Category Archives: jazz

The Bad Plus Rocks The Clock At NYU on Thursday 

It hasn’t been all Blondie, Sabbath and Nirvana. Because they dig sophisticated blends of eloquent jitter-swing and stormy rumination, The Bad Plus – the rogue piano/bass/drums outfit initially heralded for exploding pop and rock nuggets – has occasionally peppered its sets with Ornette Coleman tunes. “Song X” here, “Law Years” there – every time I’ve heard them launch into the master’s book, the almost giddy joy that’s defines his music has amped the trio’s action. (Don’t miss their spin through through “Street Woman.”) Now TBP is adding horns and turning to the entirety of Coleman’s 1972 opus, Science Fiction. Saxophonists Tim Berne (who rampaged through OC’s world with John Zorn in ‘89) and Sam Newsome connect with trumpeter Ron Miles in a front line that will magnify the frolic of anthems like “Happy House” and “School Work” while the trio keeps the grooves at a steady boil. They’ve said Ornette’s music is part of their DNA. Can’t wait to see the family resemblance.

Don’t forget that Joshua Light Show that will  be blowing yr mind all night, too.

Thursday, Oct 23, 7:30 pm NYU Skirball Center for the Arts

Village Voice

Sinton City on Thursday in Billyburg

Ethan Iverson & Ron Carter @ Mezzrow  Oct 9-11  

The Bad Plus pianist knows the value of living history – he’s made a point of interacting with elders during the last few years, and to a one, come away with intriguing results. At 41 Iverson is about the half the age of his partner, a revered bass master who has become one of improvisation’s icons after a lifetime of extraordinary work. Their book of duets will stress standards, and the give ‘n’ take in such a cozy room – designed specifically for this kind of intimacy – will explode the goose pimple factor.

(This above is, of course, Ethan and Sam Newsome – included just to provide a glimpse at Iverson’s occasional strategies)

8:30 pm – $25, Mezzrow, 163 WEST 10TH STREET     646-476-4346  MACNIE

Saturday + Sunday Spinning

Flying Lotus ft. Kendrick Lamar, “Never Catch Me”

Tyshawn Sorey, Alloy (Pi)

Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn (Rounder)

Spoon, They Want My Soul (Lorna Vista)

Iggy Azalea, New Classic (Def Jam)

Rory Block, Hard Luck Child (Stoney Plain)

Branford Marsalis, In My Solitude – Live at Grace Cathedral (Sony)

The New Pornographers, Brill Bruisers (Matador)

Kenny Barron & Dave Holland, The Art of the Conversation (Impulse!)

Ken Thomson and Slow/Fast, Settle (NCM)

Conjure, “The Wardrobe Master of Paradise”

3rdEyeGirl ft. Prince, “Fixurlifeup”

Jesse Winchester, A Reasonable Amount of Trouble (Appleseed)

Tove Lo, Queen of the Clouds (Island)

Vaudou Game, Apiafo (Hot Casa)

Hush Point, Blues and Reds (Sunnyside)

Darius Jones & Matthew Shipp, Cosmic Leider: The Darkside Recital (AUM Fidelity) 


Mary Halvorson’s Reverse Blue @ Cornelia Street Cafe October 2-3  

Thanks to constant work, the guitarist’s ideas are boundless these days. She’s built this quartet around reed player Chris Speed, bassist Eivind Opsvik and drummer Tomas Fujiwara to enjoy textural gambits and counterpoint experiments. Abstraction is the welcome mat of their new album on the Relative Pitch label, but poignant moments and defined landscapes are always popping up.
10/2 @ 8:30 pm // 10/3 @ 9 pm + 10:30 pm  $10  Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street.   212-989-9319

Matt Wilson 50th Birthday Celebration at Dizzy’s This Weekend

Pundits often celebrate how oft-discrete jazz camps sometimes blend together, POVs and aesthetic attitudes melding to form a unique sound or test a tricky new lingo. These kind of moves need a lynchpin to get off the dime – someone who worked a variety of situations and sees value in the wealth of existing approaches. Lots and lots and lots of times, that’s Matt Wilson. For the last two decades the drummer-bandleader has been a poster boy for versatility, making sweet concoctions from old school swing, hard bop swag, and avant skronk. He and his cohort grab everything they hear and find a use for it – that’s why his numerous ensembles often sound as cosmopolitan as they do. They get the big picture. To celebrate Wilson’s 50th birthday, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola invited a handful of his groups to the stage. The aptly named Open House is the most emblematic of his insightful curatorial skills. Put Joe Lovano, Mary Halvorson and Stefon Harris in the front line and you’re making a statement. Also this week: Arts & Crafts (his organ outfit), Topsy Turvy (quartet + guest horns), and an inviting collabo with veteran bassist Buster Williams and pianist Geri Allen. Hit two or more and your world will expand.

Dizzy’s Schedule

Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola
33 W. 60th St. New York, NY


Village Voice

Through A Keyhole, Brightly – Very Very Threadgill

From piano rags fractured by the reed ‘n rhythm trio Air to the swag-centic groove of the mammoth Society Situation Band, Henry Threadgill’s catholic interests have always led his ensembles to a spot where a mother lode was waiting to be mined. Now 70, the revered composer-bandleader has consistently recast his music during the last four decades, with each discrete outfit still forwarding that signature sound – let’s call it a mix of buoyant jubilation and eerie drama. Those who missed aggregates such as his seven piece Sextett or the groups mentioned above can step into a time portal at the Harlem Stage’s Very Very Threadgill Festival, which finds its hero bringing each of them (and more) back to life for a weekend romp. To a one, they’ve helped define various epochs of New York jazz, especially the esteemed porto-orchestra that cut the 1993 masterpiece Too Much Sugar For a Dime. Gray haired sentimentalists will freak to see these configurations again, and newbies will be in awe of the explosive variety one man’s mind can conjure.

Harlem Stage, 150 Covenant Ave, New York. Sept 27 + 28, (212) 281-9240 ext. 19 or 20