Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cyro Baptista Banquet of Leprachans @ Littlefield 3/17/12

This was one of my very favorite shows of the year.  The project is normally called Banquet of Spirits and includes Shanir Blumenkranz on electric and acoustic bass, oud, and bass oud.  Every time I've seen it in the past has been at a seated venue and this was basically a standing venue with some chairs around the perimeter of the room.  We had 2 guys standing in for Shanir, 2 great guys I didn't know.  They also really rocked out and I loved it even more than ever before.  And I always loved it whenever I've seen it.

The bass player played upright, electric, and guitar.  The guitar player had a few varieties.  The whole thing was just amazing.

Other Banquet of Spirit Posts:

Littlefield Listing:
Cyro Baptista's Banquet of The Leprechauns
Banquet of the Spirits (for this night, Banquet of the Leprechauns) is the tour group led by maestro Cyro Baptista—the percussionist who has ongoing collaborations with everyone from Herbie Hancock and Yo-Yo Ma to Trey Anastasio, Paul Simon and Sting. Cyro’s endless sonic curiosity and intense rhythmic drive has never been stronger than with Banquet of The Spirits which features the best young musicians out of the downtown scene.

The group embodies the philosophy of Anthropofagia, a Brazilian cultural movement from the 1920's. The band is a musical manifestation of the process of eating, swallowing, and digesting all the tendencies that are part of the sonic landscape and environment. The music is the product of all sounds that the band members have collectively consumed over the years; some of them they've digested and others they have rejected. After that, its difficult to identify what belongs to what country, culture, or genre.

Cyro Baptista
Brian Marsella
Tim Keiper
John Lee
Jason Fraticelli 

EMEFE @ Littlefield 3/17/12

I got there at around 9:40 and they were on, but likely not for long.  They played til about 10:20.  I enjoyed it.  They have a baritone sax, tenor sax, trumpet and trombone.  The drummer is in Superhuman Happiness.  There's also a percussionist, keyboards, guitar and bass.  They have a really great soulful male vocalist that comes out occasionally.  The horn section will sing backup, reminiscent of some afrobeat or something, and it sounds great.  I'm glad I caught them.
Miles Arntzen: drums/percussion
Jake Pinto: keyboards/percussion
Billy Aukstik: trumpet
Jas Walton: tenor sax
Christian Anderson: baritone sax
Ray Mason: trombone
Nick Kokkinis: shekere
Javier Ramos: congas
Deen Anbar: electric guitar
Davy Levitan: electric guitar
Doug Berns: bass

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bernie Worrell Orchestra @ LPR 3/17/12

Marco must have had a very short set because I got there at around 7:45ish and missed the whole thing.  Bernie et al brought the funk and it was free for members to boot.  Any orchestra that's 30% drummers is good with me!  It turns out the producer and leader is one of the drummers.  They also have 2 guitars, electric bass, and alto, tenor, and trumpet.  If you count up all of Bernie's keyboards, you probably could say it's 30% funky keys as well.

They started with a Bernie solo and then Charlotte Funk sang one.  They did a bunch of funky stuff including a super funky tune that I love.  Later they brought out Rob Swimmer on theremin for a couple.  The first was a Billy Holiday tune gone a little funky.  Then they really funked it up.  I left just before 9 to make my way over to Brooklyn.
Kyle Cadena, guitar / Andrew Kimball, guitar / Scott Hogan, bass / Glen Fittin, percussion / Shlomi Cohen, alto sax / Ofer Assaf, tenor sax / Justin Mullens, trumpet / Karl Latham, drums / Evan Taylor, drums
Special Guest:  Rob Shwimmer, theremin

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Mike Dillon Band @ Sullivan Hall 3/14/12

Another phenomenal Mike D. project!  They play songs he's written throughout his career with people I never saw him play with before.  Awesome people!  This trombone player is excellent and a lot of fun.  She's got super high energy and is dancing in a way that makes you more energetic whenever she's not playing.  Will Bernard was special guesting the entire show, which I'm sure added to an already fabulous lineup.  The drums and bass were excellent.  Mike had his vibes/tablas/timbales/etc. setup.  It was so cool I was listening to Ravi Shankar earlier that day.

