Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Brian Mitchell @ Rodeo Bar 2/21/12

I've got a lot going on at work so I planned to go home right after the Jazz Standard set.  However, when I was reminded it was Mardi Gras and there was a gig down the street at Rodeo Bar I couldn't resist stopping by.  It was a lot of fun and good.  Jamie Mclean on guitar, Shawn Pelton on drums, Clark Gayton trombone, brian played piano and accordion, awesome percussionist.  I think there may have been 1 or 2 others.  There was a washboard sit-in.  I especially enjoyed the accordion parts and drum solos but it was all good.

I somehow didn't even notice it was Andy Hess up there on bass.  I spent some time looking for the listing and all I could get was from Andy's site.

From Andy Hess's website:  BRIAN MITCHELL Band  with Shawn Pelton, Clark Gayton & Fred Walcott 

Amir El Safir @ Jazz Standard 2/21/12

Excellent!  World meets jazz and makes it new and exciting.  It was one of those shows where there was nothing else, just music.  I forgot where I was and immersed myself in the music.  The instruments were awesome.  The more traditional jazz instruments were the phenomenal upright bass, Tyshawn Sorey blowing me away on drums, Amir on trumpet, and santur on tenor sax.  The Middle Eastern instruments included buzuq, oud, santur (like a hammered dulcimer), and some kind of hourglass drum with a metal head.

They did pieces from the Two Rivers Suite as well as something else.  There was a lot of diversity in the music.

Amir ElSaffar - trumpet, santur
Ole Mathisen - tenor and soprano saxophone
Tareq Abboushi - buzuq
Zafer Tawil - oud, percussion
Carlo DeRosa - bass
Tyshawn Sorey - drums

The Iraqi-American musician Amir ElSaffar is at the forefront of that group of creative thinkers - including pianist Vijay Iyer and saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa - who are incorporating the traditional musical styles of their cultural backgrounds with modern sensibilities. Whether playing trumpet in a jazz context, or singing and playing the 70-string santur in an Iraqi setting, ElSaffar brings a depth of emotion and authenticity to his music that has intrigued fellow musicians and enchanted audiences around the world. His latest recording, Inana (Pi Recordings), "avoids the sensationalistic and touristic in favor of the sincere and investigatory, searching for a common or at least consonant elements of the vocabularies of jazz and classical Arabic music." (John Corbett, DownBeat, four and a half stars) 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tim Berne Snakeoil @ Rubin Museum 2/17/12

This is some band.  At first, I was mesmerized by Ches Smith and the other 3 phenomenal artists were background.  As t went on, I ended up being in awe and giving each of them my full attention.  The new CD is phenomenal as well.

SNAKEOIL is a potent blend of new voices and new ideas. Oscar Noriega (woodwinds), Matt Mitchell (keyboards) and Ches Smith (percussion) bring fresh sounds and vibrant energy. Berne responds with a stunning book of new pieces balancing compositional rigor with fluid group improvisation. Hypnotic rhythms and long, seductive melodies collide with jagged dissonances and surprising textural shifts. A lush, organic blend of saxophones and clarinets is layered with electronic and acoustic keyboards and an ever-changing tapestry of percussion. Freedom and discipline, consonance and discord, past, present and future- all work together to power this new band from Tim Berne.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Film: Chico & Rita @ Angelika 2/18/12

I had to figure out how to get there for this animated film that was a love story and had history of Cuban Jazz.  I was walking by on my way home, it was about to start, so why not.  It was awesome.  The music was awesome, the animation beautiful, and I enjoyed the story.

It was set in Havana, New York, and Las Vegas.  There was stuff about Dizzy Gillespe and Charlie Parker.  We saw the Village Vanguard as how I presume it used to be - with more room to breathe and bigger tables.  We learned a little about the Cuban musicians who moved to NYC to play jazz.  It ended at the time of the revolution, when playing jazz in Cuba wasn't so hot.  The film also had some of the political themes of the music business.

It was well done and I loved the music.

The blip from the promoters:
A gifted songwriter and beautiful singer chase their dreams – and each other – from Havana to New York and Las Vegas. Chico is a young piano player with big dreams. Rita is a beautiful singer with an extraordinary voice. Music and romantic desire unite them, but their journey – in the tradition of the Latin ballad, the bolero – brings heartache and torment.

Jessica Lurie Ensemble @ 92YTribeca 2/18/12

The entire ensemble was available for this CD pre-release show with special guests. It was phenomenal both with and without the guests, Tina Richerson on baritone sax, Marika Hughes on cello, and Tom Swafford on violin.  I've been seeing Jessica for years and this is by far my favorite version of her ensemble so far.  I bought the new CD, Megaphone Heart, and another CD, Licorice & Smoke.  Both are phenomenal.  I think I like Licorice & Smoke a little more, but they are both great.  So, maybe that ensemble is my favorite so far.  I just haven't seen them live. 

