Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Kendrick Scott Oracle @ Jazz Standard 7/27/10

They has special guest Chris Potter on stage the whole time. It's already a great band, Chris just makes it even better. I've seen all of them before. I really missed Derek Hodge, I feel like I haven't seen him in ages.

It started off with Chris on bass clarinet and Derek on electric bass. I forgot Chris plays bass clarinet! He plays it like he plays the tenor. It's great. We also got a phenomenal bass solo that was very melodic. The guitar solo was brilliant. The whole thing was awesome.

The 2nd song started off with a kickass funky drum solo. It got jazzier as the others came in, but kept that kickass groovy jazz thing in the drums.

I think it was after that that Derek switched to the acoustic upright for the duration. I think after the first song Chris was on tenor for the duration.

Aaron Parks certainly deserves a shoutout. He mainly played piano, but I saw him switch to an electric for the last tune.

This is a great straight ahead trio with a little edge. I'm sure it's still great and a little cheaper without Chris. I think they played Joe's Pub recently. I was holding out for this show, but I would like to see that sometime.

Tuesday July 27
KENDRICK SCOTT ORACLE featuring CHRIS POTTER

  • Chris Potter - tenor saxophone
    Aaron Parks - piano
    Lage Lund - guitar
    Derrick Hodge - bass
    Kendrick Scott - drums

Kendrick Scott is not only (to quote the NY Times) “a jazz drummer conversant in an ultra–modern sense of propulsion” but also a composer, bandleader, and music entrepreneur of significance on the current scene. The Houston, TX native has been a mainstay of the Terence Blanchard band for the past six years; he contributed tunes and orchestrations to the trumpeter’s Grammy–nominated Flow (Blue Note, 2005) and the Grammy–winning A Tale of God’s Will (Blue Note, 2007). Not yet 30 years old, Kendrick has gigged and/or recorded with a host of boldface names ranging from Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter to Patti Austin and the Crusaders. In 2007, Kendrick Scott launched the World Culture Music label as a vehicle for the dissemination of his own music (including his 2009 CD Reverence) as well as that of other likeminded performers. "A true artist of the highest order. He is exactly what the music world needs: someone with the vision and courage to press forward and expand the world of music.” (Terence Blanchard)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Nerve @ Nublu 7/21/10

I really wanted to catch some of this. I couldn't figure out what time it would start. That's how I found myself in the area at 10pm to catch The Stone show. I did catch a little of the Nerve soundcheck before heading over there. All I heard was the very intense drumming. Someone observing the drum soundcheck requested "Hot For Teacher". Jojo started playing it. It was great and he is a great drummer. There's a lot of talent and a lot of intensity. I liked it and the drumming in the actual show a lot. There was also something different that I can't quite pinpoint. I don't want to imply it was less or more, just different than what Alex Van Halen's drumming on that song feels like. I definitely could feel Jojo, just a different feeling.

I found a good description of the type of music online:
Jojo Mayer initiated NERVE in spring ‘98 as an experimental platform for a handful of New York musicians interested in the current stream of electronic music styles in DJ culture such as “drum n` bass”, nu skool breaks, nu-jazz, abstrakt funk, electro break beats etc., while also trying to detect and explore the most recent developments in “intelligent” electronic dance music.

I saw Takuya Nakamura earlier this week and I was very curious. When I looked him up I saw he was playing at Nublu. Nublu's site says this is not to be missed. Hence, I was compelled to check it out.

They came on at 11:30. It is definitely the type of band that shouldn't come on too early. It's very intense. I enjoyed the 20 min I saw. It also grew on me and got into my veins as it progressed. I wanted to stay, I just have a lot going on and needed to be alert the next day. Here's a good article about the band. It says "BEWARE: NERVE might change your life...". I could see that. I feel altered. There's something about it. I also was reminded of Uri Caine's Bedrock. It's different, but reminiscent.

I need to see the whole show sometime.

Zozimos @ The Stone 7/21/10

I had an hour an what better way to spend it than at The Stone. I was very happy with my choice when I saw taper Scott and the instrument setup. Also, I couldn't remember ever seeing the violin, guitar, drummer, tuba, sax, or trumpet player before. This was bound to be another winner. It was.

They play as an orchestra at Tea Lounge often. Somewhere along the way, they decided to do a Hansel and Gretel operetta. Ben Has been gradually putting it together and adding to it for the Tea Lounge shows. It sounds like quite a feat and there will eventually be footage on youtube. For this show at The Stone, he picked his favorite 6 pieces and rearranged them for this chamber ensemble. Each piece featured a different artist. I loved the concept!

The music is great. The musicians are great. I'm interested to see the whole shebang with the orchestra. It was an awesome set and a wonderful use of that hour of my time.

Ben Stapp & the Zozimos
Justin Wood (saxes, flute) Kenny Warren (trumpet) Danny Fischer (drums) Curtis Stewart (violin) Isaac Darche (guitar) Ben Stapp (tuba, narrator)
A collective Chamber Group performing selections from Mr. Stapp's jazz-folk operetta Hansel and Gretel (Instrumental Version) Incorporating rhythmic drones, faux 4-D tonality, folk melodies, break-beats and more. A night of aural story telling/sound painting.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Eric Deutch @ Banjo Jim's 7/20/10

For the summer Banjo Jim's is having Eric Deutch's Summer Shakedown starting at around 10pm-ish. He plays with at least 1 of the bands, maybe both. He played in both last night.

The first was a quartet with Brandon Seabrook on banjo and guitar, Marc Dallo on drums, Whynot Jansveld on electric bass and Eric on organ. It was fun. It got funky, it got a little experimental, there was a great rock song at the end. They had me dancing for a lot of it. There were definitely some aha moments. I attribute most of those to Brandon. He really blew me away.

I had to stay for Sunny Ozell when I realized Tony Mason is on drums, Scott Metzger on guitar and Sunny is singing. I saw her sit in once with The Duo and have often wondered why she doesn't sing in a band. I recall when Galactic wanted a singer pondering why they didn't ask her.

This band also included Eric Deutch on organ/piano and Whynot Jansveld from the previous band on bass.

