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Posts Tagged ‘Birdland

Lionel Loueke Trio @ Birdland, Helsinki

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Lionel Loueke trio @ Birdland, Helsinki

 

There is a new jazz club in Helsinki – Birdland, with some kind of connection to the Birdland of New York. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be run in the same level as in New York. The place looks nice and the sound is good, but the space is divided so that in the far ends of the club people don’t (can’t) listen or see the band. The general feeling is that they don’t take the music side that seriously in the club, or have a respect for it. Why have a jazz club if one doesn’t take the music seriously? The drinks are also quite a bit overpriced, a glass of wine almost 9€ and beer (not even a pint of it) is 6€. And the compulsory coat check another 2,5€ each.

They do have some great artists from time to time, though. Yesterday I heard a concert booked by the  Jazz Department of Sibelius Academy – Lionel Loueke’s trio with (half Swedish, half Italian) Massimo Biolcati on bass and Ferenc Nemeth (half Hungarian, half Hungarian ;)) on drums. I thought it kept getting better and better, as they got warmed up. Really tricky meters in the music, I totally gave up trying to figure those out.

Jim Hall Quartet @ Birdland

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Jim Hall Quartet @ Birdland

Another dream of mine fulfilled – heard Jim Hall. @ 78 (our birthdays are just 1 day apart, apparently :D), he hasn’t been doing as many gigs here these days, so I was glad there came a chance, finally. There was still the same wise space and presence in his sound… 😀 And humor when he talks. He had Joey Baron on drums, Steve Laspina on bass, Greg Osby on alto sax. They did an F blues, Skylark, St Thomas, a free improvisation, Billie Holiday’s Don’t Explain.

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Written by Ines

November 12, 2009 at 2:18 pm

John Surman with John Abercrombie, Drew Gress and Jack DeJohnette @ Birdland

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John Surman, Drew Gress, John Abercrombie and Jack DeJohnette @ Birdland

John Surman, Drew Gress, John Abercrombie and Jack DeJohnette @ Birdland

Got a lucky invitation to see a show @ Birdland – John Surman – baritone and soprano sax, John Abercrombie on guitar, Drew Gress – bass, Jack DeJohnette on drums. It was an ECM Records CD release Celebration. Was great to see Jack DeJohnette live, finally! And I like Drew Gress a lot. It’s ridiculous how hard to please I’ve become in New York – I guess lately I enjoy all the new and modern stuff most.  But I do love going to Birdland for free. Still, the best part of the evening was that I actually met a role-model for myself 😀 Was really inspiring to see someone with same kind of attitude and lifestyle – enjoying life in a cultural and tasteful way – and he’s a pro :D.

Went for drinks in the East Village later on. Found the Charlie Parker Residence.

East Village

East Village

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Written by Ines

September 4, 2009 at 1:46 pm

Tim Hagans Quintet featuring John Abercrombie, Marc Copland, Drew Gress and Billy Hart @ Birdland

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Tim Hagans Quintet @ Birdland

Tim Hagans Quintet @ Birdland

I almost thought I was going to miss hearing Tim Hagans (trumpet), John Abercrombie (guitar), Drew Gress (bass), Marc Copland (piano), Billy Hart (drums) @ Birdland, because of the cover charges. But by a strange coincidence somebody actually invited me – and there I was, premium seated eating steamed popcorn shrimp (really delicious) and drinking bottles of chardonnay. The concert really was as unmissable as the lineup was promising it to be. That was a great example of a good jazz group – everybody being so different, free to be the unique individual that they are and in the same time still be perfectly together. The only other occasion this might also happen, to such great exent, is in a family, I guess. John Abercrombie’s guitar sound is just incredible, something magical about it. One of my favorite moments was when Tim Hagans and John Abercrombie played duo, as an intro to one of the songs  – that was almost just as beautiful as Freddie Hubbard and George Benson on Here’s That Rainy Day (on the album Straight Life).  They played some originals, might have been Marc Copland’s songs and they did a really beautiful version of You Don’t Know What Love Is. Some  killin’ drum solos by Billy Hart. I really enjoyed the concert! If you have money, Birdland is a great place to spend it.

