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February 2017 Cutting Room

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Page 10

Matthew Shipp

Noah Haidu


Dianne Reeves

Cornelia Street Underground

Page 10


Where To Go & Who To See Since 1982

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HE TWO ALBUMS THAT COMprise this Winning Spins both feature T small groups with a three-horn frontline,

as well as original compositions by the leaders. They also have one musician in common—saxophonist Jon Irabagon. And, in each case, they present work inspired by literature. But the results are startlingly different: while pianist Noah Haidu develops his music solidly within the conventions of the mainstream of today's jazz, bassist Moppa Elliott conjures up flights of fancy that challenge conventional ideas, creating a funhouse mirror take on early jazz styles. Loafer's Hollow, Mostly Other People Do the Killing (Hot Cup), is from the latest configuration of MOPDtK, Moppa's fluidly configured small group, this time a septet with Jon on soprano or tenor sax, joined in the frontline by Steven Bernstein, trumpet and slide trumpet, and Dave Taylor, bass trombone. Rounding out the group are Brandon Seabrook, banjo and electronics; Ron Stabinsky, piano; Moppa on bass, and Kevin Shea, drums. Brandon's ubiquitous banjo sound permeates most of the music, bringing a vintage hue to a warped, surrealistic take on traditional jazz. The CD's opening track, "Hi-Nella," steps jauntily along on a two-beat Dixieland rhythm, Ron's strums and slaps are prominent throughout. Jon's soprano sax evokes Sidney Bechet and New Orleans; Steven's sliding, smeared notes creating an a cappella centerpiece. The trad jazz feel continues on "Honey Hole," Ron's banjo and Moppa's bass anchoring the Twenties pulse as Kevin ranges toward post-bop rhythmic freedom on his drum kit—all under a shower of wah-wah soloing from Steven and Dave. The next five tracks are all dedicated to, and inspired by, the writing of novelists Moppa admires: James Joyce, Kurt Vonnegut, Thomas Pynchon, Cormac McCarthy and David Foster Wallace (in that order). "Bloomburg" evokes Joyce's onrushing prose through Jon's cascading tenor sax and tag-team solos, climaxing in tandem improvisations, from muted trumpet and trombone. Off-kilter rhythms vie with strains of stride from Ron's piano, periods of near silence and mouthpiece exhalations on "Kilgore;" "Mason and Dixon" features a stop-time banjo solo and Jon's tenor leading a polyphonal ensemble; Steven and Jon (tenor again) share solo space on the slower "Meridian," with echoes of "Makin' Whoopee."


By George K anzler

"Glen Riddle" begins as two-beat Dixie that veers through decades with Ron and Moppa going modern before Brandon brings the vintage sound back. The album ends with "Five (Corners, Points, Forks)," a piece incorporating trad conventions with contemporary attitudes. Infinite Distances, Noah Haidu (Cellar Live), finds a very different, adaptable Jon again on soprano and tenor saxes; Jeremy Pelt, trumpet and flugelhorn; Sharel Cassity, alto sax; and either Peter Brendler or Alejandro de la Portilla, bass; John Davis or Mark Ferber, drums. Noah, who dominates a lot of the solo space on the album, studied piano with Kenny Barron at Rutgers, and his playing shares some of the architectonic sense of form and flow we hear in Kenny's work. Central to this 11-track CD is the sixpart suite, "Infinite Distances," inspired by a passage from the writer Rainer Maria Rilke: "Among the closest people there remain infinite distances." Piano soloing, against the horns and in a drop-out a cappella section, and Jon's tenor share the space on the suite's eponymous first movement. Alan's drums dominate the short "Against the Sky." "Hanaya" is a leisurely waltz infused with passion by Noah's piano and Sharel's sax solos; swirling lines weave through the fast rhythms of "The Great Darkness;" "Can We Talk" has a catchy, short melodic line and gospel beat, Noah's piano solo appealingly accessible. Suspended time vies with accelerating, ostinato-fueled rhythms on the suite closer, "Guardians of Solitude," Noah soloing at different tempos and Sharel closing it out with convincing flair. Four more tracks complete the album: three reworked Noah tunes originally recorded in a piano trio format, plus the late Joe Henderson's "Serenity." The latter is a quartet feature for piano and Jon's soprano sax. Both soprano and Sharel's alto sax share solo space on the boppish "Juicy," along with John's chattering drums. Jeremy is front and center on "They Who??," a sinuous, rolling excursion. Jeremy and Sharel comprise the frontline, and tandem solos, on the riff tune "Momentum." All in all, this is an ambitious and highly successful showcase for Noah's piano, compositions and ensemble conception.

Mostly Other People Do the Killing perform at Cornelia Street Underground Feb. 19. Noah Haidu has a CD release gig at Birdland for Infinite Distances with his band on Feb. 9.

MOPDTK cover photo by Peter Gannushkin, Reeves by Jerris Madison, Shipp by Barbara Januszkiewicz.

