Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Kimock/Worrll/Ingram/Hess @ City Winery 8/10/13

Sure, if i were able to deal with a huge crowd I would be at Brooklyn Bowl that night for Mike Dillon Band and then Galactic, but this was a good and fun runner up.  Bernie Worrell and Andy Hess especially drew me in and I ended up enjoying all of them.  Steve did spend a lot of time talking in between each piece, but probably because he had to tune up whatever he was playing each time.  He did a lot of switching around. I liked when he played the pedal steel guitar.  It was also awesome I wasn't the only dancer.  Is NYC getting good again?  All of us dancers around the place weren't in anyone's way and having fun.  I did get cold after a while and decided to sit at the bar, but it was still fun.

Steve Kimock featuring Bernie Worrell, Wally Ingram, Andy Hess, and more! - 8/10
Kimock’s ability to articulate tone, melody and emotion into music combined with technical brilliance has earned Kimock the title “Guitar Monk”( Relix Magazine) for his commitment to guitar, and his ability to make it speak with its own original voice.
His variegated brand of guitar, alternately subdued and vibrant, defies easy categorization. At times prog rock/jazz-inflected and at others gypsy-straightaway, his crystal clear tone has been captivating audiences for more than thirty years.
Kimock co-founded the Jazz/Rock fusion band Zero in the 80’s, KVHW in the 90’s and now tours under his own name. He is widely embraced by fans as one who carries the free-form torch of improvisation, through an extensive catalog of original material in his own bands, as well as through live performances with so many esteemed musicians. Kimock has performed alongside the likes of Bruce Hornsby (and can be heard on two of Hornsby’s releases), John Cipollina Jerry Garcia and all members of the Grateful Dead, as well as Peter Frampton, Bonnie Raitt, The Allman Brothers, Buddy Miles, Buddy Cage, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Bobby Vega, Martin Fierro , Joe Satriani, Baaba Maal, Angelique Kidjo, Elvin Bishop, George Porter Jr., Steve Winwood, Derek Trucks, Ivan Neville, Grace Slick, Papa John Creach, Norton Buffalo, Amos Garrett, Warren Haynes, Hadi Al Sadoon, Stephen Perkins, Nicky Hopkins, Freddie Roulette, and many more.
A relentless innovator as well as player, Kimock's focus leads to guitar & amp craftsmanship. Over the past few years, he collaborated on a series of highly collected custom Two-Rock “Kimock Amplifiers” as well as a coveted ergonomic Scott Walker brand guitar - built in stereo.
His passion and devotion to performing live improvisation is matchless, and his unparalleled ability to embrace and capture a theater musically is the stuff of legends.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

No BS! Brass Band @ Damrosch Park Bandshell 8/8/13

We were told at the beginning of the Butler, Bernstein & The Hot 9 that No BS! Brass Band wasn't able to make it to the earlier show they were scheduled for due to travel problems.  I believe that's when it was raining as well, so who knows how many made it.  It was nice that they were around and played in the VIP tent, which is outside and right next to the stage.  It was a good idea to have a brass band play for a little while they get the stage ready for the dancers and orchestra.  They had about 3 or 4 trombones, 4 trumpets and a tuba.  It's hard to say much in a couple of songs with no mics in a large space.  It was fun to get a little more dancing in and I was impressed that the guy had a tuba instead of a sousaphone.  I've seen too many amazing brass bands from New Orleans, I have incredibly high standards.

The go-to horn players for bands from Bon Iver to The Wailers, Richmond, Virginia’s No BS! Brass Band firmly believes that jazz is for dancing and that pop songs sound best on brass. No BS! pays tribute to greats like Mingus and Michael Jackson, and tackles prog-rock favorites like Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” and ear candy like a-ha’s “Take On Me” with “sternum-rattling...hot, irrepressible blast[s] of brass and canyon-like grooves” (Spin).

Butler, Bernstein & The Hot 9 @ Damrosch Park Bandshell 8/8/13

This was phenomenal.  We found out at the end that it's actually a new band that intends to record.  Yippee!  It's basically pieces of 2 of my favorite bands merging into one.  Millennial Territory Orchestra or MTO meets Henry Butler and whoever he wants to add.  The 9 included Matt Munisteri on guitar, Brad Cole on bass, Doug Weiselman on clarinet and saxes, Erik Lawrence on saxes, Peter Apfelbaum on saxes, Charlie Burnham on violin who I am all very familiar with and want to see every time they play anything.  Then there was a great drummer Herlin Riley from New Orleans who I didn't know before but he fit right in.  I don't know who the trombone player is.  The entire show was great.  It was also awesome that there were a decent amount of dancers and no one was giving us a hard time for it.  It was slightly dripping and the seats were all wet from earlier rain, but the majority of the crowd found ways to sit.  However, there was no problem to them this time if others got up and danced.  There were also some really fun dancers on the side that were fun to watch get down at times.  Excellent show!

A premier exponent of New Orleans piano, the adventurous virtuoso Henry Butler teams up with crack arranger Steven Bernstein (Sex Mob, Millennial Territory Orchestra) to dive into the roots of jazz. Butler’s elegant vocals and driving improvisations and Bernstein’s inventive trumpet power a fresh, forward-looking sound. With master drummer Herlin Riley, bassist Brad Jones, and members of the MTO, the newly formed The Hot 9 reframes the deep regional pedigree of classics by Bessie Smith and Fats Waller alongside Butler’s gleefully exploratory originals.

I did see Henry play with MTO at Jazz Standard a couple of times last year.  I'm so glad they are forming their own band and recording something:

I did a search on my blog for Steven Bernstein and there's quite a few posts on him:

Henry isn't too shabby on the blog either:

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Ellery Eskelin Trio @ Cornelia St Cafe 7/26/13

I had a great time first having dinner upstairs and then going down to have the great music.  I didn't know the drummer before but he was fun.  I like how Ellery is so versatile and keeps it all so fresh.  We all had a lot of fun and really enjoyed the music. 

Eskelin, tenor sax; Gary Versace, organ; Jochen Rueckert- drums - $20
cover includes a drink -

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Henry Butler @ Joe's Pub 7/21/13

This was an awesome solo show.  We sat right behind him at the front of the stage and could see all of his moves.  He really went around the repotoire.  He started with some spiritual and then went to Jelly Roll and then WC Handy and lots of other phenomenal stuff.  Every single thing he did was stellar.  It was so much fun.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The M & Ms: Medeski, Mali, Mercurio, Moore @ LPR 5/23/13

I had high expectations for this show.  A new amalgamation of people I love, and I loved who was in it.  I did end up having a great time and it was a good show.  However, it was also quite lacking in what it could have been.   It's all about the expectation.  It was free for me because I'm a member.  I didn't even have to wait in the long line to get in. 

It was listed as doors at 10, show at 10:30, but ended up having delays getting people in. I was in early, and at some point there as a 13 yo kid on stage impromptu opening for us.  I was a little bored and conserved my energy by sitting over in one of those big cushy chairs by the photo-booth bathroom area with some friends.

I enjoyed the band when they came on.  Anything Medeski touches is worthwhile.  He was doing it for me as always.  The music in general was nice and worth coming out.  Then, toward the end of the 2nd set, the 13 yo kid came out and it got great.  It brought intense Stanton out,  and it really went somewhere.  I wanted that kid to stay the rest of the show and give us something to reminisce about.  The kid was much better then.  I think part of it was Papa Mali was lacking.  I've seen that guy in so many guises and he's unbelievably talented and oozes with soul. But, that night and when I recently saw him in NOLA, things were lacking.  I presume he's just having a little dip and I send him good vibes for the return of that mojo that I know still exists in him.  I will say people were calling that kid the next Derek Trucks.  I would say he was quite good at that sit in, but Derek Trucks is a whole other thing.  We were just really happy to get that show.

After that, they were finishing up the 1st set.  The music was still good, I just realized it was time for me to go home, happy to have attended.

Equifunk & Nolafunk Present
The M & Ms:
Medeski, Mali, Mercurio, Moore

M&Ms melt in your mind, not in your hands.

John Medeski  (Medeski Martin & Wood)
Papa Mali  (7 Walkers)
Rob Mercurio   (Galactic)
Stanton Moore

Monday, May 20, 2013

Stephane Wrembel @ Barbes 5/19/13

Sephane Wrembel is awesome.  He plays in the style of Django Reinhardt.  He's very talented.  His band evolves over time.  It's always good.  I liked his intense drummer last night. 

He plays at Barbes almost every Sun night, 2 sets.  It's only $10 and a wonderful tiny space.  It's very easy to get to on the F Train.  I highly recommend you see him anywhere he plays.

