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.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Jeremy Udden's Band @ Shapeshifter 2/6/13

I chose this show because Kenny Wollesen and Brandon Seabrook were listed.  They weren't there, but we got Vinnie Sperazza on drums with brushes and that was fine with me.  For the 1st couple he played with one hand and was still quite powerful.  He played with both hands and always the brushes for the rest of the set.  It was more intense than the previous set but not super intense.

Instead of Brandon, there was a 2nd horn, a trumpet.  Jeremy Udden played alto sax and I presume it was Jeremy Stratton on bass.  It was nice having 2 horns and it sounded great.  All or most of the pieces were composed by the 2 horns.

It was also nice to see 4 people I never saw before.  I like expanding.

Note:  this is the listing, but the personnel were different:
Jeremy Udden's band: Kenny Wollesen, Brandon Seabrook, and Jeremy Stratton releasing a new album "Folk Art"

André Matos 4tet @ Shapeshifter 2/6/13

For my first show after Costa Rica I head out to Brooklyn.  It's quite easy to get there.  I was happy to see when I arrived at 8:10 that the 1st band had just come on.  They were listed as 7pm and I expected to miss it.  I wanted to go for Jacob Sacks and they were all great.  The music was mellow and very engaging.  The guitar was the leader and he was great.  I especially liked the tune entitled "The Hand".  I got the impression that and "Wild Horses" were originals.  They also did a piece by a Brazilian composer and one by a guitar master from Portugal.  For that last Portugese piece,
André invited his friend and tenor sax player from Barcelona to sit in.  So, the music had a Latin flair.
André Matos 4tet featuring
André Matos (guitar)
Jacob Sacks (piano)
Eivid Opsvik (bass)
Billy Mintz (drums)