Friday, August 29, 2008

Billy Hart @ Small's 8/28/08

I couldn't go home after a show like that. But, I forgot to scope out the potentials before I left. Had I realized the RUCMA Living Theatre gig was going on, I would have probably done that. I did remember that The Billy Hart Quartet was playing at Small's and there was some reason I was especially attracted to it even though I couldn't remember.

I got there during the 2nd song. I was told it was packed but to check out the room and if I wanted to stand in the back I could. Before I looked I said "oh, but it sounds pretty mellow down there". The door guy informed me it was the 2nd song and the 1st song was pretty rollicking. When Small's is crowded I want to be in the back anyway, so I took the option.

Oh yeah, it was Ethan Iverson that was especially drawing me to this gig. I loved my spot because I could see good enough and had a little space. They don't let it get too crowded and most people are sitting. I got to dance a little and the music was great. It thought it was the perfect after-show to the brilliance I saw earlier.

This was a top-notch jazz band and everyone was great. I hadn't seen Billy Hart in an long time and I've come to really appreciate Ben Street. The sax was great, I'm not sure if I've seen him before.

What a nice night!

The Billy Hart Qt w. Ethan Iverson, Mark Turner, Ben Street

Todd Sickafoose Tiny Resistors @ Joe's Pub 8/28/08

This was phenomenal! I hope to see it a lot. It was expected to be superb, I think it was even better than I could imagine. Each one of them blew me away. This music gives everyone a chance to shine and show their stuff. I can't wait to listen to the cd, which I know will be phenomenal as well. I expect it to be great in a different way. What happened live last night was way more intense than can probably get on a cd. All of his CDs are incredibly good.

He also seemed very happy to be in NYC. There was a good amount of people there, but it wasn't sold out. It made it comfortable. He was very happy to see so many people out. I see he's got a gig in Philly and then a bunch in CA. I hope he does it in NYC a lot like he did Blood Orange. I also hope this isn't the end of Blood Orange.

I bought the CD and will listen to it later. I can't wait. I might have to put it on my ipod for my quick trip to FL this weekend.

Alan Ferber is unbelievably great as is everyone on the bill and everyone I've ever seen Todd play with. He gave me some special moments. Todd first brought him to my attention, but now I try to seek him out.

I was so happy to see John Ellis on bass clarinet. I'm still loving that instrument and I really love what he did with it.

Jenny Sheinman! She really took it away in several different moments. I mean, she was incredible. It was so intense I wasn't sure I could take it. I think I had some of the most amazing musical moments of my life with some of her playing last night.

Ben was catching my attention at many many moments. He had some of his bells as well. I would have been happy with any of Todd's drummers, but I was glad to see Ben come out.

Of course Todd was as good as always. He had plenty of times to shine as well.

The guitars were awesome. I think Adam Levy is great and I'm glad to see him getting more attention with the Wed night Banjo Jim's thing. It was nice to see Mike Gamble again so soon.

If there had been 2 sets and I was at the first I would have definitely stayed for the 2nd.

John Ellis (sax & bass clarinet)
Alan Ferber (trombone)
Jenny Scheinman (violin)
Adam Levy (guitar)
Mike Gamble (guitar)
Ben Perowsky (drums)
Todd Sickafoose (bass)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Charlie Hunter @ Drom 8/27/08

I finally made it to the last night of the residency. I'm so glad I did. I got there around 10:30 and was told they came on about 15 minutes ago. I was glad to see so many people there, and a lot standing in between the bar and the tables. The first stander I saw was Andy Hess.

It wasn't crowded at all, and if there weren't tables it wouldn't have seemed like too many. Still, there were a lot for after 10 on a Wed at that place for jazz. I saw a friend who told me he was there last weekend and they had no tables, so there was a big dance floor. I had been wondering if they ever did that and figured they had to.

I was really into the music for a while. I was able to walk in front of the standers and had a great view. It was to the right of my usual spot, which was taken up with audio and video recording equipment. I loved the drummer, who I don't think I've seen before. Charlie was awesome. The keyboard was fine but I didn't care for the tingy sound that often came out of his playing. Actually, I was irritated by it. No one else seemed to mind. He wasn't doing it the whole time, but often.

I thought I'd be able to stay a little longer if I got a drink. I went over to the bar and there was only 1 bartender which didn't make sense since it was a drinking crowd. It made me wonder since this is the 4th time Charlie has played there this month. Was this the busiest night of the run? Were they unable to get a 2nd bartender? Did they figure they would only need 2 for a couple of hours so they could do without? who knows. After waiting through a song and a half I gave up.

I went back and enjoyed some more, but then the tinginess got to me and I had to go. I left around 11:15 and was pretty satisfied.

I just copied the listing and I'm very surprised that was Erik Deutsch. I'm pretty sure I've enjoyed him in the past. I also don't think many people shared my feelings, they seemed to be into the whole thing.

There were some really awesome drum solos. I think Charile always does a great job with picking drummers. I've loved every one of them I've seen with him so far.