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PUBLISHER/MANAGING EDITOR: Gwen Kelley (formerly Calvier) COPY EDITOR: Yvonne Ervin PRODUCTION & ART DIRECTOR: Karen Pica CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Ken Dryden, Yvonne Ervin, Ken Franckling, Seton Hawkins, Eugene Holley Jr., Stephanie Jones, Nathan Kamal, George Kanzler, Elzy Kolb, Ralph A. Miriello, Michael G. Nastos, Emilie Pons, Cary Tone, Gary Walker, Eric Wendell PROOF READER: Robert Abel CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER: Fran Kaufman

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BILL’S PLACE: 148W 133rd St (bet Lenox & 7th Avs). 212281-0777. Fri-Sat: 8&10pm $20 don Bill Saxton Bebop Band. CAVATAPPO: 1712 1st Av (bet 88th & 89th Sts). 212-987-9260. Sets: Mon 7-10pm free adm, Thurs 9-11pm $10 adm. Mon: Roger Lent. Feb 2: Pasquale Grasso; 7: 6-8pm Bucky Pizzarelli/Ed Laub Trio; 9: Mafalda Minozzi; 14: 8-10pm Gabrielle Stravelli; 16: Nick Myers; 23: Jason Tiemann. CLEOPATRA’S NEEDLE: 2485 Bway (bet 92nd & 93rd Sts). www.cleopatrasneedleny. com. 212-769-6969. Sets: Early (E), Late (L); Sun E 4-8pm, L 9pm-1am; Mon-Tues E 89pm, L 10pm-1am; Wed-Thurs E 7-11pm, L 11:30pm-2:30am; Fri-Sat E 8pm-12am, L 12:30-3am. Free adm/$10 min. Trios except Mon&Thurs Duets. L Jam. Residencies: Sun E Open mic w/Keith Ingham, L Kelly Green Duet; Mon Jon Weiss; Tues Marc Devine; Wed E Open mic w/Les Kurtz, L Nathan Brown; Thurs L Kazu; Fri L Ben Zweig; Sat L T. Kash. Feb 2: Roel Tempelaar; 3: Julie Bluestone; 4: Masami Ishikawa; 9: Joel Fass; 10: Dona Carter; 11: Justin Lees; 16: Kate Cosco; 17: John David; 18: Brandon Sanders; 23: Matt Baker; 24: Art Lillard; 25: Walter Williams & Gitesha. GINNY’S SUPPER CLUB: At Red Rooster. 310 Lenox Av (bet 125th & 126th Sts). 212-792-9001. Sets: 7:30&9:30pm $15 adm. Feb 2&9: Johnny O’Neal; 3: Evan Sherman Big Band; 4: Pauline Jean; 10: Chris Turner. MILLER THEATRE: At Columbia University. 2960 Bway at 116th St. 212-854-7799. Feb 4: 8pm $25-45 adm Marcus Roberts Trio. MINTON’S: 206W 118th St (bet St. Nicholas Av & Adam Clayton Powell Blvd). 212-243-2222. Feb 1: 6:309:30pm Jerome Sabbagh; 3: 7-10:30pm Laurin Talese. NATIONAL JAZZ MUSEUM IN HARLEM: 58W 129th St at Malcolm X Blvd. 212-3488300. $10 don. Feb 4: 2pm Saturday Sessions Ellington & Strayhorn Jam; 9: 7pm Jazz for Curious Listeners w/Nicholas Payton; 11: 3:30pm Move & Groove Yoga Vinyasa Jazz Flow; 12: 1pm Jazz for Curious Listeners Zah Intergenerational Jazz Jam. PARIS BLUES: 2021 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd at 121st St. 212-222-9878. Sets: Early (E) 5-9pm, Jam 9pm-1am. Free adm. Sun: E Double G & the Possee, 9pm 1st & 3rd La Banda Ramirez, last Elliot Pineiro & Sumbaswing. Mon: John Cooksey & Spontaneous Combustion; Tues: The Sultans of Soul; Wed: Les Goodson & the Intergalatic Soul Jazz Band; Thurs: Tyrone Govan & Top Secret; Fri: tba; Sat: alternate The 69th Street Band/The Antoine Dowdell Gp. SHRINE: 2271 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd


