Friday, December 30, 2011

Paul Shapiro's Biscuits & Blues @ City Winery 12/18/11

I finally made it to Klezmer Brunch at City Winery.  It's a $10 music charge and the entrees are around $9-$14 each.  It was a lot of fun.

We had an extra special treat in that Arturo O'Farrill was playing piano.  Paul is a fantastic sax player and I enjoyed the drums and bass a lot.  Paul sang some and there was also a female and male vocalist out at times.  All songs had vocals, which isn't my preference but wasn't bad.  The phenomenal piano and reeds still came through.

I think it was the same personnel as when they played New Years at Cornelia Street back in 2005/2006. That's the only place I could find a lineup, but I'm pretty sure it's the same:

Paul Shapiro, saxophone & clarinet;
Babi Floyd, vocals;
Cilla Owens, vocals;
Arturo O'Farrill, piano;
Tony Lewis, drums;
Booker King, bass

New Orleans Suspects @ Brooklyn Bowl 12/17/11

A very much needed addition to the NOLA scene.  I admit it:  I was never into the Radiators and if this is the type of new bands we're going to get then YIPPEE!  I loved everyone up there, but my MVP slot goes to Kevin Harris of the Dirty Dozen on sax.  He blew me away with every note.

I heard the opening band was great.  I just couldn't get out early enough to see it, but maybe there will be another opportunity.  It was their first gig in 9 years.

The listing:
The New Orleans Suspects
It’s been said that the musicians of New Orleans are all members of one gigantic band that breaks up into smaller groups on a nightly basis. If this were really the case, The New Orleans Suspects would be in a class all their own. The group is comprised of musicians with experience and versatility that rival any other band that the city has ever produced.

“Mean” Willie Green has been the drummer for the Neville Brothers band since the 1980s. His unique attack has defined funk drumming for a quarter of a century. Yet, he is not a one-dimensional player. His taste in music spans the gamut of modern rock styles and he is as comfortable driving the beat as he is holding down the groove.

Reggie Scanlan’s career has been defined by his thirty-three years playing bass in the Radiators, the longest running rock act in the history of New Orleans. But his resume is far deeper. As a young musician he played with blues musicians on the west coast chitlin circuit before returning to his hometown to back up legends like James Booker and Professor Longhair.

Jake Eckert is the sterling-toned lead guitarist in the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Before joining the quintessential New Orleans funk/brass band, he honed his chops as part of the thriving southern rock scene in Atlanta, cutting his teeth with the likes of Derek Trucks and Col. Bruce Hampton. While living in Los Angeles, he played in the band New Soul Underground along with jazz great Larry Carlton. He has had a chance to perform with Warren Haynes, Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, & Dave Matthews to name a few.

CR Gruver is a classically trained pianist who was bitten by the bug known as New Orleans music after stints touring with nationally known bands such as Outformation and the Atlanta-based singer/songwriter Angie Aparo. Since moving to New Orleans he has immersed himself into the scene and has become a well-regarded sideman adept at James Booker-style piano machinations and the swelling B-3 stylings of Art Neville. Besides playing with many of the city’s local luminaries he also leads his own local band, Funkifry’d.

Kevin Harris is a founding member of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. His tenor saxophone work has graced recordings across the gamut from pop stars Elvis Costello, Dave Matthews and the Black Crowes to zydeco legend Buckwheat Zydeco, jazz songstress Norah Jones, and Modest Mouse, Widespread Panic and many more.

Together these five musicians create music that is firmly rooted in the modern New Orleans sound with compelling originals and tasteful covers. The rhythm section of Scanlan and Green are as comfortable together as red beans and rice. Gruver tickles the ivories or soars into the stratosphere on the organ. Harris provides stellar saxophone fills and solos with great aplomb. Eckert’s rhythm guitar work neatly complements his razor sharp solos. Though the band can clearly jam, with Eckert and Gruver trading off on lead vocals they are no simple jam band.
Joe Gallant & Illuminati
The much-loved 18-piece orchestra that raised the bar on the jamband scene with Joe's large-scale "Blues for Allah Project" and "Terrapin" arrangements, makes its first appearance in 9 years!
"It was a nice long break while I did other stuff, but the vibe and time is right to reboot Illuminati and create great new music" said Gallant recently.
With a new live Illuminati CD forthcoming on Unseen Rain Records, expect this night to be a smorgasbord of lush, bones-shakin' Dead favorites and Joe's groove-heavy originals.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Peter Apfelbaum's NY Hieroglyphics @ Jazz Gallery 12/16/11

Always great.  Great compositions, great music, great solos.  Steven Bernstein blew me away.  Charlie Burnham is always a treat.  Dave Phelps and Viva were there.  Two phenomenal trombones.  The drums and bass were off the hook.  The reeds were stellar.  It's always a treat to see Peter and his various instruments.  There was also some vocals from Abdoulaye Diabate for a couple.  I love them.

Peter Apfelbaum's NY Hieroglyphics
Friday, December 16th, 2011 | 9:00 & 10:30 p.m.
Peter Apfelbaum - tenor saxophone/piano
Steven Bernstein - trumpet
Josh Roseman - trombone
Natalie Cressman - trombone
Jessica Jones - tenor saxophone
Tony Jones - tenor saxophone
Charlie Burnham - violin
David Phelps - guitar
Viva DeConcini - guitar
Patrice Blanchard - bass
Justin Brown - drums

Multi-instrumentalist and composer Peter Apfelbaum formed the Hieroglyphics Ensemble in 1977, during his senior year in high school. The unorthodox big band, which featured the likes of Steven Bernstein and Joshua Redman, met with astonishing success: they opened for the Grateful Dead and performed a number of times with the great Don Cherry as a guest soloist. Cherry was impressed enough to recruit Apfelbaum and other Hieroglyphics members for his "Multikulti" band.

Apfelbaum relocated to Brooklyn from the West Coast in 1998 and developed a strong presence here. But it wasn't until 2003 that he formed the New York Hieroglyphics - his classic ensemble, reborn. The group made a smash two-night debut here at the Jazz Gallery in 2003 and went on to become a fixture on the scene, releasing the acclaimed It Is Written in 2005. Peter has returned to the Gallery since then, not only to lead the Hieroglyphics but also to play in ensembles led by Josh Roseman and Dafnis Prieto.

Join Peter and the band as they weave their distinctive web of Afro-jazz rhythm, labyrinthine line

Driscoll, Frisell, Davis, Hollenback @ Cornelia St 12/15/11

I always love a new combination of people I already love.  It was an allstar lineup with an allstar set.  When I made the res, I wanted to do both sets.  But the guy I talked to on the phone told me that it wasn't true and there was only one set.  It turns out he was incorrect, but it was for the best as the first set was awesome and I got some sleep.  It was really awesome music.  They have a CD, but I'm more interested in live. They said the 2nd set would be different music.

They each composed phenomenal pieces for the ensemble.  Bill Frisell is so awesome.  This almost made up for the fact that I didn't make it to the Vanguard last week for Frisell, Blade, Scheinman.  Almost.

I also got lost in each of the others at various times.  It was all top-notch.

Kris Davis, piano; Bill Frisell, guitar; Kermit Driscoll, bass; John Hollenbeck, drums
Kermit Driscoll Qt. Featuring:Bill Frisell image
Kermit Driscoll is a veteran bass player who has recorded and performed with many noted musicians including Chet Baker, Dave Douglas, Bill Frisell, Bang-on-a-Can All Stars, Mel Torme, Kenny Werner and John Zorn. Earlier this year, at age 55, Driscoll released his debut album as a leader, Reveille, a program of kaleidoscopic funk, experimental abstractions, and fetching intricacies. The album features an all-star lineup, including Driscoll’s longtime collaborators Bill Frisell (guitar) and Vinnie Coliaiuta (drums), and rising star pianist Kris Davis. Reveille’s star-studded quartet united for only a day, but it performs like a group that’s worked together for ages. Driscoll appears at Cornelia Street with two out of three of the personnel from Reveille, marking the group’s first live appearance as an ensemble.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Love Electric @ Littlefield 12/13/11

Oh yeah!  It was great.  Soulful, lively, electric, great musicians.  I was drawn to it because Steven Bernstein was playing and it was something different.  It was the same trombone and drummer from the last band.  The bass player got there just after the start of the first song.  They were phenomenal from beginning to end.  I was so happy to have Dred Scott on piano.  I need to see his trio now that they play earlier than midnight.