I couldn't stay for the whole thing, I hadn't intended to stay at all. This had more of a country/gospel flair. It was good and I enjoyed it. My favorite song was the Marva Wright cover. I also enjoyed some mini guitar solos. It was good and fun and worth sticking around for.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Radio I-Ching @ Otto's 7/20/10

I got the last 45 min or so, including encore. Cooper-Moore played with them as a special guest. He fit right in. It was fun to see him rock out. I saw him play his jaw harp, banjo and diddley-bo. Andy played his soprano sax, electronics and didgeridoo. Dee hauled in his own drum kit and sounded phenomenal. Don played electric bass, electric mandolin and something that looked like it could be some kind of African mandolin. He had a guitar and maybe something else, but I missed those.

A lot of people would love this band. They rock out with an experimental edge. It's intense.

Tuesday July 20 @ Ottos Shrunken Head
Radio I-Ching

Andy Haas - curved soprano sax and reeds (Martha and the Muffins, Hanuman Sextet, John Zorn)

Don Fiorino - guitar, banjo, mandolin, lap steel, glissentar, bass (Attention Screen, Hanuman Sextet)

Dee Pop - drums and percussion (Bush Tetras, Freedomland, Gun Club)

& very special guest star
COOPER MOORE - horizontal hoe-handle harp, mouth-bow, three string fretless banjo, bass diddley-bow, bamboo flutes (William Parker's In Order to Survive, Digital Primitives, Little Huey Orchestra, Triptych Myth)

Otto's Shrunken Head
538 East 14th Street, NYC, 212-228-2240

Harlem-Kingston Express @ Dizzy's 7/20/10

Jamaican music at Dizzy's with 3 drummers, one of which is Obed Calvaire - I'm there! Believe it or not, it exceeded my expectations. It was Jamaican infused jazz. They even did a couple of familiar tunes there way. There was some reggae, some island sounds, jazz and lots of drums.

They had 2 great bassists, electric and upright. I love that. The guitarist from Israel is phenomenal. There was another rhythm guitar. The piano was incredible. He also played the melodica, some of the best I've hear. Yes, it was quite a band.

There was one call-and-response part between the guitar and the melodica. Plenty of great drum solos to keep me happy. I was dancing the whole time in my usual spot between the sound guy and the kitchen. It was awesome!

The set was over 45 min. I had the feeling they would have done an encore if the manager hadn't come on to do his usual spiel about what's coming up. Maybe not, but it seemed like it to me. It was a great show regardless!

The listing:
Monty Alexander: Harlem-Kingston Express
w/Bobby Thomas, Obed Calvaire, Hassan Shakur, Karl Wright & Hoova Simpson

Tue-Sun, Jul 20-25

Travel to the island of Jamaica with native son Monty Alexander as he performs a magical blend of rich rhythms, traditional songs of Jamaica, and the classic sounds of contemporary jazz. Monty Alexander, piano; Bobby Thomas, hand drums; Obed Calvaire, drums; Hassan Shakur, bass; Karl Wright, Jamaican drums; Hoova Simpson, Jamaican bass

View a video of Monty Alexander performing live from Jazz at Lincoln Center here.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Jonathan Kreisberg Quartet @ Small's 7/17/10

I wanted more and this was a good opportunity to finally see Stacy Dillard's late night jam at Small's. It was previously late night on Thurs, which I just couldn't make it to.

I got there at 12:22, and was charged $20. I was told it's a bit hot and the AC wasn't working. For the slow song, I stood in the hallway, at the bottom of the stairs. At 12:35 I heard the door guy tell people it was $10. Oh well, there isn't much difference between $10 and $20, given the high prices I've been spending at the higher end clubs this week.

They played until almost 1am, and I enjoyed it a lot. I've only seen him at Bar Next Door before. It was a lot of fun and I was dancing the whole time.

10:30 to 1:00 AM - The Jonathan Kreisberg Group
Jonathan Kreisberg - Guitar , Will Vinson - Alto Sax , Johannes Weidenmuller - Bass , Eric Doob - Drums

DGBE @ City Winery 7/17/10

I can't get over what David Grisman's mandolin playing does to me. It hits me from a technical aspect and it hits me in the soul. I mean, every time he hits a note, I get an oohh feeing. Every time. My list of dream bands has a new entry: David Grisman, Doug Wamble, Charlie Hunter on 7-string guitar, Jenny Scheinman, Todd Sickafoose, Skerik on tenor and baritone saxes, Steven Bernstein on regular and slide trumpets and Bernard Purdie on drums. Doug Wamble is the leader and the venue is Bowery Ballroom.

This band was excellent! They played 2 sets and an encore, ending at about 11:30. It was such a great show!

David Grisman was the star, hands down. I liked the fiddle a lot, also. I thought the rest of them were good from the start. Gradually they grew on me and I liked them more and more as the night went on. The wine got better and better at the same time. It was a great time!

From the listing:

About DAVID GRISMAN BLUEGRASS EXPERIENCE

David Grisman/Keith Little/Jim Nunally/Chad Manning/Samson Grisman

For the past few years, one of the best-kept secrets of the Bay Area music scene was a David Grisman Bluegrass Experience show. With lines stretching for blocks, it would be standing room only to hear this amazing band. Now at last, East Coast audiences can hear David Grisman and his stellar group of Bay Area bluegrass musicians for a special showcase of DGBX - The David Grisman Bluegrass Experience.

For one night only in NYC, the band including Keith Little (Ricky Skaggs, Dolly Parton, the Country Gentlemen) on 5-string banjo, guitar and vocals, Jim Nunally (John Reischman & the Jaybirds) on guitar and vocals, Chad Manning on fiddle, Samson Grisman on bass and of course, David Grisman on mandolin and vocals, will perform in the intimate setting of City Winery.

TICKETS ARE VERY LIMITED

The same titled CD opens with a dynamic version of the Monroe Brothers' "I'm Rollin' On." The DGBX trio wails on the Carter Family classic, "Engine 143" as well as a unique bluegrass interpretation of Charlie Poole's "Baltimore Fire." Jim Nunally's renditions of "Down the Road" and "Ruben's Train" would make Flatt & Scruggs proud while Keith Little's eloquent delivery of both "Dream of the Miner's Child" and "Are You Afraid to Die?" (highlighted by Samson Grismanís bass solo) pay heartfelt homage to the Stanley Brothers. Rounding out this traditional bluegrass program are the Grisman favorites, "Dawggy Mountain Breakdown" (the popular theme from radio's Car Talk show) and the ever popular "Old and in the Way."

