All the Things… New York Jazz and More

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Posts Tagged ‘Smalls

Peter Bernstein, Larry Goldings and Bill Stewart @ Smalls

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Lines outside Smalls jazz club

One of those shows that one should arrive early to: we got there about half an hour before the first set (@8PM), stood in line (really awesome line, of awesome people:D) for at least the half hour, and were able to buy tickets for the second set only… So we just had a drink in a nearby bar and came back half an our before the second set (@10PM –  at that point the whole thing was sold out, so I guess they had no general admission really)…

Peter Bernstein, Larry Goldings, Bill Stewart @ Smalls

The concert was great, as expected: they were celebrating the release of the live recording they did at Smalls almost exactly a year ago (January 6-8 2011).  They started with Just A Thought by Peter Bernstein, then bluesy Molto Molto with some Giant Steps influenced changes (by Larry Goldings). Then Django (John Lewis) that started with Bernstein on solo guitar. Extremely beautiful (Bernstein’s sound was just incredible) ballad All Too Soon (by Duke Ellington). Then a burning blues Breakthrough (by Hank Mobley) featuring Bill Stewart on drums… 😀 They closed with a soulful version of Ahmad Jamal’s Night Mist Blues.

Written by Ines

December 29, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Peter Bernstein solo guitar @ Smalls

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Peter Bernstein solo guitar

Went to hear Peter Bernstein’s solo guitar gig @ Smalls, which he has been doing pretty regularly for about a year or so. He played some great tunes – Pannonica (Monk), Who Can I Turn To, Angel Eyes, Cabin In the Sky (by Vernon Duke), Wise One (John Coltrane), What Is This Thing Called Love, Autumn In New York. It was interesting to listen to, intellectually,  the way he treated the harmonies and melodies while being deeply rooted in jazz tradition. The emphasis seemed to be more on chords and harmonies, not so much about groove.

Written by Ines

August 31, 2010 at 10:07 pm

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! 😀

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 😀

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… 😀

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… 😀

Mike Moreno Group @ Smalls

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Mike Moreno @ Smalls

Mike Moreno @ Smalls

Really great jazz @ Smalls yesterday – Mike Moreno on guitar, Peter Schlamb on vibraphone, Jon Cowherd on piano, Doug Weiss on bass, Jochen Rueckert on drums.  Those were some real jazz cats :). Mike Moreno seems to be a really sound-conscious guitar player and on top of that plays very interesting lines as well :D. For me, the greatest revelation was the drummer – I can’t believe I hadn’t seen him around before, he seems to be one of the busiest in the scene – really enjoyed his playing. They did some Mike’s original tunes, I was especially blown away by the second set when they played The Fifth Element followed by a really beautiful nameless ballad. And Wayne Shorter’s Children of the Night sounded great as well.

Written by Ines

July 7, 2009 at 6:39 pm

Tim Collins Group @ Smalls

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Tim Collins Group @ Smalls

Tim Collins Group @ Smalls

Smalls was packed for Tim Collins Group last night – that really was an amazing concert! I’d vote Tim Collins the cutest jazz musician in New York (something about vibraphone playing)  and his composition, inventively called Tim’s New Tune the most fun and happening tune I’ve heard here so far 😀 ! Tim Collins on vibraphone, Danny Grissett on piano, Matt Clohesy on bass, Tommy Crane on drums – really versatile and tasteful band, I loved it!

Written by Ines

July 3, 2009 at 11:09 am