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Winter Jazzfest, New York City, Day 2: January 8, 2011

Gordon Marshall By

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Carlo Derosa launched a bass solo reminiscent of Jimmy Garrison, but fleeter—more like Charlie Haden, perhaps. The theme came back with an African beat on drums. Hints of dissonance cropped up, as well as a time lag between sax and trumpet. There was a sound like a knock on a door, and then banging as if on pots and pans. It sounded like it was coming from Waits, but it was actually oudist Tawil, who had switched to percussion. Tawil then embarked on another oud solo, with a sitar-like quality and, for awhile, even tinges of guitarist Steve Howe, of heroic 1970s progressive rock group Yes. A brief sax solo was followed by a new theme and another sax/trumpet duet to end.



A nice post-bop solo started the next number over a pedal point. The playing was so tight and integrated that it was often hard to tell the instruments apart, despite how anomalous they were in form and nature. Amir sat down to play the zither-like santour and sing, as Waits laid out patiently behind a dark, plaintive warble. A rubato, carol-like harmonizing of trumpet and sax carried the tune forward, and eventually Waits hinted at a rolling beat that accumulated like a snowball.


Underground Horns

Underground Horns started its set with some Latin/New Orleans fusion and a Bo-Diddley beat propelling a 12-bar blues structure. Trumpeter Mike Irwin laid down a down-home funk line to a honky-tonk refrain, backed up by trombonist Kevin Moehringer. Welf Dorr then played a hot sax solo, after which percussionist Okai's djembe took over, along with Ibanda Ruhumbika's big and brassy tuba.

Uptown funk plus klezmer characterized the next number, with overtones reminiscent of John Zorn's Masada. More Latin inflections followed, bringing to mind a rainforest full of tropical fruit, an image bolstered by the tuba's perpetuated ostinato. A hard-bop trombone broke into more tropical percussion and marching band brass, like an acid-rock Big Ten halftime show. Irwin's trumpet solo was creative and filled with verve, mixing and matching curls, twists and turns. A very cool quartal vibe took the set out—and, with a few luminous, late-night exceptions, the 2011 Winter Jazzfest.

Photo Credit Dave Kaufman


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