It looks like these Barbes gigs aren't on his website.  You can find them on Barbes' website.  Actually, you can go to any set at Barbes and see anything and get a great World music show.

Leni Stern @ Barbes 5/19/13

It was an awesome African trio.  I always like seeing Leni Stern's band.  She is originally from Munich, Germany and she's based in NYC.  She plays with a wonderful bass player, , and drummer.  I think they are both from Mali, but I'm not 100% sure.  Leni sings in English and their African language.  She also plays this cool dome-shaped Moroccan instrument.  She has a little bit of percussion as well.  It was a very nice 1 hour set.




03|13|2013 - The Blues Comes Home to Africa
Mamadou Kone, bass
Haruna Samake, drums

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Secret Chiefs3 @ Union Hall 5/18/13

I went out for the brief white robe set.  It was phenomenal.  I love the space, too.  It reminds me a lot of when I saw them in Paris.  The performance space is in a back room.  There's a nice outside area to hang before the space.  There's also a large inside space before before the outside space.  It's an awesome venue.  This Brooklyn space wasn't hot but, it was going to get much more crowded for the next set.  The next set would also be more intense and my kind of thing.  It just wasn't going to happen for me last night.

There are still more gigs for them coming up soon.  I probably won't be able to make The Stone, but I've seen them there before and they should be amazing.  I would line up early if you want to get in.  It only fits about 50 people.


ate venue location details
 May 17, 2013 Mercury Lounge New York NY
 May 18, 2013 Union Pool Brooklyn NY
 May 19, 2013 Union Pool Brooklyn NY
 May 21, 2013 Schubas Tavern Chicago IL
 May 22, 2013 Beat Kitchen Chicago IL
 May 24, 2013 The Drake Toronto ON
 May 25, 2013 The Drake Toronto ON
 May 28, 2013 The Stone NYC New York NY 8 and 10pm shows
 May 29, 2013 The Stone NYC New York NY 8 and 10pm shows
 May 30, 2013 The Stone NYC New York NY 8 and 10pm shows
 May 31, 2013 The Stone NYC New York NY 8 and 10pm shows
 Jun 01, 2013 The Stone NYC New York NY 8 and 10pm shows
 Jun 02, 2013 The Stone NYC New York NY 8 and 10pm shows

Allison Miller's Boom Tic Boom @ 92YTribeca 5/9/13

The band is completely different and still stellar.  I got a CD for that I'm looking forward to listening to as well.

Here's the show on NPR:
Boom Tic Boom: Live From 92Y Tribeca
May 9, 2013A go-to choice for jazz heavies and arena-level singer-songwriters alike, drummer Allison Miller made time to cultivate her own working band in the past few years. Fresh off the band's second studio album, and a tour to support it, she leads her singular quartet in a New York homecoming.

Look at the amazing lineup:
  • Allison Miller, drums
  • Kirk Knuffke, cornet
  • Myra Melford, piano
  • Todd Sickafoose, bass
  • Rachel Friedman, voice (one song)

SexMob @ 92YTribeca 5/9/13

I love this band!  They were phenomenal!  I'm looking to hearing the new album.  I purchased it, but I don't have a way to listen to it right now.  Well, I have an older computer and Google Drive, so I could listen to it on my new MacBook Air, I just haven't gone there yet.  It looks like I see an external disk drive in my near future.

Sexmob celebrates the release of “Cinema, Circus and Spaghetti: Sexmob plays the music of Nino Rota” on May 8 at 92Y Tribeca.

This is the link to the actual show, check it out:

Sexmob: Live From 92Y Tribeca
May 9, 2013The quartet specializes in a distinct strain of deconstructionist improvised music: jazz that aims at fun by bouncing off the walls. Led by slide trumpeter Steven Bernstein, the band parties to the themes of spaghetti western film composer Nino Rota.

Woazoa Ochestra @ Allways Lounge 5/4/13

It was a good show.  I stayed as long as I could, but the cold was too much for me. I did enjoy what I got.

Here's a description of the project from here site.  I don't know who the actual musicians that night were.  I enjoyed each of them.

Helen Gillet’s Wazozo Zorchestra
This is a sequal album to Wazozo’s first 2009 album “Newton Circus.” Jon Gross (sousaphone), Doug Garrison (drums), Chris Kohl (clarinet), and other suprise guests  join Gregory Good (acoustic and electric guitar), Daron Douglas (violin), Luke Brechtlesbauer (harp), and Helen Gillet (cello, loop pedal, effects and voice) for an album of all french chansons.

Helen Gillet @ Always Lounge 5/4/13

Helen played about 25 minutes of exceelent solo cello set.  Then Mazz Swift play about 30 minutes or so of violin.  It was good, even though it was cold in the venue.

Wimbish @ Blue Nile Balcony Room NOLA 5/4/13

That was a fun show.  It's also a lot of fun to bounce back and forth between 2 shows.  Everyone was excited for when Vernon Reid would come on a play a few.  It got me thrilled that I'm spoiled that I have so many more opportunities to see him in my own hood.  I've seen the Wimbish the show at least 3 times over the years.  It still feels fresh.  I did get to the see the entire part with Vernon and enjoyed it a lot.

Khris Royal - Wimbash Ft. Dark Matter And Doug Wimbish, W Ill Calhoun, Vernon Reid And More

Khris Royal & Dark Matter with Doug Wimbish & Corey Glover

Royal Potato Family Allstars @ Blue Nile NOLA 5/4/12

It had it's moments.  Marco played that happy song too way too many times.  Skerik mentioned since Marco is a founding member of Royal Potato Family he could play whatever he wanted that night.  I wish they wish they retire that song once and for all.  I haven't been a fan of it in a long time.

Now don't get me wrong, the show did have some great moments, too.

In addition, it sparked me to also buy a ticket to the show upstairs. I enjoyed that show and I could escape this one when they were taking it places I wasn't interested in.  It was perfect.

Marco Benevento
Robert Walter
Mike Dillon
Reed Mathis
John Speice

Papa Mali @ Old US Mint NOLA 5/3/13

That was a fun show show.  I enjoyed it.

Cheick Hamala Diabate Band @ Old US Mint NOLA 5/3/13

It's a mint museum in which they sometimes have events.  I enjoyed it.  I was able to dance close in the middle of the room and I love Nola-African stuff.


Astral Project @ Fairgrounds 5/3/13

I was there for a few hours before I founded music I liked.  I still enjoyed walking aroud and eating and hanging.  I did enjoy Astral Project. Then I decided I was happy and wanted to hang out elsewhere after that, so I traveled back.

Jazzfest 5/2/13

I had sketchy notes and not much memory.  Are you sitting down?  It looks like I'm ready for a Jazzfest hiatus.  Last year, I just started feeling like it was getting old.  This was my 12th year.  I went for the entire thing for the 1st 5 years.  My tastes have changed and some things about jazzfest got old and stale for me.  I noticed this is certainly not the case for all.  I see the usual thrilled faces on the regulars.  Jazzfest really is amazing and you should go check it out for yourself.  I remember my first fest, I had a brass pass.  That means I had access to the radio station WWOZ's tent.  I meant a man from Tuscaloosa, AL.  He kept commenting on my glow.  He said there's nothing like your first fest.  It had been 2002 and he'd been coming since 1987. 

Of course, I still had a good time.  I just decided to sell my tickets for Sat and Sun, even though the weather was going to be better.  I just wanted to have fun in NOLA on those days and just wasn't feeling the fest.  

The 2 days I did go, there was some rain.  It wasn't a big deal.  It was really weird how cool it was for this time of year.  I had the right attire, and I don't really remember that much about it.  Oh, now I remember at first it was somewhat cold and rainy, but there was good music in the jazz tent and room to sit. I was happy.

I had a great poncho.  I went to the organ woodshed in the jazz tent.  It was great, especially the beg and end.
Woodshed: Hammond B3 (Jazz)
Two experienced organ players, Kyle Roussel and Joe Ashlar, will give the audience a course on the Hammond B3 organs.
They will perform in a variety of genres, including funk, gospel, and jazz.
Then, Kidd Jordan was up in the jazz tent. That was as great as always.  He informed us that they are true improvisers.  He talked about John Coltrane a little.  He had some very interesting things to say about his approach, but I can't remember them.  Lucky for me, Nola.com captured it for us. 
I was very happy to be there and very happy with the set.
Kidd Jordan, sax
William Parker, bass
Alvin Fielder, drums
Joel Futterman, piano
Maynard Chatters Jr, piano

I went to a little of Henry Butler.  Fabulous.  I love Henry.

