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

Live From New York

March 2010

By Published: February 28, 2010
Celebrating the recent publication of his long awaited autobiography, I Walked With Giants, Jimmy Heath returned to the roots he recounts so well in the book, leading a hard-swinging big band. Fronting an allstar aggregation of 16 of New York's finest players at the Blue Note, the master saxophonist played a second-night second set (Feb. 3rd) that highlighted his considerable abilities as a conductor and composer, as well as an instrumentalist. Kicking the show off with his "Trane Connection," a dedication to John Coltrane, who spent a formative period in the sax section of the leader's first Philadelphia big band, Heath was unabashed in displaying his delight as he indulged in the infrequent opportunity to direct the ensemble (powered by the rhythm section of his regular pianist and bassist—Jeb Patton
Jeb Patton
Jeb Patton
b.1974
piano
and David Wong
David Wong
David Wong

bass
—and the irrepressible Lewis Nash
Lewis Nash
Lewis Nash
b.1958
drums
on drums) through rarely heard arrangements. Bouncing around the stage with youthful exuberance that belied his age, the 83-year-old saxophonist threw his whole body into his conducting, pointing emphatically to the individual soloists (including trumpeter Roy Hargrove
Roy Hargrove
Roy Hargrove
b.1969
trumpet
and alto saxophonist Antonio Hart
Antonio Hart
Antonio Hart
b.1968
saxophone
) to take their turns, waving his hands at the various horn sections as he regulated their dynamics and prodded them to riff with swinging intensity. Turning to the audience for his own solos, the tone emanating from his horn, unduly large in comparison to his small frame, filled the house with the sound of joy.

Butch Morris
Butch Morris
Butch Morris
1947 - 2013
cornet


The Stone & Nublu

New York City

February 1, 2010

Music visionary Butch Morris commemorated the 25th anniversary of his pioneering conduction process, the musical sign language he has developed to construct and modify "sonic possibilities" in the moment, with a busy Monday night (Feb. 1st) that epitomized the expansive nature of the innovative technique. Beginning the evening at The Stone, Morris first delivered an informative lecture/demonstration illustrating many of the signals and gestures related to various musical elements he employs to direct musicians—in this case the members of a recently formed string octet—in the creation and development of a work specific to its temporal environment. After a brief performance of the newly-developed piece, Morris made his way up Avenue C for a conduction of the Nublu Orchestra at the club from which the band takes its name. A mutating ensemble made up of a diverse assemblage of players well acquainted with Morris' unique approach to what could be described as spontaneous composition, this evening the group featured the electric guitars of Doug Wieselman and Thor Madsen, with Fender bassist Michael Kiaer and drummers Kenny Wollesen and Daniel Jodocy, giving it a rocking sound in sharp contrast to the 'classical' bent of the Stone octet, confirming the wide ranging relevance of the conduction concept. With cornetist Graham Haynes
Graham Haynes
Graham Haynes
b.1960
cornet
and tenorist Ilhan Ersahin in the tentet's horn section, Morris pushed and prodded the players on to newfound heights of creativity.

—Russ Musto

Recommended New Listening:

Dan Blacksberg Trio—Bit Heads (NoBusiness)

Matt Davis' Aerial Photograph—Ways and Means (VanDolah)

Orrin Evans—Faith In Action (Posi-Tone)

Jaga Jazzist—One-Armed Bandit (Ninja Tune)

Paul Meyers Quartet featuring Frank Wess—Eponymous (Sunnyside)

Paul Motian/Chris Potter/Jason Moran—Lost In a Dream (ECM)

—David Adler NY@Night Columnist, AllAboutJazz.com



Juhani Aaltonen Quartet—Conclusions (TUM)

Alexis Cole—Someday My Prince Will Come (Venus)

Prince Lasha Ensemble—Insight (CBS-Dusty Groove America)

Sabir Mateen—Urdla XXX (Rogue Art)

Jemeel Moondoc—Muntu Recordings (NoBusiness)

Paul Motian/Chris Potter/Jason Moran—Lost In a Dream (ECM)

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

Jeff Chan—Horns of Plenty (Asian Improv)

Nels Cline Singers—Initiate (Cryptogramophone)

John Ellis & Double Wide—Puppet Mischief (Obliqsound)

Dan Levinson's Trans-Atlantic Saxette—Ghosts of the Saxophone (Stomp Off)

New York Art Quartet—Old Stuff (Cuneiform)

Sajanu—Pechiku!! (Tzadik)

—Andrey Henkin Editorial Director, AllAboutJazz-New York


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