ABOUT DAVID GRISMAN

For over 45 years, mandolinist/composer David Grisman has been busy creating "dawg" music, a blend of many stylistic influences (including swing, bluegrass, Latin, jazz and gypsy) so unique he gave it its own name. In doing so, David has inspired a whole new genre of acoustic string instrumental music —with style and virtuosity, while creating a unique niche for himself in the world of contemporary music.

Praised for his mastery of the instrument as well as his talents as a composer, bandleader, teacher and record producer by the New York Times, David’s role as an acoustic innovator continues to grow. After recording for several major and independent labels, Grisman founded his own company, Acoustic Disc, which he runs from his studio in northern California. After launching the label in 1990, David entered the most prolific period of his distinguished career, producing over 60 critically acclaimed, sonically superior recordings of acoustic music (five of which have been nominated for Grammy Awards).

David discovered the mandolin as a teenager growing up in New Jersey, where he met and became a disciple of mandolinist/folklorist Ralph Rinzler. Despite a warning from his piano teacher that it wasn't a "real" instrument, Grisman learned to play the mandolin in the style of Bill Monroe, the father of bluegrass music. He took it with him to Greenwich Village where he studied English at New York University and became immersed in the proliferating folk music scene of the early 1960s.

In 1963 Grisman made his first recordings as an artist (the Even Dozen Jug Band - Elektra) and producer (Red Allen, Frank Wakefield and the Kentuckians - Folkways). In 1966, Red Allen offered David his first job with an authentic bluegrass band, the Kentuckians. While studying the music of his bluegrass mandolin heroes like Bill Monroe, Jesse McReynolds and Frank Wakefield, Grisman began composing original tunes and playing with other urban bluegrass contemporaries like Peter Rowan and Jerry Garcia, with whom he would later form Old & in the Way.

David's interests spread to jazz in 1967, while playing in the folk-rock ensemble, Earth Opera. A failed attempt at learning to play the alto saxophone turned him into a student of jazz musicianship and theory. In the meantime, his burgeoning career as a session musician gave him experience playing other types of music and opportunities to stretch the boundaries of the mandolin. His discography is filled with notable Artists including Sam Bush, Jerry Garcia, the Grateful Dead, Stephane Grappelli, Emmylou Harris, Chris Isaak, Del McCoury, Dolly Parton, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt , Earl Scruggs, Martin Taylor, James Taylor and Doc Watson. David's unique instrumental style found a home in 1974 when he formed the Great American Music Band with fiddler Richard Greene. "Nothing against singers," said David, "but it became apparent to me that I could play 90 minutes without one. Besides, Elvis never called." Within a year, Greene moved on to join a pop act, and David met guitar wizard Tony Rice, who moved to California where they started rehearsing a new group, the David Grisman Quintet, which also included bassist/ mandolinist Todd Phillips and violinist Darol Anger. The rest is string band history.

Vinicius Cantuária @ Jazz Standard 7/16/10

I debated about following the Wamble/Hunter/Purdie show with anything. This was worthy.

They are all great musicians. I was especially drawn to the percussionist, Dende. He was having a lot of fun and had very interesting instruments. Drums I haven't seen before. I see he's local and I must check out his band at some point.

I think Vinicius has the same guitar as Mary Halvorson. He sounded excellent.

The piano player, Takuya Nakamura was very interesting. He had some electronics and and a laptop and a trumpet with a mute. Ah, I see some Nublu gigs on his myspace page. Maybe I'll be able to stay up one night and check it out.

It was a fabulous show.

I had an idea that I was going to do a Sun night triple play repeat run. I wanted to hit the Wamble/Hunter/Purdie 8pm set at Iridium then hit this at 9:30 and then run down to the Village Vanguard for the 11pm Jenny Scheinman show. I'm sorry to say I was too tired to go any where that night - I missed my nap and HBO the couch was calling. It was a great idea in theory.

The listing:
Vinicius Cantuária
  • Vinicius Cantuaria – guitar, vocals
    Takuya Nakamura – piano, trumpet
    Itaiguara Brandao – electric bass
    Adriano Santos - drums
    Dende – percussion

As singer, songwriter, guitarist and percussionist, the career of Vinicius Cantuária connects several zones of Brazilian music. His live sound might best be described as “post-electronica acoustic,”and the band’s repertoire typically includes songs by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Gilberto Gil, as well as Cantuária’s impressive fund of originals. Writing in the London Guardian, John L. Walters hailed “the doyen of Brazilian singer-songwriters…if more people covered his songs, we'd be talking about him as the new Tom Jobim.” With his latest album, Cymbals (Koch/E1 Entertainment), Vinicius Cantuária celebrates the 50 years of bossa nova with electric guitars and feedback, plus able assistance from Tom Waits collaborator Marc Ribot and pianist Brad Mehldau

Word of the Day: eurythmics

eu·rhyth·mics [yoo-rith-miks, yuh-]
–noun ( used with a singular or plural verb )
the art of interpreting in bodily movements the rhythm of musical compositions: applied to a method invented by Emile Jaques-Dalcroze, a Swiss composer, aiming to develop the sense of rhythm and symmetry.
Also, eurythmics.

Origin: 1910–15; see eurhythmic, -ics

eu·ryth·mics also eu·rhyth·mics (yŏŏ-rĭ th 'mĭks)n. (used with a sing. verb) The art of interpreting musical compositions by rhythmical, free-style bodily movement. eu·ryth'mic adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright © 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved

▸ noun: the interpretation in harmonious bodily movements of the rhythm of musical compositions; used to teach musical understanding

eurythmics or eurhythmics (both: yrĭth`mĭks), harmonious bodily movement, especially as expressed according to the system of Émile Jaques-Dalcroze Jaques-Dalcroze, Émile (āmēl` zhäk-dälkrōz`), 1865–1950, Swiss educator and composer, b., who developed eurythmics (1903) at the Geneva Conservatory of Music in an effort to overcome the rhythmic difficulties of his students. His aim was to bring the body under control of the mind through a system of gymnastics correlated with music. First, an unconscious technique of bodily response to the rhythm of music is developed, with the student eventually able to improvise an interpretation, through gesture language, of an entire composition. The system has influenced not only musical instruction but also the ballet and even fields outside musical study. The first demonstrations of it were given in 1905, and the first Jaques-Dalcroze Institute in the United States was established ten years later.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Doug Wamble @ Iridium 7/16/10

Got Soul??!!

