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Leeway

Winter Jazzfest 2015

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I too will be wandering around but as usual, when faced with these kinds of programs, I tend to end up doing little; it's a great fest but I hate to run in circles.

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Too overwhelming. I want to see ton of these shows. Quantum physics laws say something can exist in two places at one time. I wish that was true for me. I may just go with this

Friday 7:30pm David Murray Clarinet Summit w/ Don Byron, David Krakauer, and Hamiet Bluiett (Minetta)

8:45: David Murray/Geri Allen/Terri Lyne Carrington

10:00: Trio 3 (Oliver Lake, Reggie Workman, Andrew Cyrille)

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gonna skip Friday (birthday party - yay me) but may pop into something on Saturday.

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If I go on Friday

ICP

Then the Murray trio and Trio 3

For those who have never seen The Instant Composers Pool, miss this band at your own peril

That Clarinet summit is attractive for sure, but Han Bennink, Michael Moore, Ab Baars, Tristan Honsinger, Mary Oliver, Ernst Glerum, Toby Delius, Thomas Heberer and Wolter Wierbos on stage for an hour doing what they do is a very unique and special experience.

Even without Misha, they are a very special long standing ensemble that exist within and outside of all conventions of this music we call jazz.

And specifically for anyone who has never seen Han Bennink live, this is little I've experienced in this world that is as uplifting as Han Bennink swinging to Monk, Herbie or Duke.

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If I go on Friday

ICP

Then the Murray trio and Trio 3

For those who have never seen The Instant Composers Pool, miss this band at your own peril

That Clarinet summit is attractive for sure, but Han Bennink, Michael Moore, Ab Baars, Tristan Honsinger, Mary Oliver, Ernst Glerum, Toby Delius, Thomas Heberer and Wolter Wierbos on stage for an hour doing what they do is a very unique and special experience.

Even without Misha, they are a very special long standing ensemble that exist within and outside of all conventions of this music we call jazz.

And specifically for anyone who has never seen Han Bennink live, this is little I've experienced in this world that is as uplifting as Han Bennink swinging to Monk, Herbie or Duke.

Your recommendations are usually spot on for me. Luckily, I will be catching ICP at the Windup Space in Baltimore on January 7th just before the Winter Jazzfest.

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I'm still working on my schedule. So many good things, especially on Friday. I'm trying to figure out "the key to all things" so I can make the most of my 2 days.

I know we'll be running around, and likely to not have time for an extended hang, but it would be nice if there were a few minutes here and there to engage in the Organissimo secret ritual handshake :huh::) as we pass from one venue to the next.

I was thinking of coming up early, but then would miss ICP at Baltimore. I still would see them in NYC in any case. Decisions, decisions.

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Vijay Iyer is the special guest playing with Trio 3.

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That list is insane. Good insane but insane nonetheless ;) There's more bands there than play in London all year. I'm almost tired just reading the list!

Anyone going is going to have one hell of a time that's certain. Enjoy it and let those of us on distant shores know what such a cornucopia is like to experience

And when my lottery ticket comes in (as I know it will with the Jazz Gods smiling on me) at the weekend I'll be flying over for

Amina Claudine Myers Trio

Tomas Fujiwara & The Hookup

Myra Melford's Snowy Egret

Marc Ribot & The Young Philadelphians w/ strings

Kris Davis Infrasound

Tyshawn Sorey Piano Trio

I hope someone gets that Melford band recorded - Pi Recordings, if you're listening

Myra's band Snowy Egret has a recording coming out via enja in the States on March 7 with the very personnel you see above except with Ron Miles on trumpet instead of Ben Goldberg on clarinet.

