Entries tagged with: jazz
by Andrew Frisicano
Happy Holidays! I take on more than I can handle. That results in a lot of unposted content. In the name of catching up, while also taking it easy during this final/first week of the year, here's some of that lost material.
Since the well-documented "fall" of The Shank, things have been pretty quiet at 98 Bayard St, Brooklyn, NY. For two weekends in September though, there was noise in the form of the fifth annual New Languages Festival. Eighteen acts comprised of some of the city's top jazz composers and improvisers played over six nights - from the lauded big band project led by Darcy James Argue (who recently blogged about the influence on him of another big band leader, Bob Brookmeyer) to saxist Tim Berne to Jessica 6, fronted by ex-Hercules & Love Affair singer Nomi Ruiz.
The pictures here are from the space's Thursday, Sept. 24th show with Little Women (featuring the dueling, deconstructed saxes of Travis Laplante and Darius Jones), the Mario Robbins/Pete Pavone/Tyshawn Sorey trio (drummer Sorey took apart his instrument too) and fest organizer Jackson Moore's Septet (with three drumsets going at once). Pictures and videos from both weekends are below...
by Andrew Frisicano
The Bad Plus will be playing a six-show run at the Village Vanguard to end the year (and start the next). The band plays two sets a night from Tuesday, December 29th to Sunday, January 3rd. Their New Year's eve show is a bit different - a $125 ticket (which includes a $25 drink minimum) covers both sets. NYE will also be broadcast on WBGO (88.3 FM) on Toast of the Nation (as part of NPR's Live at the Village Vanguard series). Tickets are on sale.
TBP pianist Ethan Iverson checks in regularly on his Do the Math blog - his own year-end lists have included so far a rundown of Classic Crime Stories, "Recent Improvisations (and) In Praise of the Independent Label," and "11 Canonical AAM Performances".
It looks like the band will keep a fairly busy in 2010 too - they're scheduled into February with shows (including one on February 8th at Pomona, NJ's Stockton PAC). Videos and all tour dates are below...
by Andrew Frisicano
two of these three guys will be there (one w/ Jenny Scheinman, also on the cover)
NYC's Winter Jazz Fest will be happening Friday, January 8th and Saturday, January 9th at a handful of Village venues. Both nights include more than a few worth-while acts (Darcy James Argue's Secret Society, Jamie Saft's Whoopie Pie, Vijay Iyer Trio, Jenny Scheinman & Jason Moran, the late-night triple-play of Mary Halvorson, Rudresh Mahanthappa's Indo-Pak Coalition and Tyshawn Sorrey Guitar Trio). Tickets for Friday-only and Saturday-only are on sale, and two-day passes are available too. The full schedule is below...
by Andrew Frisicano
Hercules & Love Affair @ MHOW in August (more by Sara Skolnick)
Hercules & Love Affair's Andy Butler was one of the many DJs at the Electric Zoo Festival that happened over Labor Day weekend. At the fest he was billed as himself, but on September 26th he'll be DJing as H&LA at MoMA MiXX, a new series of dance parties at the museum.
MoMA MiXX uniquely pairs together major artists with world-renowned musicians or DJs, with each featured performer spinning a set of music that night. The Agnes Gund Garden Lobby will be transformed into a dance floor, and MoMA's Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium will serve as a lounge area complete with bars. The money raised benefits the exhibition programming for The Museum of Modern Art and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center.Opening up the first night will be DJ sets by Justin Carter and Eamon Harkin (of the Mister Saturday Night series among other things). The paired artists are Mickalene Thomas and Derrick Adams. Tickets are on sale, though they're not cheap...
Tickets for each event are $75 per person (or $200 for the first three events), and include an open bar.The next two events in the series are planned for January and April 2010.
Also on the way, the museum is hosting Between Worlds, an evening-length "pop spectacle" performance by Fischerspooner on November 1st. Tickets TBA. (MoMA is also still running Looking at Music: Side 2, and will be showing a Spike Jonze retrospective with No Age in October.)
Hercules & Love Affair played two live shows in NYC in August. At them, they debuted their new current (but probably not permanent) lineup of Shaun Wright, Aerea Negrot, Kim Ann Foxman, Mark Pistel and Andy Butler.
In the past, Hercules & Love Affair's lineup prominently featured singer Nomi Ruiz. More recently, she's been playing with Jessica 6. They opened for CocoRosie's return-to-NYC show at the beginning of September. Coming up, they're opening for Japanese psych rock band Yura Yura Teikoku at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on September 18th. Then the next night (Sept. 19th), they play as part of the New Languages Festival, which runs for six nights (starting Thursday, Sept. 17th) on two weekends at McCarren Hall in Brooklyn (on 98 Bayard St, an address that might sound familiar). Tickets are available at the door only.
