Friday, May 30, 2008

Cyro Baptista Banquet of Spirits @ Joe’s Pub 5/29/08

That was an excellent show! It’s actually Cyro’s band, AthropoFagia with a new name. The New Yorker said the quartet “pays tribute to the global reach of the late jazz trumperter Don Cherry and his seventies trio Codona … “

Between the 4 musicians, they had 35-40 instruments on that stage. Brian Marsella had several different keyboards, that African vibe-looking thing, and a few other things, maybe 8-10 instruments. Shanir Blumenkranz had his electric bass, oud, and a sintar. The rest were the 2 percussionists, Cyro Baptista and Tim Keiper, who I think is in all of Cyro’s projects, at least the ones I’ve seen. I bet Don Cherry could play every instrument up there.

It was awesome world music. I also realize that Cyro is one performer who can add his performance pieces right in with the music in such a way that I love. Usually, I get turned off when they switch to humor or other types of performance because I just want the music. But Cyro just incoporates that stuff into the music and it makes it awesome and quite entertaining.

I saw AnthropoFagia at Tonic when this was super new. I think it’s evolved since then as my remembrance is it was more free back then. This was more worldish. It was awesome from start to finish.

I think one of the first times I saw Cyro and Tim was at The Stone during the Don Cherry festival, curated by Adam Rudolph. I think that was Oct 2005, yes it was:
October 1–23, 2005 at the Stone
A Don Cherry Celebration
curated by Adam Rudolph
On the tenth anniversary of the passing of this luminous being, colleagues, collaborators and torchbearers perform Don’s compositions and play new music inspired by his creative spirit.

I went to almost every one of those shows until about 10/15, when I went out of town. It was the first time I even heard of Don Cherry and every night was amazing. There were percussionists every night and people who used to play with Don or learned from people who played with Don. I got a lot of stories about Don in that time. Lot of percussion and it set me further down the path of exploring world music.

Anyway, I’m very happy this quartet exists. I got the CD, and I really like it. They did everything from the CD last night and I hope to get to it again. I do like it live a little more, but the CD is great.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

North Sea Jazz Festival

Here's the Netherlands festival that guy I met at jazzfest was telling me about. It does look awesome. It's going on the list for the future. Maybe next year.

The Latin Jazz Allstars @ Iridium 5/28/08

I was sick all day yesterday. After about 15 hours of sleep, I felt great and was completely over whatever it was. That of course meant I was well-rested with cabin fever and had to get out. I couldn't get to the early shows, so it was down to Iridium or Edmar Castenada at 55 Bar. Since I just saw that, I figured I was about due for Iridium. Also, I seem to be in a Latin pattern lately, so may as well hit it up.

It was great. It was $40, but there were a lot of people on the stage. Steve Turre seemed to be calling the songs, but I think Arturo O'Farrell might have been the leader. They were all excellent. It started with a sitin on bass clarinet. Ray Vega was on trumpet and flugelhorn, there were 2 trombones, piano, timbales, congas, and drum kit. Then, I lucked out that Kenny Garrett was in attendance and sat in for 1.

The drums were all awesome. Everyone was awesome. I loved having piano. I found myself being caught by the bass (Yunior Terry) quite a bit. It was excellent! Then, as good as it was, Kenny Garrett took it to a whole other level. He was definitely the highlight of an already great set.

I bet if I had gotten there for the 1st set, there was a good chance of staying for the 2nd for another minimum. It wasn't too full.

I do like that place, the only problem is location and price. It is nice to get there every now and then. I would like to try the jazz brunch sometime. It think it's a buffet and I do like whatever food I've had there.

Iridium's website is down, but I think this listing has some extra people that weren't there. I don't quite remember the names of everyone up there. I do know the other trombone was Jimmy Bosch and Phoniex Rivera was the trap drummer.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tony Malaby @ Tea Lounge 5/26/08

I didn't get a lot of that show, but I liked what I saw. Tony Malaby, Angela Sanchez, and Tom Rainey. Tony had a gig there every Mon in May. I'm not sure if it was a residency or a regular thing. It's a big place where the music listeners can sit close to the band and there are lots of people on their laptops all over the place. I was there to hang out with some Brooklyn friends, mainly, but it was nice to get some music. That was definitely avant-garde and pretty out there. They only did 1 set and then they show a film later on Mondays. I thought it was going to be at 9, but it turned out the music started at 8ish.

Peter Sampfel + Rob Brown @ The Stone 5/25/08

I went to The Stone by accident at 8, thinking that was the Peter Brown set. I was going to do that and then Will Bernard at the Blue Owl, but ended up doing The Stone for both sets.

It was kind of timely to get this folk music since I recently read an interesting article in The New Yorker about the preservation of American folk music. It was 4 people, even though 3 are listed below. They played various banjos, something they referred to as a "banjtar", which looked like a banjo with 6 strings, a guitar at times, and various percussion things. They were happy people. The woman mainly played percussion and sang. I don't think she played strings at all, so I'm not sure if it is the one in the listing.

They were kind of hammy. Peter Stampfel was hamming it up a lot with his singing. I enjoyed for the first half hour and then I thought I had enough. They played for a little over an hour, so I was kind of stuck there. Luckily there was one good instrumental and a blues tune I liked after I got sick of it. It wasn't painful to stay by any means, I just wasn't that into it. I kept wondering what these people were doing at The Stone. It seemed better suited to Banjo Jim's.

Everyone else was there to see this band, and they all enjoyed it immensely.

I looked up Peter Stampfel and see he's well-known and loved in the folk world. I found this interview that I just skimmed. OK, so maybe he is "Stone-worthy" and I just don't like hams. Also, my singer bias is definitely there. I think he should have left that to the girl. Everyone else didn't want them to go, so I was just at the wrong show for me. And, I do want to emphasize at I definitely enjoyed some of it and I would have left in the middle if it was terrible.

5/25 Sunday (MM)
8 pm
Peter Stampfel
Peter Stampfel (strings), Eli Smith (strings), Jeannie Scofield (strings)
The one and only Peter Stampfel holds forth with friends and stringed instruments for a wild set of swinging songs, mournful tunes and real toe-tappers.

I had to go back to see the show I was curious about. It turns out the cd release they were celebrating has William Parker, but he couldn't be there because he's in Europe. They got a good substitute with Todd Nicholson. I could tell the bass parts really were for Parker, though and I know it would have sounded a little different if he was there.

It was great. They were all great. It never got too out there, but it wasn't normal straight jazz, either. That was definitely more to my liking than the first show.

10 pm
Rob Brown Ensemble
Rob Brown (sax) Craig Taborn (piano) Gerald Cleaver (drums) Todd Nicholson
A show to celebrate the CD release of CROWN TRUNK ROOT FUNK by the Rob Brown 4tet album out NOW on Aum Fidelity.

Outside Music Memorial Day Weekend 2008

It was such a great weekend to be outside! I like to wander around the parks for the street music. I'm looking forward to Washington Square Park getting done with that massive renovation. In the meantime, I have Tompkin Square Park at least. I tend to hang out by the latin guys that usually have drums and often other things. There was just drums whenever I went by, but since I love drums that was fine with me.

At one point, this woman came up and asked them to stop or turn it down or something. I felt a little bad for her because people jumped all over her. Someone finally pointed out a nice peaceful area nearby where she wouldn't be able to hear the music. I mean, those guys are out there all the time and I tend to think of them as part of the park.

On Sun there was the Losaida Festival over on Ave C. They had lots of latin bands at the end of the street, near 13th St. It was awesome.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Open Ears Music Series in NOLA

I am very glad to see this exists and when I go to NOLA on a random long weekend, I'm going to have to make sure I stay for this on a Tues night.

One thing that really came through at jazzfest is that they need visitors. It's something simple and fun that we can do to support them and bring their spirits up. I can't tell you how many people thanked us for coming and told us how nice it was to see us. From cab drivers to musicians and all over the place. They thrive on visitors and once you get off Bourbon St it's such a great place to visit.

