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Concert Reviews (826)

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According to Don Byron, clarinetist par excellence, the title of this article is how he proposed that the audience listen to the music created by his group at the Iron Horse in Northampton, last Friday night. The group consisted of Byron on clarinet, James Zollar, trumpet, Edsel Gomez, piano, Ben Whitman, drums, Leo Traversa, bass and Milton Cardona, congas. There were only three numbers in one set lasting two hours. Byron dominated this gig. His playing is complex: he doubles and triple pla
Established in 1992, the Annual East Coast Jazz Festival (ECJF) provides an opportunity for the Fish Middleton Jazz Scholarship Fund, Inc. (FMJS) to present live jazz music to the community (encouraging the attendance of children), as well as an avenue to hold the final selection round for FMJS Jazz Scholarship Awards to emerging artists. The late Elmore "Fish" Middleton was a Washington DC jazz radio programmer who was committed to promoting jazz and supporting emerging artists. The mission of
Nicholas Payton and his 11 piece ensemble offered up a splendid concert performance for a jubilant crowd of a thousand jazz lovers at Vanderbilt. Payton and company performed an exuberant concert program fit for a king at Langford Auditorium including, a healthy dose of ballads, up-tempo blues and Latin. The concert theme is based upon his latest Verve release titled, ‘Dear Louis - Nicholas Payton’s Louis Armstrong Centennial Celebration.’ Jazz icon Louis (Satchmo) Armstrong was born approxi
The Preservation Hall Jazz Band has been a staple of the crescent city’s (New Orleans for the uninitiated) French Quarter for almost half a century, offering a vibrant look into American roots jazz music. The New Orleans Jazz style along with Dixieland Jazz, encompass the foundation and concepts of modern day jazz as we know it today. The ladies and gentlemen of the Preservation Halls’ hallowed walls (past & present), have perpetuated a great American art and music that is simply defined as Jazz
Last night, at a community supported performance space, FLYWHEEL, in Easthampton, Ma., two local musicians, Ben Karetnick on drums and Phloyd Starpoli on trombone were complemented in a trio by Joe McPhee on reeds and brass. The first set began as Ben rolled to snap the snare. His sticks were light on the drum heads and cymbals, moving into a rhythm which was intercepted by Phloyd. Phloyd played in a pattern of slow to fast notes, trying to find his groove. Ben continued to maintain the rhyth
SANBORN, SAMPLE, BONA & BLADE This performance was another great edition of "the legends" band of Marcus Miller, Eric Clapton, Steve Gadd, Joe Sample and David Sanborn. SSBB is a great band and Sanborn always surrounds himself with the best musicians around. This band was no exception with Joe Sample-piano, David Sanborn-sax, Richard Bona-bass, guitar, vocals and Brian Blade-drums. Feeling a bit achy and wanting still another long night's sleep, Joe Sample looked none-the-worse for wear a
On April 12th, the UMass/Amherst Magic Triangle Series concluded its 12th season with a special performance by Yusef Lateef in a quintet that included Chicago sax man Von Freeman, pianist Alex Marcelo, drummer Kamal Sabir and bass guitarist Tim Dahl. This was a once in a lifetime concert to honor Dr. Lateef in his 80th year. His musical life has been rich. Much of it has been spent in the UMass area and his vast contributions have been recognized to the extent of a having resolution authored
Friday, the thirteenth of April, in Boston, at the Institute of Contemporary Art, was another performance within the Boston Creative Music Alliance of DIE LIKE A DOG TRIO with guest Joe McPhee. The trio is Peter Brotzmann, reeds, Hamid Drake, drums and William Parker, bass. Brotzmann played the taragato whose tones automatically lend to the music a sound of the world. He broke the silence of waiting for the music to begin with a line that resembled a call of the wild. Parker sat as he fingere
It's never a good sign when you roll up on the theatre where a favorite musician is scheduled to perform and you see something dreadful on the marquee. No, not "cancelled." Much worse than that, though after a jarring trek over a pothole-riddled interstate a cancelled show would be a major depressant. No, some idiot has actually misspelled the name of one of the performers. The marquee outside the Royal Oak Theatre in the Detroit suburb of Royal Oak announced: "Tonight at 9:00 - Bob Jame