If I titled my posts in a different way, the title of this one would defintely be "Got Soul??!!". This show was oozing of soul like no other.

It was Doug's dream band and one of my I-couldn't-even-imagine-it-but-its-my-dream bands. I think I've seen Bernard Purdie before, but I'm not 100% sure. I'm now looking him up. Doug told us if he could only take one album to a desert island it would be Aretha Franklin "Amazing Grace". Bernard is on that album. They then treated us to "Mary Don't You Weep".

They did some of Charlie's, some of Doug's, and some great covers. The whole show was phenomenal. The very best part was "Waterfall". There were definitely some tears in the audience for that one!

I think Bernard may have been the happiest person in the room. He did not want to leave the stage. I suspect we got an encore because of him.

Jenny Scheinman @ Village Vanguard 7/15/10

Yes, this was even better than you could imagine. Jenny wrote new music just for this Vanguard run. And excellent music it was! The Wall Street Journal people were coming in at the same time I was, so look out for their review. I could have stayed for the 2nd set for $10, but I opted out for work demands.

The Vanguard is now accepting Visa and Mastercard. I was shocked about that. Why start now after all these years? I urge you to pay cash whenever possible. It's hot in the staircase and I'm concerned about slowing down the line. I do admit there were some V/MC people in front of me and the line didn't seem any slower. Still, I think if most people did it, it would get a lot slower.

I just noticed how much Nels Cline's playing reminds me of Bill Frisell. He was awesome at the out there parts as well as adding a psychedelic bent to some parts and everything in between. There was also a portion where I thought Jenny was plucking the violin strings, but it was coming from Nels.

There were portions where I found myself drawn to the bassline. Nothing else mattered, it was so awesome. There was also a great part that started with a bass solo and became a drum and bass duo. I loved it. Jim Black was the only one I couldn't see too well due to spot at the table by the rail up the couple of steps.

Jenny was as blown away amazing as always. I'm equally impressed by her composing skills. This was truly phenomenal music.

July 13 - July 18
JENNY SCHEINMAN - MISCHIEF & MAYHEM
Nels Cline-gtr, Todd Sickafoose-b
Jim Black-d

Michael Lytle @ The Stone 7/13/10

He had bass, alto, and contrabass clarinets. There was no monster bass clarinet in sight, but I was excited to see what he would produce with these instruments. Before starting, he announced the monster bass clarinet hadn't arrived yet and encouraged us to sign a sheet so he can invite us to a free performance when it does arrive. So, the night is getting better and better and we haven't heard any music yet.

The music was great. He first did solo pieces for each of the 3 instruments. Then he played with a few less traditional instruments. He played each of them first and then told us what each of them were before playing them again. The first was a little bird call, but I had thought it was some kind of doodad from the hardware store. I thought the 2nd was a toilet paper roll holder. It was a duck call with a sliding piece that allowed for a wide range of sounds. No one knows what the 3rd piece was. It was plastic and coily and had and interesting percussive sound.

After that, he went to his laptop to play a tape for us. The tape had all 6 of the instruments previously played in the show. I think I also heard female vocals and that an ensemble was playing. After a bit Michael joined in playing with the recording. He then did a few more pieces with the clarinets.

I enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to the monster bass clarinet gig.

Michael Lytle
Michael Lytle (bass clarinet)
Michael Lytle www.elewhale.net has been improvising for over 40 years, with George Cartwright, David Moss, many fine Swiss musicians, Nick Didkovsky (Dr. Nerve), Gerry Hemingway (Swim This), and plenty others. Tonight, he will premiere his benevolently monsterized bass clarinet!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mary Halvorson Trio @ Roulette 7/9/10

I left work late, at 7pm. I had already ruled out this 8pm show. However, when I was walking home I found myself walking West instead of East. I guess my feet were taking me regardless of what my mind was saying! Of course I can take the long way home, via some stellar live music and rest and get stuff done later.

It was so great. Apparently, she just did a 3 night residency. I hadn't caught up on the listings, which is how I missed it. This was the one night she had a trio. The other 2 were quintets.

The trio was of course phenomenal. It allowed me to pay closer attention to each of them. I had a great front row seat where I could see everything. A little more to the right and Mary may have been obscured by the music stand. She is so excellent. Of course, much of my time was spent being mesmerized by Ches Smith on drums.

They did 1 old song followed by 4 they are going to record with the quintet. They finished with 2 even newer pieces. The music is all fantastic.

Mary Halvorson Trio
Mary Halvorson, guitar
John Hébert, bass
Ches Smith, drums

GAT + Dead Kenny G's @ Bowery Ballroom 7/7/10

I couldn't ask for a better band to welcome me home after a wonderful vacation. I got there at about 9:40, in time for the last 20 min of The Dead Kenny G's. That was great, fun, and a good choice to precede the phenomenal Garage a Trois. It consists of Skerik on sax and keyboard, Mike Dillon on drums and percussion and Brad Houser on bass and baritone sax. They ended with a GAT-ish piece and when Mike D had to leave the kit for vibe duty in the middle, Stanton jumped on and helped them finish the set. Therefor, I got my special guest wish. Although, in non-jazzfest settings, I'm content without them sitting in on each others projects when they have multiple projects playing in an evening. I love it when they open for each other. It makes perfect sense to me and is leagues better than a lot of possible alternatives.

Every Garage a Trois show seems to be my favorite. I think they keep naturally building off of everything that's come before. this show's MVP goes to Marco Benevento. At one point Mike directed people to stretch. It appeared he needed a physical stretch. However, I think that stretch expanded into the music.