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(bet 133rd & 134th Sts). 212-690-7807. Sets unless otherwise noted: Early (E) 6-7pm, Late (L) 7-8pm. Residencies (R): Sun 5-8pm except 02/5 Jam w/Lu Reid; Fri E Alfredo Colon Qrt. Feb 3: R; 8: L Dillon Mansour Trio; 9: E Joe Pino Qnt; 10: E R, L Jeffrey Krol Gp; 12: R; 14: 8-10pm Blu Cha Cha; 15: E-L Drew Zaremba; 17: E R; 18: E-L Shawn Maxwell & New Tomorrow Band; 19: R; 24: E R; 25: E Alessandro Fadini; 26: R. SILVANA: 300W 116th St at Frederick Douglass Blvd. 646692-4935. Sets unless otherwise noted: Early (E) 6-7pm, Late (L) 7-8pm. Feb 2: E-L Mike Sailors; 9: E-L Josh Lawrence; 11: 8-10pm Blue Cha Cha; 13: E-L Kevin Sun Trio; 14: EL Drew Zaremba; 16: E-L Travis Sullivan; 17: E Ben Holtzman; 18: E-L J-MUSIC Ens; 23: E-L Noah Bless; 24: E Joe Pino Qnt; 27: E-L Joe Breidenstine Qnt. SMOKE JAZZ & SUPPER CLUB: 2751 Bway (bet 105th & 106th Sts). 212-864-6662. Sets: Early (E), Late (L), Brunch (B); Sun B 11:30am,1&2:30pm, E 7,9&10:30pm, L 11:30pm; Mon E 7&9pm, L 10:30pm; Tues-Thurs E 7,9&10:30pm, L 11:30pm; Fri-Sat E 7,9&10:30pm, L 11:45pm &12:45am; Adm/min vary. Residencies: Sun B Annette St. John Trio, L Willerm Delisfort Qrt; Mon (R) E Vincent Herring Qrt, L Smoke Jam; Tues (R) E Mike LeDonne & Groover Qrt, L Emmet Cohen Organ Trio w/guests; Wed L Nathan Peck & The Funky Electrical Unit; Thurs L Nickel & Dime OPS; Fri L 02/3,17&24 John Farnsworth Qrt, 02/10 Patience Higgins & Sugar Hill Qrt; Sat L Johnny O’Neal & friends. Feb 1: Juan Carlos Polo Qrt; 2: Bill Cantrall & Axiom; 3-5: David Berkman Sxt; 6-7: R; 8: Rick Germanson Qnt; 9: Gregory Generet; 10-12: Drumbattle feat Joe Farnsworth vs. Kenny Washington; 1314: R; 15-16: Alexis Cole; 17-19: Dave Liebman Gp; 20-21: R; 22: KJ Denhert Qrt; 23: Cynthia Scott; 24-26: Wayne Escoffery Qrt; 27-28: R. SUGAR BAR: 254W 72nd St (bet Bway & West End Av). 212-579-0222. www.sugarbarnyc .com. Sets: 8pm/$10 adm unless otherwise noted. Residencies: Wed Electrikana; Thurs 9pm Open Mic w/Sugar Bar All Star Band. Feb 4: Irini Res & the Jazz Mix; 10: 8:30pm Abe Ovadia Trio; 11: Project Grand Slam; 24: 8&9:30pm $15 Joe Bonacci feat Ty Stephens & Vivian Sessoms. SYMPHONY SPACE: 2537 Bway at 95th St. 212-864-5400. Bar Thalia (BT). Feb 10: 9pm BT Rale Micic's Guitar x 2 series; 19: 3:30&6:30pm Peter & Will Anderson, 7pm BT The Mini-monic w/spec guests Jim Saporito & Harrison Hollingsworth.

MID-TOWN MANHATTAN (Between 35th & 69th Street)

BIRDLAND: 315W 44th St (bet 8th & 9th Avs). 212-581-3080. Sets: 8:30&11pm, except Mon 7&9:30pm, Sun 6,9&11pm. Adm varies. Residencies: Sun 9pm (R) Arturo O’Farrill Afro-Latin Jazz Orch; Mon 9:30pm Jim Caruso Cast Party; Wed 5:30-7pm David Ostwald & Louis Armstrong Eternity Band; Fri 5:15-7pm Birdland Big Band by Rob Middleton & Glenn Drewes; Sat 6pm Barbara Carroll. Feb 1-4: Carmen Lundy; 5: 6pm Melanie Marod, 9pm R; 7-11: Bossabrasil feat Marcos Valle w/spec guest Celso Fonseca; 9: 6pm Noah Haidu Qrt; 12: 6pm Benny Benack III, 9pm R; 14-18: Catherine Russell; 16: 6pm Veronica For comprehensive daily updated listings with sort-by options—by artist, location, day or time—go to


