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Posts Tagged ‘John Escreet

Saturday @ Winter Jazzfest (Day 2)

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Saturday night jazzfest menu

Got there around 8:15PM this time and started off, just as the day before, with trying to do some quick gig hopping and check out all the venues for the most appealing sounds…

On the average, I think it felt even more crowded than the day before (it was 2000 people both nights and it was sold out). Come to think of it, according to the data on Search&Restore website, the capacity of Zinc Bar is 250, 800 for le Poisson Rouge, 345 for Sullivan Hall (although I never saw that being at capacity),which totals 1395 people, theoretically. That would leave around 300 each for Kenny’s Castaways and the Bitter End. So it’s pretty understandable that the crowds were all over the place.

1. Bernie Worrell Orchestra @ le Poisson Rouge

Kyle Cadena, guitar / Andrew Kimball, guitar / Scott Hogan, bass / Glen Fittin, percussion / Shlomi Cohen, alto sax / Ofer Assaf, tenor sax / Justin Mullens, trumpet / Karl Latham, drums / Evan Taylor, drums

Pretty straightforward funky kind of music. Hopped on pretty soon…

2. Herculaneum @ Kenny’s Castaways

Dylan Ryan, drums / David McDonnell, alto saxophone / Nick Broste, trombone / Nate Lepine, tenor saxophone and flute / Patrick Newbery, trumpet / Greg Danek, bass

Stopped by really briefly: seemed like a nice hang, but not spectacular enough to settle down…

Bernie Worrell Orchestra

3. Lionel Loueke @ Zinc Bar

Lionel Loueke, guitar and vocals / Michael Olatuja, bass / Mark Guiliana, drums

Although I had heard Lionel Loueke a few times, I was a bit curiuos to hear this particular lineup with Mark Guiliana on drums. Finally managed to get in to Zinc Bar (it was so crowded that I didn’t really see anything). They sounded nice, but I only stayed for a tune or so, as the mission for the night was to hear something mind blowing…🙂

4. Andy Milne’s Dapp Theory @ the Bitter End

Andy Milne, piano, keyboards & vocals / John Moon, poet / Aaron Kruziki, reeds & vocals / Chris Tordini, basses & vocals / Kenny Grohowski, drums & guitar

Andy Milne's Dapp Theory

Back to the Bitter End. That one was crowded as well (oddly, everybody also stayed near the door, actually there was more room on the other side of the room). The band had energy and intention + they played well, so it was a pleasure to listen. Later on John Moon, the poet and vocalist in the band, performed some interesting improvised (?) poetry, locking it in with the band’s groove. Haven’t heard things like that too often, so I thought it sounded interesting, the rhythm of the words and the music…

5. Mostly Other People Do The Killing @ Kenny’s Castaways

Peter Evans, trumpet / Jon Irabagon, saxophone / Moppa Elliott, bass / Kevin Shea, drums

Didn’t fascinate that much me at the moment. Hopped on…

Fabian Almazan & Strings

6. Fabian Almazan and Strings @ Sullivan  Hall

Fabian Almazan, piano / Linda Oh, bass / Henry Cole, drums / Jenny Scheinman: Violin. I / Megan Gould, violin. II / Karen Waltuch, viola / Noah Hoffeld, cello

Didn’t hear enough of it to form an opinion. And to be honest, I thought Sullivan Hall wasn’t that appropriate a venue to hear this kind of music anyway as the sound of the room is more suitable for rock (bass is heavy, not so clear overall). On the average, the venues that have jazz in New York normally have really great balanced sound (rooms are dry and not emphasizing any particular frequencies). So I’d rather hear Fabian Almazan and Strings somewhere else.

Justin Brown Group w/ special guest Ambrose Akinmusire

7. Justin Brown Group @ Sullivan Hall

Fabian Almazan, fender Rhodes & piano / Burness Travis, electric bass / Matthew Stevens, guitar / Special guest Ambrose Akinmusire, trumpet / Justin Brown, drums

Another band I was looking forward to hearing – but somehow the music and the playing didn’t touch me this time.

