Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Revolutionary Snake Ensemble @ The Stone 5/22/11

Yup, it's time to get back to The Stone.  From the sample of 2 sets I've gotten for the Innova label curation these last 2 weeks in May are right up my alley!  This ensemble is fabulous and I'm happy to report you will get another chance in November when they are back for Cuneiform Records curation.

They do Ken Field's arrangements of other people's great songs.  I think I knew all the ones they did that night.  4 trombones, sax, trumpet, doable bass, electric bass, drums, and Kenny Wollesen in bass drum and percussion!  Horns, bass and percussion - you know it was awesome!  They did NOLA stuff, they did other stuff, it was all fantastic.

Ken Field’s Revolutionary Snake Ensemble
Alex Smith (electric bass) Blake Newman (acoustic bass) Joey Lefitz, Kenny Wollesen (drums) Alex Asher (trombone) Josh Roseman, Daniel Heath (trombone) Jerry Sabatini (trumpets) Ken Field (alto sax)
Boston saxophonist & composer Ken Field (Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, Willie Loco Alexander, Chandler Travis Philharmonic, Bridgman/Packer Dance, Sesame St) brings his improvisational brass band, with releases on Innova & Cuneiform, to NYC for their first area performance in 2 years. This special collaboration with guests Wollesen and Roseman will be recorded. Avant second line funk. http://www.revolutionarysnakeensemble.org/

Monday, May 30, 2011

Garage a Trois @ Brooklyn Bowl 5/21/11

I wasn't sure of the timing.  No opening band listed and it was going to be broadcast live on Sirius.  I didn't want to take any chances, so I got there right at 8.  That meant I had 2 drinks before they came on at 8:45.  They came on strong and it was awesome.  I didn't realize until about 1/2 way through the set the bathrooms were broken.  Uggh!

Anyway, it was a phenomenal show.  I love this band!  They all had me at various times - each was a designated MVP for a bit.  The 2nd set was even more outrageous!

They ended the set with a Ween song and opened the 3 song encore with a Deerhoof song.  The final encore song left us totally revved up and thrilled.

I previously mentioned the new album is phenomenal - I highly recommend it.

New Riders of the Purple Sage @ BBs 5/19/11

I've been curious for a while - simply because they have 2 members from Stir Fried.  When I read about them on the BBs listing and watched the video, I knew there was only about a 40% chance I would like it.  But I've been intrigues for a while and this was the night to get it out of my system.  It was only $20 (I forgot to check for extra discounts, perhaps it could have been even cheaper) and I didn't have to stay if I didn't like it.

It was OK.  I couldn't get past the vocals and couldn't get into it.  I gave it a few songs.  I'm happy I did because there was one good one that made it worth checking out.  I like the music and the drummer sang that one.  They had me dancing for sure.  I realized that song was as good as it was gonna get - they switched singers again and the next song definitely was not my thing.

I'm glad it's out of my system now and I hope Stir Fried plays again in Manhattan some day.

Blood Drum Spirit @ The Stone 5/19/11

I still can't believe it's been 6 months since I've been to The Stone.  There were some things I would have gone to, but it didn't work out.  I think it's been heavy on the electronics lately or something.  Well, the 2nd half of May is a good time to come back.

I was attracted to the name of the band.  I looked them up, and like what I've heard on-line.

It was great.  Jazz meets world.  The explanations of the pieces were fascinating, even though I couldn't follow the technical details.  They started with a piece influenced by Indian music.  Then they did something inspired by Ghana.  I can't remember the details around some of the other pieces.  The last one was a reinterpretation if Duke Ellington's "Caravan".

With the exception of a portion of one piece where the talking drum was played, and the drum head during a portion of another, they used regular modern jazz instruments;  drumkit, contrabass, sax and piano.  Is this concept awesome or what?

Their piano player recently lost his father, so they had a pianist/teacher from The New School step up and step in.

I'm interested to see this ensemble again.

blood drum spirit David Bindman (saxes) Wes Brown (contrabass) Art Hirahara (piano) Royal Hartigan (drumset, african percussion) blood drum spirit brings a new global vision to music, exploring deep into the world’s great traditions through the prism of live jazz performance. Ensemble members have lived, played and toured all over the planet, including four tours of China. We incorporate elements (such as asymmetrical time cycles and polyrhythms) from Asian, African, Native American, and other musical cultures into our compositions, interactions, and improvisations. http://www.blooddrumspirit.com/

Sunday, May 29, 2011

MMW @ WNYC 5/19/11

We got 3 songs of awesomeness!  While they were setting up, they did a short interview with Medeski, simply because the piano was ready to go.  Then they did an awesome Zorn piece from their Masada album.  Then, they interviewed Billy for a couple of minutes.  After that, they did an awesome traditional song they've played live but hadn't recorded until this year.  They are releasing 20 new tracks to celebrate 20 years together.

Next they interviewed Chris and then played an original.

The music was phenomenal.  The one interesting thing that came out of the interview is how they now describe their musical genre as "homeless music".

I also found it interesting it was called an acoustic show and Chris had a small bass plugged in to a pedal which was plugged in to an amp.  John and Billy were acoustic aside from mics.

I had a thought that this is still my favorite current band and Led Zeppelin is still my all time favorite band.  It would be so cool if MMW would do a whole show of re-interpreted Led Zeppelin songs!  I was very happy later at the tea tasting at the In Pursuit of Tea pop-up store, they played Led Zeppelin in the background the entire time!

Here's a link to the WNYC spot:

Garland Jeffreys & The Coney Island Playboys @ WNYC Soundcheck 5/19/11

15 years in Manhattan and I've never listened to or paid attention to any radio stations.  The only one I ever listen to on the internet is New Orleans WWOZ.  This must be the jazz station everyone says is great.  I mean, just the name, wNYC is cool as hell!

I found about this, saw it was on my Birthday and immediately bought a ticket and scheduled the day off.  My choice was affirmed when I realized I would be out late the night before AND Thursdays are free tea tastings with Sebastian at In Pursuit of Tea.  My favorite band AND great tea tasting on my Birthday, of course I'm taking off!

It was worth it for this show alone.  I didn't realize until the day before that MMW was sharing the hour with a singer-songwriter band I never heard of.  I did trust that they would be good enough to get 1/2 in a combined live radio show performance with MMW.  It WAS good enough!  I enjoyed the drums a lot.  I also really liked the lead guitar.  He had some interesting slide techniques.  The lead singer was good.  I was front row center so it got a little weird the couple of times he came off the stage to sing and dance around right in front of us in the front row.

It was interesting to see something different and it wasn't a bad use of my time.

Here's a link to the WNYC Soundcheck spot:

Mary Halvorson Trio @ LPR 5/18/11

This is an excellent double-header if you think about it.  I took the next day off, so I could stay up for this stellar trio.  While it thinned out somewhat, there was still a good amount of people remaining for this set that started at about a quarter to 12.  I'd been out all night, and that last drink was way strong, so I was a bit drunk.  While it wasn't my preference, I was only a bit drunk and still able to enjoy every note. It was phenomenal.  I loved how much bass action we got. it was well worth staying out for.