I also need to mention I enjoyed her singing.  It's developed very well since the old days.  There also wasn't too much singing, but it was fine and added.  It's great on the CDs.
I am having a NYC Pre-Release Celebration for my next CD release, MEGAPHONE HEART on Saturday February 18 at 9 pm at 92Y TRIBECA!
This is a fabulous and beautiful sounding space and I hope you can join us!
The album is “officially” slated for release to the wide world on April 24th,  but what better way to bring in Spring with flurries of snow and warm music and a fantastic band all in one place? The CD will be there in physical copy as well as other sweet deals for bonus tracks, bundles,  t-shirts and stickers and more.
This will be an amazing show – the band will all be here – co-producer Todd Sickafoose on bass coming from the west coast (Ani Di Franco’s band), Erik Deutsch on piano (soon off to tour with Shooter Jennings), Brandon Seabrook on banjo and guitar (the unstoppable shred-banjo of Seabrook power plant), and Allison Miller on drums (Brandi Carlyle’s band, Boom Tic Boom), with the lovely Marika Hughes on cello, Tom Swafford on violin,  and Tina Richerson on baritone sax!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dan Tepfler Trio @ 92YTribeca 2/18/12

It's a fantastic piano, sax, drums trio.  Allison Miller was the drummer, doing double duty since she was in the next band also.  It was quieter than a lot of music I usually go for, but that didn't matter.  It was phenomenal.  Dan is very talented.  He played the keys, sometimes the strings of the piano.  There was one piece where Ohad Talmor played an interesting flute and Dan accompanied with some voice as an instrument.  I liked this a lot.

Dan Tepfer Trio ( with Dan on piano, Allison Miller on drums and Ohad Talmor on saxophone.

Here's a link to some NPR stuff from another time Dan played at 92YTribeca

Medeski, Ribot, Parker, Cyrille @ LPR 2/16/12

Yeah, you read that post title right ... It was one of those dream bands I could never dream up myself.  Something happened with the Russians in Aukyton - they couldn't get here.  So, we got this amazing throw together ensemble instead.  Someone needs to try to get them again - at Vision Fest or something.
This is definitely on my long list of favorite shows ever.  It was a seated show with many of us standing in the back.  Of course the few talkers in the room all managed to stand by me.  The music was so good I was able to ignore the talkers for the most part.

They came out for an encore and did a Blues thing. Phenomenal!

John Medeski , Marc Ribot , William Parker and Andrew Cyrille

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Love Supreme @ Middle Church 2/14/12

It's now an annual Valentine's Day event.  I went to the first one, I'm not sure about any others until this year.

It was phenomenal.  Roy Campbell appeared fully recovered from whatever the previous Sunday night.  He and Louis Belogenis did a phenomenal job on Coltrane's parts.  Uri Caine!  It's been too long.  He blew me away.  I loved his solos.  Hill Greene and Michael Wimberly were awesome.  It was stellar.

Now, I must admit I could have done without the soprano vocalist, but it appeared I alone had that issue.  I saw her getting complements afterward.  She was only up briefly in the beginning and sang the prayer at the end.  I just don't care for high voices.

It was amazing and I'm so glad they do this every year!
Join us on Valentine's Day for our fourth annual concert of John Coltrane's rarely performed suite, A Love Supreme. One of Coltrane's most profound and personal compositions, A Love Supreme is deeply probing on both a musical and a spiritual level. The final movement "Psalm" will include a setting of Coltrane's poem "A Love Supreme," sung by Beth Anne Hatton (Opera Feroce, Anima). The band, whose core members comprise the quartet 'Exuberance', will be joined by pianist Uri Caine (known for traversing the classical, jazz, and improvisatory worlds of music) for what promises to be a revelatory night of music-making.
A Love Supreme
Words and music by John Coltrane
Roy Campbell, Jr., trumpets and flute
Louie Belogenis, saxophones
Uri Caine, piano
Hilliard Greene, bass
Michael Wimberly, drums
Beth Anne Hatton, soprano
Jacqueline Lewis, speaker

Francois Grillot’s Contraband @ Local 269 2/11/12

I was really tired but when I saw the lineup I had to stay for some of it.  Roy Campbell was under the weather so Matt Lavelle came in his stead.  He had his bass clarinet as well as his trumpet with him.  I knew everyone except Catherine Sikora on saxophones.  She was excellent and now I have another one to look out for.  This band kicked butt.  I couldn't stay til the end but loved what I heard and saw.

