Monday, April 27, 2009

Don Byron New Gospel Quintet @ Jazz Standard 4/23/09

I loved this. I wasn't expecting much, but I should have known it would be awesome.

Brad Jones played electric basses. He helped lay down a killer groove. He had me captivated many times.

The piano was amazing. He also played organ for some songs. I don't think I knew him before that. His name is Frank Wilkins.

Don Byron and Pheeroen AkLaff were as great as I remember. Don played clarinet and sax. I especially love him on clarinet.

The first song was a great instrumental. It set the tone for the greatness of the show. All the rest had DK Dyson on vocals. She did the kind of vocals I like, deep and soulful.

I can't remember who Don said they were interpreting. I will have to find out because I want to look him up.

I really love these Jazz Standard gigs and how he interprets a different genre each time. I'll never doubt him again going in. Its always been great.

*World Premier*
* Don Bryon – clarinet
* DK Dyson – vocalist
* Frank Wilkins – piano
* Brad Jones – bass
* Pheeroan AkLaff – drums

Toumani Diabaté @ LPR 4/19/09

I loved this. It's interesting the sabar player wasn't there and instead it was a Peruvian drum. It helped me realize the sounds are similar. I guess you can't exactly call it pan-African any more, but as long as you don't want to get to technical, I guess you can.

I saw Toumani Diabate Symmetric Orchestra 2 years ago at Montreal Jazzfest. I've been wanting to see them again, but this was the first time I could make it in NYC. I think I've seen them listed as here once or twice a year.

I enjoyed it. I am very impressed with the musicianship. I was pretty satisfied after the first set, so I left early. I did very much enjoy what I heard. I'm very impressed with the kora playing, but they are all very talented

Burkina Electric @ LPR 4/19/09

I was curious based on the listing, but I honestly wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did. I loved it so much I'm giving it its own post, even though it was an opening band.

It was modern African music. The instruments were all modern, drum kit, vibes, guitar, laptop, . But then there were 2 male dancers and all the songs were stories. The dancers really added a lot and they were awesome.

I was thrilled to find out Lucas Ligeti is in it. He just curated The Stone. He was awesome.

While the music had an African flair, it was very much today. It rocked! I hope to see them again.

Here's the listing. What made me skeptical was the part about electronica band. I'm not that familiar with electronica, but it was way better than I thought electronica could be. I stopped reading after the 1st sentence, so I didn't know it is the type of thing I would love.

Burkina Electric is the first electronica band from Burkina Faso, in the deep interior of West Africa. Based in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso's capital, it is, at the same time, an international band, with members living in New York, U.S.A. and Düsseldorf, Germany, as well as in Ouaga. In Burkina Electric's music, the traditions and rhythms of Burkina Faso meet and mingle with contemporary electronic dance culture, making it a trailblazer in electronic world music. Before starting Burkina Electric in 2004, band members Maï Lingani, Wende K. Blass, Pyrolator, and Lukas Ligeti had become close friends as members of Beta Foly, a group that emerged from a workshop led by Lukas and Pyrolator in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, which, among other experiments, created some of the earliest fusions of techno/trip-hop with African traditional music.

The core band consists of four musicians and two dancers, often augmented by guests. Rupert Huber, of the well-known Austrian electronica duo Tosca, collaborates and performs with the group for selected occasions. All songs are composed and choreographed collaboratively by all group members.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Just in case you are wondering, I am going down on Thurs. It got a little "same old, same old" to go to the whole thing every single year. If you haven't done the whole thing yet, I highly recommend it. I've been scaling back lately so I can appreciate it more again. I mean, the music is great, the food is great, and it is the best time to go down there. It's just that I used to go to learn, and now I know so much. At the clubs there's not that much new stuff and now there's so much in NYC I don't need jazzfest quite as much. I am very glad I'm going. I have a work seminar right after, so I finally get to stay down there a few extra days. I'm getting psyched. I've also been in a dry spell up here. I do have some more posts for April coming, but I've definitely slowed down a little this month.

Reed's Bass Drum @ Bowery Poetry Club 4/18/09

Now that I know so much, I rarely check out new, relatively unknown bands. I think its important to support the lesser knowns. I like that BPC has these early jazz shows sometimes because then I don't have make sacrifices.

I enjoyed this trio. I like a good baritone trio and thought they were all talented.

I chose to go based solely on the band name and instrumentation.

It was nice, especially since it was the only thing I could make it to that night.

Reed's Bass Drum performs music through the lens of the jazz tradition. Fueled by a genuine interest in innovation, their distinctive sound is created by baritone saxophone, bass and drums. While performing original compositions or jazz standards, Reed's Bass Drum strives to provide a distinct vantage point from which to hear jazz music.