Todd Clouser's A Love Electric ft. Steven Bernstein
Minneapolis-by-way-of-Baja, Mexico-based guitarist Todd Clouser and his collective, A Love Electric, is an intuitive blend of "energy driven jazz-rock." On Clouser's debut album, released earlier this year by tastemaker label Ropeadope, Todd and his band weave and wind their way through eleven original compositions and two covers (Harry Nilsson's "One" and Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah") that draw upon the inspiration of Curtis Mayfield ‘70s funk, guitar/organ jams that call to mind Pat Martino and Trudy Pitts at their finest plus more terse guitar-driven numbers that reflect an assortment of influences ranging from Sonny Sharrock to The White Stripes and all points in between. Legendary "Downtown" New York City trumpeter, Steven Bernstein (Levon Helm, Lou Reed, Sexmob) is also featured prominently throughout the recording. Clouser's non-stop roadwork has led to a great deal of career momentum with a burgeoning fan-base and raves from the international music press from Germany, the Czech Republic and Spain across to New York City and down to Mexico.

9 Volt @ Littlefield 12/13/11

This was a great band.  Trombone with lots of pedals, great drummer, sax, and Eyal Maoz on guitar.  It was awesome.  They were reading music, but it also felt like there was improvisation around it.  I enjoyed it a lot.

9 Volt with Jon Irabagon
Rick Parker - Trombone + Effects
Eyal Maoz - Guitar + Effects
Yonadav Halevy - Drums
Jon Irabagon - Saxophones

9 Volt is began as an unlikely collaboration between 2 accomplished band leaders: trombonist and New York City native, Rick Parker and Israeli guitarist Eyal Maoz. Combined, these two musician have released 9 CD’s as leaders on such well renowned record labels as Tzadik, Fresh Sound New Talent, Piadrum and Ayler Records. Their own bands have performed at major venues including the Montreal Jazz Festival, Williamsburg Jazz Festival, Red Sea Jazz Festival, Somers Point Jazz Festival, Aguascalientes Mexico Jazz Festival, the Stone, 55 Bar and Blues Alley to name just a few. In addition, the two are in demand sidemen having performed along side the likes of John Zorn, Tim Berne, John Medeski and Frank Lacy.

9 Volt derives it’s unique sound from Parker’s use of electronics with the trombone combined with Maoz’s unique approach to guitar and effects. Their unique sounds are incorporated into the compositions making a music that is a synthesis of electronic experimental, rock, jazz and neoclassical minimalism. The band is held together by Israeli born drummer Yonadav Halevy who is highly regarded in both funk/hip hop as well as jazz circles.

Since 2009, 9 Volt has honed it’s sound performing at NYC venues and concert series and recently recorded it’s debut CD with avant garde alto saxophone stalwart Tim Bern appearing on several compositions.

Dave Douglas Brass Ecstasy @ Jazz Standard 12/11/11

I love this band and I love seeing them close to the same timeframe as Wicked Knee.  Just because they are both fabulous alternative brass bands with phenomenal drummers.  The similarities end there, which adds to the fun of seeing both within a week of each other.  At this point, I can't remember much about the show except that I loved it.

Dave Douglas – trumpet
Vincent Chancey – French horn
Luis Bonilla – trombone
Marcus Rojas – tuba
Rudy Royston – drums

Born out of the Festival of New Trumpet Music in 2005, Brass Ecstasy nods to the ever–evolving spirit of brass music through soul–inflected compositions. The group’s debut recording, Spirit Moves, was released 6/16/2009 on Greenleaf Music. Rare Metals is the digital follow-up to the live recording United Front: Brass Ecstasy at Newport, and includes a new arrangement of Billy Strayhorn’s “Lush Life.” “The five–piece ensemble handles each tune with soulful aplomb.” (Nate Chinen, The New York Times)

Dave Douglas Orange Afternoon Quintet @ Jazz Standard 12/10/11

It was a stellar amazing set of music.  I got there a little late, at about 7:45.  They played til around 8:50.  It was phenomenal.  Ravi and Dave together are brilliantly amazing.  The rhythm section with Vijay, Linda, and EJ was off the hook.  I'm very glad I made it a priority.

Dave Douglas – trumpet
Ravi Coltrane – tenor saxophone
Vijay Iyer – piano
Linda Oh – bass
E.J. Strickland – drums

This modern–day jazz “super–group” is certain to draw crowds for tonight’s very special digital release engagement for Orange Afternoons. Ravi Coltrane and Vijay Iyer likely need no introduction. Both these celebrated instrumentalists have appeared on our stage with their own bands on multiple occasions. Bassist Linda Oh is a relative newcomer to the New York scene. The acclaimed pianist of the group Vijay Iyer says of Oh “a young bass powerhouse from down-under...I love how she just blew into town and took over.”

Monday, December 19, 2011

Planet of the Abts @ Brooklyn Bowl 12/6/11

They started out with just Matt and Jorgen, doing something quite experimental and a little out there.  I wondered if it was going to be an experimental jam ensemble, which I would love.  This wasn't the case but it was still great.  The guitar eventually joined in and it was a jammy instrumental to start.  Then they had many songs that jammed, but also had vocals.  They each sang some.  The singing wasn't terrible and didn't ruin it, but I didn't need it, either.

I had a lot of fun and would see them again.  I had to leave after an hour because I had to get up early 2 days in a row, but I was glad I went.  It was surprising that it was a low turnout - I expected more people.  Still a lot of fun.

Matt Abts: Drums, percussion, lead and background vocals
Jorgen Carlsson: Bass, guitar, percussion, tambourine, background vocals
TBone: Guitar, keyboards, percussion, lead and background vocals

Update to this post here:

Wicked Knee @ LPR 12/1/11

I was very tired, but I got at least a 1/2 hour before I just had to go home.  I was pretty tired the next day at work.  I do remember being able to stay out til 2 every now and then on a weeknight and not be too tired at work the next day.  Those days are over.  I was still productive, just tired.

Anyway, what I got was awesome.  Medeski sat in sometime.  They opened with a killer Crosstown Traffic and I was very happy I stayed.

Wicked Knee
Billy Martin (drums)
Curtis Fowlkes (trombone)
Marcus Rojas (tuba)
Steven Bernstein (trumpet)

Excerpt from the listing
Martin came up with Wicked Knee’s unusual configuration because, he explains, “I have always wanted to work with brass and drums but never had the time or the nerve to make it happen. I knew I had it when I asked Steven to help me get a few players together for Life on Drums (Martin’s educational, anti-instructional DVD out on Vongole Films). I wanted to have some brass with a previously recorded drumbeat. That ended up in the film as ‘Muffaletta,’ a very short last performance. After finishing that project I realized this was my new band. I have listened to a lot of field recordings from all over the African continent and there are very powerful groups that use horns or wind and drums. That’s what got me excited initially.”


The band name, Wicked Knee, was inspired, says Martin, “from a record compilation my wife’s friend had called Shake Your Wicked Knees. I borrowed that compilation, which is a collection of piano rags, blues and stomps, and I loved the vibe and the title. I like that it is born out of an Afro- American expression but has a slight surreal meaning. I like titles that can have multiple interpretations and keep that mysterious thing going.”

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Mago @ LPR 12/1/11

I love them!  It was stellar.  I love that they put this together and it was a good move to have them right before Wicked Knee.  I mean, I tend to go to anything either of them are in so this was a must go.

Mago (John Medeski / Billy Martin)
John Medeski (keys) and Billy Martin (drums) of Medeski Martin and Wood.

Caveman @ Le Poisson Rouge 12/1/11

It was the first of 3 bands for the show.  It was a bonus that it was free for members.  The listing implied it was Cyro's band, but it was actually Brian's.  Cyro was a special guest.  It was awesome.  I've seen Brian play with the guitar and bass at the Stone before... At least I think it was those 2 he played with. The music was great.  Trippy, different, and enjoyable.

From the listing:
Caveman with Cyro Baptista
The stage is dark. Softly, sounds begin to emerge from the abyss. A metallic clatter, a dull thud, a whisper…the unrecognizable vibrations reflect the blackness that surrounds them. As if in imitation of music’s first days, the reverberations build faster and more intense, until at last, a pulse emerges. The evolution quickens as more layers enter, following the now driving beat. A warped organ, clanky guitar tones, a clicky drum pattern…the texture grows louder and more complex with each successive instrument, audibly straining to reach higher, to free itself from the darkness. Then, suddenly, sound and light erupt from the stage, blasting the audience with a raucous groove, rife with raw, primal energy.

Caveman doesn’t relent as the show continues. Even as organist Brian Marsella, bassist John Buck, guitarist John Lee, and drummer Tim Keiper reveal their jaw-dropping virtuosity through rowdy, up-tempo grooves, they never lose touch with the primitive simplicity at the center of their music. Though collectively these musicians have worked with Keller Williams, Cyro Baptista, Matisyahu, Marshall Allen, Pharoah’s Daughter, The Disco Biscuits, The Transmitters, and Vieux Farka Touré, it’s as if they look more to the fabled Neanderthal banging on rocks to inspire their music.