I saw Gravy before leaving at Lagniappe.  I liked them.  It was nice to find something new. 
Infusing musical aspects from all walks of life, Gravy’s brand of progressive funk rock has garnered a solid fan base, firmly cementing the band as a fixture in the New Orleans music scene. Touring consistently since their inception, Gravy has established itself as one of the Southeast’s rising acts.

The Midnight Disturbers @ Howlin Wolf NOLA 5/1/13

This was great, but I was still elated from GAT and actually didn't need it.  I wasn't there when this was created.  My memory is that Stanton Moore and 1 or 2 other horn leaders were hanging out one day and came up with the idea to create a brass band full of stellar leaders.  Making that work is impressive given how in demand they all are.  They made up shirts with the name of a great that plays their instrument.  Very awesome concept.  And, of course the music is amazing.  Very intense very alive and beyond great.  It's of course very rare to even be able to see it.  In the past, the Megalomaniacs Ball culminated with GAT.  It's nice how they keep doing things to keep the Ball different.

It was a great show, but I was tired and so satisfied after GAT.  I don't think I stayed that long, but I enjoyed it.

Original Garage a Trois @ Howlin Wolf NOLA 5/1/13

This was worth the entire trip to New Orleans.  Charlie Hunter is an original member of the band.  He's a phenomenal guitar player who was playing the 8-string guitar back at the time.  That means he had 2 bass strings on his guitar.  One of Charlie's approaches to keep his music fresh is to continue to change his musical partners.  A few years or so after Garage a Trois (GAT), Charlie changed to the 7-string guitar, so now he has 1 bass string instead of 2.  I really like this version.  I suspect it's more because I appreciate him even more than ever before as I've grown in my musical tastes.

Anyway, we all love GAT w/ Charlie.  Soon after Charlie decided to move on, GAT was using different guests to fill out the band.  I remember the jazzfest time with John Medeski on keyboards.  I don't remember who else they might have played with, but I think they quickly ended up with Marco Benevento on keyboards.  That meant we still had a phenomenal band even though most of us preferred how it went with Charlie. 

They do this Megalomaics Ball every year at Howlin Wolf on the Wed before 2nd weekend of jazzfest.  Last year, they shared the show doing the first half with Charlie and the 2nd half with Marco.  This year, they did the show with Charlie and had Marco in for most of the 2nd set.  Phenomenal!  They had Mike Dillon the percussionist come in and out. The original was Charlie, Skerik and Stanton.  Mike was added after 1-3 years I think.  This show was very awesome for me.

The Mike Dillon Band @ Howlin Wolf NOLA 5/1/13

It was good and fun, which is expected.  It did seem some like most of the shows I've seen of them were a little higher level.  It was still really good.  It was awesome when Charlie Hunter sat in.  Marco Benevento  then sat in until the end and it got super wonderful.  I loved seeing Marco in a different capacity.  He was intense, dark, really fit in perfectly with this band.  I knew he already had this in him, I just hadn't seen it in forever.  The very last piece had Stanton Moore and Marco Benevento sitting in.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Magolia Beacon @ Hi /Ho Lounge NOLA 5/1/13

I was feeling a desire to change it up this year at Jazzfest.  I knew I'd end up at Megalomaniacs Ball, but wanted to try something else first.  I saw Helen Gillet was listed on the jazzfest grids, but when I got up to Allways Lounge, I found out something had changed since then.  I ended up across the street at Hi Ho Lounge for people I didn't know anything about. 

I only stayed for the first band, Magnolia Beacon.  I enjoyed it.  It was a string quartet with singing and everything.  They sounded good.

I could quickly tell that the next band's style wasn't going to be for me, so I made my way over to Howlin Wolf.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Kong Nay, Ben Allison, Marc Ribot, Rudy Royston @ Asia Museum 4/19/13

It was a wonderful event.  It was about an hour in total.  The first 1/2 was a Kong Nay solo.  It was wonderful.  He plays a Chapei Dong Veng.  Something like a guitar and it sounds awesome.  Here's some youtube stuff.  His voice is great, too.  He sings about everything things.  He does one giving to thanks to spiritual leaders.  Then one praising Mothers.  Then one about a bird. It very beautiful.

Then we got jazz trio improvised piece which was awesome.  I presume it was to give Kong Nay a little break.  We all loved it.  Then Kong Nay came back out. I believe the trio was still improvising, but having Kong Nay take the lead.  They did 3 first about how great music is.  Then they took a bow and then did an encore called "Dance for a Soulmate". 

The one thing was beautiful and wonderful.


Tomas Fujiwara's Red Carpet @ I-Beam 4/18/13

Now that I go to Shapeshifter Lab so much, I feel like I can go any where.  I-Beam is a great place but it does a feel out of the way - probably because I'm used to so much people around.  It also took me about a 45 min to get they are 35 min to get back.  I got to 30 minutes of the show and it was phenomenal and worth it.  It is one of the things stops from going more often.  I'm spoiled, I admit it. 

Loren Stillman,  sax
Matt Pavolka, bass

Tomas Fujiwara, drums

It was awesome.

Sam Newsome / Jim Black Duo @ Zürcher Studio 4/17/13

Then we got an amazing duo.  They had never played together before than they were awesome.  They did another 45 min set after a little break in between sets.  Jim is always a treat.  It was improvised and awesome.

Sam Newsome Solo @ Zürcher Studio 4/17/13

It's an art gallery on the East Side on Bleeker.  Very nice to seem music in the East Village again.  I heard Henry Grimes might come next month.

Sam is a nice to see solo.  She is very talented.  I got there a little, but it was probably a 45 minute set.

It was to see if sitting because of columns and everyone there is no elevation for the performers.  It works for because I can see standing and it's fine.

Slobber Pup @ The Stone 4/16/13

Oh yeah!  I would call this avant jam.  It was amazing.  Trevor Dunn played electric bass  the guitar was awesome.  I really got caught up in the drums a lot of the time.  Jamie is as stellar as always.  This band played so way together.  It was always improvised and all amazing.

Just so you know, they just raised the set price to $15.  It makes sense when you think about the outstanding musician who plays all week.  If you go, try to bring exact change.

SLOBBER PUP Jamie Saft (organs, keys) Joe Morris (guitar) Trevor Dunn (bass) Balazs Pandi (drums)

Instant Composers Pool (ICP) @ Littlefield 4/13/13

Yes, it was ICP light without Misha Mengelberg, but it was still outstanding.  I love Han Bennink and the horn section ans string section were phenomenal.  It was great.

The 10-piece, Instant Composers Pool (ICP) Orchestra has earned worldwide acclaim for its inventiveness, musical genius, and unpredictable stage antics. The group includes world-class improvisers Han Bennink on drums, Michael Moore on clarinet and alto saxophone, Ab Baars on clarinet and tenor saxophone, Tobias Delius on clarinet and tenor saxophone, Thomas Heberer on trumpet, Wolter Wierbos on trombone, Tristan Honsinger on cello, Ernst Glerum on bass, and Mary Oliver on viola and violin.

From ragtime to swing, composed pieces to improvisation, bop to free jazz, classical to carnivalesque, the ICP Orchestra continues to be at the forefront of the creative music that they have been so influential in founding, proliferating and supporting over the last five decades.


Han Bennink (drums) is a co-founder of the ICP, long-time associate of Misha Mengelberg, and one of the most in-demand drummers in Europe. He has performed and recorded with jazz musicians such as Dexter Gordon and Sonny Rollins, as well as European improvisers such as Peter Brotzman, Derek Bailey, and Willem Breuker. He trained as a graphic artist and has exhibited work in several media, including sculptures from found objects that can include broken drum heads and drumsticks; he also designs many of his own LP and CD sleeves. More: www.hanbennink.com.

In addition to playing solo concerts and his own trio, Ab Baars (clarinet, tenorsax) is a regular guest with the EX, Cor Fuhler, Michael Moore, and Michiel Scheen. Since 1990, his main focus has been on the Ab Baars Trio, which led to tours with Steve Lacy and Roswell Rudd; a collaboration with the Nieuw Ensemble, shakuhachi player Iwamoto and conductor Butch Morris at the festival Improvisations. Baars has also worked with Francois Houle, John Carter, Roger Turner, Sunny Murray, George Lewis, Anthony Braxton, Cecil Taylor, and Gerry Hemingway among others. More: www.stichtingwig.com.

Tobias Delius was born in Oxford, England but grew up playing tenor saxophone in Germany and Mexico. In 1984 he moved to Amsterdam where he studied briefly at the Sweelinck Conservatorium. Since 1990 Delius leads his own 4tet with Tristan Honsinger, Joe Williamson, and Han Bennink; APA INI is currently a quartet with Hilary Jeffery, Wilbert de Joode & Serigne Gueye. He can also be heard in Available Jelly, Sean Bergin’s MOB, Cor Fuhler’s Corkestra, and Georg Graewe Quintet. In 2004 Delius was awarded the Boy Edgar Prize, the Netherlands' most prestigious award in improvised music. More: www.doek.org.