Mary Halvorson (guitar)
John Hebert (bass)
Ches Smith (drums)

Tiny Resisters @ LPR 5/18/11

I was so surprised this was first.  I know Mary is big, but so is Andrew Bird.  I'm actually glad because people need to know about this.  It was phenomenal.

Andrew is quite different from Jenny Scheinman, but great in his own right.

It was an all-star lineup in my opinion.  I would go to see any of them in anything.

It was so great to have both Steve Cardenas AND Jonathan Goldberger on guitar.  Steve really had me at various times.

Sometimes, I just had to groove on the drums.

I love LPR because it's easy to dance.  I needed that!

Alan Ferber was our only horn, but if you're only going to have one, it's a phenomenal choice!

It was just fabulous and it's ridiculous that I miss all those opportunities to see them in Brooklyn and 55 Bar.

John Ellis (sax & clarinet)
Alan Ferber (trombone)
Andrew Bird (violin & looping)
Steve Cardenas (guitar)
Jonathan Goldberger (guitar)
Ted Poor (drums & percussion)
Todd Sickafoose (bass & piano)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

JD Allen Trio @ LPR 5/18/11

It was my first free show with my LPR membership.  Someone suggested I get one when I mentioned how often I am there.  It's $50 and every month, there are about 10 or so shows that are free for members.  You give them your card every time you buy food or drinks.  Every time you accumulate another 50 points ($1 each), you get a free drink.  There are other rewards as you get higher accumulations during the year.  So far, I got this free show and 1 free drink and it's only been a couple of months!  I anticipate getting the whole $50 back at least.  If not, I'm content with supporting a place that books great music, has a box office and low ticket prices.

It started with the 10 minute film, "Victory".  I loved the music playing in the background, I had trouble listening to what was being said.  I had trouble getting interested.  I was surprised by that.  But, like I said, I enjoyed the music and some of the visual footage, so it was fine for me for 10 minutes.

Next we were treated to a 1.5 hour blown away phenomenal jazz trio set.  I didn't know it ahead of time, but it's exactly what I wanted.  It was fabulous and I was blown away by all of them.  I must say, they looked fabulous as well!  They all had on very sharp black suits and it added to the brilliance of seeing such a class act.

JD Allen Trio
CD Release of "Victory!"
w/ exclusive screening of Mario Lathan's short film "Victory!"
Wed., May 18, 2011 / 6:30 PM
Minimum Age: 18+
Doors Open: 6:30 PM
Show Time: 7:30 PM
This is a first-come, first-served partially seated event. Seating is limited and not guaranteed; please arrive early.

On May 17th Sunnyside Records will release the JD Allen Trio’s highly anticipated third release for the label, his 5th as a leader - VICTORY! featuring Allen’s longstanding trio with Allen on tenor sax, Gregg August on bass and Rudy Royston on drums.

The May 18th CD celebration at (Le) Poisson Rouge will include, along with a LIVE performance of music from Victory!, an exclusive viewing of the Mario Lathan short film, VICTORY!, which is embedded on the CD and gives an in depth look at Allen. The film plays an integral part of the recapitulation in the loosely-based sonata form, which the album is based. The JDA Trio performance will begin one long set as the screening comes to an end to exemplify the vision.

Mike Formenak @ Douglas St 5/14/11

I finally made it here.  It's easy to get to, it just takes a while.  It took me about an hour to get there and a little less to get home.  It's a small room that feels good.  I also see that it's right by Brooklyn Lyceum and Littlefield.

The music was excellent.  I don't recall seeing Jacob Sacks before.  He was amazing on piano.  I'm very familiar and love the other 3.  I especially liked the intense parts and the cacophonous parts, but it was all excellent.

May 14th 10PM – The Michael Formanek Quartet with Tim Berne, Jacob Sacks, and Gerald Cleaver at The 2nd Annual Gowanus Jazz Festival 2011 at the Douglass Street Music Collective

Friday, May 27, 2011

Warren Haynes Band @ Beacon Theatre 5/12/11

I had pre-ordered the CD, which was waiting for me at work when I got back from NOLA.  This was the first show of the tour. They did something in NOLA, but it was probably quite different due to all of the special guests.  I stuck that setlist at the bottom of this post.

Now, Warren is amazing and it's awesome to hear him any time.  I knew it wasn't going to be Mule-ish.  I also had an idea from the CD that it wasn't going to be funky, like I originally hypothesized based on the personnel.  It was Warren doing something a little different, but still great.

I enjoyed the 1st set a lot.  I do wish we heard more from Ruthie.  I think she could do some sort of vocals, like backup on most of the songs.

Nigel was pretty well contained and I enjoyed some of his playing.  I'd still rather someone else, but I could deal.  Danny Lewis sat in during the 2nd set.  It begs the question why didn't they get him instead of Nigel.

I thought they were going to knock our socks off the 2nd set.  All that talent up there, The Beacon, they probably got the album out of the way.  I was surprised it started with about 1/2 hour of solo Warren.  As it went on, I flashed back to sometime in the last 10 years when Warren was doing those solo gigs.  I remember thinking it was going to be The Warren Haynes Band and I was wondering who he would be playing with.  I was surprised it was just him, in a small room, and it wasn't the most danceable.  I can picture standing in the back, but I can't remember where it was.

Anyway, the solo set was good, it was just not the preferred timing for it.  Maybe it was on purpose, but it would have been nice if Warren would have opened for his band as an opening band.  He then could have shortened the regular sets if he wanted to.  Either that or he could have had Ruthie up there with him for the whole thing.  That would have made all the difference.  It was one of those "it was good but I had a different expectation of how it would go" things.  I'm sure jazzfest had a lot to do with it.  I mean, after being blown away and seeing so much amazing things you never get to see, I expected all future shows to be like that.  Still, it was a good solo mini-set.

When they got going again with the band, things got spectacular at times.

Overall, I loved it.  I do love Mule more, but I think this is just a special one-off project Warren is doing - similar to that time he did that solo touring.

The Beacon Theatre - New York, NY

Set 1:
Man In Motion
Rivers Gonna Rise
Sick of My Shadow
Your Wildest Dreams
A Friend To You
On A Real Lonely Night
Born Under A Bad Sign w/ William Bell
You Don't Miss Your Water w/ William Bell
Everyday Will Be Like A Holiday w/ William Bell

Set 2:
The Real Thing
In My Life
Back Where I Started
Old Friend
Save Me w/ Nigel Hall & Danny Louis
Beautifully Broken w. Danny Louis
Power & The Glory
Hattiesburg Hustle
Sneakin Sally Through The Alley
Tear Me Down

Grinnin' In Your Face->
Grinnin' In Your Face->
Feel Like Breaking Up Somebodies Home w/ Brad Whitford

Touring band:
Warren, Nigel Hall (keyboards/background vocals),Terence Higgins (drums), Ron Holloway (Saxophone), Ron Johnson (bass), Ruthie Foster (vocals)

Album personnel and a bit about the recording from the website:
‘Man In Motion' clocks in at over an hour, allowing for its ten tracks to breathe and develop, punctuated by a stellar rhythm section and sophisticated, moving solo guitar work from Haynes. The studio band includes Ivan Neville on background vocals and organ, Ian McLagan on piano, Ruthie Foster on background vocals, George Porter, Jr. on bass and Ron Holloway on saxophone. Haynes recorded the album at Willie Nelson's Pedernales Studios to two-inch tape with vintage tube microphones and everyone playing together in the same room. "We recorded it live to capture the emotion, passion, and spontaneity."

