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Live From New York

May 2009

By Published: May 9, 2009
Anthony Coleman
Anthony Coleman
Anthony Coleman
b.1955
piano
& Marco Cappelli

Anthony Coleman & Marco Cappelli

The Stone

New York City

April 8, 2009

Anthony Coleman

Anthony Coleman
Anthony Coleman
b.1955
piano
was one of the group of musicians Italian guitarist Marco Cappelli commissioned to compose for his Extreme Guitar Project in 2002. The pieces he received were fittingly unusual for his instrument—an amplified classical guitar outfitted with eight sympathetic strings. Since that time, Cappelli has moved to New York and works often with his composers. But on April 8th at The Stone, Cappelli and Coleman to a degree reversed roles. It was the pianist who was using the preparations while Cappelli played a regular nylon-string guitar into a single microphone. Coleman was restless in arranging his objects, using erasers, tape and a brandy snifter against the strings. He at times left Cappelli to fend nakedly for himself, but when he found arrangements that contented him, he created unusually effective themes: jagged rags and rattling etudes. Coleman's encyclopedic knowledge of jazz and piano music makes hearing him using preparations (relatively uncommon for him) a treat. The alterations are just filters in his hands, they veil his playing without redefining the instrument. Cappelli proved adept at the two nylon-string traditions—Spanish and classical—and showed his independent study as well. His ably finger-picked patterns, massive strums and taut repetitions worked off an unpredictable sense for playing with, against and in isolation from the piano. Each played solo as well, but in duo they showed a sort of crotchety camaraderie. (KG)

—Kurt Gottschalk

Johnny Engle & Hakon Kornstad
Hakon Kornstad
Hakon Kornstad
b.1977
saxophone

Ingebrigt Håker Flaten & Håkon Kornstad

Monkeytown

Brooklyn

April 10, 2009

It was fitting that the US debut of bassist Johnny Engle

and saxophonist Hakon Kornstad
Hakon Kornstad
Hakon Kornstad
b.1977
saxophone
's exquisite Elise project—Flaten's arrangements of traditional Norwegian hymns sung by his grandmother—took place on Good Friday (April 10th). The setting, Williamsburg's Monkeytown, at first might have seemed less than devout but became its own little cathedral under the influence of the visiting Scandinavians. Facing each other, Flaten and Kornstad (tenor sax and fluteonette), gave more of a recital than a performance, the dynamics and textures demanding absolute silence. Monkeytown's layout has the performers in the center of the high-ceilinged room, playing inside four video screens. The visuals were provided by Norwegian artist Marius Watz and either bathed the duo in bright geometric light or consumed them in total darkness, only the glow from two candles illuminating them. This effect heightened the mysterious qualities of the music, beautiful melodies sparsely undertaken, Flaten avoiding the more boisterous adornment for which he is better known. Kornstad, who has previously engaged in elegant duo explorations with pianist Håvard Wiik, was an ideal partner, aesthetically as well as culturally. Elise was one of the most sublime albums of 2008 and lost little of its impact live. The only wish would be for a performance in an actual house of worship or perhaps the open air, allowing the spacious music room to expand further.

Tony Malaby
Tony Malaby
Tony Malaby

sax, tenor


Tony Malaby

Cornelia Street Cafe

New York City

April 12, 2009

The heart and pulse are often used as musical symbols for beat and rhythm. Make then what you will of saxophonist Tony Malaby

Tony Malaby
Tony Malaby

sax, tenor
's Exploding Heart with William Parker
William Parker
William Parker
b.1952
bass, acoustic
and Nasheet Waits
Nasheet Waits
Nasheet Waits
b.1971
drums
. His Double Heart Band, a conceptual variation of that group as well as his recent Cello Trio, performed a remarkable set at Cornelia Street Café Apr. 12th. That it was Easter Sunday may have subconsciously contributed to the solemnity of some of the music but more likely it was Malaby laying back, reveling in the double double basses of Norwegians Eivind Opsvik and Johnny Engle, two sides of the same kroner. When Malaby plays a set (solely on tenor in this case) with his eyes mostly shut, listeners should know they are seeing him at his most focused. That was the case during the first set as he either floated nebulously over the dense weave of the two uprights, communed with one or the other or just stood motionless, smiling at the thrum. Drummer Tom Rainey laid his rhythms adroitly between Flaten and Opsvik, punctuating Malaby's lines. Visually, the quartet seemed like a plane: Malaby in the cockpit, Rainey the crucial tailfin, the two bassists coasting through the air currents. The material was taken from the albums featuring Exploding Heart (Flaten subbed for Parker on a tour) and Cello Trio as well as four new pieces. Apart from the opener, the rest of the 65-minute set was played as a delicious medley, Malaby more interesting in braising than flambéing.

—Andrey Henkin

Joe Lovano
Joe Lovano
Joe Lovano
b.1952
saxophone
& Hank Jones
Hank Jones
Hank Jones
1918 - 2010
piano

Joe Lovano & Hank Jones

Birdland

New York City

April 8th, 2009



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