Ernst Glerum studied classical double-bass at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. During his studies he joined contemporary music ensembles (ASKO ensemble) as well as improvised music groups (Curtis Clark, Hans Dulfer, JC Tans, Theo Loevendie). He frequently performed with such artists as Steve Lacy, Lee Konitz, Uri Caine, Teddy Edwards, Benny Maupin, Jimmy Knepper, Jamaladeen Tacuma, John Zorn, Bud Shank, Art Hodes, Don Byron and many others. Besides ICP and the Amsterdam String Trio he performs in the Guus Janssen Trio, Michiel Scheen Quartet, Trio Continuo, Trio Bennink-Borstlap-Glerum and Available Jelly. He doubles on piano in Glerum Omnibus with Clemens van der Feen and Owen Hart. More: www.ernstglerum.nl.

Thomas Heberer (trumpet) was born in 1965 in Schleswig, Germany, and studied at the Conservatory in Cologne until 1987. Since then he has performed with musicians such as Muhal Richard Abrams, Pina Bausch, Dave Douglas, Maria Joao, Howard Johnson, Bob Moses, David Moss, Evan Parker, E. L. Petrowsky, Enrico Rava, Alex Schlippenbach, Elliott Sharp, Tomasz Stanko and Attila Zoller. Thomas is member of several ensembles such as the Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, European Jazz Ensemble, Aki Takase Quintet, Tome XX and of course has a duo with bassist Dieter Manderscheid. www.thomasheberer.com.

Born in New England, the cellist Tristan Honsinger studied at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. By the '70s, the Trans-American had moved to Amsterdam. Since a memorable set of concerts in Berlin in 1988, released on the much sought-after FMP box set, Honsinger has been a fairly regular member of Cecil Taylor's groups, including the now-disbanded European Quartet with Harri Sjöström and Paul Lovens, including an unusual combination that performed at the Total Music Meeting in November 1999: the Cecil Taylor Ensemble with Franky Douglas, Tristan Honsinger and Andrew Cyrille.

Michael Moore was born in Arcata, California, where he played in clubs and attended school before moving to Boston to study at the New England Conservatory of Music. There he worked with Joseph Allard, Jaki Byard, Joe Maneri, Gunther Schuller, George Russell and others. After spending two years in NYC he moved to Amsterdam, where he has lived since 1984. He currently works with Available Jelly, Jewels & Binoculars, Franky Douglas, Achim Kaufmann, Dave Douglas, Fred Hersch, Benoit Delbecq, Eric Boeren, Paul Berner and others. His own projects include the White Widow Quartet, the Monitor Trio w/ Cor Fuhler and Tristan Honsinger and the Michael Moore Quintet. More: www.ramboyrecordings.com.

Mary Oliver was born in La Jolla, California, and studied at San Francisco State University (Bachelor of Music), Mills College (MFA) and the University of California, San Diego where she received her PhD in 1993 for her research in the theory and practice of improvised music. Her work as a soloist encompasses both composed and improvised contemporary music; she has premiered works by Richard Barrett, John Cage, Chaya Czernowin, Morton Feldman, Brian Ferneyhough, George Lewis and Iannis Xenakis among others and worked alongside improvising musicians such as Ab Baars, FURT, Tristan Honsinger, Joelle Leandre, George Lewis, Phil Minton and Evan Parker.

Wolter Wierbos can be heard on more than 100 CD’s and LP’s. Like many Dutch brass players Wierbos started out in a ‘fanfare’ (brass band), switching from trumpet to trombone when he was 17. Since 1979 he has performed with with Henry Threadgill, The Ex, The Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra (led by Alexander von Schlippenbach), the European Big Band (led by Cecil Taylor), Sonic Youth, the John Carter Project, Mingus Big Band (Epitaph, directed by Gunther Schuller) and many others. He is currently active with Gerry Hemingway Quintet, Franky Douglas’ Sunchild, Bik Bent Braam, Albrecht Maurer Trio Works, Nocando, Carl Ludwig Hübsch’s Longrun Development of the Universe, Frank Gratkowski Quartet, Available Jelly and Sean Bergin’s MOB. More: www.wolterwierbos.nl.

Ab Baars Han Bennink Tobias Delius Ernst Glerum Thomas Heberer Tristan Honsinger Michael Moore Mary Oliver Wolter Wierbos

Friday, April 12, 2013

Rudresh Mahanthappa's Gama @ LPR 4/11/13

This was amazing!  It was so engaging!  They just released CD called "Gamak".  They did play during Winter Jazzfest, but I didn't see them.  I thoroughly enjoyed getting a 90 minute set of this greatness. They were all phenomenal

Rudresh Mahanthappa, Alto Sax
Francois Moutin, bass
Dan Weis, drums

Eli Yamin Quartet @ Dizzy's 4/9/11

I wanted to see Evan Christopher, who I've never seen outside of New Orleans.  It was good.  Fun and NOLA style.  I did really the piano as well.  I was sitting at the bar and it was somewhat annoying that the staff was talking so much. I don't recall hearing so much talking at Dizzy's before and I have sit over there before.  It wasn't too hard to drown them out for the most part, it was fun lively music.

Eli Yamin Quartet Featuring Evan Christopher
CD Release - Louie’s Dream
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
7:30pm, 9:30pm | Dizzy's Club Coca Cola
Cover: $25
Student: $15 (Select sets with Student I.D.)
With Evan Christopher, clarinet; Nicki Parrott, bass; LaFrae Sci, drums
New York jazz and blues expert Eli Yamin has one foot in the past and one in the future with both his traditional jazz group and his new release Louie’s Dream.  Buoyed by New Orleans clarinetist Evan Christopher, versatile bassist Nicki Parrott, and genre-crossing drummer LaFrae Sci, these sets are sure to be adventures into new territory.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Vituoso @ Rubin Museum 4/3/13

It was an interesting conversation about music and the brain.  I was really tired, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.  Seth talked about how rhythm is everywhere.  A child that grows up in a home with no music can still absorb rhythm everywhere.  I know I've experienced music in a bus going by or the printer at work.  They also talked about how enjoyment of music is based on what we've already heard.  It was all very interesting.

The Virtuoso

Tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain explores why rhythm is the most primal sense we humans possess with neuroscientist Seth Horowitz.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

De Akokán Pavel Urkiza & Ricardo Pons @ Jazz Gallery 3/30/13

It was time to get to the new space.  Sure, it's not as great as the old space, but it's still good to have another option with good music.  I enjoyed the music. It was awesome.

De Akokán Pavel Urkiza & Ricardo Pons
Saturday, March 30th, 2013 |9:00 & 10:30 p.m.
Pavel Urkiza – vocal percusion and spanish guitar
Ricardo Pons – wood winds
Yunior Terry – acoustic bass
Tony Rosa - percussion

De Akokán, the name of the co-led ensemble of the guitarist and songwriter Pavel Urkiza & the reedist Ricardo Pons, means “from the heart” in the Yoruba language. Pavel was born in Ukraine to parents of Cuban descent, and has produced much of his creative output from Spain. He has been heralded as a “maestro” by his peers in the Afro-Caribbean music community, and specializes in a style he helped develop called filin progresivo. In Pavel’s words: “I started to discover new codes, new fountains from which to drink, new colors — and I came to perceive music like painting — beyond the notes are the textures.” This is a music that incorporates elements of jazz, and rhythms from West Africa, Brazil, the Mediterranean, and India, which Pavel was exposed to in Lavapiés, an immigrant neighborhood in Madrid.

In the early nineties, Pavel teamed up with the Cuban singer Gema Corredera to form the Gema & Pavel duo, whose pioneering music the Miami New Times described as, “a post-Cold War fusion rooted in their island upbringing and marked by the émigré experience.” Pavel has also collaborated with Omara PortuondoAngelique KidjoAlejandro Sanz, Tito Puente and many others.

Ricardo’s collaborative involvement in De Akokán pushes Pavel’s filin progresivo in a new direction. Ricardo was educated in New York (he holds a bachelor’s degree from City College and a M.A. from Queens College) and has performed with a breadth of artists including Chick Corea, Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Mario Bauza, and Willie Colon. His interests lies in various expansions of Puerto Rican traditional music, which he explores as the Musical Director of Viento de Agua and a member of the Puerto Sax Quartet.