Any way, I'm glad to see a creative music thing going on there. I know that The Big Top also has creative music and it's good to see there's more than just the same old, same old there. I of course like to see the same old, same old when I'm there, but if I lived there I would need more. I'm glad they have this for the people who live there. I always imagined them seeing the same bands week after week.

The Transcendence Quartet 5/23/08

I went back to The Living Theatre for another RUCMA show. It was pretty good. It had 2 members from Matt Lavelle's Tenor Tree, that I saw a couple of weeks ago at the This is Our Music Series at Galapagos. Ras Mosche was my favorite of the 3 tenors that night, but they were all great. I do love the bass clarinet, although it seemed Lavelle was playing more trumpet. There was definitely a lot of bass clarinet as well.

Shayna Dulberger is excellent. I am very impressed with her bass playing and will make more of a point of checking out anything she is a part of. I hadn't realized this was a couple of people I saw recently, and she was what brought me there last night.

It was very good and not too out there, very cohesive. I was trying to figure out what genre that music might be put in and I found a good description on CD Baby, "it nicely balances free jazz and post-bop traditions". It reminded me of some of the late Coltrane style stuff, like 65-67.

I chose not to stay for the jazz jam with Jason Kao Hwang, although I want to get to one of those late night jams one of these days. They tend to do it after the performance there on certain evenings. They always have a different leader. They've had William Parker and Charles Gayle before. I didn't know about the Charles Gayle one at the time, or I would have definitely been there. It's $5 for the audience and open donation for musicians. I didn't recognize any of the musicians, but figure they have to be somewhat good to have the guts to show up at something like that. There's plenty of great musicians that aren't in my music circles that I continue to broaden. It looked like it was going to be a lot of trumpets, a sax, guitar, and Jason on violin. I'm not sure if there were others since I didn't stick around.

The Transcendence Quartet
Ras Moshe – Tenor Sax
Shayna Dulberger – Bass
Dave Ross – Guitar
Charles Downs – Drums
Matt Lavelle - Trumpet & Bass Clarinet

Friday, May 23, 2008

Beta Popes @ Tap Bar 5/22/08

My strategy of trying to get to the opening band, Period, for the last 10-15 minutes actually worked out. I got there at around 9:50, and got the last 10 minutes. It was good, I mean, I stayed and didn't feel I need to go outside or anything. I wasn't completly into it, either. It's hard to say more than that with only 10 minutes.

I really enjoyed Beta Popes. Bobby Previte is amazing! I was mainly enthralled with his playing the entire time, but the whole thing was great. I have wanted to check out that band ever since I found out they existed around 2 years ago. It was like doom jazz, only so much more. I caught that and Whoopie Pie back in Nov.

Bobby Previte just really knows how to play. I had so many intense moments just by the way he was hitting those drums in many different moments. And the cymbals! I'm so glad Coalition of the Willing brought me back to him. I wasn't crazy about one show I saw with him and Charlie Hunter and never gave him another chance. I can't believe how many shows I've missed out on due to that.

I think I got about an hour. It was very intense and very loud and dark. I really like that stuff. It balances out all of the happy music I see a lot. They abruptly left the stage at about 11:30. It seemed like they were going to come back, either for an encore or another set. At first, I waited, but then my intuition told me it was time to go. So I went. I've learned it's always good to follow intuition, whether I'm right about a hit or not, it gets me into better practice.

I also had a desire to go to 55 Bar and I assumed there would be a 12am set. However, on my way, I realized how tired I was and just felt like going home. I'm guessing that's what the intuitive hit was about.

It's interesting that I feel like my hearing is more crisp since that show last night. It's very strange, especially because it was so loud. While it was very loud, it wasn't too loud. I thought it was the perfect volume. I do wish they kept the lights down. No one wanted to get closer, but there was some light over the floor and it was music that would do better with just a little light.

Beta Popes (Jamie Saft - guitar; Bobby Previte - drums, Skerik - sax, vocals)

Period (Mike Pride, Charlie Looker, Chuck Bettis - members of Dynamite Club, Extra Life, Whoopie Pie & ex- ZS, ex-MDC, & ex- Measles Mumps Rubella)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Word of the Day: sintir

Aha! And I was referring to it as a "Flintstones bass" because that's what it looks like to me. A moroccan instrument, of course!

SintirWikipedia, the free encyclopedia - Cite This Source
The sintir (سنتير), also known as the Guembri or Hejhouj, is a three stringed skin-covered bass plucked lute used by the Gnawa people of Morocco. It is approximately the size of a guitar, with a body a carved from a log and covered on the playing side with camel. The neck is a simple stick with one short and two long goat strings that produce a percussive sound similar to a pizzicato cello or double bass.
The goat gut strings are plucked downward with the knuckle side of the index finger and the inside of the thumb. The hollowed canoe shaped wooden body resonates a percussive tone created by knuckles slapping the camel neck top of the body while the thumb and index finger are plucking the strings.The lowest string on the sintir is a drone note and the second string, the highest in pitch, is tuned an octave higher and is never fretted. The third string is tuned a fourth above the drone. The buzzing sound often heard emanating from the sintir is caused by metal rings dangling off of a galvanized metal feather mounted on the end of the sintir's neck. The feather and rings vibrate in rhythm with the sintir.
The body of the instrument is hollowed out from a single piece of wood, and covered with camel skin. The long neck passes through the top of the body and runs under the face, coming out through the skin near the base of the instrument, to serve as a tailpiece or string-carrier. The sliding leather tuning rings and the rattle-like metal sound modifier are commonly found in such West African instruments as the kora and the xalam (lute). The percussive playing style is reminiscent not only of West African technique but also of certain styles of American banjo picking.
As the sintir is used mainly by Gnawa (Moroccans of Sub-Saharan African descent), it is likely that the instrument derives from similar skin-covered lutes of the region around Mali or other areas of the Sahel (such as the ngoni, xalam, or hoddu).
Gnawaa artists can be found on the national geographics website at:
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia © 2001-2006 Wikipedia contributors (Disclaimer)This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.Last updated on Friday December 28, 2007 at 14:31:19 PST (GMT -0800)View this article at - Edit this article at - Donate to the Wikimedia Foundation
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Grand Fatilla, Cambridge, Mass, 5/19/08

I made it to Atwoods Tavern in Cambridge for Grand Fatilla. I really enjoyed it. They were all very talented and they did play from many different styles. It was nice that the audience at the pub was so attentive. They even did a quiet number because it was a good, listening crowd. There were people talking more toward the front of the bar, but it didn’t interfere with the music in the back. The electric mandolin sounded awesome. That, with the accordion had me keep looking for the violin I kept thinking I was hearing. The percussion included that Peruvian box drum and some other drums I’m not as familiar with. It was great and a lot of fun. Also, it really was free music and I don't think there were any minimums. There was no tip jar or anything.

Mondays May 12, 19 & 26, 2008
Grand Fatilla (Mike Rivard (double bass), Roberto Cassan (accordion), Matt Glover (elec mandolin) & Fabio Pirozzolo (perc & voice)).
Atwoods Tavern, 877 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA. 617-864-2792.9 pm - 12 am. Free!
Modern Global Music on shuffle...Argentian Tangos, Italian Tarrantellas, Turkish Sufi sacred songs, Irish reels, Moroccan trance, Bulgarian dance music, and music from composers Hermeto Pascoal, Astor Piazzola, as well as originals from the band members.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Henry Threadgill + Billy Bang 5/16/08

After the stellar RMA show I got on the 1 train and headed down to jazz gallery for Henry Threadgill's ZOOID. I've seen them before and love them. I've missed them the past few times they've played there, and I have to try harder to catch it when I can. It's awesome.

Dana Leong is usually in it, but wasn't there on Fri, probably due to the RMA gig. Instead, there was a guest dancer for the 1st piece, Judith. They asked us to make sure we cleared the aisles so she could dance. At the time, I didn't know she was only going to play for 1 number, so I was a little disappointed for 2 reasons. It would be inappropriate for me to dance in the back as I usually do. Also, I was concerned the focus on the dancer would take away from the music. I was pleasantly surprised how good that piece was.

