Saturday, September 22, 2012

Red Baraat @ LPR 9/19/12

It was fun and great.  I needed to get down and have a good time.  I couldn't stay too long, but enjoyed what I got.  They are all so talented.
Red Baraat
It’s a sound so powerful it has left the band in its own utterly unique and enviable class. These days you are as likely to find Red Baraat throwing down at an overheated and unannounced warehouse party in their Brooklyn neighborhood as you are at the Barbican or the Montreal Jazz Festival, or Lincoln Center. It’s a band unquestionably on the ascent playing some of the most prestigious festivals and theatres worldwide, and keeping their chops razor sharp in basements and sweaty sold out clubs across New York City. Leading an audience as diverse and joyful as the band itself, Red Baraat has subsumed a plateful of global influence, fused it, and is now exporting it Brooklyn-style to the world.

In just three short years, the pioneering Brooklyn dhol ‘n’ brass party juggernaut Red Baraat have made a name for themselves as one of the best live bands playing anywhere in the world. Led by dhol player Sunny Jain, the nine piece comprised of dhol (double-sided barrel shaped North Indian drum slung over one shoulder) drumset, percussion, sousaphone and five horns, melds the infectious North Indian rhythm Bhangra with a host of sounds, namely funk, go-go, latin, and jazz. Simply put, Sunny Jain and Red Baraat have created and defined a sound entirely their own.

The group's most recent release, Bootleg Bhangra, is the band’s incredibly powerful live show captured at Brooklyn’s Southpaw on the band’s second anniversary. With songs pulled primarily from their debut album, Chaal Baby the group was mindful of the challenge to capture a rapturous live sound on record. Well, it happened on this night, and the resulting document places you squarely in that small Brooklyn club jammed from front to back with hip shaking beauties - hands raised to a ceiling dripping with condensation. The band is currently at work on their 2nd studio date, Shruggy Ji, which should see release in early 2012.

Most recently, the title track, Chaal Baby, is being used as the background music for the promo ads for the hit FX TV show, It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia. After the group’s performance at the 2011 globalFEST, Red Baraat was a top pick favorite and featured on PRI’s The World, NPR’s All Songs Considered, New York Times, The Village Voice and Mother Jones magazine. The group's debut CD, Chaal Baby (Sinj Records) was voted by several music critics as a top world and jazz release of 2010.

Since their inception in October 2008, Red Baraat has delivered blistering performances at globalFEST, Montreal Jazz Festival, Sunfest, Festival De Louisiane, Quebec City Summer Festival, Chicago World Music Festival, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, Madison World Music Festival, New Orleans Jazz Festival, Pori Jazz Festival (Finland), Molde Jazz Festival (Norway) and Chicago Folks & Roots Festival, among many others.

Red Baraat appeared on John Schaefer's Soundcheck WNYC-FM 93.9, an NPR affiliate, in which they were picked as a top live radio performance of 2009. They also recorded the credit roll theme song for the movie, The Yes Men Fix the World and performed for the 2009 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (NYC) for Ports 1961 runway models. Red Baraat has been featured in National Geographic, Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Relix and Songlines, among many others.

Oliver Lake Trio + Geri Allen @ Jazz Standard 9/16/12

I just had to go.  I was really tired, but it was way too early to go to bed.  I completely forgot my tiredness once the music started.  It was great from start to finish.  Everyone shone.  I could just see Oliver or Geri solo, but each of the 4 were stellar.

The listing:
For this much-anticipated Jazz Standard run, the “alto saxophonist with a robust and piercing sound” (New York Times) will lead Trio 3 with the peerless rhythm section of Reggie Workman and Andrew Cyrille and the invaluable addition of pianist Geri Allen. This group has released such outstanding CD as At This Time and The Oliver Lake Trio Live on the artist’s own Passin’ Thru label.
Oliver Lake – alto sax
Reggie Workman – bass
Andrew Cyrille – drums
With Special Guest
Geri Allen – piano

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Band4 @ The Stone 9/14/12

This was the last set of Miguel Frasconi's curation and he chose to invite 3 of his favorites to play with him.  It was stellar, really out there, fantastic music.  Chris was playing the pedals of the guitar without touching the guitar at first.  Miguel had some electronic equipment as well as glass.  Zeena had her own share of electronics to go with her harp.  Richard had a lot of interesting things going on with the piano.  It was fabulous.

