Thursday, March 27, 2008

Adam Rudolph’s Moving Pictures Octet @ Joe’s Pub 3/26/08

Another excellent Adam Rudolph project. I’ve now seen enough of his stuff to say it’s probably all worthwhile. I’m so glad he moved here. I can’t imagine him finding enough people to play with in L.A., but apparently he must have.

It was an all-star lineup. He said he will be doing it again on Monday at Roulette with a full orchestra. If it’s anything like the last time I saw him with an orchestra at Roulette, there could be about 30 artists or so.

The Octet: Cornetist/flugelhornist Graham Haynes, multi-reedman Ned Rothenberg, guitarist Kenny Wessel, bassist Shanir Blumenkrantz and trap drummer Hamid Drake

I would call it “experimental world music”. It was fantastic. Grooving at times, quite beautiful at times. Lots of percussion and the occasional oud. Lots of flutes or flute –type things. I love it when Ned Rothenberg plays the bass clarinet. There was one song where he really had me.

It was just absolutely amazing.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tain & The Ebonix @ Jazz Standard 3/23/08

I would call it “damn good lively jazz” music. There was even a little experimental going on with a song with drunken in the title. Tain was in a very good mood for Easter and was very friendly toward the audience. They ended the set with “JC is the Man”, which they said was appropriate for the day. Before they played a note, and were chanting “JC is the Man”, it took me a minute to figure it out. Actually, I didn’t figure it out until they started playing, and then it was obvious. Trane! He died in April 67, and that might have been around Easter that year. He is the man.

Christian McBride was on bass, and he is phenomenal and grooving. The piano and sax were awesome. Tain was as great as usual. I’m so glad I made it. I’ve known about it for a couple of months, but it’s easy to miss those jazz shows when other things come up.

Tain & The Ebonix featuring Christian McBrideJeff "Tain" Watts – drumsDavid Kikoski – pianoChristian McBride – bassMarcus Strickland – tenor & soprano saxophones

Auktyon + Hazmat Modine @ Fillmore 3/22/08

I couldn’t get the info on if there was an opening band Sat, but it seemed like there should be. I was so glad when I got there Hazmat Modine was on the stage. I’m been wanting to check them out for a while, but haven’t had the chance. I have seen the guitar player before, and he is amazing. They have a lot of horns and do many different styles of music. It was enjoyable, but I don’t need to knock myself out to get there anymore. They said they got the call for the gig 5 days before, so I guess even the promoters hadn’t thought of an opener.

Auktyon is from Russia, but they’ve been touring with Marc Ribot, John Medeski, and Ned Rothenberg. They also have a cd with these guys. That is of course what brought me out.

The music was very good, but I have a hard time getting past singing I don’t like. There was way too much singing for me. The whole thing seemed kind of Euro-pop. I don’t exactly know what I’m talking about, it just was hard to enjoy the music through that singing and the other guy jumping around. I eventually had to leave early, but I am glad I made it out.

1920’s Night 3/21/08

I did something pretty different last Friday night. I went to a place in China Town where you dress up in 1920’s garb and dance to a 1920’s style jazz orchestra. There was even a Charleston dance lesson in the middle of the evening.

It was a lot of fun. The food was good and I enjoyed the band. One guy played the bass sax and sousaphone. Another guy had a soprano, clarinet, and alto. There were plenty of horns, a violin, piano and snare drum. They did 3 sets and there was a dj playing awesome 1920’s style music during set breaks.

There was plenty of NOLA music. It started making me wonder what NOLA must have been like in that era. I mean, they tend to have to do it differently. It must have been crazy.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Scotty Hard Benefit @ Highline 3/19/08

Last night was everything I had hoped, but probably more. I thought they did a great job putting on something that diverse. I’m also very impressed at the level everyone played at. It can be hard to pull something like that off, and it definitely didn’t look that way last night.

