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Concert Reviews (826)

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.

Josh Roseman Unit (JRU) spread their freaky vibes across Northern California, spawning gushing reviews across many local Bay Area mailing lists. While most had never heard the band, they went on to proclaim the show ranked among their musical highlights for the first half of the year. A JRU show is fresh and exciting as they surf interesting worlds of rhythm and texture collided with a blend of musical genres such as acid-jazz, straight jazz, jazz-funk, reggae, jungle house, and electroni
Jazz Live! From the Blue Note, Thursday night was both an epiphany and a delight with James Cater and The Organ Trio featuring: Gerard Gibbs (Hammond B-3), and Leonard King (drums) with special guest David Murray. The Bluenote is unquestionally one of the finest jazz clubs in the country, as you walk through the door, it immediately hits you - Jazz. Carter , a snappy dresser steps boldly onto the stage and immediately sadles up to the microphone, chest poised and then emotes pure fire fro

A Blue Note Welcome

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"Please welcome," said saxophonist James Carter with his jazz poster-boy looks, immaculate gray suit and rapper’s diamond ring, "in his debut on this stage ." Could that be true of the former enfant terrible of the Seventies loft scene, co-founder one of jazz’s most universally acclaimed and innovative ensembles, the World Saxophone Quartet, and the man Gary Giddins and the Village Voice named "Jazz Man of the 80’s"? His first gig at the Blue Note - and as a sideman for one of his disciples?

What We Cannot Ignore

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On Friday night at the Meetinghouse in Amherst, every seat was filled by those who came to hear Sunny Murray at the helm playing the drums, Alan Silva on bass, Louis Belogenis on tenor, and Sabir Mateen on reeds with second set guest, Raphé Malik on trumpet. I went to this concert with a totally open mind: interested in listening to musicians I had never heard before in combination particularly aiming at being present for Sunny Murray whose performance frequency is small. Just as I had h
Salute To An American Icon time!!! This one, though, is still with us: Les Paul, the Godfather of the Electric Guitar. Without going too much into a big history lesson: Les Paul, aside from being one of the best electric guitarists EVER, regardless of genre, was one of the first if not THE first people to combine a love of music with that of technology. He invented (though not patented) multi-track recording and reverb, as well as designing the solid-body electric guitar. Every Monday night in N
Alto saxophonist/composer Lee Konitz (born 1927) has been and continues to be one of THE Grand Daddies of Modern Jazz. When Ornette Coleman was still playing R&B sax in Texas, Konitz was pushing the outer limits with Lennie Tristano and Warne Marsh, recording what was likely the FIRST completely free group improvisation (1949, if memory serves) while many alto saxophonists of the 40s/50s were bent on sounding like Charlie Parker, Konitz had his own cool, unique sound. And while many jazzers of h
Bizar Bazaar is the appropriately titled name of a group of Bay Area musicians getting together every Tuesday night at the Boom Boom Room. Musically, it's an open market of improvising and jamming on a variety of styles from jazz/funk to dance hall classics that are infused with the energy of rock and roll. The local ingredients in the market change each week, adding to the flavor of the show. This week's theme ingredient was the unique taste of Paul Hanson<
The prestigious Bluenote jazz club welcomes R&B legend Roberta Flack for a rare appearance from June 11-16th 2002. Singer/pianist Roberta Flack knows how to raise the roof and tear down the walls with her infectious and deeply emotional brand of R&B. Over the course of her three-decade career, Flack has earned a huge and intensely loyal following all over the world, with her exquisite piano playing and her passionate yet playful vocals. From the softest whisper to soulful dynamic voice and v
Dave Weckl put on a great show at a local club called "The Jazz Kitchen". It seats around 140 people, and is a club type atmosphere. We ordered dinner and ate during the show which was fun. Weckl's drum set is most seemed to be designed to have many of the same drums on both sides of him to give him greater flexibility in playing. He had some out of the ordinary cymbal sets as well. He plays with such intensity and duration in some tunes that you're left wondering how he avoids c
The Miles-ophiles that dug the Prince of Darkness’ electric period will surely recall the name of Pete Cosey, who was one of the guitarists that was a regular in Miles Davis’ mid-70s bands (circa the albums Agharta, Get Up With It and Pangea). Where he’s been since I don’t know, except that he once "subbed" for Bill Frisell in the jazz power trio Power Tools. Now, Cosey has assembled a killer cast of characters to pay tribute to the still-somewhat-controversial electric period. NYC’s Vi
The sometimes dialectical and sometimes no so dialectical relationship between composition and improvisation has long been an issue of much thought for aficionados and performers of jazz. And yet while watching Hamid Drake and Michael Zerang perform their June 21 summer solstice concert I was struck by just how irrelevant the two made the issue seem. Drake and Zerang are Chicago based percussionists who are probably best known for collaborating together as members of the Peter Brotzma
The performance put on at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts by the group Bang on a Can manifested the pure meaning of the word synergy. This word came into use particularly during the period in the 60’s and 70’s when the design world of Bucky Fuller was in Biblical vogue. A word stemming from biology, "synergy", in the context in which I am applying it, addresses metaphorically how an idea can develop through a collection of elements which when put together create a larger idea or unit tha

