Thursday, November 29, 2012

Crystal Magnets Piano Duo @ Shapeshifter Lab 11/28/12

I got there at 9 and they were on the 2nd piece.  I was surprised and happy and impressed to see 2 actual pianos as opposed to one piano and keyboard.  It sounded great.  The next piece was very cool.  It was called même jour, meaning same day.  It was composed by Benoit and was about how his 2 kids were born on the same day, Friday 13th, 5 years apart.  He used clothespins on the strings to make it sound very cool.  For the next piece, they both had clothes pins in different places on the strings.  Benoit took the rhythm and Andy the melody.  It sounded great and modern.  Then they took a break and told us they would play with Ethan Iverson in the next set.

After a 20 min setbreak it started with a Iverson/Delbecq improvised duo piece that was awesome.  Then Benoit and Andy traded seats and Andy and Ethan played a song.  Then it was Ethan and Benoit playing a Mal Waldron tune, "What It Is", my favorite of the night.  It grooved.  The last piece seemed to be another improvised with Andy and Ethan.  It was all well worth the schlep.

Crystal Magnets Piano Duo – Andy Milne & Benoit Delbecq
November 28th – special guest: Ethan Iverson – piano
November 29th – special guest: Fred Hersch – piano
November 30th – special guests: Greg Osby – alto sax & clarinet, Michael Attias – baritone sax, Vincent Chancey – french horn, Jacob Garchik – trombone
Crystal Magnets, the piano duo from two masters of contemporary improvisation, reunites Canadian Andy Milne and Frenchman Benoît Delbecq. They became friends in 1990 while studying with saxophonist Steve Coleman at The Banff Centre Jazz Workshop. Both keyboardists took Coleman’s teachings to heart, exploring distinctly different approaches to expressing their experiences through music. In 2007, they received The French-America Jazz Exchange and were commissioned by Chamber Music America to develop and record “Where is Pannonica?” [Songlines – 2009]. Milne and Delbecq returned to The Banff Centre in January 2008 to undertake this project. The scope of it grew to include extensive collaboration with Banff Centre audio engineers throughout the compositional, recording and mixing phases. Using the sonic landscape of the 5.0 surround sound format for inspiration, the music was composed in part to exploit the unique potential for placing specific compositional elements in distinct regions of the mix. The engineers created an acoustic array within each piano and analyzed the natural acoustics to define a larger array within the room, enabling Milne and Delbecq to compose for the medium and perform in harmony with their environment. The New York Times lauded the recording as a “strangely beautiful new album” from two “resourcefully contemporary pianists, both drawn to quixotic interrogations of harmony and timbre.”Although Milne and Delbecq have both created music for electronic and computer-based instruments, Crystal Magnets is primarily an acoustic piano duo, equally influenced by both pianists’ ever-expanding experiences and passions. As an innovator in improvised prepared-piano performance, Delbecq has synthesized sounds and concepts from Ligeti and Steve Lacy to Aka Pygmy music. Milne’s long association with Steve Coleman inspired his unique integration of rhythmic concepts from Cuba, Ghana, American jazz, funk and hip-hop.Their shared respect and understanding for each other’s approach to the piano and to improvisation, helped connect them in a profound, almost seamless thought process throughout their collaboration. While interpreting each other’s compositions and collaboratively developing pieces, Milne and Delbecq discovered this synchronicity and used it with great care to develop complex rhythmic, melodic and harmonic relationships involving timbre and texture, room acoustics, space, and time. In doing so, they have extended the scope of the piano duo within the jazz world.

Joe Lovano & Dave Douglas @ Village Vanguard 11/27/12

It was the very first set of what I'm sure will be a stellar week of music.  I absolutely loved it.  It is a can't miss ensemble.  Joe kept referring to the group as Sound Prints.  I Iove Joey Baron more than I can say.  The whole thing was outstanding.  My favorite was the 2nd song, a very bluesy piece written by Dave.  It's a phenomenal band and I'm thinking about going again this week.