Henry and the tuba player were in the back of the room and Liberty, the bass, and the drums were onstage. Judith started toward the back in the aisle. I was surprised she started off the piece. It didn't take long for me to get completely absorbed in the whole thing. It was an improvisation were the dancer was more a part of the band as another player. They would look at her while determining what notes to hit and how to play them and she was in turn feeding off of them. It was really interesting.

After that, Henry and the tuba moved up front and I moved to the back. The rest of the music was as awesome as usual. It was kind of a short set, probably around 50 min or so.

Henry Threadgill - alto saxophone/flute, Dana Leong - cello/trombone (15th & 17th only), Liberty Ellman - guitar, Stome Takeishi - bass guitar, Jose Davilla - tuba, Elliot Humberto Kavee - drums, Judith Sanchez - movement (16th only)

Then I set out in the cold rain to get back to the East side and The Living Theatre for Billy Bang. That was awesome as usual, too. They did 3 very long songs which were all phenomenal. The first one started with a great long bass solo. Billy told us at the beginning the guy that usually plays piano is playing the clarinet for the evening. I was a little worried, but he turned out to be awesome.

The last song, the "short" one, was about 15 min and was something Billy used to play with Sun Ra when he was in his Arkestra. It was awesome and fun to hear a little "Space is the Place" tease in there.

So a super great night of music to hold me til Mon night in Cambridge. I'm writing these 2 posts on my Blackberry on the train, to be posted when I get back.

Billy Bang Quintet featuring Billy Bang violin, Henry Warner alto cl, Andrew Bemkey cl, Todd Nicholson bass, Newman Taylor Baker drums

Edmar Castañeda Trio @ Rubin Museum of Art 5/16/08

Wow! One of the best shows of my life! I have been wanting to get to the Rubin Museum of Art for one of their Fri Harlem in the Himalayas shows for a while. I hadn't been to the museum yet at all. I didn't even know what the museum was about. It turns out it is for Himalayan art. I got to look around for a little bit before the show and I really like that place. It felt very nice in the galleries, lots of nice art as well. The bar/restaurant looks really nice. You can take drinks downstairs for the show. I was already very happy to be there and I hadn't gotten to the performance space yet.

That space was the best part. Its a beautiful room with little tables and lots of chairs facing the stage. It has both a jazz club and a small jazz hall feel. It has really good energy and it felt great being there. I got a seat on the end, anticipating I would want to get up and dance.

These shows are put on by the Jazz Museum of Harlem. They do about 25 a year and this is the 3rd year its been going on.

The absolute best part about the room is the acoustics. Oh my! There were no mics or amplification of any kind. The sound was perfect.

It started with just Edmar Castanada solo on the harp. It was steller and filled me with all kinds of emotion. I can really say that about the entire show.

After that song, he invited Dana Leong to the stage with his cello. Yes, I was again unexpectedly continuing with the string theme. Yay! They did a song as a duo for the first time that Edmar said he usually does with his regular trio. It was awesome.

Next he invited his wife the singer to the stage. She was great. She has a deep, latin voice. She was part of the music instead of in front of the music, which is how I like it to be when there is a singer.

The set was around 75 min, maybe a bit longer. We got one more Edmar solo before the end. I didn't miss having no drummer at all. There was one song where Dana was playing a little percussion by tapping his cello with his hands and these big rings on his fingers.

I love it when Leong plays cello, more so than when he's on the bass or trombone, although he's good at those as well.

I didn't get up to dance once. I did a lot of moving in my chair, but was so captivated and it just felt right to be in a nice chair.

After the concert, they offer a free guided tour of the museum. I really wanted to do it, but I didn't have enough time to do that and get to my next stop. Its kind of a good thing because it will help get me back there sooner.

Friday, May 16, 2008

2nd Annual Dance Parade

Well, it looks like the 2nd Annual Dance Parade has changed it’s purpose. The 1st one was about bringing awareness to the fact that it’s against the law to dance in NYC under certain circumstances. Now, it looks like this parade is just a celebration of dance and they even have a message from Mayor Bloomberg on their home page. This slightly bothers me, but then I see it’s not going to change regardless and there’s only a few venues left that try to comply with this ridiculous law. Of course, I do think this is part of why we sometimes have people behind us tap us on the shoulder at a rock concert to ask us to sit down in NYC. I’ve even accepted the majority rule part of this. Thank God for Brooklyn, where everything seems to be more lax and better on these issues. The NY Times article at least mentions why it was created last year.

Ease on Down the Road
Friday, May 16, 2008
Ain’t no party like one that dances down Broadway. The second annual Dance Parade shimmies and shakes through the city tomorrow afternoon, with more than 100 groups and 3,500 individuals gliding, tapping, breaking, sliding and disco-rolling. The costumed celebration ends in a party and show in Tompkins Square Park; you can also take free lessons or just gawk and groove along.
Spare Times, by Melena Ryzik

This is why I'm not bothering to worry about it or even hope for change:
2007: Chevigny's appeal is dismissed at a hearing in February. He is considering a final appeal to the New York Court of Appeals, NY State's highest court. NYC holds its first Dance Parade to showcase the beauty and diversity of dance in NYC and speak out about the cabaret laws.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

John Ellis + Subway Music + This is Our Music 5/14/08

I had to get to Jazz Standard for John Ellis and Double Wide. They had a few gigs in NOLA, but I kept telling myself it would come to NYC and I’d see it then. Then, I almost didn’t make it, but realized I could do 7:30 and then go to Galapagos for the This is Our Music series.

Matt Perrine, Jason Marsalis, John Ellis, and Sam Yahel could each entice me to go to any show they are in.

I was so glad I got the night with Yahel instead of Gary Versace. Don’t get me wrong, Gary’s pretty good. I just have a different take on organ players than most. I know that most of the musicians seem to love playing with Gary, and he is technically very good. I just feel there is something lacking when I see him. I know that I’m in the minority on this one because Brad Sheppick was definitely very happy to be playing with him the time I saw them at The Stone. Also, I was there when John and Gary first connected. It was a last minute fill-in gig at Bar Next Door, and they were very happy to have found each other. John even told the crowd it was their first time playing together. That was a pretty good show.

But, I digress. The Jazz Standard set last night was awesome. Very grooving. It was kind of too much that they were playing tunes off their new cd, “Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow” in a place where you can’t dance. John seemed very happy to be playing for people eating BBQ.

Other than the sitting part, it did kind of feel like we were back in NOLA due to the music. I mean, how many bands have a sousaphone? Matt added so much to the music. It sounded very NOLA-ish. It was awesome.

On my way to Williamsburg, I had the pleasure of more sousaphone while waiting for the L train at 14th St. It was a drummer, with a full kit, a sousaphone and a trumpet and they were awesome. I wanted a cd, but not enough to risk missing the train. I did manage to get out a couple of bucks to throw in and I figure I will run into them again. It was very late Miles Davis sounding jazz and I loved it. I can’t wait to find out who they are.

On to Williamsburg. I’m loving the This is Our Music Series at Galapagos. I think it’s once a month, and I’m finding it a good way to get turned on to new bands I never heard of. I really think it has a Tonic feel to it. I did see somewhere that Galapagos is moving to DUMBO at some point, and Southpaw bought the current space. I do know there is a This is Our Music night on 6/11 with Bobby Previte, so I’m not sure when the move is going to happen.

I got there in time for the last 15 min of Matt Lavelle’s Tenor Tree, which was awesome. 3 tenors and a bass clarinet. I love bass clarinet. This was a great opportunity to notice differences in the sounds that can come from tenors and how the bass clarinet differs. For the portion I saw, Lavelle tended to hit more of the high notes. Most of the bass clarinet I’m used to is on the low notes, so that was interesting as well. I could really get into the music, which sounded awesome.

Then, I finally got a chance to see Knucklebean, and I really enjoyed it. A bunch of horns, electric bass, guitar and drums. It was spacey at times, up at times, and just my kind of thing. It was all improvised, which was cool. That seemed pretty late Miles influenced as well. I realized I see a lot of those guys out at various shows, so I’m sure they are absorbing a lot while enjoying the music. Last night they showed a film while they played. I didn’t pay too much attention to it, but it was kind of cool to have it in the background. I have a feeling this band can be quite different at times. I also loved how they naturally let a different one of them solo for a bit at times. I was really digging the bass. I will definitely be sure to see them again.