Band4: Carrick, Cochrane, Frasconi & Parkins Chris Cochrane (guitars) Richard Carrick (piano) Miguel Frasconi (glass) Zeena Parkins (harp)

MK Groove Orchestra @ Paper Box 9/13/12

I could only stay for about 15 minutes due to work deadlines.  It was an enjoyable 15 min with a 14 piece intense ensemble.  It was their 10 year anniversary party.  I saw them once at Bowery Poetry Club probably about 8 years ago.  I remember having to leave early that night, too, although it was due to exhaustion.  It just hadn't worked out to see them again until now.

They did a fun Latin number.  The horns are loud and intense.  There is a drummer and a percussionist.  Everybody except the drummers stand.  People were dancing and it's a good room.

**10th Anniversary of the MK Groove Orchestra**





Josh Roseman, Trombone
incredible surprise individual! Tenor Sax
Ben Monder, 6 string bass
Nasheet Waits, drums

Bobby Previte @ Paper Box 9/13/12

I always love seeing Bobby.  I was so happy to see he had Mike Gamble with him - I need to get out to Brooklyn more to see him.  Then, there was Fabian Rucker on baritone, in from Austria, who I never saw before.  It was a great combination.  It seemed like they were just improvising.  It was hard to tell because they sounded so great together.  There were 4 great bands that night, so they could only play about 45 minutes, and it was a joyous 45 at that.

I couldn't stay for a little bit of the next band, but I would have stayed for the whole phenomenal lineup otherwise.  Check it out:

**10th Anniversary of the MK Groove Orchestra**





Josh Roseman, Trombone
incredible surprise individual! Tenor Sax
Ben Monder, 6 string bass
Nasheet Waits, drums

Bandalabra @ Cameo Gallery 9/11/12

It's an awesome new band that defies genres.  It's Skerik and 3 other guys from Seattle having fun and playing well.  The drums were intense, which I always like.  The guitar was very interesting and I liked what he was doing.  The bass player was fun to watch because he was having so much fun.  He also did some interesting things at times.  Skerik was as great as usual.  He played sax with a pedaled mic and sometimes did a little vocals with that mic.

They did all different "kinds" of music their own way. I heard some rock, tango, punk rock, country, acid jazz, etc. and stuff that doesn't have a genre.  Very fun and had me dancing a lot.

The first set was just under 50 minutes.  I was excited for the 2nd set because I saw some congas and percussion set up.  After about a 30 minute setbreak Skerik told us this next thing is "The Bandalabra Orchestra".  They had a special set with Jessica Lurie on alto sax, Cochemea Galstelom on baritone sax and Elizabeth Pupo-Walker on percussion.  And, it wasn't just a little sitin, it was pretty much the whole, long set.  I think it was about 1.5 hours, ending at around 1:15.  It was well worth the next day tiredness, which wasn't so bad.  I still had my adrenaline rush because I got the bandalabra CD.  It's great.

That 2nd set was one of those special things that if you live in NYC and go to jazzfest every year, you get periodically.  It was phenomenal.  They would take turns starting pieces and they would be killer.

Reggie Watts was invited to sit in on vocals toward the end.  That was good, but I was glad they did one more and gave us an instrumental for the final piece.  The drummer hadn't started one yet, so we finished with an awesome intense one.

I also need to mention the cool, trippy lights that were going on the 2nd set.  They had them on the band and the audience - it was little specks of red light that looked like it was crawling on people.  I don't know how to describe it, but it was very cool.  A lot of the lights added to the music, which I don't say very often.


Skerik, the enduringly saxophonic, punk jazz iconoclast is joined by three of his fellow Seattle hometown's most revered players: Andy Coe on electric guitar, Evan Flory Barnes on upright bass and Dvonne Lewis on drums.
Skerik, the enduringly saxophonic, punk jazz iconoclast is joined by three of his fellow Seattle hometown's most revered players: Andy Coe on electric guitar, Evan Flory Barnes on upright bass and Dvonne Lewis on drums.

