Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Anat Cohen/Romero Lubambo @ Jazz Standard 7/26/12

It is a phenomenal duo.  This was their first time playing together although they've been talking about it for years.  They picked some hard pieces and played them brilliantly.  Anat played sax and clarinet.  They both sat and it felt cozy and intimate.  I hope they do this again.

Anat Cohen - clarinet, tenor saxophone
Romero Lubambo - guitar

Anat joins forces with the superb Brazilian guitarist Romero Lubambo. "Equally facile on electric and acoustic, Lubambo has become one of the most frequently recorded guitarists in the world..." - Mark Holston, Guitar Player magazine.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Dario Boente & Proyecto Sur @ Jazz Standard 7/24/12

I'm back in the saddle, at least for seated jazz shows.  It was a fun, lively Latin set of music.  I used to see Christos Rafalides Manhattan Vibes at the old Zinc Bar.  I loved having piano and vibes in the quartet.  It makes sense when the leader is a pianist.  The piano was phenomenal. There were some great bass solos and I enjoyed the drummer/percussionist.

The name of the band means Project South.  Dario describes on his website:
"Proyecto Sur" is Boente's "acoustic project" and reflects Dario's creative side in the context of piano trio, but sometimes using a forth element (percussion or a melodic instrument).
Projecto Sur's repertoire consists of Boente's original compositions , Jazz and Argentine standards, all strong influenced by Brazilian, Jazz and Argentine music.

From the listing:
DARIO BOENTE & PROYECTO SUR - "New Dimensions in Latin Jazz" 
  • Dario Boente - piano
    Christos Rafalides - vibraphone
    Boris Kozlov - bass
    Mauricio Zottarelli - drums
    Special Guest: Hernan Romero - guitar
The term "crossover artist" can mean many things. In the case of Argentine pianist and composer Dario Boente, it's shorthand for a musician as effective in playing romantic jazz tunes on a grand piano as he is in programming world-beat electronica. Since moving to New York in 1999, Dario has released seven albums and compilations as a leader alongside such top-shelf players as Antonio Sánchez, Miguel Zenón, and Ronny Jordan; and he's performed in more than 20 countries around the world. Tonight, our ongoing "New Dimensions In Latin Jazz" series presents Dario Boente at the helm of Proyecto Sur - an acoustic group whose repertoire encompasses jazz standards, Argentine classics, and Boente's sparkling original compositions. "Dario's performances are full of lyricism, rich harmonies, impeccable technique, rhythm and jazz vocabulary, all wrapped up with exquisite romanticism." (The Village Voice)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Great Interview With Great Sound Engineers

Check out an interview with my friend Jay Messina.  There's lots of great stories from Jay and Jack Douglas about projects they worked on including Aerosmith and Miles Davis.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Zion80 @ The Stone 7/2/12

This is every Monday all summer long.  Lucky, lucky us!  I couldn't get to the rehearsal, but I did make it for the front row for the amazing performance.  Usually, I draft my posts in my blackberry while it's still fresh.  I ended up having a surprise surgery on 7/4, which I am recovering nicely from.  This was my last show at the time of this writing, but I expect to get back to live music very soon.  I didn't get a chance to draft the post for this show, so I'm going off of memory.

Jessica Lurie mainly played baritone and I think a little bit of alto.  There was another sax as well.  I think there was a trumpet as well.  There were 2 other guitar players besides John Madof.  John did a lot of conducting, but he also played on a couple and was amazing.  Brian Marsella was on keys and Shanir Blumenkranz was on electric bass.  There were 4 amazing drummer/percussionists.  I think it was 2 drumkits, a congas guy, and a percussionist. 

The website lists more band members, so I'm sure it's often different.  I'm also sure it's always phenomenal.  I'm looking forward to getting to more of these whenever we don't have Monday Night Alive.

Check out the video on their site:  http://zion80.com/


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

Friday, July 20, 2012

Scottish Octopus @ Union Square Park 7/1/12

Bagpipes and drums and freshness!  At first, I thought I heard a violin, it reminded me of something Leyna Marika Papach was doing at The Stone last month.  I was surprised to see the bagpipes.  It was just that one tune, when I was walking by before I knew I heard bagpipes and I flashed back to Edinburg last year.

The drummer had a snare, bass, and 2 cymbals.  It really worked!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Spectrum Road @ BBs 6/29/12

It was as phenomenal as I expected.  I do wish it was at a rock venue, or that BBs would have given us a dance floor.  The music certainly called for a rock venue.  Come back to Bowery Ballroom!  Come back regardless!  I already want to see it again.

I did find a dancing spot back by the bar and thoroughly enjoyed it.  This is one super supergroup.  I still have to get the CD but I hear it's phenomenal.

Cindy is a monster drummer - my kind of drummer.  I love seeing her.  The whole band blew me away.  The music was inspired by Tony Williams and I need to find out who that is.  Vernon Reid is the band leader.  I want more.