Joe Lovano-sax, Dave Douglas-tpt,
Lawrence Fields-p, Linda Oh-b,
Joey Baron-d

Gerald Clayton Duos @ Jazz Gallery 11/24/12

I had to get some shows in before they move to Midtown.  I'm gonna miss that spot.

It was a great show.  He first did a piece with Chris Dingman on vibes.  Next he had Gretchen Parlotto come up and sing - that was quite mellow.  Then he had Justin Brown come up on drums, probably my favorite piece of the set.  After that he was joined by Dayna Stephens on sax.  Then he started circling around again.  First a piece with the vibes and then one with Gretchen.  For the final piece, he invited sax, drums and Raymond Hall on bass.  It was awesome.

Gerald Clayton - piano
Dayna Stephens - saxophone
Chris Dingman - vibraphone
Justin Brown - drums
Plus Special Guests

Dave Liebman Quintet @ Cornelia St 11/24/12

I got there right as they started and got a good dancing spot where I could see everything.  The music was excellent.  Sam wasn't on stage until the 2nd half of the set.  He played soprano the whole time.  Ellery and Dave were on stage the whole time.  I love Jim Black and he was as phenomenal as always.  I didn't know of the bass player before - he was great.

It was a wonderful set.  They cleared the room as they had 40 reservations for the 2nd set. I opted to go to a different show even though I could have easily stayed there for more.

David Liebman, soprano saxophone; 
Sam Newsome, soprano saxophone; 
Ellery Eskelin, tenor sax; 
Chris Tordini, bass; 
Jim Black, drums 

Billy Martin @ Shapeshifter Lab 11/16/12

It was a special night for Billy.  There was an art reception at 7 with a percussion show to follow at 9.  I got there at 9:30 and Billy and Calvin Weston were on stage, doing what they do so well.  They were actually my very first show at The Stone years ago and have a soft spot on my heart.  They played til about 9:50 and then Calvin left the stage and the 3 other members of Fang Percussion came to join Billy.  It was good stuff.  Billy summoned a few people from the audience with gestures to play the wine glasses with the band.  It was a great piece.  Then the extras left and Calvin came up to sit in with the band.  They did this awesome piece Billy said was inspired by Laos.  It reminded me of the Tibetan spiritual music I heard at the Brussels Musical Instrument Museum.

Next we got another Billy/Calvin duo improvisation that was as phenomenal as they all are.

After that was an awesome awesome piece inspired by the Fang Tribe of Africa.  Billy said they are amazing and he couldn't possibly replicate what they do.  It was a great piece.  After a while, he again summoned people from the audience, many people.  I would say about 20-25 were gestured to pick up an idiophone, the kind you hold in your hand and hit with a stick.  He then conducted them and it was great.

It all ended at around 10:40 and I loved it.
Billy Martin presents a night of percussion and art at Shapeshifter Lab in Brooklyn, NY on Friday, November 16. Dubbed "Festival of Percussion," Martin will perform new solo, duo and chamber works. For the duet pieces he'll be joined by the great avant jazz drummer G. Calvin Weston (Ornette Coleman, John Lurie's Lounge Lizards), while his percussion ensemble, Fang Percussion, will accompany him on the chamber pieces.

In addition to the musical performances that evening, the event will serve as the opening for Billy Martin's new art exhibit. Painting under the moniker illy B, his work on canvas, paper and wood, ranging from 24 x 24" to 48 x 60" oil, oil pastel and multi-media silkscreens will be on display. The art exhibit at Shapeshifter is scheduled to run from November 16 through December 22, 2012.

Phil Lesh and Friends @ Roseland 11/11/12

A friend had an extra and when I saw Joe Russo was in it I figured "why not?".  I was going more to hang out and hope that Joe was enough to endure a tired old Dead cover band.  I was pleasantly surprised that the band was good.  I enjoyed it a lot.  Press releases said they were going to do 3 sets with a very special guest for the 3rd set each night in NYC.  I didn't know who he was, but it was nice having another guy up there.  I read later it was Stanly Jordon.  I also was just fine with the "regular band".  I actually wasn't as into that 3rd set as the other 2.  It was still good, but I didn't have a problem leaving Early, at around 11:20.