Mike Dillon Band
featuring Will Bernard and members of Yojimbo Funk
Composed of twisted keys and Moog bass player Doc Sharp, wild drummer and percussionist Radam G, and trombone beast with wicked dance moves Carly Meyers, this young group formed two years ago and have been making their way around the New Orleans music circuit ever since.

Pierre Favre, Samuel Blaser and Philipp Schaufelberger @ The Stone 3/13/12

3 people I never heard of!  It was a fantastic ensemble.  I bought a CD of the drummer's when I was there the week before.  I love it and didn't want to miss what might be my one chance to see him live.  That was a good move since he is incredibly awesome.  I loved having a trombone and guitar to round out the trio.

Pierre Favre, Samuel Blaser and Philipp Schaufelberger Pierre Favre (drums) Samuel Blaser (trombone) Philipp Schaufelberger (guitar)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Herbie Hancock @ Rose Hall 3/10/12

I bought the ticket a while ago, in spite of the expense, not really paying attention to what Herbie was going to do.  It turned out it was a 1 hour 45 min set of a great quartet rocking out in a jazz kind of way.  It all started with a drum solo, which is my kind of way to start.  Next add James Genus on electric bass.  OK!  Enter Lionel Loueke after a bit.  Jam out and then Herbie comes out to round it out.  Herbie introduced the band after the 1st tune.  Then they did Lionel's 17 into Watermelon Man.  Next they performed for the first time an old Herbie tune he recorded with Jaco Pastorius.  Next it was one of those great Lionel solos.  After that an awesome Herbie piano solo.  Then the whole band did one more.  Next was a half hour kickass Chameleon.  I mean kick ass!  It started off with Herbie on the synth and the drummer on some kind of electronics AND a hand drum.  It was killer.

Herbie Hancock, Music Director, Piano
James Genus, Bass
Trevor Lawrence, Jr., Drums
Lionel Loueke, Guitar (March 10 only)

Bowlive Night 8 Set 2 (Meters) @ Brooklyn Bowl 3/8/12

George matters!  They did mainly or all Meters songs.  I can't believe I'm saying this, but I liked Billy on percussion much more than the drumkit for Meters songs where everyone else is playing more like the originals.  I'd love it if Billy, Skerik, Chris Wood, and whoever reinterpret Hey Pocky Way together.  That was the only song where Billy took the kit.  He was playing awesome percussion on the other tunes, especially Africa.

Bowlive Night 8 Soulive Set @ Brooklyn Bowl 3/8/12

I got there at around 10.  It was Soulive with Citizen Cope, which is a guy, I had previously guessed it was a band.  He certainly changed the face of Soulive.  It was more rock than funk.  It was OK.  Not bad, but not great either.  My friend Jen loves Citizen Cope so I asked her about it at the break.  She said that set didn't really represent.  She said listening to his music repetitively really got her.  I'm curious enough I might give it a try.

So, the half hour or so of the first set was fine, I think there was some really good part when Citizen Cope left and they brought out the horns.

Thumbscrew @ Cornelia Street Cafe 3/11/12

I could only stay for the 1st set, which was 40 min.  It was a most enjoyable set.  This was a debut gig for this new Trio.  Tomas did the talking and they all wrote for the project.  I loved all of it.  I like how Mary's piece included some bow action on the bass.  It was wonderful and I'm looking forward to seeing it again.

FYI - the venue recently changed their policy.  It's now cover + $10 and you can have house red or white or a beer.  They didn't tell us before we sat, they said it's been in place for about a month and is on the website.

Mary Halvorson (guitar), Michael Formanek (bass) & Tomas Fujiwara (drums)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ingrid Laubrock Orchestra @ The Stone 3/7/12

This was a good early show to sandwich in between 2 late nights.  It was fantastic to have so many amazing artists together.  We got some duo and trio moments, a great drum solo, and awesomeness when they all played together.  Even when many were playing, I could still hear the individual instruments. The first piece was a number of them playing wine glasses by rubbing water around the rims with their fingers.

They were doing different music the 2nd set.  I would have loved to stay, but I needed to pace myself for the week.

