40 Years of Ice Cream For Crow

Stop the show, I need to say hello to the crow!

Have a John Miller Weekend

Mr Miller’s World

Thank You, Anton Fier

Yikes!

Happy Birthday, Muhal

Muhal on Pi Recordings

Malaby’s Turnpike Trio Hits Providence Saturday

Tony Malaby speaks from the heart when describing the camaraderie that fuels the magic of his Under The Turnpike Trio. Those who follow the saxophonist’s music probably know the story of how he, drummer Billy Mintz and bassist John Hébert turned a dodgy Jersey City side street into a haven for creativity during Covid’s initial months. Above, protecting them from rain and wind, the New Jersey Turnpike. Surrounding them, run-off drains, homeless encampments, and oodles of urban debris. Unlikely spot, but it boasted a homey “any port in a storm” vibe that they grew to adore – and it had good sound. This lemons/lemonade situation gave the three improvisers time to hone their ensemble rapport. As evidenced at an August performance at NYC’s Downtown Music Gallery, that rapport is currently deep, deep, deep (see the above video). Their approach to freedom is fueled by imaginations that consider all sound valuable, and a dedication to discovery that bars foregone conclusions. Abstraction is their mother tongue, but at the DMG, they bubbled up some bent blues, and found ways to turn boogaloo grooves into cloud dances. Their brand of swing finds them moving anywhere and everywhere they choose, balancing turbulence with eloquence while prioritizing a graceful flow. When they get to Providence’s Tea In Sahara (69 Governor Street) tomorrow night, the intimacy of the room will bolster the power of the music, no question. The tiny Moroccan café has been making a home for adventurous jazz improvisers during the past year. Ensembles led by guitarist Jeff Platz have helped attract intrepid listeners to the city’s East Side on a regular basis. Platz’s Modern Sounds series unites a cohort that includes drummers Max Goldman, Matt Crane, and Eric Rosenthal, bassists Kit Demos, Nate McBride, and Andrew Dow, saxophonists Brendan Carniaux and Phillip Greenlief, trumpeter Ellwood Epps, and other fellow travelers from Brooklyn and Boston. It’s a scene on the rise, and it gains more ground every time a new group sets up shop for a gig. Shout out to Mohamed Sefiani, the TIS owner who’s been providing the real estate for all this experimentation. The Malaby hit is a big deal for those who find the kinetics of freebop to be a provocative siren song with endless rewards.

Modern Sounds

Tea In Sahara

Hébert, Mintz, Malaby at Downtown Music Gallery in August

The Sco Story This Way Comes

INSIDE SCOFIELD – a film about master musician John Scofield from Jörg Steineck on Vimeo.

Ambrose Akinmusire at The Narrows on Thursday

Every time I’ve caught an Ambrose Akinmusire ensemble, it’s been an ear-opening experience. The trumpeter dodges the norm while delivering performances that blend cultural savvy with stylistic breadth. In prep for his Narrows Center of the Arts hit on Thursday night, I’ve been relistening to on the tender spot of every calloused moment (Blue Note), and yes, it’s as kinetic and poetic as I found it to be when it dropped two years ago. Akinmusire’s outfit is mercurial; morphing from one passage to another is a central to the way they do business. And though they’re progressive, the sign-posts of old school beauty are often heeded. The trumpeter’s tone is to-die-for, and when he lets those long tones hang in the air on a ballad, they’re bittersweet and luminescent – a fetching way of putting a personalized update on the blues. Wanna know what’s going on in jazz? Buying a ticket is a strong step one.

Narrows Center for the Arts Fall River

The Other Side of NOLA

“Doubles” coming September 30, 2022 to Sinking City Records

Muslim Highlife On The Way

Luaka Bop‘s World Spirituality Classics 3: The Muslim Highlife of Alhaji Waziri Oshomah is out September 23.