Friday, February 25, 2011

Bustle In Your Hedgerow @ Brooklyn Bowl 2/24/11

I was actually contemplating not going to this.  Absurd!  I only did the 1st set and the 1st couple of the 2nd and I got home by 11 with a ticket for the next night in my possession.  I love Led Zeppelin more than I can possibly express.  I love this band doing the music of Led Zep.  Think about amazing musicians playing the best music, sticking to it, but with their own influence put in.

I saw something on Hidden Track about leaving a comment about who you would want to see sit in.  I honestly couldn't think of anyone at that time.  It came to me during the show that the one person I would love to have is Robert Plant.  I remember being annoyed that most of the comments were about singers, and I love that they have no singers.  I still really do, but it would be awesome to have them do it with Robert Plant.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Playing Our Parts @ Dizzy's 2/22/11

I saw Ron Carter was going to be there and I like giving to the Jazz Foundation of America. This particular benefit night is in memory of Dennis Irwin and the proceeds go to cancer screenings, which will hopefully allow early detection and treatment. I'm impressed with what this foundation is able to accomplish.

The $100 admission included a tasting plate with a big piece of fried chicken on some greens, a portion of iceberg wedge with blue cheese dressing, and cooked salmon on polenta (or something like polenta). It also included a glass of cabernet or chardonay.

The show was great and a lot of fun. There were 3 different ensembles, each doing a 1/2 hour set. Then a 15 min encore grand finale.

The first band was Benny Green's Monk's Dream. They will be playing Dizzy's the rest of the week. It's a fabulous quartet with Kenny Washington on drums, Peter Washington on bass, Jesse Davis on sax and Benny Green playing some sick piano.

Next up was Ron Carter's Golden Striker Trio with Mulgrew Miller on piano and Russell Malone on guitar. I loved the interplay of the bass and guitar. All solos and everything else about this ensemble was stellar.

The final band was Joe Lovano on sax, John Scofield on guitar, Matt Wilson on drums and Matt Penman on bass. It was great. I even found myself enjoying Sco at times. There were also times when I was somewhat bored with him - that's pretty typical for me. All in all, I did enjoy the mini set.

They finished it all off with the last band joined by Joe Lovano, Jesse Davis and Michael Irwin, Dennis's son on trumpet. The trumpet was great, Sco was OK, and it was nice and lively.

All in all, a nice, fun, life-saving evening.

Playing Our Parts: A Benefit For The Jazz Foundation of America
(In Memory of Dennis Irwin)
w/John Scofield, Joe Lovano, Ron Carter, Russell Malone, Mulgrew Miller, Benny Green, Jesse Davis, Peter Washington, Kenny Washington, and more

Tue, Feb 22

7:30pm & 10pm
Admission is $100 per person and includes one complimentary glass of wine and passed hors d'oeuvres. A full a la carte menu will also be available.
The price of admission, minus $25, is tax-deductible. All proceeds benefit The Jazz Musicians' Emergency Fund.

"Many musicians are in that enormous group of self-employed individuals who have no health insurance and this can be a killer. People don't want to get regular checkups because of the fees. As was the case with our friend Dennis Irwin, a serious illness can go undiagnosed until it's too late. We hope to raise a significant amount of money to support the programs that help so many musicians with so few alternatives. Join us." - John Scofield

John Scofield, guitar; Joe Lovano, tenor saxophone; Ron Carter, bass; Russell Malone, guitar; Mulgrew Miller, piano; Benny Green, piano; Peter Washington, bass; Kenny Washington, drums; Jesse Davis, alto saxophone; and more

If you are unable to attend, but would like to make a tax-deductible donation, please visit

Or send checks to:
The Jazz Foundation of America
322 West 48th Street, 6th floor
New York, NY 010036
(Make checks payable to: The Jazz Foundation of America.)

Jazz at Lincoln Center thanks Great Performances for their contributions to the Playing Our Parts Benefit Concert.

Matt Mitchell's Central Chain @ Cornelia St 2/13/11

I went because I already know I love everyone in the band except the leader - simply due to unfamiliarity. Well, the leader is great, also, which is why all these great people play with him. I remember I liked it, but don't have many details stored in my head. Just look at the lineup and know it was good.