After all that, I had to stay for at least a little bit of the Matthew Silberman Group. That helped me keep up with my string theme, since there was a violin, cello, guitar, and upright bass. The sax from Knucklebean was the leader and composer. That was more jazzy and I enjoyed the song I heard. I left in favor of sleep, but if it were earlier I would have definitely stayed til the end.

Wednesday, May 14, 8pm, $10
This Is Our Music III
Curated by Brad Farberman
8:30PM - Matt Lavelle's Tenor Tree: Matt Lavelle (bass clarinet), Ras Moshe (tenor saxophone), Bob Feldman (tenor saxophone), Catherine Sikora (tenor saxophone)
9:30PM - Knucklebean: Brad Farberman (guitar), Adam Minkoff (bass), Nick Anderson (drums), Matt Silberman (saxophones), Matt Thomas (saxophones), Ben Syversen (trumpet), Kevin Moehringer (trombone)
10:30PM - Matthew Silberman Group: Matthew Silberman (tenor and soprano saxophones), Rob Hecht (violin), Greg Heffernan (cello), Travis Reuter (guitar), Christopher Tordini (bass), Max Goldman (drums)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Marty Ehrlich + Lettuce 5/11/08

I got in a good 2 hour nap yesterday in anticipation of Lettuce. I really wanted to get to the Marty Ehrlich Sextet at Jazz Standard and I’m so glad I did. I went to the 7:30 set and was not disappointed. It was truly awesome. As good or better than the Rites Quartet I saw a few nights ago. I really wanted to dance. If it wasn’t for knowing I’d be at a major funkdown later, I would have tried it. I haven’t tried it there for a few years. But, I figured I could live with the chair-bopping since I could get relief later.

Greg Cohen was amazing. I’m very focused on the bass right now, and he is one of the best, so I was pretty happy. The piano was awesome. He also had one of the little toy-looking ones that he sometimes played with one hand while playing the big one with the other. He caught my attention quite a bit during the set. The drummer was awesome. I enjoyed the trombone and trumpet a lot, I was just really feeling the others so much more that my attention was mainly on them. There were a couple of especially great songs that I can’t remember the names, but I especially loved. I left very happy.

Marty Ehrlich Sextet
Marty Ehrlich – saxophones, clarinet, flute
James Zollar – trumpet
Ray Anderson – trombone
David Berkman – piano
Greg Cohen – bass
Matt Wilson – drums

Then, on to Lettuce at Bowery Ballroom. I was worried it was going to have an incredibly low turnout. I mean Sun night, Mother’s Day, right after jazzfest, when they played here recently. I could understand it. There were plenty of people there. It was pretty full, but not over-crowded. It was easy to get up front and not feel too claustrophobic. My kind of crowd. I only knew a few people there, but they were people I really like, so it was good. The crowd was very into it and everyone was dancing up a storm. There was one song, I think it was the 2nd song, where I was completely blown away. I even had a thought that this was the funkiest I’ve seen in a long time. I mean really.

I was completely in awe of the bass and of course the drums. Krasno would catch me with his solos often. The only thing was, they didn’t keep that super-duper-funkiness up at that level the whole show. They brought out a singer and slowed it down a notch. Just a notch, and as long as I focused on the bass and drums I was fine. Right after a couple of songs with the singer, they had him leave and then told us they were going to slow it down a bit. I thought “didn’t they just do that?”. I took a break then, although it did sound good and I bet I would have enjoyed the song. I was just in the mood for sick funkiness.

Then they funked out again for a while, but it wasn’t quite the same as the awesome moments I had early on. I still enjoyed it a lot, though. At one point they brought out Adam Deitch’s parents to sit in on percussion. Apparantly they are on the new album and Adam comes from a long line of percussionists. They were pretty good.

I do have to say I’m not crazy about the organist. Years ago, when I used to try Soulive every now and then, I always had to leave because of him. He didn’t make me want to leave last night, but he also wasn’t doing anything to make me want to stay.

Horns are always good, especially when Sam Kinninger is one of them. It was his birthday last night as well.

They were smart to not take a setbreak and play through, given the Sun night factor, etc. I decided I had enough and was happy to go while they were still onstage around 11:50. They started around 10:10 or so. It was probably close to the end and lots of fun, just not worth being too tired today. I do think I prefer them late night, but it was still fun. I definitely love their intensity.

Chinese Music

Occasionally I ask around about what type of music is Chinese, but I never seem to get an answer. I also hadn’t taken the time yet to do any researching on my own, other than asking people. I got my first little intro to Chinese music and instruments yesterday after dimsum, when we decided to take a walk through the Columbus Street Park on Bayard and Mulberry.

As we approached the park, I was surprised to hear music. I heard a reed instrument that sounded very much like what William Parker was playing the night before. It turns out it was indeed the same instrument, a suona. Aha! So I have heard some Chinese instruments before. My friend also pointed out the erhu, a one-stringed instrument played with a bow. I can’t remember what other instruments were in that ensemble because we were soon pulled over to another ensemble, where we stayed a little longer.

The 2nd ensemble was entirely a string band. I was immediately reminded of my string theme lately, or that I’m noticing strings a lot more these days. Now I see that they are called sanxian, but at the time we thought they looked kind of like banjos. There was also an erhu there, maybe 3 of those sanxians of different sizes, and a good old regular looking violin. I’m not sure if that would be in traditional Chinese music, but it seems everyone likes the violin. I was remembering my Indian adventures a few nights ago.

Anyway, it sounded pretty good and I’m looking forward to going back again when the whether is better to hang out and listen more.

I also stopped copying links for later. It looks like there is a multitude on info on Chinese music on the net. I’ll have to spend some time before I eventually go there in search of tea.

William Parker Introscopic Orchestra

After Friedlander I made my way over to The Living Theatre for Night 2 of RUCMAs benefit. The organization is about artists getting paid for their work. It’s kind of ironic that they are playing for free to help raise money to find ways to get paid decently. I do think they have a chance to pull this off, I mean look at the amazing Vision Fest they’ve been putting on for the past 13 or so years.

They didn’t get started until about 11. They were ready at around 10:35, but were waiting for Roy Campbell to show up. About ½ the crowd was the over-60ish crowd that tends to go to go some of the best creative music. The other ½ seemed about 40ish and under, although mainly probably 35-45. There was pretty much complete silence while waiting for the show to begin. They play right in the set for the Living Theatre’s play, and this one had the artists all on the perimeter of the room in a horseshoe formation, with William Parker facing them and his back to us. Parker kept telling us they aren’t ready yet, he’s just testing out his reeds, etc. Still, we were all quiet as can be, including when Parker tested out the compositions with the orchestra while waiting. I was enjoying watching all of that, I like seeing the setup and sound checks, etc. The audience did seem rather tired, and you could even see a few sleeping during the show.

Still, that didn’t stop the music from being absolutely wonderful throughout. They decided they couldn’t wait for Campbell any longer and got started. Roy showed up just as the first notes of Parker’s reeds were being played, so that was pretty cool.

It was a 17 piece ensemble which included 4 upright basses, a drummer, 3 trumpets, 3 altos, a tenor, and a baritone sax, trombone, a euphonium, Jason Kao Hwang on violin, Brad Farberman on guitar and a special guest Japanese singer. William Parker also played various reeds and a euphonium.

I’m not entirely sure whether Parker and that other guy were playing tubas or euphniums, but they did look a good deal smaller than Marcus Rojas’ tuba. I did find a comparison picture on the web, and I think they probably were euphoniums.

It was excellent. I was so happy I wasn’t the only one dancing off to the side. Most people still wouldn’t think it’s danceable, but it’s nice to see that there are a few that do. There was one mic close to Parker and he would have a horn player come up and be featured for a bit and then invite another one over and continue with that throughout the whole performance. That was kind of cool. Sometimes he would signal for someone else to play with the soloist and everyone else would either be quiet, or play quiet. This was their chance to stretch out and play whatever they were feeling. He didn’t get to everyone, but we did get a lot of different takes on each person.

