mikeweil

What live music are you going to see tonight?

5,745 posts in this topic

Tomorrow at SFJazz:

Dave Holland Prism

Dave Holland, bass

Craig Taborn, electric & acoustic pianos

Kevin Eubanks, guitar

Eric Harland, drums

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Tonight in Boston: Branford Marsalis - 4 MFs Playing Tunes.

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Curtis Fuller Sextet last night ... a band made up of Americans (Fuller, Josh Bruneau on trumpet and Rob Bargad on piano) and Europeans (Ralph Reichert on tenor, Milan Nikolic on bass and Joris Dudli on drums).

Probably the closest I ever got to witness Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in concert ... mighty fine band playing staples from Fuller's and Blakey's repertoire (Arabia, Up Jumped Spring, Caravan as closer) and other bebop staples such as "Star Eyes". Bruneau and Reichter did a beautiful ballad medley (Blame It on My Youth and It's Easy to Remember), the trio got featured in both sets, first set was, I think, "Everything Happens to Me", then in the second set they did "I'm Old Fashioned" (which, according to Fuller, Coltrane never played again after the famous recording, and hence he wouldn't play on it either) ... Bargad was very good, the rhythm section totally in the pocket, they pulled some Jamal-like tricks (of Crosby/Fournier vintage) and Bargad went into some block chords/locked hands stuff à la Red Garland a few times ... truly fine and honest music played by a powerful band. Fuller himself, well ... he seems to be doing pretty well but he doesn't have that much strength left (no wonder, at that age) and his tone, while still round and beautiful, wasn't projecting too well in the room (he seemed to often play next to rather than into the mic, too), and while soms solos came off pretty well, there were spots where you could kind of hear what he had in mind but it wouldn't come out quite that way ... but it was still great to see him, and the concert as a whole was very good.

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Saw Dr. John at Yoshi's Oakland last nite....Fat Tuesday

Went with 3 friends and we had so much fun...sat in front right against the stage right in the 'Dr.'s office'

Seen him maybe 4 times over the years; yesterday was by leaps & bounds the best of them all! a GREAT show!!

Fresh arrangements carried the day overall and he's the kind of guy who can change the delivery of a song at will with complete ease.

I always hope he will stretch and play out more on piano, which he did in spots.

Also played an electric keyboard some and strapped on a guitar for a couple of tunes, which I did not know he did and obviously had never seen.

2 sets tonight and 2 more Thursday...highly recommended.

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Curtis Fuller Sextet last night ... a band made up of Americans (Fuller, Josh Bruneau on trumpet and Rob Bargad on piano) and Europeans (Ralph Reichert on tenor, Milan Nikolic on bass and Joris Dudli on drums).

Probably the closest I ever got to witness Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in concert ... mighty fine band playing staples from Fuller's and Blakey's repertoire (Arabia, Up Jumped Spring, Caravan as closer) and other bebop staples such as "Star Eyes". Bruneau and Reichter did a beautiful ballad medley (Blame It on My Youth and It's Easy to Remember), the trio got featured in both sets, first set was, I think, "Everything Happens to Me", then in the second set they did "I'm Old Fashioned" (which, according to Fuller, Coltrane never played again after the famous recording, and hence he wouldn't play on it either) ... Bargad was very good, the rhythm section totally in the pocket, they pulled some Jamal-like tricks (of Crosby/Fournier vintage) and Bargad went into some block chords/locked hands stuff à la Red Garland a few times ... truly fine and honest music played by a powerful band. Fuller himself, well ... he seems to be doing pretty well but he doesn't have that much strength left (no wonder, at that age) and his tone, while still round and beautiful, wasn't projecting too well in the room (he seemed to often play next to rather than into the mic, too), and while soms solos came off pretty well, there were spots where you could kind of hear what he had in mind but it wouldn't come out quite that way ... but it was still great to see him, and the concert as a whole was very good.

Curtis hasn't been playing that well for a while. While that's understandable given his age, I also heard that he had part of one lung removed, which would hinder anyone, never mind a trombone player.

The last time I saw him, he used a wireless microphone and it captured his sound much better. Before that, he soloed with a microphone basically stuffed into the bell of his horn. I wonder why he didn't stick with the wireless unit? He has to know if made him sound a lot better.

Like you, I've been glad to see him and I plan to see him again if he makes his way through the Boston area.

Edited by Kevin Bresnahan

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Oh, it was a great concert, all in all! But yeah, a wireless mic sounds like a good idea - or they should have adjusted his mic a bit, since he really wasn't that close most of the time. But I was sitting in front row and had most of the sound live, not via PA.

