Slice of Life


From Way Up The Slide Track

Sinton Does Hemphill

Time to know more about Josh Sinton

The Beauty of Frank Kimbrough’s Music

As the news of Frank’s passing sinks in, it’s becoming more disturbing for me. Gone in a flash. No more laughs with FK. Fuck. I’m gonna play an hour’s worth of his music on TONIGHT (Weds, Jan 6) during a jazz radio show that focuses on some of my fave records of 2020. It goes from 9 pm – midnight. FK will take up the final hour. Please tune in and invite any and all Frank fans. Here’s a few Voice Choices that I wrote about the maestro and his various ensembles through the years.

 Frank Kimbrough Trio @ Smalls  

I love the fact that the pianist is pro prance. Those right-hand runs usually arrive with esprit intact, spilling with the kind of joy that invariably buoys those expressionistic gambits. In trio settings Kimbrough has a way of floating as well. The post-bop savvy he’s developed from studies of Andrew Hill and others gives way to a singular sense of momentum that has a magical side.

9 +10:30 pm 212-252-5091 $20 Smalls, 183 West 10th MACNIE

Frank Kimbrough @ Smalls

The pianist is one of the few improvisers can make a string of delicate gestures feel like series of slippery declarations. The new *Rumors* reminds that his music keeps everything in motion. Ballads float and flutter simultaneously. Uptempo pieces act skittish while waxing focused. This solo date might reflect some of the animated poise that fueled 2007’s aptly titled *Air.*  The songbook stretches from Monk to Motian.

Thursday, April 15 –  7:30 pm 212-252-5091 $20 Smalls, 183 West 10th MACNIE

Frank Kimbrough Trio

The new *Air* is a solo outing that shows how much grace can be brought to bear on a program of luminescent melodies. But the pianist adores passing the ball around, and his groups always have a deep curiosity to them – they always investigating some aspect of the music in play.

Kitano. Friday, 25 – Saturday, 26 MACNIE

Frank Kimbrough

The pianist operates in the novel space where forward motion allows room for a dalliance or three. Meaning he shows the advantages of being momentarily sidetracked. A master of mood (see “Waiting in Santander” from *Play*), he’s got a special rapport with drummer Paul Motian, so expect tonight’s accents and impulses to be novel, too.   

Jazz Standard. Wednesday, 26  MACNIE

Jazz Composers Collective Festival

Moving into its 12 year, the JCC is our definitive musician-run jazz org. Its members flesh out each others’ ideas, sharing time on both the brainstorming and bandstanding fronts. Its 4th Annual Fest is six-night bash where they share the stage and feed each other’s fire. The instrumentation of Ted Nash’s Odeon is symbolic of its music’s scope: trombone, violin and accordion join the leader’s reeds. The forthcoming *Subtextures* should explain how trumpeter Ron Horton has turned freebop into one of jazz’s most lithe lingoes. Saxophonist Michael Blake leads a longstanding trio and new quintet; both will illustrate just how keenly he’s integrated North African melodies into his work. Pianist Frank Kimbrough’s gorgeous pieces can be kaleidoscopic and alluring; his *Lullabluebye* hits in April. Bassist Ben Allison’s Peace Pipe ensemble knows about our “far and away” concept; it’s not every jazz ensemble that’s built around an African kora; Mali native Balla Tounkara handles the string instrument, and the bandleader composes tunes that puts its earthy glimmer front and center. Somewhere in between all the self-composed tunes, the JCC manages to interpret the suave blues bop of overlooked hero Lucky Thompson. MACNIE

April 13 – 18 Jazz Standard 116 East 27th Street. 212-756-2232

Years ago I asked a handful of musicians to choose an Andrew Hill piece that close to their hearts. I included FK, off course. Hill was one of his primary influences. Here’s Frank’s response:

“Domani” (“tomorrow” in Italian) comes from Andrew Hill’s “Shades” on Soul Note.  Recorded July 3 and 4, 1986 in Milano, it features Clifford Jordan on tenor saxophone, Rufus Reid on bass, and Ben Riley on drums. The tune is in 2 sections, 14 bars, then 18 bars, rather than the expected 16 and 16.   It’s taken at a very fast tempo, but the rhythm section changes it up by going into a 12/8 loping feel from time to time.  Clifford’s solo is electrifying, and the slippery time feel makes it all feel very risky indeed.  This album is part quartet and part trio – my favorite trio tune from this date is “Ball Square.”