I’m also glad I got a to see Brad Farberman play. I am anticipating getting to see his band Knucklebean this Wed, and based on what I saw the other night, I suspect I will enjoy it. He’s got a somewhat unique sound, although I bet he’s been influenced by Mary Halverson.

They played for about an hour and then stopped. Parker told us that’s it, it is a benefit after all. Then he did a little speech thanking us for coming and being part of the family, whether there for the 1st time or many times. I can’t remember what he said, but it was a nice metaphor. It was also pretty crowded toward the end. All the seats were taken and there were many of us off to the side.

They were having late night open jam sessions at midnight on Sat nights. I’m not sure if they are still doing that or not. They didn’t that night. I would like to check it out and I hope they do it again at some point.

William Parker Introscopic Orchestra

“Evelyn Spectrum Of Light”
William Parker – Leader & composer
Roy Campbell, Chris Dimeglio, Nabate Isles – trumpet
Rob Brown, Seth Meicht, Darius Jones – alto saxophone
Bill Cook – tenor saxophone
Dave Sewelson – baritone saxophone
Masahiko Kono – trombone
Jason Kao Hwang – violin
Bradley Farberman - guitar
Tom Zlabinger, Clif Jackson, Todd Nicholson, David Moss – bass
Sizzle Ohtaka - voice
Zen Matsuura – drums

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Eric Friedlander @ Roulette 5/10/08

I started with an Eric Friedlander solo show at Roulette last night. He is an amazing cello player. I didn't know what to expect, but the website mentioned his solo shows are great. He has some solo albums out. Everything I've seen him in has been stellar and last night was no exception.

I was able to get a front row center seat and was mesmerized. He played for about an hour and 15, which is kind of long for a solo show. He did do a lot of talking and had a slide show ready as well. He did many songs off of a solo cd, Block Ice & Propane, inspired by American roots music and Friedlanders's own history as a young guitar player. The slides and talking were about how every summer in his childhood, his family would go on the road in a trailer traveling around the country. His dad is(was?) a photographer and he wanted to take full advantage of the longer daylight hours. It made it more intimate to see the pictures and hear the stories that inspired the songs.

I also saw how the cello and guitar are kind of similar. Because his first instrument was guitar, he translated a lot of the finger-picking techniques when he learned the cello. He also spent a moment or 2 tuning up after each song. He mentioned how guitar players have to tune up often as well. I started wondering if anyone plays the cello like playing the slide guitar. I'm very curious what that would sound like.

The music was wonderful. He's definitely one of the best ever. He also did some songs from a solo Masada cd he put out the same year, 2007. He also let us in on how challenging it was to play and learn some of the Zorn Masada compositions.

It was a wonderful way to start the evening.

BuzzUniverse @ Wash Sq Park 5/10/08

There's nothing like jazzfest to get you revved up again to get to as much music as possible. Actually, there's nothing like jazzfest period.

BuzzUniverse has had a free show in Wash Sq Park for the past 3 years or so. I've gone by there each year, but I always seem to get there during setbreak. In years past, I didn't feel like waiting around, so I would leave right away. This year I went down there with the notion I would stay no matter what. I'm glad I did.

I probably got there soon after they went on break. They do usually have someone else playing in between their sets, which I think is a nice touch and a good idea. It's usually a solo acoustic artist, which makes sense so there's no issues with equipment, etc.

This year, I got there around 3:30 or so, and Kelly Carvin was on stage doing her solo singer/guitar player thing. I did enjoy the 1st couple of songs, I just was more in the mood to socialize and talk jazzfest and music than listen. Towards the end, it seemed rather long, but that's probably because of my aversion to that type of music unless it's very high above normal standards. I mean they've got to be in the top 1% on the scale of greatness. I have a lot more tolerance for instrumentalists. People around seemed to be enjoying it.

Buzz came back on around 4:30 and played til maybe 5:45 or so. I really enjoyed it and had a lot of fun dancing. I am familiar with a lot of their songs, but haven't seen them for a year or 2. They are gelling really nicely and I like the progression. I'm going to try to make the Sullivan Hall show next month, when they open for the Lee Boys with Marco. I also found out that the openers for Sullivan Hall need to bring in at least 50 people or they don't get booked again. That makes sense, and also means that the openers are going to tend to be on the good side.

I also like how diverse they are. It doesn't seem to matter what genre they are playing, they seem to gel together on each song. I also like that they have a drummer and a percussionist and that they have 2 reed players. I was enjoying Greg on the bass.

Here's the link for the Sullivan Hall show. Get there early for BuzzUniverse if you plan to go so you can catch them.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Lott/Gamble + Josh Roseman & Execution Quintet 5/9/08

After that phenomenal show, I had to get a little more at The Living Theatre. They are having a 3 day benefit for RUCMA. It's the Vision Fest people putting together an organization to get more creative music out there. They want to get a venue going that is subsidized so there are no drink minimums and the music is more available in downtown NY. I love this trend!

Too bad more people didn't make it last night. I got there just before 11, thanks to the F Train being so close to Town Hall. I got there about 10 min before Mike Gamble and Simon Lott started. I was so glad because I thought I would miss that. It was awesome. All improvised. It would get grungy and then quiet and then rock out and I loved it.

Josh Roseman's Execution Quintet was also awesome. The only problem was that I kind of hit my limit when they came on at 12. I stayed for the whole 1 hour set, but I was really tired and while I enjoyed it a lot, I think it would have been better if I wasn't quite so tired. They were all amazing. Apfelbaum was holding down the bass line and playing awesome organ. Marcus Gilmore is an amazing drummer and I love seeing him. The horns were really awesome.

I am sorry I had to miss Knucklebean again, but I was just too tired to stay. I see they are playing at Galapagos a little earlier this Wed, so hopefully I'll make it to that. Brad Farberman curated last night and I know from his once a month "This is Our Music" series at Galapagos that he has good taste. I bet his band is great and I just have to get there to confirm.

The rest of the weekend of these RUCMA shows at The Living Theatre look awesome and I might just make it to all of them.

10:30PM - Mike Gamble/Simon Lott Duo
Mike Gamble – guitar
Simon Lott – drums

11PM - Josh Roseman & Execution Quintet
Ambrose Akinmusire – trumpet
Logan Richardson – alto saxophone
Josh Roseman – trombone
Peter Apfelbaum – organ
Marcus Gilmore – drums

Midnight - Knucklebean
Brad Farberman – guitar
Matt Silberman & Matt Thomas – saxophones
Ben Syversen – trumpet
Kevin Moehringer – trombone
Adam Minkoff – bass
Nick Anderson – drums

Miles From India 5/9/08

Simply amazing! That was a very special and awesome show at Town Hall last night. It turned out to be 2 bands because even though many of the musicians were the same for both sets, there were major differences. The biggest difference was the 1st set was acoustic and the 2nd was electric. Every moment was mesmerizing and fantastic.

I have a dancing spot at Town Hall, right by the soundboards. No one ever seems to mind that I'm over there and I'm aware not to get in their way. It makes me really like that place for "Hall music". I also really like the size.

They played all Miles tunes with an Indian flair and the meshing was phenomenal. I was intrigued by the carnatic violin. I did a little skimming and it looks like it is a regular violin and it's just the way it's played that produces those Indian sounds.

We had Ron Carter, who was awesome. I was disappointed in the Carnegie Hall celebration of him last year, but I think that was due to the Carnegie sound people not doing a good job, I suspect they aren't that good with jazz. He sounded great last night.

Vijay Iyer played the 1st song in the 1st set and then was there for the whole 2nd set. He is amazing. The first song was "So What" and it was awesome. There was a lot of that Indian voice percussion and the Indian drummer was awesome.

Both drummers were on stage the entire time, but they didn't both play the whole time on the first set. They played together a lot more the 2nd set. They were awesome. We also had a phenomenal tabla player and another indian drum, which I think is called the mridangam. All those drums is always a recipe for awesome in my book.

