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Concert Reviews (826)

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The evening began with a quiet acoustic bass solo by Andy LaCloud. As the solo intensified in volume and complexity, Savion Glover walked onto the stage and joined in, matching Andy’s rhythms and melodies with precision. This intricate duet set the tone for a set of amazing tap dance and jazz pieces that were choreographed to allow each member of this quintet to improvise over a set of jazz themes composed mainly by John Coltrane. The second piece had a Hammond B-3 sound provided by Tommy Jam
It was an exciting evening. I was going to see Pablo Menendez, an incredibly unique guitarist and songwriter, whom I was only recently exposed to. Pablo was born in Oakland but went to school in Cuba in 1966 to study art at Escuela Nacional de Arte at the tender age of 14. He got married, raised a family and has made this island nation his home ever since. Promoting a hot, new record (CD release party) with unbelievable compositions, half penned by Pablo, he took NYC by storm. His opening select
The year 2005 proved to be a landmark year for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, that featured many powerful and talented artist who performed for an attentive audience during my visit for the 1st weekend of JazzFest, April 22nd April 24th. The 2005 JazzFest was held on the Fairgrounds Race Track from April 22-May 1st. The national advertisement stated "calling JazzFest a musical festival is like calling gumbo soup." There is a lot of truth to this statement when you consider all
Whenever the Pat Metheny Group comes to Houston, jazz beginners and connoisseurs alike hit the ground running to secure tickets for what many have call a superlatively moving jazz experience. Every now and again, Pat Metheny and his band come to the city to highlight their latest odyssey into the unknown parameters of sight and sound. If anyone has ever experienced a Pat Metheny concert, it is a well-known fact that the light show is superb and the musical augmentation celestial. A
Whenever the idea of bringing quality jazz entertainment to Houston is discussed, one of the first names on the minds of most is Da Camera of Houston. As a leading edge organization, Da Camera is responsible for providing some of the finest chamber, classical and jazz music to the city during any given calendar year. In addition, Da Camera takes great pride in doing something very few organizations will do on a consistent basis. Every year, Da Camera showcases top-notch jazz artists in an
Blues guitarist prodigy Jimmy Bowskill guest-hosted the recent Thursday Special Guest Night at Healey’s in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, March 10th, 2005. Bowskill as many already know, is an amazingly gifted blues guitar player and vocalist .. who’s only 14 years old; but who plays guitar and sings the blues as good as many artists decades older with years more performing experience behind them. His voice has dropped an octave in the little more than two years since he w

