Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Edward Simon @ Jazz Standard 12/19/10

I'm glad I made it to the last set of this.  It turns out this trio only gets together once a year and it's always in NYC.  I didn't know Edward Simon before, I went for the other 2 outstanding talented great musicians.  Then, I was often drawn to Edward's piano playing and often forgot the other 2 were there.  That says a lot.  This is one powerful trio!

Edward Simon – piano
John Patitucci – bass
Brian Blade – drums

Pianist, composer, and Guggenheim Fellowship recipient Edward Simon confirmed his standing as “an important presence on the jazz and world music scene” (Los Angeles Times) with his beautiful 2009 CAM Jazz release, Poesia. It’s a superb trio date recorded with the same group that will take to our stage for three special nights in December, including the Grammy Award-winning bassist John Patitucci and the scintillating drummer, and long-time leader of his own highly acclaimed The Fellowship Band, Brian Blade. “The friendship between the members of this trio,” says Simon, “has blossomed into something beyond our individual selves, even beyond the music itself, it has blossomed into poetry. For this I'm grateful.” This auspicious trio engagement will be recorded live for a forthcoming Live at Jazz Standard release on CAM Jazz, so come get your claps, hoots and hollers on immortalized!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Blind Boys of AL @ BB King's 12/12/10

It was a good show.  I loved all of the more upbeat tunes.  I also enjoyed the more mellow tunes, just not as much. My favorite was when Ruthie Foster sat in and they did one of her songs.  That was awesome.  I also liked the NOLA influenced tune.

Ruthie Foster @ BB King's 12/12/10

I wouldn't have gone for Blind Boys of Alabama.  However, it would be good to check them out just to see Ruthie again and justify the $40 + $2 box office fee.  BB's is so annoying in that respect.  Still, I was happy with my choice.  I stayed at the bar where I could be almost the only person dancing.  How can people not dance?  Ruthie is phenomenal. I don't go for many singer-songwriter types, but I love her music and her voice.  It was a very engaging 40 minute set.

David Fiuczynski @ Iridium 12/10/10

It was an awesome funkdown.  I love how Iridium doesn't tend to do much straight-ahead, mellow stuff.  This band didn't just get funky, they were just always up and fun and T A L E N T E D!  They did a lot of David's tunes and a lot of Medeski's tunes he composed to play with David.  I love seeing Medeski again in the span of one week.  Anything he touches is fantastic.  The bass and drums were awesome.  Of course Rudresh is another always great cat. I am incredibly impressed with David.  How does he do that?  You have to see it.

The listing:
David Fiuczynski Group w/special guest John Medeski; Rudresh Mahanthappa, Skoota Warner; David Ginyard

Iconoclastic and prolific guitarist David ‘Fuze’ Fiuczynski (of Screaming Headless Torsos), a jazz player who “doesn’t want to play just jazz”, has been hailed by the world press as an incredibly inventive guitar hero, who continues to deliver music that is unclassifiable, challenging and invigorating.

In 1994 David, in collaboration with keyboardist John Medeski of Medeski Martin & Wood, woke up the sleeping jazz fusion world with a landmark CD, “Lunar Crush”, which was chosen by Guitar Player’s 30th Anniversary Edition as a “Disc of Destiny”. A funky, freaky party, 'Lunar Crush' was a wild 90’s tribute to Tony William’s groundbreaking early-fusion band “Lifetime”.

On Dec 9-12 David and John will perform music from 'KiF Express' and 'Lunar Crush.' KiF Express delves into a fresh palette of other-worldly sounds using traditional melodic elements of Arabia, Asia, India and Eastern-Europe with Fuze’s signature brand of highly funky jams.

Ranging from rocked-out madness to drum 'n bass, gogo to plaintive meditations, Fuze’s wild guitar palette moves from high energy extravaganzas to moving, emotional ballads.

David leads the underground cult band Screaming Headless Torsos and has worked with Jack DeJohnette, Meshell Ndegeocello, Stewart Copeland (The Police), Dennis Chambers, Hasidic New Wave, Vinnie Colaiuta, Christian McBride, Hiromi, Cindy Blackman, Bernie Worrell, John Zorn, Vernon Reid and many more.

Special guest Rudresh Mahanthappa on alto sax is one of the most innovative young musicians and composers in jazz today. Rudresh has incorporated the culture of his Indian ancestry and has fused myriad influences to create a truly groundbreaking artistic vision. His recent release for Pi Recordings Kinsmen featuring Carnatic saxophone legend Kadri Gopalnath (September 25, 2008) was named one of the Top Jazz CDs of 2008 by over 20 news sources including the New York Times, NPR, BBC, Boston Globe, slate.com, JazzTimes, and the Village Voice to name just a few. He has worked with such luminaries like David Murray, Steve Coleman, Jack DeJohnette, Samir Chatterjee, Vijay Iyer, Howard Levy, David Liebman, Greg Osby, and Dr. Lonnie Smith.