CHARLIE HUNTER TRIO featuring Erik Deutsch (keyboards) & Tony Mason (drums)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pedro Giraudo Jazz Orchestra 8/25/08

After the jazz, I went home to get some chores done. But, I also needed more music. I went back out for the 9:30 show at Jazz Standard. I'm so glad I did. This was an awesome great orchestra. They were all pretty young, which I guess is why the price was so low. Pedro is from Argentina and he did some of his compositions and some Argentine folk music.

It was interesting that for one tune he had the drummers leave the stage. There were some others were some of the horns left, but the drummers? Now, I do remember that Pedro was in that tango show I saw at Jazz Standard last winter. There were no drums in that at all. I just googled drums, argentina and got plenty of hits. So, I have a feeling it's just Argentine tango that might skip drums sometimes.

It was great with drums, without drums, with horns, with less horns, however.

They were all excellent musicians. I loved having the cajon, that Peruvian box drum there. There was one piece where he was playing on the kit with the other drummer. Pretty cool.

I'm so glad I went back out!

Pedro Giraudo Jazz Orchestra
Pedro Giraudo – bass, compositions & arrangements
Will Vinson, Todd Bashore, Luke Batson, Carl Maraghi – reeds
Jonathan Powell, Tatum Greenblatt, Ryan Keberle, Mike Fahie – brass
Jess Jurkovic – piano
Jeff Davis – drums
Tony de Vivo – cajon
Special Guest Sofia Tosello – vocals
Tickets: $15 plus tax

Creative Jazz Collective @ Yippie Cafe 8/25/08

So I finally made it to Yippie Cafe. So hard to describe. Where do I begin? It's like a cross between a community center, a cafe, a rundown college dorm room for a bunch of people, and a beat poet hang. You walk in and there's some couches and an area in the back of the room. Then there are a couple of high tables and a bar to the left with sodas and beers and waters. Then there's a loft type space above some cafe tables. The loft ends where the band plays, at the end of the room in front of the tables. Behind them looks like a dresser or something, some amps on furniture, and then a run-down looking wall.

The music was great. I was able to drown out the people sitting in the back that were just there to hang out and had no interest or knowledge of the music. It really wasn't hard. I stood behind one of the high little tables, right by the steps to the loft.

The only one who looked familiar was Gelnn Baik, the keyboard guy. They were all great and each gave me aha moments. It was definitely on the straight ahead spectrum yet still creative. A lot of it had a beat to it. It was awesome and a nice way to spend an hour early on a Monday.

Creative Jazz Collective
Monday, August 25 @ 7:00 PM
Yippie Cafe: 9 Bleecker Street
General Admission: $10
Students & Seniors: $7
Jam Session, 8:30 PM: $5
Sean King (saxophone)
Glenn Balk (keyboards)
Ebert Mahon (bass)
Angelo Branford (guitar)
Ron Fletcher (drums)

theYoungEquestrians @ The Stone 8/24/08

Sun night was when I started feeling normal again after the trip to SF. I had anticipated a Shayna Dulberger solo at The Stone. Instead it was a whole band. At first I didn’t see her, so I thought I got the night mixed up. No bother since it’s The Stone and I will like whatever is there. I was happy when I saw her later and the setup looked interesting.

It was great. It was more like jam music than jazz, but it definitely was on the jazz/experimental side of things rather than the jammy side of things. There was one piece that I wanted to get up and really dance. I got a cd, which I like, but I liked it live even more. They had a gig the next night at Cake Shop and then the following night somewhere else. I take that to mean they play at least a little more often than rarely. I’m surprised I hadn’t heard of them yet, but maybe because I think the only “name” is Shayna. They were all great.

Mikey Freedom Hart - keyboards, electronics, other things
Chris Welcome - accordion, guitar, cello
Shayna Dulberger - upright bass, electric bass
Rich Levinson - drums, glockenspiel

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Campbell Brothers’ Sacred Funk 8/23/08

This was a consolation prize for coming back early. It was part of the Lincoln Center Out of Doors 25th Annual Roots of American Music Festival. It was The Campbell Brothers with Kirk Joseph, a trumpet and a sax. Marc Stone also sat in for a song or 2. I was now jetlagged the other way, but I still enjoyed this. People sat for most of it, but whenever the brother asked them to get up they did happily. I think it's the whole chair thing and not wanting to buck the trend that does it because I think many of them would have loved to be dancing the whole time. I was in one of the side areas so I could stand and dance the whole time.

It was fun, but I was tired. I left after the show and came home for a nice 3 hour nap. I got up just in time to head out to National Underground for a NOLA hodgepodge. It was Kirk Joseph, Marc Stone, the trumpet and sax from the earlier show, and a drummer. Another tenor sat in for the whole show. Kirk mentioned anyone with an instrument can come up an sit in, that's how they do things NOLA-style.

That show was more my speed due to being in a small space with other people dancing. I really liked the space. I hadn't been downstairs yet. I like the vibe and it's nice and small. It's probably the size of 55 Bar, but there's only a few tables off to the sides. It might be a little smaller.

They played 1 long set. They were pretty tired, but would have done another if there was a huge demand.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Duo @ Mojito 8/19/08

I ended up only able to make it for the Tues night show. I had every intention of hitting the Wed show, but jetlag and the work thing made me not want to risk being overly tired. It was the right thing to do, but I really wish I could have made it.