This devotion to the elemental has earned Caveman a maniacal following all over the United States. After two albums and four years of cris-crossing the country, this band has become a force to be reckoned with on the national festival and club circuit. Currently, Caveman is working on a new studio album and will be touring in its support later in 2011. Check them out this summer and get a taste of the primal!

Brian Marsella, organ
John Buck, bass
John Lee, guitar
Tim Keiper, drums
Cyro Baptista, percussion

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Little Words @ Zebulon 11/27/11

The Rattlemouth guy mentioned this looked good when they telling us about the Zeb lineup the night before.  It prompted me to check them out on-line before I went and it did look good.

I could only stay for about 1/2 hour or so, but I really enjoyed it.  It was experimental jazz musicians re-interpreting Bartok music in an experimental jazz trippy kind of way.  It was great.  Since they are from Brooklyn I will hopefully get another opportunity to see the full show at some point.

It looks like the EP is available on-line:

Little Worlds is dedicated to innovative reinterpretations of the Mikrokosmos collection. Written by 20th century Hungarian composer Bela Bartok, Mikrokosmos, or Little Worlds, was originally intended as a progressive study of piano technique. Since their completion in 1939, the study and performance of these 153 etudes has become standard in the classical music community. Offering insight into Bartok’s innovative use of rhythm, harmony and musicality, the pieces are often cited as the master composer’s most important musical testament. These brief melodies are inflected with new meaning by guitarist, Ryan Mackstaller, trombonist Rick Parker and drummer Tim Kuhl. The trio draws from their dynamic musical experiences in the rock, jazz, avant garde and improvised music scenes of Brooklyn, NY in their dynamic performance of these classical etudes. Book One is the ensemble's debut EP
released 14 June 2011 Rick Parker - Trombone + Effects Ryan Mackstaller - Guitar + Effects Tim Kuhl - Drums + Cymbals

Rattlemouth @ Zebulon 11/27/11

Since it's unlikely I'll get to see them again any time soon, I might as well get out to Zebulon to see them one more time.  It's a great band and it was very fun to be able to dance.  Most people sat of course, but it was very danceable.

I loved the sax solos.  I really like the CDs, but live is even better.

Rattlemouth @ The Stone 11/26/11

This was much more my type of music.  World influenced danceable experimental jazz.  The leader started off by telling us we couldn't dance.  If he hadn't explicitly said it, I would have gotten up and gone over to the side to dance.  I'm sure no laws would be broken since it's forbidden for 3 or more people to be moving in a synchronized fashion in an establishment without a cabaret license, but 1 or 2 is OK.  I also put The Stone down as highly unlikely it would ever be an issue if everyone danced.

It was still a lot of fun and completely enjoyable from my front row seat.  I bought 2 CDs, and I like them.  At the end of the show they mentioned they were playing at Zebulon the next night and we could dance there.  I put it on the list of potentials ...

Rattlemouth Roger Carroll, Danny Finney (saxes) Robbie Kinter (drums) Marc S. Langelier (bass) George M. Lowe (guitar) Rattlemouth emerged from the ashes of Richmond’s legendary Orthotonics in 1989. Their sound has gradually morphed from their art-punk/art-rock roots towards a Ethio-Jazz powerhouse. They blaze through spirited instrumental updates of classic tunes from around the world (Mali, Ethiopia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Cuba, Jamaica, Lebanon, etc.), plus similarly flavored originals.

Birdsongs of the Mesozoic @ The Stone 11/26/11

The music was good and I could get into it.  There were a couple of pieces I particularly enjoyed.  My favorite was the one composed by the keyboard player.  Many of the pieces were composed had some pre-programmed music from the laptop as one of the instruments.  There was no drummer, but often drumbeats were coming from the laptop.  The pre-programmed part didn't thrill me and wore me out after a while.  I would have preferred a drumkit and skipping that.  However the band has been around for a long time, experimenting how they like, so it must work for some.  I did enjoy it and didn't feel like I wasted $10, I just don't need to see them again.

Birdsongs of the Mesozoic Erik Lindgren (piano) Rick Scott (keyboards) Ken Field (reeds) Michael Bierylo (guitar, computer) In existence for over 30 years, Boston’s acclaimed Birdsongs of the Mesozoic play a unique mix of rock, punk, classical, minimalism, and free-form music, with occasional forays into even more unexpected directions. They have remained fresh and always changing, while retaining their distinctive style. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

David Murray @ Skirball 11/17/11

It was all the buzz the night before at the Ascension show.  I hadn't really contemplated going to this because I was worried it would be smooth and boring.  I'm glad some people set me straight in time!  It was phenomenal.  A second night in a row with a great horn section, 2 drummers (one drumkit and one congas), a phenomenal bassist, no vocals, and awesome music.  I loved it.  It was 90 minutes of sheer joy.

The listing:
Few musicians in jazz history have proven more vigorously productive and resourceful than David Murray. From the moment he first visited New York in 1975 as a student Murray has careened forward in a cool, collected, rocket-fueled streak releasing over 150 albums under his own name. His new album, with a North American release date in October 2011, and live project are akin to a heartfelt love letter to one of the great figures in popular music and a phenomenally gifted jazz musician, Nat King Cole.

More than 50 years after their original release, we hear the fruit of one of Murray's most improbable and effective projects: an interpretation of two albums Cole Español and More Cole en Español recorded by Nat King Cole in Spanish and Portuguese. The undertaking features melodies from Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Rio de Janeiro, and Buenos Aires in the company of a Cuban ensemble giving the original repertoire a lush sonic canvas full of shimmering, sensual hues.

Antonio ZAMORA - Tenor Sax
Yosvany TERRY - Alto Sax
Denis Yuri HERNANDEZ - Trumpet
Shareef CLAYTON - Trumpet
Terry GREENE II - Trombone
Eddy Mauricio HERRERA TAMAYO - Piano
Yunior Terry CABRERA - Bass
Yusnier SANCHEZ BUSTAMENTE - Percussions
and David MURRAY - Tenor Sax & artistical direction
Curated by Isabel Soffer/Live Sounds.

Ascension @ Jazz Standard 11/16/11

In the jazz world, John Coltrane is held in the highest esteem.  Most of us love all of it.  He contributed mightily to music.  I have many albums, but I don't have all of them.  It looks like "Ascension" is a must have, and I don't have it yet. I did find 10 min here and there on youtube to hold me over.

On stage were 2 magnificent drummers and Ben Allison on bass.  We were told by the producer that there were 2 bassists on the album but you only need one when you have Ben.  I see from the original personnel on the album that there was only one drummer:  the mighty Elvin Jones.  It was awesome watching him and Matt Wilson play off of each other at times.  Billy Drummond made things even more interesting.  Rounding out the rhythm section was a piano, although I only noticed it when the horns left the stage and one or two other times.

What a horn section!  Jeremy Pelt was especially exciting on trumpet.  I also loved Vincent Herring on alto.  They were all magnificent.

The listing:
Donny McCaslin – tenor saxophone
Sabir Mateen – alto saxophone
Vincent Herring – alto saxophone
Jeremy Pelt – trumpet
Josh Roseman – trombone
James Weidman – piano
Ben Allison – bass
Billy Drummond – drums
Matt Wilson – drums

In a reprise of Jazz Standard’s hugely successful Impulse! Records 50th Anniversary celebration earlier this year, an all–star nonet will assume the weighty mantle of reinterpreting Ascension, “the single re­cording that placed John Coltrane firmly into the avant–garde,” wrote Sam Samuelson at The original band (including Archie Shepp, Marion Brown, Freddie Hubbard, and McCoy Tyner) played Trane’s 40–minute epic in a manner “both relentless and soulful simultaneously…With a patient ear and an appreciation for the finer things in life, the reward is a greater understanding of the personal path that the artist was on at that particular time in his development.” Every member of this group is a leader in his own right, and together they’re sure to make this evening one of the highlights of the jazz year.

Some info about the album:
John Coltrane (tenor saxophone);
John Tchicai (alto saxophone),
Marion Brown (alto saxophone);
Freddie Hubbard (tenor saxophone, trumpet);
Pharoah Sanders (tenor saxophone),
Archie Shepp (tenor saxophone);
Dewey Johnson (trumpet);
McCoy Tyner (piano);
Elvin Jones (drums).

Ideal Bread @ The Stone 11/15/11

It was even better that I didn't know who Steve Lacy was.  They did Josh's arrangements of Steve's music from the period when Steve was in Paris.  Reading his Wikipedia bio, it could have been anywhere between 1970 and 2002, but I think it was a few years closer to 1970.  Check out the AAJ bio, it's full of information.  I feel like I may have seen him before, but his death pre-dates my blog so it's doubtful I'll ever know for sure.

It was great music performed by great musicians.  I loved it.  The next set was going to be more of Steve Lacey's music, but with the addition of Roswell Rudd.  I was too tired to stay, but I'm sure it was awesome.