Vijay Iyer Trio @ le Poisson Rouge

8. Vijay Iyer trio @ le Poisson Rouge

Vijay Iyer, piano / Stephan Crump, bass / Marcus Gilmore, drums

That one was great! The only drawback was that Le Poisson Rouge was packed as hell. Marcus Gilmore, once again, sounded great. And so did Stephan Crump on bass and Vijay himself. Looking forward to hearing them again soon, preferably in a bit more relaxed environment.

Allison Miller's BOOM TIC BOOM

9. Allison Miller’s BOOM TIC BOOM @ the Bitter End

Myra Melford, piano / Jenny Scheinman, violin / Brad Jones, bass / Allison Miller, drums

The Bitter End was packed as hell as well, but I managed to squeeze through the mob to the other side of the room, so it was quite cozy. I also found the music to be charming somehow, although it probably wouldn’t have been a jazz purist’s cup of tea (again, this conflict between the rhythmic worlds of jazz and folk). Allison Miller had loads of great musical ideas, enjoyable grooves and it was refreshing to hear her creative musical vision pouring out of the drum set: she treats the instrument in quite a unique way. They also had a nice energy as a band and were clearly enjoying what they do – it is always incredible to witness how much that actually adds (regardless of the actual music).

Taylor Eigsti trio

10. Taylor Eigsti trio @ the Bitter End

Taylor Eigsti, piano / Eric Harland, drums / Harish Raghavan, bass

That was the highlight of the day for me. Great musicians, great band!  First, they played a few originals, then a pretty impressive version of Wayne Shorter’s Deluge. Tenor player Dayna Stephens stepped up as special guest for (his arrangement of) Joe Henderson’s Black Narcissus. For the last tune, vocalist Becca Stevens joined for a tune written by her and Eigsti, Magnolia.

Taylor Eigsti trio w/ Becca Stevens and Dayna Stephens

What impressed me most in the concert was Eigsti’s almost McCoy Tyner kind of energy in his melodic lines. It was also great how he made musically meaningful use of textures of the actual instruments, combining the more intense sound of the piano (even more noteworthy as the actual piano seemed to be rather crappy) and the mellow sound of Rhodes. Harish Raghavan’s command of the bass was almost scary. And Eric Harland was as great as ever, or better.

11. Tyshawn Sorey Oblique @ the Bitter End

Tyshawn Sorey, drums / Loren Stillman, alto saxophone / Todd Neufeld, guitar / John Escreet, piano, keyboards / Chris Tordini, bass

Tyshawn Sorey Oblique @ the Bitter End

Although that was one of the late-night sets (starting at 01:45 AM) and many had departed, but there seemed to be quite a few musicians around to see this one. What bothered me about this one, though, was how they (not Tyshawn though) seemed to be struggling with all the reading. Most players were so fixed on their sheet music that it looked almost humorous. Although this kind of intellectual and many-faceted compositions seem to be one of the interesting developments in jazz and one probably can’t really play music like that by heart, is reading music really supposed to be something that jazz musicians should demonstrate in such extreme ways? I feel that lot of the effortlessness and grace that one would expect from the live music gets lost. All were great musicians (heard some spectacular solos and overall amazing musicianship), though, and it was kind of fun to try to process and make sense of the load of musical information presented (giving an almost sport-like thrill…).

Taylor Haskins & Recombination / John Escreet Project double bill @ Drom

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John Escreet with Dave Binney, Joe Sanders and Nasheet Waits

A Search & Restore event with two really exciting bands! On that snowy Sunday night. I was very glad I made it out there.

First, John Escreet featuring Dave Binney on alto sax, Nasheet Waits on drums and Joe Sanders on bass. I was quite late for it, but what i heard was just incredibly good! Can’t get enough of Nasheet Waits! They were all really killing, totally love that band.