The long set, about 1.5 hours, had everything for me. It got raucus, it got quiet and more experimental, there were lots of great solos, lots of great meshing together, and of course, lots of fun to dance to.

Ah, it's nice to be back.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

La grande soirée Mardi Gras, Montreal jazzfest 7/6/10

I missed it, but it's worth writing about anyway. I had the wrong time for the Mardi Gras parade, but I saw the floats parked and people had lots of beads and it looked like fun. I walked by and a Zydeco band was playing on the TD stage. Later I walked by on the outskirts and caught a glimpse of the big stage. It sounded phenomenal. I'm not sure if it was Trombone Shorty or Soul Rebels Brass Band I heard, but it was stellar. The glimpse of the stage looked fabulous. Lots of red and feathers and it was a real get down closing for the fest. Allen Toussaint was headlining.

I just didn't want to deal with the heat and the crowd. I'm sure everyone there had a great time.

The listing:
Closing out the Festival on a Tuesday? Why not? And as long as we’re thinking this way, why not celebrate Big Time with a Mardi Gras worthy of New Orleans, under the starry Montreal night sky? We start in high style with a parade leaping off from the corner of du Fort and Ste-Catherine streets and heading to the Place des Festivals. Zachary Richard will lead the way for 500 participants and a spectacular array of original floats from New-Orleans’s Mardi Gras. Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue and legendary Louisiana R&B pianist and singer Allen Toussaint with his band will, at Place des Festivals, close the night in style!

We Want Miles @ Musee des Beaux Arts, Montreal 7/6/10

There was no way I was leaving town without seeing this. It was fantastic. I learned so much. There was great music playing throughout. Pictures, artwork, instruments, clothing, letters, notes, etc. It was wonderful.

The exhibition brought us through every era of Miles. I knew some things, but really forgot. I was as if I was learning for the first time that he played with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. It was so long ago that I was buying jazz albums to learn. I have some of those CDs in my collection, I just don't listen to them much.

I learned that that muffler thing horn players use is called a mute. There was a Harmon mute used by Miles in the exhibition.

That film with the improvised score was released in North America with the title "Frantic".

I watched part of a concert on 5/7/67 in Europe with Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Wayne Shorter and Tony Williams. It was awesome and way cool that I just saw 3 of them the week before at Carnegie Hall.

They had a little documentary "Miles in the Studio 1972". Sometimes we heard him playing while the screen showed him driving in his ferrari. It also had footage of him leading his band in rehearsal. It was fun to have right there in front of me, but nothing that great. No wonder it was never released.

There was a page out of the sales book for Columbia. I'm not sure what year and what length of time it covered. The top portion showed part of the sales for a band that totaled over $2M. The next section was for over $3M for Santana. At the bottom were coded records for Miles totaling $380k.

They had an excerpt from the Isle of Wight Concert. I had the pleasure of seeing that DVD one year at the JVC Jazzfest in NYC. That was the electric era: Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Gary Bartz, Dave Holland, Jack DeJohnette, and Airto Moreira.

They also had an excerpt from that Montreal show I got to see the day before.

There were a bunch of his jackets from the 80s. Looked like a cooler version of Michael Jackson. I say that because after The Jackson 5, I was never a big fan. I was listening to Classic Rock back then.

I can't wait to listen to all of my Miles Davis CDs in chronological order! I think I have many of the most important, but we'll see.

Here's an AAJ article from a similar exhibit in Paris:
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/news.php?id=46324

Here's some articles on the exhibit in Montreal. It is well worth a trip up there this summer. It's also such a great city with wonderful food.
http://jazztimes.com/articles/26009-we-want-miles-exhibit-opens-in-montreal

http://www.rfi.fr/actuen/articles/119/article_5952.asp

http://markphilipvenema.wordpress.com/2010/04/30/music-meets-visual-art-in-we-want-miles-miles-davis-exhibition-at-montreal-museum-of-fine-art/

http://porkpiejazz.com/?p=838

Allen Toussaint's Bright Mississippi @ Théâtre Jean-Duceppe 7/5/10

This was excellent, I missed my chance to see them at the Village Vanguard, so I especially had to go.

We have Joe Henry to thank for putting these guys together. I presume that's Allen's manager. I think it was brilliant to have Don Byron and Nicholas Payton. It's hard to find a worthy powerful equal for either of them.

Wow, Ribot without any pedals, just a guitar. He was awesome as can be expected.

I loved them all.

Now, they have an album, one album. It appears they were scheduled for 2 hours and I presume had to fill it. I'm guessing Joe Henry wasn't on hand to help with that. We did get a nice 20 min Toussaint solo medley. It was also fortunate that when he introduced everyone he let each of them take a solo, except for the drummer. I also loved it when the bass solo gave me a little from that medley I heard earlier at the end of the Miles show on film. Then Toussaint started playing playing Southern Nights and then went into a long drawn out at least 10 minute story of how he came to write the song. Then the band played briefly and that was it. I have to admit that was a poor way to end. It would have been much better if they either ended early, or let Don Byron and Marc Ribot do something together.

Aside from the last 15-20 min, it was phenomenal. Right before the Toussaint solo section, he did a duo piece with Ribot. Right after, he did one with Byron. There is only one song on the album with vocals. What a song! It is very bluesy and really shows off the musicianship. Everyone is phenomenal on that one

I'm so glad I got to go. I still have to get the CD. I'm also hoping beyond hope they do another Vanguard run.

Allen Toussaint, Bright Mississippi avec Nicholas Payton, Don Byron, Marc Ribot, David Piltch and Jay Bellerose

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Miles Davis à Montréal @ Cinémathèque québécoise - Salle Claude-Jutra , Montreal 7/5/10

2 hours of an on-stage seat to a great show of music! It was very funky and fresh. From what I gather, this is the uncut version. There is a DVD out there. This had no credits, no intro, just the show. There was one small pause with a snowy screen, probably set break. After about 2 hours, it just cut off, during my favorite part. He was playing that familiar "ditty" (for lack of a better word) and improvising with the others, and I was enthralled. Still, the show was too great to worry about that. It was also kind of nice that it cut off in the middle of music. If I have to leave a show earl, I like to leave during good music. It stays with me as I make my way home.