Ideal Bread
Josh Sinton (baritone sax) Kirk Knuffke (cornet) Richard Giddens (bass) Tomas Fujiwara (drums)
Ideal Bread is dedicated to presenting the compositions of Steve Lacy. This quartet of expert improvisers is made up of four strong players, all considered notable up 'n' comers to watch on the modern jazz scene. Steve Lacy is considered one of the 3 greatest soprano saxophonists of all time and is a modern jazz legend, but his many compositions have not found the kind of favor in the repertoire as they deserve. Ideal Bread exist to change that and they approach Lacy's rarely covered compositions with wit and swing.

Paradoxical Frog @ Cornelia St 11/10/11

I saw part of this Trio's set last summer at Undead Jazzfest.  It was nice to get a whole set now.  There was a 2nd set, but I couldn't stay.  It was great.  I was mesmerized by Tyshawn.

When I saw them at Sullivan Hall last summer, I mainly got the "up" parts.  Getting a whole set this time, I enjoyed the "mellow" parts and saw how much depth they have.  It's a great Trio with great music.

The listing:

Ingrid Laubrock, tenor sax;
Kris Davis, piano;
Tyshawn Sorey, drums

Paradoxical Frog is a group that sees Drummer Tyshawn Sorey, pianist Kris Davis and reedist Ingrid Laubrock, all extremely thoughtful and engaging composer-improvisers, join forces.All three musicians contribute their own unmistakable compositions to the group's sound which are woven together by improvisations using a wide range of dynamics, density and expression. The music is spontaneous yet deliberate, thought provoking yet trance- inducing.

[…] a wowingly sensitive encounter with mostly-free but sometimes creatively structured music of the moment, and one of the most memorable sets of the festival.-- Joseph Woodard , Jazz Times (about a performance at the 2010 Moers Jazz Festival)
Cover $10 ,

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Henry Butler & Jambalaya @ Jazz Standard 11/6/11

Henry is great in all forms.  He has a killer guitar player in this band.  The bass had me really grooving at the end.  I mean, it was a huge challenge to stay in my seat the whole show.

Henry played the keyboard a lot and the piano some.  It was mainly funk with some Blues thrown in for good measure.  A recipe for awesomeness!

Henry Butler – piano, vocals
Ron Jenkins – bass
Jeff Golub – guitar             
Adrian Harpham – drums

Lily Sparks @ Local 269 11/5/11

I enjoyed this rock band a lot.  I was dancing and into it the whole time. It was beyond me how no one else was dancing.  I will say everyone is into it.  Niamh has an amazing voice.  They did one cover, Grace Potter's "Paris".  It rocked!

Niamh ("Neev") -Vocals,
KG* -Guitar & Vocals,
Margaret La Bombard -Bass,
Nick Rage -Guitar,
Mick Fumento-Drums

House of Waters @ Bedford L Stop 10/26/11

As much as I enjoyed NMAS, this hammer dulcimer/drum duo blew me away.  It was the only time I was thrilled to have a good 15-20 min until the L Train would arrive.  I was dancing and loving it.

North Mississippi Allstars @ Brooklyn Bowl 10/26/11

It was my last hurrah before going down to FL for a long weekend.  And I'm very happy to have NMAS fit the bill.  I stayed long enough to feel good and leave happy.  I never noticed all of Luther's interesting guitars and other strings (maybe just a mandolin).  He sounded great on all of them.  I was digging Cody a lot more than I have in the past.  Chris Chew is a very important part of the band.  It was a lot of fun.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Wycliffe Gordon @ Dizzy's 10/25/11

I was surprised when I saw Wycliffe come out with a trumpet - I could have sworn he was a trombone player.  Oh duh, it's a Louis Armstrong tribute, of course the leader would be a trumpet player.  It turns out my memory hadn't failed me, he just plays lots of instruments.  That night he played trumpet, trombone, sousaphone, and at one point, his hands as a wind instrument.

When Wycliffe switched from trumpet to trombone he invited Jumaane Smith out to play trumpet.  Jumaane stayed out for the duration.  He's quite powerful.  I wonder if he is from NOLA.  Of course, Emily Asher was also playing trombone all night, so we were never missing it.  I did like having 2 trombones up there when we had it.

There was also a female vocalist in the middle of the set.  I didn't realize Louis did some music with Ella Fitzgerald.  The vocalist was good and it was also good how they brought her up for a portion of the set and then she left the stage again.  Wycliffe also did a good job with the Louis vocals.

Anat was also having fun doing some of the backup vocals.  She was phenomenal on clarinet, soprano and alto saxes.  I wanted to make sure to her to one of her sets.

It was a super awesome set and I'm really missing New Orleans.

Wycliffe Gordon Quintet & Friends
Hello Pops! The Music of Louis Armstrong
Wycliffe Gordon, trombone, trumpet, vocals, tuba; Anat Cohen, clarinet, tenor saxophone (Oct 25-27); Adrian Cunningham, clarinet, tenor saxophone (Oct 28-30); Aaron Diehl, piano; Corcoran Holt, bass; Marion Felder, drums; Nancy Harms, vocals; Jumaane Smith, trumpet; Emily Asher, trombone

Social Jazz Trio @ Cubana Social 10/21/11

I had a little energy left, so I figured I'd see what was was happening on 6th St. I ended up at my new old stand-by, Cubana Social.  It was mainly a trumpet trio with a female vocalist coming up for a couple and a sax sitting in for one.  The trio wasn't bad.  There were some trumpet moments.  It was mellow straight ahead.  Since I love their drinks, it was a good thing to do before calling it a night.  I was also able to draft 3 blog posts including this one while listening.


The Social Jazz Trio Every Friday night from 8pm-10:30pm.

Dylan Shamat (Upright Bass)
Bassist and composer based in New York, Shamat moved to New York City in 2005 where he completed his Bachelors degree at Manhattan School of Music. Dylan has experience playing a variety of styles in countless venues across the Midwest and east coast. Some of his teachers have included James Clute, David Grossman, Jay Anderson and Larry Ridley....

Wayne Tucker (Trumpet)
Trumpeter, composer, and arranger who has performed at the Syracuse Jazz Fest, Jazz in the Square, Ravinia Festival, Dizzy's Club Coca Cola, Birdland, The Iridium, SOB's Avery Fisher Hall, and the Kennedy Center. He has studied under many great trumpeters including George Coble, Jon Faddis, Scott Wendholt, and Jim Rotondi. He has played with many well known jazz and pop artists including Elvis Costello, Bob Mintzer, Delfayo Marsalis. He can be seen performing around the New York metropolitan area with many of today's current and rising jazz stars.

Kevin McDonald (Drums)
Manhattan-based drummer has performed with Robin Eubanks, Paquito D’Rivera, Ted Rosenthal, Michael Davis, & Lee Konitz, in illustrious venues such as Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Le Poisson Rouge, the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, and has been featured on 88.5 FM WFDD’s Triad Art’s Up-Close. McDonald teaches Masterclasses throughout the East Coast. and has studied internationally, including a tenure at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris.
He's pursuing a Master's Degree in Jazz Arts from the Manhattan School of Music, where he studies with John Riley, and performs as drummer for the MSM Jazz Philharmonic.

Honey Ear Trio @ Rubin Museum 10/21/11

If a band I like is playing there on a Harlem in the Himalayas Friday night, I do my best to go.  I love how it's acoustic and it's a good time slot - it's hard for me to get out on a Friday due to needing sleep.  I also love how they compose 1 or more pieces around works of art from the museum.  We got 1.5 hours of great music consisting of songs from their CD and 2 world premiere pieces which were outstanding.  Erik referred to them as commissioned pieces, which in effect, they were.  The first one was composed by Rene and had Allison break out an interesting looking glockenspiel she put on top of her snare drum.  She also put percussion bells on he ankles for the piece.  The other piece was an excellent one by Erik.  All the music was excellent - it's a great CD.

I tried to go to Zebulon for the Marc Ribot Trio after that, but it was sold out.  They were charging a $10 cover, which made sense, and it was packed.  I should have known - he has a big draw.

Honey Ear Trio is the newest incarnation of Brooklyn-based and longtime musical cohorts Erik Lawrence, Rene Hart, and Allison Miller. Together these three passionate musicians approach their music with a sense of playfulness and elasticity.

Ingrid Jensen @ Jazz Standard 10/20/11

Is it weird that I never heard of Kenny Wheeler before?  He's being honored at this year's Festival of the New Trumpet (FONT).  Somewhere toward the end of the set, he came up to sit in and he's a phenomenal player.  They also played his compositions the entire set.  Apparently, he composes every single day.

The orchestra was impressive, Ingrid Jensen and Jonathan Finlayson on trumpet.  There may have been one more trumpet, I was on the side so I couldn't see as well.  The trombone was great.  Ingrid said he plays the trombone like the trumpet, which is why she has him.