Abigail Washburn Post-Americal Girl @ Joe's Pub 3/29/13

I didn't really look at the listing, so I had no idea what it was other than Abigail Washburn.  It was a play with a lot of music.  It was stellar.  I loved it.  It was so well done.  They just started rehearsing a few days before, and I couldn't really tell.  It was also nice to see how Abigail came to an artist singing chinese and playing banjo.  I loved that they had a guezheng and an asian percussionist. 

I also liked learning about some of the cultural differences in China.  The whole thing was wonderful.

We are excited to announce Abigail Washburn will debut her first theatrical work, Post-American Girl, at Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater March 28 – 30 as part of New York Voices, the venue’s popular commission series designed to help musicians make the leap from songwriting and performance to theatrical production. Washburn’s new stage piece is about an American girl coming-of-age in a swiftly changing global order. It features folk arts of China and Appalachia in shadow puppetry, sacred harp song, traditional music as well as new compositions.

Post-American Girl, written by and starring Washburn, draws from her 17-year relationship with China and addresses themes of expanding identity, cultural relativism, pilgrimage, today’s shifting world order, the universal appeal of music and opening the heart big enough to fold it all in. The piece explores how a contemporary young American woman brings her conflicted feelings and simultaneous love of a changing China together with similar conflicted feelings and love of her own country’s culture. The production will include Chinese Theatre Works’ Kuang Yu Fong (founder and Master Vocalist); Stephen Kaplin (Puppeteer & Set Design); composer, violinist and violist Jeremy Kittel; Chinese percussion master Tian Gang; cellist Tristan Clarridge and Guzheng master Wang Jungling. Post-Amerian Girl will be directed by Meiyin Wang, Associate Artistic Producer of The Public’s Under The Radar.

“I started going back and forth between China and America in 1996 and have hoped for a chance to dive headlong into a fuller expression of this journey and the lessons learned,” said Washburn. “My artistry is expanding inexplicably because of New York Voices. Joe’s Pub and The Public have created an opportunity to expand my artistic vision by freeing me up to think unabashedly about ways to merge my musical and personal journey with theatrical performance.”
To view behind-the-scenes photos from the making of Post-American Girl, click here.

Dave Douglas @ Jazz Standard 3/28/13

It was fantastic.  They were all phenomenal.  I could watch any of them all day long.  It was phenomenal.

Dave Douglas Quintet: 50th Birthday Week

Trumpeter, bandleader, entrepreneur, educator: Dave Douglas’ unique contributions to improvised music have garnered distinguished recognition from many quarters, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, Aaron Copland award and Grammy Award nominations. This week, Dave rolls into Jazz Standard for a very special 50thbirthday celebration with the artist leading his stellar quintet in performances of songs from his forthcoming album, Time Travel. It’s the follow-up to the critically acclaimed Be Still, which the Los Angeles Times called “a lush collection of hymnals and elegies reworked into widescreen jazz.” Time Travel, Douglas explains, “features the same lineup (minus guitarist Aoife O’Donovan) for a straight–up instrumental batch of tunes. Can’t wait for you all to hear it!”
Dave Douglas – trumpet
Jon Irabagon – tenor saxophone
Matt Mitchell – piano
Linda Oh – bass
Rudy Royston – drums

40 Year New England Conservatory 40th anniversary of the Contemporary Improvisation Department @ Symphony Space 3/14/13

I loved the space so much, I decided to go back the next night.  It just feels good there and they are very laid back.  I enjoyed the music and seeing great improvisors on a big stage.

This review has a great rundown on how it went down:

Tribute to Paul Motian @ Symphony Space 3/22/13

I enjoyed the venue and the show was a jam-packed wonderful tribute.  Take a look at that the program below.  You know it was stellar.  It went from improvisation to straight-ahead and all over the place.  It was definitely a special treat to be there.

NY Times Review

MC: Josh Jackson (WGBO)

Conception Vessel
Bill Frisell, guitar
Joe Lovano, tenor saxophone
Billy Drewes, alto saxophone
Joe Lovano, tenor saxophone
Bill Frisell, guitar
Ed Schuller, bass
Joey Baron, drums
Masabumi Kikuchi, piano
Marilyn Crispell, piano
Gary Peacock, bass
Mumbo Jumbo
Joe Lovano, tenor saxophone
Marilyn Crispell, piano
Gary Peacock, bass
Andrew Cyrille, drums
Billy Hart and Andrew Cyrille, drums
Greg Osby, alto saxophone
TBA, piano
Larry Grenadier, bass
Billy Hart, drums
Billy Hart Quartet
Mark Turner, tenor saxophone
Ethan Iverson, piano
Ben Street, bass
Billy Hart, drums
Special Guests with
Joe Lovano and Ravi Coltrane, saxophones
Masabumi Kikuchi, piano
Gary Peacock, bass
Electric Bebop Band
Chris Cheek, Billy Drewes, Bill McHenry, saxophones
Steve Cardenas, Jakob Bro, Ben Monder, guitars;
Jerome Harris, Larry Grenadier, bass;
Matt Wilson, drums
Introduction (Lament for Guitar)
Jakob Bro, Steve Cardenas, Bill Frisell, Ben Monder, guitars
Jerome Harris, acoustic bass guitar
The Sunflower/Last Call
Greg Osby, alto saxophone
Bill Frisell, guitar
Tim Berne, alto saxophone
Matt Mitchell, piano
TBA, piano
Ravi Coltrane, Joe Lovano, saxophones
Bill Frisell, guitar
Bill McHenry Quartet
Bill McHenry, tenor saxophone
Ben Monder, guitar
Reid Anderson, bass
Andrew Cyrille, drums
The Windmills of Your Mind
Petra Haden, vocals
Bill Frisell, guitar
It Should Have Happened A Long Time Ago
Bill Frisell, guitar
Joe Lovano, tenor saxophone
Drum Music
All Musicians

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Chris Speed/David King/Chris Tordini @ Cornelia St 3/21/13

It was a phenomenal new trio.  They complemented each other very well.  I heard David plays out in the experimental music scene quite often.  I want to go out there some time for a weekend (in the summer) and see him in his regular home scene.  Chris played clarinet and tenor sax and they were all awesome.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Todd Sickafoose's Tiny Resisters 3/20/13

Oh did I miss them!  What a phenomenal band!  They also had some new material, so hopefully there is a new album coming some day.  It was such a good set and I had to dance.

Todd Sickafoose's Tiny Resistors

feat. Jenny Scheinman (violin), Steve Cardenas (guitar), John Ellis (sax & clarinet), Alan Ferber (trombone), Jonathan Goldberger (guitar) & Ted Poor (drums).

Bassist/composer Todd Sickafoose’s band is a marvel of musical cross-breeding, pairing indie rock muscle and whimsy with the extended forms, timbres and sophistication of a jazz orchestra. Their recording Tiny Resistors (Cryptogramophone) has been called "thoroughly original, endlessly creative... one of the year's most compelling listens" (JazzTimes) and "stunningly brilliant...a modern jazz masterpiece" (Bassplayer). Known for genre-bending collaborations, Sickafoose toured and recorded with Ani DiFranco for the last 8 years, playing everywhere from punk clubs to Carnegie Hall, in addition to extensive music-making with Andrew Bird, Jenny Scheinman, Nels Cline, Allison Miller, Myra Melford, Erik Deutsch and many others. The consistency of his personal voice within wildly diverse collaborations prompted the LA Weekly in 2004 to call Todd "one of the most comprehensive musical minds of this coast." Since 2010, Todd has been living bicoastally between NYC and Oakland CA.

Rosetta Trio @ 92YTribeca 3/20/13

I was really there for the next band, but I like opportunities to see something new for me.  This was a WGBO Soundcheck show.  So, a DJ came out every now and then to ask the leader some questions and it was all live.

It was a good trio - a string trio if you will.  It was led by the contrabass and also consisted of an acoustic guitar and an electric guitar.  They did a lot from their new CD "Thwirl" coming out soon.  I especially liked the last 2 pieces, which were lively.  The 2nd to last one had the bass player using the bass as percussion at times.

Stephan Crump's Rosetta Trio

Rosetta Trio is a uniquely colorful and hard-grooving all-string chamber jazz ensemble led by Memphis-bred Brooklynite bassist/composer Stephan Crump with guitarists Liberty Ellman and Jamie Fox. Hailed as “a string ensemble for the new century” by All About Jazz, the group formed in 2005 to record an album of pieces written in the aftermath of 9/11. That album, Rosetta, was greeted with inclusion on multiple top ten lists and ecstatic reviews for its narrative depth and outstanding performances. With an ever-deepening rapport from years of touring and recording together in different contexts, in 2010 the trio released its second album, Reclamation (“a low-key marvel”, JazzTimes on Sunnyside Records, including an extended work commissioned by 92nd St. Y and New York Guitar Festival. The freshness of the compositions is matched by the dynamic, intimate synergy of the ensemble (“bareness in emotion”, NPR, which was hailed as “ingenious originals” by The New Yorker and featured in The New York Times weekend Arts section. Rosetta Trio, whose members have for years collaborated with many of the leading lights in the New York creative music scene, has developed into a formidable unit, sensitively and powerfully rendering Crump’s often profound, sometimes playful and always honest music. The trio has just finished its third album, Thwirl, which arrives September 2013 on Sunnyside Records.

