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Live From New York

October 2007

By Published: October 7, 2007
Sonny Rollins at Carnegie Hall

Sonny Rollins returned to Carnegie Hall (Sep. 17th) to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his debut there, in the most highly anticipated jazz event of the new millennium. Rollins performed the first half of the evening in the pianoless trio format that he began experimenting with over a half century ago. Joined by Christian McBride (bass) and Roy Haynes (drums), the saxophonist recreated the set he played the first time he appeared in the hall. Opening with his "Sonnymoon For Two , Rollins plunged into his solo with long lines of melodic improvisation in his signature growling sound, still as distinctive as it is strong, while McBride held down the middle and Haynes pushed and prodded with his dancing rhythms. On "Some Enchanted Evening he played with a spaciousness that allowed his every note to fill the hall and then thrilled the crowd with a rendition of "Mack The Knife that included saxophone/drum exchanges with the incredible Haynes. On the second half of the show Rollins' working group with Clifton Anderson, Bobby Broom, Bob Cranshaw, Steve Jordan and Kimati Dinizulu took the stage. The unit played with a tight synergy that had the tenorist marching around the bandstand, entering into musical conversations with each of the players, all of whom were featured on three originals. Rollins finished with "Don't Stop The Carnival , ending the song with a long, held note that had the whole house up with a standing ovation before it was over.

Cindy Blackman at Dizzy's Club

The Cindy Blackman Project at Dizzy's Club (Sep. 5th) marked the tenth anniversary of the death of Tony Williams, playing the powerful high-energy music of the drummer's early jazz-rock fusion group Lifetime. Blackman, who was joined by tenor man JD Allen and guitarist Fionn Ã" Lochlainn with Carlton Holmes on piano and keyboards and George Mitchell on electric and acoustic basses, led her group throughout the opening week of the room's Women In Jazz Festival, smashing every stereotype about the manner in which female players should perform with her indomitable drumming. From the start of the funky opening number, "The One , the drummer played with a relentless swirling energetic swing that clearly paid tribute to Williams while showing that she was her own woman, with a personal style deeply rooted in the jazz tradition. On "Curiosity she played with a continuous melodious musicality, filling in the spacious atmosphere surrounding Allen's dark legato tenor and Holmes' ethereal keyboards with rhythmic phrases that told intriguing little stories. Her authoritative solo on "# 1 , full of Africanisms, had the entire audience mesmerized as she demonstrated her virtuosic command of the drum kit. Blackman's playing breathed with fire, maintaining the music's energy when Holmes and Mitchell switched to their acoustic axes on the straight-ahead "Insight and then took off like a rocket to end the set with "Vuelta Abajo .

~ Russ Musto

Recommended New Listening:

· The Claudia Quintet — For (Cuneiform)

· Erik Deutsch — Fingerprint (Sterling Circle)

· Amir ElSaffar — Two Rivers (Pi)

· Bill McHenry — Roses (Sunnyside)

· Sacks/Opsvik/Maneri/Motian — Two Miles a Day (Loyal Label/Yeah Yeah)

· Maria Schneider — Sky Blue (ArtistShare)

-David Adler NY@Night Columnist, AllAboutJazz.com

· Muhal Richard Abrams — Vision Towards Essence (Pi)

· Marco Benevento — Live at Tonic (Ropeadope)

· Mikko Innanen & Innkvisitio — Paa-Da-Pap (TUM)

· Champian Fulton/David Berger & The Sultans of Swing — Champian (Such Sweet Thunder)

· Kaori Osawa — Aluminum (Leo)

· Aki Takase/Silke Eberhard — Ornette Coleman Anthology (Intakt)

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

· Adam Lane — Buffalo (Cadence Jazz)

· Chicago Tentet — American Landscapes 1 & 2 (Okkadisk)

· Sonore — Only The Devil Has No Dreams (Jazzwerkstatt)

· Steve Swell's Fire Into Music — Swimming in a Galaxy of Goodwill and Sorrow (Rogue Art)

· François Houle/Evan Parker/Benoît Delbecq — La Lumière de Pierres (Psi)

· Various Artists — The Harlem Experiment (Ropeadope)

-Andrey Henkin Editorial Director, AllAboutJazz-New York



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