getting good. I think it was for the Henry Parsons > Green Onions > Henry Parsons, but I’m not 100% sure. All I remember was I was starting to get blown away by Jimmy at some point around that time. I was getting happy it was finally taking off. Then, it just died for the next song. I took a break. Pigeons and Ain’t Life Grand were better. I also by then found a space up front and it was way better being up there. The space I found wasn’t too crowded or I wouldn’t have been able to take it. I decided to hang out up there for setbreak.

I had a fun setbreak. The people were nice if not a little harsh in some cases. It was the vibe that was doing it to some of them, it was just too crowded and the music hadn’t hit amazing yet (except for that one part of the 1st set). They were doing their best to enjoy themselves and let things be, it was just hard.

It took a long time for them to start the 2nd set. By the time they did, I could only stay up there for a couple of songs due to the crowdedness. However, this was now the show we came to see! It got really good! The whole band seemed to be together on the greatness, but Jimmy and Dave Schools were blowing me away the whole set. The word that kept coming up to describe the set and Schools was “monster”. It was a monster badass set with a monster bass player and a jaw-dropping guitar player.

I had gone back to my spot just outside and inside the door, I was mainly inside. I had to go to the bathroom, but I couldn’t leave that music. I was willing to hold it til the end of the night if I had to. Then, I got a little spot to go. It was still good, but I could tear myself away for a moment. It was long enough to pee and get a drink. It was at a high level at my breaktime, but it went right back to the higher level right after that. It stayed that way til the end.

I noticed people were starting to leave. I was surprised because the show was too good. I guess they’d had enough of the crowd. I knew this meant I would soon be back up front, which I was. I had enough room and it was very nice up there. There was something extra special about seeing them up close on a small stage.

I got even closer up front towards the end of the monster 2nd set that was over 1.5 hours long. I guess it started at a little after 10:30 and went til 12:15ish. The whole thing ended at around 12:40.

If you think of the first set as the opening band, it was an incredible show! I’m so happy I got to be there.

Ah, here’s the info I was looking for:
11.19.08 The Filmore at Irving Plaza New York 8:00 EST
Set 1: (67 mins) (8:35pm) Heroes > Disco > Angels on High , Smokin Factory > Fixin to Die > Henry Parsons > Green Onions > Henry Parsons > Dark Day Program , Pigeons , Ain't Life Grand * (9:42pm)
Set 2: (95 mins) (10:32pm) Space Wrangler , North > Smokestack Lightning >jam > Protein Drink > Sewing Machine, Let's Get the Show on the Road > Airplane > Under Radar Jam > Papa's Home , Holden Oversoul > Conrad (00:07)
Encore: (00:17) Expiration Day , Pilgrims , Goin Out West (0038)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mama Afrika Tribute @ LPR 11/16/08

Ok, so I hadn’t heard of Miriam Makeba until now. That seems to happen a lot. I was either busy studying for 9 years and didn’t get out as much or I stay away from large venues or I just got into jazz in more recent years or something I haven’t thought of. Regardless, I knew this tribute show was the place to be and it would be a good way to find out about Miriam and her greatness. I know she’s great based on the lamentations of her recent passing going around the internet. I also realized this is a good opportunity to see some great people play I may never get to see otherwise.

The ticket/donation was only $20 and the entire proceeds will be donated to the Sauti Yetu: Center for African Women in Miriam’s honor. I think they said it’s for African women in NYC, but I’m not 100% sure.

I got there at just about 8 and it was pretty full. They had the jazz setup, with communal tables and chairs, and this time there were many people standing around the perimeter. I knew I wasn’t going to any African thing and sitting, so I stayed back and didn’t even try to see if there was 1 seat left.

A DJ was spinning while the room continued to fill up. After a while, they started playing music that I assume was Miriam’s, giving me an idea of what she was about. The thing that kept coming up for me was Nina Simone, in her later period. I saw Doug Wamble with Steven Bernstein at Jazz Gallery a while back and they did a Nina Simone song. The way Steven looked when they mentioned it inspired me to run over to J&R the next day and get myself a 3 cd greatest hits type set to explore her music a bit. I preferred the very soulful stuff in her later period the most. That’s what Miriam reminded me of.

It started at around 8:37 with a clip of Miriam on film singing. Then it went on, but the DVD just stopped. It was unclear if they meant to show us more and there was a technical difficulty, or if it was intended to stop there. It was more likely the former as it took a little bit for the next part to start.

