Entries tagged with: Rafiq Bhatia
by Johnny Zachman
Belle & Sebastian at Pitchfork Paris on Friday - 10/31/14
Perfect Pussy began the second day of the festival, but I showed up a little later and my night started with Australian songwriter D.D Dumbo, a one man act. Dumbo used a Danelectro 12-string guitar, an octave pedal, drums, pan flute and recorder to generate an entirely loop-based sound. I thought that Dumbo was an incredibly proficient looper, but sometimes the layers were so thick that it became difficult to follow the songs.
Up next was Son Lux, the project of New York City's baroque experimental songwriter Ryan Lott. On stage, Lott (playing keyboards and vocals) was joined by drummer Ian Chang (also of Brazos) and avant-jazz guitarist Rafiq Bhatia, a highly impressive trio. The song's arrangements left room for Bhatia's improvisations to shine, and the guitarist responded with an arresting series of sounds, combining distortion, panning and tremolo to send his guitar soaring around the room through a series of seemingly broken speakers. Chang drummed with mechanic deliberation and Lott added layers of effects on his vocals to match the grand nature of his soundscapes.
Future Islands came out dressed in Halloween costumes, which included lead singer Sam Herring in vampire makeup (which he quickly sweat off after the first few songs). It's no secret that Herring is an incredibly engaging performer, and last night he danced all over the stage with remarkable fluidity, bending his knees in ways I never thought possible, jumping into the photo pit to sing with the crowd, and injecting his delivery with more than a little of the theatrical. The band nailed a variety of high-energy selections from their 4AD debut Singles, including "Seasons," which has apparently just been dubbed a "miracle" by Bono.
Danish singer-songwriter MO kept the energy high, performing her style of synth-heavy electronic pop backed by a drummer, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist, and complemented with a series of projections. If last night was the post-rock and ambient night, then tonight was the pop night, and I thought that the upbeat hook-heavy run from Future Islands all the way through Belle & Sebastian gave the night a great energy.
CHVRCHES brought out the most extensive lighting set up of the festival thus far, complementing their arena-ready songs with equally commanding visuals. Lauren Mayberry's voice was spot-on - the best I've heard it thus far - and the band performed many of the highlights from their full-length, including "Recover," "The Mother We Share," "We Sink" and "Gun."
St. VIncent was next. It's been such a pleasure to watch St. Vincent's live show evolve into the aggressive, fully realized animal that it is now. A set that started with "Rattlesnake" only grew in intensity throughout, with the guitars and synths especially screaming on new songs like "Huey Newton" and "Bring Me Your Loves." It's inspiring to witness the variety of textures that Annie Clark can pull out of her guitar - it felt like a jet airplane, a synthesizer, a vacuum cleaner and a theremin at various points in the night - and it helped propel the band through an incredibly engaging set, closing out with an updated version of "Your Lips Are Red" from Marry Me.
And what a treat it was to see Belle & Sebastian! Stuart Murdoch and company brought out a four-piece string section to complement their already intricate arrangements, and there could be no complaints about the setlist: The show opened with the rocking "You're Just A Baby" and included magnificent takes on "Fox In the Snow," "Like Dylan In The Movies," The Boy With The Arab Strap" and "Sleep The Clock Around." Murdoch was in excellent form and as charming as ever, attempting his best French, pulling out some Sam Herring-esque dance moves, inviting fans to come dance on stage, and (most importantly) delivering his gorgeous vocal with delightful ease. The band received what appeared to be a true encore from the loudest crowd of the night, ending on the ever-so-appropriate "Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying."
The festival continues tonight with tUnE-yArDs, Caribou, Four Tet, Jamie xx, Foxygen and much more. If you're not there, you can stream it live HERE. Archived videos of previous sets at that link too.
A few more pictures from Friday (including one of Belle & Sebastian's setlist) below...
Sufjan Stevens collaborator Son Lux is re-imagining four tracks from his Lanterns album for a new EP, Alternate Worlds, due out May 27. The new version of "Easy" features guest vocals from Lorde and a guitar solo by jazz guitarist Rafiq Bhatia. Listen to all four tracks from the EP below.
Son Lux also has a number of tour dates coming up, including a release show in NYC on May 13 at Le Poisson Rouge which Rafiq Bhatia opens. Tickets for that show are on sale now. All dates are listed below.
In related news, Son Lux and Sufjan's collaborative project with Serengeti, Sisyphus, will release their self-titled album next week (3/18) via Joyful Noise, but you can stream it in full (via The Guardian) now. Listen to that and the new Son Lux EP, with the list of tour dates, below...
Nels Cline at Winter Jazz Fest 2011 (more by Andrew Frisicano)
As mentioned, Winter Jazz Fest is returning to NYC and it begins today (1/11) and continues through Saturday (1/12) across multiple NYC venues, including Le Poisson Rouge, Sullivan Hall, Zinc Bar, The Bitter End, Culture Project Theater, and The Bowery Electric with many artists including Colin Stetson, Rafiq Bhatia, Nels Cline, Debo Band, Vijay Iyer, Toshi Reagon, and more. Two day passes and single day tickets are on sale now.
Full schedule below...
Rafiq Bhatia's impressive debut album, Yes it Will, has turned up on a few year-end best-of lists, including coming in at #4 on JazzTimes critic Giovanni Russonello's Best of 2012 list. You can stream the album below if you haven't heard it.
After a busy fall, that included a residency at Pianos, Rafiq has lined up a few more NYC shows, including January 12 at the Bitter End which is part of Winter Jazz Fest which has over 70 artists playing at six Village clubs on 1/11 and 1/12. The same show also features a set from Colin Stetson (who recently helped close out Zebulon's final week of shows). You can see the entire 2013 Winter Jazz Fest schedule here and Tickets are on sale.