Allman Brothers Band @ The Beacon 3/16/13

I was happy to see an available seat for this last Sat of the Beacon run on the floor.  I figured there would be some great guests.  It was more typical ABB guests, like Susan Tedeshi, but still a good show.  Although, I didn't even realize that was Nels Cline on Smokestack Lightnin'. 

One was all I needed and I had a great time.

1.Done Somebody Wrong
2.Don't Keep Me Wonderin'
3.Midnight Rider
4.Woman Across The River
6.The Sky Is Crying

with Susan Tedeschi, guitar & vocals
7.Spots Of Time
8.No One To Run With

Set II
9.Long Black Veil
10.That's What Love Will Make You Do

with Susan Tedeschi, guitar & vocals ; Danny Louis, piano, Lincoln Schleifer, bass
12.Smokestack Lightnin'

with Col. Bruce Hampton, vocal; Danny Louis, piano; Nels Cline, guitar; Vedo Louise, drums
13.Rocking Horse
14.You Don't Love Me

with Berry Oakley Jr., Bass
15.In Memory of Elizabeth Reed


Afro-Cuban All Stars @ Blue Note 3/15/13

This was a lot of fun.  I love some good Afro Cuban.  I would say it was about 15 pieces including the singers.  I really liked the piano and horns.  It was also thrilling when towards the end they asked us to get up and dance.  You don't have to ask me twice!  The only part I wasn't crazy about was the singers coming out into the audience. They did that a lot and it was annoying because they would shine a bright spotlight on us when they did that.  Still, it was a fun enjoyable show.

Juan de Marcos González, bandleader
Gliceria Abreu, afro-cuban perc.
Julito Padrón, tp. & fl.
Yaure Muñiz, tp. & fl.
Yoanny Pino, tp. & fl.
Lázaro Oviedo, tp. & fl.
José Antonio “Tony” Moreaux, bongo & cowbell
Antonio "Pacha" Portuondo, timbales
Rolando "Niño Mentira" Salgado, congas
Gabriel Hernández, pno.
Alberto Pantaleón, bs.
Evelio Galán, lead singer
Emilio Suarez, lead singer
José Gilito Piñera, lead singer
Laura Lydia González, clar.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

SF Jazz Collective @ Jazz Standard 3/14/13

This band is in their 9th year.  It has a revolving lineup of great jazz composers.  They choose an artist and then each one of them is commissioned to compose a piece by the selected legend.  Chick Corea was up.  The music was excellent.  I loved having a horn section. I'm so glad they are in the clubs these days.  I remember the first time I saw them was in a hall, one of my first "hall jazz" shows.  It was good, but I realized then and there I preferred clubs.  I enjoyed the set and it was fun to go Jazz Standard a 2nd night.
Current SFJAZZ Collective Lineup
Obed Calvaire, drums

Clarence Penn Quintet @ Jazz Standard 3/13/13

It was listed as a quartet, but then there was a percussion station set up.  Sure. I enough, a percussionist joined them on many songs. Just seeing the personnel you know it was fantastic.  Chris played tenor, soprano and bass clarinet.  Adam had many awesome solos.  Ben Street was great.  You know I love a drummer led band, especially with a percussionist.  There were many aha drum moments.

The Listing:
More than two decades ago, Clarence Penn arrived in NYC from his native Detroit to join Betty Carter’s band. Several years of touring and recording with the great jazz diva made him a seasoned first–call sideman, ready to play with groups variously led by Stanley Clarke, Christian McBride, Michael Brecker, Dizzy Gillespie, Luciana Souza, Gary Burton, Joshua Redman, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Charlie Haden, and Maria Schneider. He released three excellent albums as a leader, beginning with Penn’s Landing (Criss Cross, 1997). Now comes Clarence Penn’s long–awaited new CD, Dali in Cobble Hill – a meditation on how the iconic Surrealist painter Salvador Dali might have digested a stroll through Penn’s Brooklyn neighborhood. The eight originals and two standards incorporate a variety of moods, flavors, and strategies that reflect Penn's extensive activity as a sideman for modern music’s best-and-brightest over the past decades; his ensemble of grandmaster generational contemporaries – Chris Potter on tenor saxophone and bass clarinet, Adam Rogers on guitar, and Ben Street on bass – inhabit the stories, playing with deep imagination and virtuosic craft.

Chris Potter – tenor saxophone, bass clarinet
Adam Rogers – guitar
Ben Street – bass
Clarence Penn – drums

Ben Wendel & Dan Tepfer @ Rubin Museum 3/14/13

An atypical night for Harlem in the Himalayas, which when they have it, is usually on a Fri night, not a Wed.  We hypothesized it was because the duo is on tour and they wanted to fit them in.  Harlem in the Himalayas is a joint venture with the Harlem Jazz Museum and the Rubin Museum due to the Harlem museum not having an actual space and the Rubin having a great space with great acoustics.  The Rubin performance space is extra cool because the acoustics are so good that the performers play truly acoustic - no mics or amps or any kind of electricity whatsoever.

The music was good.  It's a CD release tour and it was fun to hear about the making of the CD.  They basically played music from the CD.  About half the pieces on the CD are duos, including some Monk and standards and perhaps other stuff.  They also described some of the constructed pieces on the CD.  Ben plays a lot of instruments including all of the saxophones, bassoon, piano and guitar,  apparently they mixed in different instruments into some tracks.  They told us about one track that has 2 bassoons.  Dan mainly played the tenor on the gig.  He did play bassoon for one (or 2?) At the show.

They also had an idea to have some improvised vignettes in between tracks on the CD.  But, they were never happy with the results.  That is, until they switched instruments, with Ben on piano and Dan on alto sax.  That's what they did for their improvised piece inspired by a work at the Rubin Museum.  It was fun, although I admit I enjoyed Ben's piano more than Dan's sax.  I really love Dan on piano and admire his willingness to improvise on the sax on the tour.  While I presume the other venues aren't asking them to improvise with a piece of art in mind, they are doing an improvised piece at each stop.

I liked the lively Monk piece they did toward the end and the last piece the most.  The whole show was enjoyable and fun.

NYC musicians Dan Tepfer and Ben Wendel will be playing the Rubin Museum for the release of their first duo album together, Small Constructions, out March 12th on Sunnyside Records.
Pianist/composer Tepfer, a frequent collaborator of jazz great Lee Konitz's, has been described by The New York Times as "a player of exceptional poise who is drawn to the deeper currents of melody".
The LA Times has praised saxophonist / bassoonist Wendel, a founding member of the Grammy-nominated band Kneebody, as "a composer with a restless ear".
On Small Constructions, Wendel and Tepfer range from kaleidoscopic Monk and a remodeled standard to classical variations and melody-rich originals, creating a set of songs that expresses their mutual love of jazz, classical, pop and more. "A summit meeting of two steadily rising talents.” —LA Timeshttp://dantepfer.com & http://benwendel.com

About the Artists

Known for his rare improvisational gift and a complex yet melodic approach to music-making, the prize-winning pianist Dan Tepfer has been hailed as "a player of exceptional poise" by The New York Times, while Downbeat extolled his "ability to disappear into the music as he's making it."
A New York-based pianist and composer and one of the most formidable jazz musicians on the international stage, Dan has enjoyed a sustained, ongoing duo partnership with alto saxophonist and jazz luminary Lee Konitz. They have appeared together live at the Village Vanguard and many other leading jazz venues.
Born to American parents in Paris in 1982, Dan began classical piano studies at age six at the Paris Conservatoire Paul Dukas. He took a somewhat circuitous route to a jazz career, earning a degree in astrophysics from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. But beginning even as a toddler, Dan explored improvisation on his own. He played extensively on the jazz scene in college and enjoyed a brief stint as an opera conductor. After graduating in 2005 from Boston’s New England Conservatory and completing his masters under the guidance of Danilo Perez, Dan moved to New York and quickly became an in-demand player and composer.
Dan’s numerous awards include first prize and audience prize at the 2006 Montreux Jazz Festival Solo Piano Competition, first prize at the 2006 East Coast Jazz Festival Competition, and first prize at the 2007 competition of the American Pianists Association. In November 2011, Dan released a solo album on Sunnyside/Naïve entitled Goldberg Variations/Variations. In addition to working with his trio, Dan continues to focus on full solo piano concerts of freely improvised music. As France’s Jazz Magazine has noted, he is “gifted with a heightened sense for form and an extraordinary confidence...”