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Here's my show list. The schedules are far from perfect, just what I can make out of available options. There are some overlaps/tight time crunches, but if I like something I'll stay put, if not, I'll head for a back-up session. I plan to see ICP in Baltimore tomorrow night, before I come up to NYC, so they are not on the list.
Time/Performance/Venue
FRIDAY

6:30 – Donald Byrd Electric and Acoustic - LPR

7:30- David Murray Clarinet – Minetta

8:00 – Russ Johnson (Eric Dolphy) – Judson

9:15 – Dave Douglas – Judson

10:00 – Trio 3 w/Vijay Iyer – Minetta

11:00 – Kris Davis Infrasound –Subculture

12:15 – Uri Caine/Bennink – Subculture

1:00 - Improv Duets

SATURDAY

6:30 – Myra Melford Snowy Egret -Zinc

7:45 – Mark Turner – Zinc

8:15 – Darius Jones – Players

9:30 – Fujiwara Hookup - _Players

10:00 – Mahanthappa Bird Calls

12:00 – Eivind Opsvik - Players

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leeway, I will definitely be at some of those; not exactly sure of everything, as these kind of fests tend to make me dizzy; but I have a beard, am 5'8", 165 pounds and am frighteningly good looking. Or frightening looking, not sure which.

Edited by AllenLowe

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OK, I'll keep an eye out for you ^_^ .

I also have the obligatory beard, and look rather like a decayed Al Pacino. I figure a rose in my lapel boutonniere might be too much, but I will have a (obligatory) black jacket on.

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I bought my tickets. I hope I can get from one venue to the next in time.

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Back from Winter Jazz Fest last night, exhilarated and dead tired too. An incredible amount of great music for a very reasonable sum. To get the most out of it, one needs a plan, then one needs to abandon that plan as necessity dictates and go with the moment.

That's what happened Friday night. My plan for that night involved hopscotching from LPR to Minetta to Subculture. I did get to LPR then Minetta, but ended up parked there the rest of the night, due to timing, crowds and distance between Minetta and Subculture, the longest trek of the festival.

The night started with the Donald Byrd Electric and Acoustic Sessions with Donald Harrison on sax, Duane Eubanks, trumpet (subbing for Nicholas Payton apparently), Max Moran, bass, Joe Dyson, drums, gorgeous Dominique Toney, electric keys and vocals. and Kevin Toney, electric and acoustic piano. Kevin Toney talked about how he studied with Donald Byrd at Howard University, and how this performance sought to give a sense of Byrd's development. The group was excellent, it captured Byrd's style, and It was fun to soak in a Blue Note feeling. One could even see some dancing feet.

Went over to Minetta to catch David Murray Clarinet Summit, with Murray on bass clarinet, Hamiet Bluiett and David Krakauer on clarinet, and Don Byron on clarinet and bass clarinet. Jaribu Shahid (bass) and Nasheet Waits (drums) filled out the group in fine fashion. The one thing that was clear was that Murray was in top form and played beautifully and with energy. So did the rest of the group, with some amazing virtuosic performances from Krakauer and Byron, although I preferred Byron's for nuance and feeling. Bluiett's performance was wonderfully mature and crafted. This could have been any evening's highlight but it was just starting.

It was clear that David Murray was on a roll, so we stayed at Minetta, and caught his set with Geri Allen and Terri Lynne Carrington. Murray was again in excellent form, and Allen and Carrington pushed the envelope more than I expected. I found it a very satisfying set.

It just kept getting better: TRIO 3 with Oliver Lake, Reggie Workman, and Andrew Cyrille, with Vijay Iyer. They turned in an intense, interesting, and strongly played set. Envelopes were stretched, stamped and delivered. Lake hasn't seemed to back off an inch on his alto attack. Workman gets a huge sound out of what looked like a huge bass. Cyrille showed everybody what "out" but "swinging" drumming sounds like. And Iyer loves that million notes a minute, and he is fine at it, but sometime I wondered what he sounds like slowed down to human scale; still, he fit the group quite well and I enjoyed his playing.

Staying at Minetta, it was time for Marc Ribot & The Young Philadelphians: Ribot (electric guitar), Jamaaladeen Tacuma (electric bass guitar), G. Calvin Weston (drums), Mary Halvorson (guitar), Christina Courtin (viola and vocals), Dana Lyn (violin), and Christopher Hoffman (cello). I'd seen Tacuma and Weston in Philadelphia last year, for the Ornette Celebration, and those guys bring the funk! Basically the set was Ribots version of three 1970s vintage disco songs. I recognized "Rollercoaster" by the Ohio Players, "Do The Hustle" by Van McCoy, and a third I can't quite place (maybe "Fly Robin Fly"). The first half hour was enormous fun, then the shallowness of the musical sources started to seep through; one wouldn't want to hear more than was heard that set. And Halvorson was not loud enough in the mix. In any event, I was properly funkified.