I went to shake hands and say thanks to Mr. Fuller in the break but didn't intrude for long as there were other, much older gents around sharing photos of themselves with Fuller at the Nice Jazz Parade etc. They had a ball ... so, it was really good to see it all (much better, I dare say, than last fall's concerts by Lateef/Shepp and Konitz). And Joris Dudli really is a hell of a drummer, he drove that truck, as Mr. Sangrey would say ;)

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Saw BB KIng last night . . .great gig seeing as he is 87 years young

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Saw the VSO doing Delius's Brigg Fair, Britten's Violin Concerto, and Elgar's Enigma Variations. The Delius was ok and I quite enjoyed the Elgar. I did not care for the Britten, neither the performance nor the piece itself. It had all these interminable false endings, like I was watching Jackson's Lord of the Rings. I just wanted the f'ing performance to be over and it went on and on. With only a few exceptions, I really think concertos should bow out at 20-25 minutes max and symphonies should strive for 45 minutes. This was at least 30 minutes, moving into 35 minute territory. And I just thought all the super high pitched playing didn't do much or go anywhere interesting. It didn't help that this was right in the middle of the Passacaglia. A few modern composers have been able to get away with this high pitched playing, like Messiaen or Shostakovich in the early String Quartets, but usually only as the very ending of the piece. It is too hard to retreat from this and then keep the piece moving forward. There was one amusing moment, however, where the violin player takes the melody, such as it was, up into the rafters, and then it was taken over by the piccolo. A bit more of that, and I might have been a bit more open to the piece. Anyway, this is definitely a composition I will avoid in the future.

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Saw the VSO doing Delius's Brigg Fair, Britten's Violin Concerto, and Elgar's Enigma Variations. The Delius was ok and I quite enjoyed the Elgar. I did not care for the Britten, neither the performance nor the piece itself. It had all these interminable false endings, like I was watching Jackson's Lord of the Rings. I just wanted the f'ing performance to be over and it went on and on. With only a few exceptions, I really think concertos should bow out at 20-25 minutes max and symphonies should strive for 45 minutes. This was at least 30 minutes, moving into 35 minute territory. And I just thought all the super high pitched playing didn't do much or go anywhere interesting. It didn't help that this was right in the middle of the Passacaglia. A few modern composers have been able to get away with this high pitched playing, like Messiaen or Shostakovich in the early String Quartets, but usually only as the very ending of the piece. It is too hard to retreat from this and then keep the piece moving forward. There was one amusing moment, however, where the violin player takes the melody, such as it was, up into the rafters, and then it was taken over by the piccolo. A bit more of that, and I might have been a bit more open to the piece. Anyway, this is definitely a composition I will avoid in the future.

Britten's Violin Concerto is an early piece, though it has his fingerprints. It's never one I've listened to much though I've played it more in recent years. Much prefer Walton's from the same time period.

Brigg Fair is a nice idea but the variations always seem to me to pound the tune to bits in the end. Listen to a folk singer sing it. Delius was never really part of the folk song movement - always seems to me to have more in common with Debussy (though you don't hear that in Brigg Fair). I keep meaning to go to Brigg as it's not far from where I live - don't think there's anything there (certainly not a fair!) but I like the idea.

The Enigma Variations are extraordinary and well worth repeated listening - lots in there to get your head round and emotionally involving.

I'm not sure what Bruckner, Mahler or Shostakovich would have to say about your 45 minutes rule!

Edited by A Lark Ascending

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The Enigma Variations are extraordinary and well worth repeated listening - lots in there to get your head round and emotionally involving.

I'm not sure what Bruckner, Mahler or Shostakovich would have to say about your 45 minutes rule!

I really only went for the Elgar, and it did make the concert worthwhile. I believe this is the 2nd time I've seen it performed.

Well, there are always exceptions, but honestly, I don't care for Bruckner or Mahler and generally prefer the Shostakovich pieces that are under an hour. Not even that taken by Beethoven's 9th. All of them could have been edited down and improved. ;)

It's obviously a personal preference, but I think anything that needs to be said and expressed in a piece of music can be conveyed in that amount of time. I find that even among the relative elite lay folk that attend concerts, 45 minutes is the limit beyond which you can't even recall how the piece started. Furthermore, an awful lot of recent pop and jazz albums would be better and certainly tighter if they stuck to 45-50 minutes.