Sonny Rollins

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For many people new to jazz their first exposure to Sonny Rollins was the image of him practicing his saxophone on New York's Williamsburg Bridge in 1958, lovingly documented in Ken Burns' recent "Jazz". No mention was given of the legacy Rollins has built upon since then. A consummate perfectionist with a well of imagination that is seemingly bottomless, Rollins has stayed on top of his game for decades thanks largely to a rigorous practice routine. As a result, Rollins sounds as vital and
The concept of blending jazz and Latin music is not a new thing. The two styles have been borrowing each other since the 1920's. Rare, however, is the musician or band that is equally versed in both styles. When trumpeter and conga player Jerry Gonzalez formed his Fort Apache Band nearly twenty years ago his ability to blend the two styles in equal measure turned heads and has since had a gigantic effect on jazz, one not fully realized until the arrival of Danilo Perez and David Sanchez as b
The Gnawa musicians of Morocco are a fascinating group of players. Their music is not merely meant to entertain, but to heal. The Gnawa were brought up from sub-Saharan Africa hundreds of years ago in bondage. They are master musicians who believe that everyone has a color and a musical note to which he or she vibrates. During healing ceremonies individuals respond to their chosen color and note. Ultimately the goal of the Gnawa is to play every note perfectly lest a wrong note adversely aff
Gaining momentum and now in it's second year, the brainchild of promoters Thompson, Parrish and Paddock (better known as The Oasis Group, LLC) took Chicago by storm bringing with it the hottest names in Smooth Jazz all under one beautiful roof. The Second Annual National Smooth Jazz Awards, presented to a sold out audience of better than 3,500 delivered an evening of more than nineteen hot hits performed by the original artists and well-deserved awards and honors to some of the genres greatest.

The Phoenix Rises

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Part of the Impulse Response Series at the iEAR studio at RPI in Troy, New York, a performance with Joe McPhee, Philip Gelb, dancer, Eri Majima, and the group, Nyquist, brought a studio space, heavily laden with black velvet curtains and every other sort of absorptive material, to life. Both Gelb and McPhee played by themselves to begin the concert and then joined to accompany dancer Majima. Nyquist, which includes Seth Cluett, Scott Smallwood, and Joel Taylor, were also joined by Gelb and M

Is Cab Calloway Back?

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After the band vamp (as if for a stripper's entrance) and Birdland's announcement, "The Prince of Hi-De-Ho, Calloway Brooks", a tall lean gent jumped on stage to front the mostly hatted variously attired twelve member ensemble wearing a long white coat to his knees, white high draped pants over black & whites, a pheasant feathered white wide-brimmed hat and matching red deco clipped tie. He's a sight and when he extends his long arms and opens his mustachioed mouth flashes of his Grandfathers' v

Trio for Three Voices

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Last Thursday night at Flywheel in Easthampton, MA. performed a trio including Marco Eneidi on alto, Spirit on percussion and drums, and Jessica Loos doing vocals. This group is creative, well appointed, conceptually rich. And excellent. Once, in a conversation Morton Feldman was having with another composer about a piece that Feldman was writing for voice and orchestra, I interjected the question to Feldman : "Well, Morty, when does the voice become an instrument?" His reply was: "That is a
The name Toots Thielemans is synonymous with jazz harmonica. This is true partly because there are so few practitioners but mostly because of the degree to which he has mastered the instrument. If you have never heard Toots before you may wonder how he does it. It is difficult to imagine jazz harmonica, the instrument not seeming to lend itself to jazz. Until you hear Toots, that is. When he puts the harmonica to his lips, it's magic. He has a deep respect for the music that comes across in his
The term "super group" may be overused, but a true all-star quartet hit the stage in Milwaukee this past Thursday night. On the third date of their inaugural fourteen date midwest-eastcoast tour, the quartet known as CAB (drummer Dennis Chambers, guitarist Tony McAlpine, bassist Bunny Brunel, and keyboardist Brian Auger) laid down two sets of intense instrumental fusion. With a sound that harked back to the glory days of fusion in the seventies, they thrilled the packed house with their instrume
Now in its 16th year, the Vancouver International Jazz Festival is well established as one of the West's premium music forums and one of the finest international music showcases in the world. For ten days, the VIJF offers the sights and sounds of the music's edge pushers, mainstayers and international ambassadors in a panoramic city sweep that keeps the focus on the music amid the vitality of Canada's West Coast urban cultural Mecca. That's as it should be. Yet in a city as stunning as Vanco
The 21st Annual Mellon Jazz Festival produced by the Central Pennsylvania Friends of Jazz got off to a flying start the weekend of June 15 in capital city, Harrisburg, PA. The 3-day event centered at the Hilton Hotel drew hundreds of jazz enthusiasts where headliners and local jazz musicians satisfied every jazz appetite. While the Hilton was central to the weekend festivities, the whole city supported this year's tribute to Louis Armstrong with a Jazz Walk-a-thon at 15 sites, all within walking