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Concert Reviews (849)

Nothing beats experiencing live jazz music as its being created right in front of you.  Stop here for reviews of your favorite jazz artists live and in concert.

On February 9 at the Iron Horse in Northampton, Ma., the stage was occupied by two top performers in the avant garde idiom of jazz-Matthew Shipp, on piano, and William Parker, on bass. Shipp met Parker 15 years ago and expressed a desire to play with him. Shipp's desire was fulfilled and they have played together numerous times in various group situations ever since. Despite the difference in their age, Shipp commands his instrument with finesse and sophistication that begins to match Parker's m
The second in the series of Amherst Mtghouse Concerts, put on by Michael Ehlers, took place last night to a full house crowd. The group, OTHER DIMENSIONS IN MUSIC (led by Roy Campell, brass; with Rashid Bakr, drums; Daniel Carter, reeds; and William Parker, bass), performed in keeping with its name. Accompanied by Matthew Shipp at the piano, the basic quartet played a one-hour long first set; the group, not to mince words here, simply jumped in. Carter, on tenor, and Campell, on trumpet, seem
29.01.2011

Steve Lacy: In Concert

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Last night to an intimate, appreciative audience, Steve Lacy and trio, made up of Jean-Jacques Avenel on bass and John Betsch on drums, revealed nothing but jewel-like precision , which is Lacy's total concern and has been ever since he began playing. The concert began with a Monk tune so fluidly rendered by the group that it proved an easy entrance into the growing intensity that filled the remainder of the evening. The next tune, Lacy's "The Bath", delivered a wonderful lilting and breath o
A saxophone quartet can be very dangerous territory for the ears to wander into. When it 'works', it can be very, very good and when it doesn't, it can be very, very bad. Four saxes with no bass or drums could be a really crazy, out-there trip for the adventurous listener's ears. With a traditional rhythm section, there comes certain expectations for structure along with the melodic aspect provided through the 'out-front' instruments like horns, guitars, etc. The possibilities, then, with four s
29.01.2011

Marian McPartland

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During the week of May 17 through the 23rd, Marian McPartland, legendary host of National Public Radio's Piano Jazz appeared at Yoshi's World Class Jazz House in Jack London Square, Oakland, California. Marian has hosted NPR's Piano Jazz since 1978. It is the longest-running jazz program in the history of network radio, but aside from her radio personae, Marian has a long history as a gifted jazz pianist, writer and composer. Her Saturday's May 21st performance was outstanding and Ms. McPartland
KKSF Smooth Jazz, 103.7 fm, were the sponsors of the Earth Day Jazz Festival held April 25, 1999 at the Concord Pavilion in Concord, California, where Joe Sample and Lalha Hathaway headed the bill to perform to a crowd of thousands of jazz fans who filled the pavilion and grassy slopes surrounding the arena. Cheers went up as John Evans of KKSF introduced pianist Joe Sample. Joe looked good and very laid back as his trio performed several of Joe's legendary songs, the third and best being wha
I happened to catch up with Roy Hargrove at Yoshi's after seeing their performance in Europe earlier this year and oh, oh, oh! Just goes to show ya, you can never judge an artist by one performance. That stands to reason. Roy and his pals were more groovin', more improvisational, looser. There was plenty of hard-driving jazz, a touch of ballads and plenty of technical fortitude, but one thing I never expected was to hear Roy sing! He offered up a vocal kitchen of corn bread, collard greens, m
Combining international performers with the tropical warmth and hospitality of beautiful Barbados produces a winning combination. Paint It Jazz 2000 was the most ambitious festival in its seven year history, drawing world-renowned artists from Canada, the Netherlands and the USA as well as providing a venue for local performers to be heard by an international audience. DENISE JANNAH: The opening night concert, on January 12, was performed in the spacious and acoustically fine Garfield Sobers
As a jazz aficionado, dreaming of a show that brings all my favorite jazz artists together performing all in the same evening is simply that a dream. Now imagine this: on the night of January 28, 2000, at The Bass Performance Hall in Ft. Worth, Texas dreams came true! For artists, fans, promoters, record label owners this was the place to be and no one left disappointed. Here's a sampling of the artists that presented and received awards and then were good enough to entertain us at the podium
29.01.2011