It is a little fuzzy, and I’m probably wrong on some of the details, but here’s my best attempt at summarizing:

I was happy I had a physical ticket and could bypass the long willcall line to get in. I got in just as Scofield and Medeski were joining the first band, which included DJ Logic, Vernon Reid and a bass player. It was great. I think they did 2 songs. Then, they did a little bit of seemless switching of people for the Medeski, Martin, Scofield, Rivard, Logic set. And what a great little set that was, probably about ½ hour. I usually get bored with Scofield after a bit, but I was enjoying it last night. Medeski was on as always. We would be seeing a lot of him throughout the evening. There was one great bluesy song with a horn section that included Briggan Krauss, Steven Bernstein, and Mike the tenor, who I don’t know his last name but have seen before.

Then it took a bit of time to do the changeover, early evening snafus or whatever. And then we got the one bad, somewhat painful set of the evening. It could have been great, it was the bass player that ruined it for me. He was way too loud and I hated his sound. He was a Bootsy Collins wannabee, but couldn’t hold or get anywhere near a candle to Bootsy. Too bad, because there was also Bernie Worrell, Graham Haynes on trumpet, and an electronic guy. It could have been a great funkdown. Fortunately, that set wasn’t too long.

Next was a really nice jazz ensemble. A nice way to cancel out that horrible bass from before. There was a murmur of talking for a while, until the horns kicked it up. It was easy for me to drown all of that out and enjoy the jazz.

Next up was A Big Yes and A Small No, a band with Joe Russo and Kevin Kendrick. It was fun watching Joe on the drums, but not my type of music. I guess that’s why I haven’t bothered to check them out. I’m glad I got to see a few songs and realize it’s not for me, so I don’t have to bother.

Then it was Vijay Iyer, Marcus Gilmore, an upright bass, and Liberty Ellman. That’s when everything went to a new level. I had plenty of enjoyable moments before that, but from here on in was greatness for the rest of the night. Liberty Ellman was the star of that very long song. His solo was unbelievable.

Sexmob was phenomenal. They played a few tunes that Scotty Hard produced. Steven Bernstein mentioned that he was most proud of producing Sexmob. It wasn’t the regular sexmob. I don’t know that bassist was in place of Tony Scher, but he was great. There were lots of extra horns up there and Medeski and Logic. It was blown away amazing.

Tommy Hamilton, Joe Russo, and another guitarist from American Babies were great. I often don’t like it when Joe Russo plays guitar, because I prefer him on drums. But, I really enjoyed that mini set. I now have a mental note to catch American Babies at my next opportunity. It was also a nice time to have them on. I liked the switching around of genres.

Next was the best Soulive ever! I must admit, I try them and often have to leave early. But, this was Neil, Kraz, and Deitch! It was smoking! One song, and it was great.

Then, even better, Russo, Benevento, and Hamilton do a song that was just perfect.

Then, we get all 6 of them up together. Finally, 2 drummers on the stage at once! I felt like I was being teased all night with those 2 kits all night. And, if you’re gonna have 2 drummers at once, Russo and Deitch is a great choice. I’m still stunned from that kickass Zeppelin. I mean when I think about it now, I’m again blown away. That alone was worth the whole thing last night.

Antibalas was grooving and great. They had extra people like Medeski, which took it to a new level. There was no encore jam because they ran out of time, but that was OK. There was plenty of jamming all night.

I’m leaving a lot out, but I will say there was lots of Medeski on the stage, Cochemea was out there a few times, Briggan Krauss had his baritone sax, and I was very happy with DJ Logic.

It also worked on me. I was very touched by the outpouring of love for Scotty by all these stellar artists. I ended up getting a great cd, “Scotty Hard’s Radical Reconstructive Surgery”, a bar of soap made by Steven Bernstein’s wife, and even a comfy HardWear T-shirt from Ropeadope to help support the cause.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Trevor Dunn's Proof Readers play the music of Ornette Coleman

That was another great show. I mean, it had to be, given the lineup and the agenda.

They did a 1 hour set starting about 8:10 and then took a ½ hour break and did another set. It was really great. They picked many Ornette Coleman songs, some rare, but all from the avant-garde era. They didn’t delve into anything earlier.

