Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Gov't Mule @ Hammerstein 12/30/08

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Jazz Gallery Reducing Covers for Some 2nd Sets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 29, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, December 28, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

Improv Night @ The Stone 12/27/08

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Pamelia Kurstin @ The Stone 12/23/08

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mingus Orchestra @ Jazz Standard 12/22/08

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

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

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

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

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christian McBride @ Dizzy's 12/20/08

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

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

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

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

It was a great 3 band Sat night.

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

DMG Benefit @ Roulette

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hal Wilner @ The Stone 12/19/08

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

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

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

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


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

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

Friday, December 19, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Gene Ween Band Tour cancelled

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

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

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Diva @ The Stone 12/17/08

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, December 14, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was really excellent. I highly recommend it.

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

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

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

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

Michael Attias @ Zebulon 12/13/08

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

Billy Martin @ The Stone 12/12/08

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

Indo-Pak Coalition @ LPR 12/9/08

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

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

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

Friday, December 5, 2008

Upcoming: Winter Jazzfest 2009

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

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

Thursday, December 4, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Arts for Art Fundraiser

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



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

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

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

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

Patricia Parker
Executive Director, Arts for Art, Inc.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Art For Art Board Members
Lupe Ramos
Happy Massee

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

Please RSVP Todd at:

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

Tickets available through BROWN PAPER TICKETS