Friday, August 31, 2012

MTO w/ Henry Butler @ Jazz Standard 8/23/12

It was amazing.  I wanted to stay for the next set, but I needed to catch up on sleep.  I already had another res for Sunday, so I knew I would get at least one more set.  They said they have a lot of material.  Henry is amazing.  They started with a great one about Buddy Bolden.  The set was awesome from start to finish.

Will Bernard and Allison Miller were subbing for Ben Perowsky and Matt Munisteri.  I inserted them in the listing below.  It was great seeing them with Brad Jones on bass, I don't think I ever saw them with him before.


Born in 1999 during midnight sessions at the now–shuttered Lower East Side music hub Tonic, the Millennial Territory Orchestra (MTO) got its name from regional dance bands of the Twenties and Thirties. Along with playing overlooked jazz gems of early jazz, the ensemble mixes in its own music – including tunes by founder and front man Steven Bernstein – with songs by the Beatles, Prince, and Sly & The Family Stone. The MTO played an extended Monday night residency at Jazz Standard in 2003– 2004; for this special JS:10 anniversary run, the band will play nothing but the blues – fast blues and slow blues, sad blues and happy blues – with their very special guest, the great New Orleans pianist Henry Butler.
Steven Bernstein – trumpet, slide trumpet
Curtis Fowlkes – trombone
Doug Weiselman – clarinet, tenor saxophone
Peter Apfelbaum – tenor and soprano saxophones
Erik Lawrence – baritone and soprano saxophones
Will Bernard – guitar
Charles Burnham – violin
Brad Jones – acoustic bass
Allison Miller – drums

With Special Guest
Henry Butler – piano

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Portland Cello Project @ City Winery 8/22/12

I didn't make it to the Hudson Block Party free show last month, but I saw on that site that they were playing again inside at this venue.  I enjoyed the show a lot.  They were down one cello who just got married.  The other 5 were there and great.  They also had a flute, french horn and drums.  They mainly play covers, fun covers, with a few originals mixed in.  They did the William Tell Overture, Bach, Kanye West, 5 Spot, Caravan, hip hop and heavy metal.  They stretched it a little in the arrangements.  I had a great time and would see them again.

They have so much music, they don't have it all on CDs, and have this "secret" site with free downloads:

I can't seem to find a listing of the personnel, but they were all great.

Since the group's inception in late 2007, the Portland Cello Project (or, PCP, as their fans affectionately call them), has wowed audiences all over the country with extravagant performances, mixing genres and blurring musical lines and perceptions wherever they go.
No two shows are alike, with a repertoire now numbering over 800 pieces of music you wouldn't normally hear coming out of a cello. The Cello Project's stage setup ranges from the very simple (4-6 cellos), to the all out epic (which has included 12 cellos playing with full choirs, winds, horns, and numerous percussion players).
The Cello Project's mission is three-fold:
    1.    To bring the cello to places you wouldn't normally hear it. They've performed everywhere, from touring with heavy metal guitarist Buckethead, to sports bars in Texas, to punk clubs in Boston, to halftime at Portland Trailblazer games, to music festivals focusing on a wide variety of genres, from rock, to folk, to pure classical to... pure noise...
    2.    To play music on the cello you wouldn't normally hear played on the instrument. Everything from Beethoven to Arvo Pärt to instrumental covers of Kanye West and Pantera.
    3.    To build bridges across all musical communities by bringing a diverse assortment of musical collaborators on stage with them. The PCP has collaborated with musicians such as Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul and Mary), The Dandy Warhols, Mirah, Laura Gibson, Thao, Eric Bachmann (Crooked Fingers), Matt Haimovitz, Dan Bern, among many others...

Live Footage @ City Winery 8/22/12

Electric cello/electric drumkit duo with sampling and drummer also playing keyboard.  There were moments I enjoyed but overall it's not my thing.  It got repetitive and a little boring at times.  I really liked what the cello was doing when he was playing and I liked some of his sampling.  It would have been a whole other thing if the drums weren't hooked up to an amp - that just didn't do it for me.  It can take me longer to warm up to some new styles of music.  There was a time that I couldn't tolerate any hiphop and now there's a place for it for me.  I'm thinking this concept might be one of those things.