Francois Grillot’s Contraband
Roy Campbell (trumpet)
Catherine Sikora (saxophones)
Daniel Levin (cello)
Anders Nilsson (guitar)
Francois Grillot (bass, compositions)
Jay Rosen (drums)

The Farbtones @ Local 269 2/12/12

Right before they came on we heard this great old song.  I know I was enjoying it immensely although I completely forgot what it was right after.  It might have been The Talking Heads.  Right after, the band was up and Brad was saying they were just going to play and didn't have a clue what would come out.  Someone asked if they would play punk, likely inspired by the same song I had been digging on.  Brad again said he didn't know what would come out.

What came out was intense, awesome follow up to what we just heard yet way different.  I was loving it.  Josh traded his electric contrabass clarinet from the last set for the regular baritone sax for this set.  I had to look up in my blog if I ever saw the drummer, Devin Gray before.  I haven't in the past 3.5 years anyway. It was an incredibly awesome improvised set.

The Farbtones
Josh Sinton (bari sax)
Brad Farberman (guitar)
Devin Gray (drums)

Takeishi/Sinton Duo @ Local 269 2/12/12

I got the feeling this was the first time they ever did this duo.  At the end Josh said to Satoshi something about how they should do this again sometime.  Josh played contrabass clarinet hooked up to pedals and electrified.  It was really good and out there.

I was reminded of the very first time I saw Satoshi.  He was doing duos at The Stone with different bass players.  It was the only time I was at The Stone that the seats were removed.  He had some kind of sampling device hooked up to the cymbals where it would play music when his stick hit the cymbal.  It was wild and I haven't seen anything like it since.

Anyway, now I always enjoy Satoshi playing drums without the extras.  Josh played a lot of low electric sounds and it worked well.

Josh Sinton/Satoshi Takeishi Duo
Josh Sinton (amplified contrabass clarinet)
Satoshi Takeishi (percussion)

Tomas Fujiwara & The Hookup @ Cornelia St 2/9/12

You may know Tomas from either Mary Halvoson's projects or Red Baraat.  He's a great drummer.  I now know he's a great composer and knows how to put a band together.  The only one who was new for me was Brian Settles on sax.  I would see any of them in any project.

It's one great new jazz band.  They had some of the new CDs even though it's not the official releaase.  I like this new trend.  It makes sense to make them available at gigs even when the release date is farther out.  I'm sorry to say I forgot to pick one up.  I heard it's excellent and the liner notes are great.  I will get it eventually.

Anyway, great show.

Thursday, February 9th @ Cornelia Street Café (29 Cornelia Street, NYC)
Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up
Tomas Fujiwara (drums) with Jonathan Finlayson (trumpet), Brian Settles (saxophone), Mary Halvorson (guitar) & Trevor Dunn (bass)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Fish Head Stew @ Hiro Ballroom 2/7/12

It was an early Mardi Gras show and looked interesting.  I'm on the promoter's email list, which I think is a Tulane alumni.  The show wasn't listed on Hiro's site, so maybe that was part of the low turnout.  There were about 50 or so people there I would guess.

It was 3 Radiators + Adam Deitch on drums playing Rad songs at first and then a lot of covers.  It was excellent.  I loved hearing Adam fooling around a little before many songs - if he was a guitar player I would say "tuning up" instead of "fooling around".  He was especially awesome.  I also enjoyed Camile on guitar a lot.

When Christine Ohlman came up they broke out lots of covers, including Piece of My Heart.  I couldn't stay til the end, but I had fun.

This is from the email I got about this Hiro Ballroom show:
Join us for an early Mardi Gras, this Tuesday with Fishead Stew including members of the New Orleans Radiators, Dave Malone, Camile Baudoin, Reggie Scanlan, Drummer Adam Deitch of Lettuce, and special guests Christine Ohlman "beehive queen" from Saturday Night Live and Radio Host Ken Dashow of Q104.

This is a listing from a show of the same band somewhere else the next night:
In culinary circles, fish head stew scares away picky eaters, but entices the truly adventurous. Here, we’re talking an impromptu collaboration between three ex-Radiators musicians: Dave Malone on lead/rhythm guitar and vocals, Camile Baudoin on lead guitar and Reggie Scanlon on bass and epic Lettuce drummer Adam Deitch.

You won't find anything about this group on the internet because, well, before and after this ONE-TIME performance, they really don't even exist. That's right! Inspired by the powers of the StageOne sound system and you, the FTC audience, Fish Head Stew is happening especially for FTC, ONE TIME ONLY! Like the prolific bands that birthed them, Fish Head Stew will bring the funk. The pure, raw and unadulterated funk.