In Skerik's words, "I've always been inspired by Fela Kuti and Steve Reich, which sparked the idea to start a band built around rhythmic and minimalist concepts. It's not about soloing so much as creating a polyrhythmic weave with the four instruments. Music that is danceable but also interesting to listen to."

A bold assertion, but one for which the music bears witness. Together, the quartet syncopates and snakes, floats free and snaps tight with hypnotic afrobeat rhythms, minimalist canons and improvised harmonics. There's a duality that demands listeners both dance and get lost in the sound.

On Bandalabra’s debut album Live At The Royal Room, captured at the band's first public performance, the foursome head into the deep unknown, creating music in the moment for over 60 minutes straight. Halfway through the evening, they hit upon the illest of psych grooves, appropriately dubbed "Beast Crusher." Here the visceral and cerebral become one, and Skerik's Bandalabra is born a fully realized vision.
New record LIVE AT THE ROYAL ROOM available now:

Elysian Fields @ LPR 9/7/12

It was a new bassist and drummer for me and they fit right in.  I loved the drums and they would get my attention often.  That is, when I could release myself from Jennifer Charles' spell.  She's got a very captivating presence.  It works so well because Oren Bloedow is awesome and they always play with great people.  Everything was set up, so they came on 15 minutes after Adam.  They played for about 45, left the stage and came back for an encore.  They played a lot of new songs, about 4 or 5.  My favorite was the first one because it was the most up and danceable.  I sat in my seat and chair-danced.

It was a good friday and free for members.  So was the Peter Brotzman show the other night.  I'm also about $2 away from a free drink.  When that happens I will have gotten back $40 of my $50 already (I just renewed a couple of weeks ago).

Here's some pictures from that set and Mrs. Adam Schatz set:

I tried to get the names of the bass and drums, but I couldn't find it.

Elysian Fields
"I felt myself falling/under a spell/I knew very well I might never return/to the land of the living/and then I was giving myself to the light/then I took flight/I shot up like a kite/it was my last night on earth..."

Legendary cult heroes Elysian Fields have always travelled in mysterious waters. Led by the enigmatic New York co-composers Jennifer Charles (vocals) and Oren Bloedow (guitar), the music born of their collaboration is impossible to categorize. They carry a torch for nature, sex, love, the cycle of death and rebirth, and the sounds of folk and jazz ballads, no wave and classical music, seamlessly interwoven into a style that is at once languorously romantic and tough. Long known to European audiences where they have been lionized, the paradox is that in their home country, their art has gone largely unnoticed, but to the musical cognoscenti and in the know music Hop-heads.

But the fact is, more than anything, Elysian Fields is a New York band, as much a part of the cities tapestry as New York Marble Cemetery, or The Frick. Maybe you've heard of them, but likely you haven't experienced them. Oren Bloedow, a New York maverick, who grew up in the 70's at 53rd and 3rd Avenue no less, brings not only his masterly and unique command of the guitar to the stage, but his unparralled finesse of song craft. Co writer Jennifer Charles is possessed of unusual songsmithery and spirit; she seems to be channneling the songs from a mysterious source. She is both poet and siren, her rich voice of velvet, flush with emotion, entwining around one's heart. Behind these two have always been the finest of Downtown music's demi monde.

Mrs. Adam Schatz @ LPR 9/7/12

This is Adam's solo project.  It was a good opener for Elysian Fields.  I got there at around 7:45ish and Adam was playing the piano and singing.  They had a round stage set up in the middle of the room.  I heard about this setup but hadn't experienced it until now.  I was happy everything was set up so I could walk around the room and survey where I wanted to sit.  I found a prime spot up front which would be facing the front of the stage when Elysian Fields came on.  I had a side view of Adam and could see what he was doing.  I enjoyed it.  Singer songwriter isn't often my thing, but Adam keeps it interesting.  He had a lot of equipment with him - electronics for sampling, a keyboard, a drum machine, that fancy box contraption I see him with in Fatther Figures and my fav, his sax.  I'm always impressed at what a good manager he is.  He actually got the crowd to sing backup for 2 different songs.  One didn't have lyrics, just a musical phrase.  He passed out lyrics cards for the other one.  The lyrics were "always".  How can you not sing when someone goes through the trouble?  It was a fun set that ended at around 8:30.