Spectrum Road is: Vernon Reid, Jack Bruce, Cindy Blackman and John Medeski

From his stunning debut with Miles Davis at 17, through his pioneering work with John McLaughlin, Larry Young, Allan Holdsworth and others, Tony Williams is often hailed as the greatest drummer who ever lived. Undoubtedly, the Tony Williams Lifetime, across a half-dozen albums from 1969-1976, helped chart the course of the fusion era. His subsequent emergence as a major composer, with a series of releases for Blue Note in the mid ‘80s, cemented Tony’s unique place in the jazz pantheon. With devoted Williams protégé Cindy Blackman at the drum chair, Spectrum Road is named for one of the incendiary tracks on the original Lifetime album — but this isn’t just a tribute band! 

After making rock history with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker in Cream, legendary British bassist Jack Bruce joined the Lifetime for two records and now anchors Spectrum Road. The group is artfully rounded out with famed funk-metal guitarist Vernon Reid, of Living Colour, and multi-keyboardist John Medeski, one-third of the jam band juggernaut Medeski, Martin & Wood. Made famous by her 10+ years backing Lenny Kravitz, Blackman has distinguished herself as an impressively versatile player who’s as comfortable on post-bop sessions with Joe Henderson and Wallace Roney as she is touring with pop stars like Kravitz and husband Carlos Santana. The formidable lineup of Spectrum Road assures the legacy of Tony Williams lives on, and clearly qualifies as a major 2012 music event.
This all-star band emerged from a discussion between Vernon Reid and Jack Bruce when Vernon was touring and recording with Jack around 2003. They bonded over how much they admired the groundbreaking music of Tony William’s Lifetime, in particular the first and second editions of that seminal band, particularly the second edition, in which Jack participated with Larry Young and John McLaughlin and recorded the classic album Turn It Over in 1970. Vernon suggested using John Medeski on keyboards and Tony Williams acolyte Cindy Blackman on drums. This band premiered in December 2008 at the Blue Note in Tokyo. The 2011 shows were the first time the band has played in the United States. Spectrum Road has just finished recording an album which will released in the Spring of 2012 on Palmetto Records.

Cyrus Chestnut @ Jazz Standard 6/28/12

I needed to be home at 9 for a call. I went to the gym on E. 34th St, thinking about whether I should go this, try to get to 55 Bar for House of Waters, or just go home.  I was thinking I should just go home due to the 9pm thing.  I get to 26th St, and I find my legs were turning me around and taking me to Jazz Standard - I needed my fix!

It was a good show.  They played as a Trio for the first 1/2 hour and then James Carter came out with his tenor and soprano saxes for the remainder.  I enjoyed all of it and made it home just in time!

Cyrus Chestnut – piano
Dezron Douglas – bass
Neal Smith – drums
With Special Guest
James Carter – saxophones

The gospel–rooted, blues–tinged playing of pianist Cyrus Chestnut has delighted Jazz Standard audiences for years. We’re pleased to welcome him back for this gala “JS10” appearance, especially in the company of the celebrated saxophonist James Carter (“always dazzling, always melodic,” wrote John L. Walters in The Guardian). Cyrus began his musical training at age five and made his first public performance at age seven at his father’s Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Maryland; between 1994 and 2001, he released seven CDs for the Atlantic label. CC’s latest trio recording, Journeys (Jazz Legacy, 2010) showed that he “remains a distinctive original pianist whose work has continued to grow.” (Ken Dryden, AllMusic.com) “One hears in his smart stylings not only the gospel sounds at the root of his very being, but classic – some say nostalgic – jazz adorned with utterly uninhibited improvisations, flashes of pop and bop, whimsy and wit.” (Dan Rodricks, The Baltimore Sun)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Michel Camilo Trio @ Highline 6/27/12

Wow!  I hadn't even heard of Michel Camilo before, but now I know.  I watched the video on Highline's website and was excited I was invited by my friend and her parents.  It was also fun to hang out with them.  I liked this even more than the opener, which was great.  It was so lively and they are so talented.  Cliff Almond was the drummer.  I was wondering where I knew the name and then I remembered he plays with Wayne Krantz sometimes.  He was great.  It was a fun evening!

 with Lincoln Goines & Cliff Almond

Alfredo Rodríguez Trio @ Highline 6/27/12

It was an opening band for another jazz trio.  The music was quite nice.  I think they were playing Cuban standards.  At first I was drawn to the bass, but really I enjoyed all of them together.  The drummer was Francisco Mela from Cuba.  I think he plays in Lionel Lueke's Trio.  It was a nice start to a nice evening.

I found this from another listing, so I hope I got the right bass player:
Peter Slavov, bass, and Francisco Mela, drums.