The biggest highlight was the tabla solo in the 2nd set. He had several and it was absolutely amazing. The sound was fantastic and everyone was quiet. That solo alone was worth the price of admission. The whole show without that solo was also worth the price of admission, it was really great.

I think we only had the sitar for the 1st set, but I really liked it. The 2nd song, "Blue in Green", started and ended with just the sitar and it was really cool. We had a different piano player for that and the 3rd song, "All Blues".

That 1st set was about 45 min and then we had a 20 min intermission. I was elated, and knew the best was to come. Next up was the electric set with keyboards, guitar, bass, all the drums and percussion from the 1st set, still the awesome caratic violin, Wallace Roney on trumpet, and Rudresh Mahanthappa on sax. Rudresh was also on a little the 1st set.

Now I could really get down. "Spanish Key", "Miles Runs the Voodoo Down", "Ife", "In a Silent Way", and "It's About That Time". I'm reading all of this from the program. I'm familiar with these tunes, but couldn't name them if I tried.

It ended around 10:30, possibly a little before. It was really great and while I hadn't planned on buying a cd, I ended up getting it for $20. I don't need too many more jazz cds, but the Indian flair made me want it.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Ned Sublette NOLA book + Marty Erlich’s Rites Quartet 5/8/08

I started off at The Brecht Forum for a discussion of a new book about New Orleans. Ned Sublette is a musician and historian. He previous wrote a book about the history of Cuban music. The NOLA book is about the history in the 1st 100 years of NOLA, which they say no one has done yet.

It was interesting. They didn’t start until around 8:15, and I had to be at Jazz Standard at 9:30, so I only got 45 min. of the talk and Q&A. He says that NOLA is the northernmost point with Saints and Festivals. The northernmost place where everything stops for carnival. It’s kind of more of a kin to Cuba and Haiti than the US. Cuba and Haiti had a huge influence on the music of NOLA. He talked a lot about the slaves, and how they mainly got them from VA, so they were already speaking English. Someone asked how Mardi Gras Indians came to be, and he gave a very long but vague answer. It seems there is so much depth to this subject of the early history of NOLA that there’s too much to say about everything. It was kind of hard to listen after a while, given the very lengthy responses and I was focused on getting to the show on time. Still, I might read this book some day. Here’s some links to some reviews.

Thursday, May 08
7:30 pm
The World That Made New Orleans
From Spanish Silver to Congo Square
Ned Sublette

On to a fantastic set of lively jazz at Jazz Standard. I mean, you can’t go wrong when either Ehrlich or Friedlander is in the band. The other 2 were awesome as well. The Rites Quartet is about the music of Julius Hemphill. I hadn’t heard of him, so I put a few links that I hope to get to read at some point. It looks like someone I should know about from the skimming I did.

It started with an awesome blues tune that had me grinning. It made me happy. It was very lively and soulful and while it made me really happy, it was definitely a blues tune. Everything they played was absolutely fantastic and it was a very enjoyable hour. Whatever Friedlander was doing on the last tune was really grabbing me. We even got a cymbal solo sometime in the middle – how often do you see that! The drum solo later was incredible. I am so glad I made it to this last set and I really hope to get to the sextet sometime this weekend.

Marty Ehrlich’s Rites Quartet
Marty Ehrlich – saxophones, clarinet, flute
Erik Friedlander – cello
James Zollar – trumpet
Pheeroan akLaff – drums

Upcoming: Search & Restore 3 Night Run

I’ve got to hand it to Adam. He’s trying and succeeding in bringing more affordable downtown jazz back to downtown. This Trilogy next week at the Tap Bar looks awesome!
Monday, May 12, 2008 // DOORS 8:00 PM // ADV $12// DOS $13
Search and Restore presents: Jean-Michel Pilc Trio with Francois Moutin and Billy Hart; The New Mellow Edwards featuring Curtis Hasselbring, Tony Malaby, John Hollenbeck, and Trevor Dunn
Tuesday, May 13, 2008 // DOORS 8:00 PM // ADV $12// DOS $13
Search and Restore presents: Todd Sickafoose's Blood Orange with Shane Endsley, Alan Ferber, Brian Coogan, Mike Gamble, Simon Lott & Viola Boldt; Bill McHenry Quartet with Duane Eubanks, Ben Street & RJ Miller
Wednesday, May 14, 2008 // DOORS 8:00 PM // ADV $12// DOS $13
Search and Restore presents: Brad Shepik Trio with Mark Ferber & Drew Gress; Josh Roseman's Constellations with Jacob Garchik, Curtis Hasselbring, Mark Shim, Josh Roseman, Ambrose Akinmusire, Shane Endsley, Peter Apfelbaum, Nir Felder, Chris Lightcap, mor

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Cape Cod and Cambridge

I'm doing my research for an upcoming trip to Cape Cod to visit relatives and then a work seminar in Cambridge. I'm very happy that the Mon night will have some of the Club D'elf guys playing in Cambridge! I was really hoping to finally see d'Elf in thier own hood, but this is the next best thing.

If I can get my relatives interested, it looks like Harry's Blues Bar is the option for Cape Cod on the weekend.

Mondays May 12, 19 & 26, 2008
Grand Fatilla (Mike Rivard (double bass), Roberto Cassan (accordion), Matt Glover
(elec mandolin) & Fabio Pirozzolo (perc & voice)).
Atwoods Tavern, 877 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA. 617-864-2792.
9 pm - 12 am. Free!
Modern Global Music on shuffle...Argentian Tangos, Italian Tarrantellas, Turkish
Sufi sacred songs, Irish reels, Moroccan trance, Bulgarian dance music, and music
from composers Hermeto Pascoal, Astor Piazzola, as well as originals from the band

Haden/Iverson/Motion + Galactic 5/7/08

I took off today just so I could sleep in and continue recovering from jazzfest. It was originally going to be Lettuce and then Galactic, but the Lettuce show got moved to the 11th. That gave me a chance to get to the Vanguard for a wonderful jazz trio.

I took a 1.5 hour nap and then headed over to the Vanguard. It was my first time seeing Charlie Haden. The trio also included Ethan Iverson and Paul Motion. Wow! Haden is phenomenal and now I know I have to see his Quartet West during JVC jazzfest at Le Poisson Rouge. It was great, but definitely a good idea to go well-rested. It was pretty mellow but quite engaging. They are all top-notch and I'm so glad I made it.

It was also cool that I was way up front, right behind Iverson. I could see his right hand moving along the keys and had a good view of Haden as well. I could see Motion good enough.

It turned out I was sitting next to a Parisian with the same profession as me who loves jazz and is here visiting for a month. I gave her some tips on where to go and asked her about Paris jazz. I'm sorry to say the Cafe 7 Lezards that I loved closed. She said the neighbors in that area (the Marais, near the Temple) are uptight about noise and that's why it closed. Bummer. Especially since Paris is loud period. The vespas are noise. I'm so glad I got the chance to get there because it was a wonderful place with great tea and a nice, laid back vibe.

Then I went to BBs for a late night after-jammy's Galactic show. They played from about 1 to a little after 3. It was good, but nowhere near the level of the Tips show (as I already anticipated) or even their jazzfest set. The crowd was into it and dancing and giving what they could, but understandably pretty tired after a long night of Jammy's music and awards shows and many recovering from jazzfest. It was still fun and a helpful transition for getting back into normal life.

The Jurassic 5 rappers didn't thrill me, I could have done without them. An 8 yo guitar player sat in and did Crazy Train. Apparently there is a youtube vid of this kid that everyone is talking about. He is very good, but in my opinion, didn't need to sing. I guess he's one of our future shredders. It will be interesting to see how he evolves, as I think of another child guitar protege, Derek Trucks.

Cochemea sat in for one and was great. Grace Potter came out toward the end for Whole Lotta Love.

It was very annoying how they kept turning on the lights in the crowd. Is that just a NY thing? It don't seem to see that obnoxiousness anywhere else I go. It's really bad in the wee hours of the morning. I keep trying to remember to bring sunglasses, but it's a hassle to carry them around.