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It's obviously a personal preference, but I think anything that needs to be said and expressed in a piece of music can be conveyed in that amount of time. I find that even among the relative elite lay folk that attend concerts, 45 minutes is the limit beyond which you can't even recall how the piece started. Furthermore, an awful lot of recent pop and jazz albums would be better and certainly tighter if they stuck to 45-50 minutes.

Yes, it can be hard going, especially if you don't know the piece.

But at home there's no need to listen to the full hour+ in one go. You can play a couple of movements, go and make the tea, and then come back for the rest. Mahler, I think in the 2nd, stipulated that there should be a rest between the 1st movement and the rest. I don't think many conductors pay any attention.

I find whole operas hard to take in one go. Prefer to play them an act at a time, often on different days. Actually makes you more attentive to the later acts.

I grew up in the early 70s of double LP concept albums (Tales of Topographic Oceans, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Septober Energy, Frames) so it was actually long pieces of classical music I craved. Mahler and Bruckner were my way in! It took me a long time to get around to Mozart, Haydn etc.

Personal preference, as you say.

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Vijay Iyer Trio tonight ... only caught him in duo with Rudresh Mahanthappa before. Looking forward a lot!

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Craig Harris' Souls Within A Veil.

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Iyer's trio was fine, or rather: first set was a bit tame, kind of like a warm-up in hindsight ... the very long (90-100 minutes, I think) second set was amazing though, including a wonderful solo on "Darn That Dream", a great cover of a Herbie Nichols tune and then also "Time After Time", which kept ringing in my head all night long ...

Tomorrow:

Mike Reed’s Loose Assembly & Living by Lanterns

++++Loose Assembly:_ Greg Ward altosax_ Tomeka Reid cello_ Jason Adasiewicz vibraphone_ Joshua Abrams bass_ Mike Reed drums/electronics _+US++++

+ ++++Living by Lanterns:_ Taylor Ho Bynum cornet_Matt Bauder tenorsax_Greg Ward altosax_Mary Halvorson guitar_Jason Adasiewicz vibraphone_Nick Butcher electronics_Tomeka Reid cello_ Joshua Abrams bass_Tomas Fujiwara drums_ Mike Reed drums/electronics _+US+++++

Looking forward very, very much!

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Richard Thompson for the zillionth time next Saturday.

Mark Lockheart doing his "Ellington in Anticipation" thing the week after - I hope! Various marbles got in the way of the first three Sheffield Jazz concerts I had planned in the last 6 weeks.

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Iyer's trio was fine, or rather: first set was a bit tame, kind of like a warm-up in hindsight ... the very long (90-100 minutes, I think) second set was amazing though, including a wonderful solo on "Darn That Dream", a great cover of a Herbie Nichols tune and then also "Time After Time", which kept ringing in my head all night long ...

Tomorrow:

Mike Reed’s Loose Assembly & Living by Lanterns

++++Loose Assembly:_ Greg Ward altosax_ Tomeka Reid cello_ Jason Adasiewicz vibraphone_ Joshua Abrams bass_ Mike Reed drums/electronics _+US++++

+ ++++Living by Lanterns:_ Taylor Ho Bynum cornet_Matt Bauder tenorsax_Greg Ward altosax_Mary Halvorson guitar_Jason Adasiewicz vibraphone_Nick Butcher electronics_Tomeka Reid cello_ Joshua Abrams bass_Tomas Fujiwara drums_ Mike Reed drums/electronics _+US+++++

Looking forward very, very much!

Wow, terrific concert! They skipped the quintet set and played two long sets in the large formation. Nick Butcher wasn't there, no electronics from Reed either, as far as I could tell ... Jason Adasiewicz was laying out the night before at the Bimhuis, not feeling well, I heard. He was very much a presence tonight. I loved the twin-drums of Reed and Fujiwara, infectuous to boot! ... I loved Mary Halvorson's guitar, at times melodic and playful, at times probing and noisy ... I loved the three-horn frontline, muscular tenor from Bauder, whimsical, at time enormously lyrical alto from Ward (what a sound!), and truly Puck-like cornet from Taylor Ho Bynum, running the gamut from digjeridoo-sounds to punching highnote runs ... I loved Tomeka Reid's cello (low in the mix, alas, but in the second set she had a lengthy feature ... I loved the boomy bass of Josh Abrams (who also had a few fine solo spots) ... and I loved the music! Based on some Sun Ra stuff they got on tape or some such ... not that it really matters, but indeed this is Chicago music, funky, earthy, aware, wild, lyrical, hilarious, sublime, stomping, preaching, swinging, singing, whispering, crying, rhapsodizing ... a truly wonderful concert!

