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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.

29.01.2011

Framing the Gestures

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On the day after Christmas (how appropriate the date), David Arner gave a solo performance at the Performing Arts Center in Rhinebeck, NY. The spry, tall, thin, angular pianist walked on stage, bowed, sat on the bench in front of a baby grand piano and looked at the keyboard in thought. One hand playing two notes later began the setting of a framework for what Arner dubs a spontaneous composition. The first piece established his focus: span, interval, and a unity of functioning of both han
South Bay Entertainment Group presented a wonderful mix of jazz and R&B Saturday December 27, 2003 in Redondo Beach CA, with a great line-up. Among the performers were jazz and R&B recording artist Angela Bofill and jazz recording artist Bobby Lyle featuring Mindi Abair and Howard Hewett. When the doors opened and the concert enthusiasts filled the newly redecorated lobby, some engaged in small talk, while others refreshed themselves with a cool beverage or bought souvenirs. As the evening wore
The New York Jazz Flute Quartet, Dave Valentin Group, Trio Da Paz, Lew Tabackin, Paquito D'Rivera, Claudio Roditi and special guests. This Monday evening at the Blue Note saw a gathering of musicians who came together to celebrate the life of flutist Herbie Mann who passed away July 1st after a lengthy battle with cancer. Mann had already been formerly eulogized at a service October 20th at St. Peter's Cathedral, with music from David "Fathead" Newman and others. This was a more informal occa
In an age of decay, destruction, torment and little evident to save us, it is a blessing to know that in existence is a group of musicians like this trio. Led by top-shelf pianist, Dave Burrell, joined by virtuosos, bassist William Parker and drummer Andrew Cyrille, the Full-Blown Trio performed at the Iron Horse in Northampton, Ma on Friday, Nov. 21. Two sets were played; the second was a "recap" of the first thus making both sets one. The sets were comprised of the integration of two origin
Call me an ol’ Humbug, but I’m generally allergic to most Christmas music while some of it is beautiful, a lot of it is overly sentimental in that syrupy TV movie of the week way. Perhaps Brian Setzer understands that many feel similar, turning the attention of his big band to some Xmas classics, all the while amping up the Hep Factor. For those unfamiliar with the lad’s resume, Brian Setzer is best known as the guitarist/singer of the Stray Cats, a rockablilly revivalist trio that, while dissed
Peter White and Mindi Abair rocked St. Louis on December 4, 2003 at the Pageant. Kicking the evening off with a vibrant "O Tannenbaum," White (guitar) and Abair (sax) blended together in festive layers. Before the evening was through, this pair would have concertgoers dancing in the aisles with pure holiday delight. White had previously toured with Dave Koz's A Smooth Jazz Christmas Tour. However, he sought to provide something a bit more personal. "We are a much smaller sh
KHJZ 95.7 The Wave, the city's only commercial smooth jazz radio station sponsored "A Peter White Christmas" Friday night. As one of their major concert events of the year, KHJZ has continually brought quality shows to Houston's Verizon Wireless Theater. In bringing guitarist Peter White and Mindi Abair to the city, a merry night of Christmas cheer and jazz became the hightlight of the evening. Anytime Peter makes a visit to Houston, he is always a welcome delight. In
Peter White has joined forces with sax player Mindi Abair to bring us the Peter White Christmas Tour. I drove two hours to catch this show and it was worth every mile. With the combination of Peter's guitar and Mindi's sensational saxophone this tour was able to bring the spirit of Christmas without getting stuck on just that. The show was filled with classic Christmas songs done beautifully by White and Abair. Beyond the Christmas theme the show was filled with some of Peter's and Mindi's own s
James Carter is sort of a freak of nature. He can make his saxophone yell, squawk, roll over, sit-up, and emit flames. Saturday night, Carter had to remind himself during a performance with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) that he wasn’t playing at a neighborhood club where he could let his imagination roam. Carter did an encore performance of composer Roberto Sierra’s piece Concerto For Saxophones , which premiered successfully at the DSO last year. Carter returned for three more pe
A true Diva needs more than attitude and bravura. She has to deliver and back it up with chops and skill as well as power of presence. Columbian vocalist Martha Patricia is a Latin Diva who takes the stage and commands your attention and involvement with her musicality, originality and true love of Jazz. At a recent concert at Café Berlin she delivered a variety of classic Jazz standards as well as Salsa adaptations and Brazilian Classics. She obviously has been influenced by Sarah Vaughn and
The reunion of Marcus Belgrave and David "Fathead" Newman was the most anticipated event of the Jazz in the Garden concert series. But according to Belgrave organizing it was a nightmare. Alexander Zonjic, the coordinator of the series, asked Belgrave to participate. The concerts are Thursdays in the atrium of the GM Renaissance Center. Belgrave wanted to reunite with Newman. Both were members of the Ray Charles band. At the SereNgeti Ballroom five years ago they performed together for the first
New Yorker Bob Sands came to Europe 11 years ago with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra and decided to stay to broaden his horizons He was young and qualified having graduated from Eastman with a degree in Classical Saxophone and did his graduate work the The Manhattan School of Music studying Jazz. He originally planned to base in Paris. But after a gig in Madrid he stayed and made a life there. The first few years were spent in Cultural transition as his brash New York personality clashed with the
Dave Douglas and his sextet played at the venerable Village Vanguard located in the heart of the Village in New York City. It was a balmy and warm evening on the foot trek over to the set. Washington Square was aglow with pedestrians, students and stragglers. A lone man was heard on the saxophone playing Horace Silver’s "Song for My Father." At my friend’s request, he played "St. Thomas." It lifted my spirits and only enhanced my anticipation for the show. The Village Vanguard needs no in
Southern California is noted for its periods of craziness, and right now certainly seems to be one of them. Still trying to make sense of the tragicomedy of the statewide recall election and the ascendancy of the Governator, the Southland has been further challenged by strikes affecting the area’s largest grocers and public transit authority and, last but far from least, a series of wildfires that has taken lives, destroyed homes and devastated thousands of acres of forest in five different coun
Tenor Saxophonist Bobby Martinez debuted his new group "Latin Elation" at the opening of a new series of Latin Jazz nights hosted by a new club in Madrid called "Shaman" which will feature every Thursday night in November some of the best Latin Jazz artists in Madrid. The regular trumpet player with Latin Elation was unable to perform this night and to take his place Bobby recruited his friend and neighbor, fellow tenor saxophonist Inoidel Gonzalez Torres, who I was delighted to see as he is
Robert McArthur was saxophonist Donald Walden’s special guess Wednesday night at the second concert for the Jazz Forum. But there was nothing particularly special about McArthur’s performance. McArthur a native Detroiter has gigged with Walden before, and is one of his favorite singers. "He sings better than a lot of vocalist in Detroit who are notorious for singing all the wrong notes. He sings with more feeling," Walden said. McArthur has a fluid intonation. However, the feeling that Wa
29.01.2011

