Tag Archives: andrew d’angelo

Box Score: Five Best Moments of Last Night’s Undead Fest

1. Tarbaby’s Can of Whup-Ass 

They opened it, they laid it on the floor, and then they stomped the holy hell out of it. The rhythm section is a modern miracle of power-swing, rocking with a Claymore mine explosiveness (and an Art Ensemble playfulness). Oliver Lake’s blowtorch sounded like it had been part of the unit for years. 

2. Tyshawn Sorey’s Drum Kit

The Paradoxical Frog drummer works in a series of hushes (when he’s not working in a series of thuds) and his percussion needs are specific. Long story short, he’s a soundscapist who knows exactly which tools are necessary. But the array of tiny cymbals, sideways toms and clatter devices was amazing, in a Duchamp/Goldberg/Bennink kind of way. Maybe the best part was when he was rubbing the thigh of his jeans for a texture-specific whhhhzzzzzttt.

3. Andrew D’Angelo’s Poem For Felicia Wilson

Music is the healing power of the universe, and the saxophonist knows about its many truths. So after having his Big Band roil ‘n’ roll through an ultra-tight set of knotty charts (be on the look out for crazyman Josh Sinton), he sent out a smooch for dear friend currently embroiled with deep medical issues. The theme lilted, then it soared. And those who sang along offered personal prayers. Somewhere in Baldwin, a woman was kissed on the cheek and patted on the back. 

4. Michael Blake’s Basie Nod

The saxophonist had just finished taking the Carpenters through a “Chasing The Trane” excursion, and he wanted to say goodnight to his audience. Pretty has always been in his wheelhouse (make sure his spin on Bean’s “Maria” is in your wheelhouse), and “Blue and Sentimental,” the simple blues treat by the Count’s crew was unlike anything else I heard all evening. Old school lyricism and three-way (Royston/Allison) swing at its simplest and most effective. Nuanced, bittersweet, gorgeous. “Don’t forget that Basie played on Bleeker Street, too,” said Blake.

5. Goldfinger’s Goodbye

In the first 90 seconds of the set, David Torn had a ghostly fog hovering three feet above the stage, but he was getting ready to pierce it. A stomp or two on his foot pedals and blammo, a scream from the upper, upper, upper register. Tim Berne hadn’t made a sound yet, but when Torn let his siren wail, the saxophonist wasn’t a split-second behind. They announced their arrival with a long-held note that didn’t waver one iota for three or four minutes. Frightening in a way, but that fog was still there to give you an earthly point of reference. 

and would you like a 6th one? It’s on me…

The Undead Jazz Festival: Ten Must-See Shows

Man, you can’t see ’em all. There’s something like 50 shows, after all. But you can try to slip into the ones you think might tickle you hardest. It’s an wonderfully imaginative line-up, as I mentioned in the Voice.  Get a grip on the scope of it all, high-light your own choices, and head out. Take along the 50 Songs of June Jazz list and add your own entries. Argue over the 25 Jazz CDs That Just Might Make End-of-the-Year Lists. Here are 10 key Undead gig suggestions that stretch from the Village to Gowanus.

1. Paradoxical Frog (Sullivan Hall, 23)

Kris Davis, Tyshawn Sorey and Ingrid Laubrock (along with guest Mat Maneri) made a devastating statement at the Vision Festival. They’ve honed their delivery of abstract dramatic episodes to a tee.

2. Duets Night (Bell House, 24)

You can call it a suite in progress. Here’s a game for you: close your eyes for the entire show and see if you can recognize each of the characters who take the stage.

3. Ches Smith’s Cong’s For Brums  (Cameo, 26) 

A philosophy major with Curran and Oliveros in his past,  Smith has become one of town’s key percussionists. His solo thingee incorporates all sorts of soundscapes, from aggressive to ambient.

4. Dave King Trucking Company (Sullivan Hall, 23) 

Two reeds up front, plenty of ideas in the back. The Bad Plus drummer has insights into blending swing pulses and rock clatter, and he feeds his new band mates provocative notions at every turn.

5. Jeff Lederer’s Sunwatcher  (Littlefield, 25)

The tenor saxophonist has been hitting a stride of late (check his frenzied eloquence with Matt Wilson’s quartet), and this hat tip to Ayler reveals just how much joy there is in ecstatic undertakings.

6. Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog  (Le Poisson Rouge, 23)

Long story short, they tear shit up, bringing new ideas to older templates. Their spin on the Doors is deadly and their rerouting of the power trio archetype inspired.

7. Erik Friedlander  (Cubana Social, 26)

The cellist’s new Bonebridge  features a fetching band and catchy tunes. This solo recital might distill that approach, with limber lines and sleek writing. He’s quite experienced at enchanting a room all by himself.

8. Elliott Sharp Plays Monk  (Cross Fit Gym, 25)

The experimental guitarist is all about pointed perspectives, and he has quite the novel take on Thelonious’ jewels. Especially “Well, You Needn’t.”

9. Michael Blake, Ben Allison, Rudy Royston  (Kenny’s Castaways, 23) 

After playing a few times a Kush, their freebop definitely has a chemistry. Keep an ear on Blake, who seldom fails to steal the show with his blend of sentiment and storminess.

10. Andrew D’Angelo’s Big Band  (Sullivan Hall, 23)

I only caught their nascent gigs, when things were still coalescing. Word has it that they’ve blossomed into a hard-hitting lot that wax refined while still throwing a few elbows around. And you know the boss likes to throw elbows.

Andrew D’Angelo & Jim Black

In Worcester, 30 years ago, I had a seminal music experience: Jimmy Lyons and Andrew Cyrille duets. Was blabbing about Andrew’s year-long travails today, and found this thing floating around. I swear it’s got some bedrock parallels when it comes to communication. Barbes is a bit more cozy than the old factory J+A played. I’m going to find that cassette i made of the show and blast it loud. Andrew Big Band at the Tea Lounge on 2/17.