I thought it was awesome to see those guys playing someone else’s songs, as they hear them on the records. These are usually improvisers and can get very out there. At setbreak I found out they threw it together on 1/2/08, when they were asked to do something and there weren’t a lot of people in town. I’m so glad they are continuing to do it. It sounded great.

They were all of stellar caliber. I could have watched any one of them for the whole time. Instead, I found myself immersed in one or another throughout. I was blown away. That was my first time seeing Darius Jones, but I will have to look out for him more. He’s got a lot of power. He was really amazing. Sawyer has been on my list ever since the Charles Gayle show. He’s amazing. At one point, he was playing the ice in his glass by shaking the plastic cups with remnants of ice.

Trevor Dunn was just as amazing as always. It was awesome to see Nate Wooley in that way. I’ve only see him do super out there stuff.

Darius Jones (alto sax) Nate Wooley(trumpet) Ryan Sawyer (drums) Trevor Dunn (bass)

I left around 10:15 because I was pretty tired. It was very hard to drag myself away. It was cool how when they were debating on stage about playing a long set or taking a set break, close to when they would break, Sawyer said “ask them”, and pointed to us. It was so smart of them to get the audience to commit. People said to play one more and then take a break. They looked like a Zebulon crowd and most stuck around. I thought that was pretty clever of them to ask. I hope I get to see it again as it was superb.

I also kept thinking this would be at Tonic if it was still around. It felt even more like Tonic when you could hear very loud bass line coming through the ceiling from the show in the Tap Bar. The only thing different was at Tonic it was coming through the floor.

Even though it was unlikely it would sell out, I stopped on my way home for my ticket. I was happy they gave me the advance price instead of the day of. Everyone else would have given the day of price. I mean it was only $7, a savings of $3, but percentage wise that was big.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Joshua Redman is a tough ticket

Well, I was way too slow. I did want to see Joshua Redman with Brian Blade, but it looks unlikely it’s going to happen. I knew to make a res early, I just didn’t want to commit to the night. The Vanguard guy mentioned there is probably a slim chance of just showing up and getting in, but you would have to get there pretty early. I do want to go, but it’s not THAT dire.

The Trevor Dunn thing in Old Office looks great, so hopefully I will make it there. It’s nice and early, and I do have to rest up for tomorrow night.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Scotty Hard Benefit Schedule

Just saw this on the internet:

Scotty Hard Benefit Schedule
Highline Ballroom, 3.19.08

(Logic or Olive will transition w/guests)

8:00 Doors

9:00 1) Vernon- speaking/joined by Logic, Melvin etc

9:30 2) Medeski, Sco, Martin & Rivard

10:00 3) Laswell Worrel etc

10:30 4) Michael Blake, Brian Harding, Leif w/Rhythm section play Scott's
arrangement of

10:45 5) Kevin Kendrick w/ Russo & Jonti

10:55 6) Vijay, Liberty

11:20 7) Sex Mob w/Blake, Medeski, Vernon etc

11:40 8) Tommy Hamilton & Joe Russo

11:50 9) Duo w/Soulive, Deitch & Horns

12:30 10) Antibalas

Enc: Jam

Will Bernard @ Blue Owl 3/16/08

I slept through The New Mastersounds on Sat night. So, I’m extra happy I was able to get to Will Bernard & Friends on Sun. It was great, grooving music. Josh Roseman added a lot. Cochemea was also there, laying down some great funkiness. There were 6 musicians all together and I don’t know why more people don’t dance. I noticed some of them wanted to, it’s just hard for people to get going sometimes. I of course was dancing the whole time. I really, really like that place. I hear it’s quite different on the other nights, but the live funk takes over on Sundays.

Another bass player, upright, showed up around 11:30. He was excellent. I really enjoyed the electric bass as well. The laptop added to it for the most part. Will we be doing this the rest of the Sundays in March and I do recommend capping off the weekend with this.

It's only $5, although I do have to remind them to collect the cover from me. I found out the owner pays the band, and has the cover as a way to get a little of that back. I had to go at around 11:45, but they were still going strong when I left.

