- How many ways can "lithe" be interpreted? Find out tonight at @SmallsJazzClub The McNeil-Udden Report awaits. lamentforastraightline.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/hus… 1 week ago
- Providence peeps! @Regina_Carter brings her superb Southern Comfort outfit to RISD tonight. @firstworksRI. Be there! lamentforastraightline.wordpress.com/2014/03/18/reg… 1 week ago
- Played #intheivory Sun night and Mon morning, too. Then played it again this aft. #addictive @mulery hits BK tonight. villagevoice.com/events/matt-ul… 2 weeks ago
- Stuck in traffic at Bear Mtn and nervous about making it to @richardgehr 2pm bash at @bookcourt. U should go though. 2 weeks ago
- RT @questlove: The ladies got down with the logo game too. Supreme's in waiting #HighInergy made 9 albums & 7 of… instagram.com/p/uD0lRDwayF/ 2 weeks ago
- Team @clusterhocket is doing the do from their new disc tonight at @ShapeShifterLab in 45 minutes. Lovers of odd grooves should be there. 2 weeks ago
- West Villagers need to swing by @Mezzrowclub to see if there's standing room. It's there this communion will prevail. villagevoice.com/events/ethan-i… 2 weeks ago
- matt, geri, buster, NOW - new.livestream.com/jazz/matt-wils… 3 weeks ago
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- Matt Wilson's Open House is turning Dizzy's into the Stone. #noouterwear 3 weeks ago
- NPR Previews The Basement Tapes – First Listen
- If There’s Something About My My Kissing That Don’t Please You, Just Tell Me And I’ll Change That Too
- Bill Frisell Guitar In The Space Age! (Okeh)
- Mama, Mama Tell Me, What Am I Gonna Say?
- Hush Point @ Small’s 10/24
- The Bad Plus Rocks The Clock At NYU on Thursday
- Kenny Barron + Dave Holland @ Birdland 22- 25
- Everybody Dance Now….
- Matt Brewer @ Shapeshifter Lab, Thursday 16
- Sinton City on Thursday in Billyburg
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Category Archives: music
He’s brought his famous lilt to tunes by AP Carter, Stephen Foster, Bob Dylan and John Lennon, but there’s something truly enticing about Frisell burrowing into a program entitled “This Land: Woody Guthrie’s Better World.” Both icon and interpreter can be folksy or fierce, and that kind of pliability becomes magical when the guitarist has his imaginative quintet with him. From “Do Re Mi” to “Pastures of Plenty” they’ll follow the thread wherever it leads, and don’t be shocked if it takes you an unexpected spot or two down the road from Guthrieville – Frisell says he hears the bard’s spirit of plain-spoken protest in Sonny Rollins’ Freedom Suite.
Sept 19 – 20. 7pm & 9:30pm in The Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall $75 – $55
Stefano Bollani has truly wooed me in the last few years. The Italian pianist’s work with Enrico Rava boasts a muted radiance that brings a gleam of joy to the trumpeter’s dark-hued work. Listen to how he energizes even the most ghostly passages of Rava’s remarkable New York Days. And last year’s encounter with Brazilian mandolim virtuoso Hamilton de Holanda is filled with the kind of quick-witted interplay that impresses anyone who demands music both animated and accessible. I caught the pair at the Newport Jazz Festival in early August, and they had a crowd – who I’m betting hadn’t previously heard their music – utterly enthralled.
This new quintet album, one of the most seductive jazz records of the year, seals the deal in regards to Bollani’s charm. The pianist pinballs off his rhythm section on the flurry of lines that make up the title track. Genial agitation is something he’s expert at, but the fluid touch that’s at his command often brings a Bud Powell elegance to the fore when he shifts into high gear. The quintet he’s assembled here is remarkably pliable. Guitarist Bill Frisell and saxophonist Mark Turner share the front line and bassist Jesper Bodilsen and drummer Morten Lund charge everything they touch. The boss is the pivot man, granting himself a fair amount of solos while feeding the fire when others are having their say. His comping work is as inspired as his feature excursions. I reference Powell on purpose; Bollani brings a jaunty drive to the table on “No Pope No Party,” a post-bop romp that could be a one-shot convincer for the group’s awesome esprit.
Whimsy bubbles up in various spots. “Alobar e Kundra” sounds like it’s stitched together with moonlight, the pianist and his rhythm section following impulse after impulse while chasing gossamer. In Italy he is a recognized author of children’s books, and lacks not when it comes to wit. There’s a gamesman slant to his playing, too. The duo exchange with Frisell on “Teddy,” a two-man reverie that parallels last year’s Fred Hersch/Julian Lage meeting for poise and playfulness, makes counterpoint seem to be the most essential element of improvisation. You can almost see the grins on their faces.