In 2008 a humble basement apartment in Brooklyn became the laboratory for the Brooklyn-based electroacoustic duo, Live Footage. Mike Thies and Topu Lyo first met at a Halloween party, unaware that years later they would be described as some of the finest “surrealist soundtrack composers” in the making by scoring someof the most eclectic contemporary pieces on air, in dance and in tune composing their own music. Conceived through the art of improvisation,Lyo plays cello, incorporating the use of live loops and a handful ofelectronics with no pre-recorded samples of any kind.  Thies plays drums and keyboards, often simultaneously.  Live Footage’s formula is unique songs are structured in such a way that enables them to actually build loops without disaster, all while keeping the music’s integrity and allowingample room for improvisation even when covering the likes of Jay-Z, Dr. Dre and Squarepusher. It is Live Footage’s coherent complexity that inherently wow’s new earsaway. Plain and simple, they are “cinematic, experimental, yet still catchy and melodic.”Their first & Second full-length independent albums are already available on itunes, their Jay Dee EP is currently live on Orisue’s Website.  In the meantime, Live Footage will be touring America, Canada, Korea, and Europe while fulfilling their weekly residency at Apotheke in NYC.

Mike Dillon Band @ ZirZamin 8/21/12

I was home at 9:45 and thinking about bagging it and going to bed early.  I just couldn't do it - I had to see at least some of the show.  My being wouldn't let me stay in.  I only got about 1/2 hour and I could tell there was greatness to come, but I needed to be alert for work the next day.  I was very happy with the music I did get.

ZirZamin is where the old Zinc Bar was.  I always liked that spot.  It's still great.  The bar is up front.  I paid the $10 cover in the back of the front room.  Then I walked through a curtain and then by the hot line for the kitchen where a server would pick up food.  Then there's another curtain and finally the performance space.  Really, it's how music venues with bars should be - keep the bar and talkers away from the music.  There were still talkers in the room, but the music was compelling enough that I could ignore it.  I could also ignore the tables and chairs with seated people in the front.  At first I was put off by it, but then the music took over and it didn't matter.  I do think they should consider removing the tables and chairs for some bands, and especially if it's expected to be crowded.

They were playing music from the new CD, which isn't out yet.  It was great.  There was one piece where Carly played the marimba and Mike played the vibes and the drums and guitar were doing interesting thing and I liked it.  It looked like Scott Metzger in the audience had his guitar with him.  I will just have to wonder if he or anyone else sat in since I cut out so early.
"The Mike Dillon Band, which delivers a cache of his new songs, infuses fresh life into his classics, and features Mike Dillon (vibraphone, percussion, lead vocals), Adam Gertner (drums), Cliff Hines (guitar, bass and keyboards) and Carly Meyers (trombone, vocals), whose raw talent, enthusiasm and infectious dance moves have created quite a stir among music goers in the past year."

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Toubab Krewe @ Hudson Square 8/21/12

I haven't been able to make it to any of these yet.  It was a nice night and I was walking by when I heard the music and remembered it was Toubab Krewe.  It was good and a lot of fun.  I was glad to learn the previous night I can now dance and I had a good time with that.  I appreciate Toubab more than I used to regarding their instrumentation and music.  They have a kora from Mali, djembe, congas (I think), as well as guitar, sax, trombone and trumpet.  I wanted to look them up and get more, but my computer is annoying slow ever since Time Warner sent me an email saying they now offer 3 different speeds.  I think I need to switch providers.

I got the Latin portion of the repetoire and was happy with it.  It's a good band.