CINEMATIC ORCHESTRA

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It is rare to find a gig where so many levels of artistic expression are touched, and with such intelligence. Thus full marks to the Cinematic Orchestra and their Shepherds Bush Empire gig in London; full marks to the visionary choice of tantalizing their audience with scores not only directly inspired by the movie image, but in actual fact blurred within it. The orchestra plays a live soundtrack to the 1929 Dziga Vertov silent movie masterpiece ‘Man With A Movie Camera,’ which suggested the
Pianist Geoffrey Keezer kicked off his new CD, "Falling Up" at Jazz at the Bistro in St. Louis, Missouri on November 1, 2003. Flowing easily into the opening song, Keezer was coolly vibrant. Backed by an acoustic bass and drums, this trio played lightly in unison. Weaving a delicate tale, "Beatrice" painted an enchanting evening with a warm glow. Addressing the intimate crowd, Keezer introduced "Stomping at the Savoy" with a twist. " [It] doesn’t sound anything like "Stomping at the S
The Queen Elizabeth Hall is packed for Denys Baptiste and his London Jazz Festival gig - not even one seat left unsold. His latest release by Dune, ‘Let Freedom Ring!,’ proves captivating for audiences of the most diverse backgrounds (the majority of which of African or Caribbean origin) here to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King’s speech ‘I Have A Dream’. Pupils from various primary/secondary schools in the capital also attend the concert, as part of Baptiste’s commitmen
The Solos & Duos Concert Series at UMASS Amherst closed on November 20 with an unforgettable performance by Rashied Ali on drums and Sonny Fortune on alto sax. Both of these musicians played so freshly and intensely with each other that their long term musical relationship made sense. Never in my experience with the music, have I heard a duo produce such a huge, deeply three-dimensional and persistent sound. Fortune grunted, stomped to count off the opening of "Just One of Those Things." S