INGRID LAUBROCK ORCHESTRA Ingrid Laubrock (sax, composition) Mary Halvorson (guitar) Shane Endsley (trumpet) Kris Davis (piano) Ted Reichman (accordion) Chris Hoffman (cello) Drew Gress (bass) Tom Rainey (drums)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Lettuce @ Brooklyn Bowl 3/6/12

I keep trying to start this and as I key in to that show my being changes.  I start shaking my head and becoming speechless. They started intensely strong sand funky and kept it up and it was killer.  I can't even do justice to how it got me.  I kept having to go to the back to have room to dance.  I was happy that it looked like Nigel wasn't around.  He ended up coming out about 45 minutes or more into the set.  Skerik came out around the point where I had my coat on ready to go.  I then had to stay for his solo.  I left at about 12:15.

It was awesome!

So now I read the real re-cap and it looks like Nigel was out earlier.  It must have been when I was in the bathroom at the beginning of the set.

Soulive Night 6 @ Brooklyn Bowl 3/6/12

Yes, this was my first night.  I bought tix to this and Thurs last time I was there.  It made things much easier.  I got there at around 9:45 and the trio was on.  I missed Zak Deputy, the opener, but I'm told he's good and I'll have to look out for him again.

By the time I got a drink and got up front the horns were onstage, which made a huge difference for me.  Especially because Skerik was one of the horns.  At first it was Skerik on tenor, one trumpet, baritone, and alto.  They were up for a while and made a huge difference.  Oteil came out at some point for a bit as well.  Then the horns left and brought out a singer, Alan Stone from Seattle.  That didn't do much for me, but I'm not into singers.  He wasn't bad.  I was happy when they brought the horns again, this time with a 2nd trumpet.  I was surprised I enjoyed the Soulive with Special Guests set so much.  It was a lot of fun.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Joe Sanders' Bass(ed) Imagination @ Jazz Gallery 3/3/12

Leading from the bass!  This was a must go for me since it's so rare to have multiple basses onstage.  Joe Sanders thought an all bass ensemble seemed monotonous, so he added alto sax, piano and drums.  I couldn't help but be reminded of the 6 basses from l'orchestre de contrabasses I saw years ago.  I appreciate that even more after hearing about and reading the program regarding some of Joe's challenges in composing these suites.  Like, there are some notes that can't be played together.

The music was stellar.  Each musician was phenomenal.

Joe Sanders' Bass(ed) Imagination
Bass Suite I - VII
Joe Sanders - bass
Shawn Conley - bass
Ryan Berg - bass
Christopher Mees - bass
Pat Carroll - alto saxophone
Romain Collin - piano
Justin Brown - drums

Friday, March 9, 2012

Upcoming: Undead Jazzfest + MMW 5/9-5/12

Special MMW show on 5/10, in the midst of Undead Jazzfest, on the heals of Jazzfest!  Buckle up, it's gonna be quite a month!

2012 Undead Festival presents:

'Medeski Martin & Wood & ?'

  • Brooklyn Masonic Temple Brooklyn, NY
  • Thu, May 10, 2012 8:00 PM (Doors: 7:00 PM)
  • $30.00 - $55.00
  • 18 and Over
General Admission tickets
**Allows you entry into all four days of the 2012 Undead Music Festival** May 9 - Three Venue Marathon featuring over 20 groups. May 10 - MMW+? at Brooklyn Masonic Temple. May 11 - DIY Shows. May 12 - Round Robbin sets at 92Y Tribeca. [The 2012 Undead Music Festival: A celebration of creative, jazz, and improvised music]

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Iverson/Newsome Duo @ Cornelia Street Cafe 3/2/12

It was their debut show, a World Premiere if you will.  It certainly is a great addition to an already super rich world of awesome music.  They did some of Sam's pieces, some of Ethan's.  They each composed new music for the duo as well as rearranged some existing pieces.  They also each did a solo piece.  They played for a full hour.  One of Ethan's was a Bad Plus tune they play a lot.  They told us all the stories of the songs which was also a lot of fun.

Great show and I'm looking forward to more.