The Radiators -- a funky, bouncy, tight and energetic New Orleans rock band -- very recently ended their career on a high note, after being inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame and playing three giant shows for their closest fans. As each band member heads off in their own direction, Fish Head Stew is just one of many funky little musical galaxies that have formed as a result. And they’re poised to take the Radiators’ well-known “fish-head music” to new levels with the inventive, almost fluid drumming of Lettuce's Adam Deitch. Get out and come together for this one, and witness one of the rarest, most exciting fan-favorite shows we've ever had the pleasure of presenting.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Father Figures @ Zebulon 2/6/12

Now, THIS is my thing.  Phenomenal instrumental reminiscent of, dare I say it, Skerik.  2 awesome tenors, Adam also doubled on electronics, cymbal, mic, and pedals.  Very interesting.  I loved the drummer.  The bass played upright and electric at times.  It was so good.

They are doing a Monday night residency at Zebulon this month.  It's well worth checking out.  I hope to get back there towards the end of the month, when we have a break from Monday Night Alive.

Father Figures is:
Adam Schatz (tenor sax, effects)
Jas Walton (tenor sax)
Ross Edwards (keys)
Spencer Zahn (bass)
... Ian Chang (drums)

Father Figures is a band of five friends from Brooklyn, making music that blends the composed and improvised into something that is wild, yet accessible. It is Zombie Jazz, and it is not your grandfather’s music… unless your grandfather juggled knives. Always melodic and strong willed, Father Figures manages sounds into sculptures to make you move your feet, then break a vase, and can neatly package these sounds into a 30 minute set ideal for a dirty basement, or an hour long set ideal for a slightly cleaner warehouse. But they’ll actually play anywhere, and won’t be stopped.

After meeting at NYU, Father Figures studied with instrumental monsters Ralph Alessi, Dave Pietro & Wayne Krantz to help develop their approach to collective improvisation and build a rock solid group sound as a foundation for creative composition from every band member. As a listener, it will be unclear what is improvised and what is not, and that mystery is what carries Father Figures live performance to new heights.

Soul Rebels @ Brooklyn Bowl 2/3/12

OK, this is my favorite Brass Band.  2 trumpets, 2 trombones, 2 drummers, etc.  They do such an awesome job with the originals and pick phenomenal covers.  It was so much fun!  Well worth staying up on a Friday night and waiting in line to get in.  I see they sold out Brooklyn Bowl.  That's quite a feat.  The word is out.

The Soul Rebels formed when Lumar LeBlanc and Derrick Moss, originally members of New Orleans’ iconic Dejean’s Young Olympia Brass Band, decided they wanted to play the new, exciting music they were hearing on the radio while respecting the tradition they loved. Both New Orleans natives, the pair was steeped in the fundamentals of New Orleans jazz, but inevitably, contemporary styles of music began to seep into their psyches. While LeBlanc attended the famed St. Augustine High School, Moss went to Lil’ Wayne’s alma mater McMain High School, and paraded alongside soon‐to‐be Cash Money Records CEO Ronald “Slim” Williams in the school’s marching band. New sounds were all around and they found them as exciting as the horn‐combo style featured in jazz funerals since the turn of the Twentieth Century.

Lumar LeBlanc - President, Snare Drum
Derrick "Oops" Moss - Vice-President, Bass Drum and Percussion
Edward Lee - Tuba
Marcus "Red" Hubbard - Trumpet
Julian Gosin - Trumpet
Paul Robertson - Trombone
Corey Peyton - Trombone
Erion Williams - Tenor Saxophone

Low Mentality @ Zebulon 2/6/12

They were good, and I enjoyed it for a while.  It reminded me of shiny, happy music at times, not R.E.M., but shiny, happy music.  It also reminded me of Elvis Costello.  They had trumpet/guitar, 2 keyboards, drummer, and electric bass and vocals.  The vocals wore on me after a while.  I just didn't want them unless the vocals are phenomenal.  They did have me moving, so it certainly wasn't bad, just not my thing.  Still fun overall.

Interesting that  I was also reminded of Superhuman Happiness and I see that Nikhil the leader is in that as well.

From their Facebook page:
Nikhil P. Yerawadekar - vocals, keyboards, guitar
Omar Little - trumpet, keyboard, percussion
Timothy Allen - bass, vocals
James Windsor-Wells - drums, vocals

From the Facebook Bio:
I (Nikhil P. Yerawadekar) am a musician from Queens, NY currently living in Brooklyn. I play guitar and bass with a lot of great bands like Antibalas, The Sway Machinery, Superhuman Happiness, Bright Moments, Akoya Afrobeat, No Small Money Brass Band and The Igniters.

Spark of Being @ WFC 2/2/12

It was free and I thought it would have some kind of live music, like when I saw the premiere at the Highline.  This show wasn't live, so it was the DVD with the same music and players as what I saw.  That was fine by me.  When I first saw it, I hadn't re-read Frankenstein in a number of years.  The project inspired me to read it again.  It's still my all time favorite book.  I recently read it yet another time and I'm amazed how quickly I forget everything.  It's always fresh and new each time.