Frode Gjerstad Trio

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Frode Gjerstad: alto saxophone; William Parker: acoustic bass, piccolo trumpet and shakuhachi; Hamid Drake: drums and percussion Frode Gjerstad brought his "dream" trio to Kerrytown Concert House on a cold Michigan Friday night, in January. Having won Norway's 1997 Musician of the Year Award, he was given the opportunity to pick a pair of musicians he would most like to work and record with from the entire world-scene. This trio is the happy result and they have continued their collaborati
When Kim Waters said, "fellas, you're going to be thanking me later tonight!", he must have been so right. Just the Sax took the Houston jazz crowd by storm on Saturday, January 22nd and left every one needing either their partner, a glass of wine to relax, or a cold shower to forget their "troubles". Sweet, sexy and saxy, Paul Taylor, Marion Meadows, Kim Waters and Gerald Albright all delivered with such a variety and distinction in each style and set selection that is was a musical ride all
For my money the best concerts put the audience in a world where everything makes sense. The Frode Gjerstad Trio did that when they played on January 21. The approximately hundred people in attendance swayed and pulsated to the music. Many had their eyes closed. Hands pounded knees in unison with drummer Hamid Drake's grooves. Heads shrieked and turned to the sax playing of Frode Gjerstad. Some people hung on every hand gesture, move, or sound that came from bassist William Parker. Everybody
Guitarist, Phillip Catherine, performed tonight at the Berrigen Cultural Center, along with Bert van den Brink, piano, Bas Kooimans, double bass, and Hans van Oosterhout, drums, at a concert sponsored by Motives for Jazz, a major jazz promoter here in Belgium. With the duet of Linx-Wissels opening the concert and Aka Moon following, the Philip Catherine Quartet stole the evening, no contest. Philip's melodic style and superb artistry was well founded with the rest of the quartet and they repe
Closing the 11th Annual Magic Triangle Jazz Concert Series at UMass Amherst was a performance by trumpeter, Baikida Carroll, and his quintet. The members are Erika Lindsay, tenor sax, Steve Colson, piano, Michael Formanek, bass and Pheeroan Ak Laff, drums. This concert distinguished itself by being based on Carroll’s composed music. Improvisation took place but did not lend itself to the forefront of the music making. The inspiration that the concert left behind was minimal. Exchanges between
When Peter Brotzmann's Die Like a Dog Quartet played the Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor, MI on April 21, you needed to see the group's leader change from his saxophone to a clarinet because the change in sound was not immediately apparent. For the first ten minutes of the ensemble's performance trumpeter Roy Campbell Jr. was not playing and the audience was able to observe from the look on his face to his talk with bassist William Parker that this was due to frustration with technical prob
29.01.2011

Two Nights, Two Gigs

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I am going to depart partially from my normal observation about the last two concerts I attended because my points of view are changing. And although I might give you sometimes a technical description of what I heard, that description will be underwritten with a total abandonment of thought. This music, this vanguard jazz is concerned with an ultimate awareness. Each musician involved has to be so totally at one with what is being played, that the sound that is produced has not an explanation
Deep in the Hudson Valley, in a wisp of a town called Rosendale, the J Band (Joe McPhee, Joe Giardullo and Jerome Bourdellon all on reeds and Dominic Duval on bass) performed the music I have been anticipating for a long time. The instruments were picked for the space. The space was intimate. The sound was all-embracing. The images of the four playing I will remember for a lifetime. This gig took a less formal shape than the concert at Rhinebeck a week earlier. The group had been playing stea
On Friday evening, March 31, 2000 at the Rhinebeck Performing Arts Center was the US premiere performance of the J Band. The J Band is Joe McPhee on reeds, Joe Giardullo on reeds, and, from France, Jerome Bourdellon on flutes and reeds. Special guest performers were Dominic Duval on bass and from Italy, Luciano Pagliarini on alto saxophone. Jerome Bourdellon initiated the first set with a solo on bass flute. The muted tones he produced projected an altogether feathery character, which had int
Last night’s performance of Jemeel Moondoc’s decade-long project, "Jus Grew" Orchestra, mesmerized the capacity audience in Bezanson Recital Hall at UMass Amherst . This orchestra works within the context of "free jazz", yet, upon listening, you can hear its roots. Its roots are imbedded in Moondoc’s deeply sincere assimilation of the best of jazz band music, specifically that of Ellington and Mingus, and more broadly of individual artists, like saxophonists Henderson, Ayler, and Jackie McLean.
Jazz guitar has evolved over the decades and its evolution has created a myriad of styles. On Saturday night, at the Pabst Theatre as a part of the Hal Leonard Jazz Series, we were privileged to enjoy the stellar guitar work of two major jazz stylists. Similar to last years' pairing of Cyrus Chestnut and Tommy Flanagan, a young lion demonstrated brilliance but the master craftsman displayed that rare jazz wisdom in his approach and execution only capable of an elder practitioner. The Mark Whi