Ethan Iverson, piano; Sam Newsome, soprano saxophone

Linda Oh Trio @ Rubin Museum 3/2/12

Oh Linda, you know how to put a band together and compose!  There's something very cool about bass led jazz ensembles.  Of course the bass is always interesting and the drummer is always phenomenal.  I love that she chose a trumpet as the 3rd.  What an amazing trumpet he is!  I haven't seen much of him, but I do have to look out for him in the future.

Her compositions are phenomenal.  She has one that's a tribute to a Guns and Roses song.  She wrote something new inspired by one of the Modern Indian paintings in the museum.  They ended the 75-90 minute set with a Red Hot Chilly Peppers tune.  How cool is that?!!

All solos kicked butt.  Everyone had great parts to play the whole show.

Linda Oh, bass
Ambrose Akinmusire, trumpet
Tommy Crane, drums

Pedrito Martinez @ Jazz Standard 3/1/12

I loved this!  They were playing Jazz Standard with jazz guys (trumpet and trombone), so they played more in the jazz realm.  They were all magnificent.  I especially enjoyed the piano and trumpet.  Of the drums, I loved the cajon most of all.  The whole thing was just awesome.  Steve Turre blew us away on the shells for the last piece.  I wanted get back on Sunday since they were playing with different guests, but I didn't make it.

Pedrito Martinez bata, congas, cajon, vocals
Axel Tosca Laugart – piano
John Benitez – acoustic bass
Special Guests:
Steve Turre – trombone
Michael Rodriguez – trumpet

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Relatives + The Chives @ Zebulon 2/27/12

I was wound up from the Ribot show and hoped to catch some of Father Figures last night of their residency.  It wasn't meant to be as they were on last that night and I knew I wasn't gonna make it.  Still, I was curious to check out Relatives as they were part if the residency.  They were good, I would call it Indie.  It did wear on me after a while as it started sounding the same.  They had a special guest horn section, trombone, tenor, and trumpet.  The problem was they didn't have mics and it was hard to hear them over the keyboard, guitar, bass and vocals.  They weren't doing much anyway, just playing long notes together hear and there.  I'm just more conditioned to jazz is all.  I am glad to experience something different and I did stay for about 40 minutes, so I did like it for a while.

Now, there was another band earlier that I missed, The Chives.  People seemed pretty happy with them and I need to investigate further.

From Facebook:
Relatives are harmonizing odd folk adventurists making some amazing music for your ears and your hearts.

Here's some investigation on The Chives:
Steven Lugerner - Soprano Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, Bb Clarinet
Matthew Wohl - Upright Bass
Max Jaffe - Drums
Ohh, I love what I'm hearing on line.  Love that bass clarinet!

Upcoming: Mike Dillon Band @ Sullivan Hall 3/14/12

This looks really good.  I'm listening to Yojimbo Funk on-line right now.  I already knew I wanted to be there due to Mike Dillon alone, but this makes it even more of a no-brainer.
CEG Presents

Mike Dillon Band
featuring Will Bernard and members of Yojimbo Funk! plus special guests The Mushroom Cloud
Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 8:00 PM EDT (7:30 PM Doors)
Sullivan Hall, New York, NY
18 years and over

Monday, March 5, 2012

Marc Ribot Really the Blues @ Iridium 2/27/12

I remembered how much I loved it, and couldn't wait to see it again.  But, that was all just a concept.  It was way way better than whatever I had stored in my memory bank.  I was blown away.

They started with a Coltrane tune.  Ribot acknowledged it wasn't really a Blues tune it did go with the theme.  It was phenomenally fantastic.

They then proceeded to do many phenomenal Blues tunes and blew me away in each and every single moment.  I really love that Cooper-Moore is in this.  I also love how we often get the practice show right before the tour.  It was awesome for me.  Sometime, I think they should start and end the tour in NYC, so we can see how it develops.

Marc Ribot (guitar)
Brad Jones (bass)
Cooper-Moore (keys)
JT Lewis (drums

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Billy Martin/Will Blades Duo @ Brooklyn Bowl 2/26/12

Now, even though I rated the earlier band a little higher, I certainly enjoyed this new duo a lot.  I love anything Billy does.  I loved all of the drum solos.  They do have some great chemistry together.  Will Bernard sat in for two, the 2nd of which also included Jon Cowherd on wurlitzer.  Will Blades was still up for that one.  It was a fabulous night of music and definitely beat the academy awards.
Billy Martin and Wil Blades Duo
Drummer Billy Martin of Medeski, Martin and Wood and up and coming organist Wil Blades come together for a new duo project. After two highly successful shows in San Francisco and New Orleans, Martin and Blades are taking the show on the road. The duo's music is at once danceable and highly improvisational.