It was a great show. I got the feeling it was mellower than other nights. Joe had a little xylophone set up instead of his usual box thing. There were some nice moments with that. It was a great show and had everything, it got intense at times, mellow at times, and they were really into it.

It was a lot of people's first show. That was interesting. There were also people who know their music well. It did have a little strange feeling, but maybe it was because of the mellowness for the early parts of the show.

I got there around 10:40pm and they were on already. I thought there was an opening band, but I'm not so sure. I couldn't get confirmation, most of the people I talked to got there after their set started. It was 2 sets and I stayed until the end. My perception of the vibe could have been due to exhaustion and jetlag. My plane had landed at around 8pm. It just seemed a little dead in there, in spite of there being plenty of people early. They seemed to lack energy or something. I could be way off and perhaps it was me who was lacking energy.

The encore was awesome. They asked if Topaz was there, but no response. It would have been nice to have a sax at the end, but then they did one of my favorite Duo songs so it was OK.

I'm glad I was able to be there and I'm hoping they will do something like that here.

I didn't realize the Outside Lands festival was in Golden Gate Park. I don't think I could have stayed through the weekend this year, but it would have been nice to go.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Positive Catastrophe @ Zebulon 8/17/08

I had all the day shows on my list, but I couldn’t make it to any of them. I had stuff to take care of. I did want something for the night, so I consulted All About Jazz, both the on-line and the paper calendars, which often have different stuff. When I got to the paper, I couldn’t believe it when I saw this gig, Wollesen/Blumenkranz/Belogenis. If I found anything with any of the 3 of them I would have gone. These are top-notch, always good musicians. And, it was awesome. They played from 10 to 11, and I loved every minute. I don’t think it was out there at all, just great improvised jazz. There were lots of great drum and bass solos. Louis just had his tenor and sounded awesome. There was one point where Shanir was doing something that sounded different with his upright, more electric. But, I’m not sure how he got that sound, I didn’t see any pedals or anything. He only did it for a bit during one piece, with the bow.

The whole thing was perfect, and I really love that place. About 10 minutes before they came on, the owner that usually DJs and does the soundbooth put on one of the tracks from the Zebulon CDs with Kenny on it. It really got them in the mood. Right before that he had Baye’s CD on and that was starting to get us in the mood.

I’m so glad I check AAJ. They call themselves Positive Catastrophe, and I wouldn’t have known to go.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

RANA @ Mercury Lounge 8/16/08

I thought I'd start at RANA and then most likely go to Banjo Jim's for Brooklyn Boogaloo Blowout or Rehab for FunkArk. I knew it was a while since RANA has played and it might not be as good as I remember.

I got there during the 2nd to last song of the band before them. Metzger came up and joined them for the last song, and reminded me how great he is. It was awesome once he joined. I was getting pretty psyched for RANA after that.

Now, A Big Yes And A Small No were playing first and then there were 2 more bands before RANA. That meant that many of the RANA/Russo fans were pretty drunk by the time they came on. They weren't that bad, though. It just meant more beers were getting spilled on me than usual.

I guess they came on at around 11:30. They started out pretty good and ended pretty good. The middle was kind of boring and I ended up standing outside for a lot of that.

At setbreak, it seemed too late to go to Banjo Jim's, where it was scheduled to end at 1am and it was too early to go to Rehab, where it was scheduled to start at 1am. I figured I would stick around for at least part of the 2nd set and see what happens.

I'm very glad I did because it was definitely much better. It was pretty good considering they hadn't played in a long time. I was into it and had no desire to go to Rehab to check out a funk band I've never seen before. I wanted rock.

Things got great, I mean really great for the last 1/2 hour. They ended the set with their instrumental that put me in another zone. It was phenomenal. I think that was the last song and they turned on the music, but we wanted an encore and we were able to get a short song and then a great long song. It was an awesome way to end, I guess at around 2:30.

I now wish they had more instrumentals and it would be really great to get an all instrumental show some time. Yes, I am assuming I will be seeing them again. There were some in the crowd yelling out that they should tour. They said no, but indicated they would probably be playing NYC again.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Garage a Trois @ Highline 8/14/08

That was an awesome show! I really needed to dance my butt off and that I did.

Mike D. had a flight fiasco coming from TX, so he was late. I got there around 9:30 and they weren't on yet and it seemed a little weird. They came on around 10, but told us their opening band cancelled without telling them. I was surprised because there was no opening band listed on Highline's site and they are usually good about that. Then they tell us Mike D's plane just landed and they are trying to get the traffic gods to get him here quick. So, this trio is going to be our opening band.

Now, I was pretty happy about that. I was remembering how they started as a trio. And, the music was pretty good. But, it was a little lacking and I didn't give Mike any credit at the time. I knew I would like to see him play,but thought they could pull it off if any one of them didn't show. I attributed any lack to the musicians really missing Mike and the crowd thinking they needed him.

Well, he showed up right at the end of that first set, I guess around 11 and brought his drum on stage. Boy did that change everything and bring it to a whole other level! OK, so I was wrong and it doesn't work quite as well without him.