And then – Taylor Haskins & Recombination featuring Ben Monder on guitar, Henry Hey on keys, Todd Sickafoose on bass and Nate Smith on drums and a special guest appearance by Samuel Torres. Great music with a really hot hot luscious groove, I loved it.

Matthew Stevens Quintet @ Solo Kitchen Bar

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Matt Stevens 5 @ Solo Kitchen Bar

Matthew Stevens (the guitar player on Christian Scott’s albums Rewind That and Anthem) with Logan Richardson on alto, John Escreet on piano, Eric Doob on drums and Joe Sanders (the First Runner Up in the Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition 2009 ) on acoustic bass @ Solo Kitchen Bar. I heard the second set. Didn’t really like the gig so much. Mostly because of the compositions I guess, sounded kind of obscure to me. Even though I like the stuff on his myspace so much more, with the effects and all the good lines and grooves. At Solo, it sounded kind of naked to me.  But there was a really cool moment of interaction between alto and bass and later piano. But yeah. Also, the piano wasn’t loud enough where i was sitting. But Solo Kitchen Bar is still such a great hang! Definitely one of the best places for jazz on any Sunday night in New York 😀

Lars Dietrich 4 & Andy Arnold 3 @ Rose Live Music – The Brooklyn Experiments Series

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Lars Dietrich 4 @ Rose

Lars Dietrich -sax & compositions, John Escreet – piano, Zack Lober – bass, Jordan Perlson – drums. Featuring Maria Neckham on vocals. I really liked the music and arrangements.  Almost bought a CD, but I didn’t have $15 that time. I think it would be worth it though. Anyway, what a funky piano they have at Rose, never seen anyone use it yet. 😀

Then the guitar trio of Andy Arnold, Moto Fukushima on bass and Jared Schonig on drums, heard them @ the Shrine quite recently. I like how they sound, it’s fusion with a happy funky vibe  🙂 But I was tired somehow. Didn’t stick around for the last band, the Funky Miracle, even though it featured guitar player Chris Conly, the famous curator of Sunday nights @ Rose and Brad Whiteley on keys – met both of them ages ago… 😀

Bad news is that I broke my camera. Taking pictures with Nokia 7373 again.. Really hope that not for long.

Joel Harrison Group @ Tea Lounge

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Joel Harrison Group @ Tea Lounge

Joel Harrison Group @ Tea Lounge

Went to visit a friend in Park Slope and ended up going to the Tea Lounge. What a great surprise – John Escreet (keys) and Donny McCaslin (tenor) were playing with Joel Harrison (guitar). Jerome Harris on bass, Ziv Ravitz on drums – sounded great. John Escreet played the piano solo of the month, I would say 😀 😀

Written by Ines

September 11, 2009 at 3:27 am

John Escreet Project @ Jazz Standard

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John Escreet Project

John Escreet Project

Another Wednesday that had too much great jazz to choose from. I thought I was going to be working that night and not see any of it, but by some weird coincidences I actually made it to John Escreet Project concert at Jazz Standard.  I was really happy about it since they only got one night booked there. Heard both sets – was really good! Not too many people were there for the first one, though.  John Escreet (piano, compositions), David Binney (tenor, effects), Ambrose Akinmusire (trumpet), Zack Lober (bass), Nasheet Waits (drums). I loved the compositions! Perfect balance between improvisation and composition, I was thinking. And so much interplay going on in the band – I know trios can often be so dynamic and full of interaction, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard so much active awareness of space in a quintet. Was really organic, dynamic and well balanced.  Great musicians, that’s why, I guess :D. Found myself another favorite trumpet player – Ambrose Akinmusire.

And another thing – I happened to sit next to Adam Schatz and found out about this really cool website he’s doing – A great one for New York Jazz, really! Glad I found it 😀 Tried to make it to Nir Felder’s gig @ Smalls that night as well, but was too late.