Thursday, June 19, 2008

Charlie Haden + Brian Blade 6/18/08

Oh yeah! It was an amazing night of music last night! Charlie Haden’s Quartet West at le Poisson Rouge was unbelievable! Very lively and grooving. And, he kept saying the songs were from the late 50s. I thought in some ways they seemed more modern that a lot of stuff I hear today. Well, maybe about the same. It was definitely my favorite way to see Haden. Each musicians was unbelievably amazing. Each one blew me away with their solos. I was tempted to see another set, but I knew it was my only chance to see Brian Blade this round at the Vanguard, and I really wanted to get there.

One thing I was reminded of when I saw the drums at Haden was that Jack de Johnette had a very interesting cymbal setup the night before at the Alice Coltrane thing. He had lots of them and the way he played them was awesome. I had to mention it even though it doesn’t really belong in this post.

Charlie played from about 7:45 to 9:00. That meant I was going to be late to the Vanguard and might not get in. Scott and Jen were originally going to come with me, but decided not to because of tiredness. I’m so glad because I wouldn’t have gotten in. Actually, when I got there, I saw the sold out sign on the door. Still, since it was my only chance and I figured there was a slim hope they could fit one, I decided to try. I went down and told the hostess I had a reservation and is it possible to fit one? The band was already on and she told me sorry, she didn’t have any space. Oh well, at least I tried. I was so up from the previous show, I figured I’d at least walk by 55 Bar and see what’s going on. I’m pretty far down the street and I hear “excuse me, did you say you have a reservation?” I turn around and it’s the hostess. She chased me down to tell me she did have one open spot and she could squeeze me into a very tight spot. Awesome! I thought that was so cool that she chased me down.

The spot was pretty close the front and the show was amazing. I couldn’t see the drum kit, but I could see Brian just fine. I was behind the piano, which sounded great, but I was mainly mesmerized by Brian’s playing. The entire band was dropdead amazing. One guy played the alto sax and bass clarinet. Another guy played tenor sax. The guitar was phenomenal. The bass and piano were awesome. Brian is one of the best drummers alive. I think he was one of Johnny V.’s students. He’s got an amazing intensity and he has a ball. There were many moments where he didn’t play, which was good because then we could pay attention to the other great musicians on stage. When he was playing, it was hard to focus on anyone else.

That was one of my favorite nights of the last couple of weeks.

On my way home, I got caught by a guitar trio playing at the restaurant, Resto Leon. They had all the doors to the bistro open so it was like there was no wall in between the restaurant and the outside. I stood out there and watched the band for a song, and then had to get going. They were pretty good. I don’t remember them doing live music before, but hopefully this is a new thing. It’s on 12th St and 1st Ave.

1 comment:

Jeff Albert said...

Yes, Brian definitely studied with Johnny V.