This was my 2nd time viewing the silent film and listening to the score composed by Dave Douglass.  The music is phenomenal and I'm impressed with the film.  Bill Morris was there to talk a little about it.  His work is comprised of footage from documentaries and real life.  It makes for very interesting art.  It was very well done.
Curated by John Schaefer, host of WNYC Radio’s New Sounds and Soundcheck

Bill Morrison has reinvented the lost art of the silent film–often using decaying footage from old silent movies but also creating his own luminous, evocative world out of new images and new music. This series looks at a selection of Morrison’s major works, all done in collaboration with some of the finest new-music composers. The opening and closing films are shown with live orchestral accompaniment: The Miners’ Hymns features a riveting, brass-heavy score by Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, played by the Wordless Music Orchestra; and the grand finale, Decasia, brings the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble to perform Michael Gordon’s score. In between, the new film The Great Flood is paired with music by eclectic guitar hero Bill Frisell, and Spark of Being includes an electro-acoustic score by trumpeter and bandleader Dave Douglas.

Film Forum will present additional screenings of Bill Morrison films February 8 – 14. For more information, visit

Tuesday, January 31

Wednesday, February 1

Thursday, February 2

Friday, February 3

Eric Kalb/Will Bernard/Adam Scones @ Zebulon 2/1/12

I had to catch 15 min of this before calling it a night.  It was great groove funk.  Very similar to The Stanton Moore Trio.  I enjoyed it, but I've also been over-saturated with that style in the past and I still have scars from that.  It's awesome if you never overdid it at Jazzfest.  I loved the glittery fabric Adam had over his keyboard.  Will and Eric are always awesome in whatever they do.  I didn't know Eric is the Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings drummer.

New York-based promoter Noah Plotkin will celebrate his birthday with a free night of music at Brooklyn, NY’s Zebulon this evening. The show will feature performances by Jacques Labouchere, House Of Waters, Van Gordon Martin’s Band and Scone, Kalb, Bernard. The latter group is a particularly intriguing pairing of Adam Scone (Sugarman Three, MOFRO), Eric Kalb (Deep Banana Blackout, Charlie Hunter, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings) and Will Bernard (Stanton Moore Trio). Though the show is free, the club asks fans to make donations to the musicians performing throughout the night.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Van Gordon Martin Band @ Zebulon 2/1/12

They are from Chicago and it's good old funky music.  It wasn't just me dancing.  Eventually, people even went out to the dance floor in front of the stage area.  They had guitar, keyboards including Moog, bass, drums, trumpet, and alto sax.  They did a lot of funk and some reggae.

House of Waters @ Zebulon 2/1/12

I saw them once on the subway platform and new it was only a matter of time before I'd see them in a club.  They were awesome.  Hammer dulcimer, electric bass, and percussion/kora.  Luke Notary the percussionist played cochon, kora, and he had those shell things strapped to his leg.  He might have had a couple of small instruments as well.  There was also a guest percussionist who sat in for 1-3 here and there.  This band is great and well worth checking out.
House of Waters is a Brooklyn based band with a global sound. Drawing inspiration from Africa, India, South America, and Jazz, the band is, as TimeOut NY states “a sight to behold.”

House of Waters is hammered dulcimer virtuoso Max ZT; master percussionist Luke Notary; and brilliant bassist Moto Fukushima. These three innovative musicians are redefining their instruments as they excite their audiences.

Max, a National Hammered Dulcimer Champion studied with the Cissoko griot family in Senegal and recently returned from a year in India studying with the world-renowned santoor master Pandit Shivkumar Sharma.
Luke studied with djembe legend Cheik Oumar Diabate and has just returned from a year touring the world with Cirque du Soleil.
Moto's finesse, subtlety and power attracted the attention of Joe Lovano and other jazz greats, who he has accompanied to critical acclaim.

House of Waters has shared the stage with Ravi Shankar, Tinariwen, Jimmy Cliff, KODO, and more. Their concerts are beautiful and electrifying moments of mastery and magic.

The People vs Tom Larsen @ Cubana Social 2/1/12

This was the precursor to 3 bands at Zebulon.  I enjoyed this Blues Trio for a few songs.  They play every Wednesday and are worth doing another precursor another night.

Vicious Country @ Rodeo Bar 1/31/12

Would you believe this is my first blog post from Rodeo Bar?  I'm surprised I haven't been there for music before.  I tried to go to another 1st time venue for me, The Austrian Cultural Center for Peter Evans and some others.  However, I was 1/2 hour late and denied entry.  I was walking home and realized this would be a good walk-in.  I asked who was playing and when I heard it had the word "country", I wasn't so sure.  Then I heard it was Poppa Chubby and more like rock, so why not stick around.