Alexis Cuadrado @ Jazz Gallery 6/23/12

This is where I wanted to be.  This show was part of the commissioned Leading From the Bass composer's series.  A string quartet sat out in front of a 2 horn quartet.  Cuadrado is inspired by flamenco and The Beatles, and he created some phenomenal compositions.  The music was all superb.

Alexis Cuadrado - Jazz Miniatures for Double Quartet
Alexis Cuadrado - bass
Ben Wendel - saxophones and bassoon
Jason Rigby - saxophones, flutes and clarinets
Satoshi Takeishi - drums and percussion
Sara Caswell - violin
Antonia Nelson - violin
Lois Martin - viola
Jody Redhage - cello


Friday, July 13, 2012

Manuel Velera Cuban Express @ Drom 6/23/12

At first I was into it.  I've seen him a few times now and always enjoyed it in the past.  For some reason it wasn't quite doing it for me this night.  I know the guitar player kept asking the sound guy for changes, so perhaps it was the sound on my end.  I realized if I left I had time to get to Jazz Gallery and it seemed like it would be more what I was in the mood for.



The listing:
Dubbed “Jazz Cubano for Modern Times,” comprised of six prominent young musicians and lead by Cuban jazz pianist and composer Manuel Valera, this working band features original material and a contemporary compositional take on the music of the island of Cuba and showcases music from the new release.
The lineup includes pianist and bandleader Manuel Valera (Paquito D’Rivera, Dafnis Prieto, Arturo Sandoval), saxophonist Yosvany Terry (Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Steve Coleman), drummer Eric Doob (Miguel Zenon), bassist John Benitez (John Scofield, Chick Corea), guitarist Tom Guarna (Blood Sweat & Tears, Billy Drummond Trio) and percussionist Mauricio Herrera (Bryan Lynch, Spanish Harlem Orchestra). 
This dynamic and prolific artist has recorded six cds as a bandleader. His critically acclaimed debut cd Forma Nueva featuring John Patitucci, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez Bill Stewart and Seamus Blake—which received nationwide radio airplay and garnered strong reviews in the jazz and music press Billboard, Jazztimes, Jazziz, All Music Guide and Latin Beat among others. Historia, a jazz quartet recording for Fresh Sounds New Talent followed in 2005. Then in 2006 Melancolia—which employed a string quartet incorporating world rhythms and classical concepts in the jazz idiom that opened up new vistas of compositional colors and textures across the full range of Valera’s sources. In 2007, Vientos represented a new working quartet, featuring bassist James Genus, drummer Ernesto Simpson, saxophonist Joel Frahm and a woodwind quartet. His fifth major recording and most recent trio work, Currents, was released on MaxJazz in 2009 featuring Ernesto Simpson and James Genus.

Anders Osborne @ Brooklyn Bowl 6/22/12

I like that it was a Thursday so they'd have to end by 11:30.  Eric Bolivar is the drummer.  For some reason I thought he had someone else these days.  I love Eric.  The show was great and a lot of fun.  At some point the keyboard player from Billy Iuso came out to play.  Charlie Musselwhite also came out on harmonica.  It was awesome.

Wow, I forgot they did Franklin's Tower.  I found some youtube footage below.






Terence Blanchard @ Jazz Standard 6/20/12

I was getting done work that day and deciding what I wanted to do that night.  I saw this, but didn't want anything too mellow.  I went to Terence's website, gave a little listen, and knew I wanted to go.  I think the Katrina music for the Spike Lee film was really mellow, and I've been afraid to go see him since then.  Shame on me.

It was phenomenal and I loved every minute.  I would have loved to get up and dance but I know better.  I left very happy.

Terence Blanchard – trumpet
Brice Winston – tenor saxophone
Fabian Almazan – piano
Joshua Crumbly – bass
Kendrick Scott – drums
Terence Blanchard is one of the most accomplished and respected jazz musicians of his generation. As a composer and instrumentalist, he has created over 50 memorable scores for such Spike Lee films as Malcolm X (1992) and Clockers (1995), and most recently for George Lucas’ Red Tails (2012). He is a 5-time Grammy Award winner, including his 2007 tour de force A Tale of God's Will (A Requiem for Katrina), as well as an Emmy and Golden Globe nomi­nee. You can also here Blanchard’s music in the new Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams’ classic A Streetcar Named Desire. “He plays the most coolly expressive trumpet in jazz,” declared Vanity Fair, while The Wall Street Journal hailed Terence Blanchard as a creator of “bold, modern jazz that’s respectful of the tradition and served with style and emotion…His writing is superb and heartfelt, his playing perfect…”

MTO @ The Stone 6/25/12

Yay, it worked out that I could go!  If Ariel & Shya Kane are in town, I choose Monday Night Alive over almost all music, which is why this is the only night of the residency I made it to.