Matt Mitchell, piano, compositions; Tim Berne, alto sax; Oscar Noriega, bass clarinet; Mary Halvorson, guitar; John Hebert, bass; Tomas Fujiwara , drums
"With the ensemble Central Chain, Matt Mitchell strives to reconcile various areas of composition and improvisation within a group context. Towards this end he has assembled a group consisting of several of the foremost New York City improvisors, including Tim Berne, Oscar Noriega, Mary Halvorson, John Hebert, and Tomas Fujiwara. This will be the groups first NYC appearance."
Cover $10

Mary Halvorson @ Blue Note 2/11/11

Yes, I was still revved up from The Vanguard. I got there right before it started. It was an excellent improvising quartet. I loved it. The only problem was I hadn't been home from work yet and I had been drinking at the last 2 venues - I had trouble staying awake. Toward the end, I noticed a lot of people either dozing or fighting off sleep in the audience. I think the set was about 90 min. It was a Search and Restore gig so it was documented.

Mary Halvorson, guitar
Chris Speed, saxophones
Eivind Opsvik, bass
Tomas Fujiwara, drums
Spontaneous Construction Presented by Search & Restore is a series based on jazz's most important and distinctive element: improvisation. For each Friday night at 12:30am, ensembles are created from a pool of musicians ranging from up-and-coming to legendary, hand-picked to perform as a group for the first time. No rules or boundaries exist - the artists are free to create music on the spot as they see fit. After 30 years as one of the finest jazz club's in the world, the Spontaneous Construction Series brings back the feel of the old Blue Note Late Night Jam Sessions, but with a new and forward-thinking concept.



Guitarist/composer Mary Halvorson has been active in New York since 2002, following jazz studies at Wesleyan University and the New School. Critics have called Ms. Halvorson “NYC’s least-predictable improviser” (Howard Mandel, City Arts), “the most forward-thinking guitarist working right now” (Lars Gotrich, and “one of today’s most formidable bandleaders” (Francis Davis, Village Voice). In addition to her longstanding trio, featuring bassist John Hébert and drummer Ches Smith, and her quintet, which adds trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson and alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon, Ms. Halvorson also co-leads a chamber-jazz duo with violist Jessica Pavone, the avant-rock band People and the collective ensembles Crackleknob, MAP and The Thirteenth Assembly.


Chris Speed is a composer, clarinetist and saxophonist living in Brooklyn, NY. His bands include Human Feel, yeah NO, Trio Iffy , Pachora and The Clarinets. He is a member of Jim Black’s Alas No Axis and John Hollenbeck’s Claudia Quintet.
Speed was born in Seattle in 1967 and graduated from the New England Conservatory in 1990. In 1992 he moved to NYC where he joined Tim Berne’s Bloodcount. Throughout the nineties Speed worked with many pioneering bands in the creative new music/downtown scene including the Dave Douglas Sextet, Myra Melford’s Same River Twice, Erik Freidlander’s Chimera, John Zorn’s Bar Kokhba and Mark Dresser’s trio with Anthony Coleman. Speed is considered one of the leading NYC musicians linking jazz and creative improvisation with Eastern European and Middle Eastern folk music. Currently, he works with Uri Caine’s Bach, Mahler, and Mozart projects, as well as Ben Perowsky’s quartet. Chris was named the rising star clarinetist in Downbeat magazine for 2004 and 2005.


Eivind Opsvik is a Norwegian musician who’s been living in New York for over 10 years. His main instrument is the upright bass, but he also loves experimenting with recording, playing lap steel guitar, old organs and drums, composing music and running a record label. His main projects are Overseas, Opsvik & Jennings and his solo project. Overseas was formed in 2002 and features Jacob Sacks on piano and organ, Tony Malaby on tenor saxophone, Kenny Wollesen on drums and recent addition, Brandon Seabrook on guitar. Three records have been released; Overseas (2003), Overseas II (2005) and Overseas III (2008). Overseas IV will be recorded in 2011 and released on Loyal Label Opsvik & Jennings, the experimental pop duo with tunesmith and guitarist Aaron Jennings, recently released their third album on CD and Vinyl; “A Dream I Used to Remember” (Loyal Label). Eivind is also involved in other groups, including Sacks/Maneri/Motian/Opsvik, Kornstad/Opsvik, Tony Malaby's Paloma Recio, The UP, Nate Wooley Quintet, and Jeff Davis Band, among others.