Mrs. Adam Schatz
Mrs. Adam Schatz is his solo affair, saxophone voice and keyboard loops and improvisations into songs and sing-alongs.

Some of Adam's other projects are: Landlady, Father Figures, Blast Off!!, Zongo Junction, The Shoe Ins

He has worked on keys / horns with: Hospitality, Sleigh Bells, Those Darlins, Will Sheff, Twin Shadow, Little Joy, Adam Green, Freelance Whales

Peter Brötzmann/Jason Adasiewicz @ LPR 9/5/12

Wow, really special.  Jason Adasiewicz was a monster on the vibes and Brötzmann was as amazing as ever on the alto, tenor and clarinet.  I mean amazing.  No one plays like that.  Jason was pretty wild on the vibes, using the mallots with major intensity. He was pretty cool when he was scraping the sides with a bow and also intense.  He also held the bow horizontally in both hands and played the keys with it.  His hands were moving very rapidly and at first I though he was playing the keys with his hands and wondered how much pain he was in.  It still looks like his monster style takes a lot out of him, he was dripping with sweat.

This was their 2nd gig together.  They invited Josh Abrams and Chad Taylor up for the last piece and I left elated.

Brötzmann/ Adasiewicz Duo
“A more accommodating rapport emerged in the second set, featuring Mr. Brötzmann with the versatile young vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz. Beginning in anxious clangor — alto saxophone blare, wood mallets jack-hammered sideways along the metal bars — their duologue gradually softened and ripened, occasionally flirting with outright beauty. Mr. Adasiewicz was the agent of that flirtation, but his approach was hardly typical. At one point he created a glowing drone from the vibraphone with two violin bows, clutching them like ski poles. Mr. Brötzmann responded with a stretch of unusually songlike playing, one long tone after another, before resuming his eruptive norm.”

“Brötzmann, the guest of honor at this year’s Vision Festival, played in three separate ensembles, each breathtaking on its own terms. My favorite was this unexpectedly accommodating duo with Adasiewicz, a vibraphonist of exacting tonal effect. A genuine conversation, it covered the full dynamic spectrum, from expectant hush to meteor-hits-the-building.” -Nate Chinen

Josh Abrams/Chad Taylor @ LPR 9/5/12

It was so worth coming out in my tired state.  The set was about 1 hour of greatness.  It started with Chad on drums and Josh on gumbri and I wanted to dance.  I chose to stay in my seat because it was nice and close.  Josh moved to the upright at some point and was very engaging.  Chad moved to the mbira at some point after that and played some phenomenal thumb piano.  Later, Josh went back to gumbri and Chad played moraccan castanets and included the high hat and kick drum with it.  It was awesome.  The whole set was awesome.

Joshua Abrams Natural Information Society with Chad Taylor
Bassist & composer Joshua Abrams has been in the thick of Chicago's vibrant music scene for fifteen years, playing & recording as leader & sideman in projects across the genres. Since the release of his Eremite album Natural Information, selected by The Wire as one of the 50 notable records of 2010, Abrams has toured North America & Europe with a shifting line-up of musicians as 'The Natural Information Society,' & scored the music for the award-winning 2011 film the interrupters. His new Eremite album is Represencing.

In earlier times Abrams co-founded the "back porch minimalist" band Town & Country (Thrill Jockey/Box Media) & with Matana Roberts & Chad Taylor the trio Sticks & Stones (Thrill Jockety/482 Music). He has appeared on over 50 recordings including records by Fred Anderson, Hamid Drake & Bindu, Bonny "Prince" Billy, Nicole Mitchell Black Earth Ensemble and Black Earth Strings, Sam Prekop, Mike Reed's Loose Assembly, Ernest Dawkins Chicago 12, Savath & Savalis, Prefuse 73, Rhys Chatham, Rob Mazurek, Tortoise, The Roots, Edith Frost, Mia Doi Todd, Matana Roberts, Diverse, Joan of Arc, Lorren Connors, David Grubbs, David Boykin, Chris Conelly, & the Cairo Gang. He has performed with Roscoe Mitchell, Bill Dixon, Von Freeman, Fred Anderson Trio, John Tchicai, The Exploding Star Orchestra, Henry Grimes, Axel Dorner, Fred Lonberg-holm, Peter Evans, Damo Suzuki, Wilbert de Joode, Jandek, Walter Wierbos, Tony Conrad, Bobby Broom, Sean Bergin, Nate Wooley, Craig Taborn, David Stakenas, Fred hopkins, Rhys Chatham, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Neil Michael Hagerty, Lin Halliday, Raymond Strid, Douglas Ewart, Toumani Diabate, The Chicago Underground Orchestra, Ron Dewar, Baby D, Kevin Drumm, Terry X, Frederick Lvunquist, The Roots, Jim O'Rourke, Kurt Vonnegut, & Earle Brown. When in chicago he plays weekly with Jeff Parker and John Herndon.

