Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ribot/Cohen @ The Stone 6/29/10

I was on my way to Vision Fest when I realized in my heart that was where I wanted to be. Yes indeed, a great choice on my part. It was phenomenal. They did some Albert Ayler. They did what sounded more like free improv. They did an amazing groovy blues piece that Greg started so wonderfully. It was perfect!

I couldn't motivate to get to Vision Fest after that. I really wanted to see the Rashid Ali tribute with a bunch of drummers. I kept thinking about how it's sometimes a pain to go to Vision at Abrons late. I knew the 10pm set tine factor was working for me, some might vacate a seat to get home. Still, I couldn't get motivated. It was a great night regardless.

Greg Cohen and Marc Ribot
Greg Cohen (bass) Marc Ribot (guitar)

Jazz Jam @ City Winery 6/24/10

So it wasn't the best NYC music to ever happen to me. It started out with that potential. I got there just before it started, which was around 11:20. Tain started off with guys he plays with, playing his own music. He had James Genus on bass, with Steve Wilson on sax and David Kikoski, a great piano player. This band was very worthy of following Herbie as the first band in the late night after party. They played for just under an hour. For the last tune, which I think was a Herbie tune, they invited David Gilmore on guitar, Mark Turner on sax, and EJ Strickland on sax to join them. It was great and moved my already high expectations up even further.

I still had reason to be super excited as I saw more and more of the artists I love coming in. The stage was next populated with Chris Potter, Adam Rogers on guitar, a great trumpet. The drummer, bass, and piano players were all good to have up there.

Then, they exited and a whole new group was called up to do a song. This was because there were so many musicians, and Tain wanted to give as many as possible a chance to play.

I got more and more disappointed as the night went on. It would have been good if my expectations weren't so high. I feel like a "Monday Morning Quarterback". I would have put Henry Grimes with Steven Bernstein and Ben Perowsky instead of those straight ahead cats I'm not sure I know. Steven and Ben didn't even get to play. Henry did have a great bass solo.

I still stayed the whole night and had fun when I wasn't complaining and trying to call the plays from the couch in front of the tv.

It got fun towards the end. Robert Glasper played piano and 2 drummers, each with a stick in one hand and a drink in the other, started playing. There was a sax on stage that didn't know what to do. I know it got me dancing again. Nothing spectacular, but good and fun.

Then, it ended fun. Kurt Rosenwinkel took the drum kit and Chris Potter got on the piano. Yes, you read that correctly. There was a girl on the bass and it was fun. Chris is also a good piano player. Not like he can play sax, but good nonetheless.

I'm just very spoiled I guess.

The Imagine Project @ Carnegie Hall 6/24/10

I love how Herbie keeps mixing it up and keeps it fresh. It was so great to see Tal Wilkenfeld again. She sang a bit as well as play that kickass bass. There was lots of singing and it was all done quite well. All singers were great. The other keyboard player had an amazing voice.

From what I gather, this band is about reimagining some great favorite songs. Songs like Imagine and Exodus. They just finished the album last week. It was fabulous.

I couldn't believe it when I saw in the program that Derek and Susan were special guests. They did the last dong before the Chameleon encore, which Derek played on. In both songs, Derek and Herbie did some call and response with each other. It was already great, bit it went up a few more notches with Derek and Susan.

It was a great show and a very special night.

The Imagine Project
Herbie Hancock, piano and keyboards
Vinnie Colaiunta, drums
Lionel Loueke, guitar
Greg Phillinganes, keyboards
Kristina Tram, vocals
Tal Wilkenfeld, bass

and special guests:
Idia.Arie, vocals
Derek Trucks, guitar and Susan Tedeschi, vocals

Herbie Hancock @ Carnegie Hall 6/25/10

The introductions of Herbie by Bill Cosby and then of the musicians in the 1st band got us all quite emotional. We gave Herbie a standing ovation when he walked out on stage.

What can I say. The set kicked butt. Ron Carter and Dave Holland took turns on the upright. Sometimes all the horns played on the tune, sometimes it was a subset. It was my first time seeing Wayne Shorter. I must go see him next time I get a chance. Wallace Rooney is incredible. Can I say how much I love Jack DeJohnette? I'm going to Montreal jazzfest mainly because he's gonna be there.