I definitely enjoyed the drum solo most of all. I also can't get over how I never get sick of Galactic. There's lots of bands I have to be careful how much I see them. There have been times where I've left Galactic because the particular night wasn't doing it for me, but I never seem to get sick of the music. I'm also recalling a road trip about 6 years ago where we rented a car for the day and I said I'd bring the music. My friend couldn't get over how I brought about 20 cds and at least half of them had Galactic on them. I had brought a lot of NOLA compilation cds as well as Galactic. That's when I realized I really love them.

Anyway it was a fun night and it's great to have a day to sleep in after working the last 2 pretty tired.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Le Poisson Rouge

It really looks like this place is going to be awesome. They use Brown Paper Tickets, in which the fees are $1.99 and a portion of that is donated to an organization in the community. So far, the only potential downside I can think of is if they don’t let you dance. I have a feeling they do given some of the gigs they’ve booked.

Events and info for (le) poisson rouge
Address: 158 Bleecker St
New York, NY 10012


(le) poisson rouge is a multimedia art cabaret founded by musicians on the site of the historic Village Gate. Dedicated to the fusion of popular and art cultures in music, film, theater, dance, and fine art, the venue's mission is to revive the symbiotic relationship between art and revelry; to establish a creative asylum for both artists and audiences.

LPR prides itself in offering the highest quality eclectic programming, impeccable acoustics, and bold design. The state-of-the art performance space offers full flexibility in multiple configurations: seated, standing, in-the-round, and numerous alternative arrangements. A work of art itself, the physical facilities are the embodiment of the experimental philosophy that drives the venue.

LPR is a source you can trust for exposure to visionary work, people of character, and a consistently dynamic environment. We invite you to immerse yourself in a nightlife of true substance and vitality. Bring open mind and drinking shoes.

Join us on MySpace or Facebook


Jazzfest @ Night 2008

Wed night I went to the Megalomaniacs Ball, but I missed the 1st 2 acts, Marco Trio and Maelstrom Trio. I got there just in time for Go Go Jungle. That was pretty good, I love how different it is. And, 3 percussionists is always a good thing for me. Mark Sutherland was there playing the sax. I do wish he played a little more. I also wish they would let him sit in on the other bands.

I was thinking about running over to Chickie Wah Wah for some of Kirk Joseph’s Sousapalooza and skipping the Stanton Moore Trio, which I’ve seen way too many times. The “problem” was they were doing an incredible job of changing the set pretty quickly and I figured if I got there during setbreak, it wouldn’t be worth it. That’s OK because I did enjoy the Stanton Moore Trio which had Robert Walter on organ and Will Bernard on guitar. I was even really enjoying Robert on the bass lines. I have seen it a few too many times, though.

The setbreak for Garage a Trios was longer. I should have known because Stanton needs breaks since he plays so intensely. I enjoyed it, especially the last 45 minutes or so. It went until 4am, which was a good way to start off my fest music experience. They played a lot of stuff off of their new album they are working on. You could see a lot of Marco influence in the new stuff. It kind of changes the band a bit. They’re a little happier and a little sentimental. I can’t really remember that much since it was so long ago, almost a week ago with too much music in between. The last 45 minutes or so had the old intense stuff.

They were very excited about this show and let us know this was the 1st annual Megalomaniacs Ball. I could see it evolving into something more. I do also wish they had Brian Coogin come and sit in on the later stuff. I didn’t get to see him at this trip, and he’s one of my favorites.

I also want to say whoever was doing lights for that show, did a great job. I wish they could give the Sullivan Hall guy a lesson. They did have the lights shining out into the crowd, but they pointed them up so they didn't shine in our faces. It was also a little more subtle. At the end, Stanton had us give a hand to the setup guys, who did do an excellent job.

Thurs night didn't work out for me. I woke up too late for the Maple Leaf show and it was too early for Trombone Shorty at Tips, which was sold out. I decided to take the night off because I knew Fri was a big day and a big night.

Yes, Fri was an amazing night of great music. Mule and then over to the Maple Leaf for some Vidocavich, Marco, and Mike Gordon. I was very impressed with Mike Gordon for the first time. I just have too many Phish biases so I never gave him much of a chance. I also can't help wondering if part of it was due to Johnny V, who tends to bring out the best in the people he plays with. It was fun and grooving. They were going to have special guests, starting with Reid Matthis, but I was ready to REALLY get down at Galactic, so I left for Tips around 4ish.

Galactic is always at their best, most energetic, and happening when they play late night at Tips. It was awesome. I've done the music til the sun comes up enough that I didn't need to stay til the end. I actually enjoyed the rappers a lot. They brought the energy level up even more and were good. I chalk part of that up to the late night vibe.

I was exhausted at the fest on Sat. I did get a nap and then it didn't matter what I felt like at Mule. The music was so incredible I was fully awake for that. That show was enough for me that night.

It all caught up with me Sun night. I realized too late that Dumstaphunk was going to be an incredible show to be at, and I couldn't get a ticket. I was going to do Astral Project and then just hang out on Frenchman, possibly doing all the shows over there. But, my body wouldn't have it. I fell asleep, woke up at 10 to the alarm and just couldn't do it. I finally got a good solid 7 or 8 hours and was able to get to Howlin Wolf for Zigaboo at 4am. I made the most of it, but it was somewhat disappointing. When they were playing funk, it was fun to dance and I could get into it. However, at some point he brought out these 2 singers and let them sing a lot and played slow tunes. I had to stand outside for that and really wanted to get away from the music. It turned out 4am was the 2nd set, which is not how it used to be in the past. They ended a little before 6, and told us we had to leave the club. Wierd.

I did have a conversation at Zig about how this year, we all collectively seemed older and more mellow. I didn't realize it and thought it was just me. Whatever, it was still a great time and I can't wait til next year.

Fairgrounds 2008

It's too much to write about everything. I like to wander and check out as much as I can. If it's really great, I get pulled in and stay til the end of the set. I bail quick if I'm not feeling it. I also bail often when they change it up, I was feeling it last song, but now is the time to move on kind of thing.

I found myself in the Blues Tent a lot for the 1st half of Thurs. It wasn't too crowded, and I kept getting sucked in there and would stay til the end when I did. I also got sucked in for Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes. It was the strings. Someone was playing a cool looking cello and there was a violin and it all sounded wonderful. That's the first time I liked them, although I usually didn't give them much of a chance. I caught the 1st half of Bonerama, which was good. That was my only time seeing Mark Mullins this year. That was wierd because he used to be in so many bands. He may still be in a lot, I just wasn't there for them. I loved the PBS set. At first I was disappointed when Paige McConnell sat in for several songs, but he sounded good once we could hear him. The little I caught of Geronimo Hunters Mardi Gras Indians was awesome. Donald Harrison was awesome, and it's too bad I left to try Panic once again that day.

Panic wasn't any good. I went back and tried a few times, and they just weren't doing it for me at all. It was also strange when they had the Wild Magnolias up there. I'm not sure if anyone from Panic was even on the stage during that part. I was so bored I decided I was done with them for the day.

Friday was a wonderful fest day. I was more settled in and there was more pulling me in and getting me to stay. Eve's Lucky Planet at the Congo Stage was an excellent way to start my morning. Eve plays bass and sings, there's also an awesome electric banjo, keyboards, and drums. They jammed a lot and ended with a rhumba. They said they play at Apple Barrel. I want to make sure I try to see them again when I go for an off weekend.

I caught the entire tuba woodshed with Kirk Joseph and Matt Perine. It was really awesome. It was cool to see the difference in thier styles. Matt is more into melody and Kirk is more into rhythm. It also made up for my missing Sousapalooza the night before.

Papa Grows Funk was awesome! I usually love their fairgrounds sets. They had such a groovy funk going on. I can't see them too much anymore because I overdid it. So, I was really ready for them this year.

I hadn't planned on making it to the Bad Plus, but they sucked me in! They were phenomenal! I would like to see them play slightly larger venues every now and then, I'm talking larger than the Vanguard. There was a great energy exchange between them and the crowd going on.