Will Bernard guitar, Keith McArthur bass (Motherbug,) Avi Bortnik (Scofield) guitar and laptop, Eric Kalb drums (Deep banana Scofield) and Josh Roseman on Trombone (Groove collective, Dave Holland big band etc)
Chochemea sax

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Will Bernard @ Blue Owl Tonight

It's going to be a good one tonight:

Special blow out Ashley's birthday gig this Sunday March 16 at the Blue Owl 9pm:

Will Bernard guitar, Keith McArthur bass (Motherbug,) Avi Bortnik (Scofield) guitar and laptop, Eric Kalb drums (Deep banana Scofield) and Josh Roseman on Trombone (Groove collective, Dave Holland big band etc)

Ashley is the owner and proprietor of the establishment and we will be toasting him on his birthday weekend.

Blue Owl Cocktail Room
196 Second, Avenue
New York City, New York

Thursday, March 13, 2008


What a few minutes of turmoil! I think it's OK. I wrote the post below, and then deleted it when I checked my email from Ticketweb saying the show was cancelled. But, I have a physical ticket, and there's nothing else listed for that night or nothing on the Wolf's blog that says my 2 favorite bands in the world are not playing on the same night. It's listed on both bands websites. I finally went to the best source, the message board, and I see they speculate Ticketweb is having communication problems and were just trying to say Big Sam's Funky Nation has been added. I'll call the Wolf tomorrow, but there is no way I am missing this show.

I had to keep hitting back in my browser to recover this post:

Wow, I was going to post a warning notice about getting a ticket to the Howlin Wolf Sat night, and it looks like it might be sold out already. I hope you got yours, because I doubt there will be many people looking to unload one outside.

The Funky Meters + The Derek Trucks Band! It's one of my dream shows. In the past few years, the best show has usually been Sat night, but it was usually at Tips. I do remember gettting freaked out a few years ago when the Funky Meters had to suddenly leave the stage because the cops made them. I think it was due to noise complaints. I was very worried about our future after that.

It does look like there are still tickets available to the Megalomaniacs Ball on Wed. There might be a good possibility of getting a ticket out front, even if it's sold out. Still, if you really want to go to that, it's probably best to get it early.

MEGALOMANIACS BALL featuring Garage a Trois w/ Stanton Moore Trio , Mike Dillons Go-Go Jungle, Skeriks Maelstrom Trio and Marco Benevento Trio w/Matt Chamberlain & Reed Mathis

I don't buy much in advance, because it's ridiculous to pay all those extra fees. I also learned early in my jazzfest going that even if the event is sold out, you can usually get a ticket from someone who has too many shows to hit out front. There's only a few shows where that's not possible.

Yay! Just a little over a month to go!

David Torn @ Joe's Pub 3/13/08

I've been working hard lately, but I was going through music withdrawl. On impulse, while walking by Joe's Pub, I decided to get a ticket for the early show. I knew some of the names, and have seen some of them before. I had no idea what it was, and boy am I glad I went.,com_shows/task,view/Itemid,40/id,2681

David Torn - Prezens
Featuring Tim Berne,
Craig Taborn and Tom Rainey

Excellent, psychedelic, trippy great music! I was completely engaged and immersed for the entire jam. They played for 45 minutes, paused briefly, and then another 15 minutes. We wanted and encore, but I guess they wanted a break before the next set.

They used electronics in a good way. Torn had his guitar and an interesting big box that made very interesting sampling sounds. I bought a cd which calls it "live sampling".

Tom Rainey was phenomenal. I especially liked when he was playing some great pattern with his hands on the kit. It sounded very tribal.

Tim Berne was great on the alto.

Craig Taborn had a few different keyboard instruments, rhodes, b3, and mellotron. Looked a little bigger than a melodica wihtout the tube.

It was all very spacey, got kind of funky at times, kind of mellow at times (but not boring), and reminded me somewhat of Project Z.