It was a lot of fun.  I liked the keyboard player a lot.  I was dancing and enjoying.  They did Cissy Strut and an instrumental Over the Rainbow.  They did funk, blues, rock, and jazz.  At one point, Poppa Chubby asked a woman in the audience if she wanted to sit in after the next tune.  I immediately thought "singer".  I was surprised when I saw her pull out a bass.  She sang too and was great.  It went up a level with her.

They started around 9:20ish and I left during that set at around 10:30ish, after putting $ in the tip jar of course.

Upcoming: Jessica Lurie @ 92Y Tribeca 2/18/12 9pm

This is from Jessica's email list.  I really like this ensemble and recommend this show:

Hello All and Happy February!

It's coming! It is just around the corner - next week!
I am having a NYC Pre-Release Celebration for my next CD release, MEGAPHONE HEART on Saturday February 18 at 9 pm at 92Y TRIBECA!
This is a fabulous and beautiful sounding space and I hope you can join us!

The album is "officially" slated for release to the wide world on April 24th,  but what better way to bring in Spring with flurries of snow and warm music and a fantastic band all in one place? The CD will be there in physical copy as well as other sweet deals for bonus tracks, bundles,  t-shirts and stickers and more.

This will be an amazing show - the band will all be here - co-producer Todd Sickafoose on bass coming from the west coast (Ani Di Franco's band), Erik Deutsch on piano (soon off to tour with Shooter Jennings), Brandon Seabrook on banjo and guitar (the unstoppable shred-banjo of Seabrook power plant), and Allison Miller on drums (Brandi Carlyle's band, Boom Tic Boom), with the lovely Marika Hughes on cello and Tina Richerson on baritone sax  and a few other secret special guests TBA!

The night is going to be shared by the Dan Tepfer Trio ( with Dan on piano, Allison Miller on drums and Ohad Talmor on saxophone.

Please buy tickets in advance! We are hoping it will be packed and it also makes us look very cool - and you get a great seat for the show!

“Jessica Lurie is considered one of the most exciting interpreters of music today, pushing stylistic barriers ...  to construct new musical landscapes, to musically daydream with an extreme sense of purpose.” (Giuseppe Segala, All About Jazz Italy)


JLE at 10:15 PM
200 Hudson Street  New York, NY 10013
(212) 601-1000
***If you are press or radio person or distributor or booker and are interested in the CD for review and to play, please contact I or Stephen Buono directly.
** Thanks for supporting live music and performances - all over the world! Pass on this information to friends! We are keeping up with the email list and working to avoid spamming anyone - please RSVP how you would like to be added or subtracted. 






Friday, February 10, 2012

Butch Morris @ The Stone 1/29/12

I'm back from Ariel & Shya Kane's Costa Rican immersion course in self-discovery.  It was amazing and I'm glad to have a couple of rare Mondays off from the outstanding Monday Night Alive workshops.  It was tough to choose between this and RUCMA, and I win either way.

I paid and then noticed the orchestra consisted of about 10 vocalists.  I'm so glad I didn't know ahead of time or I may not have gone.  It was awesome and I was so glad to see this rehearsal in action.  They were preparing for an upcoming event at The Living Theatre - a memorial celebration of the poet, filmaker, and photographer Ira Cohen.  Each artist had pages of text in hand.  Most was spoken, but there was a little bit of singing here and there.  I see from the listing that it was a chorus of poets.

It was great!  I enjoyed what I heard and it was awesome to see Butch work with the orchestra to create this unique work.

Sometimes, he would cue in one reader for a bit and then another to read something else, and often more readers were introduced.  They were instructed to blend in and be aware of each other - to play together.  The 1st was the dominant, but told not to overpower and to include the others.

Sometimes he would have one or more repeat a phrase another was reciting.

There was still room for improvising, just like there is in his instrumental orchestras.  Often, it was how they spoke the text.

There was also something called shadowing, where the shadower would have to listen and follow very closely what the shadowee was reciting.

They were reading Ira Cohen's works and words written by others about him.  I certainly got a little more insight into him as a result.

Sexmob @ 92Y Tribeca 1/13/12

Oh how I miss the frequency with which we used to see Sexmob.  Steven told us they developed new material at the request of the European fanbase, or was it promoters?  It's great although I could never get sick of the old stuff, either.  They gave us a little of that.  It was awesome to see Kenny and Tony - it's been a while.  Erik Lawrence came out for one as well.  It was about 75 minutes with encore.  After that, I got a few hours of sleep and then started the journey to Costa Rica.  I figured this wonderful week and a half of music would hold me for a couple of weeks.

Sex Mob Plays Nino Rota, Ellington & Bond

Together as a unit since 1995, Sex Mob is a rare band that has created its own sound, a completely unique language combined with the telepathy that musicians cultivate over years of playing together.

