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Live From New York

November 2009

By Published: November 8, 2009
Muhal Richard Abrams
Muhal Richard Abrams
Muhal Richard Abrams
b.1930
piano
and Fred Anderson
Fred Anderson
Fred Anderson
1929 - 2010
saxophone


Community Church of New York

New York, NY October 16, 2009

Muhal Richard Abrams
Muhal Richard Abrams
Muhal Richard Abrams
b.1930
piano
and Fred Anderson
Fred Anderson
Fred Anderson
1929 - 2010
saxophone
are not quite of the same island. The same Chicago archipelago, sure, but Anderson has more hovered around than been an active member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). He was there at the beginning, but has largely followed his own path and in fact he and Abrams (one of the founding members) hadn't played in duet together for some 30 years before their Oct. 16th set as part of the AACM series at the Community Church. They opened, seemingly somehow fittingly, with a casual back and forth, Abrams tastefully depressing the piano's sustain pedal to give dramatic reverberation to Anderson's powerful and proximate tenor. There and throughout, Abrams proved a remarkably sensitive playing partner, stopping to listen and configuring anew every few minutes, snapping short heavy chords or quick clusters or even sometimes letting a sole triad suffice. Ten minutes in they hit a stride that wouldn't stop, a bronco of a duo glued together by sheer force and it was great then to hear Abrams improvising free and heavy. And while let it be said that Anderson hasn't softened with age, there has been a new quietude in his playing of late, something more pensive, rather surprising and quite beautiful. It's an unexpected vantage on a firebrand player, a sort of meditation within the furies. When he and Abrams entered those areas, it made for the most memorable music of the night.



AUM Fidelity Showcase

Abrons Arts Center

New York City

October 15, 2009

AUM Fidelity marked its 12th year of doing fine business at Abrons Arts Center Oct. 15th with a night featuring the label's first two signings and its most recent. But more than a birthday party it was a warm welcoming to David S. Ware

David S. Ware
David S. Ware
1949 - 2012
sax, tenor
, making his first appearance on stage since receiving a kidney transplant. Noticeably thinner and walking with a cane, Ware demonstrated that any weakness he might have been feeling wasn't affecting his playing. He not only took the set alone, but with an unusual battery of horns. Opening on the saxello, he switched for the second piece to the tricky and unwieldy stritch. Here he faltered only slightly, regaining composure within the first minute and proceeding to construct an improvisation like an ambidextrous bricklayer, setting small groupings of notes and then repeating, building in both directions. He closed the short, strong set on his main sax, the tenor, by now easily moving into circular breathing and upper register punctuation. Saxophonist Darius Jones
Darius Jones
Darius Jones

sax, alto
has been playing in Cooper-Moore's groups and employed his boss in his trio, who played a more aggressive but every bit as satisfying a set as that documented on their debut CD. William Parker
William Parker
William Parker
b.1952
bass, acoustic
's Little Huey Orchestra, who haven't been seen on stage for four years, played a long suite built largely around its six saxophones, including Rob Brown
Rob Brown
Rob Brown
b.1962
saxophone
, perhaps Parker's strongest mouthpiece. Brown clearly articulated the hilltops and underground streams of Parker's extended piece.