Swift; 19: 6pm Laila Biali, 9pm R; 21-25: Cyrus Chestnut Qrt; 23: 6pm The Empathia Jazz Duo; 26: 6pm Carrie Jackson & All Stars, 9pm R; 28-Mar 4: John Pizzarelli. CARNEGIE HALL: 57th St & 7th Av. 212-2477800. Feb 15: 8pm Keith Jarrett Solo. CLUB BONAFIDE: 212E 52nd St (bet 2nd & 3rd Avs). 3rd Fl. 646918-6189. Sets: Early (E) 7:30pm, Late (L) 9:30pm, Night (N) 11pm. Residency (R): Tues E Latin & Jazz Jam w/Robert Rodriguez. Feb 2: E Emilio Teubal Trio; 3: E Do-Do Orch, L Joe Pino Qnt; 4: E Malena Dayen/David Rosenmeyer Trio, L Maz; 5: E Giuseppe De Gregorio & the NYC Gospel Jazz Syndicate; 7: R; 10: E Duke Guillaume & The Power Of Praise Band, L Max Pollak Rumba Tap; 11: E Cookin’ Hooks w/Billy Ruegger; 12: E Fredy Guzman; 14: R; 15: E Larry Corban 3; 16: L Evil Giraffes on Mars; 17: E Anders T Andersen, L Dom Palombi Project; 21: R; 22: L Erin McDougald Qnt; 23: E Albino Mbie Band, L Zack Okello; 24: E Aleks Fadini, L Irka Mateo y La Tirindanga; 25: E Ty Stephens & the SoulJaazz, L The Chardavoine Band; 28: R. DIMENNA CENTER FOR CLASSICAL MUSIC: 450W 37th St (bet 9th & 10th Av). 212-594-6100. Feb 1: 7:30pm Composers Now Festival feat Muhal Richard Abrams, Edmar Castenada, Jessie Montgomery. DIZZY’S CLUB COCA-COLA: At Jazz @ Lincoln Center. 10 Columbus Cr at 60th St. 5th Fl. 212-258-9800. Sets/ adm unless otherwise noted: 7:30&9:30pm, 11:30pm Late Night Sessions; Sun $35, Mon $25, Tues-Wed $30, Thurs-Fri $40, Sat $45; $10 min. Feb: 1-2: $35 02/2 Javon Jackson Band; 3-5: $35 02/3, $25 02/5 Gerry Gibbs Sxt feat Tom Harrell; 6: Devin Bing; 7: Camille Thurman; 8: The Flail; 9-12: Freddy Cole Qrt; 13: Sarah McKenzie; 14: $140 (incl 3-course meal w/entrée wine pairing) Brianna Thomas; 15: $35 Delfeayo Marsalis & the Uptown Jazz Orch; 16: $45 Andrew Cyrille Qrt; 17-19: $35 02/17 Benny Green Trio; 20: Juilliard Jazz Ensembles; 21-22: $35 Jason Marsalis Vibes Qrt; 23-26: Dexter Gordon Legacy Ens w/Abraham Burton, Josh Evans, 02/23-24 Louis Hayes, Alan Palmer, 02/25-26 David Bryant, Eric McPherson, 02/23-25 Gerald Cannon, 02/26 Peter Washington; 27: $35 William Paterson University Big Band & Ensembles; 28: $35 Mardi Gras celebration w/Riley Mulherkar & Alphonso Horne. Late Night Sessions w/Feb 1-4: Kali RodriguezPeña; 7-11: Atla & Matt DeChamplain; 14-17: Evan Sherman Entourage; 18: Evan Sherman Big Band; 21-25: Caroline Davis Qnt; 28-Mar 4: Barry Stephenson. IGUANA RESTAURANT: 240W 54th St at Bway. 212-765-5454. Mon-Tues: 8-11pm Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks. IRIDIUM: 1650 Bway at 51st St. 212-582-2121. Feb 13: 8pm $25 adm Ed Palermo Big Band; 16: 8&10pm $25 “Blind Boy” Paxton. JAZZ AT KITANO: 66 Park Av at 38th St. 212885-7119. Sets/adm: Sun 12-2:30pm, Mon-Tues 8-11pm, Wed-Sat 89:15&10-11:15pm; Sun $40 buffet, Mon-Tues free/$15 min, Wed-Thurs $17/$20 min, FriSat $32/$20 min. Residencies (R): Sun Jazz Brunch w/Tony Middleton; Mon Jam w/Iris Ornig. Feb 1: Melissa Hamilton Qrt; 2: Geoff Gallante Qnt; 3: Joyce Breach Trio; 4: Scott Robinson Qrt; 5-6: R; 7: Micah Thomas Solo; 8: Danny Bacher Qrt; 9: Kathleen Landis Trio; 10-11: Frank Kimbrough Trio; 12-13: R;