I was very happy with the Strawberry Fields cover in the 1st set.  Joe Russo was indeed phenomenal.

Phil, Jackie Greene, Joe Russo, John Kadlecik, Jeff Chimenti


01. tuning
02. Alligator
03. Bird Song
04. Till The Light Comes
05. Strawberry Fields Forever
06. Franklins Tower


07. Dweller On The Treshold
08. Doin That Rag
09. Just Another Whistle Stop
10. Althea
11. Cosmic Charlie

with Stanley Jordan (guitar)

12. jam
13. Mountains Of The Moon
14. The Other One
15. Dark Star
16. Stairway To Heaven
17. Dark Star
18, All Along The Watchtower
19. Morning Dew
20. Dark Star


21. crowd / donor rap
22. US Blues

Jazz & Colors @ Central Park 11/10/12

This is a great thing.  30 bands playing the same setlist at various points all over Central Park.  The bands get a break in the middle and various soloists are scheduled at many of the points.  No sponsors, so I presume the city or Central park Conservatory or something funded it.

In addition to phenomenal music, I loved the opportunity to get to know the park a little.  I don't get there much due to proximity and crowdedness.  It also wasn't too crowded in most parts, which may not be a good thing for the festival, but there was a nice little crowd around each band I saw.

I got there a little after 1 and it had started at 12.  The format was one set 12-1:30 then a soloist portion to give the band a break and then another set 2:30-4:00.

I started at The Bob Stewart Quintet.  I could have stayed there the whole time.  It sounded so good with the horns.  I only stayed for 1-2 because I wanted to take full advantage.
Bob Stewart - tuba
Ray Anderson - trombone
Barry Altschul - drums
Alex Harding - baritone sax
Randall Haywood - trumpet

I saw a little of the Kimberly Thompson Quartet.  It was good but not a good follower to Bob Stewart.
Kimberly Thompson - drums
Essiat Essiat - bass
Craig Magnano - guitar
Dayna Stephens - sax
Carolyn Leonhart - vocal

I then got to the Naumberg Bandshell and Charnette Moffett was tuning up to do a phenomenal bass solo set.  I love him and always love his solos.  I saw his whole set and it was excellent.  He started with Caravan, playing off of pieces of it.  He was so cool how he hit the bass strings with the back of the bow.  He did some of his original compositions and some Mingus and some Blues.  He also did a cool kind of out there piece where he got the audience to play call and response with no effort on his part.  He was playing some complex stuff for us to respond to.

I took a little break after that to go to a paint store nearby to get some samples.  Next it was on to Doug Wamble Quartet.  But first I briefly caught some great music from the YES! Trio w/ Aaron Goldberg, Omer Avital, Ali Jackson, which was awesome.
Aaron Goldberg - piano
Omar Avital - bass
Ali Jackson - drums

Doug Wamble was awesome.  He sang the verse to Autumn in NY.  That was the 2wnd to last song and there was still about 1/2 hour left.  I decided to move on after that to get one more band in before the end.
Doug Wamble - Guitar, vocals
Jeff Hanley - bass
Roy Dunlap - keys
Bill Campbell - drums

I am so glad I did that.  I didn't realize Steven Bernstein was there, playing in the Joel Harrison Quartet.  I got an amazing 30 min.  Steven played regular trumpet.  They were all great.  I danced and had a great time.
Joel Harrison - guitar
Steven Bernstein - trumpet
Kenny Brooks - sax
Michael Bates - bass
George Schuller - drums

I hope this becomes a regular thing!