From Maria Schneider:

Dear friends,Many of you know how deeply Frank Kimbrough loved his students. And now, “The Frank Kimbrough Jazz Scholarship” is being instated at Juilliard. Frank would be profoundly moved by this tribute that continues his work to benefit and advocate for the next generation of artists. You may give a tax-deductible gift to the scholarship fund by any method below. And, please share the word.1. Online contributions: Go to Select designation ‘Juilliard Scholarship Fund’ and make sure to note in the comments, “Frank Kimbrough Jazz Scholarship.” 2. Credit card contributions by phone, call: 917-834-4552.3. Mail a check: Make payable to The Juilliard School (“Frank Kimbrough Jazz Scholarship” written in the memo). Send to: The Juilliard School Attn: Mary Yeatts, Associate Director of Major Gifts 60 Lincoln Center Plaza New York NY 100234. Contributions by bank transfer (securities and wire transfers) Contact: Mary Yeatts, Associate Director of Major Gifts, Development Department: Email: Phone: 917-834-45525. For any questions at all, contact Mary Yeatts, Make sure your gift is earmarked to the Frank Kimbrough Jazz Scholarship.

This Year, Those Albums – 2020 Jazz You Should Hear

Turned in the ballot to the Francis Davis / Tom Hull NPR party, but 10 ain’t ever enough, and a wider pic is always helpful, so…

Gregg August Dialogues On Race (Gregg August)

Ambrose Akinmusire on the tender spot of every calloused moment (Blue Note)

Eric Revis Slipknots Through a Looking Glass (Pyroclastic)

Michael Moore’s Fragile Quartet Cretan Dialogues (Ramboy)

James Brandon Lewis / Chad Taylor Live in Willisau (Intakt)

Rudresh Mahanthappa Hero Trio (Whirlwind)

Angelica Sanchez & Marilyn Crispell How To Turn The Moon (Pyroclastic)

Matthew Shipp Trio The Undefinable (ESP-Disk)

Pavogüchi III (Aklovap)

Susan Alcorn Pedernal (Relative Pitch)

Micah Thomas Tide (Micah Thomas)

Tim Berne & Nasheet Waits The Coandă Effect (9 Donkeys)

Raf Vertessen Quartet LOI (El Negocito)

Rob Mazurek Exploding Star Orchestra Dimensional Stardust (International Anthem / Nonesuch)

The NDR Big Band with Michael Moore Sanctuary (Ramboy)

Fay Victor’s SoundNoiseFunk We’ve Had Enough (ESP-Disk)

Adam Kolker Lost (Sunnyside)

Webber/Morris Big Band Both Are True (Greenleaf Music)

Rich Halley The Shape of Things (Pine Eagle)

Sara Schoenbeck & Wayne Horvitz Cell Walk (Songlines)

Luciana Souza Storytellers (Sunnyside)

Ingrid Laubrock & Tom Rainey Stir Crazy 1-45

James Carney Sextet Pure Heart (Sunnyside)

Dayna Stephens Trio Liberty (Contagious Music)

Matt Wilson Quartet HUG! (Palmetto)

Chad Taylor The Daily Biological (Cuneiform)


Ben Monder solo at the Vanguard

Jon Irabagon Quintet at Smalls

Orrin Evans Quartet at Smoke



  1. Eric Revis, Slipknots Through a Looking Glass (Pyroclastic)
  2. Michael Moore’s Fragile Quartet, Cretan Dialogues (Ramboy)
  3. Ambrose Akinmusire, On the Tender Spot of Every Calloused Moment (Blue Note)
  4. Matthew Shipp Trio, The Unidentifiable (ESP-Disk)
  5. Rob Mazurek Exploding Star Orchestra, Dimensional Stardust (International Anthem)
  6. Susan Alcorn Quintet, Pedernal (Relative Pitch)
  7. The NDR Bigband With Michael Moore, Sanctuary (Ramboy)
  8. Raf Vertessen Quartet, LOI (El Negocito)
  9. Pavogüchi, III (Aklovap)
  10. Webber/Morris Big Band, Both Are True (Greenleaf Music)


  1. Thelonious Monk, Palo Alto (1968, Impulse)
  2. Milford Graves & Don Pullen, The Complete Yale Concert, 1966 (Corbett vs Dempsey)
  3. Sonny Rollins, Rollins in Holland (1967, Resonance)


  • Fay Victor’s SoundNoiseFunk, We’ve Had Enough! (ESP-Disk)


  • Micah Thomas, Tide (self-released)


  • Arturo O’Farrill/The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, Four Questions (Zoho)

Wouldn’t Mind Hearing Some Joy Bells

Archie Shepp & Jason Moran

‘Let My People Go’ album coming on Feb 5, and it sounds sharp.

This Week’s Only Only Song

Bird Bates