Mahalia Jackson Theatre - New Orleans, LA

Set 1:
Take A Bullet w/ George Porter Jr.
Beautifully Broken w/ George Porter Jr.
Power & The Glory
Ain't No Love w/ Walter Wolfman Washington
Use Me w/ Walter Wolfman Washington
Rivers Gonna Rise
Fire In The Kitchen
On Your Way Down w/ Trombone Shorty
Feel Like Breaking Up Somebodies Home w/ Trombone Shorty & Brian Stoltz

Set 2:
Grinnin In Your Face (Warren & Ruthie Foster)
John the Revelator w/ The Dirty Dozen Horns
Man in Motion w/ The Dirty Dozen Horn and Ivan Neville
Everyday Will be Like A Holiday w/ Ivan Neville
Sick of My Shadow w/ Ivan Neville
Soulshine w/ Bruce Katz
That's What Love Will Make You Do
St James Infirmary w/ Anders Osborne, Smoky Greenwell & Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Smokestack Lightning

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wicked Knee @ Sullivan Hall 5/11/11

Oh wow! This is an awesome Welcome Home show, I must say. I mean, 3 stellar brass artists meets Billy Martin! It had a Nola Brass Band feel at times, but it was quite different at the same time.

This was the CD release and they say their debut performance.  It's an EP and it's phenomenal. Is was only $5 and I love it.

Steven started with the cornet (or flugelhorn?). This reviewer of the 2nd show in Helsinki the next night refers to it as a "euphonium-shaped flugelhorn".  I think it might be a bass flugelhorn, maybe even a bass trumpet. This all caused me to look up the difference between trumpet, cornet, and flugelhorn.

Steven played a lot of trumpet during the set. He had his slide trumpet as well and we heard a good amount of that, too. I seemed to be enjoying the trumpet more than the slide this set. Although, there was a time when Steven and Curtis were sliding together and it was amazing. It was awesome to see the difference in the sounds between the 2 instruments.

Curtis was amazing. He played a wide range, but I loved his loud brass band ala NOLA style playing the best. The best of the best, I mean because it was all fabulous.

Marcus was so awesome! Holding down the bassline, holding the heavy tuba, and being very interesting. Billy mentioned how creative he is and how he can do anything. I flashed back to the fabulous solo performance I saw at The Stone. Then I flashed back to the time he did the whole set without a mouthpiece and he was awesome.

Most of the songs started with an amazing drum solo. I do remember one that started with tuba. Billy stayed on the kit and blew me away in each moment. This project has been a dream of his for a long time. He's played with these guys over the years but never the 4 of them as a band.

I did think of Dave Douglass' Brass Ecstasy. Mainly because they both are brass and drums. But, that's about it. They are both amazing in their own right. Fortunately, Brass Ecstacy usually has a jazz club run because if there is ever a dilemna of choosing between the 2 on a given night Wicked Knee would win out for me. This is much more of a get down band. Actually, Wicked Knee would be my choice up against almost anything.

Get the CD, get to the next show, you will be very happy.

ERIMAJ @ Jazz Standard 5/10/11

I thought it was fun to have John Ellis be the first live music I hear in NYC after jazzfest, since he was also the last I heard before I went.  All I saw was John Ellis, Jason Moran, and it had a bunch of people.  I didn't notice the vocalist, and that he had a big roll.

It started out with just the quartet, which was always on stage.  Drums, bass, piano, guitar.  It was fabulous.  Then we got some horn action.  It was nice to have sax and trombone.  John played the bass clarinet on a couple of pieces, which I always love.

I wasn't thrilled with so many vocals because they dominate.  Jamire sure liked them.  Still, the magnificence of the instruments came through and it was a good show.

Dr. Lonnie Smith was in the audience.  It turns out Jamire is his grandson.

I didn't think about it until I was almost home that I'd wanted to see Ben Perowsky, Sasha Dobson and Trevor Dunn at Doma.  Oh well, you can't go if you don't remember.

John Ellis – tenor saxophone
Corey King – trombone
Matt Stevens – guitar
Jason Moran – piano
Vicente Archer – bass
Jamire Williams – drums
Chris Turner – voice

ERIMAJ is largely comprised of musicians hailing from the American South including former New Orleans resident John Ellis and Houston natives Jason Moran and Jamire Williams (ERIMAJ is his first name backwards). Given these roots, it’s no wonder that ERIMAJ expertly delivers what New York Times critic Ben Ratliff described as “jazz that was intuitive about funk, a subtle music instigated by smart young Southerners in the North that didn’t undersell itself by going obviously abstract or retro.” This is a special “sneak peak” of the forthcoming release “Conflict of a Man.”

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Jazzfest Leg 6 @ Fairgrounds 5/8/11

This is it.  The grand finale of amazing musical adventure.  I finally prioritized the fest.  I wanted to go to Magnetic Ear that night at the Allways Lounge, but it turned out I needed rest for my early departure.  I booked the flight so that I could go to Monday Night Alive from the airport - it's that good.

I ended it with 2 notable acts and a smile on my face.

Punch Brothers were incredible.  I was itchy to travel after watching them for a while.  It was more due the sun.  I did the walkaround, which I love, enjoyed the Lagniappe stage for a bit and ended up back here.  I need to buy a ticket asap the next time I find out they are playing around here.  They always sell out.

Chris Thile mentioned what a good time they were having and thanks for having them.  I flashed back to the first time I ever saw him, when I got sucked into Nickel Creek one year at the Acura Stage.

The other band worth noting in my last leg is Robin & the Bluebirds at Lagniappe Stage.  There's no star next to them, but they were the last band I saw and I liked them enough to note them.

How many days til next year?

Jazzfest Leg 5 @ Fairgrounds 5/8/11

Bluerunners Reunion at Fais Do Do Stage was fun enough to hang out for a bit.  From the jazzfest listing
"A reunion of the original, 1980s lineup of The Bluerunners. A major influence on the modern era of Louisiana music, the groundbreaking line-up combined Cajun, roots and alternative rock into a heady stew that included frequent detours into rockabilly and zydeco. The original quartet and other Bluerunners members will celebrate the enduring legacy of their music.
The original line-up of The Bluerunners included Rob Savoy on bass, John Maloney on drums and washboard, Steven LeBlanc on drums and accordian, Mark Meaux on guitar, and Michael McBane on drums, guitars, and percussion."

Generationals at Lagniappe Stage were OK. I think I might like them more without the vocals.  Here's their bio for more on them.

I didn't know anything about Kid Rock, except that he is popular. There were moments when I was walking by (which I did a few times) that I liked what I heard.

Rebirth was great. I just like them even more in a club at night. Also, I overdid them one fest, I think as far back as 2002 or 2003. I also overdid then in NYC, so now I don't see them every time they come around even though I love them. To think, some locals see them practically every Tuesday at The Maple Leaf.

Jazzfest Leg 4 @ Fairgrounds 5/8/11

Papa Grows Funk kept pulling me over for a listen as I made the rounds.  Originally, I had no intention of seeing them.