There was a lot of very soulful singing, and some great jazz/world/blues type music. It was awesome. I was loving it.

People kept talking about the album and tour “Graceland”. I find out she was really the 1st African woman singer that made it. She touched all of Africa, not just South Africa where she’s from. She came to the US and started playing The Village Vanguard. She also played a lot at The Village Gate. I found that out when they had Art, the old owner of The Village Gate there to speak. I found out from Harry Belefonte how he saw her sing and when he met her he told her she’s awesome, but what we really need is for her to sing African-inspired music, not American jazz. He said he would help her, and he did.

Then, after that, as if it isn’t enough, out comes Paul Simon to do 3 songs and tell us a little about the Graceland tour with Miriam. I was shocked and never thought I’d ever see him, especially in such a small space. That was pretty cool.

Later, Randy Weston came out and blew me away. I don’t think he was playing with his usual trio, but I do think it was one his songs, or something I know anyway. It was phenomenal. I was very into it.

Then, Steve Turre came out and did a shell solo that was great.

I think there was one more jazz number with a bunch of people at about 11:15 or so. I left during that since it was the last tune and I was pretty happy.

I’ve been listening to a few things on youtube of her. I think I’ll have to pick up some recordings for my collection.

It was beautiful to see all the artists she inspired and the tribute was lovely and very tastefully done.

Randy Weston
Blue Nefertiti (Celia of Les Nubians)
Gino Sitson
Wunmi Bakithi & Robbi Khumalo
Francis Mbappe
Jacques Schwarz Bart
Tony Cedras
Jojo Kuo
Loide Jorge
Bill Salter
Leopoldo Fleming

Special Guests:
Remarks by Harry Belafonte & Art D'Lugoff
Plus South African DJ Eddie Ed

Improv Night Part II 11/15/08

I got there at 9:54 and Ikue Mori, Silvie Courvoisier and John Zorn were already into the 1st piece. It was great and I made a mental note to get there earlier on Improv Night (again).

Then we get the incredible Eric Friedlander, Adam Rudolph, Ches Smith and Trevor Dunn. This, of course, speaks for itself.

Then, right after that piece, Zorn comes up and shakes their hands on his way out and says "see you in a bit". Aha, they stared extra extra early so he could play. I have no idea where he had to be. We did get Jim Staley as an add-in for the rest of the night.

Then its Eyal Maoz, Ches Smith, and Trevor Dunn. If I recall, this was pretty experimental.

Next its Ikue, Sylvie, and that lap guitar again. I need to know this guys name. I really like him and I missed his name the 1st set, I was too worried about Friedlander getting a chair for the grand finale, I missed Zorn introducing everyone and no one introduced at the end of this set.

Now we get an Ikue/Staley duo that was great.

Then a great Adam Rudolph, Ches Smith, Trevor Dunn trio. Very nice!

Next, Scott Johnson and Eyal Maoz come up and Scott tells Ches and Trevor they have to stay because there's gonna be some wild guitar playing. You got that right! They rocked it! Or, should I say avant-rocked it! That was killer and these 4 should put something together.

Now, Adam was also offered the opportunity to stay for the last piece and he quickly and politely declined. We heard everyone downstairs give the awesome avant rock band accolades and then Adam say "we now have to do something quiet." I'm happy to say they didn't end up being quiet. Of course they were quieter, and great.

The last piece before the grand finale was with Ches, Staley, Dunn, and Sylvie. That was a nice setup.

Then, the grand finale was amazing. Eric Friedlander was sitting right in the middle of everyone, and he started it off. Oh my! He set the way for something really brilliant to come out. Everyone was feeding off of each other in an amazing way. It was insane.

Improv Night Part I 11/15/08

Note: I wrote this in between sets, which is a good thing or I wouldn’t remember anything.

This was one of my favorites. I must go to the 2nd set.

It started with Sylvie Courvoisier on piano, Ches Smith on drums, Trevor Dunn on bass and John Zorn on sax. Sylvie had the piano all set up, with the balls and whatnot already placed on the strings. It was great, improvised, somewhat "out there" music.

