All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

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...

1

David Amram 87th Birthday Celebration at the Falcon

Mike Jurkovic By

Sign in to view read count
David Amram Quartet
The Falcon
87th Birthday Celebration
Marlboro, NY
December 3, 2017

Ever a celebration of our true angel hearts and creative selves, David Amram's irrepressible spirit (he did turn 87 on November 17th) and margin-mashing musical journey (Phil Och's "When I'm Gone" as a sweet jazz standard anyone?) made this, as it does and all his concert appearances, a glowing testimonial not only to his colorful and tireless history, but to our own sense of self in a Twitter-storm world.

After introducing his band -bassist Rene Hart, drummer Kevin Twigg, and son/percussionist Adam Amram—Amram then boarded us into his time machine to stop just about precisely 1955 when, while playing with Charles Mingus he met Sonny Rollins who played him "St. Thomas" and the night began with a dancing world beat, Amram blowing his twin pan flutes, banging the beat on cowbell, piano bench, anything within reach. "Creativity is resistance,"we both agreed earlier in the evening when we spoke, and he set about showing how music is found everywhere. "Waltz From After The Fall" the music he wrote for Arthur Miller's 1964 play of the same name, expanded the waltz to its limits with Hart holding down the winding groove as the maestro explored his piano, digging deeper into his melody.

As is his way of connecting everything and everyone, Amram's stories abounded. Sincere and self deprecating ("who knew my speedometer would go this long") he told of his first NY Philharmonic residency (he was days away from taking a job with the post office when the letter came from Leonard Bernstein; arguing that all music belonged in classical music with Eugene Ormandy; joking about Allen Ginsberg blocking the exits to sell his books; and of course his life-affirming friendships with Woody Guthrie and Jack Kerouac. Intro'ing Woody's elegiac "Pastures of Plenty" with whispers of bass and percussion, Amram took to the Chinese hulusi, a traditional gourd wind instrument, to state the theme before taking his seat at the piano to construct a slow, rolling blues, singing the still triumphant lyrics " We'll work in this fight and we'll fight till we win." He then set the stage for an elongated, beat shifting, rap crazy, and glockenspiel solo (courtesy of Kevin Twigg) theme to the Beat Generation "Pull My Daisy." "Never let good taste stand in the way of good fun," he advised, before recalling Fidel Castro roasting chickens in Harlem (1960) and his musical jaunt to Cuba with Dizzy Gillespie in '77, then jammed on a Cuban beat while urging the audience to clap along. "Anytime you get a chance to do something beautiful, do it," he advised, before a stunningly honest and emotional reading of Louis Armstrong's "Wonderful World" assured that giants still walk this battered, wonderful world.

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Georg Breinschmid at Hong Kong City Hall Live Reviews
Georg Breinschmid at Hong Kong City Hall
by Rob Garratt
Published: August 20, 2018
Read Copenhagen Jazz Festival 2018: The Community Series at Koncertkirken Live Reviews
Copenhagen Jazz Festival 2018: The Community Series at...
by Henning Bolte
Published: August 19, 2018
Read Sligo Jazz Project 2018: Days 1-2 Live Reviews
Sligo Jazz Project 2018: Days 1-2
by James Fleming
Published: August 18, 2018
Read Alan Broadbent Trio at the Deer Head Inn Live Reviews
Alan Broadbent Trio at the Deer Head Inn
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 15, 2018
Read Flow Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Flow Festival 2018
by Anthony Shaw
Published: August 14, 2018
Read Shipp / Lowe / Baker / Ray at Le Poisson Rouge Live Reviews
Shipp / Lowe / Baker / Ray at Le Poisson Rouge
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 13, 2018
Read "Danny Green Trio at the Lily Pad" Live Reviews Danny Green Trio at the Lily Pad
by Doug Hall
Published: June 23, 2018
Read "Nik Bärtsch's Ronin at (Le) Poisson Rouge" Live Reviews Nik Bärtsch's Ronin at (Le) Poisson Rouge
by Tyran Grillo
Published: May 11, 2018
Read "Mary Fahl at The Cutting Room" Live Reviews Mary Fahl at The Cutting Room
by Tyran Grillo
Published: November 11, 2017