Tabou Combo of Haiti was awesome.  Definitely my favorite Hatian act.  Here's an example of what they do.  From what I can tell on-line, the style is compas, a form of Haitian music.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tribute to Clyde Kerr, Jr @ jazz Tent 5/8/11

Thank you Andy!  I ran into him at Anders and he mentioned the sun was too much and he was going to sit in the tent and wait for this.  He never steers me wrong, so I left Julio y Cesar even though I was enjoying it to get on over to the Jazz Tent.

It was awesome!  Kidd Jordon was the leader, but it was quite an array of horns up there, spanning many NOLA genres.  Big Sam and Trombone Shorty were among them.  Lot of horns and a great flute and a great set.  So now I need to look up Clyde.

This was definitely one of the highlights.

Jazzfest Lag 2 @ Fairgrounds 5/8/11

I enjoyed Playing For Change at the Gentilly Stage.  I went over there twice in this leg.  Here's an article about the set.

Lost Bayou Ramblers at the Fais Do Do Stage were awesome.

I caught a little of Anders, but there was no reason to stay given I can see him at night in NYC from time to time.

I liked Julio y Cesar at the Lagniappe Stage.  I don't remember much except I liked it.

Jazzfest Leg 1 @ Fairgrounds 5/8/11

Rumba Buena at the Congo Square Stage was fun, even though I didn't stay long.  From the jazzfest listing:  "Rumba Buena (Latin)
Specializing in salsa and meringue, this band is made up of musicians who, pre-Katrina, played in groups like Los Babies and Los Sagitarios. It’s the brainchild of percussionist Johnny Marcia."

I liked Russell Batiste & friends for a minute but then it went soul jazz and I had to go.

I thought I'd be making the rounds for a while but I got stopped in the Blues Tent at Mem Shannon & the Membership and had to stay for the rest of the set.  It was awesome.  My legs were sore, so I just chair danced.  It was blues gone funky.

Word of the Day: canon

Sentence: “The work of composer/improvisor/percussionist Lukas Ligeti may appear confusing to some observers, but the disparate activities that populate Ligeti’s oeuvre have an intriguing way of complementing each other. Is he a composer or improviser? Does he belong to the canon of classical music, or is he part of a lineage of American experimentalists? Is he a new-music composer, an avant-garde jazz drummer, or perhaps even an African pop musician? In a way, he is all of the above, often at the same time. And one of these interests is: what will happen to a musical idea if it is introduced into different stylistic areas, treated by musicians of different backgrounds?” - James Ilgenfritz III, liner notes, “Pattern Time” CD

American Heritage Dictionary (12 definitions)
An ecclesiastical law or code of laws established by a church council.
A secular law, rule, or code of law.
An established principle: the canons of polite society.
A basis for judgment; a standard or criterion.
The books of the Bible officially accepted as Holy Scripture.
A group of literary works that are generally accepted as representing a field: "the durable canon of American short fiction” ( William Styron).
The works of a writer that have been accepted as authentic: the entire Shakespeare canon.
The part of the Mass beginning after the Preface and Sanctus and ending just before the Lord's Prayer.
The calendar of saints accepted by the Roman Catholic Church.
Music A composition or passage in which a melody is imitated by one or more voices at fixed intervals of pitch and time.
A member of a chapter of priests serving in a cathedral or collegiate church.
A member of certain religious communities living under a common rule and bound by vows.

These problems become more obvious when the focus of the anthology touches on the idea of canon in some way—the most brain-exploding SF of all time, for example, or the early stories of iconic writers.
— Anthologies: A Readers Point of View

"Academics are the only people who talk about the 'canon' " - Grossman She thinks the "canon" will vary by country and culture. — PEN REPORTS: DAY TWO
Scripture is a collection of books written in most cases by people who did not know each other; what each meant severally is not necessarily the same, and in many cases probably is not the same, as what their statements mean when interpreted in light of the rest of the canon, which is in turn a lot closer to what the Holy Spirit intended to convey. — Prof. Carson vs. the Protestants on the 'plain meaning of Scripture'

▸a generally accepted rule more...
▸a list of writers, musicians, etc. whose work is generally accepted or studied more...
▸all the writing, music, etc. that is generally accepted as the work of one writer, musician, etc. more...
▸a Christian priest who works in a cathedral more...
▸a type of music in which different instruments or voices start the same series of notes, one after another more...

canon - In art, the body of unquestionably important artists (DWMs — dead white males) and works. Until recently the canon was seldom challenged, and changed at a sluggish pace. Now it's being relentlessly challenged by art historians and critics recovering forgotten and ignored artists (especially by women, non-whites, and outsiders) both within and outside the Western world. The scope of what is considered art has been widening as new fields, including photography, performance art, video, crafts, and design, are added to what amounts to an ever-increasing canon. Postmodernism, however, has put in question the very idea of an irreducible list of masters and masterpieces. So, when referring to the canon today, one should specify what sort of canon one means.


A musical form in which a tune is imitated by individual parts at regular intervals; known as a round when each part is continuously repeated. In simple examples, such as "London Bridge is Falling Down," the successive voices enter at a same pitch and at the same speed. In more elaborate examples, such as the canons in J.S. Bach's keyboard work known as the Goldberg Variation, the voices may enter at different pitches and present the tune at different speeds or even backwards or upside down.

canon (1) "church law," O.E., from L.L. canon, in classical L., "measuring line, rule," from Gk. kanon "any straight rod or bar; rule; standard of excellence," perhaps from kanna "reed" (see cane). Taken in ecclesiastical sense for "decree of the Church," and as such passed through L.L. to O.E. General sense of "standard of judging" is from c.1600.

canon (2) "clergyman," c.1200, from Anglo-Fr. canun, from O.N.Fr. canonie (Fr. chanoine), from L.L. canonicus "clergyman living under a rule," from L. canonicus (adj.) "according to rule" (in ecclesiastical use, "pertaining to the canon"), from Gk. kanonikos, from kanon (see canon (1)).

Vidocovch/Densen/Benevento @ Siberia 5/7/11

I tore myself away from the Hi Ho for a bit to catch some of this awesomeness.  Johnny brings the very best out of Karl.  Is this a trio that never was before?  It was awesome and I loved every second I got.  It ended a little early, though.  Maybe 3:30, maybe a little later.  They seemed fully up for an encore, but I was the one and only person asking for it.  Really.  I screamed a couple of times, hoping to generate some enthusiasm from the other atendees, but it was to no avail.  Oh well, that's the way it goes.  It wasn't that big a deal since McTuff was still on playing strong.

Johnny Vidacovich  drums
Marco Benevento   organ
Karl Denson sax

McTuff @ Hi Ho Lounge 5/7/11

I heard of this Seattle band that Skerik sometimes plays with from this guy's blog.  I was psyched when I realized they had some NOLA gigs scheduled.  It was also right by another club with something else I needed to see, so no contest.  It took me a while to get over to that other show because this one was so good.  It's grooving, funky and at the top of it's genre.  The guitar player is phenomenal.  Skerik and Brad Houser both played for quite a while and both were amazing.  I came back after the Siberia show ended and the trio just kept going.  I left at 5am to the sounds of great music.  I picked up a CD that I've been enjoying since I got home.