With a steady base as one-third of the renowned experimental jazz trio Medeski, Martin, & Wood, drummer Billy Martin has become one of the most forward-thinking, innovative, and influential percussionists in the music world. His ultra-sensitive, hyper-melodic drumming -- which explores the ideas of jazz, hip-hop, electronica, African music, and other genres -- has an organic feel to it, filled with soft, natural edges and fluid energies. When not performing with Medeski Martin & Wood, Martin continues to collaborate with other musicians in improvisational projects, many of which are documented on his own Amulet Records imprint, which he founded in 1995.

Blades, a native Chicagoan, has become the San Francisco Bay Area's first call organist and is rapidly gaining momentum throughout the world. For several years, he has been named in the Downbeat critics poll under "Rising Star" for organ. Wil has kept the traditional sounds of Jimmy Smith, Larry Young, and "Groove" Holmes alive, while creating a more personal, modern sound. Wil has performed and recorded with John Lee Hooker, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Melvin Sparks, Idris Muhammad, Joe Louis Walker, Don Braden, Donald Harrison, Karl Denson, Will Bernard, Charlie Hunter, Stanton Moore, Anders Osborne Scott Amendola and many others.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Bakers Dozen @ Brooklyn Bowl 2/26/12

This is some new band!  I loved it even more than the headliner.  It's so nice to see Jon Cowherd more.  It's also so different from the Fellowship.  I would say the music is reminiscent of surf rock.  Will and Jon kept blowing me away.  The bass and drums were awesome.  Apparently, it wasn't the usual drummer for the new band, he couldn't make it.  Will Blades sat in for a couple, but leaving Jon up there on Wurlitzer.  Way cool.

I'll be looking out for this band again.
Baker's Dozen is comprised of Will Bernard - Guitar, Tim Luntzel - bass, Andrew Borger - drums and Jon Cowherd - keyboards.

For the Brooklyn Bowl on Feb. 26 Dan Reiser will fill in for Andrew Borger

Baker's Dozen is a band dreamed up by drummer Andy Borger and guitarist Will Bernard in a hotel room in Live Oak Florida. The idea came to them while they were watching the 1977 B horror movie "The Car". Filling out the rest of the band was easy. Bassist Tim Luntzel and keyboardist John Cowherd immediately came to mind as the obvious choices for their musicality and humor.

The material the band plays starts with the cult classic 1959 record by Guitarist Mickey Baker called "The Wildest guitar". Mickey who is known by most for his jazz guitar instructional books and his Mickey and Sylvia hit "Love is strange" also had an approach during this period that could be described as a surf and R n B style of playing blues and standards. Mickey's style lends itself to a modern interpretation that can work on or off the dance floor.

Soul Rebels Brass Band @ Lucille's 2/25/12

I got there at around 1:10am and they were onstage, but they probably just went on.  The main space at BBs was a nightclub with a whole other atmosphere.  If you were going to Lucille's you didn't have to line up or get your bag checked.  There were a good amount of people on the dance floor and over by the bar but it wasn't too crowded.  Lucille's does lack the "seeing a band late night feel".  It was still a great show and a lot of fun.  Apparently there was a tweet that night about the backstage discussion at Galactic "who would you rather see Michael Jackson or Stevie Wonder?". There's no discussion for me, I never had any desire to see MJ.  I do like The Jackson 5.  pparently, at least the sax in Soul Rebels loves MJ and they played a few covers.  I found it interesting how some of the crowd made it a priority to get up front for that yet they weren't into the earlier Smoke on the Water tease.

I enjoyed it, stayed til the end which was just before 3.  I went to purchase the new CD and was asked if I wanted the studio or the live version of the same music or both.  Live please.

Rashied Ali Tribute Band @ Drom 2/25/12

It wasn't Galactic but it was a good pre-cursor to the late night Soul Rebels show.  I just don't like Terminal 5, so I opted out of the Galactic show even though it looked great.

