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Live From New York

November 2009

By Published: November 8, 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
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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


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