1st Setlist:
  • "Straight No Chaser" - Thelonious Monk, 1951
  • "Take The A Train" - Billy Strayhorn, 1939
  • "Central Park West" - John Coltrane,
  • "Nature Boy" - Eden Ahbez, 1947
  • "Fall" - The Miles Davis Quartet, 1967
  • "Autumn Serenade" - Johnny Harman / John Coltrane, 1963
  • "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" - Charles Mingus, 1959
  • "Manhattan" - Rodgers and Hart, 1925
  • "Blue Train" - John Coltrane, 1957
Featuring Jazz & Colors Rising Stars Soloist Contest Winners,

2nd Setlist:
  • "Scrapple From The Apple" - Charlie Parker, 1947
  • "The Blues Walk" - Clifford Brown and Max Roach, 1955
  • "Body and Soul" - Louis Armstrong, 1930
  • "Skating in Central Park" - John Lewis, 1959
  • "Rhythm-A-Ning" - Thelonious Monk, 1957
  • "Peace" - Ornette Coleman, 1959
  • "Nostalgia in Times Square" - Charles Mingus, 1960
  • "Autumn in New York" - Vernon Duke, 1934
  • "Empire State of Mind" - Jay-Z & Alicia Keys, 2009

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Jim Black/Nels Cline @ Cornelia St 11/9/12

It was listed as Jim Black Duo with Mystery Guitarist.  I immediately figured it had to be Nels Cline.  Sure enough that was noted on the door when I entered.

It was even better than I could have possibly imagined.  They're both amazing.  I forgot how phenomenal Jim is.  I mean, I knew he was phenomenal as a concept but experiencing it is a whole other thing.  Everything he did was stellar.  There was one point where he coordinated a drumbeat and cymbal strike at the same moment.  He did that again and again with different beats and cymbals.  It was amazing.  It reminded me of the Tibetan Ceremony Music I heard at the MIM in Brussels.

Jim also played the ipad as a touch instrument.  It looked like the sounds were programmed into a laptop and would change depending on where and how he touched the ipad screen, which was laying flat on the floor tom.  It wounded great.

Nels had a megamic, the same kind Jessica Lurie uses.  It's an almost obsolete toy microphone.  Jessica mentined once that they're hard to find now and she looks for them on ebay.  Nels would use vocals and the megamic to vibrate the guitar strings.  He also had lots of great electronics and was very interesting to watch.

They played for about an hour then took a break.  They announced they would now play a song they wrote 10 seconds from now.  That set was under an hour yet very satisfying.

I chose well.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Django Festival @ Birdland 11/7/12

I was going through live music withdrawal and had to get out.  It was the nor'easter, but not that bad in snow boots and a full length down coat.  It's also convenient that Birdland is so close to the 42nd St A-C-E exit.  I couldn't take those trains easily because the L was still down.  I took the N-R-Q to 42nd St and walked underground to 44th and 8th.  It was great.

I enjoyed the set a lot.  It was about an hour and twenty.  It was the same promoter that did the Tango show I saw with Regina Carter at Birdland a few months ago.  The Django music reminded me a lot of the tango music.  They have an accordion instead of a bandoneon.  They both often have violins.  There were similarities in the music.  Neither has drums or percussion.

The Django festival band is a special ensemble that only comes together for these shows.  I think they are all from France except the special guest saxophone players, which are different each night.  It's a family affair.  Dorado Schmitt is the father and apparently an old-time great Django style guitar and violin player as well as composer.  His son Samson plays guitar and he and the bass player were the only ones on stage the entire time. Another son of Dorado also plays guitar and was out for a couple.  This was his first time playing at Birdland.  There were some excellent other members as well: the violin and accordion were amazing.

I was especially compelled to go to this show because it was the night Anat Cohen was the special guest.  She played the soprano sax for the 3-4 pieces she sat in on.  Her clarinet was there, she just didn't pay it that set. She played some things on the soprano you might normally hear from a tenor.  For one piece the notes were lower and longer than what I usually hear from a soprano.  It was excellent.  There were also more customary soprano sounds at times.

It was great!

From the listing:
Legendary gypsy guitarist/composer Dorado Schmitt from the Lorraine area of France, in the tradition of Manouche gypsy life and culture, taught his 3 sons to follow in his footsteps and become jazz afficionados in the style of the great late Django Reinhardt, renowned gypsy guitarist. Schmitt is known for his harmonious melodies, brilliant improvisations and extraordinary technique. He has performed at festivals around the world and with top Jazz luminaries Oscar Peterson, The Pizzarelli’s, George Benson, Paquito D’Rivera, James Carter and more.

