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Posts Tagged ‘Jazz Standard

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.

Abdullah Ibrahim and Ekaya @ Jazz Standard

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DSCN0371Thanks to a generous invitation from a friend I got to hear two sets of Abdullah Ibrahim (with trio) and Ekaya at Jazz Standard. I loved Abdullah from the first sound he made on the piano – what a great musician. Actually this time Ekaya – the 4-piece horn section playing really beautiful arrangements and taking on some nice solos – with lots of traditional jazz and blues cliches revisited – got a big part of the play time.  The music was very listener-friendly and accessible – I’ve noticed that the big and expensive clubs mostly are. But it was all tasteful with a very good vibe going on, the second (third)  set really took off with energy. It was a lot of fun to hear Stafford Hunter, an amazing trombone player,  play seashells – really happening music, everybody loved it. And Cleave Guyton playing both the alto and the flute.

I would have liked to hear more of Abdullah himself  – everything he played was so beautiful, distilled, spacious – a mature musician playing around with silence.

Written by Ines

June 14, 2009 at 10:43 am