Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


April 2009

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Edward Simon

Ed Simon Trio

Village Vanguard

New York City March 1, 2009

In any circumstance, it would be worth hitting the Village Vanguard to hear Edward Simon (Mar. 1st), one of the most gifted pianists of our day. But the presence of guest saxophonist Mark Turner—back in undiminished form after a potentially career-ending hand injury—made the night all the more resonant. Flanked by bassist Ben Street and drummer Adam Cruz (Danilo Perez' longtime rhythm section), Simon and Turner proved an inspired match, reaching well back into Turner's songbook to open with the mid-tempo, elliptically swinging "Mesa". Simon's ambitious two-part treatment of "Alma Llanera," a joropo classic from his native Venezuela, spanned a large portion of the set, ranging from bright 3/4 swing with ornate melodies to a dark minor-key theme centered on a six-note bass riff, sparking Simon's most dramatic improvising of the night. The best full-band feature, however, was the bebop classic "Woody 'n You," heavily reharmonized until Simon and Turner reverted to the original changes for furious trading in double-time, giving way to Cruz' powerful drum solo. To close, the band grew to a quintet, with alto saxophonist David Binney joining for "La Bikina," the title track from Simon's 1998 release (on Binney's Mythology label). Horns filled the room with an airy unison line in 6/8 and Binney's solo was scorching, inexorably climbing. Turner took his vertiginous turn only later, when a new, sunnier series of vamp chords brought the tune home.

SFJAZZ Collective

SFJazz Collective

Allen Room

New York City

March 7, 2009

With the towering glass wall of the Allen Room as a backdrop, the SFJazz Collective (Mar. 7th) continued its practice of juxtaposing new music and classic work by a particular jazz great. The focus was McCoy Tyner but the tunes were not the expected ones. Drawing from such corners of the Tyner discography as Focal Point, Today and Tomorrow and Fly with the Wind, the band—currently a septet in the absence of vibraphonist Stefon Harris—brought a texture of grit and gravel to the songs (each member contributed one Tyner arrangement and one original). Pianist Renee Rosnes cooled down the '70s excesses of "Fly with the Wind" only to unleash more of its inherent grandeur. Bassist Matt Penman took a vivid contrapuntal approach to the waltz "Three Flowers," while trombonist Robin Eubanks fused "Indo-Serenade" and "Parody" into a two-part tour de force featuring himself, trumpeter Dave Douglas and drummer Eric Harland. The latter's treatment of "Consensus" began with Rosnes' affecting rubato and worked up to a burning tenor solo from Joe Lovano. Of the originals, Lovano's "Jazz Free" was the most adventurous, interweaving brief yet searching solos from each player in a loose thematic framework. "Sycamore," by Douglas, a dusky ballad, progressed through several time feels, setting up Lovano and altoist Miguel Zenon for some charged interplay. Zenón's "No Filter" made for a hot finale, a four-horn chorale ushering in a deceptive calm before a ferocious Latin-tinged storm.

—David R. Adler

Ned Rothenberg & Paolo Angeli

Ned Rothenberg & Paolo Angeli

Issue Project Room


March 9, 2009

Ned Rothenberg and Paolo Angeli had only played together once prior to their set at Issue Project Room (Mar. 9th), but it was an intense meeting: a series of duo and trio combinations with Evan Parker, documented on Free Zone Appleby 2007 (Psi). The encounter, however, only hinted at what they would find in Brooklyn. Angeli's Sardinian guitar is outfitted like some sort of bionic viola de gamba, with one set of strings hovering above the proper ones and a third set running horizontally across, with a complex system of pedals, springs, hammers, pickups and electronic effects that make for a never-ending elasticity in sound. But Angeli is not all bells and whistles: one high-speed solo passage showed a remarkable flair for jazz guitar, with walking bass and bopping, distorted lead. He was never overly busy, which left plenty of room for the accompaniment of clarinet and saxophone. Rothenberg is not just a remarkably talented player, but a strikingly sensible one as well. One could imagine throwing a bucket of bolts down a stairwell and him responding "Oh, I know that song" and playing along, creating something fresh yet familiar. That he could even keep momentum on essentially monophonic instruments, much less be equally variegated alongside Angeli's ever-mutating orchestration, even conjuring some Ayler screams on bass clarinet, was testament to his inventiveness. Through the long set they were always moving forward, yet never lost.

Kai Fagaschinski & Michael Thieke

Kai Fagaschinski & Michael Thieke

Experimental Intermedia


March 6, 2009


comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Live From New York: Wayne Escoffery, Mingus Big Band, Tomas Fujiwara, Mara Rosenbloom & The Ron Carter Big Band Live From New York
Live From New York: Wayne Escoffery, Mingus Big Band, Tomas...
by Martin Longley
Published: July 7, 2018
Read Live From New York: Sabir Khan, Steve Smith, Billy Childs, Pamelia Stickney & Sam Amidon Live From New York
Live From New York: Sabir Khan, Steve Smith, Billy Childs,...
by Martin Longley
Published: July 4, 2018
Read Live From New York: Meredith Monk, Will Mason & The Fabulous Thunderbirds Live From New York
Live From New York: Meredith Monk, Will Mason & The...
by Martin Longley
Published: May 10, 2018
Read Live From New York: Alvin Curran, Ben Perowsky, David Tronzo, John Medeski, Tim Berne, David Torn & Hank Roberts Live From New York
Live From New York: Alvin Curran, Ben Perowsky, David...
by Martin Longley
Published: April 27, 2018
Read Live From New York: Four Dimensions, Maqueque & Asaf Yuria Live From New York
Live From New York: Four Dimensions, Maqueque & Asaf...
by Martin Longley
Published: April 2, 2018
Read Live From New York: Sō Percussion, Jack Quartet, Mette Rasmussen, Tashi Dorji & Godspeed You! Black Emperor Live From New York
Live From New York: Sō Percussion, Jack Quartet, Mette...
by Martin Longley
Published: March 25, 2018