The only disappointment was I thought I couldn't hear Lionel at all. Every once in a while I'd notice him onstage, playing, but I couldn't hear him. I realized during the 2nd band that I could hear Lionel at times. I forgot how unique his sound is. He was the only one besides Herbie that was in both bands. During that 1st band, he was just over-powered intensity-wise.

It really was an outstanding and spectacular set. A once in a lifetime blessing to be a part of.

Interesting, this is the listing from the program. Lionel Loueke isn't listed, but he was there with his guitar the entire set.

Seven Decades: The Birthday Celebration
Herbie Hancock, piano
with special guests:
Terence Blanchard, trumpet
Ron Carter, bass
Jack DeJohnette, drums
Dave Holland, bass
Joe Lavano, saxophone
Wallace Roney, trumpet
Wayne Shorter, saxophone

Monday, June 28, 2010

Tortoise @ LPR 6/23/10

I previously watched a you tube vid of their gig and thought they would live up to the hype. I only gave them about 15 min, but it was lacking something for me. It was played well, there was something missing, that soul quality. I just couldn't feel it.

Walking in, I heard the doorman telling passers-by it was Indie Rock tonight. I would characterize it more as jamband. They had 2 bass players, 2 drumkits on stage, 2 keyboards on stage, vibes that were sometimes played by a drummer. There were 5 band members, so there was some switching off. I don't think both kits were being used at once while I was there. I didn't actually watch that You Tube vid, I was at work. I just listened to it.

It was also not my preference there was a DJ. He played for almost an hour in between the 2 bands. The music wasn't bad, it's just not what I go for. It was making me stay up later than I wanted to.

Here's that Youtube I was talking about:

Aethereal Bace @ LPR 6/23/10

I love this band! It was a simple F Train ride. I'm always amazed how often the F is a simple way to travel between venues.

I just really love this band. It's not just that it's 2 great drummers and a great sax. It's everything they do and how awesome they jam together. A lot of the crowd was into it. There were a lot of talkers in the background, especially when the sax wasn't playing. I was reminded of all the talking during the Allman Brothers long drum solos. It did look like most were really into it, it was just a good amount of talking that you could hear the murmur. Still, I found it pretty easy to ignore.

This band is phenomenal and I hope to see them more often.

Abraham Burton
Eric McPherson
Nasheet Waits
"... a band called Aetherial Bace, with the drummers Eric McPherson and Nasheet Waits and the saxophonist Abraham Burton — New York neighborhood friends since childhood — played off-the-cuff themes and rhythms that sounded like the meeting place between John Coltrane’s port-wine ballads and his later, intense music. They were coordinated and methodical and proceeded in waves."

Stomp It! @ Abrons 6/23/10

Matthew Shipp was the impetus for me to get out so early. I mean, the 1st 2 sets were equally great, I just don't see Matthew very often. He did not disappoint! I love the name of the ensemble. I love the thought of 2 percussion instruments. It was so awesome. All of it. There was a portion where Matthew was playing "When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again". It was the most intense and best ever. He is also a lot of fun to watch.

Stomp It!
Matthew Shipp - piano
Whit Dickey, jr - drums

The Blues Escaped @ Abrons 6/23/10

Fantastic! It was very bluesy and very new as well. I really enjoyed it. Kidd Jordon is phenomenal. Roy Campbell was great and caught me a number of times. William was so on it. They were all incredibly awesome. I was remembering how a few of them were in the funk band the night before. How do they remember they are doing a blues gig?

The Blues Escaped
Roy Campbell, jr. - Trumpet
Kidd Jordan - Tenor saxophone
Jason Kao Hwang - Violin & Viola
William Parker - Bass
Hamid Drake - Drums

Vision Fest Opening Ceremony @ Abrons 6/23/10

They didn't get started until about 7:15 and proceeded to play 15 min of phenomenal improvisation. Cooper-Moore played his homemade banjo. We had Hamid on the small drum that stands on it's side when at rest. Everyone sat in a line. William did get up to go play some gongs at one point. The music was phenomenal and the invocation told us we are in for another great one. It gelled so nicely. It was also very melodic at times. I loved it.