After that, Rafiq will play Glasslands on February 4. No openers have been announced yet but tickets are on sale.
Album stream below...
Sax wizard Colin Stetson is working on his new solo album which will be out at some point in 2013, but before that you'll get a chance to see him at an intimate NYC show with many guests at Zebulon on December 6. The show includes Colin doing a solo set, along with sets by Holly Miranda and her band, Sarah Neufeld on solo violin (Arcade Fire, Bell Orchestre), and Lone Wolf (aka Ryan Saywer). Then Colin, Sarah and Ryan will do a collaborative set with Stuart Bogie, Adam Roberts, and Ryan Ferreira. No advance tickets for this show.
Colin Stetson is also part of the lineup for the 2013 Winter Jazz Fest which goes down across multiple venues in NYC on January 11 and 12. Colin will be playing The Bitter End on 1/12. Other artists on this year's tentative lineup include Nels Cline, Rafiq Bhatia, Debo Band, Vijay Iyer, and many many more. The full tentative lineup (with still more TBA) is below.
Murals at Pianos, July 2012 (more by Eric Townsend)
Louisville's Murals are visiting NYC this week for CMJ and are certainly contenders for the Most Shows award, playing nine times between now and Saturday, including the BrooklynVegan day party on Friday (10/19) at Public Assembly. Full line-up is still forthcoming but Murals play at 1 PM right before Deap Vally. If you haven't heard Murals's On a Passing Cloud LP, you can stream it below. The band were last here over the summer.
The band's run of shows begins tonight (10/15) with a Oh My Rockness Kickoff Party at Pianos, that also features Scott & Charlene's Wedding, Infinity Shred, Life Size Maps and Noxious Foxes. $8 at the door.
Other shows this week include Aquarium Drunkard's showcase at Mercury Lounge on Tuesday (10/16, 8 PM) with Rafiq Bhatia, Tashaki Miyaki and more, and then Pianos upstairs shortly after (9:30 PM, free) that same night that also features Team Spirit, Slam Donahue and more.
On Thursday (10/18), Murals play two shows: Pianos (1:30 PM, free) for the I Guess I'm Floating day party with Chad Valley, Hundred Waters and more, then the Bird Dog/Golden Ratio party (6:45 PM, being relocated from Deliquency, venue TBD, free) with Ava Luna, Royal Canoe and more.
On Friday (10/19) in addition to our day party, they'll play Pianos/The Deli's official CMJ showcase (9:30) with Young Magic, Mac Demarco and more. Then two shows on Saturday (10/20): the Bowery Presents Day Party at Pianos (3:30, free) with Savages, the Orwells and more; and finally Cake Shop that night (10 PM) with Francisco the Man, Field Mouse and more.
All Murals CMJ week dates are listed below, along with their album stream and show flyers.
As mentioned previously, cross-polinating jazz musician Rafiq Bhatia's new EP, Strata, is out today (9/25) and is now also available to be streamed in full, which you can do below. This should make a nice primer for those going to see Bhatia's BV-presented show at Pianos tonight (9/25) with Anti-Pop Consortium and Alexander Overington, which is also the first night of his residency at the Ludow St. venue. Tickets are still available for tonight's show.
If you're going tonight, you might want to slip upstairs to catch Grace Banks who we profiled this summer. If you can't make it tonight, Rafiq's Pianos residency continues on October 2 and October 9. He'll also open for The Bad Plus at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Wednesday (9/26) and will be around for CMJ as well. A list of all dates and the EP stream are below.
Anti-Pop Consortium photos by Melissa Neira
His set at Cameo Gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on Friday came at least partially from jazz. Not standards and bebop, but jazz of the past 30 years, let's say, involving solid-bodied guitars. He played a Fender Telecaster, whose bright tone never caught on much with jazz musicians. It was an instrumental music in which the shape and placing of a single sustained note was a matter of importance, and solos broke out, but not at the usual moments. (There aren't many usual moments in his music.) Only at one point, in "Once," did he seem to want to suggest earlier history: an Elvin Jones midtempo drum groove came through like a watermark. [NY Times]Jazz musician Rafiq Bhatia, who played Cameo earlier this month, has two releases coming out this year, first the Strata EP on September 25, and then his debut full length, Yes It Will, on October 23. The Strata EP features a cover of Flying Lotus' "Pickled!," which you can stream, along with another EP track, "Sunshower," below. Rafiq will celebrate his EP with a BrooklynVegan-presented release party at Pianos on September 25, which doubles as the first night in his residency at the LES venue, which continues on October 2 and October 9. The release show is with Anti-Pop Consortium (instrumental), whose member High Priest is featured on Rafiq's upcoming EP, and Alexander Overington. Tickets for all three nights in the residency are on sale now. The flier is below.
Rafiq has also been added as an opener to The Bad Plus' Music Hall of Williamsburg show (9/26), which happens one day after the release party at Pianos. No opener has been announced for the Bad Plus' show at Mercury Lounge on 9/25. Tickets for both Bad Plus shows are still available.
Rafiq also plays the Aquarium Drunkard CMJ showcase with Foxygen, The Orwells, Dent May, Tashaki Miyaki, and Murals at Mercury Lounge on October 16. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (9/21) at noon with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (9/19) at noon.
Speaking of Anti-Pop Consortium (who no longer count Beans as a member), they have a brand new short clip which you can watch below. They also played the New Museum back in July. A belated set of pictures from that show is below.
In related news, APC member High Priest recently released a new album called Cit of On under the moniker HPRIZM via Svakt. You can stream some excerpts from that release below.
All streams, a list of dates, video, residency flier, and pics are below.