Written by Ines

July 12, 2009 at 8:18 pm

Dave Douglas and Brass Ecstasy @ Jazz Standard and “Dedicated to You: Kurt Elling Sings Coltrane/Hartman” @ Birdland

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People just love Kurt Elling

People just love Kurt Elling

Had a lot of fun hanging out with trombonist (and sea-shell-player :D) Stafford Hunter yesterday (I met him last Saturday when he played with Abdullah Ibrahim). We heard a set of Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy (featuring Vincent Chancey on french horn, Luis Bonilla on trombone, Marcus Rojas on tuba, Nasheet Waits on drums, Dave Douglas on trumpet) @ Jazz Standard (E 27th St). I’ve heard Dave Douglas before (In Tallinn, 2008, totally loved it) –  this time it was an all-brass band and the music was more playful and fun. It was their first gig of a long tour that’ll be heading to Europe soon. After that we walked (it’s so nice to walk in NYC in the summertime) all the way to Birdland (W 44th St) and heard the Kurt Elling Quartet featuring Ernie Watts on tenor sax. The concert was “Dedicated to You: Kurt Elling Sings Coltrane/Hartman”. That kind of title and Kurt Elling himself brought in lots of crowds, of course – Coltrane/Hartman music is a favorite for so many people. But it made me miss hearing the real thing so much! Ernie Watts is not really a match for Coltrane. But it was a good concert – the real thing was just so good that it’s quite impossible to go out and do it again these days. Oh, and they actually did a Stevie Wonder song (Golden Lady). People seemed to love it all.

Stafford Hunter and Kurt Elling

Stafford Hunter and Kurt Elling

I discovered that musicians here besides being so much fun to hang out with, get in to the clubs for free (with companions)  if they have been playing at the clubs long enough. We had some Sex on The Beach and Gin at the bar with Stafford and I met everybody’s favorite bartender around there – James. Birdland is a a nice club for hanging out, seemed really big.  It was the last one of the famous expensive ones to check out, I think.

Dave Douglas and Brass Ecstasy @ Jazz Standard and "Dedicated to You: Kurt Elling Sings Coltrane/Hartman" @ Birdland

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People just love Kurt Elling

People just love Kurt Elling

Had a lot of fun hanging out with trombonist (and sea-shell-player :D) Stafford Hunter yesterday (I met him last Saturday when he played with Abdullah Ibrahim). We heard a set of Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy (featuring Vincent Chancey on french horn, Luis Bonilla on trombone, Marcus Rojas on tuba, Nasheet Waits on drums, Dave Douglas on trumpet) @ Jazz Standard (E 27th St). I’ve heard Dave Douglas before (In Tallinn, 2008, totally loved it) –  this time it was an all-brass band and the music was more playful and fun. It was their first gig of a long tour that’ll be heading to Europe soon. After that we walked (it’s so nice to walk in NYC in the summertime) all the way to Birdland (W 44th St) and heard the Kurt Elling Quartet featuring Ernie Watts on tenor sax. The concert was “Dedicated to You: Kurt Elling Sings Coltrane/Hartman”. That kind of title and Kurt Elling himself brought in lots of crowds, of course – Coltrane/Hartman music is a favorite for so many people. But it made me miss hearing the real thing so much! Ernie Watts is not really a match for Coltrane. But it was a good concert – the real thing was just so good that it’s quite impossible to go out and do it again these days. Oh, and they actually did a Stevie Wonder song (Golden Lady). People seemed to love it all.

Stafford Hunter and Kurt Elling

Stafford Hunter and Kurt Elling

I discovered that musicians here besides being so much fun to hang out with, get in to the clubs for free (with companions)  if they have been playing at the clubs long enough. We had some Sex on The Beach and Gin at the bar with Stafford and I met everybody’s favorite bartender around there – James. Birdland is a a nice club for hanging out, seemed really big.  It was the last one of the famous expensive ones to check out, I think.