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Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Tain Watts

Mingus Big Band @ Jazz Standard & the Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra revisited

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Mingus Big Band @ Jazz Standard

Went to hear the Mingus Big Band @ Jazz Standard, finally :D. I’ve been curious about that one for a while. It was surprisingly packed over there, seems like Jazz Standard is doing great business. And they deserve it too – in my opinion they have one of the best bookings in the city, really great food, great service, nice atmosphere, very professional attitude, quite reasonable prices (with student discounts), none of that aggressive minimums policy. Which really makes it in many ways the best jazz club in NY. But I was a little disappointed with the actual big band. I enjoyed only a couple of the tunes. I thought quite a lot of it was actually disturbingly out of tune. And for some reason didn’t like the piano player, I thought he was showing some bad taste with all those elevator music clichés and not so classy christmas carols quotes.  So I wasn’t as much into the whole thing. Boris Kozlov sounded great, though. And the lineup in general seemed pretty amazing: Scott Robinson, Donny McCaslin – tenor saxophone, Jaleel Shaw, Craig Handy – alto saxophone, flute,  Lauren Sevian – baritone saxophone, Andy Hunter, Dave Taylor, Marshall Gilkes – trombones Kenny Rampton, Alex Sipiagin, Earl Gardner – trumpets, David Kikoski – piano, Boris Kozlov – bass, Jeff “Tain” Watts – drums.

Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra

But yeah. I think as a big band they were also lacking a little with the dynamics and energy. So later on I went to hear the second set of the Vanguard for a fresh comparison between the two. I must say the Vanguard Orchestra sounded way better to me. They weren’t perfect either, though :D. The Vanguard was really packed as well, even the second set. Seems like the holiday season is favorable for big band music. Speaking of that, I really wish I could have heard Joe Henderson’s Big Band live. I don’t think I would have had anything critical to say about them! :D

Discovered an inspiring quote by Charles Mingus on Jazz Standard’s website:

“Most people are forced to do things they don’t want to for most of the time, and so they get to the point where they feel they no longer have any choices about anything important, including who they are. We create our own slavery. But I’m going to keep on getting through, and finding out the kind of man I am,

Edmar Casteneda & Ari Hoenig @ Smalls

through my music. That’s the one place I can be free.” (Charles Mingus [1922–1979], from a conversation with Nat Hentoff)

And then finally, saw Ari Hoenig @ Smalls with this interesting Columbian harp player Edmar Casteneda. Never heard seen or heard that kind of harp before, cool :D

Thursday night Greenwich Village jazz club crawl / Jeff "Tain" Watts 4tet @ the Zinc Bar

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Gilad Hekselman, Joe Martin, Marcus Gilmore @ Fat Cat

First, went to Fat Cat to hear Gilad Hekselman Trio. Gilad on guitar, Joe Martin on bass & Marcus Gilmore on drums. I loved the drummer! Would really like to hear more of him!

Then, next stop, Smalls for more New York jazz guitar – Peter Bernstein & Jonathan Kreisberg duo. I suspect the first set had been a lot better, but I heard the second one. But it was really interesting to observe how those quite different players burn through some

Jonathan Kreisberg, Peter Bernstein @ Smalls

standards. For standards I definitely prefer listening to Pete Bernstein though. In general I think guitar duos are quite amusing – it can get even a little dangerous when two people packed with all the guitar chops get together and start going for it. And I was wondering if Summertime is always going to be the essential guitar duo piece after Jim Hall & Pat Metheny played it together?

Then, the Vanguard for some top-class piano trio music by Cedar Walton, David Williams-b, Willie Jones III-d. Was really good, but one set was quite enough for me. I really really love the Vanguard. I

Cedar Walton trio @ the Village Vanguard

just love going there. It feeds my soul.

And then, last stop, Zinc Bar. Jeff “Tain” Watts 4tet with Marcus Strickland – Sax, Lawrence Fields- Keyboard, James Genus- Bass. How the set times work @ the Zinc bar is just hilarious – they can so easily be 1h 45min late. So I heard the first two sets (which ended after 2 AM). Especially liked the second one! Jeff “Tain” Watts

Jeff "Tain" Watts Quartet @ the Zinc Bar

sounded supernatural… I think what I heard at the Jazz Gallery recently didn’t really count compared to this. Zinc bar was quite packed for the first set – it really made me wonder how did all those people found out about the show? (Does the back cover of Hot House really get that kind of crowds?) Because the even wasn’t listed in All About Jazz NY newspaper. Yeah Zinc Bar is pretty cool, I wonder why I haven’t really frequented that one… Also noticed something interesting written about Jeff “Tain” on their website: … he holds the distinction of being the only musician to appear on every Grammy Award winning jazz record by both Wynton and Branford Marsalis. So people who fancy getting a Grammy better hire Jeff “Tain” Watts for it… :D

Thursday night Greenwich Village jazz club crawl / Jeff “Tain” Watts 4tet @ the Zinc Bar

leave a comment »

Gilad Hekselman, Joe Martin, Marcus Gilmore @ Fat Cat

First, went to Fat Cat to hear Gilad Hekselman Trio. Gilad on guitar, Joe Martin on bass & Marcus Gilmore on drums. I loved the drummer! Would really like to hear more of him!