Ben Wendel is among the saxophonists that fellow New York musicians also want to hear. More importantly, Ben is a saxophone player that the audience wants to hear. Born in Vancouver and raised in Los Angeles, Ben was educated at the Eastman School of Music. Ben has enjoyed a varied career as a performer, composer and producer. Recent highlights include multiple domestic and international tours with such artists as Cuban drumming legend Ignacio Berroa, Thelonius Monk Piano Competition Winner Tigran Hamasyan, Electronica artist Daedelus and Hip Hop artist Snoop Dogg. Ben is a founding member of the genre-bending group Kneebody. In addition to playing saxophone, Ben also doubles on the bassoon and piano. As a composer he has scored multiple films, received an ASCAP Jazz Composer Award, was a winner in the 2007 International Songwriting Competition and also received the Chamber Music America New Works Grant.
Ben is a recording artist with Sunnyside Records, with plans for his second release in Spring 2012. He is a former Adjunct Professor of Jazz Studies at USC and currently teaches through The New School in NYC. Ben recently had the honor of conducting a re-creation of “Bird With Strings” at Jazz At The Lincoln Center with guests Charles McPherson and Wes “Warm Daddy” Anderson.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite @ Riviera Theatre, Chicago 3/3/13

I had a business trip to Chicago.  I hadn't been there in about 13 years or so.  I contacted some friends, vetted out the music options in their city, and they chose this.  It was a good show and a lot of fun.  I now realize I was getting Charlie Musselwhite mixed up with someone else. 

I like the Riv.  The floor is all standing.  We had a good spot in front of the stage not too close, but close enough.  It was easy to stash my coat over a railing and leave it.  Ben and Charlie did a lot of sitting, but they stood at times.  The other 3 stood the whole time. 

It was a fun, good show.


Bill Evans' Soulgrass @ Blue Note 3/2/13

I kept wondering when I was going and I almost let it slip away without making it.  I'm glad I went - it was awesome.  So much energy and such great musicians.  I was so impressed.  While I don't need singing I didn't mind it.  Josh is a great drummer, too.  I haven't seen Mitch Stein in a while.  They were all so phenomenal and play so well together.  Bill mentioned how awesome it is to play with Medeski, how he's always playing it different every time.

It turns out it was the same lineup for the last night, no ABB personnel.  It sounds like it was just as good a show as I got, though.

Bill Evans, sax
John Medeski, organ and keyboards
Ryan Cavanaugh, banjo
Mitch Stein, guitar
Etienne Mbappe, bass
Josh Dion, drums/vocals

Omaha Diner @ The Cutting Room 3/1/13

I can't remember if this is the same space as the old Cutting Room.  There are some familiarities, but it's also different.  The old place had the performance space in a separate room.  There were many tables and chairs, but I could usually find some kind of standing space.  Now, it's still like that room with the tables, but there are no walls between that and the rest of the space.  That means there's plenty of room to stand, but standers are actually in a different room from the sitters, who are closer to the stage.  The standing and bar area is big and it's a recipe for talkers.  I had a good spot just outside the main room, standing in the center.  I could ignore the talkers for the most part, but it is a shame.  The drink prices are hefty.  All in all, it's not a place I'm thrilled to go to, but I will if I have to.  I'll go to the must see shows like this one.

I could see any of the 4 of them play any music whatsoever.  This project is about playing songs that were #1 on the charts.  Songs that made it to #1 that these great musicians selected to play.  Now, it was obvious they were also making a statement "really?  THIS song, really?"  However, I must admit, I always liked "Miss You" that they opened with.  Now, it doesn't matter what they play, they do it phenomenally.  It was stellar. 

Here's a setlist that was posted on the Cutting Room site
Jake Watson · Tufts
Set list, as near as I could tell:
Stones, Miss You ->
Adele, Rolling In The Deep
Love Train, O'Jays
16 Tons, Tennessee Ernie Ford
Van Halen, Jump
One Bad Apple, The Osmonds
(Modern love?)
Moves Like Jagger, Maroon 5
I Can't Go For That
Beyonce, Single Ladies

Steven Bernstein - trumpets
Charlie Hunter - seven-string electric guitar
Bobby Previte - drums
Skerik - tenor saxophone
Sitting in a diner in Omaha, Nebraska in 1954, Todd Storz noticed that a teen-age
waitress selected the same song on the jukebox over and over. At that moment, Top 40
radio was born, joining the TV dinner, the Reuben sandwich, the bobby pin, the ski lift,
and (some claim) fuzzy dice on the list of famous and infamous inventions from the city
that sits atop the Strategic Air Command.
Now comes the latest invention, OMAHA DINER - four storied musicians attempting to
re-define a format that forever perverted the way we experience music. You may love
Top 40 (doubtful), you may hate it (probable), you may not care about it at all (liar), but
you cannot escape it.
Top 40 as you've never heard it before - OMAHA DINER.
*** OMAHA DINER's Ironclad Guarantee: all songs have touched, however briefly, #1
on the Top 40 pop chart.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Burnt Sugar @ The Stone 2/28/13

I enjoyed seeing them in the intimate setting of The Stone.  I really love this band.  They use Butch Morris' conduction techniques.  This ensemble led by Greg Tate has a lot of soul.  It's quite unique and awesome. 

Burnt Sugar Cinefhonic Strike Force Presents Music Inspired by Oscar Micheaux’ 1925 film Body & Soul Starring Paul Robeson Carl Hancock Rux, Abby Dobson (voice) Latasha Nevada Diggs (voice, electronics) Luqman Brown (voice, electronics, trombone) Andre Lassalle (guitar) Micah Gaugh (alto sax) Avram Fefer (flute, bass clarinet) Gregory IRONMAN Tate (conduction) “Body and Soul”, directed by the legendary African American filmmaker Oscar Micheaux, is a direct critique of the power of the cloth, casting Robeson in dual roles as a jackleg preacher and a well-meaning inventor. Burnt Sugar's Cinethonic Strike Force will present a Conduction of the score they developed for the projects screening-and-live-scoring Paris debut at the Sons d' Hiver Music Festival, February 3, 2013.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Heads Up: Bill Evans + Special Special Guests Tomorrow!

I was at the Bill Evans show at Blue note tonight.  He mentioned that tomorrow, Sunday 3/3, The Allman Brothers are in town and have an off night.  While there's no guarantees what that could mean, I would venture to guess that there could be some extra special guest(s) at Bill's show tomorrow night.  I can't go because I'm leaving town, but if I were around, this is where I would be.  Especially since it's awesome even without these types of special guests.

Fishbone @ Brooklyn Bowl 2/24/13

I never saw them before and I had to stay for a bit and check them out.  Their fans really liked Mike Dillon Band, so that was a good sign.  It was a riot for me to see crowd surfing, I think I only saw it live once or twice before. 

I love that they have intense horns.  I didn't need all the singing and talking.  It was still a lot of fun and good and I'm glad I stayed for a portion.  If it wasn't Sun night, I could have stayed longer.


Mike Dillon Band @ Brooklyn Bowl 2/24/13

This band is awesome!  So much energy and superb music.  It was probably my favorite show of the month.  I got a CD.  I like it!  I could do without the singing on the CD but I'm fine with it live.  Also, Carly definitely brings the live intensity up with her dancing.  And, the band is already pretty intense without her - she just brings it up several notches.  Still, the CD is well worth the $10 and had some intense energy itself.  I love Mark Sutherland and he's awesome on the CD.

Dave Dreiwitz was an additional special guest bass player.  They also had the trombone from Fishbone sit in.  It was awesome.

Mike Dillon (Vibraphone, Percussion, Lead Vocals)
Carly Meyers (Trombone, Moog Taurus Pedals)
Adam Gertner (Drums)
Cliff Hines (Guitar, Bass and Keys)


Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Ringers @ BB King's 2/22/13

It was quite a band and quite a show.  They had to cram as much as possible into 2 hours as there was another show at midnight.  I got there at 8:15 and they were already on.  The encore ended at 10:15.  It was so good.   They actually  had a dance floor.  There were lots of tables on the sides and many people standing at the bar.  I was so greatful for the dance floor I can't even tell you. 

It was 3 great guitarists and an awesome bass and of course a monster drummer.  Michael Landau occasionally sang, but it was mainly instrumental.  It was really great.


