Saturday, April 16, 2011

Japan Benefit Part 2 @ Abrons Art Center 4/8/11

There were less bands and this show flowed differently.  There were a lot of mashups and interesting transitions from one group to the next.  There were a lot of artists I've never seen before and that was nice as well.  There were mainly bands.  There were singers but they were real singers, not a jamband instrumentalist who's singing because people like singing.  In other words, it was a completely different show than the 1st and what I usually attend.

Zorn made it back during soundcheck while we were waiting in the lobby for the house to open.  that was impressive.  I'm sure he helped things flow smoothly.

The first band was Jesse Harris on guitar with 2 percussionists and a bass.  I think it was his Through the Night Band.  I love the instrumentation and it was good.  They did 2 songs and then invited Steven Bernstein, Tony Scherr on guitar and Briggan Krauss to join them.  For the last song, they had Kenny Wollensen up for a true 2 band mashup.  That was really great.

Sexmob stayed up to do their amazing thing. They blew me away with Darling Nikki.  I haven't seen them do that in a while.  Toward the end of the set Nora Jones mashed in on piano singing Que Sera Sera.  It was awesome.

She did one or 2 solos and then invited Jesse Harris on stage.  Apparently he wrote that song of hers  that I'm most familiar with and they did that, even though it's now old.  I think Sexmob, or just the horns came out and joined in again for the next song, but that's a little fuzzy.

Then we got an ensemble I was unfamiliar with, JG Thirlwell's Manorexia.  It consists of a string quartet, vibes, piano and I think percussion.  The piano and vibraphone sounded so good together.  They often played the same notes at the same time.  I loved it.

Another unfamiliar act followed - Buke and Gass.  Not my thing at all.  Too much vocals.  They are 2 guitars with the female screeching some vocals.  Some of the instrumental moments were OK.  It was a good time for a bathroom break.  I would give them another try in another setting as they did seem rushed and that might have been part of why I couldn't get into it.

Vinicius Cantu√°ria had the same ensemble I saw at LPR. Takuya Nakamura was up there and had apparently been in Japan during the earthquake and tsunami.  Toward the end of their mini-set the 2 percussionists from Jesse Harris's band sat in.  It was great.

The final act was Elysian Fields.  I probably only ever saw them once ages ago.  I remember not liking it.  I liked this night more, but it included Jamie Saft, Ben Perowsky and Danny Blume.  If it didn't include those 3, it was 3 (or 2?) others that I love.  I just can't remember.  I know I also enjoyed Oren Bloedow and Jennifer Charles.  It was a good way to end.

I really wanted to go to Blue Note for the late night Spontaneous Construction Series.  They were having Jean-Michel Pilc, Liberty Ellman, Bobby Previte and Jeff Lederer.  I just couldn't stay awake.

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