"Joe Doria, Andy Coe, and D'Vonne Lewis, a few of the best from Seattle's incredible music scene, come together to create a powerful and jaw-dropping take on a soul jazz trio like you've never heard. "

"Joe Doria captains the Hammond Organ, the impeccable Andy Coe on guitar, the incredible Dvonne Lewis on drums, and when scheduling permits, "Skerik" on tenor sax."

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Brother Josepheus @ Blue Nile Upstairs 5/7/11

I mentioned in a previous post, I wanted to see some of Wambish!, but I was held captive because they didn't have $10 change from my $20.  I caught the last few seconds and wished I had thought to go in earlier.
Wimbash !
Doug Wimbish
Corey Glover
Khris Royal and Dark Matter
with Special Guests

Anyway, Brother Joscephus and the Love Revival Orchestra were awesome.  Horns, funky gospel, great singers ... All the ingredients for a good time.  I couldn't stay for the whole thing, but what I saw was fantastic. 

They are doing a brunch tomorrow, 5/22 at LPR.  It was tempting, but I'm usually disappointed in the food at LPR.  If I'm starving, I can find something, but I just know going in it's mediocre.  Also, I like going to the gym at that time on a Sunday.

The Davis Rogan Band @ The Spotted Cat 5/7/11

I didn't even have to go in.  I mean, I didn't mind paying the $5 cover, it was just crowded and loud talking in there.  I had fun dancing and listening and seeing from right outside the door.  It was awesome.

Whoa!  I didn't realize it was Treme's Davis Rogan!  It was a good jazz band!  I can't find the personnel, but it was either a trio or a quartet.

I must say, I'm having a ball trying to research info after the fact to fill in the holes from my memory!  This trombone solo from The Davis Rogan Band at the Spotted Cat last year is just something to be shared!  Some lagniappe, if you will:


Brass Band @ Frenchman St 5/7/11

It was fun hanging out on Frenchman.  This band has been playing outside on the street for a while.  It was a lot of fun and you couldn't help but dance.

I mentioned it to Jim the next day.  He know who they were and said they've been playing on Frenchman for a while now.  I'm sorry to say I don't remember their name.  It might be this one

Oh yes!  Here's a blogger with a snippet about the brass band AND the Doug Wambish show I had just missed (see my next post).

Here's the portion of the blogger's post.  Follow this link for more about her jazzfest experience this year.

"Jazz Fest isn’t just about the music on the racetrack grounds. Throughout the week, every venue in the city is booked with bands until the wee hours. Saturday, we made our way to the Blue Nile on Frenchman Street to see Connecticut band Wimbash featuring Corey Glover and bass player Doug Wimbish, both of Living Color. I’d been told that Wimbish was the finest bass player around but hearing is believing. I’m a sucker for anyone who can find new ways to play a traditional instrument and Wimbish has mastered his instrument to the point of reinvention. I’m loathe to compare anyone to Hendrix, but when the inventiveness and talent fits… He was truly remarkable and it was nothing less than an honor to witness his ability.

The band played many covers from Grandmaster Flash to James Brown but could never be confused with a cover band. They were able to roll seamlessly from a lyric-less version of The Treme Song into 80′s anthem White Lines. Speaking as a former nightclub DJ who understands beat-mixing, it was impressive. They invited trumpeter Maurice Brown to join the band onstage and we were treated to yet another virtuoso. I asked Maurice if he lived here, but now residing in New York, he was another wonderful thing lost in The Storm. Come back, Maurice!

Frenchman Street was packed when the show let out. Crowds spilled from sidewalks out onto the street and drivers could go no more than 2 miles per hour. A brass band with 2 sousaphones played on the corner, the first I’ve seen that late at night since the new police chief put an end to street bands after 8 pm. We stayed a moment, danced in the street, but had to rest up for the last day of Jazz Fest."

Punch Brothers @ Blue Nile 5/7/11

I woke up!  Great because I really wanted to see some of this.  I keep mssing them in NYC.  I mis-timed it so I only got the last 1/2 hour but it was awesome.  It was a good, listening crowd.  They are incredibly talented and I love the music.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Jazzfest Leg 6 @ Fairgrounds 5/7/11

I mainly went back and forth between Trombone Shorty and Mystikal.  They were both fun, with Shorty being a little closer to my thing.  I heard last year Mystikal played with Trombone Shorty at Shorty's set and it worked well.  I would love to see that!

I stayed for a portion of DJ Soul Sister.

I did walkbys for The Strokes and Jimmy Buffet and must say neither appeal to me.  It was time to get some rest.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Jazzfest Leg 5 @ Fairgrounds 5/7/11

... That's right!  5 sousaphones after 5 baritones earlier was a nice revival mechanism.  I couldn't stay for the whole thing due to the baking in the sun, but I thoroughly enjoyed the 1st half of Kirk Joseph's Tuba Tuba at the Jazz & Heritage Stage.  There were 4 at first and then the 5th made it from some difficult journey.  Loved it.  And, here's a more detailed review.

I didn't just move on because of the sun.  I really wanted to see Kora Konnection at the Lagniappe Stage.  That was wonderful. 

From the Kora Konnection website:
"Kora Konnection is an exotic blend of West African Mandinka music and Jazz Improvisation.   It has a unique sound that spans the cultures of two continents. The band is led by two griots (oral historians): Morikeba Kouyate, a kora (African harp) master from Senegal, and Thierno Dioubate, a balafon and djembe master from Guinea. Kora Konnection includes two of the  finest jazz musicians in the city of New Orleans, Tim Green on saxophone and Vince Mitchell on  bass. Kora Konnection ‘s architect, and heartbeat of the ensemble, is African percussionist Jeff “Papafrog” Klein .   Read more on the Band’s  Biography Page Here."

Jazzfest Leg 4 @ Fairgrounds 5/7/11

I went by Voice of the Wetlands and MyNameIsJohnMichael but neither grabbed me.  I liked RAM of Haiti for a little bit.

This hour was a little slow and I found myself wearing down.  It didn't take much to get revived ...

Baritone Bliss @ Jazz Tent 5/7/11

Blissful indeed!  I didn't know Tony Dagradi and Tim Green play baritones.  There were 5 of them in total and it was fantastic.  I stayed for the whole set and loved every minute of it.

Here's a nice, detailed review.

The listing:
Baritone Bliss feat. Roger Lewis, Tony Dagradi, Tim Green, Calvin Johnson, Dan Oestricher, Mari Watanabe, and Herlin Riley
Roger Lewis, who’s best-known as the baritonist for the Dirty
Dozen Brass Band debuts a new ensemble, Baritone Bliss,
featuring himself and Tim Green, Dan Oestreicher, Tony Dagradi
and Calvin Johnson on baritone saxes, plus drummer Herlin Riley
and pianist Mari Watanabe.

Jazzfest Leg 2 @ Fairgrounds 5/7/11

I got sucked in to the Jazz Tent by Sharon Martin and her fabulous band for a bit.  She has more of a blues voice singing jazz.  I can't find her band members, but I remember loving the instruments.

Then I dropped by Marcia Ball for a bit.  She was fabulous.

