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Live From New York

May 2005

By Published: May 5, 2007
Jim Hall/Ron Carter at Blue Note

The normally crowded stage of the Blue Note was oddly bare the first week of April, neither the club's piano nor drum kit in their usual places. With only a pair of music stands and two small amplifiers (one sitting on the platform's lone chair) dotting the area and a sold-out house hushed in anticipation, it was easy to foresee that something extraordinary was about to transpire. Guitarist Jim Hall and bassist Ron Carter, two undisputed masters of their instruments, had performed together infrequently since recording their classic Alone Together nearly 35 years ago. On Sunday (Apr. 8th), the final night of the their auspicious reunion, the duo began the first set with a reprise of a "Receipt Please , a Carter composition the two played together on their original collaboration and it was obvious that the intervening years had only strengthened the bond that made their first effort so exceptional. Although the term telepathy is often used to describe Hall and Carter's interaction, the word fails to acknowledge the incredible intellect that was at play in their shared harmonic genius and rhythmic fluidity. The two blurred the line between solo and accompaniment to the point that there was seldom any applause following their improvisations - the audience sitting in rapt attention until the end of each piece. The pair transported the room with Hall's "Bent Blue and songs from the standard repertoire before ending with another melody from their initial encounter, Sonny Rollins' "St. Thomas .

BossaBrasil at Birdland

The absence of bass and drums on the program for the opening nights of Birdland's BossaBrasil Festival in no way diminished the rhythmic excitement one would expect at such an event. Pianist Cesar Camargo Mariano and guitarist Romero Lubambo opened the second evening (Apr. 18th) with an inspired performance that revisited their critically acclaimed Duo CD, showing why they have been described as "the perfect team . The twosome's awe-inspiring interplay, full of emotional tension and release, thrilled the packed house with music that exuded both orchestral power and spotlighted intimacy. Beginning appropriately with the late Mocair Santos' "April Child , the set which also included one of each player's own pieces plus a bossa nova treatment of "There Will Never Be Another You , was indeed no less than perfect. Cuban reedman Paquito D'Rivera was featured on the second part of the show, pairing his woody fluid clarinet with Lubambo on "Um A Zero , a classic choro feting Brazil's beloved futbol team. Switching to alto for a duet with Mariano and then back to clarinet for a trio offering with the returning Lubambo, the jocular D'Rivera contributed much to the festive mood, but the evening's greatest joys came with the entrance of the phenomenal Leny Andrade, whose majestic smoky toned, free flowing vocalizations and breathtaking scat singing gave voice to the night's celebratory atmosphere and had elated audience members dancing in their seats.

~ Russ Musto

Recommended New Listening:

David Binney/Edward Simon — Océanos (Criss Cross Jazz)

Aydin Esen — Light Years (Extinction)

James Falzone — The Sign and the Thing Signified (Allos)

Human Feel — Galore (Skirl)

Lionel Loueke — Virgin Forest (Obliqsound)

Mike Reed's Loose Assembly — Last Year's Ghost (482 Music)

-David Adler NY@Night Columnist, AllAboutJazz.com

Connie Crothers Quartet — Music Is A Place (New Artists)

Wayne Escoffery — Veneration: Live at Smoke (Savant)

Hal Galper/Jeff Johnson/John Bishop — Furious Rubato (Origin)

Rocco John Group — Don't Wait Too Long... (Coca)

Rafi Malkiel — My Island (s/r)

David S. Ware — Renunciation (AUM Fidelity)

-Laurence Donohue-Greene Managing Editor, AllAboutJazz-New York

Cato Salsa Experience/The Thing/Joe McPhee — Two Bands and a Legend (Smalltown Superjazz)

Human Feel — Galore (Skirl)

Adam Lane/Ken Vandermark/Magnus Broo/Paal Nilssen-Love — 4 Corners (Clean Feed)

Eric Oscarsson and the Perspectives — Free The Jazz (Free The Jazz Discs)

Howard Riley — Short Stories (Volume Two) (SLAM)

David Torn — Prezens (ECM)

-Andrey Henkin Editorial Director, AllAboutJazz-New York



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