Tuesday Evenings at 5:30pm (6/26 through 8/28) FREE ADMISSION, NO NEED TO BUY TICKETS! Every Tuesday from June 26th to August 28th, Trinity Real Estate, Great Performances and City Winery will host a free neighborhood celebration of music, food, and wine. With its downtown location just west of Soho, the Hudson Square Music & Wine Festival is a uniquely urban summer festival for everyone from families and visitors to the after-work crowd. The FREE series of concerts will be held in the backyard of City Winery and features an eclectic mix of musicians, food vendors, artists and full bar service.
All concerts for the Hudson Square Music and Wine Festival are held in the space behind City Winery at 155 Varick Street btw Vandam and Spring Street.
Entry to the festival is from Spring Street, between Varick and Hudson, or from Vandam between Varick and Hudson.
Subway: Take the 1 Train to Houston. A,C,E to Spring Street.
212-608-0555 for additional info
Blending American and West African influences into a sound all its own, "a new standard for fusions of rock 'n' roll and West African music" (Afropop Worldwide).

 Check out the weekly music lineup and festival details.
Some music cannot be found on a map or within iTunes categories. Some music is so original it seems snatched from the great, invisible substrata that runs below all human activity, a sound aching to be born without a flag or fixed allegiance - free, questing, overflowing with immediate, tangible life. This is the music of Toubab Krewe, the vibrant Asheville, NC-based instrumental powerhouse that creates a sonic Pangaea that lustily swirls together rock, African traditions, jam sensibilities, international folk strains and more. While nearly impossible to put into any box, it takes only a few moments to realize in a very palpable way that one is face-to-face with a true original who recognizes no borders in a march towards a muscular, original, globally switched-on sound.
Formed in 2005, Toubab Krewe has tenaciously honed their craft through relentless touring and a fierce dedication to carving out something they can truly call their own. The fruits of this hard work can be heard on their scintillating new long-player, TK2, being released September 7, 2010 on Nat Geo Music. What Justin Perkins (Kora, Kamelngoni, guitar, percussion), Teal Brown (drums, congas), Drew Heller (guitar, piano, fiddle), David Pransky (bass, guitar), and Luke Quaranta (Djembe, percussion) have wrought on TK2 reflects the many miles and musical journeys that have transpired since their studio debut.
"It's five years later since our last studio album, and we've been doing almost nothing but playing together," says Drew Heller. "We've had a lot of time to further our musical relationships. I feel like this album was recorded at a really perfect time. The last track on the new album is an improvisation that was the very first sounds captured, and other things came out of that initial rush."
This process of recording in the spirit and sifting for gold afterwards mirrors the Beastie Boys approach during the creative peak that produced Check Your Head and The In Sound From Way Out! Toubab Krewe exhibits a similar take-no-prisoners singularity in their work.
This is a band that actively draws inspiration from whatever source floats into their purview, something they've exhibited in their half decade of heavy gigging, including regular appearances at major U.S. festivals like Bonnaroo, High Sierra, Rothbury and Wakarusa, and abroad at such legendary gatherings as Festival In The Desert in Mali. Their globe-hopping propensity has made them an emerging headliner at their hometown's famous Orange Peel and a familiar face as similar venues throughout the country. Whether on their own or collaborating with luminaries like the Last Poets' Umar Bin Hassan or Uncle Earl's Rayna Gellert, Toubab Krewe has already earned the attention and respect of a broad musical community.
Toubab carries echoes of African greats like Ali Farka Toure, Orchestra Baobab and Salif Keita, no doubt picked up during the group's many visits to the Mother Continent to study and live in Guinea, Ivory Coast and Mali. What differentiates Toubab Krewe from other Statesiders inspired by African music is how they innovate on what they've learned, not simply recreating tradition but carving out a new trail that honors the African originators they admire by making something alive and contemporary that moves the line forward, something that's easy to pick up on with TK2.
"We had a month and a half in the studio, and we were able to relax and play, almost a smudging process getting the energy in the right place," says Heller. "The time we had to record this album was conducive to not worrying about anything and just having fun, playing and getting into the creative process."
From the ragtime piano tinged opener "Mariama" to the percussion fueled, slide guitar glide of "Gine Fare" to the subtle, inviting African echoes of "Konkoba" to the hypnotic, psychedelic slow burn of "Holy Grail," TK2 reveals Toubab Krewe to be rare innovators in a modern age often too ready to settle for more of what's been. Toubab Krewe is happily an exception to this rule, and those willing to take the journey with them are in for one hell of a cool, exciting ride.