—Kurt Gottschalk

Joe Wilder
Joe Wilder
Joe Wilder
b.1922
trumpet
All-Nite Soul


Saint Peter's Church

New York City

October 11, 2009

Oct. 11th marked the 44th anniversary of Saint Peter's (almost) All Nite Soul celebration, held this year in honor of trumpeter/photographer Joe Wilder
Joe Wilder
Joe Wilder
b.1922
trumpet
. Beginning with Jazz Vespers at 5 pm, with Arturo O'Farrill, his two sons, Ike and Misty Sturm, house pianist Paul Knopf and a church full of parishioners and musicians, the liturgy felt like an intimate gathering of the jazz community. The concert lineup featured the ministry's extended family of performers, octogenarians and teenagers alike, in 20 short sets that filled the lofty hall with inspired improvisation. Among many fine moments, there was: Frank Wess
Frank Wess
Frank Wess
1922 - 2013
sax, tenor
' laid-back and lyrical "Old Folks"; honoree Joe Wilder's coda to "I Got It Bad"; Ingrid Jensen
Ingrid Jensen
Ingrid Jensen
b.1966
trumpet
's interactive set (during which EMT's removed an ailing parishioner by stretcher while the combo played a prayer); Benny Powell
Benny Powell
Benny Powell
1930 - 2010
trombone
's swinging "Killer Joe"; Wycliffe Gordon
Wycliffe Gordon
Wycliffe Gordon
b.1967
trombone
's voice-like trombone; vocalist Tulivu's send-up of "Teach Me Tonight" with Ray Abrams' big band; Jimmy Owens
Jimmy Owens
Jimmy Owens
b.1943
trumpet
' four-trumpet octet playing a slowed-down unison arrangement of Wilder's recorded solo over "Cherokee"; Chanda Rule's acrobatic vocalese on "My Baby Just Cares for Me"; the Brooklyn Repertory Ensemble's tuba and mellophone enhanced "People Make the World Go Round"; Sarah McLawler's infectious "'Tis Autumn" and vibraphonist Chris Dingman's all-original set. Nearly ten hours later, Knopf returned to play a closing cadence for the dozen or so who made it to the end.

Jazz Foundation of America Benefit

Dizzy's Club

New York City

October 6th, 2009

Disheartened by Dennis Irwin's untimely demise last year due to late-diagnosed cancer, Wendy Oxenhorn and the Jazz Foundation of America have redoubled their efforts to provide musicians with healthcare. On Oct. 6th, Dizzy's Club donated the space, while John Scofield
John Scofield
John Scofield
b.1951
guitar
, Joe Lovano
Joe Lovano
Joe Lovano
b.1952
saxophone
and a stellar cast of colleagues gave of their time and talents. Sco and Lo kicked off the late set with two originals, "Ft. Worth," a funk-inflected modal tune, followed by "Since You Asked," displaying the close musical chemistry that the guitarist and saxophonist have cultivated through previous collaborations. Joey DeFrancesco
Joey DeFrancesco
Joey DeFrancesco
b.1971
organ, Hammond B3
sat in on the B3 organ for a full-baked blues that roused the crowd, prompting host Todd Barkan to remark, "The smokin' light is on!" A second section paired Brad Mehldau
Brad Mehldau
Brad Mehldau
b.1970
piano
with Lee Konitz
Lee Konitz
Lee Konitz
b.1927
sax, alto
, opening with a gradually recognizable rendition of "Cherokee," followed by "I Cover the Waterfront," the altoist removing the cloth from his bell for a fuller sound, the pianist weaving intricate cross-hand textures, gently closing with a "Jingle Bells" quote. The final group featured veteran vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson
Bobby Hutcherson
Bobby Hutcherson
b.1941
vibraphone
and pianist Cedar Walton
Cedar Walton
Cedar Walton
1934 - 2013
piano
, with Matt Wilson
Matt Wilson
Matt Wilson
b.1964
drums
on drums. Hutcherson worked the crowd, mugging and pretending to fumble for notes, then unleashing quicksilver fusillades of bell tones. Walton's solos, solidly sketched, counterpoised Hutcherson's dramatic riffing. Following "My Foolish Heart" and "I Mean You," Lovano joined them for a final blues.

