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Live From New York

December 2008

By Published: December 6, 2008
Versatile violinist Jenny Scheinman, who has earned an impressive reputation for her work with a vast variety of artists—from Bill Frisell and Vinicius Cantuária to Norah Jones and Ani DiFranco— performed as a leader at Village Vanguard last month, fronting a new quartet with pianist Jason Moran, bassist Greg Cohen and drummer Rudy Royston, whose individual talents were particularly well-suited to interpreting her intriguingly idiosyncratic music. By the final night of the weeklong engagement (Nov. 1st) the band was seamlessly meshing in a manner that blurred roles of soloist and accompanist, giving each piece a multifaceted character that translated the leader's distinctive compositions into appealing narratives. The set, comprised predominantly of material from Scheinman's latest release Crossing The Field (Koch), opened with a new piece "Chiralee". It began with the violinist plucking a repeated three-note figure with Cohen's arco bass underpinning supplying a supple context for Moran's piano that took up Scheinman's introductory progression as she began bowing the song's main theme. Throughout the evening the players seemed to be particularly in tune to the context surrounding their improvisations, with each solo flowing logically from the previous one while still moving in unexpected directions. Scheinman's compositions (and her interpretation of Ellington's "Awful Sad") revealed that rare ability to translate everyday life into new music.

Myron Walden

Myron Walden, well known for his contributions on alto sax and bass clarinet to Brian Blade's Fellowship, the New Jazz Composers Octet and Jason Lindner's Big Band, let the spotlight shine strictly on his soulful tenor playing at The Jazz Gallery (Nov. 8th) where he unveiled his new band Country Fried, a down-home organ trio with Pascal Leboeuf on the house Hammond B-3 and Chris Brown behind the drums. The Florida-born reedman spoke of his "country" roots and the desire to expose some of his "hidden influences" with new music written for the group that reflected the popular sounds he heard growing up down South. From the opening notes of his "I Can't Do No More," a slow easy-grooving gospel-inflected original, it became obvious that the saxophonist's primary influence on the tenor was none other than the too often neglected Stanley Turrentine. (Later in the set Walden confirmed the notion, inviting the full house to a Monday night gig at Smalls with his band Stanley, a group devoted to the music of the late horn man.) Throughout the set of original music the leader emulated Turrentine's restrained intensity, laying back in mid-tempo grooves, building dynamics through the use of register changes and tonal variations, rather than the honking hysterics often associated with the genre. The young Leboeuf, a recent Bay Area transplant, handled the B-3's keys and pedals with assurance and Brown's drumming moved around the pocket nicely, serving Walden well.

—Russ Musto

Recommended New Listening:

* Bad Touch—Vol. 1: Like a Magic Kiss (s/r)

* Bill Carrothers—Home Row (Pirouet)

* Sean Conly—Re:Action (Clean Feed)

* James Moody/Hank Jones Quartet—Our Delight (IPO)

* William Parker Quartet—Petit Oiseau (AUM Fidelity)

* Angelica Sanchez—Life Between (Clean Feed)

—David Adler NY@Night Columnist,

* Isotope—Golden Section (Cuneiform)

* Jeff Johnson—Tall Stranger (Origin)

* Jim McAuley—The Ultimate Frog (Drip Audio)

* Larry Ochs/Miya Masaoka/Peggy Lee—Spiller Alley (Rogue Art)

* Bucky Pizzarelli and Strings—So Hard to Forget (Arbors)

* Sonny Rollins—Roadshows, Vol. 1 (Emarcy-Doxy)

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

* Tine Asmundsen/Richard Davis/Vidar Johansen/Robert Shy—Madison (Hazel Jazz)

* Henriette Groth/Lotte Anker—DuFugl (ILK)

* Devin Hoff—Solo Bass (s/r)

* Briggan Krauss' H-Alpha—Red Sphere (Skirl)

* Tony Malaby Cello Trio—Warblepeck (Songlines)

* The Misled Children—Meet Odean Pope (Porter)

* The Thing—Now and Forever (Boxed Set) (Smalltown Superjazz)

—Andrey Henkin Editorial Director, AllAboutJazz-New York

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