High Space @ Brooklyn Bowl 9/4/12

It was a busy workweek but I knew I had to go to this.  I got there at around 9:30ish and the opener had just ended.  I heard she was good and had a pedal steel guitar in her band.  High Space with Special Guest Nels Cline came on at around 10:05.  I knew I wanted to go, but had no idea what it was going to be like.  I just thought the lineup was intriguing and sounded good.  Once they started I realized we had the ingredients for greatness on the stage.  It is a jammy spacey stellar instrumental band.  Sometimes, Nels and Jim would take turns playing the lead.  Whatever they were doing as the lead was amazing.  Whatever they were doing when they were accompanying each other on the lead was amazing.  Nels also had a box with lots of dials next to him and he was doing cool sounds with that as well as his guitar.  There was one point where Nels and Eric got into a call and response thing that was killer.  The bass and drums were so right for this.  I bet the band is awesome without Nels as well, but he did add a lot.

I had to leave to be fresh on the morning.  I heard they were going to do one 1.5 hour set, but I slipped out after about an hour, when they were doing a slower song.  It was the only way.

Tony Mason, drums 
Erik Deutsch, keyboards
Jeff Hill & Jim Campilongo w/ Nels Cline (Wilco)

Opening Band info:
Alana Amram & the Rough Gems
Since 2003, Alana Amram and The Rough Gems have built a loyal following and recorded prolifically. Awaiting the Flood says"Amram's voice is distinct and mesmerizing.... haunting." "The Rough Gems provides drive in the way Crazy Horse added a punch Neil Young's music" - No Depression. Pick Up on Delancey 7" (2007), Self - Titled EP (2008), were followed up by Alana's traveling chronicles - Painted Lady LP (2010). "I have a real good feeling that we'll all be seeing a lot more of this up and coming star" The Fader wrote.

In 2011 Alana made her critical breakthrough with Snow Shadows: Songs of Vince Martin (2011). Her interest in Fred Neil led to a tribute album to Fred's lesser known singing partner, 60's folk legend Vince Martin. This record not only exposed Vince's music to a new generation but also was Alana's most successful record to date. Snow Shadows featured string arrangements by Van Dyke Parks and John Sebastian (Lovin' Spoonful.) Elmore Magazine wrote, "The Rough Gems strike pure gold.... Aural pleasure and lyrical treasure take you on a fantastic, romantic, wild ride." Blurt Magazine summed it up simply, "She hits her mark".

Alana is a second generation road warrior (as a little girl she would sleep offstage in guitar cases while her gifted father, composer/ performer David Amram played late into the night) and has played over 100 live shows around the country each year. She has been featured live on NPR, WFMU, WDVX, WMBR, WFUV, WBAI, WNCW and other college and XM/ Sirius radio shows. Her music and unique style have been used by Stetson and Buffalo Trace Whiskey.

Always playing and fervently writing, Alana is in the process of recording a fourth LP, Motorbike. This batch of songs - heavily road tested - show the band's greatest maturation. They have expanded their genre melding sound, making the Rough Gems voice in rock and roll unique.

In addition to the band, Alana has played bass for Cliffie Swan / Lights (Drag City), Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black internationally and guested vocals on numerous recordings. She is a filmmaker/ visual artist as well.

Jose Conde + Cuarteto Fresco @ Ideya 9/3/12

They used to play there every Monday and I always wanted to go.  Now, they have music the first Monday of the month and music at brunch (3-7pm) the last Sunday.  I see Dende is playing 9/30 - too bad I will be away.