Crossing Thresholds

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A trio of musicians, Matthew Shipp on piano, Rob Brown on alto sax, flute, and clarinet, and Warren Smith on drums, excited the air on a stagnantly humid summer night at the Vermont Jazz Center in Brattleboro, Vermont. The group played two sets. Although the ornamentation in each was different, particularly with the change in reeds, both manifested serious dedication to the pursuit of resolving musical ideas. The truth simply put is that these three musicians are relentless. Each member
"THIS PERFORMANCE WAS QUITE LITERALLY A CLINIC IN THE ART OF ENTERTAINING AND SINGING" - A Musician -------------------------------------------------------------- Nancy Kelly-Vocals Chris Colangelo-Bass Tim Pleasant-Drums Dino Losito-Keyboard ------------------------------------------------------------- "Great music is that which penetrates the ear with facility and leaves the memory with difficulty. Magical music never leaves the memory." - Sir Thomas Beecham
It can be argued that Linda Ronstadt’s best work was the music she made beginning in 1983 with arranger Nelson Riddle. The 1970s’ rock princess wrapped her big, soaring voice around a collection of impeccably chosen standards, showcasing her talents in ways that "When Will I Be Loved" and "Tumbling Dice," as good as they were, never could. Ronstadt, 56, recently revisited the work she did with Riddle during a concert at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. Opening with "What’s New," s
Composer/bandleader/multi-instrumentalist Gunter Hampel doesn’t get to these shores much, as European climes are notoriously more receptive to his brand of lyrical, swinging free jazz. Hampel has been at the jazz game since the 1960s he was among the first Euro-improvisers on the legendary ESP Disk label also he was of the generation of Euro-avant-jazzers who developed and defined a sound of their own, out of the shadows of the American giants. Like Charlie Mingus, many luminaries and then-to-be
Sound Tribe Sector Nine is a pioneering 5-piece band that dives into thought provoking musical journeys with unpredictable improvisation and group interplay. While people like to put labels and categories on fresh new types of music, this bands ability to seamlessly blend Jazz, Ambient, Rock and Dance music subgenres such as Drum ‘N Bass and Organica makes them extremely hard to classify. They mix the earthy grooves of soul jazz with elements of free jazz, fusion, and even big band/swing.
Composer/bandleader Charlie Haden has been one of THE jazz bass giants to come of age in the post-bop generation. If he did nothing but play in the groundbreaking Ornette Coleman Quartet (the 50s/early 60s), his place in history would be assured. Fortunately for us, he’s done MUCH more: aside from his many recordings as a leader (of organizations including Liberation Music Orchestra and Quartet West), Haden has performed and/or recorded with a veritable Who’s Who: Chet Baker, Jimmy Rowles, Hampt
[As Mr. Haden’s Saturday night show was covered on this very site a few days ago, just a brief intro/recap:] Composer/bandleader Charlie Haden has been one of THE jazz bass giants to come of age in the post-bop generation. Aside from his many recordings as a leader (of Liberation Music Orchestra and Quartet West) and a member of Magico, Haden has performed and/or recorded with a veritable Who’s Who: Chet Baker, Jimmy Rowles, Ornette Coleman, Pat Metheny, Ginger Baker, Don Cherry and even the min
North America’s largest free jazz festival is one of the most heavily attended jazz festivals in the world. This year’s extravaganza is, typically, jam-packed with a Who’s-Who of internationally acclaimed jazz artists. Most notable are: Friday, August 30: Straight Ahead. The all-woman quintet led by bassist Marion Hayden is Detroit-based and internationally renowned. They recorded a trio of albums for Atlantic and served as a launching pad for violinist Regina Carter. Mavis Staples.