Opening Ceremony
Patricia Nicholson Parker - dance
William Parker - bass
Matthew Shipp - piano
Roy Campbell, jr - trumpet
Hamid Drake - drums
Rob Brown - alto saxophone
Lewis Barnes - trumpet
Jason Kao Hwang - violin & Viola

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Celestial Funk Band @ Drom 6/22/10

Definitely my kind of avant-funk! It definitely got funky, but also turned in other improvised junctures at certain bits. There were some music stands on the stage to guide them through some of it. The last, sort of encore, was straight improv with no music. It wasn't funky, but it sure was fantastic.

Patricia did some vocals a lot during the piece on stage off to the side. She also occasionally did some dance over there. I see from the listing that she did the composition.

There was one piece where everyone contributed to the vocals. Mazz Swift has a great, bluesy voice. Cooper-Moore played the drumheads and started off the vocals in that piece.

There was another piece where Asim Barnes played some awesome Hendrix style guitar at times.

This was a stellar performance and a great way to start my Vision Fest.

Celestial Funk Band
Patricia Nicholson - composition
Kidd Jordan - saxophone
Cooper-Moore - percussions & vocals
Lewis Barnes - trumpet
Mazz Swift - viola
Vernon Reid & Asim Barnes - guitar
William Parker - bass, gimbre & composition
Hamid Drake & Swiss Chris - drums

Frank London's Kali Krew featuring Deep Singh @ Drom 6/22/10

It was funk night at Vision Fest. This band was put together for the occasion. Jessica Lurie even played baritone sax for the gig. That was pretty awesome as was the whole set.

Something has changed at Drom, I'm wondering if there are new owners. I don't think the AC was on. It wasn't sweltering, but it would have been nice to have it. I still danced. Most didn't, but I doubt that had anything to do with the lack of AC.

It was great avant-funk music. it was very interesting that it sometimes seemed like the baritone sax and trumpet were electrified. But, I didn't see any wires. At one point, the trumpet sounded like there was a pedal and effects involved and he wasn't even playing into the mic. I'm still scratching my head over that one.

There was definitely a lot of cool electronic sounds included. Brandon and Anthony added a lot of that. There was a drum focused song that had a way funky rhythm going on. The last song was the funkiest and my favorite.

The listing below doesn't mention Jessica Lurie. She was a nice addition. I also don't recall Deep Singh playing anything other than the dhol, which was fine with me.

Frank London's Kali Krew featuring Deep Singh
Frank London - trumpet
Deep Singh - tabla, dhol & percussion
Anthony Coleman - keyboards
Brandon Seabrook - guitar
Richie Barshay - drums

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Lee Boys @ Brooklyn Bowl 6/18/10

I had no intention in going to this, but I ran into some friends with a car, and that was that. We thought it was $5, and it was, but only until a certain time. It was $10 for us. We also only got about the last 1/2 hour. Still. It was a lot of fun. The venue makes a huge difference over Sullivan Hall, which is the last place I saw them.

It was fun to get down and dance. There weren't many people there, but that didn't matter. I love their choice of covers. I also enjoyed their originals, except for one Soul Funk tune that didn't do it for me. It was great, albeit short.

From the Brooklyn Bowl Listing:
The Lee Boys are one of America’s finest African-American sacred steel ensembles. This family group consists of three brothers, Alvin Lee (guitar), Derrick Lee and Keith Lee (vocals) along with their three nephews, Roosevelt Collier (pedal steel guitar), Alvin Cordy Jr. (7-string bass) and Earl Walker (drums). Each member began making music at the ages of 7 and 8 in the House of God church they attended in Perrine, FL. Here they underwent a rigorous course of training in a variety of musical instruments, including lap and pedal steel guitars. Born and raised in Miami, each of The Lee Boys grew up in the church where their father and grandfather, Rev. Robert E. Lee, was the pastor and a steel player himself.

“Sacred steel” is a type of music described as an inspired, unique form of Gospel music with a hard-driving, blues-based beat. The musical genre is rooted in Gospel, but infused with rhythm and blues, jazz, rock, funk, hip-hop, country and ideas from other nations. Influenced by the Hawaiian steel guitar fad of the 1930’s, brothers Willie and Troman Eason brought the electric lap steel guitar into the worship services of the House of God church in Jacksonville, FL. The Pentecostal congregation embraced the soulful sound, and over time this unique sound became the hallmark of the church. The pedal steel guitar was added to the mix and soon became the central instrument. The Lee Boys are part of the fourth generation of musicians in this faith.