Wait! There's more! The last set (12:30AM) was the music of John Laurie and the Lounge Lizards. I've seen enough Jim Jarmusch movies to have a sense of the music, but I've not seen John Lurie or the Lounge Lizards before. Well, John wasn't there but Alan Lurie was , as were the rest of the LL (as I was told by a LL fan). It turned out to be a nice way to wrap up the evening and slide into the early morning hours.

The evening wasn't done. I headed over to Judson for the improv sessions. I'll tell that in another post, as well as Saturday's music.

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you did better than me, I must say; stayed at the Minetta for one hour and then went back to Brooklyn. Too much of a corporate zoo for me.

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you did better than me, I must say; stayed at the Minetta for one hour and then went back to Brooklyn. Too much of a corporate zoo for me.

Ach, that's too bad. Sorry we couldn't connect. Friday was easy; just stay put. I didn't expect that would happen. Wait until I get to Saturday; now that was something of a zoo. But that is part of the festival vibe; can certainly be overwhelming the first time. Also helped i went to school down there eons ago, so the place still seems familiar. Everyone ends up fashioning their own version of the festival.

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Back from Winter Jazz Fest last night, exhilarated and dead tired too. An incredible amount of great music for a very reasonable sum. To get the most out of it, one needs a plan, then one needs to abandon that plan as necessity dictates and go with the moment.

That's what happened Friday night. My plan for that night involved hopscotching from LPR to Minetta to Subculture. I did get to LPR then Minetta, but ended up parked there the rest of the night, due to timing, crowds and distance between Minetta and Subculture, the longest trek of the festival.

The night started with the Donald Byrd Electric and Acoustic Sessions with Donald Harrison on sax, Duane Eubanks, trumpet (subbing for Nicholas Payton apparently), Max Moran, bass, Joe Dyson, drums, gorgeous Dominique Toney, electric keys and vocals. and Kevin Toney, electric and acoustic piano. Kevin Toney talked about how he studied with Donald Byrd at Howard University, and how this performance sought to give a sense of Byrd's development. The group was excellent, it captured Byrd's style, and It was fun to soak in a Blue Note feeling. One could even see some dancing feet.

Went over to Minetta to catch David Murray Clarinet Summit, with Murray on bass clarinet, Hamiet Bluiett and David Krakauer on clarinet, and Don Byron on clarinet and bass clarinet. Jaribu Shahid (bass) and Nasheet Waits (drums) filled out the group in fine fashion. The one thing that was clear was that Murray was in top form and played beautifully and with energy. So did the rest of the group, with some amazing virtuosic performances from Krakauer and Byron, although I preferred Byron's for nuance and feeling. Bluiett's performance was wonderfully mature and crafted. This could have been any evening's highlight but it was just starting.

It was clear that David Murray was on a roll, so we stayed at Minetta, and caught his set with Geri Allen and Terri Lynne Carrington. Murray was again in excellent form, and Allen and Carrington pushed the envelope more than I expected. I found it a very satisfying set.

It just kept getting better: TRIO 3 with Oliver Lake, Reggie Workman, and Andrew Cyrille, with Vijay Iyer. They turned in an intense, interesting, and strongly played set. Envelopes were stretched, stamped and delivered. Lake hasn't seemed to back off an inch on his alto attack. Workman gets a huge sound out of what looked like a huge bass. Cyrille showed everybody what "out" but "swinging" drumming sounds like. And Iyer loves that million notes a minute, and he is fine at it, but sometime I wondered what he sounds like slowed down to human scale; still, he fit the group quite well and I enjoyed his playing.