Miles did a lot of directing in a very cool style. I loved the bassist. I even liked Scofield, and I'm not often a fan of his. I can't do justice to attempting to write it up, but All About Jazz has a great review of the commercial DVD.
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=148

I even liked the 2 pop covers. I thought he did them better and now that it's so far from the time, it's fun to hear the familiarity. I have a feeling I would have a different opinion in an earlier time. I never liked most of the music from the 80s.

The Personnel:
Miles Davis (trumpet)
Robert Berg (sax)
Robert Irving III (synthesizer)
Daryl Jones (bass)
John Scofield (guitar)
Steve Thornton (percussion)
Vince Wilburn (drums)


The Listing:
Miles Davis à Montréal
by Tom O'Neill (Que., 1985, 120 min Beta dig.)
Uncut version of the famed June 28, 1985 concert in Théâtre
Saint-Denis. With John Scofield, Bob Berg, Darryl Jones.

Guest programmer: Robert Daudelin

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Steve Kuhn, Joey Baron, David Finck @ Gesù, Centre de créativité, Montreal 7/4/10

One of the compelling reasons to go to Montreal this year was to indulge in seeing Joey Baron in a non-Zorn setting. It was more out of curiosity and that I love his playing. The Gesù is such a wonderful space. I saw Robert Glasper there when I went to Montreal 3 years ago. It's got exposed stone walls and every seat is great and it feels nice to be there.

I think the show was about 1.5 hours. It was excellent. It's straight ahead jazz, but they still bring something new to it. I never knew about David Finck. He kept impressing me on the bass. He did a lot of interesting things in a straight ahead setting.

I sat pretty close to Joey and it was a huge pleasure. He's so awesome. I also enjoyed Steve Kuhn a lot, especially when he played the high notes.

The listing:
Pianist Steve Kuhn numbers among those rare musicians to have performed as a band member with both Stan Getz AND John Coltrane. Following an incandescent live performance in 2008, Kuhn and his trio, Joey Baron (percussion) and David Finck (bass), conceived and recorded Mostly Coltrane, a wonderful tribute to the saxophone master, featuring ‘Trane classics as well as a few standards and solo pieces. Since then, the group has continued to amaze live audiences all over the world-and now it's our turn!

Charlie Hunter @ Cinquieme Salle, Montreal 7/4/10

This small theatre was general admission. I didn't see a good dancing spot, but I found a seat I was happy with, given that I got there minutes before it started.

I was thrilled to see the setup was just a guitar and a couple of amps. Yeah, a Charlie solo show! It was an excellent 1 hour set with an encore. He said he just recorded a new record of all old songs his 99 year old grandfather helped him pick out. The beauty of it is they are all in the public domain, and therefor free. He told us after he played a few, and I definitely recognized some of them.

He's so great. He did awesome Blues, fantastic Funk, and a bunch of other stuff. He told us the encore was a "guitar novelty" song.

I enjoyed watching him play. I got an even deeper understanding what he's doing without the drums to distract me.

So good.

Ascenseur pour l'échafaud @ Cinémathèque québécoise - Salle Claude-Jutra, Montreal 7/4/10

From the listing, I thought Miles was going to be in the film improvising. It turns out it is a French film in which they still needed the music after the filming was finished. Louis Malle asked Miles Davis to improvise the music. He watched the film straight through once and then the 2nd time through, he improvised the music in one take. It was great music. There were no subtitles, so I could focus on the music and the film itself. It was also pretty easy to see what was going on without understanding the words. I saw some film of Miles watching the film and playing later at the exhibition at the Musee des Beaux Arts.

I had to leave halfway through, so I hope to get to see it again some time, preferably with subtitles. I found the 2nd half of the story from wikipedia.

The fest listing:
Ascenseur pour l'échafaud
by Louis Malle (Fr. 1957, 91 min, 35 mm, OV, Fr.)
Miles improvises for Louis Malle: an historic contribution, in
both music and cinema. With Jeanne Moreau and Maurice
Ronet.

Montreal Jazzfest @ Night 7/2/10

After the Jack DeJohnette show, I hung out to check out the free outdoor shows. It was a nice night and I love how it's set up. Every band has a 1 hour set. Often, there is more than 1 opportunity to see a band.

I enjoyed a bit of Sally Folk & le Shoop Shoop Band. It is a very good cover band. They picked good songs from lots of different genres. I only remember they did a Johnny Cash song. It was also a good band. You know me, it's rarely about the singing. From what I gather in my web search, it was special for the Shoop Shoop Band to accompany Sally.

The fest listing:
Sally Folk is a sexy, free-spirited and wild-hearted Montreal singer-songwriter and performer who revels in a glam-cabaret style inspired by the music of the '60s. Just this past January, she released her very first album, Sally and me, but she's already preparing her 2nd-the critical and audience reception that greeted her debut have only fired her ambitions to further pursue her musical adventure... For this Festival concert, she'll be accompanied by the 11-member Shoop Shoop Band.

http://www.shoopshoopband.com/en/
It is the Shoop Shoop Band, conducted by pianist Daphnée Boisvert, that will accompany Sally Folk on stage. Founded in 2009, le Shoop Shoop Band brings together seasoned musicians, possessing classical and pop music backgrounds.

Enhanced by an exceptional brass section, the Shoop Shoop Band’s versatility and ability is such that it fits many styles, including a special touch and soft spot for Sally Folk’s music.
Daphnée Boisvert Keyboard, Conductor
Sébastien Jalbert Guitar
Miles Dupire-Gagnon Drummer
Alexandre Côté-Fournier Bass
Mario Allard Saxophonist
Dominic Léveillé Trompeter
Matthieu Van Vliet Trombonist
Gaël Huard Cellist
Stéphanie Laliberté Chorister
Gabrielle Fournier Chorister
Mylène Robitaille Chorister

I was taken with Caravan Palace. It was also a bit much for me, so I couldn't stay for the whole thing. I can only think "jazz meets techno" while watching them. It's a little insane. I see they are from Paris. They were actually here in NYC last night at LPR. I wanted to go. I was very curious to see them in a club setting, even though they looked pretty comfortable on that big stage with all of those people in the audience. I didn't get a long enough nap and I didn't want to risk being too tired for work, so I bailed before even leaving.