Tomas Fujiwara was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. He has worked as a leader of and composer for various ensembles, as a sideman, as a composer for theatre, film, and dance, and as a teacher and clinician. With “a quiet energy that propels” (All About Jazz) and a style that is “both volatile and watchful” (New York Times), Tomas' “alert drumming has propelled some excellent ensembles on the new-music landscape” (New York Times). He has performed with Anthony Braxton, Arnie Lawrence, Joe Chambers, Norah Jones, Ravi Coltrane, Herbie Mann, Makanda Ken McIntyre, Mike Longo, Jimmy Greene, Joe Morris, Roy Campbell, William Parker, Burnt Sugar, Vernon Reid, Butch Morris, David Murray, Warren Smith, Irene Aebi, Kwaku Kwakye Obeng, Nicole Mitchell, and Vijay Iyer.


Search & Restore is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to uniting and developing the audience for new jazz music. Founded by Adam Schatz in 2007, S&R does anything and everything to spread the incredible music being made in New York City at this very moment, driven by creative melodic approach and incredible improvisers, through concert presentation (including the Winter Jazzfest & Undead Jazzfest) and web development ( In December, they successfully raised $75,000 through Kickstarter to spend 2011 filming over 200 concerts throughout the city and building artist pages for every musician filmed, creating the first content-based site to focus on new jazz, and a true point of discovery for new and current fans alike. So….get ready for that.

Chris Potter @ Village Vanguard 2/11/11

I was revved up after 3 hours of music and wanted something more. It was easy to get a good seat for the 2nd set in spite of the glowing review they just got in the NY Times. I did get there early, which probably helped. It was listed as a trio, but they unexpectedly added a piano for the entire run, and a good move that was indeed. This is a phenomenal group!

I waited a little long to write this, so it's fading. I know Chris had the soprano and tenor and I'm not sure what else. I remember loving all of them, and really digging how much the piano added. I also recall my delight at the Middle Eastern sounding tune.

It was awesome and I was all revved up for my next show.

David Virelles-p,
Larry Grenadier-b,
Eric Harland-d

Either/Orchestra @ LPR 2/11/11

This was a fantastic 3 hour showcase of the vast repertoire this ensemble has produced over the past 25 years. I think there were about 30 musicians in total, and around 18-22 on stage for most of the compositions. Maybe 2 of them were up there for the entire 3 hours.

My favorite was probably the New Orleans inspired piece, which was early on. I also loved everything that had hand drums. The entire 3 hours was phenomenal, though.

Either/Orchestra 25th Anniversary Concert
w/ John Medeski , Matt Wilson , Andrew D’Angelo and Mike Rivard (Club D'Elf)

This is a first come, first serve seated event. Seating is limited and not guaranteed; please arrive early.

The Either/Orchestra 25th Anniversary Concert, NYC Edition The Massachusetts-based Either/Orchestra is celebrating its 25th Anniversary with a show at LPR featuring founder Russ Gershon and the regular ten band members plus an illustrious cast of alumni. (The picture here is from the December 16 Boston edition of the concert, with 27 musicians.) The E/O has been the breeding ground for a startling array of jazz stars, and the alumni who will be rejoining the band for this show include John Medeski, Josh Roseman, Mike Rivard (Club D'Elf) and a host of others. A major highlight will be the presence of the four drummers who have defined the band's style over the decades: Jerome Deupree (Morphine), Matt Wilson, Harvey Wirht (Angelique Kidjo) and Pablo Bencid.

The E/O has released 11 albums include 2010's "Mood Music for Time Travellers," and has put its stamp on a wide range of jazz and Latin styles, and has emerged as the world's foremost non-Ethiopian interpreters of Ethiopian music. The group has played over 1000 shows in 34 of the United States and 11 foreign countries.