Performing alongside their Dad on the Birdland stage will be Amati - 17, Bronson – 20, and Samson now in his early 30’s who grew up performing at The Festival. In addition will be cousin Francko, also a guitarist. Ludovic Beier, (accordionist/accordina player) and Pierre Blanchard (violinist), favorites on the scene, will also be part of the Schmitt family happening. On bass will be Xavier Nikq.

Plus Special Guests

Tuesday 11/6 - Ken Peplowski (Clarinet)

Wednesday 11/7 - Anat Cohen (Sax and Clarinet)

Thursday 11/8 - Nicki Parrott (Bass and Vocals)

Friday 11/9 and Saturday 11/10 - Jisoo Ok (Cello) *with a special arrangement of Django's famous composition "Nuages"

Sunday 11/11 - Stephane Seva (Washboards)

All are from France where Django lived most of his life and where he teamed with Jazz violin great Stephane Grappelli to form one of the most popular partnerships in history which created a musical style that’s surging all over the US and world. The music is virtuosic, infectious, romantic, entertaining, and to this day sets toes tapping compulsively and hearts swooning. The legend endures.

Django’s unmistakable cool and jumpin’ joie de vivre have made him an icon for an unikely range of luminaries from Carlos Santana to Tony Iommi. Jimi Hendrix named his “Band of Gypsies” in tribute; Willie Nelson adopted his influence in “country-swing”; Sean Penn played a Django-obsessed swing guitarist in Woody Allen’s ‘Sweet and Lowdown’; and Leonardo DiCaprio proudly was backed by Django’s music on the soundtrack of Scorsese’s ‘The Aviator’ and is still one of Django’s biggest fans.

This event is produced by Pat Philips & Ettore Stratta.

Word of the Day: idiophone
Term applied to instruments that produce sounds from the material of the instrument itself without the assistance of reeds, strings, or other externally applied resonator. An idiophone produces sounds by one of the following methods:
1. Concussion Idiophone
striking together two objects capable of vibration
Claves, Cymbals, etc
2. Friction Idiophone
rubbing the vibrating object
Glass Armonica, Musical Saw, etc.
3. Percussion Idiophone
striking the vibrating object with a mallet, hammer, stick or other non-vibrating object
Wood Block, Bell, Gong, etc.
4. Plucked Idiophone
plucking a flexible tounge
Jew's Harp, Thumb Piano, Music Box, etc.
5. Scraped Idiophone
scraping the vibrating object with a stick or other non-vibrating object
Ratchet, Güiro, Washboard, etc.
6. Shaken Idiophone
shaking the vibrating object
Maracas, Pellet Bells, etc.
7. Stamped Idiophone
striking an object on a surface to vibrate the surface Stamping pit, stamping board, etc.

8. Stamping Idiophone
striking an object on the ground or hard surface to vibrate the object
Marching Machine, etc.

See also percussion instruments


Traditional: South Indian. Thumri (Vina)
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 3, Track 60
Noun (music) a percussion instrument, such as a cymbal or xylophone, made of naturally sonorous material

An idiophone is any musical instrument which creates sound primarily by way of the instrument's vibrating, without the use of strings or membranes. It is the first of the four main divisions in the original Hornbostel-Sachs scheme of musical instrument classification (see List of idiophones by Hornbostel-Sachs number). In the early classification of Victor-Charles Mahillon, this group of instruments was called autophones.

Most percussion instruments which are not drums are idiophones. Hornbostel-Sachs divides idiophones into four main sub-categories. The first division is the struck idiophones (sometimes called concussion idiophones). This includes most of the non-drum percussion instruments familiar in the West. They include all idiophones which are made to vibrate by being hit, either directly with a stick or hand (like the wood block, singing bowl, steel tongue drum, triangle or marimba), or indirectly, by way of a scraping or shaking motion (like maracas or flexatone). Various types of bells fall into both categories.