Jennifer Wharton was on bass trombone at first.  At the time, I forgot she was listed as playing tuba.  It was sitting on a stand next to her.  However, in my trumpet-focused state, I actually thought it was some kind of enormous, super contra-bass trumpet.  I was trying to figure it out. I never saw a tuba standing up like that.  When she picked it up to play it, at first I thought it was a euphonium, then I remembered the listing and realized it was indeed a tuba.  The tuba is a bronze color while the euphonium is silver.  She was great on both the tuba and the trombone.

I was very impressed with the bass player.  The basses are really doing it for me lately.  The drummer was listed as Matt Wilson but ended up being Ingrid's husband, Jon Wikan.  He was good, I liked when he played the cochon.

Dave Douglas came out to play with Ingrid, Kenny Wheeler, and a London trumpet.  Everyone else left the stage except the rhythm section, including piano.  I enjoyed the piano a lot during the whole set.  After that piece, Dave and the London guy left, Kenny stayed, and the rest of the orchestra came back up.  They proceeded to do two more before ending just before 11.

Under the direction of founder Dave Douglas, FONT salutes trumpeter and composer Kenny Wheeler with four gala nights of music. Born 1930 in Toronto, Wheeler has written over one hundred composi­tions and is a skilled arranger for small groups and larger ensembles. He has released some 30 albums as a leader since Windmill Tilter in 1968, many for the prestigious ECM label; and also has recorded with Paul Gonsalves, Dave Holland, and Joni Mitchell, among others.

The Festival marks a rare New York appear­ance by this legendary musician. “Although I have played in New York a few times over the years, every time I come back I still feel the same excitement I felt that first time I visited all those years ago,” says Kenny Wheeler. “For me, New York is the place to play.”
The Festival of New Trumpet Music is a nonprofit founded in 2003 by trumpeters Dave Douglas and Roy Campbell, Jr. FONT will present its “Award of Recognition” to Kenny Wheeler during the week’s run at Jazz Standard; previous recipients include Wadada Leo Smith and Bobby Bradford.

 INGRID JENSEN + BRASS featuring KENNY WHEELER performer name
  • Ingrid Jensen, Kenny Wheeler, Jonathan Finlayson, Tony Kadleck – trumpets
    Shelagh Abate – French horn
    Elliot Mason – trombone
    Jennifer Wharton – tuba
    Kevin Hays – piano
    Matt Clohesy – bass
    Matt Wilson – drums
    Featuring: Kenny Wheeler – trumpet
Building a bridge of brass that spans the generations is the quintet led by Ingrid Jensen (a principal soloist with the Maria Schneider Orchestra) with special guest Kenny Wheeler. “Ingrid plays trumpet and flugel­horn with all the brilliance and fire of a true virtuoso, following the spirit of the muse as she cre­ates… Warm, sensitive, exciting, and totally honest!” (Marian McPartland)

JFJO @ Jazz Standard 10/18/11

It was even better than I expected.  I mean, I knew I would love the special guest horn section: Steven Bernstein on trumpet and slide trumpet, Mark Southerland on tenor sax and 2 interesting horns of his own invention, and Peter Apfelbaum on bass sax, alto sax, and some interesting little horns.  What I didn't expect was that I would enjoy the whole thing.  Brian Haas played piano instead of organ and that made a huge difference for me.  I really loved the bass player.  I loved his solos and he had me really grooving at times.  The guitar played on the lap, which always adds a soulful element was pretty good.  I can't remember much about the drums, which means he didn't take away from my experience.

The music was awesome and the horns were magnificent.  I can't believe I forgot to pick up the CD.  I don't see how it could possibly hold a candle to that live performance, but I suspect it's pretty good and worth having.

  • Brian Haas – piano
    Josh Raymer – drums
    Chris Combs – lap steel guitar
    Jeff Harshbarger – bass
    Peter Apfelbaum – tenor & baritone saxophone
    Mark Southerland – tenor saxophone
    Steven Bernstein – trumpet
In 1921, Tulsa, Oklahoma was home to Greenwood – perhaps the most powerful and affluent African–American community in the country before the rise of Harlem. (Greenwood’s commercial center was known as “The Black Wall Street.”) On May 31, in one of the most destructive racial conflicts in the nation’s history, white mobs invaded the district. 35 city blocks were destroyed by fire, and there were at least 40 fatalities. Some 6,000 Greenwood residents were arrested; over 800 were admitted to local hospitals, and an estimated 10,000 were left homeless. Composed by Chris Combs and recorded in Tulsa, The Race Riot Suite – the new album by the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey for Kinnara Records/Royal Potato Family – is a boldly expressive long–form musical work that tells the story of the evolution and destruction of an American cultural epicenter in one of the least understood atrocities of the Jim Crow era. Joining the JFJO for this special two-night run is the horn section of Peter Apfelbaum, Mark Southerland and Steven Bernstein.

Josh Abrams Trio @ CSV 10/17/11

Josh was the only one I didn't know.  However, it only makes sense for Ingrid to surround herself with greatness.  It was indeed great.  I spent a lot of time watching Gerald Cleaver.  He had me going when he was getting his drumkit ready.  I seemed to the only one who heard the rhythm when he used the key to tighten it up.

The set was fabulous and well worth dragging my jetlagged self out.  I took the red-eye back from L.A. the day before.

Evolving Series begins Monday October 10

 @ Clemente Soto Velez
2nd floor Theater -  Clemente Soto Velez Educational and Cultural Center
 107 Suffolk Street (between Delancey and Rivington)

tickets: $11 per set / $16 for 2 sets / $22 all night
Students/Seniors : $8 per set / $12 for 2 / $18 all night
October 17
Creative Sounds of Dissension

7:30 pm Ras Moshe Unit
Ras Moshe - tenor sax & flute
Anders Nilsson - guitar
Larry Roland - bass
8:45  Joshua Abrams Trio
Joshua Abrams - bass
Ingrid Laubrock - sax
Gerald Cleaver - drums
10 pm Michael Bisio Duo
Michael Bisio - bass
Tomas Ulrich - cello

Ras Moshe Trio @ CSV 10/17/11

I just caught the end of this set, but it was great.  I always enjoy Ras' projects.  I don't know if I've seen the bassist before.  He's got one of the more interesting ones, upright without so much body.  He sounded good, too.

Evolving Series begins Monday October 10

 @ Clemente Soto Velez
2nd floor Theater -  Clemente Soto Velez Educational and Cultural Center
 107 Suffolk Street (between Delancey and Rivington)

tickets: $11 per set / $16 for 2 sets / $22 all night
Students/Seniors : $8 per set / $12 for 2 / $18 all night
October 17
Creative Sounds of Dissension

7:30 pm Ras Moshe Unit
Ras Moshe - tenor sax & flute
Anders Nilsson - guitar
Larry Roland - bass
8:45  Joshua Abrams Trio
Joshua Abrams - bass
Ingrid Laubrock - sax
Gerald Cleaver - drums
10 pm Michael Bisio Duo
Michael Bisio - bass
Tomas Ulrich - cello

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Handel Halvorsen Passacaglia Music Video

My friends directed and designed this awesome video. It's excellent a lot of fun. Check it out!

MTO Plays Sly @ 92YTribeca 10/14/11

I'm sorry to say I wasn't there because I was out of town.  At least we can listen to it after the fact:

MTO Plays SLY: Live at 92Y Tribeca

October 17, 2011 by Josh Jackson

Steven Bernstein and the Millennial Territory Orchestra perform music from the new recording, MTO Plays SLY (Royal Potato Family). Recorded October 14, 2011 at 92Y Tribeca.
Set List:
Sly Notions 2
Family Affair
You Can Make It If You Try
Bernie Interlude
Everyday People
Sing a Simple Song
Thank You For Talkin’ To Me Africa
Sly Notions
Que Sera Sera
Skin I’m In
I Want To Take You Higher
Steven Bernstein – trumpet and slide trumpet
Curtis Fowlkes – trombone
Charlie Burnham – violin
Doug Weiselman – clarinet and saxophone
Peter Apfelbaum – tenor saxophone
Erik Lawrence – baritone and soprano saxophones
Matt Munisteri – guitar and banjo
Ben Allison – bass
Ben Perowsky – drums
Bernie Worrell – Hammond organ
Eric Mingus – vocal
Sandra St. Victor – vocal
Producer and host: Josh Jackson
Mix: David Tallacksen
Assistant: Michael Downes

Halvorson/Walter @ The Stone 10/9/11

I thought Peter Evans was listed but wasn't there.  That's OK, it was still a great set.  The listing must have been updated, since he's not there now. I get the listing at the beginning of the month and don't check for updates. 

There was no music stand in front of Mary, so I could watch her more easily.  The only thing was, Weasel Walter was so interesting I found myself watching him a lot.  It was an awesome 45 minute set of fabulous music.