The music was great and the food was great.  It was a great way to end the holiday.  There was Jose Conde on vocals and maracas, a guitar, interesting looking bass, and small congas/cochon/cowbell.  Someone sat in on percussion for a couple.

Ideya welcomes back longstanding musical alumnus Jose Conde with his "rustic" representation of Ola Fresca. Expect some Cuban standards with some funky underpinnings. Featuring Pablo Moya on Tres, Chinchilita on percussion, and Jorge B on bass

Jose Conde LIVE at Baby Salsa Brunch in Ideya

The summer is not complete without a little salsa!

Jenny Scheinman @ Village Vanguard 9/2/12

This was the only thing to go to after the awesome Ron Carter show.  It was excellent and I'm glad I didn't miss it.  Jenny was very happy to be playing with Jason Moran and they sounded great together.  The whole set was wonderful.

Jenny Scheinman-vln,
Jason Moran-p,
Greg Cohen-b,
Rudy Royston-d

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Ron Carter's Really Big Band @ Jazz Standard 9/2/12

It was a really big band, I counted 17 pieces.  Ron was the bass player and it was impressive that there was no conductor.  I think everyone took a solo with the soprano sax taking a few.  Ron's solo piece had a piano accompaniment.  I heard a lot of "You Are My Sunshine" throughout the piece.  Later he told us it's his commentary on the Republican Medicare ideas.  Makes sense that he used that song as part of it.  Here's the story.

It was an awesome set.  They did a lot of reinterpretations of great music.  They got funky at times.  I loved the ballads and everything in between.  All the horns were awesome.  I really loved the guitar and piano.  Kenny Washington was phenomenal on the drumkit.

Ron Carter Big Band

Throughout his illustrious career, bassist/composer Ron Carter has played it all: as an integral member of Miles Davis’ classic quintet of the Sixties, as the anchor for countless CTI Records sessions in the Seventies, as the fountainhead of multifarious musical projects including his cello–infused, chamber–jazz nonet and his trio of bass, piano, and guitar. But Carter had never led or recorded with a big band of his own – until 2011 and the release of Ron Carter’s Great Big Band, a delightfully swinging set featuring the talents of arranger Bob Freedman. (Freedman had written arrangements for past Carter recordings including Dear Miles, The Golden Striker, and When Skies Are Grey.) “The album’s spirit is a collage of old fashioned big band fun, bop revolt intellect, and a devil-may-care manner of choosing the material,” wrote John Garrett at The Ron Carter Big Band made its live debut on our stage in September 2011 to a rapturous response – and we’re proud and pleased to bring this great band back for a second thrilling run. Make your reservations now!

Greg Gisbert, Jon Owens, Alex Norris, Frank Greene
Jerry Dodgion, Jay Brandford, David deJesus, Bobby LaVell, Ivan Renta
James Burton, Steve Davis, Douglas Purviance, Jason Jackson

Donald Vega - piano
Russell Malone -guitar
Kenny Washington - drums

MTO w/ Henry Butler @ Jazz Standard 8/26/12

I knew one set wasn't enough for me.  I was so glad to be back after the phenomenal time on Thurs night.  Sun night had Matt Munisteri on guitar and Ben Perowsky on drums - the more "regular" members of the band.  I don't think any of the songs were the same as the other night.  They should do jazzfest and a big 3 hour show at Blue Nile or 2 in NOLA next year.  The show was phenomenal, but I wouldn't expect any less.


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
Matt Munisteri – guitar
Charles Burnham – violin
Brad Jones – acoustic bass
Ben Perowsky – drums

With Special Guest
Henry Butler – piano

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Everywhere Quintet + 3 @ Spectrum 8/25/12

This is a project led by Thollem, a pianist who travels perpetually.  That's one way to get to see who else is out in the world playing music.  And he seems to find awesome people to play with.  He was here for a week and this was the only thing I could make it to. I have the whole NYC schedule below because it's interesting.