Skerik/Hunter/Dillon @ Brooklyn Bowl 8/20/12

OK?  You already know it was fabulous.  Seeing any of them in any project is always awesome.  It was so great to see Charlie with them again.  It looks like I'm dancing again.  I felt the affects of the surgery from 7 weeks ago, but the music took over me and I knew I wasn't causing harm to myself.  Soon, the old saying i my circles "nothing hurts when you're dancing" took over.

The show was just awesome.  They did some fun covers, some GAT, and other stuff.  It was about 2 hours and 15 minutes or so.  Carly Meyers came up to play trombone for the last 30-40 minutes and was awesome.  Nikki Gillespe took over the drumkit for the last 15-20 min which was so great.  Mike played other drums and the marimba and sometimes the same kit with Nikki. 

The marimba was over by Skerik and he and Mike did something together with Mike on vibes.  I was hoping they would all do the percussion thing like they used to with Charlie playing the tambourine like a drum, but it didn't happen.  Whatever they did do was still great.  I really hope this trio happens again and that I can go.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Louie Belogenis @ The Stone 8/15/12

It was phenomenal.  It seems like it's been a while since I've been to a pure improvising show.  Too long.  They were all incredible. I found myself mainly watching the piano.  They had it set up so we could really see what he was doing and he was so interesting.  I've only seen Russ Lossing at Cornelia St. Cafe before, so it was a treat to be so close in the front row of The Stone.  He was awesome with sticks and mallets and little tools on the strings as well as playing the keys with his hands.  My attention did get pulled over to Kenny quite a bit and he was always very interesting.  Louie is always a treat for me.

Louie Belogenis Louie Belogenis (soprano and tenor saxes) Russ Lossing (piano) Kenny Wollesen (drums) New music from this exciting improvising unit. A rare performance of the underground elite.

Matana Roberts @ Jazz Gallery 8/11/12

I knew it would be awesome based on the lineup.  Sometimes I would get a glimpse at the charts as she was pointing out the next piece and they looked a little wild.  She told us she was putting the band through a lot.  It sounded great and complex and I was glad to be there.

Matana Roberts - saxophone
Liberty Ellman - guitar
Kevin Tkacz - bass
Ches Smith - drums

Yuka & MuKaSHi BaNaSHi @ The Stone 8/11/12

It was wonderful from start to finish.  The vocalist fit in nicely with the amazing musicians.  For one piece toward the end she played a taishogoto.  It sounded great and was very interesting.  The strings are in a small section and the rest of the beautiful instrument has buttons and keys.  She played the strings with a bow.  It was set up on the floor and she crouched down to play it.  I loved the sound.

The music and the band was phenomenal.  I wanted to get up and dance so badly.  It was surprising that the place was less than half full.

Yuka & MuKaSHi BaNaSHi Yuka (voice, taishogoto, ukulele, electronics) Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz (bass) Brian Marsella (rhodes, keyboards) Tim Keiper (percussion) Yuval Lion (percussion) Folktales from Japan. A rare performance of otherworldly original compositions rooted the tradition of tribal music commonly heard on Sado Island. Not to be missed!!!

Soul Project @ Delta Grill 8/10/12

It's a fun funk band from NOLA and a good time.  It was a nice night and they kept attracting people from outside.  It felt very NOLA-ish.  There was even a dancing section by the host stand.

Jon Cristian Duque-Guitar/Vocals (Walter “Wolfman” Washington and the Roadmasters)
Will Repholz-Bass (Mem Shannon, Dave Jordan)
Colin Davis-Drums (Groovesect, Gravy)
Jeremy Habeggar-B3/Rhodes
David Ludman-Sax

Friday, August 10, 2012

Zion80 @ The Stone 8/6/12

I was able to make about 15 min of rehearsal and it was awesome.  Frank London was there this time on trumpet.  Yoshie Fruchter was on bass - we found out at the end he is actually a guitar player.  He really laid it down on the bass. The 2 guitar players were the same as when I saw them a month ago - Jonathon Goldberger and Ty Citerman.  Mathias Kunzli (who reminded me of Dafnis Prieto, probably due to his hair)  was on drums.  Same great conga player as the week before, Marlon Sobol.  He was so awesome using hands and sticks.  Tim Keiper was on percussion.  There was a 2nd drumkit again, Evan Pazner.  Zack Meyer was on bari as Jessica Lurie is out of town.  I'm not sure of the alto is the same guy I saw last time.  Rafi Makiel was on trombone.  He may or may not have been the same from the other time.