Weasel Walter, Mary Halvorson Weasel Walter(drums) Mary Halvorson(guitar)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pee Wee, Fred, and Maceo @ Town Hall 10/6/11

I went up to the box office a few days prior and bought a ticket for U126.  That's the last row on the floor in the aisle, right by the soundboard.  My Town Hall dancing spot is right by the soundboard and I certainly wasn't going to trust that people would be standing and dancing the whole time, even though it was a funk show.  I can report that at least they were dancing some of the time.  I was the only one to purchase a seat towrd the back, but by the end of the evening some of the others who wanted to dance more filled in some of the space in the back.  I'm intrigued by the womewhat low turnout as it was a very special event.

I finally got to see Maceo Parker.  I just didn't want to pay the high ticket prices or I couldn't make it or whatever.  He's great.  He even did "Georgia" with Ray Charles glasses on and it was phenomenal.  I've seen Fred before with Bonerama and he's still got it.  It was my first Pee Wee Ellis experience.  It was his 70th birthday celebration and he's still got it, too!

The rest of the band was also awesome.  Larry Goldings is great.  The guitar was excellent.  I always love a chance to see Christian McBride.

They started with a jazz tune.  Then they went into the funk.  They played for 2 hours straight through.  They played all the funk songs we know so well and did them all brilliantly.  I loved what they did with some of the songs.  They didn't try to imitate James Brown, but kept in the spirit and did his parts their own way.  They even changed some of the timing, I think that might be rubato on some of the songs.

It was a wonderful night and if you missed it, your loss.

PEE WEE, FRED & MACEO: A FUNKY GOOD TIME concert (October 6) In Celebration of Pee Wee Ellis' 70th Birthday.
Pee Wee Ellis – tenor saxophone, vocals
Fred Wesley – trombone, vocals
Maceo Parker – alto saxophone, vocals
with their all-star band:
Larry Goldings, keys
Christian McBride, bass
Bill Stewart, drums
Rodney Jones, guitar

Friday, October 7, 2011

Zongo Junction @ LPR 10/5/11

I got there for the last couple songs of the 1st band, Super Human Happiness.  I can't really comment on them yet, just that it's a large ensemble and they play Happy music.

Zongo Junction is a great Afrobeat band from Brooklyn. I was psyched to see Adam Schatz is in it as I finally got to see him.  He's great, really great.  He blew me away at various times.  I'm going to have to make more of an effort to see his other projects.

I had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed the music.  It was awesome.  I especially loved the intense drum solo toward the end.

The band has Adam on tenor, an alto, and of course a baritone.  No afrobeat is complete without a baritone sax!  The rest of the horn section consists of a trumpet and trombone.  Then there's a keyboard, 2 guitars and a bass.  There's a drumkit, a conga player, and a standing percussionist.

I bought the CD for $10 and it is awesome.  I love it.

They had a female vocalist come up for 1 or 2 and a male vocalist come up for 1 or 2.  I enjoyed them and it seemed to be at the appropriate time.

I loved how they stretched it a bit in some of the songs.  It wasn't typical afrobeat and had a new element in many instances.

I wanted to stay for Toubab Krewe, but I had to pace the week.
Charlie Ferguson, Drums
Jordan Hyde, Guitar
Pavel Kogan-Liakhov, Guitar
Aaron Shafer-Haiss, Congas
Noah Garabedian, Bass
Eli Sundelson, Keys
Adam Schatz, Tenor Sax
Jonah Parzen-Johnson, Baritone Sax
Joe Hartnett. Alto Sax
Kevin Moehringer, Trombone
Aaron Rockers, Trumpet

Lafayette Gilchrist @ The Stone 10/2/11

I have been trying to see Lafayette again for a long time.  I may not have ever seen him.  If I did, I can't remember when.  I just know I've had a desire to see him for a very long time.  Given how fabulous the music was, I can understand that desire.  It was great.  3 amazingly fantastic improvisers improvising.  I felt like a sardine in my spot in the front row between 2 big men.  That was a blessing for me because it got me up and over to the side where I could dance.

I wanted to stay for the next set, but I needed to get home.

Lafayette Gilchrist
Lafayette Gilchrist (piano) Michael Formanek (double bass) Andrew Cyrille (drums)

Bellydance @ Drom 10/1/11

It wasn't quite the level of previous performances.  There was less acting out a theme.  The dancers were very talented and interesting anyway.  I could do without the magic acts and the vocal ensembles.  Still, it was an enjoyable 1.5 hours overall.

The listing:
The "Bad Girls" of Venus Uprising are back!

Since 2007 the Venus Uprising bellydance salon has taken pride in showcasing the finest contemporary bellydance artists that New York City has to offer. Whether classical or tribal, folkloric or experimental, all styles of bellydance can turn up in one of our twice-yearly concerts. Guest artists are encouraged to unleash their creativity and design dance pieces that go beyond the typical commercial restraints. Individual diversity and dazzling costumes further enhance the appeal of our presentations, especially for those audience members new to bellydance.

Venus Uprising is pleased to present our next festive cabaret of contemporary bellydance and beyond (yes - a few surprises are in store!) on Saturday, October 1st. In addition to our entertainers, makeup artist Jade Elhaddad will be available all evening to provide our guests with her custom "Ruby Lips" and promoter Andy Troy is back as our gracious host. Performing artists include: Altagracia, Autumn Ward, Ayshe, Elisheva, Irina Aukelenko, Jaklina, Kelli Ann, Kenya, Neon with Angelys and Jenna Rey, Sarah Skinner, Tanna Valentine and special guests Peter Juris and The Sirens.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Spanish Harlem Orchestra @ SOBs 9/30/11

I enjoyed about an hour of the first set.  It was great to get down to a Latin Big Band.  3 drummers, 3 vocalists, 2 trombones, 2 trumpets, contrabass, guitar, etc.  Oh, and the awesome baritone sax/flute guy.  I may not be remembering accurately.  SOBs is such a cool place.  You can dance anywhere, anyhow.  It can get rather crowded, though.

Marcus Strickland @ LPR 9/29/11

It was free for members and a great choice for my evening.  I got there at about 8ish and the DJ was still on.  The band started soon after.  It was awesome.  I was the only one dancing, but I enjoyed it a lot.  The special guests were Jaleel Shaw and the DJ.  There may have been one more, but my memory is already faded.  I just remember having a good time and staying for the whole set.

Marcus Strickland (saxophones/compositions),
David Bryant (piano),
Ben Williams (bass) +
E.J. Strickland (drums) 

Marcus Strickland

It's all about potency with saxophonist Strickland, whose combination of gravitas and groove often proffers a Joe Lewis punch. The new Triumph of the Heavy finds him adding alto to his arsenal, (he's built his rep on tenor and soprano) and that extra horn will give tonight’s program even more breadth. Although the album’s two discs also document his terrifically agile trio, it'll be a frierce piano foursome that rocks tonight's gig.
Marcus Strickland’s seventh recording Triumph of the Heavy, Vol. 1 & 2 (available on Strick Muzik, September 27, 2011) is a definitive statement from the critically-acclaimed and world renowned saxophonist. This ambitious two-CD set takes the listener on a journey from the studio to the stage alongside a highly-developed Marcus Strickland; one who is very sure of what he’s doing on the saxophones (soprano, alto and tenor), and very comfortable taking risks.

On Volume 1 (laid down at Systems Two in Brooklyn, NY) Strickland records on the alto saxophone (his new P. Mauriat alto) for the first time (on tracks 4, 6, 7, 9, 10), and recorded the band while the music, a whole new set of originals, was still new to the musicians. This half of the recording is the documentation of the birth of his new quartet, featuring David Bryant, who fully embraced Strickland’s percussive writing and approach for the piano in a quartet setting, the third Strickland “brother,” Ben Williams on bass, and twin brother E.J. Strickland on drums. “In a way I added more excitement to the studio process by recording while the music was fresh, while it was close to the beginning of its development and interpretation,” explained Strickland.

In contrast to Volume 1, on Volume 2 the trio displays the incredible results of extended touring together as they stretch and reinvent their repertoire, spurred on by an enthusiastic crowd at Firehouse 12 in New Haven, CT. The musical conversations and interactions are on an extraordinary level, only possible with time and trust. Strickland explains further, “The biggest development is trust: we trust each other more on this record than on Idiosyncrasies (StrickMuzik, 2009) because that was towards the beginning of the trio. And when trust is at such a height, it allows many spontaneous things to happen. It’s very exciting. Playing with E.J. and Ben gets a performance out of me that’s like no other with anybody else. While playing the track ‘Surreal’, for example, I remember we were very in tune with the groove. It was swinging extremely hard and I did some things on the horn that I didn’t know I could do before the session. And that’s what it’s all about. That feeling is like no other!”