The venue is very cool.  It's someone's apartment.  A music lover with money to set up a really nice space for great musicians to play.  The room isn't much smaller than The Stone.  The sound is phenomenal.  There is a lot of very nice equipment including a Steinway and a cool lighting system.  There's a bunch of really nice leather lounge chairs to sit on.  Of course, the entire cover goes to the artists.  I always thought if I had massive amounts of money I would buy a whole building and have a few rooms to do something like this.  In my fantasy, I never imagined it being so nice.

The music was stellar.  All improvisation, which was impressive given 8 musicians many of whom never played together before. They sounded as if they've been together forever.  It was also cool that I only knew one of them prior to this show, Fay Victor the vocalist.

I loved having 2 drummers.  They switched kits for the 2nd set.  The amplified violin was very cool.  I liked what Fay was doing with the vocals, she would often sing a phrase from something familiar in the rock or funk genre.  She was definitely another instrument.  Eric Holmes was very interesting as well.  He had a guitar, baby mandolin and harmonium.  He sometimes played the strings as a slide.  Thollem sounded great on the beautiful piano.

For the first set, they all just improvised together for about an hour.  It was announced as the Everywhere Quintet Plus Three.  The concept is to have different people every time.

C. Spencer Yeh had to leave after that, so the 2nd set was the 7.  The listing did say 2 different groupings.  It was pretty different.  They decided on a concept of overlapping solos, with each solo being 1-2 minutes.  It started with a piano solo then add drums for a duo.  Next was a vocal solo, adding the baby mandolin for a duo.  Vocals drop off at some point so Eric had some solo time.  The violin then came in first for the duo and then for a solo.  Next there was a piano/violin duo into a piano solo into a piano/voice duo into a voice solo into a voice/drum duo into a  drum solo into everyone improvising together.  What was so impressive was there was no plan as to who was going to go when. It was all spontaneous.

I had a great time.

This show:
August 25 at Spectrum The Everywhere Quintet (Two sets with two different groupings, 7:00 and 8:30)
with Laura Ortman (amplified violin), Fay Victor (voice), Michael Evans (drums/percussion), Ravish Momin (drums/percussion), Eric Hubel (guitar, mandolin, harmonium), C. Spencer Yeh (violin), and Patrick Holmes (clarinet)

The NYC Schedule:
-------6 Nights of NY/Brooklyn Concerts-------
August 21 at The Stone with Pauline Oliveros and Susie Ibarra NY, NY
August 22 at Douglas Music Collective with James Ilgenfritz and Brian Chase also Jeremiah Cymerman / Josh Sinton duo
and Daniel Rovin, Austin White, and Dave Miller
Brooklyn, NY
August 23 at Goodbye Blue Monday with James Ilgenfritz and Brian Chase also Chuck Bettis, Joe Merolla Brooklyn, NY
August 24 at The Stone Thollem Sworld NY, NY
August 25 at Spectrum The Everywhere Quintet (Two sets with two different groupings, 7:00 and 8:30)
with Laura Ortman, Fay Victor, Michael Evans, Ravish Momin, Eric Hubel, C. Spencer Yeh, and Patrick Holmes NY, NY
August 26 at Zebulon Cafe Thollem Electric with Gregory Saunier (Deerhoof et al) Brooklyn, NY
------- ------- -------

Saturday, September 1, 2012

James Blood Ulmer @ City Winery 8/24/12

I always like this band that includes Vernon Reid.  Mazz Swift was on violin.  The harmonica was awesome.  I loved the piano.  The bass and drums fit in well.  It was one long set of music, about 1.5 hours or so.  That's the nice thing about City Winery, they don't have the 1 hour 1 set shows.

They did a lot of covers of great blues songs.  I thought they made excellent choices.  I recognized a couple from the Allman Brothers and a few more more from the Blues world.


James Blood Ulmer is among the most distinctive and influential electric guitarists to emerge in the past four decades. Over time, Blood’s reputation has morphed from that of an avant–garde jazz visionary out of the Ornette Coleman school to elder statesman of the African–American musical vernacular encom¬passing jazz, blues, funk, and whatever lies beyond

James Blood Ulmer - guitar, vocals
Vernon Reid - guitar
Mazz Swift - violin
Leon Gruenbaum - keyboards
David Barnes - harmonica
Mark Peterson - bass
Aubrey Dayle - drums