Jon played during the performance - he's going to be on a couple for the album.  They also added a row of chairs in front of me in between the rehearsal and performance.  The horn section was rather close and I realized I was good with the 2nd row for this one.  It appears they are playing the album each time, but it's still different as the people are different and the moment is different. 

It was a lot of fun and very good.  Everyone sat except for Yoshie the bass player.  He's actually a guitar player, but I wouldn't have guessed.  The horns would stand when they soloed.  The solos were a whole lot of fun.  I was really digging the drums.  Unlike the other night I came, which was the very first night, the drums and percussion were all together in a section and it made a wonderful difference.  I can't exercise yet, so I figured I shouldn't get up and dance.  I sure did get my groove on in my chair, though.

There was one extra cool part, where they were improvising.  Frank started just playing his mouthpiece and the rest of the horn section followed suit.  I could see other parts where things got interesting with the improv.

Here's a link to the website where you can stream a show they put up on-line from the week before.  There were a lot of special guests including Cyro Baptista.  It's awesome!

7:30—Open Rehearsal
The latest large group project from Jon Madof (Rashanim, CircuitBreaker) features music by Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach set to arrangements inspired by Nigerian Afrobeat master Fela Anikulapo Kuti. 

ABRAXAS @ The Stone 8/3/12

We are blessed with yet another phenomenal new band.  They rehearsed together a couple of times, recorded a Masada cd, and now the first live gig.  You would never know - didn't this band and cd always exist?  I put it up there with any other Masada project, Banquet of Spirits, and Rashanim.  That means they are pretty damn good.  Shanir played the gimbri, also know as sintir (Micro from Club d'Elf plays it).  There was one tune that reminded me of John Zorn's The Dreamers.  Eyal and Aram sounded great together.  The whole thing was phenomenal.

Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz - ABRAXAS - John Zorn’s Masada: Book of Angels Vol. 19 — CD RELEASE CONCERT! Aram Bajakian (guitars) Eyal Maoz (guitars) Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz (gimbri) Kenny Grohowski (drums) ABRAXAS: Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz steps out on his own to make one of the most primal and tribal installments in the “Book of Angels”’ series. Drawing on his Sephardic roots, Shanir plays gimbri throughout, giving the music a primeval Moroccan edge. Featuring the intense guitar pyrotechnics of Eyal Maoz and Aram Bajakian (who recently has been tearing it up in Lou Reed’s new band) and the atavistic drumming of Kenny Grohowski, this is Ritualistic Jewish Rock for the 21st century by a brilliant young lion from the East Village via Brooklyn/Israel! 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Bill Frisell Plays John Lennon @ LPR 8/2/12

It's so good to have Jenny back.  She was on maternity leave.  She was blown away amazing on violin.  Kenny was phenomenal on drums. Tony played an electric bass, but it was a more subdued one than you might see at a rock or funk show.  He was great.  Bill is always amazing and his arrangements were wonderful.  This was my first time seeing Greg Leisz on pedal steel guitar.  I must admit I didn't notice him at all.  I figure he either blended in seamlessly into the music or he was overpowered by everything else, especially the violin.

I loved the choice of songs and the arrangements were phenomenal.  My absolute favorite  was "Come Together", but I really love the original, which probably influenced me.

It was a wonderful show!

The listing:
All We Are Saying: Bill Frisell Explores the Music of John Lennon
Over the years, Frisell has contributed to the work of such collaborators as Paul Motian, John Zorn, Elvis Costello, Ginger Baker, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, Suzanne Vega, Loudon Wainwright III, Van Dyke Parks, Vic Chesnutt, Rickie, Lee Jones, Ron Sexsmith, Vinicius Cantuaria, Marc Johnson (in "Bass Desires"), Ronald Shannon Jackson and Melvin Gibbs (in "Power Tools"), Marianne Faithful, John Scofield, Jan Garbarek, Lyle Mays, Vernon Reid, Julius Hemphill, Paul Bley, Wayne Horvitz, Hal Willner, Robin Holcomb, Rinde Eckert, The Frankfurt Ballet, film director Gus Van Sant, David Sanborn, David Sylvian, Petra Haden and numerous others, including Bono, Brian Eno, Jon Hassell and Daniel Lanois on the soundtrack for Wim Wenders’ film Million Dollar Hotel.