The other three sub-divisions are rarer. They are plucked idiophones, such as the jaw harp, amplified cactus, kouxian, dan moi, music box or mbira (lamellophone / thumb piano); blown idiophones, of which there are a very small number of examples, the Aeolsklavier being one; and friction idiophones, such as the singing bowl, glass harmonica, glass harp, turntable, verrophone, daxophone, styrophone, musical saw, or nail violin (a number of pieces of metal or wood rubbed with a bow).[1]

Other classifications use six main sub-categories: Concussion idiophones are instruments that produce sound by being struck against one another. Percussion idiophones produce sound by being struck with a non-vibrating foreign object. Examples of non-vibrating objects are mallets, hammers, and sticks. Rattle idiophones are shaken. Scraper idiophones are instruments that are scraped with a stick or other foreign objects to give off a sound. Plucked idiophones produce sound by plucking a flexible tongue from within the instrument itself. Lastly, friction idiophones are rubbed to increase vibration and sound intensity.[2]

Idiophones are made out of materials that give off unique sounds. The majority of idiophones are made out of glass, metal, ceramics, and wood. Idiophones are considered part of the percussion section in an orchestra.

A number of idiophones that are normally struck, such as vibraphone bars and cymbals, can also be bowed.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Zongo Junction @ Brooklyn Bowl 10/23/12

I waited too long to write about it.  I remember having a good time dancing and enjoying the horns.  I didn't realize it was only free if you registered on-line so I had to pay $5.  It was the Local X Local event they do every now and then.  I also stayed for a little of the next band, Sinkane.  Some of the Zongo horns sat in.  I can't remember much about it.

Sexmob @ LPR 10/21/12

I admit it, this is really why I came out and took the next morning off.  Since Tonic closed, we don't get enough Steven Bernstein projects in NYC.  The only problem was many people left before they came on.  It was a low turnout to begin with and there were only around 25 people left to enjoy the set.  In addition, sound carries there.  There were 2 people whispering to each other the whole time and I could hear them all the way accross the room.  I loved the set, but they made it short. I understand, they donated time and music and for the musicians and promoter it was probably a disappointment.  They did a killer Ruby Tuesday and were excellent.  There was just something off in the room - it was the mellowest Sexmob show I've ever seen.

Evening of Jazz: A Fundraiser for Barack Obama
w/ Sex Mob , Randy Ingram Trio , and Noah Preminger Quartet

Sex Mob
Sex Mob, led by the brilliant slide trumpet of Steven Bernstein, puts the fun back in jazz with With the great musicians Tony Scherr on bass, Briggan Krauss on sax, and Kenny Wollensen on drums, Sex Mob has released albums including “Din of Inequity,” “Sex Mob Does Bond,” “Dime Grind Palace,” “Sexotica.” The Grammy-nominated group has played to packed houses around the planet, from NPR to SNL to MTV. “Their the rogue outfit [has], by force of personality and persistence, managed to bring the whole spectrum of America’s music into a provocative and loose-limbed embrace.” –Nate Chinen, The New York Times

Randy ingram Trio @ LPR 10/21/12

I enjoyed this a lot.  They did 2 pieces as a quartet and then invited Ingrid Jensen to join them for the last 2.  It was awesome.

Evening of Jazz: A Fundraiser for Barack Obama
w/ Sex Mob , Randy Ingram Trio , and Noah Preminger Quartet

Randy Ingram Trio
Randy Ingram, pianist/composer, has been hailed as “gifted” (Jazz Times), “one of the best up- and-coming pianists” (Icon), “astute, self-possessed” (The New York Times) and “formidable” (The San Francisco Chronicle). This evening he is joined by the great Joe Martin on bass. In their review of Ingram’s acclaimed record, “The Road Ahead,” Jazz Weekly writes, “He’s got a crystalline sound, rich and wide open, and knows how to state a melody 
with spacious chords, veering into logical solos that wander into 
intriguing lands.”

Noah Preminger Quartet @ LPR 10/21/12

It was an Obama benefit but had a low turnout due to not starting until 10:30 on a Sunday night.  This first band had to compete with a rock band playing in the lounge space next door.  It was a good 30 minute set with 3 nice pieces.