Ernie Vincent & the Top Notes were great in the Blues Tent.

I spent the remainder of this leg at the Lagniappe stage watching the fantastic John Lawrence & Ven Pa' Ca Flamenco Ensemble.  When I was there, we had one great female dancer.  It got very interesting when she danced on just her heels.  Here's a good detailed review of that performance.  Awesome, it even has the personnel:  "Lawrence and his ensemble --- percussionist Dave Sobel, dancer Leticia Jimenez and singer Marisa Rodriguez ..."  I really want to explore the flamenco festival in NYC and get to know it's diversity.

Jazzfest Leg 1 @ Fairgrounds 5/7/11

I started my morning off with some Latin courtesy of Vivaz!  I think they are local and I remember enjoying them at the fest last year.  Just hearing that soundbite on their site makes me realize I need to get some Latin music soon!

I then went over to the Blues Tent and caught a little of Troy Turner.

Bear Creek Allstars @ One Eyed Jacks 5/6/11

I knew there was still time to get to this.  It was great and much fun.  Skerik, Kirk Joseph, Ivan Neville, Eric Krasno and  Alan Evans.

It was fun and easy to be out til 5 in the Big Easy.

Here's something from it on youtube and here's another one.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Marco, George, Brian, Adam @ Parish 5/6/11

I didn't get up in time for anything earlier, but this 2am show is what I especially wanted to see.  Oh wow!  This is the real deal!  It was a grooving funkdown like no other.  At first it was all instrumental and fabulous.  Later they pulled out many awesome old school covers.

I need to get a set list - please let one exist.  Yeah!  I got what I wanted on jambands.com and reproduced it below.

At one point, George was so happy with us, he asked if we were suggesting they make this a band.  Hell Yeah!  The world needs this band!

Superjam feat. Marco Benevento, George Porter Jr., Brian Stoltz and Adam Deitch @ House of Blues Parish

From the jambands review mentioned above.  Wow, I thought there were even more covers.  It was as fabulous as if it were so:

"The late night portion of New Orleans’s JazzFest is known for its superjams and this year’s festival was no different. Friday night the House of Blues’ Parish hosted a superjam that brought together Brian Stoltz (guitar), Marco Benevento (keyboards), Adam Deitch (drums) and George Porter Jr. (bass). The ad hoc band offered two sets of completely improvised, mostly instrumental music. Most of the evening’s consisted of freeform jams, though Deitch weaved into a version of Jimi Hendrix’s “Fire” with Stoltz supplying lead vocals while Benevento slipped an instrumental version Ce Lo Green’s “F**k You. The group also performed War’s 'Why Can’t We Be Friends.'"

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Jazzfest Leg 5 @ The Fairgrounds 5/6/11

I only had one more hour left in me.  I did something to my foot earlier, so I had lots of feet challenges for the duration of the trip, but I usually only noticed it at the fest.

Better Than Ezra - who are they better than?  They did nothing for me.

The SteelDrivers caught me at the Fais Do Do Stage for a bit.

In spite of hurting feet, I had to get down for a bit at Big Sam's Funky Nation.  That was great.

I did a little walk by Alex McMurray on my way out.  I wasn't going to attempt to stick around for Willie Nelson.

Yeah, a lackluster day at the fest means less mentionable and only 3 acts with stars next to it.  Still better than an average day.  Also, I wanted to make sure I had energy for the night.

Jazzfest Leg 4 @ Fairgrounds 5/6/11

I caught a little of Bonerama and a little more of Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers.  I appreciated Kermit more than ever before.  I always liked him, it was just the music style that I'm not that into.

Caught a couple of minutes of Stanton, although I didn't stay long enough to see who else he had in his Trio at the Lagniappe Stage.

Then came reason #2 for being out in the sun.  Luther Kent, oh my!  The Blues tent was pretty ridiculous.  I counted 9 horns!  It was really awesome.  I wonder if that set was recorded, it was great.

Monday, May 16, 2011

David Torkanowsky's Fleur Debris @ Jazz Tent 5/6/11

I walked into the tent when they were onstage, but hadn't started playing yet.  I was surprised to see George Porter Jr and Joseph Zigaboo Modeliste on stage.  Have I ever seen them in the Jazz Tent before?  I got the answer, that this was both of their first time in the Jazz Tent later when David introduced them.  It was a very special treat to see George and Zig play jazz.  It got even better when Aaron Fletcher from LA played that alto.  David said he plays with lots of people.  I will have to check into him.  David blew me away as he always does.  I wish Warren tapped him instead of Nigel.

So, it was already awesome, and then he brings Nicolas Payton out for the last 2!  Fabulous!

This was definitely the highlight of my day.  I have to admit, it was a little lackluster of a fest day overall, and this one made it especially worthwhile coming out.

Check out this awesome review of the set.

Jazzfest Leg 2 @ Fairgrounds 5/6/11

I got caught at the Electrifying Crown Seekers in the Gospel Tent.  They were fun.

Next I enjoyed myself at The Soul Rebels Brass Band.  I wanted to catch them the night before, but I didn't make it.  I really love them, especially at night.

I spent a few minutes listening to Edie Brickell

Jazzfest Leg 1 @ Fairgrounds 5/6/11

We Landed on the Moon looked good, I just wasn't in the mood for the Indie genre. I instead spent some time at Michael Skinkus & Moyuba. I like the African-influenced concept. I could feel the music, but it wasn't blowing me away that day.  The jazzfest site listing says "Percussionist Skinkus, who, for the last 20 years has added rhythms to various New Orleans groups of different musical genres, formed this band in 2002 in order to utilize Yoruba sacred songs and Cuban rhythms as a base for his original material."  I love how diverse the musicians are in NOLA.  I want to see a Skinkus night show sometime.

I did walk by the very end of We Landed on the Moon, and realized I should have probably given it more time to grab me. They really are good. I found a review of the performance here.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Jazzfest Leg 5 @ Fairgrounds 5/5/11

Amanda Shaw and the cute guys was phenomenal.  I need to see her at a night gig sometime.  She and her band are awesome.  I believe she plays violin on Treme.  I think every time we hear Annie, it's actually Amanda.

Djakout #1 of Haiti was good.  It couldn't hold me, but I wasn't against what I heard.

The James Booker Piano Tribute in the Blues Tent was phenomenal.  Joe Krown blew me away.  I couldn't get to the whole thing, but I loved what I got.  Joe Krown is going to be at Sullivan Hall on 5/27, and I just might have to check it out.

Cyndi Lauper was good.  I have to admit her voice pitch isn't to my liking, but she has a great voice AND a great band.  She had Charlie Musselwhite in her band.  It's a blues band.  I don't know if she did any of her hits that people in the crowd were shouting out.

I did the walkaround before leaving at about 6:30.  I caught a little Wilco, some Maceo Parker, heard Ruthie Foster belting it out from the Blues Tent and thoroughly enjoyed the Three Stooges Brass Band at the Jazz & Heritage stage.

I was basically at the Fairgrounds 11-6:30 and out til 3:30 the night before.  I ended up sleeping through most of the night.  That was good so I could rest up for a full fest day.