Ethereal Records

I'm sorry to say it's gone. It was on Ave A and was a little store and now it's empty. I went there every once in a while on a whim and always got something interesting, usually in the used jazz section. Oh well.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sylvie Courvoisier and Mark Feldman Duo @ The Stone 4/15/09

The one word to describe this one is "moving". They did 3 intense Zorn Masada pieces. Then they did one of Mark's and one of Sylvie's. Both of those were moving with a different type of intensity. That 5th piece was more mellow and beautiful. The 6th piece was very intense and filled me up. They then did one last one of Sylvie's, which was pretty intense.

It's quite awesome to be a duo show of theirs. The level of talent is really staggering to comprehend. I feel like I got away with something. I'm sure the quartet they were playing with next will be equally great, I just don't think I could take it after that.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sex Mob + Glass @ Glasslands Gallery 4/10/09

Sex Mob is one of the few bands that could get me to venture out into uncharted territory on a Friday night with many great music options available. It was a no brainer. It wasn't that far, only a little further than Zebulon. Still, it's an effort to venture into the unknown in unfamiliar surroundings. The place is very nice. It feels good and and looks good.

I got there a few minutes before 8 and basically missed the trombone/cello duo - they were just finishing up when I got there. Rob Brown was there in attendance, but he wasn't playing for some flukey reason that I don't know. The 2 minutes I heard was good and I am sorry I couldn't get there any sooner.

Next was Sex Mob with Todd Sickafoose on bass! I think this was his first time playing with them. It was great as usual. It was also different, a little more mellow. Steven wasn't talking as much as he often does. He's always entertaining, whether talking, playing, or conducting. I really love that band. It was a much better place to see them than The Stone. It is too bad more people didn't come out for it. I got their brand spanking new live cd from Switzerland with Medeski. They opened for MMW. It's awesome - get it.

I stayed for Glassband, which was good improv. I like the setup of baritone, drums, and guitar. I was very tired still, but it was worth staying out til 10 on a Friday.

I was kind of wanting more, so I walked by Zebulon and Spike Hill, but nothing was compelling me to stay out and I was really tired. It was great and I'm continually impressed with the great job Brad does in curating the This Is Our Music series.

Friday, April 10, 7PM, $5
@ The Glasslands Gallery
289 Kent Avenue between S1st and S2nd
L to Bedford
7PM - Planet Dream: Steve Swell (trombone), Rob Brown (alto sax), Daniel Levin (cello)
8PM - Sex Mob: Steven Bernstein (slide trumpet), Briggan Krauss (alto sax), TBA (bass) Kenny Wollesen (drums)
9PM - Glassband: Dave Sewelson (bari sax), Brad Farberman (guitar), Dee Pop (drums)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Borah Bergman and friends @ The Stone 4/9/09

It was great. I didn't know about Borah Bergman before. He is an excellent piano improviser. He's also a little eccentric, which makes him interesting. I walked in at 9:55 and he was ready to go, but one of the artists had stepped out. He was really ready to go and was talking about just playing as a trio or doing a solo. I'm sure that would have been great, but I loved having this quartet playing from their feeling.

It was all awesome as this was an allstar cast of improvisers. After the first few pieces, they would need a pause to get started. But, once they got started it took them no time to start feeling what was happening and contribute in great ways. They had no charts, no cues, they were really just winging it. I got them impression these 4 don't play together as a quartet that often or ever, and that makes the music they produced even more impressive.

Here's an AAJ article about Bergman. I sat behind him, but I could still see the drums well and the upper half of the bass. Louie was kind of next to me, so I couldn't see him playing his curved soprano, but he sounded awesome and I've seen him numerous times. I was very intrigued by Bergman's left hand which was moving very fast over the keys and I thought there was something different to his style. I couldn't see his right hand at all.

It was a great and special show.

Borah Bergman and friends
Borah Bergman (piano) Louie Belogenis (soprano saxophone) William Parker (bass) Michael Wimberly (drums)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Barney McAll: Flashbacks @ Jazz Standard 4/8/09

Another great recommendation from The 9:30 time was perfect. It was lively, engaging, great jazz. I was very impressed with all of them. The bass played electric and acoustic, and I liked both. Each of them caught me at different moments. It was a nice time.

Wednesday April 8Barney McAll: Flashbacks
Billy Harper – tenor saxophone
Josh Roseman – trombone
Ben Monder – guitar
Barney McAll – piano
Matt Clohesy – bass
Henry Cole – drums
His native Australia just wasn’t big enough to accommodate a talent the size of Barney McAll. So this fine pianist and composer relocated to NYC and now celebrates the release of his forthcoming CD Flashbacks (due out 4/8/09) with this much-anticipated Jazz Standard one-nighter. His all-star sextet will include guitarist Ben Monder, trombonist Josh Roseman, and veteran tenorist Billy Harper who says: “Barney is a genuine musician, not just a skilled artist. There’s a certain touch that I’m talking about. It’s hard to explain, but he has that.”

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tamarindo @ The Stone 4/7/09

I really love this band. It was awesome. I think out of all the greatness, the drums are my favorite. wanted to stay for the 2nd set, but I'm still a little jetlagged.

