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Live From New York

August 2009

By Published: August 2, 2009
Since his earliest days as a leader Charles Lloyd
Charles Lloyd
Charles Lloyd
b.1938
saxophone
has demonstrated the rare ability to reach audiences outside of the jazz mainstream without in any way diluting his music's integrity. So his appearance at the Highline Ballroom (Jul. 3rd), a room that seldomly hosts jazz artists, was more of an anomaly for the popular youth palace than its veteran headliner. Lloyd turned in a characteristically eclectic set, kicking things off on tarogato, a soprano sax-like instrument, improvising a solo that blended Indian music and straight-ahead jazz in the manner of which he is one of the greatest living masters. Switching to tenor saxophone for a poignant reading of Billy Strayhorn's "Bloodcount," he exhibited the alluring personal sound, rooted deeply in his love of both Lester Young and John Coltrane, which is at the heart of his appeal. With his feet planted firmly and upper body swaying with the rhythm he blew passionately over his band of young veterans—pianist Jason Moran
Jason Moran
Jason Moran
b.1975
piano
, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland
Eric Harland
Eric Harland
b.1976
drums
—whose sensitive interaction with each other and their leader resulted in an almost constant flow of magical moments during the set of mostly Lloyd originals that followed. The pastoral beauty of "Blow Wind" and "Tone Poem" gave way to the Latin feel of "Passin' Thru" and Silvio Rodríguez' ballad "Rabo de Nube," earning the group a standing ovation, after which they returned to play "The Water Is Wide" and a final flute feature, "Booker's Garden".

Billy Harper
Billy Harper
Billy Harper
b.1943
saxophone


MOMA Sculpture Garden

New York, NY

July 12, 2009

An overflow crowd spilled out along 54th Street to hear the Billy Harper
Billy Harper
Billy Harper
b.1943
saxophone
Quintet's performance in the Museum of Modern Art's sculpture garden (Jul. 12th). Harper, who has a compositional style as distinct and grand as his colossal Texas tenor tone, presented a program that filled the Museum's canyon-like outdoor oasis with rhythmically charged music that made for a truly memorable New York summer night. With the powerful trumpeter Freddie Hendrix filling out the frontline and perennial quintet constituents Francesca Tanksley and Clarence Seay, on piano and bass, joined by McCoy Tyner alumnus Aaron Scott on drums, the band set the mood for the evening with the leader's "Illumination," a pulsating tune mixing modal and straight-ahead improvisational lines by the composer; his exciting register-leaping solo had people cheering wildly both in the garden and on the street outside. Following with "Africa Revisited," a reworking of Coltrane's "Africa" (featuring a fiery recitation by Amiri Baraka on the band's newest CD), and a dramatic stoptime arrangement of the standard "My Funny Valentine," the saxophonist displayed the rare ability to make even the most familiar material his own. This was again made evident with his "Soran Bushi, B.H.," an original inspired by a Japanese folk melody that combined legato and staccato lines in an intoxicating brew of East-meet-West lyricism that elicited vocal approval from the audience that grew even louder following the set closer "Priestess".

—Russ Musto

Recommended New Listening:

* Fred Anderson—Staying in the Game (Engine)

* Ralph Bowen—Dedicated (Posi-Tone)

* James Falzone's Klang—Tea Music (Allos Documents)

* Nicole Mitchell's Black Earth Strings—Renegades (Delmark)

* Edward Simon Trio—Poesía (CAMJazz)

* Jack Wilkins—Until It's Time (MAXJAZZ) —David Adler NY@Night Columnist, AllAboutJazz.com



* Mon David—Coming True (FreeHam)

* Ayelet Rose Gottlieb—Upto Here | From Here (Obliqsound)

* The Inbetweens—Quantum Cowboy (Layered)

* Masada Quintet—Book of Angels, Vol. 12: Stolas (feat. Joe Lovano) (Tzadik)

* Herb Robertson/Mark Solborg—[NOD · ] (ILK Music)

* TriBeCaStan—Strange Cousin (Evergreene Music)

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

* Darcy James Argue's Secret Society—Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam)

* Michiel Braam's Wurli Trio—Non-Functionals! (BBB)

* Anthony Braxton + Italian Instabile Orchestra—Creative Orchestra (Bolzano) 2007 (Rai Trade)

* Brötzmann/Kondo/Pupillo/Nilssen-Love—Hairy Bones (Okkadisk)

* The New Mellow Edwards—Big Choantza (Skirl)

* Nate Wooley/David Grubbs/Paul Lytton—Seven Storey Mountain (Important)

—Andrey Henkin Editorial Director, AllAboutJazz-New York


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