Formed to play at the The Knitting Factory's late night hang, Sex Mob moved to Tonic for what became a "legendary" Friday night midnight destination. Nominated for a Grammy for their 2006 CD Sexotica, the quartet has lent their unique sound to artists including Rufus Wainwright, Jill Sobule, Roswell Rudd, Hal Willner's Leonard Cohen project "I'm Your Man" and Bill Frisell's Grammy winning CD Unspeakable. Having spent the last 16 years playing around the planet, the group's music has also been heard on SNL, NPR and MTV. As a band, they continue to grow and evolve, pioneering the idea that a repertoire can range from Nirvana to Prince, Bond to Basie and everything in between. Equally at home at a jazz festival, rock club or concert hall, their music is a combination of the grace of Ellington, the power of punk rock and New Orleans groove, all filtered through a "Downtown" sensibility. This special 92YTribeca performance will be the US premiere of the "Axis of Melody Suite," an ever-evolving suite based on melodies from Duke Ellington, Nino Rota and John Barry.

Honey Ear Trio @ 92Y Tribeca 1/13/12

I love this trio.  They did songs from the CD as well as the 2 pieces Erik and Rene composed for that gig at the Rubin Museum.  Erik's piece had a World influence and he played flute.  It started with Allison on drums.  It was right after an awesome piece with a fabulous drum solo at the end.

After Erik's Rubin piece, Steven Bernstein and Briggan Krauss sat in for one.  Very exciting.

Next they did Rene's Rubin piece and it was great.  I think there was one more before it ended.  They played for about 45 minutes, ending at around 10:15.

"One of the year's most impressive jazz debuts comes courtesy of Honey Ear Trio... wistful, groovy, choppy, hard-swinging and much more." (Time Out New York) Honey Ear Trio is the new incarnation of longtime musical cohorts Erik Lawrence, Rene Hart and Allison Miller. Together, these three passionate musicians approach the music with a sense of playfulness and elasticity. Honey Ear Trio creatively fuses the acoustic sound of a traditional saxophone trio with modern electronics derived from Hart's manipulation of his bass sound. They also explore mixing multiple genres (jazz, rock, soul, folk) while bending, stretching and decompressing the rhythmic and harmonic characteristics of the music.

Dr. Lonnie Smith @ Jazz Standard 1/12/12

I never get sick of him.  He's always growing and keeping it fresh.  He had Jonathon Kreisberg on guitar and his grandson, Jamire Williams on drums.  It was awesome.

There was one piece, I think it was "My Favorite Things" that he played the organ like a sythesizer using a laptop.  There was a great Blues piece and a super funky piece and a few more.  It was a great night.

Dr. Lonnie Smith – Hammond B–3 organ
Jonathan Kreisberg – guitar
Jamire Williams – drums

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Transformational Concert @ Manhattan Theatre Company 1/8/12

This was an event composed of several different performances by very talented musicians, vocalists, actors, and comedians.  The proceeds went to a wonderful organization, Les Petits Okapis International, which sends street kids from The Congo to school.  They have a great success rate and it's well-run and it's impressive what they've been able to accomplish.

These were amazing friends from Ariel & Shya Kane's Instantaneous Transformation Workshops.  These workshops tend to attract healthy, driven people who are interested in looking at their lives and open to new possibilities.  Since I've been attending, I've been much happier.  I say "yes" to my life as it's showing up in each moment more than ever before.  They teach how to be where you are, aka live in the moment in a modern, practical, down to earth way.

The performances were phenomenal.  I don't usually go for singers but these were extra special.  Ursula Oelke from Switzerland accompanied most of them on piano, which was fabulous.  Eric Ruben was a wonderful and entertaining MC.

The first act was Val Paik on clarinet, Ursula on piano and Joe Cilmi on vocals.  They did "Bei Mir Bist du Schoen".  I love clarinet.  Val is very talented.  She also bellydances, and I've written about her various times in the past on my blog.

Next Colleen Messina blew me away singing "Just the Way You Look Tonight", which seemed like a jazz tune to me.  After that she did the wonderful and fun "He Started to Yodel" which has a county flair.

Then Joe came back up to sing "In My Life".  I don't know if I ever heard that before.

After that, we had a funny story from Henry Bascomb (aka Chaitanya), giving us a Maine Humor act.

I don't usually go in for Opera, but the 2 pieces we got here were incredible.  This first one was "Flower Duet" with Ursula Oelke and Kat Ross.  I think I know it from a commercial.  I like a little Opera, I just can't handle an entire 3 hour extravaganza.

Dorothy Rowan then led a Canon entitled Dona Nobis Pacem.  All the singers came up and we were all expected to participate.  I never heard it before, so it was difficult for me.  It was like a "Round" to me.  It sounded nice.

Next was a nice rendition of "My Way", sung by Brian Cody.