Jazzfest Leg 4 @ Fairgrounds 5/5/11

The fest was honoring Haiti, which has a lot of representation in New Orleans.  They had a tent near the Congo Square stage with art, voodoo altars, and exhibits.  AND, they had drummers!  I was fortunate to be around for one of the Haiti Voodoo Drums scheduled things.  They had a tip bucket and it was fun dancing to drums.

Charlie Musselwhite in the Blues tent was awesome.  I got to see him again briefly at the Gentilly Stage with Cyndi Lauper

John Rankin was good and worth mentioning.  All I remember is I liked it.  Brian told me later that Johnny Vidocovich was on drums.  I didn't even notice, but it probably contributed to why I liked it!  And, great, he actually tells us who he played with on his site:  John Vidacovich, Jesse Boyd, and Tom Fischer. 

I must admit I hate it when it's hard to find out who the sidemen were for anything.  Whether it's a CD I'm thinking of buying or a show I want to go to.  I realize it's because in jazz sidemen are as important as the leader.  However, it all comes down to the manner it is marketed.  Traditionally, personnel in jazz is marketed by noting all the members while other stuff tends to be about the one lead person.  At least I have the Internet where persistency often pays off in finding out what I want to know.

Jazzfest Leg 3 @ Fairgrounds 5/5/11

Brice Winston in the Jazz Tent was phenomenal.  I've seen him many times with Terrence Blanchard.  His own band is just as good.  I don't remember who was in it, but they were on the same caliber if not the same people as on his CD:  Derrick Hodge, Aaron Parks, Kendrick Scott.  At some point, he brought Terrence out to sit in during his set.  It was awesome.

It sounded great in the Economy Hall Tent with Lino Patruno and Frances Nero, Forever Blues From Italy.  I didn't stay long, but I liked it.  I was able to translate the info on the website.  I saw Craig Klein up there so I thought they might be local transplants, but not so:

From 3rd to 8th of May Lino Patruno was invited to represent Italy at the Jazz & Heritage Festival in New Orleans and has been a great success especially with regard to the two soloists Italian, Fabrizio Cattaneo Mauro Carpi on trumpet and violin. On the occasion of the festival was also screened the film "Forever Blues" by Franco Nero who has availed himself of Lino Patruno for the construction of a soundtrack. We remember the other soloists who have been part of the U.S. group Patruno: Craig Klein (trombone, vocals), Tom Hook (piano, vocals), Chris Sharkey (bass), David Hansen (drums)."

For the video for "Forever Blues" click here.

New Orleans Bingo Show - I don't get the fuss.  I never give it much time, but I'm all about the music and not into the fanfare.

Zigaboo sounded good.  I didn't stay for the whole thing, but it was nice to get some Zig.

Jazzfest Leg 2 @ Fairgrounds 5/5/11

I briefly checked out The Help at the Lagniappe Stage.  I just keep wondering why New Wave doesn't do anything for me.

Sasha Mazakowski is Steve's daughter and a jazz singer.  She had a great band and the music was outstanding.  However, Sasha has that jazz voice style that I don't care for, so I didn't stay too long.  The band was probably this one I found on her facebook page.
Sasha Masakowski & Musical Playground:
Sasha Masakowski- vocals, composer, arranger
James Westfall- keys, composer, arranger, musical mastermind, major league baseball pro, BBQ guru
Jasen Weaver- bass, arranger, embodiment of funkadelic ignorant-ass bliss
Nick Solnick- percussion, drums, arranger, Brazilian drum machine, puts the Soul in Solnick
Julian Addison- drums, arranger, God of the Groove, Sade's favorite drummer

Linnzi Zaorski was a whole other thing.  Great jazz vocalist with another great band.  She has clarinet, guitar, violin and upright and trumpet.  Her voice and music style were different from Sasha's.  Sasha was in the Jazz Tent while Linnzi was in the Economy Hall Tent.  I tend to like vocals in the Economy Hall Tent.  Here's a review I found of the jazzfest performance.

I was intrigued by the name and description of Eagle & Hawk, sceduled to play the Gentilly Stage.  I got caught there for quite a while.  It's a great rock band that incorporates their Native American ancestry into the music.  I do think they need to settle down about audience participation.  It got a little annoying that they kept asking is everybody ok? And continually demanding a response.  I left toward the end of the set.  That was good because they tried to get the crowd to do a call and response singalong.  They were very much into and enjoying the music, but obviously not up to the singalong.  So, we got silence any time it was their turn.  I think it would be great if the band could adapt when the crowd doesn't want to participate in the requested manner.  I'm glad I left when I did because I thoroughly enjoyed it while I was there.

I would love to see Eagle & Hawk again.  They are from Canada.  I hope they get to NY someday or I happen to be in the right place at the right time.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Jazzfest Leg 1 @ Fairgrounds 5/5/11

I was pretty much at the fest all day every day 2nd weekend.  The weather was wonderful, the music was awesome and it felt so good to be there.  It seems appropriate this year to chop up the experience into several posts.  A "leg" is around an hour.  I'm mentioning anything I noted was worth mentioning, but I must admit I have a short memory for some of it.

I got there a little before 11, which was perfect to get my bearings.  I started off the fest with some afrobeat courtesy of Gov't Majik - the Dirty South Afrobeat Orchestra.  They were awesome!

Next I caught a  little of Ovi-G & the Froggies at the Lagniappe Stage.  I don't remember much, except noting I wanted to mention it.  Here's what the Offbeat listing says:  "Pianist and singer Ovidio 'Ovi-G' Giron formed this New Orleans band to perform the soca and marimba music that he grew up hearing in Guatamala". 

Next I had a great time at BRW.  The band was phenomenal.  It was one of the highlights of the day and well worth coming out early.

Garage a Trois @ Howlin Wolf 5/4/11

I love seeing them my first night in town.  There were some incredible moments with that band.  They just put out a new CD/album.  I have since then gotten home and I've listened to it a few times now. It's awesome!  There is 1 new song that especially had me going.  It's different from anything I've seen them do and it's phenomenal.  It is "Assault On Precinct 13" by John Carpenter.  It's from a film.   I checked out the soundtrack on-line and I love the GAT version.  I love the whole CD.  There was one other song by Mike Dillon that I especially loved, but I'm not sure which one right now.  They played it that night as well.

I must admit, as great as this show was it felt a little flat compared to what I know they are capable of.  I mean, I was still blown away at many moments, there were just some that felt a little flat. that's very unusual.  Usually every moment is mind-blowing.  I probably needed sleep.

It turned for me when they started that John Carpentersong .  Then the old songs got great, too.  I mean great!  Then, I irritated myself when Nigel jumped on the keys.  I think he did it impulsively, uninvited.  But, part of the reason I don't like him is because he's so demanding of people's attention.  It's annoying.  He couldn't stop playing during the solos.  I thought he was ruining it, but I know I'm being harsh

I left a little before the end, around 3:20.  It was great and I was satisfied.  It was a great first day, I just could have done without Nigel is all.

Marco Benevento Trio @ Howlin Wolf 5/4/11

When Skerik told us Marco was next he said something like, If you are playing roulette, it doesn't matter if you bet on red or black, Marco is always a good bet.  Something like that.  It's true!  This trio would appeal to many many people.  Whether your thing is jazz, rock, jammy, whatever, if you like music you would appreciate Marco's trio.