Next was Ikue Mori on laptop, Erik Friedlander on cello and Adam Rudolph on percussion. I want to be able to sit behind Ikue some day. I'm very curious how she does it, and what those sounds are about. I love it. Adam had a table set up with singing bowls, gongs lying flat on the table, some blocks and a few other interesting things. He had a very beautiful small xylophone type thing that I wish I had gone up to get a better look at later. Friedlander is so phenomenal. His playing was very soulful for this piece.

After that was the 3 guitars. I see The Stone lists Scott Johnson, who I must have seen before but can’t remember. There was again that lap guitar player I think is great, but don’t know his name yet. I saw him at a previous Improv Night. They fit very well together.

Next up was a Courvoissier/Friedman duo. Have I ever seen that before??!! Someone should curate that in some time for a whole set. Actually, Zorn had come up with them and then decided last minute they didn't need a sax. I'm sure it would have been great with him, but I'm glad he opted out. It was stellar.

After that was Ches Smith, Trevor Dunn, Eyal Maoz and Scott Johnson. Those guitars really are great together.

Then it was Ikue Mori, Adam Rudolph, John Zorn, and the lap guitar. At one point, Adam had me mesmerized with a repetitive rhythm he had going on with the congs.

Next up was an awesome Friedman/Dunn duo. It started out very "out there" and ended slightly more down to Earth.

Then it was time for the grand finale with all 10 of them. That was phenomenal. It went a littler long because Scott Johnson, Eyal Maoz and Adam Rudolph got into a zone together. Then it was just the Eyal and Scott until Zorn had to tap Eyal to tell him its time to stop.
I can't wait until the next set!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Reuban Wilson @ ReBar

I then got myself to the F train to Dumbo. It's so easy to get there and it's becoming a great area.

I got there at 11:20 and knew it was scheduled 9-12 and it was no cover. I found a dancing spot easily and the music was awesome. They actually ended at 11:30, and I found out they started early. That 10 minutes was so good, it was worth writing about.

It was as good as anything I've ever heard of that style. I felt like I was in NOLA during jazzfest or something. It was more along the 20th Congress, acid jazz style than NOLA funk. This guy Reuban Wilson is excellent. He also found the right people to play with, Cochmea Gastelum on sax, Al Street on guitar, Erick Kalb on drums, Yoshi Takemasa on percussion.

I was the only one really dancing that I could tell, until a couple of friends came over to join me. They were there all night, so were probably dancing somewhere in there at some point.

It was a nice space, exposed brick walls and ceilings and felt pretty nice. It was a shame so many people were talking, but that's what no cover at a local hang gets you. I assume it was kind of last minute, so I doubt they would have gotten that many people otherwise.

This is something everyone who likes this type of music would love to see, but may not know to go. They should do a big night at Highline with them, The Budos Band, Akoya Afrobeat, and a few of those other in the family. I can live without Sharon Jones myself, but I know that could be a big draw.

Bug Music @ Jazz Standard 11/14/08

Yes, I knew this would be great and I had to go. They started with some pieces by John Kirby and then Raymond Scott. I didn't know the names, so I can't distinguish and I now forget a lot of what he said. But Raymond Scott has a lot of music that was used in cartoons.

All of the music was really nice with the clarinet. Don mentioned at one point that Rob DeBellis had all the hard parts. They both did a lot of awesome stuff. It was fun and captivating. They also did some other stuff, like Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies.

Don had a Bang on a Can shirt on and they had a free sampler up front. I'm looking forward to listening to it.

Bug Music: Compositions by Duke Ellington, Raymond Scott, and John Kirby
Don Byron – clarinet
Rob DeBellis – saxophone, flute, clarinet
Ralph Alessi – trumpet
Uri Caine – piano
Mark Helias – bass
Ben Wittman – drums

Anat Fort, Paul Motion, Gary Wang @ Rubin Museum 11/14/08

That was an excellent extra special jazz show. I really love that space. I sat in the 2nd row center. These shows are curated by a guy at the Jazz Museum in Harlem and are jointly done by both museums. The Jazz Museum guy told us the sound gets even better the farther back you sit. I never tried that, but I do like to sit up front so I can see everything and feel closer to the action, if I'm sitting, that is.