Val has been telling me she wants to do "Shepherd on the Rock", a classical piece for piano, clarinet, and voice for some time.  Her desire was fulfilled with Ursula doing both the piano and voice and Val playing the clarinet.  Nice.

Then we got a fun improv skit where Eric Ruben, Andy Schneeflock, and Susan Finch improvised a skit around 3 words from the audience.  They were "nuclear reactor", "sex", and I just can't remember the last one.  It was a good one!

The 2nd Opera piece was Kat Ross doing a solo piece, "Ah' Non Credea" from La Sonnambula.  I almost started crying, she had me so swept up.  She's an amazing actress AND singer.

Then we had a couple of show tunes.  First was "A Wonderful Guy" from South Pacific performed by Leah Schneeflock.  After that a Cole Porter tune, which probably isn't a show tune per se, but reminds me of show tunes.  Eric graced us with that one.

After that, Susan Finch told us an awesome and funny story from her past.  It included speaking to John Lennon at The Dakota.  Her story was also a lead-in to the finale which had us all singing "Imagine".

We get so much out of attending these workshops and we see how diverse the Transformational community is.  We know there are others who would enjoy it, but don't know it exists.  We are imagining to help spread it to other interested parties.  It really is the best thing I've ever done for myself.


Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace

You, you may say
I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world

You, you may say
I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will live as one

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Kris Davis @ Cornelia St 1/11/12

It was her 10th Anniversary gig at Cornelia Street AND her birthday.  I was proud of myself for having dinner first, so I didn't have to wait out in the cold and expected to get a good table downstairs.  Dinner was fabulous, but we didn't get a great seat due to being 5 people. I wasn't thinking - we could have sat with a few of the solos I knew in the room.  It was still awesome and the spot wasn't that big a deal.

I don't know if this lineup ever performed together in this combination before. It's a great one!

Kris Davis, piano; Matt Maneri, viola; Oscar Noriega, bass clarinet, clarinet; Michael Formanek, bass; Ches Smith, drums

Davis has presented her music at Cornelia Street Cafe for the past 10 years and this concert celebrates that anniversary. For the special occasion she is presenting this exciting new ensemble and a collection of new compositions. "Over the last couple of years in New York one method for deciding where to hear jazz on a given night has been to track down the pianist Kris Davis."--Ben Ratliff, NY Times

Uri Caine @ The Stone 1/10/12

It feels like I haven't seen Uri in a very long time.  Luckily I have a blog.  I see it was over a year ago.  Too long!  This was too awesome.  They definitely did it their way.  I could recognize some of the songs ... and I thought I didn't like classical. I wouldn't call what we heard classical - I'd call it experimental jazz.  Even Ralf Allessi seemed less straight ahead.

It was such a phenomenal lineup.  The only one I was unfamiliar with was Joyce Hammann on violin.  I sat right by Jim Black and he is so talented.

It was stellar!

Uri Caine Ensemble playing Mozart, Mahler and Gershwin Uri Caine (piano) Ralph Alessi (trumpet) Jim Black (drums) John Hebert (bass) Chris Speed (clarinet) and special guests

Ismaily, Smith, Maneri @ Kenny's Castaways 1/7/12

I saw this at The Stone recently.  That was awesome, this was even better.  I would see any of these 3 any time.

Shahzad Ismaily
Shahzad Ismaily, bass / Ches Smith, drums / Mat Maneri, violin

Matt Wilson w/ Strings @ The Bitter End 1/7/12

I was not expecting this! Horns, strings, and one of my favorite drummers.  It was phenomenal.  While The Young Philadelphians w/ Strings the other night was incredibly intense and Fabian Almazan w/ Strings earlier was beautiful, this was somewhere in between and different.  I was way in the back dancing.  At first I could see Matt really well but only some of the horns and none of the strings.  The strings did a lot of plucking and I thought they had a koto or zheng or some other Asian instrument.  Later I was able to see better and it turned out it was more typical violins, violin cello.  I loved seeing Chris Lightcap on both electric and acoustic bass.  This just exceeded my expectations on every level and I hope to get more opportunities to see it again.

Matt Wilson Quartet +Strings
Jeff Lederer, reeds / Kirk Knuffke, cornet / Chris Lightcap, bass / Matt Wilson, drums / Space Quadrant Strings - Skye Steele & Felicia Wilson, violins / Nicole Federici, viola / Alisa Horn, cello / Mary LaRose, vocals

The concept of “cats and dogs living together” is personified when the Matt Wilson Quartet aligns, collides and dances with the Space Quadrant Strings. NPR declared their dazzling set at the 2010 Newport Jazz Festival “The winner of the festival.” The NY Times said of this fun-loving collaboration, “Mr. Wilson and his band mates have a way of pushing through brambles with exuberance.”

Ruff, Ruff, Meow, Meow, come dig our scene as we ramble and scramble our way into sonic splendor!