The concert will survey 25 years of original music, radical reinterpretations of jazz and pop tunes, and include a healthy dose of Ethiopian flavor, represented by the legendary expatriate singer Teshome Mitiku.

Trumpets: Tom Halter, Dan Rosenthal, John Carlson
Trombones: Joel Yennior, Josh Roseman, Russell Jewell, Curtis Hasselbring, Dan Fox
Reeds: Russ Gershon, Charlie Kohlhase, Hailey Niswanger, Douglas Yates, Jeremy Udden, Henry Cook, Godwin Louis
Guitar: John Dirac
Keys: Rafael Alcala, John Medeski, Dan Kaufman
Basses: Rick McLaughlin, Mike Rivard, Bob Nieske
Drums: Pablo Bencid, Jerome Deupree, Matt Wilson, Harvey Wirht
Congas: Vicente Lebron
Vocals: Teshome Mitiku

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Charlie Hunter @ Rose Live 2/10/11

I already intended this 3 night Rose run before I even knew it was closing. I found out the night before when I saw Erik Deutsch. Charlie's Residency is 4 solo gigs and I love it. I heard there were a lot more people there than the week before, so I don't know if that means there will be even more the next and final week. It's worth going if you haven't been or if you haven't seen a Charlie solo gig yet, or even if you have.

I got there at about 9:15 and I heard them discussing starting the set soon. I had just enough time to get the front row center seat at the best table and get myself a drink at the bar. I loved how they had the doors separating the bar and the space closed - it cut down the bar crowd noise. There was still noise coming from the kitchen, which is somewhere behind the stage. That wasn't bad for most of the set and even when it was a little loud, the music was so great it didn't matter.

Charlie was in an R&B mood, which by coincidence was also my mood. The set was killer and a lot of fun. I got the impression he's trying not to repeat any songs during the residency because he did an awesome song that he said he did the prior week and he's not supposed to play it. From my perspective, I could listen to that set every week and enjoy it each and every time.

He had been listening to Bessie Smith that day so we got some awesome Blues toward the beginning of the set. He also got the requisite jazz tune out of the way about the 5th song in. He wanted to make sure he had the critics satisfied.

At one point, someone asked if he took requests and he polled us to see if anything good would be suggested. It took a bit, but we ended up with a great suggestion for Curtis Mayfield's "Move on Up". That led to an awesome Mayfield medley.

It was a perfect 1 hour set and well worth coming out in the cold. I opted out of the next band, which sounded good.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Eril Deutsch @ Rose Live 2/9/11

Coming off the night before, I got there just little before 9.  There weren't many people there, and they got started at about 9:45.  I had gotten an email that my Brooklyn friend wasn't going to make it after all and I started 2nd guessing my music choice for the evening, especially since I knew I wouldn't be able to stay for the 2nd set and I especially wanted to catch some of that. Well, as soon as they started playing that funky, creative awesome music, I knew I made the right choice.  It was definitely my kind of music.  I loved the entire 70 min set. They did a Neil Young tune in celebration of the Carnegie Hall show happening the next night.

I would have loved to stay for the 2nd band (listed below), but I wanted to pace the week, so I left soon after the great music ended.

Eric Deutsch Band
w/ Erik D. on keys
Brandon Seabrook on guitar
Benjamin Rubin on bass
Tony Mason on drums

10:30pm: Jonah Smith Band
w/Jonah on keys
Doug Wamble on guitar and vocals
Benjamin Rubin on bass
Gintas Janusonis on drums

K3 @ Rose Live 2/8/11

I got there at 9:30 and they were already on.  I probably didn't miss too much as that 1st set ended at about 10:20.  Wayne joked toward the end that they were almost done with the soundcheck.  He also contemplated playing straight through, which would have kept me there longer, but they needed a break.  That was understandable since they were on fire the entire set.  I mean, ON FIRE.  It's been too long since I've seen any of them.  This music is too good.  I was dancing like I haven't in ages.  Or, maybe since Sat Night.

This music is really great.  It grooves, it's technically fantastic, and it's very rich yet jammy.