The idea came from Abstract Logix label founder, Souvik Dutta. The concept was to bring five guys together, not to just perform as a super-group, but to work "as a unifying artistic force, one where people put music ahead of their egos to collectively create great music." These five veteran musicians will perform together on new material written exclusively for this band, as well as each individual's solo material and covers tunes chosen by the players.

Jimmy Herring - Guitar
As the founding member of The Aquarium Rescue Unit, Project Z and Jazz is Dead, in addition to playing with everyone from The Allman Brothers Band, The Grateful Dead to Phil Lesh and Friends, and B�la Fleck, has made his indelible impact on the music world. He currently serves as the lead guitarist for the very popular American Band, Widespread Panic and released his second solo album, Subject To Change Without Notice, this past August 21st

Wayne Krantz - Guitar
Krantz released his tenth album, Howie 61, this past April to glowing critical praise. Krantz has played with Randy Brecker, Leni Stern and Steely Dan, among others. Through a succession of highly lauded solo recordings, Krantz has continuously evolved as an artist - pushing himself in new and exciting directions. Revered for his forward-thinking approach to improvisation (brilliantly documented in his 2004 book An Improviser's OS), Krantz has fearlessly branched into new areas, while consistently skirting the edges of jazz, rock and fusion.

Michael Landau - Guitar
Landau is a prolific session musician and guitarist who has played on a large number of albums since the early 1980s with artists as varied as Joni Mitchell, Seal, Michael Jackson, James Taylor, Richard Marx, Steve Perry, Pink Floyd and Miles Davis. In addition to his session work, Landau has also fronted several bands including Raging Honkies and Burning Water.

Keith Carlock - Drums
Carlock, an amazing drummer, has recorded and/or toured with such musical luminaries as John Mayer, Sting, Steely Dan, James Taylor, Donald Fagen, Walter Becker, Diana Ross, Faith Hill, The Blues Brothers Band, Mike Stern, Leni Stern, David Johansen and the Harry Smiths, Richard Bona, Chris Botti, Wayne Krantz, Rudder, Harry Belafonte, Oz Noy, Larry Carlton, Clay Aiken, Rascal Flatts, Paula Abdul and Grover Washington, Jr, to name a few.

Etienne Mbappe - Bass
Mbappe is best known for his years with the Zawinul Syndicate. In the 80's he was the masterpiece of the jazz fusion band Ultramarine which incorporated jazz with elements of African and Caribbean influences. He also played with Ray Charles on his last album and is currently a member of John McLaughlin's 4th Dimension.

Henry Butler @ The Stone 2/20/13

Henry drew my attention to Don Pullen, who I hadn't heard of previously.  He mentioned he played in the same show as Don at Prospect Park once.  Apparently, he was inspired to do a solo project with his music.  I liked what I heard and what I read subsequently.  Henry also did one of his pieces for Mardi Gras.  It was all instrumental and all awesome.

Mr. Pullen was one of the most percussive pianists in jazz. His improvisations brimmed with splashed clusters, hammered notes and large two-handed chords. His solos often started out traditionally, with single note lines articulating a composition's harmony, then grew richer with bright explosions of tones. Mr. Pullen used the backs of his hands, or occasionally an elbow; he managed to take techniques from the modern European classical repertory and use them in his music without ever losing a jazz sensibility. Mr. Pullen's importance lies in part in his ability to synthesize so many different forms of expression.


Henry Butler—The Ghost Of Don Pullen Henry Butler (piano)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Frank London’s Shekhina Big Band @ The Stone 2/18/13

It was quite a band.  A lot of the people listed weren't there, but there were others in their place.  The were 20 in all including Frank, who played trumpet and cornet on some of the pieces.  Frank wrote all of the pieces and different band members arranged them.  They start it off with a short rehearsal session where they try out a new one.  Then they took a quick "working break" and started the performance at around 8:15.  They played until close to 10 and it was awesome.  Yeah, it was "Latin Klezmer Big Band".  Very good!

Frank London’s Shekhina Big Band Greg Wall, Marty Ehrlich, Matt Darriau, Zach Mayer, Paul Shapiro, Doug Wieselman, Jessica Lurie (saxes) Justin Mullens, Steven Gluzband, Ronald Horton, Pam Fleming, Rob Henke (trumpets) Curtis Hasselbring, Jacob Garchik, Matt Haviland, Brian Drye (trombones) Yoshie Fruchter (guitar) Anthony Coleman (piano) Uri Sharlin (accordion) Brian Glassman (bass) Roberto Rodriguez (drums) Renato Thoms (percussion)
MONDAYS IN FEBRUARY and MARCH Monday nights starting in February, The Stone will premiere Frank London’s latest, largest and most exciting project to date: the 21-piece Shekhina Big Band, featuring New York’s finest Klezmer, Jazz, and Latin musicians. ONE SET AT 8PM—ADMISSION TEN DOLLARS London co-founded the Klezmatics, the Hasidic New Wave, and other groups, and was called “the person most responsible for pushing the Klezmer revival in the direction of Rock and World Music.” Expanding from his work on the Tzadik release “Scientist at Work” (and his years with Jaki Byard’s Apollo Stompers), London’s Shekhina Big Band is the first group of its kind, radically fusing Jewish music and big band Jazz.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Jack DeJohnette Trio with Ravi Coltrane & Matt Garrison @ Shapeshifter 2/16/13

John Coltrane tunes.  This night at Shapeshifter they played originals and stretched out some improv at times and ended with one John Coltrane piece.  It was fantastic.  I only went to the first set, but I'm sure the 2nd was phenomenal as well.  They were filming and recording, so hopefully something will show up at some point.

The Listing:
This gathering of musicians will be the celebration of an original event curated by Jack DeJohnette nearly 20 years ago. Jack brought Ravi and Matthew together for the first time to play the music of John Coltrane and the performance took place at The Brooklyn Museum.20 years on, the idea is reborn and will be presented at ShapeShifter Lab, a new venue owned and operated by Matthew Garrison and his business partner Fortuna Sung. Jack, Ravi and Matthew will explore open improvisation territory as well as their own compositions. Power, elegance, and wide open creativity are words that come to mind when defining this presentation.

This is a gathering of artists that has historical significance and more importantly a deep personal meaning to the three musicians whose lives and families have been intertwined for as long as they can remember.

Soul Rebels Brass Band @ Brooklyn Bowl 2/15/13

This band is just awesome.  They bring it every time.  I wanted to go the next night, but they said it was sold out.  I kept meaning to get a ticket earlier, but I didn't make it.  I even missed the Mardi Gras show with Marco doing James Booker due to a bad back.  So, this was the one night for me of the 3 night Soul Rebels run.  I enjoyed it a lot.  Special guests Pedrito Martinez and Maurice Brown came out at various points and were awesome.  It was a great night!

The Slide Brothers @ Brooklyn Bowl 2/15/13

It was good.  It was nice to see a few pedal steels playing together again.  It was fun and had me dancing.


Robert Randolph Presents…The Slide Brothers
The Slide Brothers are Calvin Cooke, Chuck Campbell, Darick Campbell and Aubrey Ghent–the greatest living musicians who embody the Sacred Steel tradition. The joyous music these legendary artists create extends far beyond scared steel to encompass blues, rock and soul all celebrated with a sound that is uniquely their own.

The pedal steel guitar was introduced to church services by Willie Eason in the 1930’s. His single-string passages, which imitated the African-American singing and shouting voices, remain the signature sound of the Keith Dominion steel guitar style. The goal of a skilled steel player in church is to use the guitar to mimic voices, to ‘sing’ lines of the hymns and to provide praise music that pushes the congregation closer to feeling the Holy Spirit. This church-bred style of high energy electrified slide remains today an integral part of the worship service wherever the faithful gather.
Despite its role in church services, this dynamic, high energy music had never been heard outside of church. As a new century dawned, rumors of an extraordinary new form of slide guitar began to attract interest among blues fans who long favored the electrified sound of slide guitar masters such as Elmore James and Duane Allman. Where the music of Muddy Waters or the Allman Brothers showcased traditional six string slide guitar, critics and fans alike were jolted by the an even more potent brand of slide guitar being performed on pedal steel instruments. As the center core of the Sacred Steel movement was its artistic purity. Ted Beard, Calvin Cooke, Aubrey Ghent and other pedal steel icons within the church had fostered a rich, uniquely American art form unspoiled by commercialism.

Butch Morris

I'm very glad I got to see him and attend one of his conduction lectures.  I went to a portion of the memorial service for him at Angel Orsanz on 2/7.  It was nice to find out more about him through his friends.  There were also pictures and a short film.  I looked around for it, but couldn't find it.  I did find a new film that just came out, Black February.  He made huge contributions to music and I always enjoyed watching him in action.