All this talk about elation somewhat belies the command this unit has over autumn moods. “Vale” sits in the middle of this fetching program, providing an eerie stroll that gives Turner ample time to plot a luminous course while the quintet, especially the leader, sets a pensive mood. “Ismene” is somewhat similar – call it a tone poem of deep evanescence – but here Frisell’s dewy lines help the aura unfold. Like the opening calypso, “Easy Healing,” it resounds of character, distinct even as it uses a cloak of amorphousness to help establish its lighthearted essence. That’s not easy to do, and as the music drives the group (especially Turner) to sound unusually inviting, the heart of Bollani’s art emerges. He’s all about drawing you in.
I’ve always loved the finesse that shapes Omer Avital’s music. Yep, the bassist is an overtly physical player, often impelled to give his strings a good whack in order to express himself (because of such ardor the liner notes to this new album reference him as an “Israeli Mingus”). But Avital’s always been judicious about dispensing aggression, and as the years have gone by – the 42-year-old’s *Think With Your Heart* debut dropped in 2001 – he’s refined the attack that earned him part of his early acclaim. He’s still committed to the whomp in his music, but these days it’s measured out in very wise ways.
That is to say: New Song feels like a balancing act of sorts. While the insistence that helped craft the bassist’s identity as a bandleader and composer is obvious, a contoured approach is in play. There’s a maturity to these pieces, and their mildly wistful air enhances that vibe. It’s as if he’s trading eruption for beauty – each of the 11 tracks glow with a sense of ease and authority that make them seem a tad more eloquent than their predecessors. Could be because Avital has surrounded himself with pals. Saxophonist Joel Frahm and drummer Danny Freedman both played on the debut mentioned above, and along with trumpeter Avishai Cohen and pianist Yonathan Avishai their camaraderie is a nurturing agent. This is a squad that always works as one.
Tempo-wise, there’s nothing too agitated or rushed. Melody-wise, the tunes hark to the folk music of Avital’s Yemenite and Moroccan roots. The repeated motifs of Arab music ignite its rhythmic thrust, and from “Maroc” to “New Middle East” there’s a locomotive power that moves everything forward. The band opens the door for the blues when applicable, and that’s often enough to make the program earthy. Whether it’s a fanfare for daybreak (“Sabah El-Kheir”) or a jaunt through history (“Bedouin Roots”) the music is fused with cultural signifiers. By the time the opening of “Yemen Suite” starts to bubble up its theme towards the end of the disc, there’s plenty passion on the table. The best part is the band dispenses it in a clear, convincing manner.
A percussionist who creates music with the architectural sense of a designer, Smith is usually in the process of fulfilling on elaborate notions. History implies that this trio with violinist Mat Maneri and keyboardist Craig Taborn would be expert at aggressive textural fantasias with more than a smidge of drama – each participant knows exactly how to establish and explode any and all provocative gambits.
Greenwich House Music School
46 Barrow St. New York, NY
8 pm. $15
John Zorn was beaming at the Newport Jazz Festival in August. The far flung ensembles of his Masada family were together for a two-and-a-half hour mix ‘n’ match confab that stretched from chamber music gentility to red-zone dissonance that he proudly declared “sick” with one of his Zornian grins. The through-line was obvious all day: each of the participating ensembles were radically tight, and the performances couldn’t have been more eloquent. It’s wise to expect something similar at the Village Vanguard this week, when many of the same participants – from Jamie Saft’s piano trio to Cyro Baptista’s Banquet of the Spirits – leap into Zorn’s ‘Book Of Angels’ pieces, a collection of discrete works that flies under the flag of “mixing Ornette Coleman and Jewish scales.” The week’s ultimate mitzvah? The Saturday night arrival of the maestro’s original Masada quartet, with Dave Douglas, Greg Cohen and Joey Baron. They will destroy the place with beauty.
Village Vanguard, 178 7th Ave. South, NYC. 212-255-4037
Jack White, I’m Down (Beck Song Reader),” Interscope
Wadada Leo Smith, Jamie Saft, Joe Morris, Balazs Pandi Red Hill (Rare Noise)
Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn (Rounder)
Jason Moran, All Rise: A Joyful Elegy For Fats Waller (Blue Note)
Bill Frisell, Guitar In The Space Age (Sony Masterworks)
Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, “Bang Bang”
Pine Leaf Boys, “Eunice Two-Step”
The Handsome Family, “Owls” (Carrot Top)
Michael Blake, Tiddy Boom (Sunnyside)
Mark Turner Quartet, Lathe Of Heaven (ECM)
Chris Thiele & Edgar Myer Bass & Mandolin (Nonesuch)
Trio 3 + Vijay Iyer (Intakt)
Hush Point Blues And Reds (Sunnyside)
Agility is the forte of this increasingly intriguing saxophonist – one of the wiliest in town. Irabagon has no prob opening a can whoop ass during the middle of an muscular extrapolation, but he also appreciates the value of kiss on the cheek. The best part is that he’s convincing with both. This micro fest connects him with myriad improvisers, from pianist Luis Perdomo to bassist Mike Formanek to drummer Barry Altschul.