I saw the John Butler Trio in the rain and it was awesome. It didn't rain very much and actually felt good after being in the sun for so long.

Sat was my too tired day. It's harder for me to settle in. Luckily Henry Butler delivered with a smoking and phenomenal funky jammy band! I don't know who the bass, guitar, and drums were, but they were really excellent. I think those 3 should be in a lot more bands. That guitar could definitely fill the void in the Funky Meters. I have to get their names at some point, but I was very impressed. It was also great to see Henry in that light. I've only seen him doing jazz or solo piano. I heard the night before he did a great set at Donna's with a Dixieland band. He was awesome when he sat in with Mule both nights. We really need that jazzfest band to come to NYC, they would be awesome here, if only people knew to come.

Sat was nasty at the Fairgrounds. It had rained a lot overnight and it was very muddy. The mud smelled like horseshit, which I don't remember from previous years. I was glad I had a little detergent with me at the hotel that I travel with because I had to wash my clothes, hat, and bag. It made the day more challenging. Luckily, it wasn't too bad the next day.

There was only one other great highlight that day, in spite of my trying lots of different music. It was a spontaneous percussion/chanting/tamborine jam in the Grandstand over by the drums. There was a big circle of people getting down and it was awesome!

Sunday was an awesome day at the fest. I saw bits and pieces of some good music. Finally got sucked in to stay til the end for Sonny Landreth, which was awesome as usual. I also made it to the last 30 minutes of Vernel Bagnen's Jelly Roll and Me. That was great, really great. In the jazz tent, and it was awesome. I already mentioned in my very very best of post how wonderful Abigail Washburn & the Sparrow Quartet was. I ended up in the jazz tent for a while at the end. There wasn't many people in there, and there were people dancing up a storm off to the side. I had to join them. There were so many people up there. Ben Ellis, Rebirth, tons of horns, a few drummers, a guitar, and some pianos. It was great for a while.

Derek Trucks Band sounded awesome from outside the Blues Tent. I'm so disappointed they stuck them in there. I listened to a good bit of Greensleeves which was great and then started to leave with a little of the post jazzfest blues.

That is absolutely hands down the best festival. I had a conversation earlier in the week with a guy who thinks Norway is better because the music quality is much better. I do understand that, given the level of the music I see in NYC. However, the diversity, chance to get turned on to new things, and the FOOD make jazzfest unequivically the best thing going. I do hope to get to Norway at some point, though.

The Very Very Best of Jazzfest 2008

I had a great time. I realized I was continuing with the strings. Right before, I had been seeing a lot of strings and I feel that was still the case this fest. It was also about the bass for me this year. I kept noticing the bass and really grooving on it. I don’t know if it was my state or if I was just in the presence of better than usual bass playing.

I am so glad I chose to just do Wed-Mon this year. It worked really well for me. I also now prioritize sleep as it’s no longer fun when I’m utterly exhausted. The only time I had that was Sat at the fest, and I still got some good music, it just would have been more enjoyable if I was well-rested. I also don’t need to do everything since I get so much great music all the time. It was 4 fests ago when I realized I don’t have to wait until next year when I have a whole city of music waiting for me at home.

Mule was definitely the superb highlight. I realized I had to get tix when they were hyping it up. They haven’t disappointed yet, when they intend to go all out, it’s usually stellar. The venue isn’t so hot, but it was easy to get up front where the sound we pretty good. Since the music had me captivated most of the time, it didn’t matter what the venue was like.

I loved both nights, the whole thing. Things did take a turn for me and get super phenomenal around the last hour of the 1st set and the entire Sat night. They said they were originally only allowed to go until 2:30, but then they said 3. Fri nights encore was at 3 and Sat night ended by 3.

The superstar of both nights was Andy Hess. That’s saying a lot, given the greatness of basically everyone playing. The only one who had no business being up there is Ian Neville. I keep forgetting Brian Stoltz is out of The Funky Meters and that means they are no longer one of my favorite bands. It was a no brainer to stop at the Wolf on my way out on Sat to sell that ticket.

I was a little bummed they took Hess off the stage for a few and let Mike Gordon play. Simply due to wanting the superstar back on, not due to Gordon. I will say Gordon impressed me later that night at The Maple Leaf.

It looks like there’s going to be a DVD of those shows. That over the head swinging camera was obnoxious and I thought the guy was going to hit someone with it at some point. There’s got to be a better way.

The best of the fest for me was Abigail Washburn & the Sparrow Quartet featuring Bela Fleck, Casey Driessen, and Ben Solee. I had left Santana due to boredom and I can't remember where I was heading when I was pulled into the Fais Do Do stage by the sound of incredible banjo playing. 2 banjos, a fiddle, and a cello, and it was stellar. It had a good crowd, but not too crowded. I was able to get up front and felt like I had enough space. It was phenomenal. I think I got the last hour of the 75 minute set. Each of these musicians are phenomenal. It was really cool how at different times Abigail would introduce a band member, giving a little bio and then they'd play one of thier solo songs. I thought that was classy. And, they are phenomenal solo artists. Both the cello and the fiddle sang in the solo, and they are good solos. Both solos were very danceable. Abigail is a great banjo player and has a good voice as well. It was also perfect to be outside in the sun, which didn't feel too hot, and it just filled me with joy.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Mule 5/2 & 5/3/08 Setlists

More later, but these shows blew me away.

This looks like it, but I found it on the internet and may not be 100% correct. I had to correct Walter Wolfman Washington in both setlists, which came from 2 different sources (Wolfman Walter Washington and Wolfman Walter Williams).

It was also 3 horns from Dirty Dozen, not the whole band.

Andy Hess!!!!!

Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, LA 5 /02/08

Set 1

Smokestack Lightning with John Butler
Wandering Child
Dear Prudence* with Jake Cinninger
That's What Love Will Make You Do with Henry Butler and Roosevelt Collier
Perfect Shelter
Spanish Moon with Dirty Dozen Brass Band and DJ Logic
Death Don't Have No Mercy with Dirty Dozen Brass Band and DJ Logic
Brighter Days
Child Of The Earth
Grinnin' In Your Face with Ruthie Foster
A Million Miles From Yesterday with Ruthie Foster

Set 2
Nutbush City Limits* with Grace Potter and Scott Tournet
Whole Lotta Love* with Grace Potter, Scott Tournet and Rich Vogel
Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City* with Walter Wolfman Washington
Streamline Woman
Brand New Angel
Loser-> with Mike Gordon and Steve Molitz
Terrapin Station Jam-> with Mike Gordon and Steve Molitz
Loser with Mike Gordon and Steve Molitz
I'm A Ram
Unblow Your Horn/Reblow Your Mind with Cyril Neville
Gilded Splinters* with Papa Mali, Ian Neville and Cyril Neville
Fortune Teller* with Cyril Neville and Papa Mali
Larger Than Life
Sco-Mule with Tim Greene

Mule with Tim Greene

*first time played

5.03.2008 Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, LA

Set 1
Unring The Bell
Blind Man In The Dark
You Got Me Hummin'* with Dave Malone
Parchman Farm* with Dave Malone
Come Into My Kitchen with Bela Fleck
Fortunate Son* with Ivan Neville & George Porter
Sailing Shoes with Ivan Neville & George Porter
Hey Julia* with Ivan Neville & George Porter
Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley with Ivan Neville & George Porter
When The Levee Breaks with Kirk Douglas & Owen Biddle
Gold Dust Woman with Grace Potter
Who Knows* with Grace Potter & Brendan Bayliss
Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody's Home with Sonny Landreth
Goin' Out West with Eric McFadden

Set 2
Africa (New Orleans) with Ivan Neville, Stanton Moore, Cyril Neville & Eric Krasno
32/20 Blues with Count M'Butu, Kofi Burbridge & Eric Krasno
The Sky Is Crying with Walter Trout, Count M'Butu & Henry Butler
Everyday I Have The Blues* with Walter Wolfman Washington, Yonrico Scott & Count M'Butu
Three String George with Count M'Butu & Yonrico Scott
Thorazine Shuffle

Soulshine Gospel Intro

*first time played