Anyway, I enjoyed this band.  Eric McPherson was on drums.  I love him from Aethereal Bace among other things.  Ali was into many soloists around a rhythm section and they definitely paid tribute.  I enjoyed the long solos a lot.  The drums had me going.

Lawrence Clark – Tenor
Josh Evans – Trumpet
Greg Murphy – Piano
Joris Teepe – Bass
Eric McPherson - Drums
Obvious to many, John Coltrane played a major and invaluable role both musically and personally in Rashied Ali’s life. Rashied polished and refined his "multidirectional" style of drumming alongside Coltrane. Those who were fortunate enough to have performed with Rashied recognized his genius and his important contributions and innovations to the jazz art form. Rashied’s mission was to "push the music forward" and to "make a difference." With this in mind, he formed the latest edition of the Rashied Ali Quintet in 2003 (Rashied Ali – Drums, Lawrence Clark – Tenor Saxophone, Jumaane Smith – Trumpet (later replaced by
Josh Evans), Greg Murphy – Piano and Joris Teepe – Bass).

The Quintet (in which Ali found a combination of musicians that really understood his artistic vision) released two CDs – Judgment Day Vol. 1 and Judgment Day Vol. 2 in 2005, both of which received significant national airplay and volumes of critical acclaim. In 2009, Rashied’s last recording as a leader - Live In Europe - was released on the Survival Records label. This group, which Jazz Times critic Bill Milkowski calls “… one of the more potent working quintets in jazz today,” developed a style that combined modern post-bop with Ali's trademark free jazz. They toured frequently, with their final performances taking place at The Art of Jazz festival in Toronto in June and at the Zinc Bar in NYC in July of 2009.

Greg Murphy recalls, “I remember Rashied’s Widow Patricia telling me ‘now YOU gotta keep the music alive’.” With several performances under their belt, the Rashied Ali Tribute Band is doing just that…playing Rashied’s original music and some of the other tunes he loved to play. The Quintet is now a "Collective," and the powerful music is pushing boundaries, just like it was during the many years with the Rashied Ali Quintet. They hope to continue carrying on the tradition and legacy that Rashied brought to the musical world.

The London Souls @ Brooklyn Bowl 2/23/12

The name alone was enough to get me interested in checking them out.  When I added in how much they play Brooklyn Bowl and the opening band, while I'm not a Nigel Hall fan, says I might like the headliner.

It was a good rock trio.  The singing wasn't bad but it wasn't great, either.  Now that I've seen the development in Jessica Lurie's singing, and knowing all of my professional singer friends take lessons, I think all singers in a band need to take regular lessons from a good teacher.  Anyway, this show was great instrumentally and a lot of fun.  I was dancing, which means I was into it and could feel it.  There was some kind of reunion party going on in the audience, so there were a lot of talkers.  The music was loud enough that it didn't matter, though.
The London Soul’s unique reinterpretation of classic hard-hitting rock and roll trio channels, “the best bits of your old man’s dusty vinyl collection.”(Relix)  The band – guitarist Tash Neal, bassist Kiyoshi Matsuyama, and drummer Christ Saint – collaborate on vocals and have built a fervent New York City fan base since hitting the scene in 2008.
The London Souls
Praised by former Idolator editor-in-chief Maura Johnston as “amazingly tight… swampy rock music that should make any lazy rock radio programmer rethink the word ‘grunge’” and credited as “an absolute must-see” by The Tripwire, The London Souls’ unique reinterpretation of classic hard-hitting rock and roll formulae recalls elements of the past with an ever-present boundless energy, fit to cement their place in the future.
Tash and Chris have been nothing short of a best-kept-secret among New York City concertgoers since the band’s formation in 2008, building a fervent and dynamic fan base leveraged by their ever-substantiated reputation for consistently well-rehearsed and impassioned, explosive live performances. The band’s celebrated sound and spirit draws significant influence from the driving force of British rock pioneers Cream and Led Zeppelin, to billowing and bouncing funk and soul, to the layered harmonies and memorable hooks of The Beatles and The Hollies, to the contemporary psychedelia of My Morning Jacket among many more.