I'm fortunate I get so many opportunities to see it.  I ended up listening outside for a large portion of the set.  It was great, it was just nice to be outside on such a nice night.  I did go back in for the last couple, and it was awesome inside as well.  He played with Reed Matthis and John Speice, the drummer from the Hairy Apes.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Illuminasti Quartet @ Howlin Wolf 5/4/11

Skerik, James Singleton, Mike Dillon and Steven Bernstein!  I got there at around 11:30 and they were on.  They were on!  This was perfect.  Sometime in there, Mark Sutherland joined them with his bag of instruments. I love it when Skerik and Mark play together! 

At one point, Skerik reached into the bag and pulled out 2 instruments made out of coiled tubes with a sax reed at the end.  They were very interesting and made different sounds depending on how they moved the tube parts.  They were equally interesting just playing more normal looking saxophones.

Mike would move around to various instruments throughout the course of the set.  I liked the tablas a lot.  Sometimes he's go to the vibes, but he was most often on the kit.

This was my only James Singleton appearance.  I wanted to get to some of his other things, especially his orchestra at Zeitgeist on Sat night, but sleep won out.   This year, I prioritized the fest over the night, but got some amazing night shows anyway.

This set was awesome and made me very happy!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Nine Lives @ le Petite Theatre du Vieux Carre 5/4/11

First there was the book by Dan Baum.  I'm only halfway done, but it is phenomenal.  It really gives a great flavor of NOLA and the people.

Next there's a great CD where Paul Sanchez and Coleman DeKay composed all of this great music around the book.  I've only listened to it a couple of times, because I'd rather read the book first.  I see a blog about the project is up.

Now there is a theatre production that debuted for 1 night so far.  At first, it was just one show, but the demand was there so they added another one at 10pm and I had an advance ticket.

It was great.  I could only stay for the first act, it was just too early in my trip to be sitting, I mean I was even on a plane earlier.  It was perfect because it was all about the parts of the book I already read.  I didn't want to stay for the 2nd set until I read it.  I will have to make sure I get another opportunity.

The show was mainly the musicians and vocalists doing the CD, with some narration and a screen with pictures.  I thought it was going to be more like a musical.  It was great, and hopefully it will get big and popular and come to Broadway.

Garage a Trois @ Louisiana Music Factory 5/4/11

They were going on a little late and I just rolled into town and was hungry and craving a margarita.  I went over to Felipe's, where the tacos and margaritas are stellar.  I was served by the guy that just won the margarita contest from the night before.  It was a big deal and he won a trip to Mexico.  I also got that another great place for margaritas in Nola is Lucy's, which is on the way to Howlin Wolf.  I didn't make it this trip, but will try another time.

Anyway, armed with a frozen margarita to go, after spending a mere $10 on 2 amazing tacos and 2 margaritas and leaving a good tip due to the discount, I made my way around the corner to the in-store performance.

It was packed and there was no way I was going to squeeze my way through there.  Instead, I got myself a sweet spot right outside the door where I could dance and hear great and put down my enormous bag.  The music was great.  They went on moments before I got there and played for about a half hour.

It was time to check in and take a nap.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

John Ellis's Mobro @ Jazz Gallery 4/29/11

Score another one for a fantastic commissioned large ensemble work composed by John Ellis at The Jazz Gallery!  And, they were calling it a work in progress, so it's going to be fun to watch it evolve.  What I saw was fabulous and complete enough for me to leave very happy and satisfied.

He collaborated with Andy Bragen, the librettist he worked with when he did the dreamscapes project.  This ensemble includes 4 vocalists which I could handle.  They came up when it was time and also sat down a lot.  When any of them were on stage, the voice was another instrument, sometimes singing words, sometimes not.  It worked and it was appropriate.

The music and musicians were all fantastic.  I put the listing with the concept below.  It was fun how they used electronics to create the feeling of being on the barge.  It was probably over 90 min of music so they had to cut the last piece, Celebration very short.  It was very NOLA brass bandish and great for my last live music before I head down to jazzfest.

John Ellis - reeds, Mike Moreno - guitar, Ryan Scott- guitar, Joe Sanders - bass, Rudy Royston - drums
Shane Endsley - trumpet, John Clark - french horn, Josh Roseman - trombone, Alan Ferber - trombone
Jo Lawry, Becca Stevens, Miles Griffith, Sachal Vasandani, and Chris Turner - vocals

John's own words announcing the show on his mailing list:
I'm mostly writing to announce this one thing:  drop what you're doing this weekend and come see us at the Jazz Gallery this weekend.  I enlisted a bunch of my favorite musicians and created another wild collaboration with playwright Andy Bragen.  Join us at 9 and 10:30 this Friday and Saturday (yes, that means tomorrow night).
Andy and I got our inspiration for this piece from the journey of the Mobro 4000, a barge filled with garbage that went on a 7-month journey in 1987, from Long Island to North Carolina, New Orleans, Mexico, Belize, before finally returning to Brooklyn to be incinerated.  It's a wild story.
We also took some inspiration from the garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean.  If you haven't heard about this one and really want to be terrified, check this out.
Our piece features a band of enormous talent, and I'm so privilieged to have them all involved:
Jo Lawry, Sachal Vasandani, Becca Stevens, and Miles Griffith will be singing.
Alan Ferber and Josh Roseman are joining us on trombones.
Shane Endsley will be on trumpet, and John Clark on horn
Mike Moreno and Ryan Scott will be on guitars, Rudy Royston on drums, and Joe Sanders on bass.
We'll also have Roberto C. Lange - Electronics and Noise making Devices
I've been in residency this month at the Jazz Gallery, and I've been very grateful to have access to the space there to write and think.  If you haven't become a member yet, I hope you might consider it sometime.  Their support facilitates a lot of great work in New York that might not happen otherwise.

Charlie Hunter/Bobby Previte @ Jazz Standard 4/28/11

It was awesome of course. Bobby Previte is amazing. I love Charlie on the 7-string guitar. It was so much fun!

Charlie Hunter – 7-string guitar
Bobby Previte – drums (4/28)
Adam Cruz – drums (4/29)
Eric Kalb – drums (4/30)
Shawn Pelton – drums (5/1)

From his seven–string instrument to album titles like Gentlemen, I Neglected To Inform You, You Will Not Be Getting Paid, Charlie Hunter has always “traveled to the beat of a different drum.” This week, the virtuoso guitarist will perform in a series of duos accompanied by four of the top percussionists on the contemporary scene. Bobby Previte moved to New York City in 1979, has since worked with everyone from John Medeski to William Shatner and “can break your heart with one cymbal crash.” (The Village Voice) A creative force on the international jazz scene for the last two decades, Adam Cruz “pairs flawless technique and a crystalline touch with a level of prophetic intuition that is awe-inspiring!” (Modern Drummer) With his mastery of a deep groove “pocket,” Eric Kalb has recorded with John Scofield and Melvin Sparks, among others. Millions of television viewers have heard Shawn Pelton’s powerhouse drumming with the “Saturday Night Live” band, in which he’s played a key role since 1992. Don’t miss this “drummer’s delight” weekend with Charlie Hunter at Jazz Standard