I still love the venue, but I'm disappointed they added another bankette on the left side with some tables.  It used to be easier to get in the room through that aisle-type walkway on the left.  I was just outside the room and I couldn't see very well, but it sounded fantastic.

I would have loved to stay for the 2nd set, but I needed to pace myself for the week.  I hope they play there again.

So I wrote the above the day after the show and I found out that night when I went back for Erik Deutsch that Rose is closing.   Boo hoo.  It was a great place for this band.

Wayne Krantz (Guitar);
Tim Lefebvre (Bass);
Keith Carlock (Drums)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Big Sam's Funky Nation @ LPR 2/5/11

This band is always great for this late set at the Le Poisson Rouge Mardi Gras Celebration.  That's probably why they always get this spot.  I loved it and loved getting down.  The band itself was great.  There were I think 3 special guest trumpets and Jamie McLean sat in at one point.  They played for about 2 hours with no set break and one encore.  I think I left at about 2:30.  I enjoyed the DJ before and after the set.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Russ Lossing Spider's Web @ Cornelia St. 2/3/11

This band is all about feeling. Ellery is always full of sounds I can feel with every fiber of my being. I loved the drum solo in the 1st set. Eric McPherson is the other drummer in Aethereal Bace, one of my favorite bands. There were a lot of piano/bass duo portions that were as enthralling as when everyone was playing. The first set was one long continuous piece that lasted about 45 min. They had music stands, but I suspect that was a sketch which left plenty of room for improvising. I left after the 30 min piece on the 2nd set as they started another.

Russ Lossing, piano, compositions;
Ellery Eskelin, saxophone;
Mark Helias, bass;
Eric McPherson,, drums

New York based jazz pianist, composer and recording artist Russ Lossing has composed over 400 works and has an international reputation as a world class improviser. Lossing has nine releases as leader on Hat Hut, Clean Feed, Fresh Sound, Double Time and OmniTone record labels. His critically acclaimed new solo piano release “All Things Arise” on Hat Hut Records “bridges the worlds of jazz and new music, the pieces feeling as if they arise out of the primal silence of the universe. Even the ‘standards’ feel as if they’re emerging newly formed from a magnificent world of thought and impulse.” Lossing’s Fresh Sound release,"Phrase 6" has quickly become a cult classic among musicians and his new cd ‘Line Up’, a duo with bassist john Hébert, has been hailed a ‘tour de force’.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Rose Live is Closing

Bummer.  I heard they may still do a few shows here and there, I'm not sure what that is about.

Adam Rogers @ Jazz Standard 2/3/11

It was a fun set of jazz with a lot of talent. My favorite part was the drum solo but it was all great.

Adam Rogers Quartet
Adam Rogers – guitar
Craig Taborn – piano
Matt Brewer – bass
Johnathan Blake – drums

NYC native Adam Rogers has appeared on over 200 albums and has toured extensively both in the US and overseas. As a high–value sideman, Adam has gigged and recorded with contemporary music leaders ranging from Norah Jones and Walter Becker (of Steely Dan) to John Zorn and Simon Shaheen. The gui¬tarist has released a series of acclaimed albums on the Criss Cross label including the captivating trio date, Sight (2009), with John Patitucci and Clarence Penn. Writing in JazzTimes, Bill Milkowski noted his “rich, clear and full tone, along with Rogers’ uncannily fluid linear style, pristine articulation, and daring improvisational streak.”

From Bacteria to Boys @ Local 269 1/31/11

Any project that Mike Pride or Darius Jones is in is going to be great. Both of them together with an awesome keyboard player is triple exciting. I don't get to enough RUCMA gigs because I usually have the wonderful Monday Night Alive Seminars, so it was also a nice treat to have a rare Monday off to experience such a great band. They were awesome. I loved all the compositions and playing. I need to look around for more shows with that keyboard player.

Mike Prides's From Bacteria To Boys
"a successful balance of the tuneful and the abstract" - Jazztimes
Mike Pride (drums) / Darius Jones (alto sax)
Alexis Marcello (keyboard) / Peter Bitenc (bass)