For Japan's Yura Yura Teikoku, the MHOW is one of three upcoming US dates they have scheduled. The other two are opening for Yo La Tengo on Tuesday (9/15) and Wednesday in Vermont and Boston. Their new album "Hollow Me", which includes their recent EP "Beautiful", is out September 14, 2009 on DFA's Death From Abroad label (which helps explain the Jessica 6 connection). Album tracklist and NYC show flyer below.
The whole lineup for the jazz-based New Languages Festival, which "attempts to provide a panoramic view of 21st century jazz in New York City," is pretty diverse and spectacular. It includes Akoya Afrobeat, which matches the sound of Fela Kuti almost note for note (and integrates some of his songs into their rep), drummer Mike Pride's From Bacteria to Boys combo (who recorded a live session for WFMU in April), a set led by noted improviser and avant-jazz composer Tim Berne, and an opening night performance by Darcy James Argue's Secret Society, whose debut, Infernal Machines, came out in May on New Amsterdam Records.
The full schedule of shows and all tour dates are below...
Newport's jazz festival - which this year has been christened George Wein's CareFusion Jazz Festival 55 - once again will bring some of the music's biggest and most popular practitioners to Fort Adams State Park in Rhode Island. But buried within this weekend's schedule, and relegated to a smaller stage, is a trio making a once-in-a-lifetime appearance in our neck of the woods: a free-jazz group called By Any Means.Rashied Ali didn't end up performing with By Any Means at the Newport Jazz Festival on August 9th. His brother Muhammad took his place. And now, along with the news of Les Paul, comes word that "Rashied Ali died on 12 August 2009 in a New York City hospital after suffering a heart attack and undergoing heart surgery." RIP. Videos below...
The trio of alto saxophonist Charles Gayle, bassist William Parker, and drummer Rashied Ali play with a potency and urgency that can make your hairs stand on end. They also just happened to have made one of the greatest albums in free jazz, a 1993 date called "Touchin' on Trane,'' a collection of tunes inspired by, rather than composed by, John Coltrane. (For contractual reasons, the album was released under the artists' individual names rather than by By Any Means.) In 2008, more than 20 years after it formed, By Any Means finally released a proper album, a superb two-CD set called "Live at Crescendo'' that was recorded at a club in Sweden.
Now, for the first time, the New York-based trio will play a date in New England, at one of the most revered events in jazz lore - the Newport jazz festival.
It's not as though By Any Means has been touring extensively and merely skipped by us through the years. Free jazz is an acquired taste, sort of a professional jam session, and even its most popular artists draw relatively small crowds. By Any Means has performed only sporadically - disbanding for years at a time before regrouping - and even in a good year these guys play together only five or six times.
Though the trio claims to have no leader, Ali, 75, is its senior and most famous member. He played with Coltrane during the saxophonist's final years, most notably on the groundbreaking duo album "Interstellar Space,'' on which Ali made his mark as a drummer who eschewed keeping time and instead improvised completely independent of structure.
[Boston Globe - August 7, 2009]
by Andrew Frisicano
Cecil Taylor & McCoy Tyner...
Born Dec. 11, 1938, [McCoy] Tyner made his name as a member of the legendary John Coltrane Quartet in the 1960s. Since then, he has brought his distinctive playing style, and his compositions, to dozens of records on which he leads his own bands.You can buy him a glass at the Highline Ballroom on Sunday, August 23rd, where he'll perform as part of the venue's Piano Series, an 11-night lineup of piano-driven acts that runs from August 17th through August 28th.
[What's his secret?]
Tyner says the secret is simple: Drink carrot juice.
"Well, I like carrot juice," he says. "I have a juice machine at home that helps. Carrot juice is real good for you. Carrot and celery. Don't forget celery." [NPR]
We previously reported that Tyner's Lincoln Center shows in May would be his last NYC gigs for a while, and though according to his website that's still true, Tyner will bring his Trio (bassist Gerald Cannon and drummer Eric Kamau Gravatt plus guest saxist Gary Bartz) to the Highline for one two-set night.
Another Hall-of-Fame level jazz great, Cecil Taylor, will play as part of the series too. He'll perform solo on Tuesday, August 25th (two sets also).
The series mixes those legends with a slew of younger but equally impressive acts like the The Bad Plus, Matthew Shipp, and the Benevento/Russo Duo, who are all playing the series.
Tickets to all the shows are on sale now.
The Piano Series' full schedule, which includes non-jazz pianists too, is posted below...
Like Tonic did, The Stone frequently brings on guest curators (not coincidentally Stone founder John Zorn was one of Tonic's most regular hosts and played at Tonic's final show). Now, with guitarist Grey Gersten's monthlong May curatorial run ending Sunday, May 31st, former Tonic co-owner Melissa Caruso Scott comes out of booking retirement to take the reigns in programing the first two weeks of June at The Stone.