But, it you think of it as an opening band, it was awesome. We are the only ones to get that because now they are all together for the tour, so it was special.

The band came on at about 11:30 and played until 1:10. It was absolutely phenomenal. Mike was thrilled to be off the plane and playing, the others were thrilled to have him with them, and it was awesome. We got some improvised rapping where we heard some of the story of him sitting on the tarmac for 6 hours or something.

I was in another zone for that show. They also seemed to like the venue. It was too bad there weren't more people, but it wasn't empty either. And, the other people that usually come are the talkers. There were some talkers, but it was easy to move and be back in the music zone.

Stanton was the one keeping the groove and had me dancing my butt off. Everyone was amazing and all the solo/feature parts were right on.

I'm leaving the day before they play SF to come home. Now I'm wondering what possessed me. I had lower expectations this time. I will say that I loved the new material this show. It was either way better than at the Megalomaniacs Ball at the Wolf during jazzfest or I was way more into it. I thought the cd would be out, but it's not. I think that's a marketing thing these days, tour to get up hype about the new material. I hope it means another tour when it comes out.

I do get to see at least one night of The Duo at a tiny space in SF next week. It's the night before my big presentation, but I think I do better on those when I'm a little tired.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Irma Thomas + Joel Dorn + Mike Gordon 8/13/08

I found out about the Joel Dorn tribute after I bought tickets to Irma Thomas at Joe’s Pub and Mike Gordon at Highline. I was all set to blow them off for the Joel Dorn tribute, mainly due to Greg sending it around and saying attendance is required. It sounded like something I didn’t want to miss! But, as I was on my way to the subway, I suddenly turned and walked toward Joe’s Pub. I really wanted Irma, and my being was going to make sure I got there.

She was awesome! It was so nice to see her in such a small space. I’ve only seen portions of her show at Jazzfest, due to the crowds. I got a standing spot at the bottom of the stairs from the bar area stage left and had the best view of everything. I only like amazing wonderful singers and she really rates up there. They were performing songs from her new CD that she was really pushing. It does sound good, she’s many different piano players on it including Dr. John, John Medesky, Ellis Marsalis, David Tourknowsky, Tom McDermott, Marcia Ball, John Cleary, and someone else I didn’t know, the only one I didn’t know. She brought David T. and Tom M. with her as well as 2 backup singers. She had local talent, Rocky Bryant and someone else for the drums and bass.

She also told us which piano players were on which songs before she did them. David T. played most of it, but Tom M. did play a few. After she would tell us which piano player is on the record, I could tell the song was their style. The 2 Dr. John songs had just Irma and the piano. Marcia Ball’s song was so Marcia! John Medeski got to pick his song and it was great. The Ellis Marsalis was a good standard, she wanted to let us know she could do standards, and boy could she! The name I didn’t know had one of my favorite songs.

She really charmed me. What a classy, elegant, down-to-earth lady! That was very special to be somewhere so intimate.

It went til about 8:50, with the encore. I then got myself up to Lincoln Center, thinking I’d get there in time for the grand finale. It didn’t go down that way. I guess they did the best stuff early and I missed it. I really would have liked to see Mocean Worker, but it just wasn’t meant to be. I got there and they just brought out Wardell Quezergue. They said they wanted Aaron Neville to be there, but he couldn’t make it. So, they were going to have Quezergue conduct to a recording of Neville. Super Lame! Also, I am in no way a fan of Aaron Neville’s. I just never liked his voice. I know I’m in the minority on that one, it’s just the way it is.

Then, there was a good clip of Joel Dorn talking about Roberta Flack and how Clint Eastwood’s movie made her song popular. Then, Dorn’s non-musical son came out and gave a speech. Then they had a band on the stage, but showed a picture of Dave Fathead Newman and played a recording of a jazz tune. Then, this band who was onstage, and had Dorn’s other son up there started playing and the singing was bad. I couldn’t do that after Irma, so I left.

I was disappointed with the Dorn part I saw, but it was my own fault for not going earlier. I know I got the better thing for me, though. I am so so glad to have had that opportunity to see Irma like that.

I did kind of like the Lincoln Center Out of Doors setup. It is really like the Indoors setup, but it’s outside. There are tons of chairs and it you want to stand, you have to stay in the back. That was the only downside for me, but it was nice to see a bar and that you could actually drink outside. It’s also nice that you don’t have to go through any turnstiles or anything to be there. They also allow you to go inside to use the rest rooms, so indoor plumbing is an awesome feature. I think it’s pretty good for an outdoor venue. Also, the seats make it more of an occasion to see a show as opposed to hanging out which is what many of the free venues in NYC are about.