This work has established Frisell as one of the most sought-after guitar voices in contemporary music. The breadth of such performing and recording situations is a testament not only to his singular guitar conception, but his musical versatility as well. This, however, is old news by now. In recent years, it is Frisell's role as composer and band leader which has garnered him increasing notoriety.

Greg Leisz, Tony Scherr, Jenny Scheinman, & Kenny Wollesen

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Pablo Zeigler @ Birdland 7/28/12

I don't seem to get sick of this - I've seen Pablo Zeigler in the jazz clubs a number of times.  It was nice to see it at Birdland - I've always seen him at Jazz Standard.  The band included Pablo on piano, the bandoneon, contrabass, and cello.  Special guest Regina Carter on violin came out a little after the halfway mark and stayed til the end.  I mean, how you go back to the band without her after that?  The cello was pretty amazing, though.  It was highlighted during the piece that was just piano and cello.

I loved the piece that started off with the piano, bandoneon, and bass all playing the sides of their instruments as percussion.  It was so cool.

It was a little longer for a jazz set, about 1 hour 20 min, which included an encore.  It was fabulous!

“Modern Tango mixed with Jazz and Classical”


“Ziegler Celebrates 20 Years of Performing in the US”

Produced by Pat Philips & Ettore Stratta

Pablo Ziegler, Argentinian born modern tango pianist and composer who performed alongside the legendary Astor Piazzolla in Argentina and around the world, went on to carry forward the master’s legacy upon his passing. Being a Composer himself, Ziegler did so with a combination of the music of Piazzolla, but also introducing his own compositions.

2012 marks 20 years of performing in the US due to his enormous talent recognized by Maestro Ettore Stratta who initially brought him to NY to record with the renowned Emmanuel Ax for Sony Music. That was the beginning of a beautiful career in the states for Ziegler who went on to be featured at Carnegie Hall in “Tango Magic” and “Tango, Passion, and Swing” for the JVC with top artists Paquito D’Rivera, Joe Lovano, and Gary Burton (produced by Stratta Philips Productions) as well as Paquito’s recent Piazzolla Tribute at Lincoln Center and much more. “Tango Meets Jazz” at the Jazz Standard ran for over 10 years where Ziegler’s quartet was featured with guest jazz greats Branford Marsalis, Regina Carter, David Sanchez, Miguel Zenon, Dave Samuels, Nestor Torres, Randy Brecker, Kenny Garrett to name a few. Considering his roots as a young man were in jazz, this was a perfect fit.

“Tango Conexion” goes further. It taps into his modern and traditional tango world, but crosses it not only with jazz but with classical – another part of Ziegler’s musical experience. Regina Carter, world renowned jazz violinist will be his special guest with whom he and his quartet will perform several numbers composed by Ziegler but not yet performed in public. Jisoo Ok on cello explores the classical sounds along with the brilliant bandoneonist Hector Del Curto and the very talented Pedro Giraudo on bass. A great artist of versatility, Ziegler will take you on a virtuosic journey weaving in and out of his music and his own arrangements of Piazzolla. ‘TANGO CONEXION’ is produced by Pat Philips and Ettore Stratta.

Pablo Ziegler’s mastery will be on view in a special concert at Central Park Summerstage in August: Lara St. John, Pablo Ziegler & Friends Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Astor Piazzolla’s 1987 Central Park Concert in the Naumburg Bandshell.

Ziegler came to “modern tango’ when he was young, and like many other talented highly respected musicians, at first he rejected traditional tango. For them, Piazzolla was a revelation! The traditional music of Ziegler’s people is deep within him though he has chosen the path of modern tango.