Evening of Jazz: A Fundraiser for Barack Obama
w/ Sex Mob , Randy Ingram Trio , and Noah Preminger Quartet

Noah Preminger Quartet
Crown prince of the tenor saxophone and creator of two of the most acclaimed small-group jazz albums of the last decade–“Before The Rain” and “Dry Bridge Road”–Noah Preminger will perform with a stellar ensemble including guitarist Ben Monder and bassist Matt Pavolka. As Ben Ratliff wrote of Preminger in The New York Times, Preminger “designs a different kind of sound for each note, an individual destiny and story.”

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Film: Voodoo Gods On The Slave Coast

I missed this as I just found out about it, but I want it here so I can possibly find it again.

Saturday November 10
Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Avenue (at 2nd St.)
New York, NY 10003 USA

9:30 PM
by Hisham Mayet
2012, 60 minutes, video
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Mayet's exploration of West African possession ceremonies continues 
in Benin. Formerly known as the Slave Coast, since most of the slave 
industry was exported from its shores, Benin is the cradle and 
birthplace of Voodoo - and Voodoo worship is integral to the everyday 
lives of its people. This film, shot in 2010, is an impressionistic 
lens on the myriad ceremonies that this rich and diverse culture has 
to offer. This will be the premiere screening of this visual feast.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Brooklyn Blues @ Blue Note 10/20/12

I have to go off of memory almost a month later, but I do have a fond memory of this show. This was Whyllys, the turntablist's gig.  I recall when I first discovered DJ Logic, playing with many bands I love and not liking it.  It sometimes takes me a while to get with the program, but I eventually found I appreciate some good electronics/sampling/etc mixed in with good other stuff.  This show was great.  Scott was in the back, leaning on a barstool or amp or something and still the great guitarist that he is.  Peter was in front of him mainly with the sax, but sometimes I think he had a shakere with him (it could be a memory from another show, though).  Rob had the piano and other keyboards and was nice and trippy and fit in well.  It was just some really good jamming and worth staying up for.

Brooklyn Blues FEATURING:
Peter Apfelbaum, sax
Scott Metzger, guitar
Rob Marscher, keys,
Wyllys, turntables
Wyllys started spinning at age 15 and hasn't looked back since. Training himself with drum and bass on belt drives in 1997, he has since moved on to many genres of music, playing coast to coast as well as international and festival dates. He has shared the stage with contemporary luminaries Orchard Lounge, Justin Martin, Gigamesh, and The Magician, as well as many talented bands and musicians from many genres of music including Umphrey's McGee, Trey Anastasio Band, The Greyboy Allstars, Jurassic 5, Soulive, and many more.

His live outfit, The New York Hustler Ensemble, featuring a revolving cast of top-notch musicians, is an experiment in nu disco, raregroove, and re-edit, with many nods to house music . The heart and soul of "The Hustler Sound" is his horn section and vocalists "The Disco Angels", Jennifer Hartswick and Natalie Cressman. Logging in hours at New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Music Festival, as well as the illustrious Blue Note Jazz Club, this band is ready to take DJ culture to the next level .
A number of New York-are musicians will collaborate as New York’s Blue Note late Saturday night. Billed as Brooklyn Blues, the evening will bring together former Trey Anastasio Band saxophonist Peter Apfelbaum, Wolf!/RANA guitarist Scott Metzger, Matisyahu/Addison Groove Project keyboardist Rob Marscher and turntablist Wyllys. The collaboration is billed as the start of a new project, not a one-off jam session. Brooklyn Blues will take the stage at 12:30 AM (technically Sunday morning) as part of the club’s Late Night Groove series.

Ms. Piano and Company @ The Stone 10/20/12

The listing said it was not to be missed and I like an opportunity to see people I never saw before.  It was awesome.  They never played together before so they were really improvising.  They were all magnificent.  The piano was very compelling.  The drummer was incredible.  During the last piece he got up from his drum stool and walked around playing the kit from the front, including the sides of drums, drum stands, and the floor.  He was very interesting with the mallots as well.  The upright bass was always played with the bow and sounded great.