This music form was totally unknown to the world outside the church until the mid 1990’s, when folklorist Robert Stone attended House of God services and recorded the music, as well as its history, contributing the name “sacred steel.” A series of compilations featuring artists such as Aubrey Ghent, Calvin Cooke and the Campbell Brothers, as well as the late Glenn Lee followed on legendary roots label Arhoolie Records, for whom The Lee Boys also record.

When The Lee Boys bring their joyous spiritual sound to the stage, audiences instantly recognize that this is not “sitting and listening” music: dancing, shouting out, and having fun are considered essential parts of their tradition. Founder and bandleader Alvin Lee explains “The inspiration and feeling that comes along with our music is the reason that people feel good. It is like the new music on the block and it’s just getting ready to explode!” It’s mostly original material, with a few standards and hymns the group “blueses up a little.” Audiences often dance, shout out, and always have a great time. In 2007 alone they performed for more than 250,000 music fans at festivals throughout the United States. In the process, their unique sound has attracted musical artists such as Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, The Allman Brothers Band, The Black Crowes, Los Lobos, Michelle Shocked, Gov’t Mule, Derek Trucks Band w/ Susan Tedechi, The North Mississippi Allstars, Umphrey’s McGee, and Victor Wooten – all of whom have played with the Lee Boys and/or invited them to tour with them.

The press has caught on as well, as evidenced by the USA Today review of their set at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in May 2008: “The Lee Boys, from Miami, rocked the blues tent with their rollicking You've Got to Move. The song started slow and low but steadily picked up pace, taking on the feel and sound of a runaway train. As guitarist Roosevelt Collier plucked at his pedal steel guitar, an electric guitar mounted on a stand and played from a sitting position, audience members danced in the aisles, jumped up and down and waved their arms to the mounting melody.”

These engaging artists work well in a variety of venues ranging from intimate club settings to performing arts centers to large festival stages. Their music attracts audiences from the jamband, folk, blues and Gospel worlds. They’ve performed throughout the United States, Canada and Europe and will continue influencing audiences worldwide with their “sacred steel”. Their 2008 tour calendar includes nearly 50 major festival performances, including headline stops at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Memphis in May, and the Bonnaroo, High Sierra, Austin City Limits and Philadelphia Folk Festival.

Caged Funk @ Rose Live 6/17/10

It was billed as a rehearsal gig. Ribot likes to do a live rehearsal gig before touring. That's OK with me - it can get interesting. I do wish he would sandwich the tour between 2 NYC gigs. that would be awesome!

There were some glitches with getting sound out of one of Bernie's keyboards. It was working for a portion of the gig and the other one worked the whole time. There were moments, when it was working, where I would be looking for the horn before realizing it was Bernie. He is the perfect funky organ player for this project.

Brad Jones captivated me often. He was playing the regular electric bass as opposed to the upright electric bass. He was so awesome, whatever he was doing. His super funky bassline was off the hook. His improv in the background of the Bernie take the lead while Marc changes his string was absolutely fantastic. So was everything in between.

I don't know that I've seen the drummer before. He can do it all, as well. Actually, all of them are extremely versatile. He really had me grooving on a few songs when he was playing an African funky groove rhythm on the traps with sticks. It sounded like something I thought could only be done with bare hands. I also liked his avant-garde cymbal playing.

I doubt it could have worked without DJ Logic. He often ended the songs solo. There was one piece where he was playing a record which I assume was a Cage original. They would just have bits of the record play in pauses from the band. Otherwise I don't think you could hear the band. I guess Cage is a classical composer. I'm going to google him at the end of this post. I do wonder what Ribot and Cappelli were doing learning his stuff in the first place.

Yes, the 2 guitars were as great as ever. I stood right in front of Ribot. He is amazing.
I love this project and I hope we get a CD and another gig or more in NYC out of it.