The music was excellent and the musicians were excellent. I'm always impressed by Paul Motion. He seems to have a unique style and approach that you don't see anyone else doing. I started wondering how he does it, I think I read somewhere he never practices. Is he improvising while everyone else is reading? Does it sound different every time? I think it probably does, when I read this quote:
“A lot of people,” Motian complains, “ask why I do something, as if there was a lot of forethought behind it. No, man, this shit is an accident. Kenny Clarke didn’t plan on being ‘the father of bebop drums.’ It just happened because the tempo was so fast that all he could do was play accents on the bass drum!”

They also got me very interested in doing the mini tour. Anat chose a painting of Milarepa, who was audoivoyant. The picture shows him with a hand up to his ear. He wrote a lot of songs and there's a story of how he killed 35 people and became a saint. The Rubin Museum guy tried to hook us in with that, but only about 4 of us decided to stick around to see the work and hear the story. I like the little mini-tour, it's quick and I don't know if I'd be that interested in a long tour of the works.

Anyway, they always ask the artists to either compose a piece or improvise with the chosen artwork in mind. Anat sat down to compose for the Milarepa painting and ended up with 3 pieces. They played them all together at the end. They were great and all different.

The set was probably about 75-90 minutes and outstanding.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Jeff "Tain" Watts Vigil for a Friend @ Jazz Gallery 11/13/08

Next I rush down to Jazz Gallery for some Tain. I wanted to see this regardless, but Charnett Moffett definitely motivated me to make sure I saw it. I was a little disappointed when I saw this other guy up at the bass and Tain told us Charnett had a last minute schedule conflict. He also told us we won’t miss him. I can’t remember his name, but I think it was something Smith from Minneapolis. He was very good, but I was still a little disappointed because I don’t get to see Charnett very often.

I did forget who was up there, myself, and everything soon enough. It was great music to get lost in. The vigil was for Kenny Kirkland, who died 10 years ago. They did some of their own songs, some of Kenny’s songs, and ended with a Coltrane song. It went by real quick. After an hour, Yosvany informed Tain it was almost 10:30 (they started around 9:20). He couldn’t believe it. He said let’s do some “Mr. JC”.

I was so happy I forgot I’d been considering going to S.O.B.s for The Budos Band or, if that looked like it was going to start too late, over to The Living Theatre for the RUCMA thing. I was so satisfied with the 2 shows I completely forgot and went home for a good rest.

Jeff "Tain" Watts Vigil for a Friend
Jeff "Tain" Watts - drums,
Yosvany Terry - saxophones/chekere,
David Kikoski - piano,
? - bass

Don Byron plays Mickey Katz @ Jazz Standard 11/13/08

I think I knew at one point, but forgot that the Don Byron 50th Birthday Celebration at Jazz Standard is different every night. I also had no idea who Mickey Katz was. All I knew is there was an amazing lineup of musicians scheduled for last night and I loved the last time I saw a Don Byron thing at Jazz Standard. Plus, I missed the place. I haven’t been there in about a month. Too long.

I was very happy with the music, even though I didn’t get the jokes. Mickey Katz did parodies of English-Yiddish songs. I love that klezmer stuff and with that lineup it was phenomenal. Don was having lots of fun up there. He was also able to get the audience to clap to the music in a not-so-in-your-face-kind-of-way. I never clap because I can’t get in sync with everyone else. But, it is nice when it’s not all over the place.

I love that clarinet,violin, piano playing Yiddish music sound. The trumpet was great in there as well.

Tonight is also a great lineup, doing the music of Duke Ellington and other swing. I have to go to that.

Last night:
Don Byron Plays the Music of Mickey Katz
Don Byron, clarinet
Ralph Alessi, trumpet
JD Parran, saxophones, clarinet
Alan Ferber, trombone
Todd Reynolds, violin
Uri Caine, piano
Kenny Davis, bass
Ben Wittman, drums
Jack Falk, vocal

A re-formation of the groundbreaking and virtuosic klezmer ensemble that recorded Byron’s eponymous Nonesuch album and spearheaded the klezmer revival in the 1990s. Dedicated to the music of the great Mickey Katz, clarinetist, humorist, and musical director for Spike Jones in the fifties and sixties.

Bug Music Sextet
Don Byron, clarinet
Rob DeBellis, saxophones
Ralph Alessi, trumpet
Uri Caine, piano
Mark Helias, bass
Ben Wittman, drums

Named after Byron’s best-selling 1996 album Bug Music, this stellar sextet performs razor-sharp arrangements of works by three great composers of the Swing Era – Duke Ellington, Raymond Scott, and John Kirby.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Susan Tedeschi @ Fillmore 11/12/08

I already had a ticket and since I live close, it seemed silly not to go for a bit. I was just kind of tired and unmotivated, which was the only reasons I considered blowing it off.