Speaking about her choices Scott said, "These artists played some of my favorite Tonic shows and I can't wait to see them again." Her picks include Japanese musician Yuka Honda, who's also playing a Summerstage show with Mike Watt, guitarist Charlie Hunter, Elysian Fields, Vernon Reid, Joan as Polcewoman, cellist Erik Friedlander, and more. Her full schedule is posted below.
Speaking of Friendlander, he plays on Yoko Ono's new DON'T STOP ME! EP (out June 9th Via iTunes Exclusive Digital Download), and you can also catch him live on June 5th along with saxophone player Colin Stetson at the Abrons Art Space Recital Hall. The show is presented by The Manhattan New Music Project, and tickets are on sale.
Before the time of both Tonic and The Stone, the original Knitting Factory on Houston Street featured an ecclectic mix of avant and experimental music (frequently with Zorn and others). The co-founder of that venue, show promoter and current owner of City Winery Michael Dorf, will curate the second half of the June at The Stone.
Acts on his schedule include Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers (who have completed their Pianos residency and are also playing Citysol), Ethan Iverson (of the Bad Plus) with saxist Tim Berne, and Marc Ribot, the guitarist who's had considerable presence at each of the aforementioned venues -- gigging regularly at the Knit on Houston St, getting arrested for protesting the closure of Tonic, and hosting several nights of his 55th-birthday retrospective at The Stone in mid-May.
Check out the full June schedule for The Stone, below...
by Andrew Frisicano
In the early '60s, McCoy Tyner cut his teeth as 1/4th of the John Coltrane Quartet. Since then, the pianist hasn't slowed much. This weekend, Tyner plays two nights at the Lincoln Center's Allen Room with his trio and guest Ravi Coltrane. Tickets for the Friday, May 15th and Saturday, May 16th shows are on sale. According to his posted schedule, it'll be Tyner's only visit to the NYC area this year.
Tyner's most recent album, 2008's Guitars, featured collaborations with Marc Ribot, John Scofield, Béla Fleck, Derek Trucks, Bill Frisell, Ron Carter and Jack DeJohnette.
From those players, Marc Ribot, who giged with Tyner last fall to celebrate the disc's release, is one that's currently in NYC. He's finishing up his birthday week retrospective with Friday and Saturday shows at (Le) Poisson Rouge. The Friday show features Ribot in three combos, Los Cubanos Postizos, Cotito Trio, and Cumbiamba eNeYe. Tickets are on sale. The Saturday gig sees Ribot with Ceramic Dog and Young Philadelphians. Tickets are still on sale for that,
Bill Frisell is also in NYC. He finishes his Tuesday, May 12th to Sunday, May 17th run at the Village Vanguard, performing in a trio with Tony Scherr and Kenny Wollesen.
Other players from the Guitars album are coming through NYC later in the summer. John Scofield plays a free August 5th show at NYC's Madison Square Park oval. Béla Fleck performs the Central Park Summerstage twice: on July 5th behind Malian singer Oumou Sangare and again on August 3rd with Toumani Diabate. Derek Trucks plays the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival on August 13th at the Damrosch Park Bandshell.
Most of the above guitarists are featured in the making-of trailer for the Guitars album, with tour dates, below...
By Andrew Frisicano
Avant-jazz cross-over act the Bad Plus will play a series of NYC shows as part of its neverending schedule of gigs. First, the trio - Ethan Iverson on piano, Reid Anderson on bass, Dave King on drums - hosts a special performance as part of French Institute Alliance Française's "Crossing the Line: FIAF Fall Festival 2008"
From the band's blog, Do the Math, (updated by pianist Iverson):
"Once in a while TBP gets a commission to arrange a well-known piece of music. So far, we have done Bernstein, Sedaka, Radiohead, and turned down a couple of others. This Saturday [9/20], thanks to FIAF, we will be unveiling our transfiguration of "La Ballade de Melody Nelson" by the great hero of French pop music, Serge Gainsbourg. ...[opening the show] Dave King will play duo with the fabulous Benoît Delbecq."The piano-playing Delbecq will play a solo set to begin the night.
The following Tuesday (9/23), the Bad Plus will kick-off six nights of 9pm- and 11pm-set club gigs at New York's Village Vanguard. (Tix here.) The band, which recently left Columbia for indie label Heads Up, is most well-known for its free-form rock-song covers; their latest, Prog, features renditions of "Life on Mars," "Tom Sawyer," "This Guy's in Love with You," "Everybody Wants To Rule the World" and (as an iTunes-only bonus) Interpol's "Narc."
Pianist Iverson will perform and speak with jazz legend Lee Konitz on September 18 at Joe's Pub. (Tix here.) Iverson and Konitz, whose many notable appearences include alto sax on Miles Davis's Birth of the Cool and an extended stint with the Stan Kenton Orchestra, will engage in a "free-form combination of music and conversation." Among other things, the pair will discuss free-jazz progenitor Lennie Tristano, who Iverson recently wrote about at length on Do the Math.
All tour dates below...