MARC RIBOT's Caged Funk:John Cage looped, hi-jacked, detourned, and scratch mixedThurs June 17, 8pm (doors 7pm)
feat. Bernie Worrell (Parliament Funkadelic) keys, Marc Ribot guitar, Marco Cappelli guitar, Brad Jones bass, DJ Logic turntables, JT Lewis - drums

About the project:In rehearsing for a performance of John Cage's 'Sonata for Two Voices' (1933) at Issue Project Room last winter, guitarist Marco Cappelli and Marc Ribot made a strange discovery. The two guitarists overcame the gap between the rhythmic complexity of the piece and Mr. Ribot's somewhat limited sight reading skills by 'looping' measures: constantly repeating each difficult passage until it became easier. It was in this way they became aware of a strange fact about John Cage's music that would have probably surprised (and possibly dismayed) the composer himself: John Cage was one funky dude. The resulting project, "Caged Funk", is a further exploration of this little known aspect the late composer's work. Artists: feat. Bernie Worrell keys, Marc Ribot guitar, Marco Cappelli guitar, Brad Jones bass, DJ Logic turntables, JT Lewis - drums

Tonight's performance is an open rehearsal.
This work was commissioned by and will be premiered July 8,2010 at the Ludwigsburg Festival 2010 in Germany.

Tim Berne @ The Stone 6/16/10

I love all Tim Berne projects. I don't know why I don't make more effort to see them. I also love all Ches Smith projects. He is definitely on my very long list of favorite drummers.

This may have been my very first time seeing Oscar Noriega. I've known about him for a while. He's definitely as great as I've heard. I'm still loving the bass clarinet. I also really enjoyed the alto clarinet.

I don't think I ever even heard of Matt Mitchell on piano. Shame on me.

It was an excellent set. A lot of the music was that very energetic "aha" stuff that I love. I'm also glad I got to at least one of their sets.

Tim Berne
Tim Berne (sax) Oscar Noriega (clarinets) Matt Mitchell (piano) Ches Smith (drums)
Los Totopos, Tim Berne's new touring band, is a potent blend of new voices and new ideas. Berne responds with a stunning book of new pieces balancing compositional rigor with fluid group improvisation. Hypnotic rhythms and long, seductive melodies collide with jagged dissonances and surprising textural shifts. A lush, organic blend of saxophones and clarinets is layered with electronic and acoustic keyboards and an ever-changing tapestry of percussion.

Broken Arm Trio @ The Stone 6/15/10

This amazing trio added a 4th and even more soul with Doug Wamble on slide guitar. The whole set was awesome. There was one part where Doug played the melody for a while and then Eric picked it up and Trevor gave it a whirl, all separately. It was great to see the difference in the 3 stringed instruments.

I very much enjoyed the whole thing and I was sorry when it ended.

Erik Friedlander's Broken Arm Trio
Erik Friedlander (cello) Trevor Dunn (bass) Mike Sarin (drums)
laying all new music. The band was inspired by Oscar Pettiford who in 1949 broke his arm playing baseball.He could still move his fingers even though his arm was in a sling, so he began experimenting with a cello a friend had lent to him. He tuned the cello like a bass only an octave higher and later made history recording a series of cello-led projects including the great, under-recognized 1964 Fantasy release, "My Little Cello" featuring a photo of his newborn son whom he named Cello.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Upcoming: The Best Thing to Ever Happen to Us! 6/24/10

OK, it's up there with the best. It just might be the best, though. Jam session with tons of jazz greats in NYC. I mean JAZZ GREATS!

Get a ticket now! Only 90 cents (do we even have a cents sign on our keyboards any more?) service fee!

Hosted by Jeff Tain Watts

City Winery will host the late night jam session, Tribute To Herbie Hancock Thursday June 24th under the auspices of 2010 CareFusion New York Jazz Festival.

Produced by beloved longtime jazz impressario George Wein, CareFusion New York Jazz Festival will be occurring over 10 days at various venues around New York City from June 16 to 27.

The highlight of the festival is a celebration of Herbie Hancock's 70 years on the jazz scene to be held at the Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall on June 24th.

Herbie Hancock will lead the festivities at Carnegie Hall with special guests to include Terence Blanchard, Bill Crosby, Joe Lovano, Wayne Shorter and many more to be confirmed.