I'm glad I went, it was very enjoyable. I got there at 10 and figured I'd stay for 1/2 hour. I was into it enough to stay an hour. There were some dancers, but a lot of people were just standing still. There were various people talking at times, but usually not the buzz of a lot of people conversing at once.

After I put my coat down in a corner, it wasn't that hard to move past the stationary bodies and get a nice spot toward the front. It was good for a while, but then the lights started getting to me. Susan was also having a little trouble with the guitar tuning for some reason. Still, it sounded good, it was just when they started shining the lights on me I got annoyed.

Was it always that way or is this light annoyance I have due to a new way lights are being done in recent years? In the way past, the only time I remembering them bothering me was on the 2nd level at the Spectrum at Dead shows. They used to often shine the lights up there and it was annoying. Other than that, I don't remember ever having a problem.

It all started when NYC went no smoking. For a long time after that, almost every venue had a light front and center, and no one wanted to stand there. It was weird. I remember complaining about it at Tribeca Rock Club, but that didn't help. In more recent years, it's the many light crews that shine them in our faces, often a lot. That's why I was so happy with The Blender Theatre last week, they just had them shining down on the band in nice patterns and it looked good. Le Poisson Rouge is also fine when it comes to lights, I like how dark it is in there.

Anyway, I liked the 1 hour of Susan and I'm very glad I went.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Janus @ The Stone 11/11/08

I went to the 10pm set at The Stone. I had no idea who was on the bill, but I like to be surprised sometimes. I know that the 1st half of this month is full of stuff I’m not familiar with, including the curator, Brad Lubman. I just did a little googling, and I see he’s a composer and music teacher in the new music classical realm.

Janus is an interesting ensemble. It consists of a viola, flute, and harp. It was interesting to check out even though I’m not as into classical. The “new” part made me more interested. It’s interesting that in Germany, most of the listings had jazz/classical listed under one category. This music seemed to be in between those 2 somewhere. I also found it interesting they only played pieces composed by other people. That was different from most new music ensembles. I found out why this morning and here’s the answer:
janus is named after the mythological greek god whose double-faced image looks to the past and to the future. Likewise, janus is dedicated to performing pieces from the past and commissioning new works that they believe will become significant contributions to the trio repertoire. janus likens itself to a museum for modern trio music, showcasing not only the music itself through live performance, but also bringing the composers to the audience through pre-concert talks and interviews. janus is dedicated to bridging the gap that exists between performer, composer and listener.

Now I’m a little more interested. I like the concept of bringing the performer, composer, and listener together more. Ooh, I need to qualify that a bit. I like it sometimes. I hate too much "wave your hands in the air, now clap, now do this dance, now sing", etc. that gets old quick.

Our particpation piece was well done and definitely not too much. The last piece had 4 movements, and for the last one, we listeners were given plastic bags to crumple softly as part of the piece. It sounded good.

My favorite was the first piece, I felt very alive with that one. The 2nd one was a solo alto flute piece with some electronics. That was fascinating because I didn’t realize there was such a thing as an alto flute. Then, we got a viola/harp duo that I enjoyed a lot. There were a couple more I can’t remember. The last one, with the 4 movements had other interesting things going on like playing bottles with drumsticks and having some kind of wood sticks on the floor to hit lightly with their feet while they played their instruments.

It’s always nice to see something different with a whole new concept when it’s played by good musicians.
JanusAmanda Baker (viola) Nuiko Wadden (flute) Beth Meyers (harp)Featuring music by Anna Clyne, Jason Treuting, and Caleb Burhans

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Motown Videos

I just wanted to find out if I'm interested in seeing James Hunter tomorrow. He's opening for Susan Tedeschi. I listened to a few songs on his myspace page. I noticed he has all these blues greats as his friends, so I decided to listen to some of them. Somehow, after a while, I end up on Motown Original's, where they have some videos up. Miles Davis doing "Got to Give It Up" on Soul Train. Stevie Wonder doing a 6.5 minute "Superstition" on Sesame Street. This is good stuff! I couldn't really watch it that much since I'm working, so I'm putting it here to get back to it another time.

Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society @ Bowery Poetry Club 11/9/08

This was excellent! I love the music. It’s very new and different from everything else, but not really out there at all. They played from around 7:45-9:15 or so. It’s great music and I’m impressed with all of them. The solos were excellent, the non-solos were excellent, it's just a great ensemble.

He said they will put up a recording on their website in a couple of days. I recommend checking it out.

Darcy James Argue's
Sunday, Nov. 9
7:30 PM

Ben Kono
Rob Wilkerson
John Ellis
Mark Small
Josh Sinton

Nathan Warner
John Bailey
Laurie Frink
Nadje Noordhuis
Tom Goehring

Alan Ferber
Mike Fahie
James Hirschfeld
Jennifer Wharton

Pete McCann, guitar
Mike Holober, keyboards
Matt Clohesy, contrabass
Jon Wikan, drums & percussion

Composer, Conductor, Ringleader
Darcy James Argue

Monday, November 10, 2008

The New Mastersounds @ Sullivan Hall 11/8&9

So, because I was well-rested on Fri, very happy about the Derek show, I figured I could definitely go to this on Friday. I loved it. I had a great time and thought they were stretching out a little more than previously. They didn’t sound quite so generic. Now, they are a very talented band and their songs are very funky, so they would appeal to many. I loved them the first several times I saw them and still do, I just decided I couldn’t see them too often because it gets old for me. I think I’ve written in past posts about how I get “funked out” these days and I just can’t do the funk shows like I used to.

I think because I was coming off of 2 nights of Derek, and because they are starting to change I could appreciate them more. They had a singer with them and I like her. She definitely didn’t deteriorate the music at all and she fit in very well. She’s got a great voice. Some of it does really well with vocals. She also loves the music, so seems to be having a great time up there even when she’s not singing.

After having such a good time Fri, and being just around the corner at Blue Note on Sat, I had to go. I must say I was a little disappointed that night. They probably sounded a little better, it was just it was the same songs and it sounded kind of generic, formula-driven. I did get into it more towards the end. They told us the night before they would be playing the same songs in different order and playing the solos slightly different. It felt too much like a repeat to me. It was still fun and I definitely got more into it in the last ½ hour. I stayed for 2.5 hours, so it wasn’t like it was bad or anything. It was fun, I just didn’t need 2 nights. Still, I was glad to be there and didn’t feel like I should have stayed at Blue Note for Melvin Sparks.

Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra @ Blue Note 11/8/08

I broke down and went to Blue Note during regular hours. I haven't done that for a few years. Even though they book stuff I want to see, I usually skip it and hope it eventually shows up somewhere else. I decided it was time to see the Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra and it would be a good week to do it.

I used my amex to buy a ticket online. The fees are minimal, and its their own simple system. I bought it at 4pm that day. If I know I'm going, its a good option because when you prepay, you don't lose the reservation. Otherwise, its important to get there early. I also put in my amex code to get preferred seating. I always skipped that step before, if I chose to buy early for a late night show. I was curious what would happen, and it was free. Really, I should have known it was going to be a seat in center row the inside middle section, right on the end near the aisle. I know a lot of people think that's a good seat, but I'm not crazy about it. I prefer to be back by the soundbooth, so I can stand. I was jealous of a couple of people up there who decided to stand so they could see better. I also hate how tight it is in there. It's just wrong. Still, I hate being at the bar even more, in spite of the price difference. It's too far away and hard to see anything.

The music itself was phenomenal and I'm very glad I went. I hadn't paid much attention to who was in it besides Charlie. I was very happy when I saw Steve Cardenas, Bill McHenry, Chris Cheek, and Curtis Fowlkes. I also saw some others I recognized, but didn't know their names. Now I know that anyone in there is a safe bet. These were some amazing musicians. They basically do their own arrangements on political type songs. Experimental, interesting arrangements. I also loved having a french horn in the house. He stood in between the trumpet and the trombone. When he did a solo, I realized I would probably guess it was a trombone if I heard it on a recording. It was all awesome and they played for over an hour, maybe 45-50 minutes or so. That was good and unexpected.

I definitely felt like I got my $'s worth and effort's worth. I don't think I'll make a habit of it, but something like that, which I don't tend to get an opportunity to see anywhere else is worth it.