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14: Angelo Di Loreto Solo; 15: New York Brazilian & European Connection feat John Snauwaert; 16: Daryl Sherman Duo; 17-18: Roni Ben-Hur Qrt; 19-20: R; 21: Micah Thomas Solo; 22: William Tatge Trio; 23: Charito w/John di Martino Trio; 24-25: Lee Konitz Qrt; 26-27: R; 28: Angelo Di Loreto Solo. JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER: 10 Columbus Cr at 60th St. 5th Fl. 212-2589800. Rose Theater (RT). Feb 10-11: 8pm RT Dianne Reeves; 17-18: 8pm RT Jazz of the '50s feat the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orch w/Wynton Marsalis. SAINT PETER’S CHURCH: 619 Lexington Av at 54th St. (Citicorp Bld). www.saint 212-935-2200. 1st Mon: 7:30pm $5 adm International Women in Jazz Jam; Wed: 1pm $10 don Midtown Jazz at Midday; Sun: 5pm free adm Jazz Vespers. Feb 1: Ben Cassara; 5: Janet Planet/Tom Washatka feat Gene Bertoncini; 8: Ayako Shirasaki/Noriko Ueda; 12: Joel Frahm; 15: Russ Kassoff Big Band w/Catherine Dupuis; 16: 7:30pm Duke Ellington Society feat Krin Gabbard; 19: Luis Perdomo & The Controlling Ear Unit; 22: Marlene VerPlanck/Tomoko Ohno; 26: T.K. Blue & friends. STEINWAY HALL: 11155 6th Av bet 44th & 45th Sts. 212-2461100. Feb 13: 7pm the Louis Armstrong House Museum feat Davell Crawford. SWING 46: Jazz & Supper Club. 349W 46th St (bet 8 & 9th Avs). 212262-9554. Sets: Sun-Thurs 8:30-11:30pm, Fri-Sat 9:30pm. Residencies (R): Mon Swingadelic; Tues George Gee Swing Orch; Wed Stan Rubin Orch w/Joe Politi; Thurs except 02/2 David Berger & The Sultans of Swing. Feb 1: R; 2: George Gee 17 Piece Swing Orch; 3: Ron Sunshine Swing Orch; 4: Gordon Webster & friends; 5: Vanessa Trouble & Red Hot Swing; 6-9: R; 10: George Gee Orch; 11: closed; 12: Professor Cunningham & His Old School; 13-16: R; 17: George Gee Orch; 18: Swingadelic; 19: Timatha Kastan T.K.O Band; 20-23: R; 24: Ron Sunshine Swing Orch; 25: Crescent City Maulers; 26: Jerry Costanza Gotham City Swingers; 27-28: R. TOMI JAZZ: 239E 53rd St (Bet 2nd & 3rd Avs). Lower level. 646-4971254. Sets: Early (E), Late (L), Night (N); Sun: 8-11pm; Mon&Wed L 8-11pm, N 11pm12:30am; Tues E 8-9:20pm, L 9:40-11pm, N 11pm-12:30am; Thurs 9-11:30pm; Fri 9pm1am; Sat E 6-7:30pm, L 8-10:30pm, N 11pm1:30am. Adm: Sun-Wed free/$5 min, ThursSat $10/10 min. Feb 1: L Raquel Rivera Duo, N Abel Mireles Trio; 2: tba; 3: Craig Brann Trio; 4: E Rocco John Duo, L Greg DeAngelis, N tba; 5: David Love Duo; 6: L Akemi Yamada Trio, N Lee Ryeog Jeong Duo; 7: E Claire Natirbov Trio, L The Embers Trio, N Kenny Brooks Duo; 8: L Chieko Honda Trio, N Matt Gordeuk Duo; 9: Greg Merritt Trio; 10: Takenori Nishiuchi; 11: E Kathryn Allyn Duo, L Standard Procedures, N Paul Lee; 12: The Truthseekers; 13: L Bill Stevens Trio, N Nicholas Brust Duo; 14: E Yun Huang Trio, L tba, N George Dulin Duo; 15: L Racha Fora, N Alan Kwan Duo; 16: Linda Pregraves; 17: Kuni Mikami Trio; 18: E Sharp Tree Trio, L Daniel Bennett Gp, N Jun Xiao Trio; 19: The High Liners; 21: E Hyuneng Kim Trio, L Amanda Ruzza, N Annie Chen Duo; 22: L Michael Gallant Trio, N Dayeon Seok Duo; 23: Senri Oe; 24: Takenori Nishiuchi; 25: E Akihiro Yamamoto Trio, L Yuko Ito Trio, N Candice Reyes; 26: Kengzo Yamada; 27: L Wishing On Stars Trio, N Hattie Simon Duo; 28: E Charles Rhyner Trio, L Antonio Feula Duo, N Eric Plaks Duo. For comprehensive daily updated listings with sort-by options—by artist, location, day or time—go to


The TOWN HALL: 123W 43rd St (bet 6&7th Avs). 212-840-2824. Feb 17: 8pm $32-67 adm Gregory Porter; 23: 8pm $40-75 Laurie Anderson & Christian McBride.

LOWER MANHATTAN (Below 34th Street)