The Late Night Jam Session at City Winery will begin after the Carnegie Hall shows and runs from 11:00pm to 4:00am and tickets are only $15 in advance.


Joe Sanders - bass
Dwayne Burno - bass
Gene Jackson - drums
Mark Guiliana -drums
Justin Brown - drums
Johnathan Blake - drums
EJ Strickland - drums
Nir Felder - guitar
David Gilmore - guitar
Gilad Hekselman - guitar
Adam Rogers -guitar
Robert Rodriguez - piano
Kevin Hays - piano
Luis Perdomo - piano
Danny Grissett - piano
Loren Stillman - saxophone
Chris Potter - saxophone
Marcus Strickland - saxophone
Jaleel Shaw - saxophone
David Binney - saxophone
Mark Turner - saxophone
Mike Rodriguez - trumpet
Brandon Lee - trumpet

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Anker, Lee, Maneri @ The Stone 6/6/10

It was great, fun, improvised music. I like having 2 strings and a sax. I loved how these 3 played together.

It got really interesting when Lotte was playing the sax with the bow and Okyuung was playing her strings intricately and quietly. There was something about those cello sounds that I really liked.

Lotte played tenor, alto, and soprano saxes. Matt played regular viola as opposed to the electric version I often see him with in Club d'Elf. He was great. I wonder why we don't see more of him at The Stone.

Lotter Anker with Okkyung Lee + Mat Maneri
Lotte Anker (saxes) Okkyung Lee (cello) Mat Maneri

Friday, June 18, 2010

Galactic @ Brooklyn Bowl 6/5/10

They were great. I only lasted for about 45 min, though. I was trying to make it through the summer without air conditioning. That experiment has failed and I now have a window unit. Even though Galactic was on it and awesome, I lacked motivation and energy and had trouble getting into it. So, unlike the night before, it turns out it was me and not necessarily the music.

I was happy when they called out Corey Henry on trombone, they said while he's a special guest, he's been becoming another band member. That would be awesome! He was on stage the entire time I was there. Cyrille was great. He sang an old school funk tune I love, but already forgot. They also had a guitar player come out and they did Manic Depression. It was all great, I could tell, yet I lacked enthusiasm. I just got sick of being there and needed rest in spite of my nice long nap that day.

Oh, and Brooklyn Bowl has great frozen margaritas, which are good to know for the summer. It also wasn't too hot in there.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Source with Abdoulaye Diabaté @ The Zinc Bar 6/4/10

I didn't know I would end up here. I was on my way home and remembered I've enjoyed this band at the old Zinc Bar on Houston a few times. They were always enjoyable. I again enjoyed a set of their music. It looked like they've had some band member changes since I last saw them, but it was still good. There was a sax who sometimes played a tribal reed with the other tribal reed. A drum kit and a percussionist on congas. Keyboards, bass, and guitar. This music has an African bent, but it's also very funky and modern. There was a male vocalist and a special guest female vocalist, both singing in African style, both good. There was also plenty of instrumentals to keep me happy.

It was very good and salvaged my night. While there was AC, it was still too hot although no where near as bad as Sullivan Hall.

I did a little searching to get some more info:

SOURCE w/Abdoulaye Diabaté was created by Quebecois flutist Sylvain Leroux, pioneer of African music collaborations in North America, as an improvisational group with a standard jazz formation of bass, drums, keyboard and wind, but was soon reborn as an explorative jazz unit with the advent of Mandeng vocalist and guitar great, Abdoulaye "Djoss" Diabate from Mali and Guinean fula flute Master Bailo Bah.

The current configuration includes Israeli keyboard virtuoso Shai Bachar who imparts jazz sophistication and contemporary atmospheric groove, and a solid rhythm section held down by Senegalese bassist Mamadou Ba and French drummer, Robert Bonhomme. Conga player Daniel Villeneuve, also French Canadian, has recently joined the band, adding a sensitive Caribbean touch to the skins.