Then, next stop, Smalls for more New York jazz guitar – Peter Bernstein & Jonathan Kreisberg duo. I suspect the first set had been a lot better, but I heard the second one. But it was really interesting to observe how those quite different players burn through some

Jonathan Kreisberg, Peter Bernstein @ Smalls

standards. For standards I definitely prefer listening to Pete Bernstein though. In general I think guitar duos are quite amusing – it can get even a little dangerous when two people packed with all the guitar chops get together and start going for it. And I was wondering if Summertime is always going to be the essential guitar duo piece after Jim Hall & Pat Metheny played it together?

Then, the Vanguard for some top-class piano trio music by Cedar Walton, David Williams-b, Willie Jones III-d. Was really good, but one set was quite enough for me. I really really love the Vanguard. I

Cedar Walton trio @ the Village Vanguard

just love going there. It feeds my soul.

And then, last stop, Zinc Bar. Jeff “Tain” Watts 4tet with Marcus Strickland – Sax, Lawrence Fields- Keyboard, James Genus- Bass. How the set times work @ the Zinc bar is just hilarious – they can so easily be 1h 45min late. So I heard the first two sets (which ended after 2 AM). Especially liked the second one! Jeff “Tain” Watts

Jeff "Tain" Watts Quartet @ the Zinc Bar

sounded supernatural… I think what I heard at the Jazz Gallery recently didn’t really count compared to this. Zinc bar was quite packed for the first set – it really made me wonder how did all those people found out about the show? (Does the back cover of Hot House really get that kind of crowds?) Because the even wasn’t listed in All About Jazz NY newspaper. Yeah Zinc Bar is pretty cool, I wonder why I haven’t really frequented that one… Also noticed something interesting written about Jeff “Tain” on their website: … he holds the distinction of being the only musician to appear on every Grammy Award winning jazz record by both Wynton and Branford Marsalis. So people who fancy getting a Grammy better hire Jeff “Tain” Watts for it… :D

Orrin Evans Quintet featuring Jeff "Tain" Watts @ the Jazz Gallery

with 3 comments

:D Jazz Gallery art

I just really wanted to hear Jeff “Tain” Watts… -  guess I wasn’t the only one – the 1st set was actually sold out! That doesn’t happen too often. So after a lot of waiting around (thank god i had company), got to hear the second set. Orrin Evans (piano), Ben Wolfe (bass), Steve Wilson (alto, soprano), Jeff “Tain” Watts (drums). And then there was that guy on tenor, who actually wasn’t listed to be in the group, played a lot of clichés!. Roy Hargrove sat in for the last tune – that was cool :D

It was definitely great to hear Jeff “Tain” Watts, but to be honest, other than that I had really mixed feelings about the whole concert. I’ve heard Orrin Evans once as a sideman (with Sean Jones) and he was killing. But with his own group I thought the music wasn’t that great and some of the things seemed really random. Already how they started the evening by making people watch a DVD concert (filmed in an empty parking lot with Orrin Evans’s band playing the national anthem – what was up with that and ??)  felt kind of suspicious to me. So yeah, all things considered I was thinking I should maybe have gone to Cornelia St instead, to hear Ellery Eskelin with John Hebert, Mary Halvorson and Tyshawn Sorey. People just turn into such snobs in New York when it comes to jazz… :D

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ines

November 22, 2009 at 4:43 pm

Orrin Evans Quintet featuring Jeff “Tain” Watts @ the Jazz Gallery

with 3 comments

:D Jazz Gallery art

I just really wanted to hear Jeff “Tain” Watts… -  guess I wasn’t the only one – the 1st set was actually sold out! That doesn’t happen too often. So after a lot of waiting around (thank god i had company), got to hear the second set. Orrin Evans (piano), Ben Wolfe (bass), Steve Wilson (alto, soprano), Jeff “Tain” Watts (drums). And then there was that guy on tenor, who actually wasn’t listed to be in the group, played a lot of clichés!. Roy Hargrove sat in for the last tune – that was cool :D

It was definitely great to hear Jeff “Tain” Watts, but to be honest, other than that I had really mixed feelings about the whole concert. I’ve heard Orrin Evans once as a sideman (with Sean Jones) and he was killing. But with his own group I thought the music wasn’t that great and some of the things seemed really random. Already how they started the evening by making people watch a DVD concert (filmed in an empty parking lot with Orrin Evans’s band playing the national anthem – what was up with that and ??)  felt kind of suspicious to me. So yeah, all things considered I was thinking I should maybe have gone to Cornelia St instead, to hear Ellery Eskelin with John Hebert, Mary Halvorson and Tyshawn Sorey. People just turn into such snobs in New York when it comes to jazz… :D

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ines

November 22, 2009 at 4:43 pm

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