Thursday, June 7, 2012

Undead Jazzfest Day 1 5/9/12

One great fest leads right into the next one.  I got home Mon night and this one starts on Tues.

The Undead Jazzfest is definitely one of the highlights of the year.  This first night included 27 bands in 3 venues very close to each other in the West Village for one low priced ticket.  Coming off of jazzfest, I realize the venues at Undead and Winter jazzfests are super close.  Walking around the Fairgrounds several times is quite a distance, for THE pinnacle of every year, NOLA jazzfest.  FYI - whenever we say "jazzfest, we mean NOLA every other fest must have a descriptor to go with it.

I started the evening at LPR with Jamie Saft's New Zion Trio.  I love them and can't get enough.  I bought their CD and it is excellent.  I highly recommend it.
New Zion Trio brings together three masters of Reggae and Jazz musics for the first time in a unique piano trio setting straight from Kingston Yard. New Zion Trio features Jamie Saft (piano/keyboards), Larry Grenadier (acoustic bass), and Craig Santiago (drums). New Zion Trio forges a fresh and new musical path that brings together Roots Reggae, Dub, Doom, and Jazz styles in an extra mellow acoustic setting. Burning Reggae and Dancehall beats provide the platform for complex original Jazz and Soul compositions.

I moved on to Kenny's for Greg Ward's Phonic Juggernaut with Joe Sanders and Damion Reid.  This is a great band I probably wouldn't get to see otherwise.

Positive Catastrophe was excellent at Sullivan Hall.  I couldn't tell you if everyone listed below was there that night or not.
Taylor Ho Bynum (cornet, co-leader); Abraham Gomez-Delgado (percussion, voice, co-leader); Kamala Sankaram (accordion, voice); Jen Shyu (voice, erhu); Mark Taylor (french horn); Reut Regev (trombone); Matt Bauder (tenor saxophone); Michael Attias (baritone saxophone); Pete Fitzpatrick (electric guitar); Alvaro Benavides (electric bass); Tomas Fujiwara (drums).

I saw just a little of The Refuseniks with John Hollenbeck, Ted Reichman and Reuben Radding.  Apparently, that was their 1st gig in 9 years.  They were phenomenal and I hope they enjoyed it enough to play again for us.  Reuben had a smaller upright bass.  It looked like a contrabass and it was definitely bigger than a cello.  I recall seeing him and Shanir Blumenkranz play together one Improv Night at The Stone.  They both had regular sized contrabasses that night.

After that it was nice to enjoy a little of the Chicago Underground Duo with Chad Taylor on drums and Rob Mazurek on cornet.
Chicago Underground Duo is an avant-garde jazz duo consisting of cornetist Rob Mazurek and drummer/percussionist Chad Taylor. They formed in 1997, having both been members of Chicago Underground Orchestra. They have released numerous recordings on the Thrill Jockey label.

Dougie Bowne's Penninsula was excellent.  Io mean, how could you go wrong with Chris Speed, Jamie Saft, Michael Leonhart and Hill Greene?

Still, I couldn't resist going to see a little of Stabbing Eastward with Ryan Sawyer and Tunde Adebimpe.  I don't see enough of Ryan.

After that was a 7 minute film about Tonic.  There was a lot of footage from the last days and I almost cried.  I miss that place so much.  The filmmaker plans to make an hour length documentary and if you have any video footage you can get in touch with Melissa.

Wow, they keep coming up with amazing ensembles I could never have dreamed of.  Billy Martin Improv with Erik Friedlander, Marcus Rojas and Calvin Weston.  Billy and Calvin took turns on the kit and percussion.  It was such a great set.  I love Erik.

I of course wanted to stay for Sexmob and the rest of the great bands, but I had to pace for the seek so I called it a night.

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