Abdoulaye Diabate's voice soars with the depth and conviction conferred upon him by his legacy as a griot and his own infectious good nature; Bailo Bah's virtuosi playing of the 3-holed tambin flute combines phrasing and expression that reach emotional and textural heights. In addition to SOURCE's top-notch regular line-up, "Tonight's African Jazz Band" proudly features the contribution of Guinea's famed guitar-griot, "Djekorya" Mory Kante, who performed and recorded with the group in 2004-05. SOURCE has been delighting audiences at Soho's Zinc Bar for more than three years, holding down the first-of-the-month slot in this cool hot-spot's long-running series, African Fridays. With "Tonight's African Jazz Band" the vehicle, SOURCE W/ ABDOULAYE DIABATE delivers a message of human spirit, of individual and collective creativity, demonstrating how different cultures can meet and communicate through their personal relationship to music.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

George Porter & the Runnin Pardners @ Sullivan Hall 6/4/10

I didn't stay too long. It was OK, but not enough to keep me there with the heat. A better strategy might have been to hit the Papa Grows Funk set instead. I heard that was great. It was very hot in there, but I expected it. There were a lot of complaints flying around about the heat. I don't like the venue to begin with, so it wasn't hard to leave.

I enjoyed a little of the sax. The rest of them, including George, weren't doing it for me at all. I stayed for about 5 or 6 songs, most of which I listened to from outside, by the door. I wanted to give it a little time in case it got better. It was OK.

Now, Sullivan Hall did send an apology email and an explanation that something went terribly wrong with the AC that night. They also want to make it up to us by offering free entry to certain future shows. I do think that was a nice gesture. I'm still not crazy about that place, though.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Rothenberg/Waterman/Burgon/Frasconi @ The Stone 6/2/10

This was a great way to start off an insane music month. Every set at The Stone this month is worth seeing. But, Mark Feldman and Sylvie Coivoissier's stellar month is vying with Vision Fest and a bunch of other festivals and amazing shows.

This ensemble just improvised as only they can. They are extremely skilled and thrilling to watch. They also have something that I can really feel.

Ned started on the bass clarinet and picked it up again later close to the end. He played the alto clarinet a few times. On each, he would pick up various baby "tunes", small little pieces a couple of bars long, and groove on it for a bit. It would usually change slightly with each repetition. He was doing other things too, but this slightly repetitive thing tends to catch me. I love it.

I love watching Alex on the cello. He has so many different ways to play it. I love the multitude of sounds.

Shelly was great and I could tell she was a part of the music. It was hard for me to pay attention to her at all, I was so enthralled with the other 3. Whenever I did put my attention purposefully on her, I was very interested. I was usually drawn away quickly by what was happening elsewhere.

It was an excellent set of freely improvised music.

Ned Rothenberg
Ned Rothenberg (sax, shakuhachi) Alex Waterman (cello) Miguel Frasconi (glass instruments) Shelley Burgon (harp, electronics)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Steve Cardanas Trio @ Jazz Standard 6/1/10

They started off real strong, making me very happy I chose to got to this 2nd set. The tune is called "Burt" and is a tribute to Burt Bacharach. I don't know if Burt ever had super killer super funky bass like Ben Allison treated us to in "Burt". I never really explored Burt's music. All I know is I had to have the CD after I heard it.

Then they did a tune that Steve placed in the "psychedelic cowboy" genre. It was great. Every song was great.

So, the set is almost over and I am loving this trio. We got a lot of tunes that featured Rudy Royston on drums in the 2nd half. It just couldn't get any better. Then, they elevated themselves with bonus points when they finished with a Meters cover! What a drum solo in that!

Steve is a great guitar player and composer. It was a fantastic evening.

The listing:

Steve Cardenas – guitar
Ben Allison – bass
Rudy Royston – drums

Musicians ranging from drummer Paul Motian to singer Kate McGarry know all about Steve Cardenas’ prodigious talent: He’s played on over 35 recordings by other artists, toured Europe extensively, and is the creator (with editor Don Sickler) of The Thelonious Monk Fakebook, the premier collated volume of all known Monk compositions. West Of Middle, Steve Cardenas' third CD under his own name, will be out 5/25/2010 on Sunnyside Records – and shortly thereafter, this exceptional guitarist will hit our stage for a live workout on his new tunes with the same unbeatable rhythm team of Ben Allison and Rudy Royston.

Eyal Maoz @ The Stone 5/30/10

It rocked! I don't get enough great intense rock these days. Brian had transportation issues so they were a little late getting started. I was impressed with how quickly he was able to set up 4 keyboards.