Staying at Minetta, it was time for Marc Ribot & The Young Philadelphians: Ribot (electric guitar), Jamaaladeen Tacuma (electric bass guitar), G. Calvin Weston (drums), Mary Halvorson (guitar), Christina Courtin (viola and vocals), Dana Lyn (violin), and Christopher Hoffman (cello). I'd seen Tacuma and Weston in Philadelphia last year, for the Ornette Celebration, and those guys bring the funk! Basically the set was Ribots version of three 1970s vintage disco songs. I recognized "Rollercoaster" by the Ohio Players, "Do The Hustle" by Van McCoy, and a third I can't quite place (maybe "Fly Robin Fly"). The first half hour was enormous fun, then the shallowness of the musical sources started to seep through; one wouldn't want to hear more than was heard that set. And Halvorson was not loud enough in the mix. In any event, I was properly funkified.

Wait! There's more! The last set (12:30AM) was the music of John Laurie and the Lounge Lizards. I've seen enough Jim Jarmusch movies to have a sense of the music, but I've not seen John Lurie or the Lounge Lizards before. Well, John wasn't there but Alan Lurie was , as were the rest of the LL (as I was told by a LL fan). It turned out to be a nice way to wrap up the evening and slide into the early morning hours.

The evening wasn't done. I headed over to Judson for the improv sessions. I'll tell that in another post, as well as Saturday's music.

We heard a lot of the same stuff the first night--I enjoyed both David Murray sets (the trio with Geri Allen and Terry Lynne Carrrington especially); Trio 3 was really good; and the Mark Ribot set was fun as well (Jamaaladeen Tacuma I had not seen him since the mid-1980s, he sounded great), though my ears were blasted by the end of their set, so I didn't stay for the Lurie set. I liked what I heard of Mary Halvorson in the Mark Ribot set but there wasn't enough of it.

Edited by kh1958

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Hey kh1958, glad you made it to the festival. I was wondering if you were at those sets.

After the Lurie set, I headed over to Joe's Pizza for a slice, then to Judson for the improv sessions. The place was shadowy enough to suit Ran Blake. I walk in and there is Ab Baars playing passionately and as emotionally as I've heard him, in a duet with harpist Brandee Younger from her tribute group to Dorothy Ashby, AFRO HARPING.

Each musician played for about 10-15 minutes, then another player would take their place.

Ab Baars left and his place was taken by Myra Melford, whose duo with Younger was sterling. Then Mark Turner played with Melford. Ernst Glerum, ICP bassist, came on for a short trio, then Nasheet Waits replaced Younger and Turner. So it went. Oliver Lake and Nasheet Waits. Mary Oliver of ICP, playing with real attitude, and Oliver Lake.

The improv set winded down about 3:00PM. A rather wonderful way to end the evening.

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Hey kh1958, glad you made it to the festival. I was wondering if you were at those sets.

After the Lurie set, I headed over to Joe's Pizza for a slice, then to Judson for the improv sessions. The place was shadowy enough to suit Ran Blake. I walk in and there is Ab Baars playing passionately and as emotionally as I've heard him, in a duet with harpist Brandee Younger from her tribute group to Dorothy Ashby, AFRO HARPING.

Each musician played for about 10-15 minutes, then another player would take their place.

Ab Baars left and his place was taken by Myra Melford, whose duo with Younger was sterling. Then Mark Turner played with Melford. Ernst Glerum, ICP bassist, came on for a short trio, then Nasheet Waits replaced Younger and Turner. So it went. Oliver Lake and Nasheet Waits. Mary Oliver of ICP, playing with real attitude, and Oliver Lake.

The improv set winded down about 3:00PM. A rather wonderful way to end the evening.

Joe's Pizza is great; I ate there Saturday (a very cold day). That sounds terrific--I was just too tired Friday to stay up too late (got up at 5 a.m. and flew from Dallas to NYC on Friday).

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Then Mark Turner played with Melford.....

Was Turner playing French horn? He went through a period of embouchure problems, and was playing piano for awhile.

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I went and, as usual, enjoyed myself despite the frigid temperatures and the lines at some of the venues.