The title, Triumph of the Heavy, grew out of an experience Strickland had with his girlfriend. The saxophonist explains, “once upon a time, some months after I started seeing my girlfriend Dawn, we were in the car listening to my iPod. We’d never listened to her music in the car, so I said to her ‘hey, why don’t you put on your iPod?’ So she does. And her immediate reaction after hearing her music was, ‘You know what? This sounds kind of light compared to the music you listen to.’ And that really stuck with me because often times many things have been extracted from commercial music so it can appeal to the masses. Quite often in the music industry, there’s an entity (a producer, manager or A & R guy) trying to get artists to adulterate their sound so it’s more ‘accessible. After that day in the car I wanted to associate the title of my next recording with weight, because I wanted to express that music with substance, a strong sound and which takes risks can triumph, it can move people. It can, in fact, appeal to a greater audience. But, as demonstrated through my girlfriend’s experience, only if we give it a chance through exposure. So that’s what I call it: Triumph of the Heavy.”

On Triumph of the Heavy Volume 1 & 2, a double CD release, we are hearing one of the most in demand and respected saxophonists/composers on the scene today, playing and composing near the pinnacle of his artistry – “near” because, as this music clearly and strongly indicates, Marcus Strickland is a musician intent on continuously evolving and expanding, technically and creatively.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Music of Budd Powell @ iridium 9/28/11

I would think with Joey Baron and the rest in the lineup this would have been a tough ticket.  While there was a good crowd, it was easy to get a discounted ticket on Goldstar the night before.

The set was phenomenal.  I don't know how this ensemble came together, but it was quite amazing.  Joey Baron was as good as always.  everyone was awesome solo and together.  The pieces they chose were perfect.

 I was familiar and a fan of each player except for Tim Hagans before this show.  Now, I see Tim is right up there with the rest.  This was a fantastic lineup.

Music of Bud Powell featuring Ethan Iverson, Tim Hagans, Greg Osby, Joey Baron, Lonnie Plaxico

Pop's Ball @ Hiro Ballroom 9/22/11

It was a lot of fun and a great band.  I had my wits about me, unlike my last visit to Hiro Ballroom.  There were also less people so I could see that there are 2 bars on the floor as well as some seating off to the left hand side.  Somehow I missed all of that at Voice of the Wetlands.  I was asked if I thought that show or Pop's Ball was a better lineup.  I would say VOW was my choice, although both lineups are killer.

Maurice Brown was especially doing it for me.  He added a lot.  I also loved having DJ Logic up there.  I flashed back to an earlier version of me years ago when I hated having him on stage with a band.  I just didn't appreciate him or any electronic type music.  It was when I started enjoying MMW that I changed my tune.  ... Come to think of it, I didn't like them back then, either.

I'm a little late in writing this, so I forget most of it already.  I just remember I enjoyed it.

I think the special guests missing in the lineup below were Eric Bolivar on drums, Maurice Brown on trumpet, and Big Sam on trombone.  I can't remember who the bass player was, but I think it was Anders usual.


New Orleans’ Anders Osborne is among the most original and visionary roots rock guitarists, vocalists, and songwriters performing today. AMERICAN PATCHWORK, is a moving collection of soul-baring rock, blues and ballads. Often compared to Townes Van Zandt, Bruce Springsteen and Van Morrison, Osborne is an exceptional and singular talent. Live, Osborne is a force to behold. His ability to ignite an audience with his passionate, dynamic live show is legendary.

The Bad Plus @ City Winery 9/20/11

It was such a nice treat to see them at City Winery.  I could dance and there was room back at my favorite seat, good old #185.  I felt like they were playing their Greatest Hits, and I soon realized everything they do could be considered a greatest hit.  They even did a couple of new ones and they are just as phenomenal as the old ones.  What is equally impressive is they all compose different songs.  They really are a unit when they are working together.  I'm so glad they found each other.

It was all excellent.  It started at about 9:15 and I unfortunately had to leave at about 10:20 to take care of the cat and I had another early workday coming up.  Had I known about the opening band, I could have stopped at home first and probably would have sacrificed some sleep to see it to the end.  It was great show!

The Hot Sardines @ City Winery 9/20/11

I didn't check the listing and I had no idea there was an opening band.  I hustled to get down there in case TBP came on right at 8.

They were good.  At first, it was a great piano, bass, and trumpet 1930s jazz trio.  Then they brought out the female singer for the rest.  She was great, I was just enjoying the instruments and didn't need a vocalist.  There were plenty of moments when she wasn't singing, and she was great when she was. The musicians are very talented.  The trumpet is very powerful, the piano moving, the bass was great.  It was fun.
The Hot Sardines sound – wartime Paris via New Orleans, or the other way around – is steeped in hot jazz, salty stride piano, and the kind of music Louis Armstrong, Django Reinhardt and Fats Waller used to make: Straight-up, foot-stomping jazz. (Literally – the band includes a tap dancer whose feet count as two members of the rhythm section). They manage to invoke the sounds of a near-century ago and stay resolutely in step with the current age.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dee Pop @ Local 269 9/18/11

It was early and it sounded good as I walked by after the Talk at The Living Theatre ended.  Another great rock band with Dee.  There was an upright bass this time, along with Don Fiorino on strings, Austen Ivan Julian on guitar, and Dee.  Daniel Carter is always a treat.  I stuck around for an hour, maybe less and enjoyed it thoroughly.

From Dee's Listing:

Dee Pop's Private World will perform at Local 269.

The group is led by drummer Dee Pop. Dee Pop's broad approach to music has led him to an impressive range of musical associations. During his thirty-plus year career, he has played/and or recorded with Bush Tetras, Jeffrey Lee Pierce and the Gun Club, Richard LLoyd, Jayne/Wayne County, Lenny Kaye, Radio I-Ching, Marc Ribot, William Parker, Roy Campbell, The Shams (Sue Garner & Amy Rigby), James Chance, Michael Karoli of Can, Deerfrance, The Washington Squares, John Spencer, Eddie Gale, The Clash, Andy Shernoff, Handsome Dick Manitoba, Wayne Kramer, Odetta, Bobby Radcliff, John Sinclair, Nona Hendryx, Band of Outsiders, Gary Lucas, Hanuman Sextet, Freedomland, Matt Verteray, Freddie Pompeii, Slits, Darlene Love, Patti Palladin, Billy Bang, Borah Bergman, The Waldos, Jahn Xavier and Felice Rosser.

Don Fiorino is perhaps one of the most underrated string musicians in the NYC area. Whether on the guitar, the banjo, mandolin, steel guitar, sitar or bouzouki, Don can twist just about any traditional genre into new worlds unto themselves.

Volumes have been written about the great sax, trumpet, clarinet and flautist Daniel Carter. Most important to me was that Daniel was the first musician to physically allow me to meld seemingly contrary styles of music and derive whole new languages that really keep up with the speed of today's advancements in communication.

Chris Jones can hang ten while still honoring the rules of bop.

Youngest member guitarist Austen Ivan Julian brings hope that importance of history and the need to invent and move forward are both equally essential.

Admission is free. Dancing/body movement would be an honor.


Marc Ribot, Ammiel Alcalay and Jessica Lurie @ The Living Theatre 9/18/11

This looked like a special rare event with 2 artists I tend to see every chance I get.  I'm not Jewish, but I don't think it mattered.  The evening was really about art, it just happened to be presented by a Jewish paper.  It was phenomenal.

It started with a Jessica Lurie mini solo set.  The first piece was called "Patience" and was played on alto sax. The next piece was for flute.  Then came 2 awesome baritone pieces.  There was one in particular that really rocked.  She sounded like she had some effects, but she didn't. The last piece was from 1939.  She said they tuned up differently back then.

She also used that interesting thing that looks like a cup that she holds up to her mouth and does vocals with.  We learned later it is a toy megaphone that they don't make anymore.  It has some fun built in sounds that can be used in conjunction with the voice.

Next she invited Ribot up to join her.  He brought out his acoustic and didn't use a mic or amp.  They did 3 or 4 awesome pieces, ending with a great Blues piece.  Jessica started with the baritone and then moved to the alto.

Next was a Ribot acoustic mini set.  First Albert Ayler's "Holy, Holy, Holy".  Then he did a standard.  During the Q&A, he said when he does standards he's really doing an exegesis on the melody.  Something like that.

After that was some poetry and prose readings.  While I'm not really interested in the content, war and all that, I loved how rhythmic it was.  He's got a great voice for reading.  During the Q&A Jessica asked him about it.  He said the rhythm just comes from the text.  It's impossible not to read it that way.  I also gathered the rhythm somehow emerged during the creative process.

After this, there was a short intermission - I guess about 15 min or so.  Then came a collaborative piece with all 3 of them.  It looks like they composed or at least sketched something because Marc and Jessica both had sheet music in front of them and it looked like they were reading. Ammiel was reading from one of his books.  At least one line of text mentioned Albert Ayler.  It came out during the Q&A that Ammiel wrote a book that Ribot read.  Ribot asked him after reading it if it was about (inspired by?) Albert Ayler.  It was.  Apparently Ribot is the only one the poet knew of who actually got it.