55 BAR: 55 Christopher St (bet 6th & 7th Avs). 212-929-9883. Sets: Early (E) 7-9pm except Sun&Fri-Sat 6-9pm, Late (L) 10pm. 1st Mon: E Sean Wayland; 1st Thurs: E Amy Cervini; 1st Sat: E Ayana lowe; 2nd Thurs: E Nicole Zuraitis; 2nd Fri: E Tessa Souter; last Wed: E Paul Jost; last Fri: E Kendra Shank. Feb 22-25: E Duchess Trio. BAR NEXT DOOR: 129 McDougal St. 212529-5945. Sets: Sun 8&10pm, Mon-Thurs Early (E) 6:307:45pm, Late (L) 8:30&10:30pm, Fri-Sat 7:30,9:30& 11:30pm. Adm: $12 all night + 1 drink min/set except Fri-Sat $12/set + 1 drink min/set, E free. Trios unless otherwise noted. Mon-Thurs: E Emerging Artists series; Mon: L Vocal Mondays series. Residencies (R): Sun Peter Mazza, Wed L Jonathan Kreisberg. Feb 1: E Prawit Siriwat, L R; 2: E David Kuhn, L Rich Perry; 3: Jeff Barone; 4: Freddie Bryant; 5: R; 6: E Peter Amos, L Beat Kaestli; 7: E Tal Yahalom, L Matt Marantz; 8: E Andrew Shillito, L R; 9: E Bobby Katz, L Jonathan Greenstein; 10: Tom Dempsey; 11: Mark Cocheo; 12: R; 13: E Paul Jubong Lee, L Elisabeth Lohninger; 14: 4,6,8&10pm $92 incl 5-course dinner w/Champagne feat Mark Phillips; 15: E Alicyn Yaffee, L R; 16: E Tommaso Gambini, L Paul Pieper; 17: Quentin Angus; 18: Warren Chiasson; 19: R; 20: E Flavio Silva, L Roz Corral; 21: E Jeff Miles, L Nadav Peled; 22: E Leandro Pellegrino, L R; 23: E NanJo Lee, L Raviv Markovitz; 24: Paul Meyers; 25: World on a String; 26: R; 27: E Andrew Shillito, L Christine Tobin; 28: E Sam Zerna, L Hendrik Meurkens. BLUE NOTE JAZZ CLUB: 131W 3rd St at 6th Av. 212-475-8592. Sets: 8&10:30pm + Fri-Sat 12:30am Late Night Groove series, Sun 11:30am&1:30pm Sunday Brunch. Adm varies. Feb 1-5: Count Basie Orch feat Dee Dee Bridgewater; 6-7: McCoy Tyner; 8: Fabrizio Sotti & friends feat Melanie Fiona & M1 of Dead Prez; 9-12: Rachelle Ferrell; 13: The Baylor Project; 1419: Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton; 20: Loop Loft AllStars; 21-22: Ivan Neville; 23-26: Kermit Ruffins & The BBQ Swingers; 27: tba; 28-Mar 1: Donald Harrison feat Henry Butler. Late Night Groove w/Feb 4: Phony Ppl; 10: Satellite Mode; 17: Phony Ppl; 24: Nick Hakim; 25: Prodigy. Sunday Brunch w/Feb 5: Rich Shemaria Big Band; 12: Lauren Henderson; 19: Ferber/Nussbaum/Essiet; 26: Joey Morant & Catfish Stew. The CAVE: At St. George’s. 209E 16th St at Rutherford Pl. 2nd Fri: 7:30&9:30pm $15 adm. Feb 10: Dominick Farinacci Qnt. CORNELIA STREET UNDERGROUND: 29 Cornelia St. 212-989-9319. Sets unless otherwise noted: Sun 8:30&10pm, Mon-Thurs 8&9:30pm, FriSat 9&10:30pm. Adm varies. Feb 1: Tobias Meinhart Qnt, 9:30pm Matt Marantz Qrt; 2: Steve Sandberg & Alaya; 3: Aubrey Johnson Gp; 4: George Garzone & Boston Collective; 6: 8:30pm Amram & Co; 7: Maya Nova,

continued on page 20


For comprehensive daily updated listings with sort-by options—by artist, location, day or time—go to

EEDS AND STRINGS PLAY SOFTly under indigo hues illuminating corR ners of the stage. A melodic hum swells,

soars and releases. Dianne Reeves closes her eyes to receive the moment, before a shimmering cascade of lyrics escapes her lips. Since the master vocalist and song interpreter began singing as a child, Dianne's appetite for exploration and experimentation has only expanded. Her open invitation for sounds and textures extends as far back as the 1960s. "My language comes from a time when music was very open. There were no fences around music," she says. "The word 'genre' was not even part of anything, which was fantastic. There were all these amazing people who developed their own sound in a way that was so unique. If you heard Sarah, you didn't hear anybody else who sounded like Sarah; you heard Marvin Gaye and there was nobody else who sounded like him. It was almost taboo to try to sound like somebody else. To be inspired by them was one thing, but to sound like them was taboo." Individualism is more than a word; to Dianne, it's a legacy. "I always say: Define it, refine it, respect it and protect it in a way that you know that it's yours," she says. Over the evolution of her career, and through her refinement of sound, she has learned to embrace human imperfections in concept and execution as true art. Part of her own approach that comprises subtle harmonic tendencies, conversational phrasing and that pure, resonating tone, often depends on her interpretation of the song itself. Even as a young player, her eagerness to collaborate with Billy Childs, Clark Terry, Jimmy Rowles and her cousin, the late George Duke, allowed her to make discoveries in lyrical delivery as part of overall musicianship. "I think what taught me how to interpret a song was coming up at a time when jumping off the edge was everything," she says. "We got to try out things. We got to experiment and go places—even if we couldn't get back. It was okay. We had the opportunity to feel what it feels like to not think about it, but to feel about it." While embracing experimentation with many distinctive American contemporaries, Dianne delighted in hearing musical interpretations of artists from all over the world. Observing peers collaborate with

