All the Things… New York Jazz and More

Blog of a jazz enthusiast

Posts Tagged ‘Kristjan Randalu

Ben Monder & Kristjan Randalu @ Viljandi Guitar Festival

leave a comment »

 

Kristjan Randalu & Ben Monder in Viljandi

I’m in Tallinn, Estonia at the moment. It was great to see Ben Monder here recently – he came to play with Kristjan Randalu @ the Viljandi Guitar Festival. I wrote a review about this for the Estonian newspaper Postimees, but unfortunately didn’t see it in the online version, so can’t link it here. It was a nice gig, they played many of the same tunes they did in the Estonian House in New York, but it was nicer here since there were so many more people  diggin’ on it 🙂 Kristjan especially seemed to be in great shape, that might also be because Ben brings out many of his greatest qualities – I really enjoyed listening.

Kristjan Randalu and Ben Monder @ the Estonian House

with 4 comments

Kristjan Randalu/Ben Monder duo @ the Estonian House

Kristjan Randalu/Ben Monder duo @ the Estonian House

Unfortunately not too many people showed up, despite the listing in All About Jazz NYC and even the invites I was sending out on Facebook :)… But the concert was really good :D. I was reminded how much I like Ben Monder, he sounded great! They played mostly Kristjan’s compositions (which I like a lot, would be willing to buy a CD), one by Ben Monder and All the Things You Are. They ended the set with an arrangement of the Estonian folk tune (definitely rings a bell for me, coming from Viljandi Culture Academy ;)) Igal Ühel Oma Pill. It was hilarious to hear Ben Monder play that one! xD And Kristjan has the craziest chops, really!

Written by Ines

October 9, 2009 at 2:27 pm

Coming up – Kristjan Randalu/Ben Monder duo @ the Estonian House

with 6 comments

DSCN2081Amazing Estonian pianist Kristjan Randalu and one of the hottest guitar players in New York – Ben Monder – what more could one want 😀 Thursday, October 8th 9 pm @ the Estonian House. I’m going to be the one on the door charging $10. This would also be a great chance to see the Estonian House 😀 A nice place, even has a bar ( open 5 to 11 PM). Hmm, and I wonder if they have Estonian beer.

Estonian House is located: 243 E 34th St @ Second Avenue (Subway 6 to 34th St)

Written by Ines

October 4, 2009 at 1:47 pm

Mark Guiliana's Birthday Gig @ Rose

leave a comment »

Mark Guiliana's THING @ Rose

Mark Guiliana's THING @ Rose

With lots of Mark Guiliana’s friends showing up, Rose was full of jazz musicians from all over. I heard the second set. Neil Persiani was there and they played the immortal Locked in A Basement groove  😀 Aaahhh… 🙂

More good news, Kristjan Randalu is back in town!

Written by Ines

September 3, 2009 at 1:38 pm

Mark Guiliana’s Birthday Gig @ Rose

leave a comment »

Mark Guiliana's THING @ Rose

Mark Guiliana's THING @ Rose

With lots of Mark Guiliana’s friends showing up, Rose was full of jazz musicians from all over. I heard the second set. Neil Persiani was there and they played the immortal Locked in A Basement groove  😀 Aaahhh… 🙂

More good news, Kristjan Randalu is back in town!

Written by Ines

September 3, 2009 at 1:38 pm

Kristjan Randalu with the Transatlantic Collective @ Cornelia Street Cafe

leave a comment »

The Transatlantic Collective

The Transatlantic Collective

The same band as I heard in Estonia, in december 2008, except for the drummer (Patrick Cornelius – alto, Michael Janisch – double bass, Ambrose Akinmusire – trumpet, Kristjan Randalu – piano), Colin Stranahan on drums this time, sounded real good. Even some of the songs were the same as in Estonia, as it was the official US CD release concert of  their debut album “Traveling Song”. The music somehow even felt more organic and energetic here in New York. It was great jazz playing from everyone in the group and the feel of it all was quite intense – really going for it. But this kind of event feels so natural here – just sitting in a jazz club and listening to top grade musicians playing good jazz.
But yeah, it is still a fact that Kristjan Randalu is probably the only Estonian jazz musician who is in that league of players right now, and would actually comfortably stand a comparison to the big names in the scene. It has been a lot of fun to spot him here and there in the city (- we’ve actually met many times at various concerts in the past couple of weeks, sometimes a bit deliberately though). 🙂 But he’s going back to Europe now – guess I won’t have the luxury of talking Estonian to someone at the concerts anymore…

Cornelia Street Cafe

Cornelia Street Cafe

I really like Cornelia Street Cafe as a venue (downstairs) but  upstairs is an especially nice place to have drinks – it’s in a great neighborhood (West Village) and has a relaxed atmosphere – great for meeting people. I actually met the manager of Village Vanguard there and had some wine with him. Was fascinating to hear him talk about what he has seen here in NY – since he has worked at the Vanguard for over 20 years, hanged around with people like Dexter Gordon and seen the real jazz scene as it was  back in the days when there were no smoking regulations and all that. In New York all the places are so connected to jazz history –  great stories and great music – for those who know about it.

Oh yeah, and on my way home I actually did stop by at the Village Vanguard to confirm with my own eyes and ears that Brad Mehldau and Larry Grenadier were sitting in with Bill McHenry’s band (substituting Duane Eubanks and Ben Street). These kinds of things happen – only in New York.

Brad Shepik trio @ Solo Kitchen Bar and Mike Moreno Quartet

leave a comment »

Brad Shepik trio @ Solo Kitchen Bar

Brad Shepik trio @ Solo Kitchen Bar

Couldn’t make up my mind about what I should hear last night so I tried to have it all – first went all the way down to Flatbush, Brooklyn to Solo Kitchen Bar to hear Brad Shepik’s trio. This time it was Adam Niewood on sax and Mark Guiliana on drums. Just can’t get enough of Mark Guiliana’s drumming! Almost can’t believe my ears at times, all this great music coming from just one guy playing the drums… I really recommend everybody to check him out, who hasn’t already. Don’t know much about drumming but never heard anyone play like that. How come I never really even noticed the drummers so much before coming here anyway? And here I end up mainly listening to the drummers.

Not me on the picture :)

Not me on the picture 🙂

The second stop was intended to be 55 Bar. In some mysterious way the subway followed a really weird route back to Manhattan – I was supposedly on a 2 train Bronx express, but it stopped at really wrong places according to the map and I ended up at an unexpected station and walked to 55 Bar. So I actually only heard the last tune of Mike Moreno’s Quartet – it was a good one :). Liked the sound a lot, actually there was Tim Collins on vibraphone – really would have wanted to hear some New York vibes playing. Next time then, I guess. We hanged around for a couple of beers at a bar next door, Kettle, with Mike Moreno, Kristjan Randalu, Tim Collins and later on a Canadian double bass player girl. Really had a good time with them.