Butch Morris Band Big

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Many jazz aficionados remember Butch Morris’ cornet playing from his work with saxophone legend David Murray, appearing on such seminal recordings as Flowers for Albert, Let the Music Take You and The London Concert. However, it is his work as a conductor that was being celebrated during Black History month. Every Tuesday evening in February at 7:00pm the Knitting Factory in NYC presented BLACK FEBRUARY: 20 Years of Conduction - BUTCH MORRIS Conducts Band Big. On February 8, Band Big featured an
Savina Yannatou is a singer from Greece who has background in classical (baroque/Renaissance era), folk music of Europe & the Middle East, and jazz/free improv. She and her band endeavor to unpretentiously weave all these strands together for a tapestry virtually [hyperbole alert!] unparalleled in modern music. Ms. Yannatou’s vocal talents had the breadth of an unusually eclectic ethnomusicologist, the chops of Patty Waters, Diamanda Galas, Joan La Barbara, and (dare I say) Yoko Ono and most imp
Julian Fauth & Chain Gang are the full band version of the great solo and duo shows that Fauth and fellow bluesman/harp player Wayne Charles perform for audiences far and wide. Fauth is a Maple Blues-nominated piano player who’s equally adept on 6-string guitar in the Robert Johnson school of authentic roots blues. Charles, his harp playing sidekick of several years, along with Fauth put on a blues show reminiscent of duos from the ‘20s in the U.S. deep
The Orbit Room in Toronto, Ontario -- known for its high caliber of funk, R&B and blues -- came up with a stellar all-star cast of musicians on Tuesday, May 25, 2004. Guitarist Domenic Troiano (hailed as one of the very best to come out of the Toronto Sound music explosion of the mid-‘60s in Canada), along with the other awesome players this night, created a true, modern-day musical masterpieces, in two mind-boggling 90-minute sets that e
Those who love big band jazz have slim pickins these days. Other than the excellent Dave Holland Big Band that had graced the Kennedy Center stage a couple of weeks earlier, since Toshiko Akiyoshi/Lew Tabackin called it quits last year, there is not much going on apart from the ghost orchestras (Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie), the retro experiments at Lincoln Center, occasional recordings by such as Gerald Wilson, and local groups such as Carol Sudhalter's Astor
The Nyumburu Cultural Center has been a part of the University of Maryland College Park for 27 years, providing a program of "black social, cultural and intellectual interaction," including lectures, seminars, art exhibits, workshops in the dramatic arts, dance, music and creative writing. Academic courses in blues, jazz, gospel music performance and creative writing are also offered. Nyumburu, ("freedom house" in Swahili) produces the Black Explosion Newspaper and is also home to
With a master’s degree in music earned at "The Manhattan School of Music," and some top-notch recordings to her credit, Baum’s muse is heavily influenced by Stravinsky and Bartok. But there’s no doubt about it, Baum’s compositions are snuggly rooted within the modern jazz vernacular, while affording her soloists’ ample stretching room. Trumpeter Ralph Alessi displayed a blistering attack along with some impressive bass clarinet and alto sax work by Douglas Yates. However, Baum’s arrangements
The Southport Melodic Jazz Club's inaugural winter weekend event will live long in the memories of those lucky enough to be there. Capping a fantastic three days of performances at the English seaside resort's Royal Clifton Hotel was Detroit-born pianist Kirk Lightsey, whose link up with UK tenor man Bobby Wellins had jazz fans roaring their approval. The Melodic Jazz Club has a knack of bringing together explosive musicians, lighting the blue-touch paper and tiptoeing to a safe distance a
The Second Annual Kid Bastien Forever New Orleans Jazz Party, was celebrated in a big way at Toronto’s Grossman’s Tavern,, for two thoroughly musical days and nights, Fri. and Sat. Feb. 5-6, 2005, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. In a fun way, it kept the memory alive of trumpet player extraordinaire, Kid Bastien, whose upbeat jazz band the Happy Pals, played the weekly Saturday jazz matinee at Grossman’s to
One of the busiest drummers in jazz, and one of its most important, Jack DeJohnette appears to be even busier than usual in 2005. DeJohnette is involved in a number of high-profile projects, including significantly the launch of his own record label, Golden Beams, which will release two percussion-based albums in April. And of course, he continues to tour worldwide with the Keith Jarrett Trio, as he has for more than 20 years. DeJohnette has premiered his own quartet that includes Danilo

Bathing in Burrell

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The Northampton, Massachusetts Center for the Arts was the venue for the last of three concerts in the annual "A World of Piano Series". The artist for the last concert was Dave Burrell. Alone and sitting at a piano in the front of a mid-size room, Burrell captivated the packed house with the sound he produced with his exceedingly long, lithe fingers which when they touch the keyboard become a logical extension of it. Logical, but more importantly, human. It is important to Burrell that hi
Michael Kasehammer Trio, Feb. 25, Winnipeg, Canada Last night, German-born, Vancouver-based jazz pianist sensation Michael Kasehammer played what looked like a packed house at the West End Cultural Centre with bassist Marc Rogers and drummer Ben Riley. This was his first Winnipeg appearance since playing a small club show (the Liberty Grill) and opening for the Neville Brothers at Pantages Playhouse Theatre, last June at the Jazz Winnipeg Festival. I had not heard about Kasehammer until a co
A person’s 65th birthday is a special occasion; upon reaching such a milestone, a celebration is certainly in order. For some folks, turning 65 means an imminent retirement and the chance to finally get that senior discount at IHOP. Veteran soul singer and songwriter Leon Ware is a little different; having at last reached his golden years, not only is his career not winding down, it actually seems to be still gathering steam. His performance at Catalina Bar & Grill in Hollywood on February 16th,
Downtown Washington was eerily quiet this Saturday evening, the streets almost deserted following an earlier snowstorm. Moving around was still difficult and most people were smart and stayed home. But the lure of seeing an artist who had swept five Down Beat polls (bass, arranger, small group, big band, CD of the year) was too much and I managed to make it to the Terrace Theater at the Kennedy Center to hear Dave Holland's Big Band play selections from their most recent CDs, What Goes