Friday, September 11, 2009

Bill Frisell @ City Winery 9/9/09

I'm not sure I ever saw this exact trio or not. I have seen the 3 of them together, but probably with Jenny Scheinman. It was excellent! It was a big contrast to the more free playing I saw at The Vanguard last week. I'm also more familiar with this music. It was still fabulous and enthralling. They all had such great moments. I have to start looking out for Eyvind Kang more. There was one piece where his violin sounded like a tuba - he has a bunch of pedals for his viola. I also loved seeing Frisell in 2 different guises so close together.

The set was over 90 minutes in total with a 2 song encore. It was really awesome!
Bill Frisell Trio featuring Eyvind Kang and Rudy Royston

BILL FRISELL is a man who’s done many things with many people, crossing into and over (and at times blurring) the lines of lush soundscapes, modern American composition, hyperactive noise onslaughts, straight-up jazz, and telekinetic improvisation.He explores the musical possibilities of his own multi-faceted compositions and time-honored jazz and folk songs with this ever-evolving constellation of extraordinary musicians. Their diverse backgrounds and talents provide a wide-open climate to interpret the full spectrum of Frisell's repertoire where an integration of many musical directions becomes possible.
In this very special night at City Winery, Bill would be accompanied by viola player extraordinaire EYVIND KANG and drummer RUDY ROYSTON.

Eyvind Kang was the violinist in the Bill Frisell Quartet of the mid-nineties. These days, he is focusing more on the viola, which he plays in Frisell's 858 Quartet. Eyvind has played with Wayne Horvitz, John Zorn, Beck and many others. He also has studied Indian Classical Music extensively.

Raised in Denver,Colorado, Rudy Royston has been a professional drummer, percussionist and teacher for almost twenty years. He has taught, recorded and performed many styles of music from Jazz to Gospel to Rock. Rudy found his voice under the auspices of the celebrated trumpeter Ron Miles, with whom Rudy has performed since 1991. Since moving to New Jersey in 2006, Mr. Royston has performed with many of today¹s finest Jazz musicians, including Javon Jackson, Les McCann, David Gilmore, Craig Handy and others. Rudy is presently a graduate student at Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Avashai Cohen @ Rose Live 9/8/09

Yes, I love this place. I also now know it's the same travel time as getting to The Stone, so why not.

This was the lite setup, that I hadn't yet experienced. That curtain on the left side is drawn and there are tables right next to it. It's a little more open in the middle. There were about 10 tables total in the space. I thought there were more the first time I saw Charlie there, but maybe not.

The music was good, straight ahead jazz. I wanted music, it was at the right time (9:20ish), and Nasheet Waits was playing. Deal! I left at about 10:20, right after a ballad. I would liked to have waited for a more "up" number, like the one before it, but I needed to be ready to work and pace myself for the week. It was perfect for what I was looking for.

Tues 9/8 9PM & 11PM - AVISHAI COHEN
Residency w/Jason Lindner & Nasheet Waits
Trumpeter Avishai Cohen continues his September residency with a differnt trio each week!
No cover

Monday, September 7, 2009

John Surman Quartet @ Birdland 9/5/09

I knew I wanted to go to this based on the sidemen. I hadn't heard of Surman before. I just read the AAJ article and it's probably because he doesn't get over here much. It turns out the reason I don't see as many of the great European artists is because it's so hard to get a visa to play here. What a shame.

I also saw a lot of hype that made me want to get there even more. Jack DeJohnette at "not Blue Note" was enough, but the Surman hype was extra encouragement.

Wow. There were many moments where I completely forgot about the sidemen. John is so compelling. There is something so different about the way he plays the baritone. It's so melodic. He also hits more high notes than other baritone players seem to. He also played the soprano, and that's when I was really able to see how different his style is. AAJ says it's his tone and the lack of cliche playing. It's true.

The other guys were of course phenomenal. When I could take my attention away from John I would be blown away by any of them. I definitely enjoyed John Abercrombie on guitar. There was a late night at Jazz Standard last year where I got bored. Here, he played similarly and I liked the music a lot more.

ECM Records CD Release Celebration
with: John Abercrombie (guitar)
Jack DeJohnette (drums)
Drew Gress (bass)

Tuesday-Saturday, September 1-5 @ 8:30 & 11pm
Music Charges: $30, general seating; $40, premium seating

Born in Tavistock, Devon in 1944, composer/multi-instrumentalist John Surman is one of the key figures in a generation of European musicians who have crucially expanded the international horizons of jazz during the past thirty years. The surprise and enduring pleasure of Surman's art is the contrast of simple, haunting melody, lush orchestral textures and intense improvisation. Along with leader John Surman on saxophone and bass clarinet, the quartet features Drew Gress on bass, John Abercrombie on guitar and Jack DeJohnette on drums.

Frisell, Lavano, Motion @ Village Vanguard 9/5/09

It was awesome. I got in without a res for the 1st set, but I had to sit in that table all the way in the back by the wall. I used to like that spot because I can move the table over a little and dance. I liked it until I discovered how nice it is to sit closer. I also hate how bright the light is back there. Still, all was forgotten once the music started.

It seemed improvised and somewhat free, but not too out there. I think Bill Frisell is awesome. His style is something like "psychedelic experimental" and its different from everyone else. The thing I don't understand is why is he so popular and so many others are not. When I talk to people who listen to the radio or buy CDs, but don't get out to hear live music too often, they usually know Bill from recordings. They usually don't know who I'm talking about if they aren't known in the mainstream. I'm perplexed.

The music was awesome. Most of it was pretty mellow, but never boring in the least. I was really engaged. I did get up and dance for a portion, but was seated, hanging on every note, for most of it.

I'm so glad I made it!

John Zorn Birthday Concert @ The Stone 9/2/09

I wasn't clear what this show was, but I knew it was one of those special Zorn things with stellar artists. I didn't know until I looked up the listing that it was Zorn's birthday.

It was as fantastic as it could possibly be. I went to both sets, and I still felt it was a bargain at $20 a set. It is also awesome the proceeds all go to The Stone. I think it was awesome he wanted to have his birthday gig there. That show at Abrons would have likely packed them in.

I'm not familiar with the Alhambra ensemble. The music is so wonderful. Full of beauty and as great as all Zorn music seems to be.

The 2nd set was 8 new pieces the musicians saw for the first time that evening. I know because he told us. I assumed the 1st set with Ben Perowsky, Shanir Blumenkranz, and Rob Berger was all new also. But, it may have just been new to me.

The 2nd set was the same lineup with the addition of Kenny Wollensen on vibes.

The music in both sets had a similar feeling. It was reminiscent of The Dreamers with some Masada undertones. Its really hard for me to try to describe. Its completely different than anything out there, other than some familiar feel to some other Zorn work. I didn't think it was "out there" at all. It would appeal to a wide range of listeners.

Zorn conducted for each set. It was too great. Yet another thing I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of.

9/2 Wednesday (JM)
8 pm
John Zorn Birthday Concert—Alhambra Love Songs
Rob Burger (piano) Shanir Blumenkranz (bass) Ben Perowsky (drums)
The fabulous Alhambra trio comes in to perform the music from one of Zorn's most recent and most beautiful CDs. TWENTY DOLLARS.

10 pm
John Zorn Birthday Concert—Hymns, Prayers and Sacred Dances
Rob Burger (piano) Kenny Wollesen (vibraphone) Shanir Blumenkranz (bass) Ben Perowsky (drums)
The world premiere of Zorn's newest compositions written for the fabulous Alhambra trio, with Kenny Wollesen on vibes! TWENTY DOLLARS.