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All About Jazz: The web's most comprehensive jazz resource

Live From New York

November 2009

By Published: November 8, 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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