Rounding out the band is an exceptionally funky and greasy rhythm section Skoota Warner on drums (Santana, Mary J Blige) and David Ginyard on bass (currently playing RnB super star Estelle).

Maurice Brown Effect @ Jazz Standard 12/8/10

He's got a haircut, some new band members, a new album and he's even better than ever before. The quintet was riveting. It was a great time with lots of great musical moments. The piano was especially good. The tenor and bass were awesome as well. The drums were great, although I found my attention on the piano and bass even more, especially during the many trio parts. It was great all the way around.
The listing:
Maurice Brown – trumpet
Chelsea Baratz – saxophone
Chris Rob – piano
Solomon Dorsey – bass
Joe Blaxx – drums

If your hips start swaying, your fingers starts snapping, and your heart beats a little faster, don’t call the doctor: You might have caught the “Maurice Brown Effect.” Maurice’s group wowed the Jazz Standard crowds back in March and they are ready to do it again in December. This soulful trumpeter and his band have caused outbreaks of musical ecstasy with their exciting live shows (for example, back in March at Jazz Standard) and their latest CD, The Cycle of Love. Maurice’s sideman credits range from chart-topping R&B (Aretha Franklin, Cee-Lo Green) to deep ex-ploratory jazz (Fred Anderson, George Freeman). “I know for a fact that Maurice Brown has the most promise of all the trumpeters out there,” declares veteran trombonist Curtis Fuller. “I say this because I played with Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard when they were his age, and I see that promise in Maurice Brown.”

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Music of Dylan/The Band @ LPR 12/5/10

Steven Bernstein - lead, house band with Sexmob, Medeski, Larry Campbell and Rob Burger as the house band and many special guests doing vocals at Le Poisson Rouge.  That recipe means you can't go wrong.  OK!

Now, I think you already know I don't need vocals.  That was also so true for the first several songs.  I could love the music when Larry Campbell and then John Wesley Harding were singing.  I think the Fiery Furnaces were up after that.  Once Tony Scherr did his his vocals while still playing the bass with the house band things took a turn and got even greater.  That was followed by Nicole Atkins, then Chocolate Genius, and then Jolie Holland.  They were all great and seemed to get progressively better.  David Johansen finished it up with a great rockstar presence - he even had me singing.  Most of the vocalists were up for 2 songs.  The Mighty Quinn encore was awesome with everybody on stage.

The band was incredible.  I was blown away at many moments.  There was one point where Steven played the most amazing slide trumpet  solo I have yet to see.  He also played the bass trumpet at one point - I'm not sure I've ever seen him play that before.  He did admonish us a lot for not cheering enough.  He said it's why he doesn't play NYC much any more.  People were into it but not very expressive about it.

The show was spectacular.  I'm also thrilled to see proceeds support the renovation of the theatre at the 14th Street Y.  Yeah!

An all-star Tribute featuring:
Steven Bernstein (Sex Mob, Levon Helm Band),  John Medeski (Medeski, Martin and Wood), Rob Burger (Laurie Anderson, Marianne Faithful, Iron & Wine),  Tony Scherr (Bill Frisell, Norah Jones, Sex Mob),  Kenny Wollesen (Norah Jones, John Zorn, Bill Frisell, Sex Mob), and special guests Jolie Holland, Laura Cantrell, Nicole Atkins, John Wesley Harding,  and Eleanor and Matthew Friedberger of The Fiery Furnaces
Special Guest Vocalists
Chocolate Genius, David Johansen (New York Dolls).

 Proceeds from Bob Dylan and The Band: What Kind of Love Is This? support the renovation of the LABA Theatre at the 14th Street Y - an anchor for music, dance, performance art, theater, and fine arts in the heart of the East Village for decades. 

Set List
This Wheel's On Fire - Larry Campbell
Baby Let Me Follow You Down ('66) - John Wesley Harding
Something There is About You - John Wesley Harding
Baby Let Me Follow You Down (reprise Last Waltz version) - John Wesley Harding
You Ain't Going Nowhere - Laura Cantrell
Going Going Gone - Laura Cantrell
Odds & Ends - Fiery Furnaces
I'm Not There - Fiery Furances
Hazel - Tony Scherr
Long Distance Operator - Nicole Atkins
Going to Acapulco - Nicole Atkins
I Shall Be Released - Chocolate Genius
Please Mrs. Henry - Chocolate Genius
Nothing was Delivered - Jolie Holland
Ballad of a Thin Man - Jolie Holland
Million Dollar Bash - David Johansen
On a Night Like This - David Johansen
Mighty Quinn - Group

Pablo Ziegler Quartet @ Jazz Standard 12/2/10

I never get tired of this band.  The music was as great as ever.  I didn't realize that the listed special guest Prometheus Jenkins is the "sideman name" for Branford Marsalis.  That was a very nice surprise!  It was also nice to have a sax for the 2nd half of the set.  It was great!