—Tom Greenland

Evan Parker
Evan Parker
Evan Parker
b.1944
sax, tenor
& Milford Graves
Milford Graves
Milford Graves
b.1940
drums


The Stone

New York, NY

October 3, 2009

Saxophonist Evan Parker
Evan Parker
Evan Parker
b.1944
sax, tenor
began the fifth set of his 28-performance residency at The Stone (Oct. 3rd) in modest fashion, explaining to the wall-to-wall, floor-to-floor crowd how he had been listening to his partner for the evening, drummer Milford Graves
Milford Graves
Milford Graves
b.1940
drums
, since he was 18 (probably more like 20). It is possible to hear Graves' influence in a number of the drummers with whom Parker has played over the years: Louis Moholo, Han Bennink, Paal Nilssen-Love. But theirs is still a European aesthetic, one that Parker shares, while Graves is one of the fiercest proponents of American 'energy music.' So Parker's deference didn't just stop with his introduction; for four improvisations of descending length (10, 8, 7 and 3 minutes respectively), Parker set aside his masterful textures and spaciousness for the type of incendiary blowing more associated with Peter Brtzmann. As the waves of fury rolled over the steamy crowd, one could only wonder what the two would have sounded like together in 1970. Even for the second piece, when Graves switched to mallets, the effect was not a placid one as he soon was bashing with tympani-like intensity. Hand drumming and chanting from Graves (no dancing in such a confined space) elicited a rawer, bluesier side to Parker than usual. It was then quite a buzzkill when Stone proprietor John Zorn cut the set short due to the fire department presence outside. But maybe this was the ultimate compliment to a pair of flamethrowers like these.

Chick Corea
Chick Corea
Chick Corea
b.1941
piano
}


92nd Street Y

New York City

October 6, 2009

As Chick Corea

Chick Corea
Chick Corea
b.1941
piano
has approached his late 60s, the keyboardist has become seemingly nostalgic. Last year he restarted his on-again-off-again duet relationship with vibraphonist Gary Burton and, to the delight of cryonically-preserved fusioneers, embarked on a massive tour with the Return to Forever (RTF) quartet after an over-30-year layoff and started a new band with old Miles cohort John McLaughlin. Readers, however, should not get their hopes up for a Circle or Is/Sundance reunion anytime soon. But at 92nd Street Y (Oct. 6th), Corea indulged himself in another past endeavor, one he revisits all too infrequently: solo playing. Coming straight from a taping at the Jimmy Fallon show (!), Corea demonstrated quite effectively that all his genre- and format-hopping has never diluted his indelible sound. But he also does things strictly on his own terms so the chronologically varied crowd was treated to a first set of Corea playing mostly others: Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk and Bud Powell. And for the second portion of the evening, he went back even further, bringing out his living room practice material with Domenico Scarlatti and Alexander Scriabin. It was as if, after months of having to blare over electric instruments, Corea was happy to tread lightly, almost sprite-like in his touch. The stately proscenium of the venue gave the evening the air of a chamber concert, a feeling intensified by Corea's closing medley of music from his 1983 ECM album Children's Songs.

—Andrey Henkin

Joe Martin
Joe Martin
Joe Martin
b.1970
bass, acoustic


Jazz Standard

New York City

October 7, 2009

Bass players are the quintessential jazz sidemen—busy beatkeepers who spend the greater part of their time in the unselfish service of the music of groups led by horn players, pianists, vocalists and drummers. While the freedom from the pressures of leadership may be a key factor in allowing these stalwarts the focused stability to anchor even the most daring of bands, when one does step into the spotlight the music created is often refreshingly personal. Over the past decade and a half Joe Martin
Joe Martin
Joe Martin
b.1970
bass, acoustic
has shown himself to be not just a solid sideman, but also a capable leader and an inventive composer. At Jazz Standard (Oct. 7th) the bassist fronted a formidable unit, featuring saxophonist Mark Turner
Mark Turner
Mark Turner
b.1965
sax, tenor
, pianist Brad Mehldau
Brad Mehldau
Brad Mehldau
b.1970
piano
and drummer Marcus Gilmore, before an eager SRO crowd. Kicking things off with the leader's "Once Before" the quartet immediately demonstrated a cohesive rapport. With Mehldau leading off the solos with a typically intriguing harmonic excursion that did not sacrifice the song's bluesy feel and Turner following with a thoughtfully airy improvisation, Martin and Gilmore established a relaxed loping swing before taking their own turns. On "The Stoic," another original by the bassist, the four played with a finely nuanced subtlety while Jaco Pastorius' "The Balloon" and Monk's "Evidence" demonstrated the group's ability to play authoritatively from free to bop. The addition of Chris Potter for Martin's vamping "Cache" made for an electrifying finish.