I was very good time and hard not to go to the 2nd set.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Eivind Opsvik's Overseas @ Jimmy's No 43 3/9/08

I've been wanting to check this out for a while. They seem to play once a month at Cornelia St, but I haven't made it yet.

It was pretty good, although a little boring at moments. I guess I wasn't in the mood for the mellow parts. There were a couple of great tunes, though. There were also plenty on interesting moments in all of the tunes.

It was nice to see so many people at Jimmy's on a Sun. Sometimes there's very few there. I'm sure Tony Malaby helped bring them out. There were also a couple of 3 year olds in the audience that were pretty quiet for the show. Kids of musicians, young music appreciators.

The band included Evind Opvik, Tony Malaby, Kenny Wollesen, and Jacob Sacks.

I did like it, I just now know I don't have to go out of my way to catch it again.

Butch Morris @ Nublu 3/9/08

I finally made it to Nublu for the Nublu Orchestra conducted by Butch Morris. It started just after 10:30 and went for about an hour. It was phenomenal.

It was fun to watch Butch in action after I had seen his lecture on conduction a few months ago at The Stone. I kind of understood what was going on. I am impressed with the artists and how intent they were on watching for the instructions. They have to be especially sharp and pay close attention.

It was also fun that I wasn't the only one moving to the music. It got pretty grooving at times, and also kind of spacey and out there. Still, there were lots of people intent on watching and moving a little. There were some annoying people up front who were space invading, also. They eventually moved back.

Kenny Wollensen was there on drums. There was a great grooving upright bassist. A synthesizer, 2 guitars and some horns.

It is well worth making it out there and a bargain at $10. I think they played a lot last week. Butch is pretty serious and I like how he sticks to the time.

Improv Night @ The Stone 3/8/08

Another great Improv Night, but it comes to be expected.

First up was Cyro Baptista on jaw harp and various interesting percussion and Elliot Sharp on electric bass.

Next was Shanir Blumenkranz and Ruben Radding on upright basses with a woman on a large stringed instrument that sits on a table. I'm not sure if I've seen her before, but I have seen that instrument, which I think might be japanese.

Shanir stayed up for the next act, which included a cello and this amazing guy on a lap guitar. That had a southern avant-garde feel to it. It was amazing.

On to Zorn, Baptista, Radding, and this guy on one of those african vibraphone-looking things with guords hanging from the bottom. He also played some percussion. He wasn't African, and I wish I caught his name. That was the loudest of the night and sounded great.

The the large string instrument, the guy on the lap guitar, and Elliot Sharp. I think there was someone else, but I can't quite remember.

The grand finale with everyone up was awesome. Zorn didn't play much, and the string girl mainly chanted. It was phenomenal.

The whole night felt heavy on the basses and strings. It's so much fun to see the setup and try to figure out what is going to happen. Most of the artists are downstairs at that point, and it has a nice surprise quality as well as being completely improvised. I got there too late for a front row seat, so I opted to stand so I could see everything.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Rothenberg/Evans/Waterman/Halvorsen @ The Stone 3/6/08

The Stone last night at 10 was wonderful. Avant-garde improvisation at it’s best. The lineup:

Ned Rothenberg (reeds) Peter Evans (trumpet) Alex Waterman (cello) Mary Halvorsen (guitar)

They were all excellent. Evans was actually playing a piccolo trumpet. It wasn’t that big a deal, but Rothenberg didn’t have his bass clarinet, which I love. He did have his clarinet and sax, though.

I hadn’t seen Evans or Waterman yet, but they are outstanding. Halvorsen added so much, I was very impressed by her.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

2 Foot Yard + Jazz @ Jules 3/4/08

I started at Joe’s Pub for the early show. 2 Foot Yard is Carla Kihlstedt, Shazad Ismaily, and Marika Hughes, all stellar artists. I would describe it as “avant-alternative melancholic music”. The genre reminded me of The Arcade Fire in a way. It was good, I was just getting a little tired of all the downer songs. They even mentioned they don’t usually feel like writing songs when they’re happy. This was the cd release, so they had a lot of special guests that are on the cd, including Jim Campilango, a girl with an interesting name on guitar, and a violin, viola and cello. They also did many songs as a trio. They ended with their only cover, which was from The Carter Family, who got it from somewhere else. Overall, it was great, just a little sad after a while. I don’t think I want the cd.