On Friday, I started out with Wallace Roney at the Bitter End. I then checked out the end of the Donald Byrd Acoustic Electric at Le Poisson Rouge and some of the ICP. I then headed over to the David Murray Clarinet Summit at Minettta Lane. I then headed back to the Bitter End and caught some of the Brandee Younger set. I then waited a long time at Minetta to get into the Trio 3 w/ Vijay Iyer set; I got in just as they were getting started. I then headed over to Carroll Place to see Eddie Henderson Silver. After that, I headed to the Players Theater to catch the Marquis Hill set. I then headed back to Carroll Place to check out Anthony Pirog w/ Michael Formanek on bass and Ches Smith on drums. I ended the night at Judson at the Improv sessions, I left in the middle of Brandee Younger and Myra Melford.

On Saturday, I started out with Myra Melford at Zinc Bar, which is a small space and was difficult to get into during the festival, so I got there early. It was good, but kind of subdued. So I left in the middle and headed over to the Players Theater to catch Dan Weiss Large Ensemble. I left there early and headed over to Minetta to see Amina Claudine Meyers. I left there in the middle of her set and headed back to Players to catch Darius Jones, who was execellent and played music from his upcoming album. After that, I headed over to Judson to catch Ambrose Akinmusire. I really enjoyed his set -- I think that his recordings try to do too much. It would be nice if he released a recording in the same vein as this set -- trumpet with rhythm section playing original tunes. I then headed over to Subculture. I parked there for the rest of the night. I caught the end of the end of the SFJazz Collective. I saw the entire Harriet Tubman set. I then saw the JD Allen Trio, which was easily the set I enjoyed the most. He played with his longstanding trio of Gregg August on bass and Rudy Royston on drums. The trio played with utmost confidence and majesty. They played material from the trio albums and did not play any new material. I ended the festival with trumpeter John Raymond's Roots trio. I had heard of him, but I never heard Raymond play before. I was very impressed. He had Gilad Hekselman on guitar and Rudy Royston stayed on stage from the previous set on drums. The repertoire was pop tunes. Raymond said that he recorded an album of the material with Colin Stranahan on drums instead of Royston, which will be released later this year. They played tunes including Simon and Garfunkel's Scarborough Fair, Eraser by Thom Yorke, and ended with a hymn.

There is always room for improvement, but given the complicated logistics that are undoubtedly involved with putting this event together, I think the organizers deserve a lot of credit.

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Then Mark Turner played with Melford.....

Was Turner playing French horn? He went through a period of embouchure problems, and was playing piano for awhile.

No, Turner was playing tenor sax in both his own set and in the improv session. He seemed not to be having any difficulties.

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Then Mark Turner played with Melford.....

Was Turner playing French horn? He went through a period of embouchure problems, and was playing piano for awhile.

No, Turner was playing tenor sax in both his own set and in the improv session. He seemed not to be having any difficulties.

Jeez - I was being stupid. I was thinking of Mark Taylor, French hornist. Of course Mark Turner was playing tenor, because that's what he plays! D'oh!

Edited by jeffcrom

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I was wondering about that!

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Saturday, once again at the Minetta Lane Theater, the first set was by Kavita Shah, a vocalist who released her first album on Inner Circle last year. I like the record, and similarly enjoyed her jazz/world music fusion set and group (Shai Maestro on piano and Petros Klampanis on bass). This was followed by the Amina Claudine Myers Trio, with Jerome Harris on guitar and bassn and Reggie Nicholson on drums. This was one of my favorite sets of the festival; she played organ only and vocals. Next came the Cookers, who were predictably of high quality, particularly Billy Harper on tenor and Cecil McBee on bass (I had never seen Cecil McBee live before). After that, Rudresh Mahanthappa's Charlie Parker Project (a pretty loose inspiration, as this was not the usual Charlie Parker tribute). Except for the drummer, his group was all new to me--this again was an outstanding set and group--a favorite from the festival. Finally, Henry, Hampton & Low (Levon Henry, Alan Hampton & Meshell Ndegeocello), more in the vein of a pop/jazz fusion group, which I liked a lot more than I expected I would, after waiting through the most difficult set-up I witnessed at the festival. After that, Nicholas Payton wasn't appealing to me, so I called it a (freezing) night.

Overall, it was really fun to hear no less than nine groups that I liked over the course of two nights and in a nice venue from the front row. I hope I can make it back again next year.

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