Ms. Piano and Company Simone Weissenfels (piano) Juini Booth (bass) Dalius Naujo (drums) A rare New York appearance for Ms. Weissenfels with a trio playing together for the first time ever, representing the nativities of Germany, Lithuania and the U.S.The three of them together cause for a rare occurance, like the transit of a comet! Not to be missed! FIFTEEN DOLLARS

Bern Nix Quartet @ The Stone 10/20/12

It was good.  A little more straight ahead for The Stone but an enjoyable set nonetheless.  I especially liked the grooving tune "Under the Volcano".

Bern Nix Bern Nix (guitar) Matt LaVelle (trumpet) Gerald Feroux (drums) Francois Grillot (bass) Perhaps best known for his long term stint with Ornette Coleman, Nix leads this quartet of equal parts!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Todd Clouser/Billy Martin/James Buckley @ Shapeshifter Lounge 10/19/12

I finally made it to Shapeshifter and I really like it.  It's a nice space and feels really good.  They have some nice artwork having to do with music on the walls.  Tony Scherr was listed, but we got the capable James Buckley instead.  He and Todd are in other bands together.

It was basically rocking singer-songwriter stuff that sounded great.  Todd sang and played guitar.  He has a good singing voice and there were enough instrumental parts which means I enjoyed it.

They did 2 sets.  Sometime in the middle of the 2nd set Rick Parker showed up to sit in on trombone.  They did more songs but also an improvised piece that was great.

I loved the show and the venue.

Fabian Almazan Trio w/ Strings @ Jazz Standard 10/17/12

I saw them at Winter Jazzfest and was looking forward to a future opportunity to see more.  The ensemble was different in that Linda Oh and Henry Cole weren't there, but it was still great.  They played some world premiers as well as some older songs.  It was excellent and fun.

The listing:
Known to audiences around the world for his superlative playing with the Terence Blanchard Quintet, in May 2012 Fabian Almazan released an auspicious debut album, Personalities, with an array of sounds ranging from 19th century Cuban danzon to tough, melodic modern jazz. Perhaps the most surprising track is his version of Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 10, one of Almazan’s favorite pieces from his years of classical piano lessons. The original performance by piano trio and string quartet was manipulated with signal processers “to create ghostly wails, chirps and rumbles within Shostakovich’s melody,” wrote Geoffrey Himes in The Washington Post. “…Almazan creates narratives with his instrumental music, whether it’s the story of his childhood in Havana, his early gigs in Manhattan, his classical piano lessons in Miami, his electronica experiments in Utah or his observation of stage parents everywhere.”
Fabian Almazan – piano
Joshua Crumbly – bass
Kendrick Scott – drums
Meg Okura - violin
Tomoko Omura - 2nd violin
Karen Waltuch - viola
Noah Hoffeld - cello
& special guest Camila Meza - voice & guitar

The Heavens Atheist Gospel Trombone Choir @ Joe's Pub 10/16/12

Jacob made a new CD where he's playing all of the trombone parts - dubbing himself in.  Since he couldn't play all the parts live, he put together this great ensemble for the gig.  There will be at least a couple more opportunities to catch it.  I was psyched to see Kenny Wolleson at the drumkit in addition to 5 trombones that included Curtis Hasselbring and Josh Roseman and Brian Drye on baritone horn and trombone.  The listing below says Curtis Fowlkes but I don't think he was there that night.  It was great and a lot of fun.

Show Description

Celebrating the release of The Heavens: The Atheist Gospel Trombone Choir: seven of NYC's most soul-stirring trombone players gather for an astonishing testament to the power of reason. Playing music from the album as well as arrangements of classic tunes by the Famous Blue Jay Singers, Madison's Lively Stones, and the Mississippi Nightingales. with 
Jacob Garchik - lead trombone, compositions; 
Josh Roseman, 
Curtis Hasselbring, 
Jason Jackson, 
Curtis Fowlkes - trombones; 
Brian Drye - baritone horn; 
Joe Daley - sousaphone; 
Kenny Wolleson - drums
From the mind of Jacob Garchik comes an astonishing and astounding testament to the power of reason. A nine part suite for trombone choir, the record features up to eight trombones, two baritones, two sousaphones, and a cameo by a pint-sized-sounding slide trumpet. All of the parts were recorded by Garchik in his Brooklyn home studio.