Now, you’re probably wondering what I was doing with a Mike Gordon ticket since I was never into Phish. He impressed me enough last jazzfest at the Maple Leaf with Marco and Vidocovich that I was interested in checking this out. I kind of bought the ticket on a whim when I was there buying for tonight’s Garage a Trois show. I got there at about 10:20 and they were already on. When I walked up I thought it was still the opener, The Bridge, because it was so grooving. I was glad to see it wasn’t so as I didn’t want to stay out too long. When they were just doing instrumental, it was awesome. They did ruin it by singing, but it was’t hard to get passed the singing and I did enjoy the 20 minutes I was there. After 20 minutes, I decided I got the taste I was looking for and that was enough.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ron Miles Quartet @ Jazz Standard 8/12/08

This was stellar. I highly recommend getting there tonight or tomorrow night, before it's gone. I was having trouble thinking of the music as jazz, it seemed kind of "pop-ish", and just very different. Then, I realized it's jazz guitar, jazz drumming, jazz bass, and a trumpet. How could it not be jazz? It's definitely not "straight ahead" jazz, that's for sure. Even when they played the Duke Ellington tune. I heard the first set they did a Monk tune and it was different. I kind of wished I went to both sets.

I say "pop-ish" because I think it would appeal to a lot of people, not just people who like jazz. There's a quality to it that I can't describe, but it adds something.

Ron Miles has an interesting trumpet. It's made in Portland. It's in G instead of B-Flat, so it's lower. I'm glad he told us because I was really wondering about it. It looks like a cross between a trumpet and a cornet.

There was definitely a heavy Bill Frisell influence in the music.

I found myself getting caught up with either the bass or the drums at times and forgetting there were others up there. They are all excellent musicians who can really grab you. I'll have to keep an eye out for each of them.

It was about a 70 minute set. Ron asked us if they could do one more after an hour and we were like "yeah! Of course!" He wasn't sure because he's from Denver. It's true that most jazz sets are an hour, but most of them have room to play a little longer if they want. I remember Chris Potter doing a 90 minute set at Jazz Standard before.

TUE - THU AUGUST 12 - 14
Ron Miles Quartet featuring Bill Frisell, Reginald Veal, Matt Wilson
Ron Miles – trumpet
Bill Frisell – electric and acoustic guitar
Reginald Veal – bass
Matt Wilson – drums
Tickets: $25 plus tax

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Arturo O'Farrill Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra 8/10/08

It was a great way to end the weekend. I had invited a couple of my jazz loving friends from the workshop to Jazz Standard. When the workshop ended, we were able to gather up 10 people who were really into it. I called on the way over and found out there was plenty of room and told them we'd be there is 15 min. I didn't give my name, so it was fun when I showed up and they saw it was me. They were very happy to see us. We got the long table state left, and really help feed the giant orchestra good energy

It was phenomenal, so full of life. There was one song where Arturo's son came out and played trumpet for his own composition. It was the funkiest composition of the set, I was impressed. The whole thing was amazing. I found out the band they have at Birdland has some different members and they play all Chico O'Farrill's music. This band played one of his tunes, and then a bunch of other stuff. I hadn't realized until now that they call it "Afro-Latin" and not "Afro-Cuban".

The orchestra also work with at-risk kids. They get them instruments and lessons. It sounds like a good thing.

I had a great time, and even got a comped cover for bringing in so many great people on a slow night. Band members were coming up to us and telling us how great our energy was. Everyone in the place was into it and clapping, but I think we gave them a little more. One friend showed up late and they gave her a very reduced cover.

There's a different drummer listed below. That night we had Pheonix Rivera. The whole percussion section was phenomenal. I was really digging Jimmy Delgado on the bongos.

It was an awesome night and I'm looking forward to the next time they play there.

Arturo O'Farrill Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra
Arturo O’Farrill – piano, musical director
Michael Philip Mossman, Jim Seeley, John Walsh, Seneca Black – trumpet
Reynaldo Jorge, Gary Valente, Luis Bonilla – trombone
Doug Purviance – bass trombone
Bobby Porcelli, Erica von Kleist – alto saxophone
Peter Brainin, Ivan Renta – tenor saxophone
Jason Marshall – baritone saxophone
Ruben Rodriguez – bass
Vince Cherico – drums
Jimmy Delgado – percussion
Tony Rosa – percussion

Chicago Afrobeat Project + TSP 8/9/08

I just wanted a little music, so I went over to Drom at about 9:30. Chicago Afrobeat Project was waiting around for some people to show up or something, but they had friends that had been there since 9. They decided to do a short 40 min set at around 10. I was glad, because that's about all I needed.

It was good. I love the sound at Drom and there was lots of percussion. I especially liked the last song where everyone played percussion. I did enjoy it a little more when I saw them at Highline last Oct. They had less horns this time. It was still fun and worth going to.

They said they had dancers and special guests for the 2nd set, but I was satisfied and didn't need to stick around.

On my way home, I heard some awesome creative, lively jazz coming from Tompkins Square Park. I heard it on my way over, but it didn't even occur to me to stop, This time I let it suck me in. I couldn't believe it when I saw Daniel Carter on the tenor! There was also a great drummer, who I thought might have looked familiar. As time went on, it seemed like Daniel was there jamming because of that drummer, whose name I think is Eugene. I tried to find him on the Internet, but it didn't work. They were the best there, but the whole thing sounded great.

There were 2 kits and a djembe, 2 trumpets, a great bass, and 2 more saxophones. One guy that was great was playing tenor and soprano saxes.

I stayed for about a half hour and left when someone went up to Eugene and wanted his drum kit back. Apparently Eugene was sitting in. I'm glad we got a great drum solo before he left. The guy whose kit it was wasn't bad, I just needed an excuse to get out of there so I could get to bed.