I decided to stop at Jules, where they have live jazz on my way home. It’s at St. Mark’s Place between 1st and 2nd. I can’t remember the name of the band, but I saw this young French guitar player I’ve seen a few times at Louis 649. It was a pretty good trio. I think it was the bass player’s band. They walk around with the tip jar after the set. It’s a nice place with a nice vibe. It is a restaurant and there were a lot of talkers. Still, I sat close to the band at the bar and was able to drown them out pretty easily.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Middle Eastern Music @ Le Figaro Café Sun Nights

I went to Le Figaro Café last night in the West Village to see my friend’s bellydance performance. She was last and great. I’ve seen it before, and I’m amazed at how good she is. There were 2 dancers before her and the band played continuously, even when there was no formal dancer. The band was great. I hear it varies, but last night there was a violin, 2 doubeks and Scott Wilson playing his homemade oud/guitar/something else instrument. I think he’s consistently there every week. It was heavy on the drums, which I love, and a lot of fun.

Zorn @ St. Ann’s Warehouse 2/29 & 3/1

I’m glad I got over my shlepping issues because it wasn’t a shlepp at all. I didn’t realize it’s the 1st Brooklyn stop on the F train. I think it was easier to get there than to the Upper West Side, or even Dizzy’s for that matter.

The Dreamers was absolutely fantastic. An all-star lineup, which is typical of Zorn. Trevor Dunn, Joey Barron, Kenny Wollensen on vibes, Jamie Saft on keyboard and piano, Cyro Baptista, Marc Ribot and Zorn playing sax on one number. It touched on a bunch of genres, and it was all stellar. They encored with a couple from The Gift cd.

I left completely satiated and knowing there was no way I was missing the next night. I got a ticket Sat morning and it looked like it was almost sold out then. I love how you can choose your seat at that venue when you buy on-line. They should all do that.

We got a special surprise on Sat. They announced that once they were done with the cinema, they would take a brief intermission and then do The Dreamers again! Because they had so much fun the night before. Yay!

Essential Cinema had the same lineup as the night before, but with the addition of Ikue Morie and Erik Friedlander. The band sat behind the screen. It was kind of fun trying to listen to what was going on back there. The music was great and for the most part the films were fine. I liked how the music really coordinated well with what was going on the screen. There was one erratic one, where they were showing quick, really quick scenes and playing a late Coltrane type jazz, with Zorn on sax. The first one was pretty cool, lots of Ribot and a film about the jungle and a white woman that was kind of interesting. Friedlander sounded amazing on one of them.

I was very happy to catch The Dreamers again. It was just as awesome as the night before.

I love the venue and would be happy to get there again.

Here’s the films:
Featuring films by Kenneth Anger (Eaux D'Artifice),Wallace Berman (Aleph), Joseph Cornell (Rose Hobart, By Night with Torch and Spear), Maya Deren (Ritual in Transfigured Time) and Marie Menken(Go Go Go)

Bobby Previte + Fracis Mbappe 2/28/08

On Thurs I started at The Stone for the Bobby Previte guitar trio with Adam Levy and Lindsey Horner. It was great. Lots of diversity in the music, but always lively and great. I don’t know if I ever saw Horner before, but he fit in quite well on his upright.

I was so happy I need a little more, so I headed over to Cachaca for some African jazz, Francis Mbappe & The Tribe with David Gilmore and Jeff “Tain” Watts. It was awesome. Gilmore is a great, grooving jazz guitarist. I saw him in a different light playing the “island sounding” grooving music. I think Mbappe said he’s from Cameroon. I could have done without the sax, who just seemed kind of lacking. I think that’s because I see so many phenomenal saxophonists all the time that my standards are quite high. There was also a keyboard, which was not bad. Mbappe is a pretty good electric bassist.