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...

2

Harvie S, Sheryl Bailey, Steve Johns: Nyack, NY, July 29, 2012

David A. Orthmann By

Sign in to view read count
Harvie S, Sheryl Bailey, Steve Johns
Nyack Jazz Week at the Turning Point Cafe
Piermont, NY
July 29, 2012

Sometimes auspicious events occur in unlikely circumstances. The last part of Nyack Jazz Week 2012 was billed as a closing night concert with surprise guests, followed by a jam session. Long before the first set began, some of the invited guests arrived, instruments in tow, eager to play. All of this activity forecast a night filled with familiar tunes, and lengthy solos of varying degrees of competence. But before the vagaries of jazz as democracy commenced, there was the matter of the debut of a cooperative trio comprised of bassist Harvie S, guitarist Sheryl Bailey, and drummer Steve Johns.

The trio's 45-minute set, short by today's standards, was filled with a splendid tension between individualism and group interplay. During S' affable improv on "An Unexpected Turn" (one of Bailey's three originals in the set), Johns weighed in with irregularly placed hits to the bass drum. Bailey's chords squirmed around S' impeccable lines and then landed squarely on top of each beat. While Johns' brushes held things in place on the head of "Masa's Bag," S nimbly played the melody in unison with the guitarist; the second time around he executed a conventional walking bass line. Bailey stayed right with S through his changes in dynamics in the middle of the bassist's "Off Minor" solo, and then she offered extra- musical support in the form of one syllable utterances and gleeful laughter.

Bailey doesn't fit into the ranks of persistent, notey plectrists; nor does she resemble those who are beholden to blues or rock orthodoxy. Moreover, clichés and easily recognizable improvisational strategies are nowhere to be found. Like her work throughout the rest of the set, a "For All Those Living" solo encompassed a great deal of information, as she juxtaposed single notes and chords in unpredictable ways. While restlessly making changes in phrasing and velocity, stability prevailed, as if she was working from a blueprint inside her head. Amidst Johns' persistent bass drum, Bailey wrung a series of keening notes from the instrument, followed by run-on singles and slick, groove oriented chords. Using a painterly approach to S' ballad-like "Before," she executed a brief brush stroke of a chord, pointed, high notes, and low rumbling tones. A coherent narrative was evident throughout all of this movement up and down the instrument.

In a time when casual, impromptu performances are rapidly becoming the norm, groups like this one, even in an embryonic state, are a godsend. S, Bailey, and Johns deserve more opportunities to cultivate their chemistry, and develop an even deeper sound. Here's hoping that more gigs, a recording, and widespread recognition are in the trio's future.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Bailey's Bundles
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Plucky Strum

Plucky Strum

Whaling City Sound
2015

buy
Cocolamus Bridge

Cocolamus Bridge

Blue Bamboo Music
2010

buy
Now Was The Time

Now Was The Time

Savant Records
2008

buy
Funky Cha

Funky Cha

Zoho Music
2006

buy
Texas Rumba

Texas Rumba

Zoho Music
2004

buy

Related Articles

Read The Magpie Salute At The Grand Point North Festival 2018 Live Reviews
The Magpie Salute At The Grand Point North Festival 2018
by Doug Collette
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Chris Isaak at The Paramount in Huntington, NY Live Reviews
Chris Isaak at The Paramount in Huntington, NY
by Christine Connallon
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Detroit Jazz Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Detroit Jazz Festival 2018
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Beethoven, Barber and Vivaldi at The Jazz Corner Live Reviews
Beethoven, Barber and Vivaldi at The Jazz Corner
by Martin McFie
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Bryan Ferry at the Macedonian Philharmonic Hall, Macedonia 2018 Live Reviews
Bryan Ferry at the Macedonian Philharmonic Hall, Macedonia...
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 16, 2018
Read Live From Birmingham: Dinosaur, Meatraffle, Hollywood Vampires, Black Asteroids & Paul Lamb Live Reviews
Live From Birmingham: Dinosaur, Meatraffle, Hollywood...
by Martin Longley
Published: September 16, 2018
Read "Atlanta Jazz Festival 2018" Live Reviews Atlanta Jazz Festival 2018
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 9, 2018
Read "Redwood City Salsa Festival 2017" Live Reviews Redwood City Salsa Festival 2017
by Walter Atkins
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "Jon Faddis at The Wheel" Live Reviews Jon Faddis at The Wheel
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 20, 2018
Read "Funchal Jazz Festival 2018" Live Reviews Funchal Jazz Festival 2018
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 26, 2018