I was taking another one of the Kanes awesome workshops, Creativity and Intuition. Their approach really works well and I feel more well in myself than ever before. And, it's just about listening. Very practical, down to-Earth stuff. It also comes with a great group of people.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Zebulon Tonight

I can't go because I have other plans. If I could be someone at 9pm tonight, I'd be at Zebulon. It would be kind of funny because Darius Jones would probably think I'm stalking him. Now that I think about it, I think it was in Cooper-Moore's band where I first noticed Darius. Anyway, there's another show at 10:30, so this is a great opportunity to get to Zebulon and it will probably start on time. I'm am very impressed with Cooper-Moore and I think you'll like it.
Aug 8 2008 9:00P
Happy Birthday Cleve Pozar, with Cooper Moore and Darius Jones !!!

Infrequent Seams Series @ Le Grand Dakar 8/7/08

I finally made it to Dakar. I've been wanting to check it out since it opened. I always thought it was in Williamsburg, but it's in Clinton Hill, a place I'd never known existed, let alone been there. I treated it like an adventure, kind of like finding a new place in NOLA. I mean, most of Brooklyn is quieter than Manhattan and can seem kind of desolate when you are used to lots of people around always.

It was a short walk from the G train to the place, but it was a pleasant walk. The houses on the south side of Lafayette reminded me of Philly. Le Grand Dakar had a nice vibe, a nice feeling there. I hear the food is very good, so another time I want to drag some Brooklynites out there with me.

I got there during the last song of the first band, Billy Fox's Uncle Wiggly Suite. It was good! Trumpet, sax, keyboard, contrabass, drums, and I think there was something else I'm forgetting. I twas very enjoyable new jazz. I kind of wished I had made it out earlier.

I was coaxed out there by Mike Pride and Dariuis Jones, who are in Mike's project From Bacteria to Boys. That was great. I liked the sound there as well.

I really wanted to stay for the bass duo, but it was about 10:15, and I needed sleep and I was concerned about travelling from somewhere in Brooklyn when it was late. It turned out to be fine, but when I got to the train, one had just arrived before me. Then, it was just me and one other person on the platform waiting for about 10 minutes. There was a station attendant in a booth upstairs, so I guess if it was just me, I could wait up there until the train came. The train had plenty of people and the rest of the journey was fine. When I got back to the East Village, there were tons of people everywhere and it felt quite different.

I loved the spot and will be back. I recommend it. This looks like a good music series. The guy who does it was the bass player in the 1st band. He said it's been at Le Grand Dakar more recently, but it sounds like it can move around at times.
August 7, 8PM $8:: Infrequent Seams Series @ Le Grand Dakar
1. Billy Fox's Uncle Wiggly Suite: Gary Pickard, Matt Parker, Miki Hirose, Evan Mazunik, James Ilgenfritz, and Arei Sekiguchi -- will perform selections from Billy Fox's Clean Feed album, "The Uncle Wiggly Suite"
2. Mike Pride's FROM BACTERIA TO BOYS: MP, drums, compositions / Darius Jones, alto sax / Peter Bitenc, bass
3. Reuben Radding & Michael Bisio Bass Duo
Le Grand Dakar Restaurant
285 Grand Avenue @ Clifton Place (near Lafayette), Clinton Hill, Bklyn.
G train to Classon Avenue - head north on Lafayette, turn right on Grand;
C to Clinton/Washington - head north on Washington, turn right on Lafayette, right again on Grand.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Lincoln Center Out of Doors

I've got to say, it looks especially good this year. I will actually go a few times at least. I now see from the NY Times that the curator is a former director of Joe's Pub, Bill Bragin. I agree with The Times that "this year looks a little more sit-up-and-take-notice than most"

Here's the schedule. I'm cutting my SF trip short just to be here for The Campbell Brothers Sacred Funk Featuring Kirk Joseph's Backyard Horns.

Darius Jones + Uumans @ Roulette 8/6/08

Uumans started out interesting and I liked what the sax was doing for the whole first song. The drummer was fine, but he wasn't grabbing me. I started getting a little tired of it after a while, though. It just wasn't my thing, but others seemed to really like it. The Roulette website says it is a "free energy" group. It was improvised, and there were lots of effects with the sax. It was interesting, I was just ready to move on and I wanted them to play a little less.

I chose this show because of the Dirty South influence, I really like Darius Jones, and the time. I would have gone to Issue Project Room, but I knew I wasn't going to be able to make it over there in time, and this looked like a good consolation prize. The set was about 40-45 minutes, and it was awesome. I really needed some soulful music with great musicians. I hadn't seen the bass or drums before, but I enjoyed their soulful playing a lot. It really struck a nice chord for me. I especially loved the last tune, which Darius dedicated to the South. I think I might have been there in a prior life or something.

Darius Jones w/ Adam Lane & Jason Nazary
Dirty South Soul Improvisation


ferment/foment @ The Stone 8/5/08

This was pretty good. I knew to get there early. There were lots of Europeans, so no one was lining up at first. Then the Stone guy came out and told people to line up. There were 2 people who didn't, but I think it was the custom of their country. Went we went in, they took the last 2 spaces in my row right before i got there and I said "Oh come on, I was here first" and they said OK and moved right away. Wow, that probably wouldn't have happened with New Yorkers.