musicians from India, Cuba and Brazil, she welcomed a moment of clarity: "It was all about color," she says. "That you could actually paint a song with vocal color— that was where it all started for me." When she speaks, Dianne's words bubble over at a decibel that's at once enthusiastic and reflective. But her soft and shimmering pattern of speech only intensifies the message of her words. Dianne's visceral understanding of composing and performing resists what she considers a more modern notion of genre. "I grew up in a time when a lot of artists appreciated one another, and it was like a big sound stage because there was so much music," she says. "You had the music of Motown, church music, traditional jazz, more freedom in jazz, more experimentation—people were changing forms and songs; so, you had great writers like Stevie Wonder and Joni Mitchell who were moving away from A-A-B-A form songs and writing really new, wonderful melodies that were [using] fantastic poetry." Believing true artists collaborate, not only to stretch their own sound, but to enhance the unique sound of their peers— and witnessing this kind of collaboration among the younger generation's players— Dianne is hopeful for the future of the music. "That's what I love about these young people—they facilitate these voices." Her latest release produced by Terri Lyne Carrington, the Grammy award-winning Beautiful Life (Concord, 2014), engages many distinctive female artists that, in part, comprise the record's powerful, modern voices that range in age from Esperanza Spalding and Gerald Clayton to Robert Glasper and Lalah Hathaway to her longtime musical partner George Duke. Knowing all the personnel she called for the recording to be in some way influenced by the music she heard growing up, Dianne had considered that particular point of origin to be "the perfect meeting place." Of the younger players, she says, "They're all very fearless; they're all very strong in their own voices; and they're all collaborators."

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Reeves photo by Jerris Madison.


S P O T L YOTAM SILBERSTEIN JAZZ STANDARD / FEBRUARY 8 Israeli guitarist Yotam Silberstein's distinctive, warm tone and his splendid bebop lines have made him an asset for many Big Apple-based jazz bands since arriving in New York 11 years ago. The 2005 Monk Competition finalist has worked with saxophonists Antonio Hart and David Sanborn, pianist Monty Alexander and the Paquito D'Rivera-led Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, among others. This performance celebrates the release of The Village, his fifth CD as a leader. Its title reflects Yotam's artistic home in Greenwich Village, as well as the global musical village through which he has absorbed Israeli, Arabic, Brazilian, Caribbean, Flamenco, the blues and other melodic and rhythmic influences in his playing and writing. His band includes pianist Glenn Zaleski, bassist Matt Penman and drummer Eric Harland. KF

CYNTHIA SAYER TRIBECA PAC / FEBRUARY 9 While the banjo might not be as closely associated with jazz these days, its pedigree in the music's history and relevance in early rhythm sections is important to recall and celebrate. Enter banjoist and vocalist Cynthia Sayer, whose consistently swinging and delightful projects make one wonder why it left, and wish for a large-scale return of the instrument to jazz. Sporting strong solo chops and an effortless sense for comping, Cynthia takes full advantage of the instrument's brassy qualities and has produced classic records alongside a bevy of talents, including Bucky Pizzarelli, Milt Hinton and Kenny Davern. Appearing at the 44th anniversary Highlights in Jazz with her ensemble Joyride, Cynthia presents a joyful and utterly irresistible set. Also featured are Vince Giordano and his Nighthawks, and Ms. Vinnie Knight. SH

TATUM GREENBLATT SMALLS JAZZ CLUB / FEBRUARY 9 Without a doubt, one of the most versatile trumpet talents on the scene today, Tatum Greenblatt has graced the albums and projects of artists and groups ranging from Richard Bona to the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and from the Captain Black Big Band to Grizzly Bear. Indeed, on his solo efforts, in particular his fantastic album Imprints, Tatum can leap across genres, covering Afro-Latin styles, soul jazz, hard bop and more, with a trumpet sound that can switch from dazzlingly bright high-end pyrotechnics to breathy and intimate ballad work. Joined at Smalls by Misha Piatigorsky on piano, Sam Minaie on bass, and Donald Edwards on drums, Tatum demonstrates why he's a first-call talent for many artists, and why he's so deserving of broader acclaim. SH

THE BAYLOR PROJECT BLUE NOTE / FEBRUARY 13 With roots deep as their faith is strong, spouses Jean and Marcus Baylor are embarking on a musical exploration together. Their debut release as The Baylor Project, The Journey (Be A Light), 2017, marks the culmination of an extended partnership between uniquely expressive artists. The singer/drummer duo—both of whom compose and arrange on the release featuring Keyon Harrold and Dezron Douglas, among other collaborators—flourished in the church as children of pastors. Associations with Kenny Garrett, Cassandra Wilson and The Yellowjackets have allowed the Baylors to stretch their sound and shape their vision, but their profound mutual admiration truly informs the authenticity of their music. They feature Shedrick Mitchell, Yasushi Nakamuria, Keith Loftis, Freddie Hendrix and Stephanie Fisher. SJ