Tony Malaby (tenor saxophone) William Parker (bass) Nasheet Waits (drums)

Southland Jazzband @ The Cotton Club, Hamburg 4/2/09

I went back to Hambug, Germany for another of Ariel & Shya Kane's wonderful workshops. I'm busy at work, so this trip was really about the workshop and kind of short.

I really like The Cotton Club. Its a bunch of wooden tables with seats with cushions. The band is in the middle of the room and most of us are sitting on one side or another and we can all see pretty well.

The band was great. Trombone, piano, cornet, reeds (one guy on clarinet/alto/soprano), sousaphone, banjo, and washboard. I got there a little after 10 and they were probably on their 2nd set. They took a 15 min break at 10:50 and then played another one hour set. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Inside Out Band: Enrico Rava Quintet @ Birdland 3/27/09

In spite of my tiredness I had to get up to Birdland before they were gone. I couldn't remember who was in it or why, I just had it in my head that I wanted to go.

I get to wonderful Birdland and pay the $30 bar cover which includes a drink. The band comes out soon after. Oh yeah, that's right. Pau Motion, Mark Turner and Ben Street are in it. The piano player was incredible and has to go on my list. Enrico was great on trumpet. It wasn't long before I was up in my dancing spot. I even gave my barstool away to a latecomer. I was fully energized now!

It was great for my last set of music before Germany. Here's a review from AAJ.

Here's the listing from TONY:
Mellifluous Italian trumpet vet Enrico Rava comes to town with a band perfectly suited to his bittersweet lyricism and immaculate poise: Saxophonist Mark Turner, pianist Stefano Bollani, bassist Ben Street and drum giant Paul Motian join him for an engagement celebrating his most recent ECM CD, New York Days (which featured everyone mentioned above apart from Street, a fast learner).

Marc Ribot/Henry Grimes @ Rubin Museum 3/27/09

Of course it was great. I think they were mainly doing Albert Ayler influenced stuff, but I don't know for sure. It was stellar. I think I like Henry on the violin even more than the bass. This was the 1st time I noticed the contrast in him playing the smallest and largest strings.

The music was very mellow. I think that about their group Spiritual as well. I was totally into it and engaged, just rather tired from being out so late the night before.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Will Bernard @ Highline 3/26/09

I saw there was an opening band, so I took advantage and had a nap before heading out to this once in a lifetime event. I got there a little after they started. It was as awesome as you'd expect. I don't know if I will ever get tired of this acid jazz type funk. These are all such top-notch artists.

Medeski was amazing. Stanton had my attention a lot. Do not underestimate Will Bernard or Andy Hess.

The crowd was lacking on the energy level on that rainy night. It was also less attended than something that great should be. The competition was Warren and Derek were going to show up at Sullivan Hall to play with Eric Krasno's Chapter 2. On another night, sure, that would be great to see. But, we had Medeski and a once in a lifetime stellar band. There was no competition to me. You couldn't drag me away from the 2nd set for that. Many others felt differently and left for that show.

I thought 2nd set was even better. I'm also very impressed they seemed to play at their best level in spite of the lack of energy coming from that sparse 2nd set crowd. This was so awesome, the cd is great, and I really hope we get another chance.

Will Bernard Band
Andy Hess, John Medeski & Stanton Moore

Radio I-Ching + The Young Equestrians @ Cake Shop 3/25/09

I wanted to see all 4 of the bands playing for a mere $8. I just couldn't get out early enough for the 1st band and I couldn't stay out too late to save myself for the next night. It looks like they dropped the price to $5 for this month. Below is the March listing that I went to and the upcoming 4/22 listing.

I did get most of Radio I-Ching's set and they were awesome. I really feel bad for all the people who would enjoy them but have no idea they exist. This is good new Rock n Roll. They are really good and I always remember every time I see them or listen to one of their CDs.

I had to stick around for a little of The Young Equestrians set. I enjoyed it even more at Cake Shop than The Stone - it fits well here. I was sorry I had to leave after a couple of songs, but I had to save myself for work.

I think I like that Freestyle music Series is doing a once a month thing and that Radio I-Ching is one of the 3 or 4 bands playing each time. The only problem with the venue is it briings a lot of talkers/hangers who aren't that interested in the music in spite of the cover. They start trickling in after 10. It's definitely worth going again and maybe they will come later next time.

Wednesday March 25th
8pm Amando Monaco & the Michaels
9pm Radio I-Ching • CD Release Party!
10pm The Young Equestrians
11pm Sportsman's Paradise
Cake Shop • 152 Ludlow Street • NYC

Wednesday April 22nd
8pm Counterpoint: Kevin Norton, Jesse Stern, Garrett Brown
9pm Deep End Ensemble: Ian Ash, Bruce Eisenbeil, Wilbo Wright
10pm Roy Campbell, Ras Moshe, Shayna Dulberger & Dee Pop
11pm Kirk Knufke Group
Cake Shop • 152 Ludlow Street • NYC
Only $5
(so what's your excuse for not coming out?)