Charlie Haden, bass/bandleader
Alan Broadbent, piano/conductor
Tony Malaby, tenor sax (Tues-Wed)
Bill McHenry, tenor sax (Thurs-Sun)
Chris Cheek, tenor sax
Loren Stillman, alto sax
Michael Rodriguez, 1st trumpet
Seneca Black, 2nd Trumpet
Curtis Fowlkes, trombone
Vincent Chancey, french horn
Joe Daley, tuba
Steve Cardenas, guitar
Matt Wilson, drums

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Derik -> Eric -> Eric -> Derek

I went to Highline on Thurs for The Derek Trucks Band. I got there around 8:15 or so and Mocean Worker was already on. It was the same lineup as when I saw them at Blue Note. They were excellent and I enjoyed it a lot. I do think I like them more at a smaller venue, though. As the weekend went on, I appreciated them more. I realized how much I preferred them to Chapter 2, the opener on Fri night.

dTb was as excellent as ever. That is definitely a consistently great band. They played 9-11:15. I was getting ready to go home early, which I knew was good so I could be up for the next night. Also, Greg convinced me to go to The New Mastersounds this weekend. He suggested I got Fri because he anticipated I would want to go Sat as well. I thought about it, but if I didn't get enough sleep it might be hard to do. Then, at 11:15, Greg tells me it's expected that Derek will be going to Sullivan Hall that night to sit in with Eric Krasno. Well, I had to go to that.

This was listed as Eric Krasno & Friends, but I found out the next night when they opened for dTb that they are calling themselves Chapter 2. It was Kraz, Nigel, Adam Deitch, and a bass player. I got to Sullivan Hall just before setbreak, at around 12. I heard Ivan and Ian Neville had just walked in, so we were expecting a sit in by them. The 2nd set started around 12:30 and went until 2am. Ian and Ivan sat in for a song after a few songs in. A little later Derek came up to sit in and he was great. It was nice seeing him in a smaller place that wasn't very crowded. It was easy to get up front. It was a funky set overall and I was glad I went and didn't mind having to pay for the lack of sleep the next day.

Then, I forgot to set the alarm. That was nice because it was enough sleep to not feel tired. I was happy because it saved my Fri. I was also more productive at work than if I hadn't slept in, so it was a good thing all the way around.

The next night dTb was at The Blender Theatre. I really like that place. I like how the floor is slanted so the site lines are a little better than other places. I also liked the lighting for dTb. It seemed very professional and I really felt like I was at a top-notch show. They would mainly just shine them down on the band, for the most part they were blue and yellow. I'm getting more sensitive to lights because of Sullivan Hall and Highline shining them in our faces so much. Highline annoyed me a lot the night before when they would turn on the lights and just kill the vibe. I thought the lighting at Blender enhanced the vibe.

So, it was Chapter 2 again opening. There were a couple of funky songs, but there were also a lot of slower songs this set. I got kind of bored and went downstairs to sit down and watch it on the screen. It is definitely a good band, it's just not my preference. I just don't care for Nigel and would prefer an instrumental band. They played from 8:10-9:00.

dTb came on at about 9:25ish. It was awesome and I think it was the same set. I loved seeing it again and even liked Fri night better than Thurs. I think it went until 11:30. I loved it. Towards the end of the set, Krasno and Deitch came out to sit in. Kofi also invited Nigel up. That worked well. Yonrico and Adam took turns on the kit. Krasno sounded awesome with them, as he always does. At Sullivan Hall the night before, Nigel was singing a small part and Derek started a call and response like he often does with Susan. Nigel didn't seem that into it, so it fizzled out after a couple of times. At Blender, it worked and they actually did it. While I'm not crazy about the style of music they do with Nigel, he does have a great voice and the call and response with Derek was awesome.

I also love that dTb chose to do "Get Out My Life". They do it really well.

Derek has been introducing the band for a while now. It was interested that both nights, everyone was introduced with their first and last names, but Todd Smallie, Derek would say very enthusiastically, "Todd the bass player. Todd the bass player!" I will say that Todd had me in awe most of the show. I mean all of them are awesome and together they are truly incredible. But, there were some moments where it was hard to hear anyone else, Todd was so amazing.

I saw someone last night who was at the dTb Halloween show. He said it was phenomenal. I see it's up on Archive.

This was a nice part of my weekend.