After the collaboration was a "Talk".  I wanted to bolt before the talk, I expected it to be about war or other subjects that bring me down.  Luckily, it was awkward to slip out so I surrendered.  I was rewarded with a phenomenal Q&A about music, creative process, etc.  There was nothing depressing about that talk, only fascination.

The Jewish Daily Forward presents the third installment in a new series of innovative arts programming. “Jewish Art for the New Millennium” showcases cutting-edge Jewish artists and thinkers who represent their identity in the most original, innovative ways.

Legendary avant-garde guitarist Marc Ribot, multi-instrumentalist Jessica Lurie and writer and poet Ammiel Alcalay team up for an evening of intellectually provocative words and music as each performs separately and then join forces for a collaborative session and conversation with the audience.

Marc Ribot’s recording credits include a stellar list of performers — Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Laurie Anderson, Medeski Martin & Wood, Allen Ginsberg, Norah Jones, The Black Keys, Jakob Dylan and many others. Ribot regularly works with composer John Zorn and has released a number of albums on Zorn’s “Radical Jewish Music” label, Tzadik. He also frequently collaborates with producer T Bone Burnett, most notably on Alison Krauss and Robert Plant’s Grammy Award-winning “Raising Sand.” Click here for more info.

Ammiel Alcalay is a poet, writer, critic, translator as well as a professor at the CUNY Graduate Center. He is widely known for exploring the junctions between poetry and politics, especially those pertaining to the Middle East, as well as having a distinctly unique, radical approach to writing that melds together various genres into a single discourse. A world-renowned scholar of Middle-Eastern and Sephardic literatures, Alcalay’s collection of poetry and photography, “Neither Wit Nor Gold” was published by Ugly Duckling Press earlier this year. He also directs “Lost & Found,” the CUNY Poetics Document Initiative, which features correspondence, journals, critical prose and transcripts of talks by influential American poets. Alcalay’s work has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker, Time magazine, The New Republic, Village Voice, Jerusalem Post, Parnassus, and many other publications. Click here for more info.

Jessica Lurie is a virtuoso saxophonist, accordionist and vocalist, as well as a composer, widely known for her “flair suggestive of a Balkan John Coltrane or klezmerized Sonny Rollins” (JamBase). She’s worked with a diverse base of performers including Bill Frisell and The Indigo Girls, Mark Ribot and Sleater Kinney, among many others. In 2000, she started her own label, Zipa! Music. In 2006, Jessica was awarded a Sundance Music Institute Fellowship for film composition. Click here for more info.

About the Forward:
The Forward is a legendary name in American journalism and a revered institution in American Jewish life. Launched as a Yiddish-language daily newspaper on April 22, 1897, the Forward entered the din of New York’s immigrant press as a defender of trade unionism and moderate, democratic socialism. The Jewish Daily Forward quickly rose above the crowd, however; under the leadership of its founding editor, the crustily independent Abraham Cahan, the Forward came to be known as the voice of the Jewish immigrant and the conscience of the ghetto. It fought for social justice, helped generations of immigrants to enter American life, broke some of the most significant news stories of the century, and was among the nation’s most eloquent defenders of democracy and Jewish rights.
The Forward family of newspapers continues to carry on the founding vision of Abraham Cahan, serving together as the voice of the American Jew and the conscience of the community.

BuzzUniverse @ Canal Room 9/16/11

I'm often too tired on Fridays to do anything and this one was no exception.  However, I happened to be walking by Canal Room around 8:15/8:30ish when I heard the funk oozing out of the walls.  I quickly remembered Buzz was there and it was too early and too close to play the too tired card.

It was a good thing because it was a lot of fun.  It was a CD release party and Stephanie the flute player sat in.  She used to be in the band and I presume she's on the CD.  It's nice they have a violin and tenor/baritone as permanent members.

The first set was a lot of new material that's not on the new album.  The 2nd set was mainly songs from the new album.  I couldn't stay for the whole thing because it's important that I give my cat his heart medicine in a certain timeframe.  I enjoyed what I got, though.
To celebrate the September 20 release of Living Breathing Magic, our third studio album, we will be headlining The Canal Room, 285 Broadway in New York City on September 16. As a special offer, anyone attending the show will be able to purchase a copy of Living Breathing Magic in advance of the scheduled release date. As a further special offer, anyone purchasing tickets in advance, can obtain a copy of the new album for only $5.
Alex Garay: Guitar/Vocals
Dave Migliore: Drums/Vocals
Greg McLoughlin: Bass/Vocals
Brian Ciufo: Saxophones/Vocals/Hand Percussion
Meredith Rachel Bogacz: Violin
Rosie Lazroe: Vocals

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Marc Ribot Really The Blues @ Iridium 9/15/11

It was great, just like the last time.  I was glad to see Marc and Cooper-Moore together again.  The very first time I saw Cooper-Moore was in a trio with Ribot and Chad Taylor on drums.  I hope that trio resurfaces again some day.

Brad Jones was awesome on bass.  I loved the drummer.

They did Blues, Jazz, and Funk.  The set was 75 minutes and then they came out for an awesome funky encore because we asked for it.  It was a phenomenal show.

Secret Chiefs 3 @ LPR 9/13/11

This band rocks!  There were 2 bands on before them and I missed them both.  They've had Kayo Dot open for them before and I would like to see them some time.  I walked in just after 10 and it seemed like they just started.

The music was phenomenal.  Ches Smith was on drums as was another guy.  2 drummers is twice as nice!  There was also a female percussionist, she may have just had tablas, I'm not sure.  She was the only one without a hooded cloak and may have been a special guest.  There was also a keyboard player toward the front of the stage facing the band.  Of course the guitar/trumpet/violin player was there.  There were 7 in all.

I loved the show.  There was a good crowd but it wasn't too crowded.  I had to leave at a little after 11 due to work constraints but it was well worth coming out for.

Here's a recording of the show:

Trey Spruance - Saz, Guitar, etc.
Timb Harris - Violin, Guitar, Trumpet, etc.
Adam Stacey - Keys
Ches Smith! - Drums
Danny Heifetz! - Drums
Toby Driver - Bass
(unknown) - Drum Pad, Hand Drums

And here's some pictures:

You can find some vids from the show on youtube.

TTB @ The Beacon 9/10/11

There was no mention of an opener except on the Beacon Marquee.  It was Scrapomatic and they did a short one, lasting about 1/2 hour.  I was very worried that people were all sitting and a lady behind me yelled at me to sit down so she could see.  I always get way too upset about that.  Fortunately, a lot of people stood for TTB.  Better yet, I was in the section where people tended to stand a lot if the most of the floor was sitting.  Good deal!

I had heard after I got there TTB would hit at 8:45 and the show would be over at 11.  Basically, they don't have that much material for a big 2 set night.  I remember thinking why don't they pull out some covers or do some more soloing or something.  Looks like they already had that figured out because that's what they did in the set they played straight through.  It was a great show.

I got the new CD for only $10 while I was there.  It's great!  They played all of the songs on it.  They also had a drums portion which I loved.  Then Oteil come out with the drums and do his bass/voice thing.  I remember when he did that every night one year for The ABB Beacon run.  The trombone player is a good dancer and a good jazz singer, so he filled in with a jazz vocal tune.  It was a great, long set.

I admit I still miss the Derek Trucks Band more than I can say.  I just had to express that.  It would be nice if this band evolves into something spectacular, but time will tell.

From the listing:
As husband-wife couples go in the world of music, it is a challenge to find a duo as well-fitted and naturally prolific as that of singer/guitarist Susan Tedeschi and guitarist Derek Trucks. After building successful solo careers, the two have been guests on each other's albums, toured together, and have each received individual Grammy nominations in the category of "Best Contemporary Blues Album" for their 2009 albums, Tedeschi for Back To The River and Trucks for Already Free (which he won). Now they have joined forces, writing and recording with their new 11 piece band, the Tedeschi Trucks Band. The group just released, Revelator, an album Rolling Stone describes as a "meaty masterpiece" that echoes so many great traditions- Delta blues and Memphis soul, Sixties rock and Seventies funk- blended with an entirely original, modern sensibility.

Recognized for their outstanding live performances, the Tedeschi Trucks Band also includes singers Mike Mattison and Mark Rivers, bassist Oteil Burbridge, keyboardist/flutist Kofi Burbridge, drummers J. J. Johnson and Tyler Greenwell, plus trumpeter Maurice Brown, tenor saxophonist Kebbi Williams, and trombonist Saunders Sermons. The first generation of this new lineup made appearances at some of the most prestigious festivals of last year including New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fest, Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Fest, Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, and Japan's Fuji Rock Fest.