I was the first one there at around 7 and they were already rehearsing.  The rehearsal was a score for a Laurel & Hardy film.  Steven would include what was happening in the film in his instructions.  It was fun to see what he had the band sound like in various situations and to listen to the instructions.  Since I'm not a musician, I love these opportunities to be at a rehearsal.  I flashed back to my High School days, when we girls would hang out in the garage with the guys while they jammed.

I loved some of the stuff Marty Erlich was doing in the rehearsal.  It was so cool to have him there.  Usually, it's the phenomenal Doug Weiselman on clarinet, but it was an extra special nice treat to have Marty.  They's both phenomenal AND different from each other.

Tony Mason was on drums and it seemed he and Steven were just getting to know each other.  He had another gig, so right before the rehearsal ended he left.  They had about 4 minutes left of the score, so they finished it up without him.  Right after they ended, Derik Diggins showed up to be the drummer for the performance.  Everyone loved how the drummers essentially overlapped and saw each other in passing coming and going.  It appeared this was the first time any of them played with Derek, and they seemed to get along very well.  Ben Perowsky is often the regular drummer for MTO.

After about 1/2 hour setbreak we got blown away by the performance.  They played mainly newer music, which included some Sly.  I finally bought the MTO Plays Sly CD and it's awesome!

Matt Munisteri wasn't there to sing, but we did have Will Bernard on guitar.  For the song Matt would have sung, they played part of it first anyway and it was spectacular.  I knew I was in the right place.

Erik Lawrence played baritone sax and was his usual greatness.

Charlie Burnham was there making me very happy.  During the rehearsal portion, it was striking how much he fit in with the horn section.

Special guest Art Baron was on trombone.  Usually it's Curtis Fawlkes.  I liked when Art was using the mute.  He had some good solos.

Ben Allison brought it on the bass.  I was happy to see him.

Steven didn't play at all during rehearsal.  I presume he can't because he needs to conduct everything.  There's a lot going on there.  He played a lot in the performance and I loved it!  Lots of slide AND regular trumpet and he is da man!

Derek was awesome.  Steven needed someone last minute and he called Kirk Knuffke who got Derek for him.  Lucky us.

6/25 Monday (MJ)
7:30—Open Rehearsal

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Paquito d'Rivera @ Dizzy's 6/17/12

I try to take the opportunity to see these mainstream jazz greats when they play a club, especially when it's not Blue Note.  I also like getting to Dizzy's every now and then.  This was an excellent move on my part - it was awesome.  The compositions were reinterpreted classical works gone jazz.  Stellar arrangements.  They did Chopin, Mozart, Beethovan, and Bach - the jazz way.  Paquito told us how he always heard a Blues in the 2nd Movement of a Mozart piece and he and Wynton Marsalis decided that Mozart was actually from New Orleans and not Salzburg.  Later, he told us Beethovan was actually from Machu Pichu, Peru and then of course we got a super Latin number.

The band was phenomenal.  The piano really stood out.  The drummer also had timbales.  There was also a percussionist with Congas and either little congas or bongos, I'm not quite sure.

I loved it!

The listing:
Paquito D'Rivera: Boleros de Chopin
w/Diego Urcola, Alex Brown, Oscar Stagnaro, Mark Walker, and Arturo Sable
Arguably no living musician embodies the spirit of our club's namesake than D'Rivera. Whether it's his humor, incredible musicianship, an unwavering devotion to knocking down musical borders in the name of be-bop or his recognition as a leading international ambassador of jazz, Dizzy Gillespie is his main influence. For this performance, he gives a very lyrical and explosive Latin jazz mix of boleros, Chopin, bebop, Mozart, rumbas, and Bach. Paquito D'Rivera, alto saxophone, clarinet; Diego Urcola, trumpet; valve trombone; Alex Brown, piano; Oscar Stagnaro, bass; Mark Walker, drums; Arturo Sable, percussion

This is from last year:

Leyna Marika Papach @ The Stone 6/16/12

I had my dates mixed up and I thought it was the night for Spectrum Road at BBs.  Luckily, I usually check websites before heading out, and I realized that show is still 2 weeks away.  I had their San Francisco show on my calendar from before they announced the NYC show.  I looked into going out for it, but couldn't find a cheap flight.  By the time I discovered my error, I didn't feel like shlepping out to Roulette for Vision Fest, even though the lineup looked great.  I did want something, so I went to my old stand-by for some solo violin.

It was about 30 minutes - it's more typical for solo sets to be shorter.  I love seeing solo shows as it's an opportunity to focus in on one instrument.  She started by playing one string for a bit, 30-60 seconds and then played the next string for a bit and so on.  After that cool piece she played with vibrating the strings and it was awesome to see the difference. Most of it was with the bow.  There was one piece where she put down the bow and held it like a ukalele for the plucking.  It was a good set.

Leyna Marika Papach (violin) Solo violin works.