The musicianship was great. I'm still thinking about them, so I do want to give it a chance again, if I ever get the chance. Also, I have a theory that only great bands come here from France. It's a huge effort to get over here.

http://lepoissonrouge.com/events/view/1170

The Paris-based Caravan Palace is an improbable but seamless fusion--at once futuristic AND reverent of a dance style of the '20's, '30's and '40's.

With a look inspired by Parisian proto-punks of the 1940s), they combine Django-style gypsy jazz with DIY electro, house, dub and hip-hop. Their music echoes such disparate luminaries as Cab Calloway, Lionel Hampton, Daft Punk, Vitalic and Justice. The band's live shows draw both club kids and veterans of the manouche jazz scene.

The group's genesis lies in an order placed by a film production company in 2005: to compose a soundtrack for a silent porn feature. Arnaud Vial (guitar), Hugues Payen (violin) and Charles Delaporte (double bass) banded together for the score and found the collaboration so fruitful that they put aside their other projects to build a repertoire.

Since then, Caravan Palace has released a series of free MP3s that have been hits on dance music blogs -- and toured extensively. In 2008, they sold out five shows at Paris's 2500-capacity Café de la Danse, Paris in 2008. In 2009, they sold out two shows at the prestigious Cigales and one at the Olympia -- two months in advance. Over the last two years, the outfit has achieved tremendous commercial success in France: their self-titled debut album on Wagram (a French independent label) has sold over 120,000 units and reached #11 on the top albums chart. It was nominated for a Victoires de la Musique (French equivalent of a Grammy) in 2009.

In early 2010, an incendiary industry showcase in New York City has culminated in a US release and major market debut tour.

As the band's music and inspiration has evolved Caravan Palace has grown to be a six-piece: Vial, Payen and Delaporte are joined by Sonia Fernandez Velasco (vocals and clarinet), Camille Chapelière (clarinet) and Antoine Toustou (trombone and synth beats). And then there's the petulant vocalist Colotis Zoé, the saucy voice of the group's single, "Jolie Coquine."

Wrasse Records will release the group's eponymous debut on July 6, 2010 in the US.

--------------------------

I saw some other bands briefly, but none held me long enough to talk about. It was a very good day.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Jack DeJohnette Group @ Theatre Jean-Duceppe, Montreal 7/2/10

This was the only ticket I was able to buy in advance. My seat was in the front row, but on the piano side. The drums were a little obstructed by music stands. This is a 1,000 seat theatre with 2 wide aisles on each end and no center aisle. I realized before it began I could stand off to the side on the steps, which is almost always my preference.

This was a great show. I'm happy with my choice. I really wanted to see John Surman, but the website had mistakenly listed that show for both 7/2 and 7/3 when it was only for one night.
What I missed:
John Surman baryton saxophone master with Howard Moody on church organ
One of the most important British saxophonists and composers meets a church organ virtuoso with innovation on the brain: and a new way of jazz thinking is born. For their 2nd collaborative album, Rain on the Window, Moody and Surman-whom we've been waiting to welcome back to the Festival-blend saxophone and clarinet with organ to create a new form of jazz. Unexpected combination.

What I saw:
The Jack DeJohnette Group with Rudresh Mahanthappa, Dave Fiuczynski, George Colligan, Jerome Harris
A loyal and longtime regular at the Festival, Jack DeJohnette, one of the world's greatest drummers, welcomes friends Rudresh Mahanthappa (alto saxophone), Dave Fiuczynski (guitar), George Colligan (keyboards) and Jerome Harris (bass guitar), all of whom hail from different musical galaxies. On the program: Jack's classics, Special Edition, New Direction and Music for the Fifth World, along with pieces from his current project, Music We Are, and a few new compositions. Get rhythm!

It was excellent! I forgot how awesome Jerome Harris is. He plays a regular acoustic bass as opposed to the contrabass. I guess it's because he also plays guitar. I certainly didn't feel any lack in the instrument.

Rudresh was one of the reasons that drew me to this show. I always love seeing him. I'm so glad he and Jack found each other.

Dave Fiuczynski played both the double-neck and single-neck guitars. I think he was the guy I saw on the double-neck sitting in with someone at Sullivan Hall once. I recall that didn't do it for me. Well, he did it for me at this gig. He was great.

This was my first time seeing George Colligan. I hope it's not my last.

Jack announced the first 3 songs and then they played them. Then he announced the next 4 songs and they played them. No encore, but the show was I think close to 2 hours. I think they were anxious to wrap it up because Ahmad Jamal was starting his 80th birthday celebration show in the theatre next door.

There were at least 2 great drum solos. The repertoire gave us some insight into the history of Jack's music. They started with a song he composed for Eric Dolphy. I remember I really liked an African Tango piece. It was a nice sampling.

I keep expecting to see him with the setup he had for the Alice Coltrane tribute show I saw at the Society for Ethical Culture a couple of years ago. I guess that was a super extra special event.

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed this show and I'm so glad I got to go.

Upcoming: Club d'Elf @ Public Assembly 7/15/10

Yeah! I highly recommend this! I'm not sure if I will be able to stay up, but if I get in a nap, I'm there!

Thursday July 15, 2010Public Assembly (formerly Galapagos)70 N. 6th Street, Williamsburg, NY (Bedford L)Show starts at 9 pm. $10. 21+. D'Elf (w/ Brahim Fribgane - oud, perc, voice; Mat Maneri - elec viola; Danny Blume - guitar; Mike Rivard - bass & sintir; & Eric Kalb - drums) plays last at 12:30 am.
Also on the bill: Copal (www.copalmusic.com), Puracane & Hordanos.facebook invite: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=134586473228586&ref=mfhttp://www.publicassemblynyc.com

Upcoming: Radio I-Ching 7/20/10

This is a great band and there's only one chance to see them this summer. They are well worth checking out and the time is good for a Tues night.

Radio I-Ching

Otto's Shrunken Head Tiki Bar & Lounge
538 E.14th Street (btwn. Aves. A&B)

Tuesday July 20 @ 9:00 -10:30

Radio I-Ching:
Dee Pop.......Skins
Andy Haas....Reeds
Don Fiorino...Strings


from last week's Village Voice. Review by Tom Hull.

