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