Alexis Cuadrado
Alexis Cuadrado
Alexis Cuadrado
b.1971
bass


Jazz Gallery

New York City

October 2, 2009

Barcelona born bassist/composer Alexis Cuadrado
Alexis Cuadrado
Alexis Cuadrado
b.1971
bass
grew up enamored with '80s American pop music and MTV, ironically only developing his deep passion for his native country's flamenco tradition after emigrating to the US. His ambitious Noneto Ibérico, "a nine movement composition for nine musicians" that had its world premiere at the Jazz Gallery (Oct. 2nd), utilized—often discreetly—the different flamenco song forms known as palos for each of its individual sections. The bassist's engaging arrangements owed at least as much to the American jazz tradition as to the folk music of his homeland, dexterously melding sophisticated harmonies with the Spanish rhythms accented by percussionist Marc Miralta and drummer Mark Ferber
Mark Ferber
Mark Ferber

drums
. Much of the music drew its unique character from the refined interaction between the leader's elegant basslines and the distinctive chording of guitarist Brad Shepik
Brad Shepik
Brad Shepik

guitar
. Bolstered by the piano and keyboards of Dan Tepfer
Dan Tepfer
Dan Tepfer
b.1982
piano
, Cuadrado's orchestrations wove a multi-hued tapestry on top of which the nonet's horn section—saxophonists Loren Stillman
Loren Stillman
Loren Stillman
b.1980
sax, alto
and Perico Sambeat, trumpeter Avishai Cohen
Avishai Cohen
Avishai Cohen
b.1971
bass
and trombonist Alan Ferber
Alan Ferber
Alan Ferber

trombone
—blended in sonically surprising ways and improvised with inspired abandon. Sambeat was fiery on the second set's opening fandango "Very Well" and Stillman particularly fluent on the sole "Slo El Sol Siempre Solo," but it was Cuadrado's writing and the fluent ensemble playing that shined most brightly.

—Russ Musto

Recommended New Listening:

Gerald Clayton—Two-Shade (ArtistShare)

Graham Dechter—Right On Time (Capri)

Anne Drummond—Like Water (ObliqSound)

Terell Stafford-Dick Oatts Quintet—Bridging the Gap (Planet Arts)

Henry Threadgill's ZOOID—This Brings Us To, Volume 1 (Pi Recordings)

Miguel Zenon—Esta Plena (Marsalis Music)

—David Adler NY@Night Columnist, AllAboutJazz.com



Derek Bailey/Agust Fernndez—A Silent Dance (Incus)

Peter Brtzmann—Lost & Found (Solo) (FMP)

Piet Noordijk—Swinging with Strings (with The Metropole Orchestra) (Jazz'N Pulz)

Nuts (Rasul Siddik/Didier Lasserre/ Itaru Oki/Makoto Sato/Benjamin Duboc)—Symphony for Old and New Dimensions (Ayler)

Jesse Stacken/Kirk Knuffke—Mockingbird: The Music of Thelonious Monk & Duke Ellington (SteepleChase)

Gerald Wilson Orchestra—Detroit (Mack Avenue)

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

Digital Primitives—Hum Crackle & Pop (Hopscotch)

Dennis Gonzlez Yells at Eels—The Great Bydgoszcz Concert (Ayler)

Barry Guy London Jazz Composers Orchestra/Irne Schweizer —Radio Rondo/Schaffhausen Concert (Intakt)

Akira Sakata & Chikamorachi—Friendly Pants (Columbia-Family Vineyard)

Tony Wilson Sextet—The People Look Like Flowers at Last (Drip Audio)

John Zorn—O'o (Tzadik)

—Andrey Henkin Editorial Director, AllAboutJazz-New York


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