I should have surveyed the setup a little more before plopping down, however. That night, they were facing the smaller group of seats on the other side. My spot was still good, I could see enough, I was right by Gerald Cleaver, right behind the sax, and I could see the other 2 somewhat.

After making a big deal about how the heat isn't that bad, I found I had trouble with it that night. It was pretty crowded, and they did leave the AC on. It didn't reach over to the first few rows on my side, though. When it was time to go, I noticed there was a spot where it changed and you could actually feel coolness toward the back.

I think the music was the same music I saw at The Rubin Museum last June. It just included a bass and drums this time. It was fun watching Cleaver doing interesting things with the drums. I liked it when he put the tambourine on the cymbal. I like sitting that close when they are doing different things with drums. I have a cd called Just Drums 2, which I love. Until I started going to The Stone, I had no idea how they were making those sounds. Now I have a good idea for many of them, but it's funner for me to see it rather than listen to it with no visuals.

I thought Craig Taborn stood out above and beyond everyone else. I was biased, since I just saw something similar, but he had me the most impressed.

I didn't leave as happy as I am about the show now. I appreciated it more after I saw the opener at Roulette last night. I'll write about that in the next post, but it put things in perspective, not that it was bad, it just made me see how good this The Stone show was. It wasn't just Taborn, it was the whole thing. I just didn't realize it at the time because I was complaining about the heat and the fact that it was the same music.

Michael Formanek (bass) Tim Berne (sax) Craig Taborn (piano) Gerald Cleaver (drums)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Drew Gress + Drum Jam 8/3/08

Earlier when I was eating my breakfast in Tompkins Square Park, I thought I heard someone mention a parade. He didn't look like a typical parade person so I was intrigued, but then forgot about it. Later, around 6pm, I was walking by TSP, and heard a lot of drums coming from in there. I remembered the parade and wanted to see what was up. I was also drawn in by the drums, which were being played with sticks, but it was a very big sound.

In the middle of the park, there was about 20 punker types drumming, all with sticks or something to hit with, various drums and other things. There was an old wheelbarrel, a homemade percussion ensemble set around someone's neck, a lot of metal things including barrels and such. I guess there were about 3 or 4 kits. Only one was set up, the rest of the drums were all over the place. It was a lot of fun, and went on for another half hour. They announced that people need to help clean up because they will only be allowed to do it again if they leave it clean.

There was stages being dismantled, so maybe there was some bands up there. I don't know if there was a parade or not. I like them when they're completely different and all about the music. Like 2nd line parades, or the time I ran into one of those gypsy type music parades in TSP years ago. I don't need floats or beads pelted at me, just give me the music.

That cinched it, I wanted to go to Wollesonics at Nublu that night. But, that was contingent on start time, which is hard to deduce at that place. I stopped by at around 9:40 to gauge and there were no band members there yet, so it was probably going to be too late for me. Well, I'm on Ave C and it's close to 10, so that means The Stone.

Trevor Dunn is the first half of this month curator, so there's lots of contrabass solos. Tonight it was Drew Gress, but he also had electronics. I was curious what that would be like. I think the electronics were more for him to have some melodies to play around. It might have taken some of the pressure off as well. I had a feeling I wasn't alone in thinking we didn't need the background stuff, we would have enjoyed it if he simply played whatever he was playing and skipped the computer. Still, it was easy to focus on the bass and forget there was repetitive stuff coming out the computer. He was awesome.

He picked pretty complex things to play with the bass and it was just great. I don't know how much I'll get there this month, there's too many great things going on. It would be nice to see a bunch of different bass players to get a better idea of what it is capable of.

Drew Gress
Drew Gress (contrabass, electronics)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Matthew Shipp/Steve Dalachinsky 8/2/08

I had plans for later so I was glad to get some early music in. I came for Matthew Shipp, not realizing that I know full well who Steve Dalachinsky is. I see him at many of the best creative music shows. I also saw him read his poetry at Bowery Poetry club before Rashanim played at a Jewish festival a while back. He was also the one who saved the day last year when no one showed up to manage The Stone one night. I had a conversation about that later, and that was the only night it ever happened. It was Daniel Carter, Roy Hargrove, and Sabir Mateen and it was awesome. It was sometime before I started this blog, but I remember it being well worth the wait for the show to begin.

Anyway, the set of poetry and jazz last night was awesome. Both Steve and Matthew wrote poems in the book, which also has lots of pictures. Steve's poetry was written while he was listening to Matthew over the years. Matthew is into math, music, and spirituality.

I love the way Steve reads and I love how rhythmic his poems are. I didn't get the book or any CDs last night, but I remember seeing some CDs of him with various musicians. I might have to pick up a few at some point.

Matthew is amazing and however he played during the readings was phenomenal. Steve also took a break at times and we got some piano soloing.