The set was incredible. This should be a regular band. The drummer was really intense and caught me a lot. They had to put a cinder block in front of the bass drum because it would move away from him a lot as he hit the kick thing.

There was one song that a groovy bass and it took everything I had to remain seated. I did groove pretty hard in my chair.

It was phenomenal.

Eyal Maoz
Eyal Maoz (guitar) Brian Marsella (keyboards) Shanir Blumenkranz (bass) Yuval Lion (drums)
Where Jazz meets New Wave, and echoes of Joy Division are counterposed with Jewish music, begins the rocking odyssey of Edom.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Christian McBride @ Village Vanguard 5/30/10

I don't think I ever saw Inside Straight before. It's Christian's "side project" that was formed by happenstance for a previous run at the Vanguard. After that run, it was suggested to him that this become his band. He couldn't ditch his current band, who he enjoys playing and being with, so he kept both. I am so glad he did. This band really is something special.

You know when there's a vibraphone on the stage that it's going to be quite lively. It sure was. Christian doesn't like playing to watching audiences. To that I say, then play somewhere with no seats where we can dance. Then, it's likely they will be paid a lot less and I will be one of 5 people dancing.

It was also awesome that there was vibraphone trouble in the middle of the set. I learned that the keys are held together by a string and one row broke. I was sitting in that seat right under the speaker that is on the level of the stage, right in front of the vibes. Therefor, I could see what it looked like when they removed the row and how they replaced and attached the row once they came back with the new string strung through the keys. They were able to take care of this during one song that didn't need the vibes.

The music was awesome! I love an intense drummer. They were all phenomenal.

At one point, Christian told us they were going to play a familiar song that we wouldn't recognize until the end, but would make us want to tap our feet. It WAS pretty grooving. It turned out it was the theme song to Law and Order. I didn't know the song had such a groove before the part they chose.

I enjoyed the set thoroughly and won't hesitate to see Inside Straight again at any future opportunities.

Christian McBride acoustic bass
Steve Wilson alto, soprano saxophone
Warren Wolf, Jr. vibes
Gerald Clayton piano
Carl Allen drums

Saturday, June 5, 2010

NY Hieroglyphics @ Jazz Gallery 5/29/10

This was as excellent as ever. Peter played a lot of piano, the tenor sax, some percussion and maybe another horn. Viva and Dave Phelps were on guitar. Marcus Rojas held down the bass line with the tuba. Josh Roseman and a young girl were on the trombones. The trumpet player broke out a thumb piano for a portion of one song. Viva also played some percussion at times. Charlie Burnham gave us his amazingness on violin and it looked like there were a couple of parts where he was playing some kind of percussion (maybe his violin). Dafnis Prieto was the drummer and blew me away as usual. Jessica Jones was on alto. I don't know who that guy was playing the tenor and bass saxes, but he was incredible. Looking at the listing, it must have been Tony Jones.

The music was awesome. Simply amazing. Each solo was killer. There was lots of rhythm and lots of great low sounds. It was quite a set and maybe a little over an hour.

They said the next set would be completely different music. I opted out to get to my next show ...

Peter Apfelbaum - saxophone, piano, & percussion, Peck Allmond - trumpet & reeds, Jessica Jones/Tony Jones - saxophones, Josh Roseman/Natalie Cressman - trombones, Charlie Burnham - violin, Dave Phelps - guitar, Viva DeConcini - guitar, Marcus Rojas -tuba, Dafins Prieto - drums

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Fiorello! @ The Heights Players 5/28/10

A friend from work is in this musical. After she told me a little about it and that this production lives up to her high quality standards, I knew I had to go.

This IS a great show and definitely lived up to my expectations. I love learning a little piece of NYC history in a fun 2 hour show! It was about the Fiorello LaGuardia.

It was also set in a good period, Act I was 1915-1918 and Act II was 1929-1933. That means we heard some jazz! Both acts started off with an instrumental piece and no actors on the stage. I liked that and it set the tone.

It was a great show played very well. Everyone was really good. There were probably about 30 people in the cast. It was a lot of fun. I liked the music even though show tunes aren't my thing. It was a lot of fun!

Here's more about the show:!