* Pablo Ziegler – piano
Claudio Ragazzi – guitar
Hector Del Curto – bandeon
Pedro Giraudo – bass
Prometheus Jenkins – tenor saxophone (12/2–12/3)
Regina Carter - violin (12/4–12/5)

Jazz Standard celebrates the first decade of a grand tradition in New York music when we proudly present our 10th annual “Tango Meets Jazz” Festival, featuring and directed by the Latin Grammy Award–winning pianist and composer Pablo Ziegler, “the outstanding representative of the nuevo tango in his generation” (Stereo Review). Two very special guests will join the Ziegler quartet for the festivities: the brilliant beyond–category violinist Regina Carter, appearing December 4–5; and an underground legend of the tenor saxophone, Prometheus Jenkins, appearing December 2–3.

Produced by Pat Philips and Ettore Stratta.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Akiko Yano w/ Marc Ribot @ LPR 12/2/10

Decisions decisions.  There were so many options and I knew I wanted something early.  When in doubt, I sometimes ask stichomancy.  It's a divination method where you ask a question and then pick up a book at random and then randomly open it to a passage.  I do the free on-line version.  My answer was something about a sonorous voice, so I knew this was my show even though I wasn't crazy about her voice in the youtube vids I watched on the LPR site.  It turned out to be a good move on my part!

She mainly sang in English and her voice wasn't quite as high as on the videos.  It was still high, but I didn't mind it.  She is a phenomenal piano player.  She really had me at many moments with that!  I also love the music.  She is in love with the music of Southern USA and it was all music I love.

Marc Ribot was simply amazing.  He had me caught with pretty much everything.  He of course drew me to this show.  The other draw was a banjo I heard on youtube.  I listened to them at work, so I wasn't watching and I'm not sure who was playing banjo on that.  For the show it was Ribot!  I don't think I knew he had a banjo.

I also enjoyed the drums a lot.  I think it might have been my first time seeing Jay Bellerose.  He had me many times.  I loved some of the parts where he played the drums somewhat intensely with the mallets.  He's awesome.

Rounding out the quartet was a good bass player who sometimes sang backup.

It was a really awesome show.

The videos are still up on the site in the listing:
Akiko Yano
w/ Marc Ribot , Jennifer Condos and Jay Bellerose

Prolific Japanese-born, current NYC resident, pianist-singer-songwriter Akiko Yano has released 28 original albums. While procuding Yano’s alumb in 2007, T. Bone Burnett brought Marc Ribot and Jay Bellerose on board. (Recently Ribot and Bellerose contributed to Elton John and Leon Russell’s album “The Union” their concerts and T Bone’s “The Speaking Clock Revue”.) Adding Jennifer Condos(b), the band has toured Japan since 2008. Condos is a member of Ray LaMontagne amd the Pariah Dogs, who toured with Warren Zevon, recorded and tour with Joe Henry… to name a few. Yano will be leaving for another Japan tour with this band soon after the show. This is their first live show together in NYC.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Miguel Zenón @ Jazz Gallery 12/1/10

Jazz Gallery has some residency programs to allow talented emerging artists, to play new compositions in front of live audiences. Some of these artists, like Zenón, started playing Jazz Gallery as emerging and are now established.

The music was excellent. I loved the bass especially, but each of the 4 were phenomenal. I loved the compositions and the energy as well.

It was a fun and awesome set of music.
The listing:
Miguel Zenón - alto saxophone, Alex Brown - piano, Hans Glawischnig - bass, Eric Doob - drums

A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Miguel was recently named a MacArthur Fellow, one of the most prestigious honors an American artist in any discipline can earn. We are proud to have given Miguel a platform over the years for many of his projects, including his Rhythm Collective, his Jíbaro premiere, his recent trio endeavor with Jeff Ballard and Lionel Loueke and most recently his extraordinary Esta Plena project. Miguel pursued formal jazz training at Berklee and gained pivotal experience playing with the likes of Bob Moses and the Either/Orchestra. He received his Masters from the Manhattan School of Music in 2001 and has since racked up credits with Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra, Guillermo Klein y Los Guachos, the SFJazz Collective, Ray Barretto, Branford Marsalis, David Sanchez, Antonio Sanchez and many more. Melding the indigenous folkloric idioms of his native country with some of the most advanced compositional thinking in modern jazz, Miguel represents the best of a new wave of Latin jazz innovation.