The whole set was about an hour, and was well worth coming out early for. They charged a $10 admission, which included a drink. I think it was a book release, so the artists didn't want to get paid, but the club wanted to make sure they got something out of the show. That left me to ponder how that's how it works for book promotions. But, CD release parties tend to be a show, which includes admission. Now they tend to do the CD release party as a tour it seems. It's just kind of interesting when you get an entire hour of great music/poetry.

The book was published by a French record label that has a lot of the great creative musicians. It's their first book. It did sound good, I just have so much to read and I'd rather hear it. Still, some of Matthew's poems about math and spirituality got me kind of interested to possibly get the book at some point.

Matthew Shipp (piano) & Steve Dalachinsky (poetry)
in concert for their new book Logos & Language
at the Cornelia Street Cafe
Saturday - August 2, 2008 at 6 PM

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Lage Lund @ Jazz Gallery 8/1/08

I had heard of each band member, but I don't think I've seen any of them yet. This was great. I can see why there's hype about Lage Lund. They were all great and each of them were featured at various times. It was just good old straight ahead jazz. I also missed the Jazz Gallery. I have to get there sometimes. I wasn't going to do anything as I was pretty tired, so I'm glad I made it out for this. I didn't have a res, but all the seats did fill up.

Lage Lund - guitar, Seamus Blake - saxophones, Aaron Parks - piano, Ben Street - bass, Johnathan Blake - drums

MTO @ Drom 7/31/08

Boy did I miss them! I used to see them at least every couple of months. This is another always great show. I had my usual dancing spot at Drom and had a great time.

I hadn't seen Doug Weiselman is so long! He is awesome. I've been into clarinets lately and it was so nice to see him.

Right before his arrangement of Darling Niki, Steven almost always tells us how many strings are on the stage. The other night we had 14 wonderful ones: Charlie Burnham on violin, Ben Allison on bass, and Matt Munisteri on guitar.

Erik Lawrence was blown away amazing. I loved him on baritone sax. Steven kept informing us that Erik just got back from Tanzania. If he was jet lagged, I certainly couldn't tell. He also just got a new soprano, and there was one number with him and Weiselman really doing it up. There was a moment with the baritone that was more like a religious experience for me.

I can't remember the trombone's name, but he was awesome. He was the only one I'm not familiar with.

Ben Perowsky! He had me most of the night.

I almost forgot to mention Peter Apfelbaum. I think that's it, but I could be forgetting someone.

The set went for 2 hours. That was so cool. They need to play around here more often. Steven seemed to like Drom, so hopefully they'll do more there.

There is one downside that the acoustics are so good. There were these 2 girls that came to join their friends just as the music was starting. It was a table of 6 or 7 and the 3 girls talked pretty loudly and basically ignored the music. The other people they were with were really into the music and people would at times try to get them to quiet down. The entire rest of the place was completely into the music. The 2 girls finally left after an hour and some of us were visibly very happy. Then their friend who stayed with the others became a listener and was quiet and paying attention.

This is why I often don't bring people to music. They have to be really into it and kind of know what they are getting into. It's easier at jazz clubs because it's obvious there's no talking there. But, other places, you have to be careful who you bring if you are serious about the show as they could really mess it up. Another reason is I can get sucked into conversing even though I'm violently opposed to it. It's hard not to talk to this fun person when you get sucked into conversation. I understand how it happens.

Vijay Iyer @ Jazz Standard 7/31/08

Always good. Always. I also always forget his music and it's new and fresh every time. He does have a huge repertoire to draw from, and I haven't seen it all, but after he mentioned what some of the songs were I remembered them from other times. He said that each set in this Thur-Sun run will be different. I might go again on Sunday. It was that good.

Everyone in this quartet was awesome. I am a big fan of Marcus Gilmore in whatever he does. I was very impressed with Rudresh Mahanthappa. He has a very grooving style. I realized I've only seen the 2 together a few times, and they've played together many many times. I remembered the first time I saw them at the Knitting Factory Winter Jazzfest, the first one. That was also the first time I saw Robert Glasper and those 2 were the highlights for me. Although, I remember leaving for spell and going to something at Tribeca Rock Club, so I wasn't there all night.

This was a great way to start my evening and I was in very good spirits for my walk back down to get to MTO.

Vijay Iyer Quartet
Vijay Iyer – piano
Rudresh Mahanthappa – alto saxophone
Stephan Crump – bass
Marcus Gilmore – drums

Friday, August 1, 2008

Yippie Cafe

This must be the place that the girl I was talking to at The Stone mentioned John Zorn said would fill the Tonic void.

This was in DMGs newsletter:
From bassist Tom Zlablinger:

It is my pleasure to announce that I will be
working with RUCMA (Rise Up Creative Music and
Art) to help organize the first four performances
and jam sessions at the Yippie Cafe. It all
begins tonight at 7 p.m. The event will open with
a performance by the evening's featured musician
and one of his/her projects. The evening will
conclude with a jam session hosted by the
evening's featured musician. There is a separate
$5 cover for both installments. The first three
weeks will feature the following musicians:

8/4 Trombonist Dave Dove
8/11 Trumpeter Roy Campell
8/18 Bassist Tom Zlabinger

The Yippie Cafe is located at 9 Bleeker St. To
view their website, go to:
For more information on RUCMA, go to: