New York Beat

Nick Catalano has a beat on the Big Apple. Find out what's cookin' in NYC.

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Helio Alves and Duduka Da Fonseca: The Indomitable Brazilians

Read "Helio Alves and Duduka Da Fonseca: The Indomitable Brazilians" reviewed by Nick Catalano


Undeterred by the pandemic, camaradas Helio Alves and Duduka Da Fonseca continue their masterful musicianship in Gotham boîtes wearing masks as they consistently perform ever-fresh music from the Brazilian archives. Performing at Smalls Jazz Club on April 28 in front of stouthearted souls representing New York's proud jazz patronage while streaming the show for worldwide adherents, they once again displayed their knowledge and command of Brazilian composers and compositions. Both samba stalwarts have fronted various combos in their ...

Virtual Jazz: A Hallmark Achievement from Jazz at Lincoln Center

Read "Virtual Jazz: A Hallmark Achievement from Jazz at Lincoln Center" reviewed by Nick Catalano


Virtual reality and the concomitant world of digitalization has received remarkable new attention because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Every conceivable art or music entity usually presented in a live format has adapted the technology and audience responses everywhere are so favorable that this new approach will certainly continue to develop long after the present crisis ebbs. Of all the virtual musical programming experienced in the last weeks none has impressed more than the “Worldwide Concert for Our ...

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Eliane Elias: A Study in Longevity

Read "Eliane Elias: A Study in Longevity" reviewed by Nick Catalano


It must be more than 30 years or so since I went to the Blue Note to review a new vocalist/ pianist/ composer/ teacher who had just arrived from São Paulo with a musical entourage and extended family members. Inordinately glamorous and confidently poised, Eliane Elias sat at the piano playing the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim whose music was still in ascendancy in the U.S. The performance of this lithesome chanteuse who had begun playing as youngster, was enjoyable ...

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Canadian Jazz: Remembering Maynard Ferguson

Read "Canadian Jazz: Remembering Maynard Ferguson" reviewed by Nick Catalano


The recent Montreal Jazz Festival (read about it here) sparked many conversations hailing the evolution of the event in recent years and its growing importance for musicians everywhere. It certainly ranks among the best jazz convocations in the Western Hemisphere. The occasion of the festival offered me an opportunity to reflect on the history of Canadian jazz and my association with some of its leading exponents. The first name I thought of was Maynard Ferguson. My multiple associations ...

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92nd Street Y Jazz in July: The Music of Clifford Brown

Read "92nd Street Y Jazz in July: The Music of Clifford Brown" reviewed by Nick Catalano


The Y's Jazz in July programing this summer included an evening celebrating the music of Clifford Brown on July 23rd—a treat for me as it was one of the few such tributes I've seen since Oxford U. published my biography of Brownie over a decade ago. The production included a panorama of Brownie photos projected onto the stage's big screen and some knowledgeable commentary from the series' director Bill Charlap. The musical aggregation amassed for the evening included ...

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French Gypsy Jazz

Read "French Gypsy Jazz" reviewed by Nick Catalano


At various times since its origin, jazz has had an interesting claimant. The French have long maintained that the various musics leading up to the development of jazz in the early years of the 20th century contain Gallic seedlings....Their claim is justifiable. Without parsing the complex origins of the music one can simply make reference to the legendary Creole composer/ musicians led by Jelly Roll Morton and show how, because they were classically trained, they added new dimensions to the ...

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Gretchen Parlato at The Jazz Standard

Read "Gretchen Parlato at The Jazz Standard" reviewed by Nick Catalano


The New Year was dramatically ushered in at the Jazz Standard on January 2nd when Gretchen Parlato and her band wowed an SRO audience with some of the most prescient music of the season. No vocalist of recent vintage has garnered more acclaim than the brilliant chanteuse, transplanted from L.A. to Gotham awhile back. Grammy nominations, critical commendation from writers and musicians ("A singer with a deep, almost magical connection to the music." --Herbie Hancock, “There's no one out there ...


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