Radio I-Ching
No Wave Au Go Go | Resonant Music
Avant-wandering rock refugees—Andy Haas on curved soprano sax and electronics, Don Fiorino on guitar-like things, Dee Pop on percussion—pull together. Their worldbeat originals smoke the jazz covers, which serve as ethereal exotica, except for "Judgment Day," which redeems their faith in Americana. A MINUS

Brass Bands @ Montreal Jazzfest 7/2/10

It was a nice day and I made it out to the fest early. It's free and in the middle of the city. There was a brass band that was fun. They are called Grüv'n Brass. They are funky NOLA style. Now, when you are spoiled like I am and get to see a lot of great NOLA brass bands often, they can't hold a candle to them. However, they are good and fun if you aren't quite as spoiled. The NOLA brass is just more powerful. I did enjoy their set while sitting in the fest bistro and shaking my shoulders a bit. They certainly aren't bad. I also just checked out their site and it's cute:
http://www.gruvnbrass.com/


I was on my way out when I saw this Hungarian-style brass band with a circle of people gathered around them. They were about to start. It turns out they are from Belgium and are called l'Orchestre International du Vetex. They are fun! They have both a tuba, yes tuba and not sousaphone, and a baritone sax. There's 3 trumpets, one of which sometimes plays accordion. There's an alto sax and 1 or 2 trombones. And one drummer/percussionist. They had an array of music and I enjoyed it a lot. I stayed for almost the whole set.
http://www.oidv.net/vetexvetex/

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Masada Marathon @ Theatre Masonneuve, Montreal 7/1/10

Theoretically I could have made it to both the 6pm and the 9:30 shows, which were different. But, I had to get my bearings and get my advance tickets to everything. That took a couple of hours to figure it all out. I did get to the entire amazing 9:30 show, which went til midnight. I saw people coming out of the 6pm show at 8:30.

Here's the listing for the 6pm show I missed:
Bar Kokhba
Jamie Saft Trio
Ben Goldberg Quartet
Mycale
Erik Friedlander Solo
Masada Sextet


Here's the show I saw at 9:30:
Mark Feldman and Sylvie Couvoissier Duo
The Dreamers
Uri Caine Solo
Masada String Trio
Electric Masada

The duo was as stellar as ever. They played for about 25 min. At first, I was completely mesmerized by Feldman. I started paying more attention to Sylvie during her solo time. They are so fantastic.

The Dreamers is so amazing. I forgot how much I love Kenny Wollesen. He's so great on vibes. The combo of Joey Baron on drums and Cyro Baptista on percussion is always a huge treat. Jamie Saft is amazing on keyboards. I kept getting caught by him. I highly recommend seeing Ribot 3 nights in a row. He keeps getting better and better! Trevor Dunn on electric bass is awesome. The music is all so good. They played for about 30-40 minutes and left us wanting more!

Then we got a stellar solo performance by Uri Caine. I was surprised they gave each act a standing ovation except for this. It really deserved one. It was excellent.

The Masada String Trio is Greg Cohen on bass, Mark Feldman on violin and Erik Friedlander on cello. Zorn sits on the floor and conducts. It's always a pleasure. These are some of the best strings you can possibly hear.

I don't know if I can possibly say how blessed I am to see the unbelievable Electric Masada again. I love any of the projects that Zorn plays on. This is one of my favorite rock bands of all time. I didn't realize it's almost the same lineup as The Dreamers. Kenny is on drums instead of vibes. Jamie Saft is still on keys. Trevor Dunn holds down the electric bass. Ribot! So essential to this group. Kenny and Joey Baron and Cyro make it extra extra special. Ikue Morie on laptop. At one point during this, it was completely empty behind me and I could get up and rock out. Ahh! There was also an incredible part where Zorn conducted everyone and they could only play when he pointed at them. It was like a "baby cobra", if you will. It was unbelievable and thrilling.

Here's some press on the shows:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/music/montreal-jazz-festival-celebrates-saxman-john-zorn/article1626881/

Here's something on the Masada projects:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masada_%28band%29

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Los Cubanos Postizos @ Stuy Oval 6/30/10

This was just about an hour of phenemenal music. The lineup was a little different. Shazad Ismaily on bass, a percussionist from the previous band, Anthony Coleman on keyboards, Dafnis Prieto on drums and of course Marc Ribot. Now, Dafnis is a real Cuban and a damn good Cuban musician. Maybe that's why Ribot said they were thinking about changing the name to Los Postizos instead. Maybe not.

It was so much fun and awesome music. It was surprising how not many people were dancing until Ribot coaxed them up for the most danceable song of all. I found the whole thing easy to dance to and loved every minute. The sitters didn't bother me like they have in the past.

If you haven't had the opportunity yet and you love Latin music, go if you ever get another chance. This band is really great!

That was a nice way to send me off to Montreal. Ribot is going to be there and I hope to be able to get tickets. I couldn't buy them on-line because the ticket site kept saying I entered my phone # in the wrong format. I couldn't figure out what the format they would possibly accept was, so I have to wait. It might be a good thing anyway since some of those fees were pretty hefty. Wish me luck!

La Cumbiamba eNeYe @ Stuy Oval 6/30/10

In spite of being one of the closest venues to my home, this was my first time there. It was the perfect evening weather-wise. During this set, there were lots of kids with balloons, but they seemed well-behaved and happy to be around music. The set was awesome and was about 45-50 min long.

They did a couple of songs before inviting Marc Ribot up to play the rest of the set with them. The first song started with a flute solo. It's mainly percussion with 2 drummers playing flute at times. There is an electric bass and 3 vocalists. I was already very into it and having fun. I must say when Ribot played, it went to an even greater level.

While I love all things Ribot, my favorite is a larger stage setting like this. I also like him on a larger stage outside. I kept remembering when Ceramic Dog opened for MMW at Prospect Park a few years ago. I love this lineup. I would also love a show next year with Ceramic Dog and Caged Funk.

It was a great band and so much fun.

http://www.lacumbiambany.com/