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Sounds great, Ubu

I've seen some those musicians but I think I need to check out Mike Reed and Gred Ward....I may check out Fujiwara's band when they play on April 6th @ Cornelia Street. Mary Halvorson is in the band along with a few other interesting players. My only complaint about some of these bands from this scene is that sometimes the music is overly composed. Ingrid's Anti-house is the prime example for me. They add Kris Davis and a bassist to the great trio of Laubrock, Mary and Rainey and the music falls flat.

The band u saw sounds like it had it all. The Vibes player is great. I saw him with Brotz in 2011 and he was all that and more. Subtle, biting and explosive and seemingly at ease playing in duo with a legend

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I think I know very well what you mean, Steve ... I saw Ingrid Laubrocks large Sleepthief band, too, and that was the biggest problem of the music. But none of that with the projects I've heard of Mike Reed's so far (ROIOs, and now this one live concert ... haven't come around to play the LP and CD I bought at the concert, but the LP is by the band I saw, so I expect it to be similar). This band combines the exuberance and joy of Sun Ra and of Chicago/AACM Jazz in general (sure, there's grief and sorrow, too, and laments) with a way of dealing with composed material that reminded me more of Mingus than of the somewhat over-controlled work of Laubrock - who plays tenor on the LP instead of Matt Bauder, btw. That same Bauder was one of the biggest surprises for me in the concert, as I'd seen him before once (I think with Taylor Ho Bynum's sextet w/Halvorson, too), and he left a somewhat too controlled impression on me back then, as well ... none of that last night! He was raunchy, bold, and he played the largest part in a tune that really reminded me of Mingus, "Blues & Roots"/"Ah Um" perdiod, at its finest.

What I also enjoyed very much (though I overheard Irene Schweizer in the break saying that two drummers were never really needed) was the twin-drumming of Reed and Fujiwara. The later may be the more sophisticated player, breaking up the beat in a more complex way, but Reed just feels great. Together, they stirred up an amazing swing that made me think of Klook doing his stomping thing during the heyday of the Clarke-Boland Big Band with Kenny Clare. Obviously, the style of Reed and Fujiwara is somewhat different, but that infectuously grooving and stomping beat was there just as it was with Klook/Clare (whom I only know, alas, from records and some videos).

Anyway, one point of distinction may be Chicago vs. New York ... controlled exuberance vs. occasionally exaggerated control, maybe? I really wish I could see Chicago musicians more often, Ernest Dawkins, Kahil El'Zabar etc ... no matter if they "in" or "out" (actually, what I love so much about Chicago's jazz is that often it's both at the same time), they just convey a deep love for tradition that allows them to somehow dig deeper into music.

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Yeah sometimes the idea with some of the NYC downtowners seems to be interested to "show" the compositional aspect rather than letting loose a bit more and letting the music take over. I've heard it in Kris Davis quintet, Mary's sextet and Angelica Sanchez's quintet as well.

Good news is that Mat Maneri is playing in a quintet in April with Randy Peterson with a couple of musicians I don't know and I doubt there will be any of that. Maybe some micro improvising and heavy tension but Mat and Randy always let it really roar from time to time. Plus I repeat that Rainey Mary and Ingrid as a trio were as great as any band I've seen in the past couple of years as they referred to compositions/themes but had no charts and the music was amazing. Rainey was inspired, free and played some of the deepest intense grooves I've ever heard him play. Mary was better than in her sextet and Ingrid was almost Paul Dunmall on tenor!

Edited by Steve Reynolds

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trio.jpg?width=390

(Not my picture)

Richard Thompson in wonderful form - the trio format works brilliantly for him. No clutter, lots of guitar. Even a Hendrix-version 'Hey Joe' towards the end as 'power trio' reference. Lots from the new album mixed in with various motorcycles, walls of death, tear stained letters, Al Bowllys and the like. All played to an audience who looked much the same as the people I see at classical and jazz concerts i.e. very old (I include myself)!

Worth catching on his UK dates; he's then doing a run through various stockades in the colonies.

Edited by A Lark Ascending

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Excellent - nice shot, too!

I'm seeing him in Austin in about a week and a half.

Edited by BFrank

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Planning to catch a set or two of the Bohemian Caverns Orchestra tonight. Anyone see them lately?

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This evening, Jean Michel Pilc at the University of North Texas, Kenton Hall.

That was a wonderful concert, with an incredibly attentive audience.

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