DELFEAYO MARSALIS DIZZY'S CLUB COCA-COLA / FEBRUARY 15 Trombonist and composer Delfeayo Marsalis' groove and gravitas has graced numerous projects with his incomparable tone, exciting and delighting the ears of the listener. Whether producing albums for Harry Connick Jr. and Terence Blanchard, performing as a sideperson with Art Blakey and Slide Hampton or leading his own groups, Delfeayo's tasteful sonority is a cut above. In addition to his performance schedule, Delfeayo founded the Uptown Music Theatre in 2000 and instituted the music program Kidstown After School in several grammar schools in New Orleans as a means of inspiring the next generation of jazz musicians. For this concert Delfeayo is joined by his group, The Uptown Jazz Orchestra, to perform selections from their latest album Make America Great Again! (Troubadour Jass Records) EW


By Ken Dryden, Ken Franckling, Seton Hawkins, Stephani

Kassoff photo by Craig Collins, Kimbrough by Marielle Solan, Marsalis by Zack Smith, Sayer by Gary Spector, Silberstein by Gulnara Khama

L I G H T RUSS KASSOFF SAINT PETER'S CHURCH / FEBRUARY 15 With nearly 20 years as a big band leader, NYC pianist Russ Kassoff has plenty of material to offer interesting charts for his talented sidemen. Supporting singers is nothing new for Russ having worked prominently with Frank Sinatra and Liza Minnelli. Growing up in Brooklyn and Long Island, he began working in the Catskills at age 13, he holds a 1974 Bachelors degree in performance from the Crane School of Music SUNY Potsdam. His sidemen since the formation of the orchestra in 2003 have included Ted Nash, Greg Gisbert, Pete McGuniness, Dave Bargeron, Dennis Mackrel and Gene Bertoncini. Russ is also an adept composer and producer. His recent CDs are Bird Fly By and Somewhere. For this midday show at Saint Peter's, he features longtime collaborator, vocalist Catherine Dupuis. MGN

MARK WHITFIELD THE DJANGO / FEBRUARY 17-18 Guitarist Mark Whitfield was one of the Young Lions who revitalized the mainstreammodern jazz scene in the last decades of the 20th Century. Since then he has released 11 albums and appeared with a who's who of jazz heavyweights. Currently he tours with the trumpeter-singer Chris Botti. Now Mark, who is 50, has realized a lifelong dream, assembling a Whitfield Family Band with his sons, drummer Mark Jr. and pianist and keyboardist Davis, who are, like Mark was when he emerged on the scene, also in their 20's. Their new album, with Yasushi Nakamura on bass, Grace (Marksman Productions), is spotlighted at this CD release weekend. The quartet appears on Feb. 17 and is joined by Sy Smith, who sings on the CD's title song, on Feb. 18. GK CYNTHIA SCOTT SMOKE JAZZ AND SUPPER CLUB / FEBRUARY 23 A top-notch, albeit underrated, vocalist brandishing an entrancing contralto voice, Cynthia Scott first came to public acclaim as a member of Ray Charles' legendary supporting vocal team the Raelettes. The lessons gleaned from that ensemble have stayed with her, as Cynthia has continued to broaden her artistic scope, beautifully integrating jazz, blues, R&B, and soul stylings into her performances, which can comfortably straddle both small ensemble and big band settings. At Smoke, Cynthia is in superb company, joined by pianist James Weidman, bassist Paul Beaudry and drummer Cook Broadnax, all broad-minded and genre-defying artists in their own rights. For fans of Nancy Wilson and of early Sarah Vaughan, Cynthia is a must-see, a soulful and inspired vocalist who conjures a classic era of singing. SH BILL MOBLEY MEZZROW / FEBRUARY 24-25 Memphis native Bill Mobley has long been a part of the New York jazz scene. The trumpeter and flugelhornist is best known for his creative compositions and arrangements for groups of all sizes, while his rich tone, expressiveness and extended range on both horns are an asset to any ensemble. Mobley has also been in demand as a sideman, having worked with George Coleman, the Mingus Dynasty Band and the Maria Schneider Orchestra, in addition to small groups led by James Williams, Geoff Keezer, T.S. Monk and others. His latest CD, issued by Space Time, is Hittin' Home, featuring pianist Kenny Barron, guitarist Russell Malone, bassist Essiet Essiet and vibraphonist Steve Nelson. The latter two musicians join Mobley at Mezzrow, along with pianist James Weidman. KD

CRAIG TABORN VILLAGE VANGUARD / FEBRUARY 28 - MARCH 3 With boundless imagination that challenges the values of jazz, pianist Craig Taborn has become an in-demand sideman with some 80 CDs alongside many major names in progressive music. His star has also risen as a leader with recordings on the ECM label. By 2011, Downbeat magazine readers and critics named him a winner for Electric Keyboard and Rising Star piano and organ categories. The Minneapolis native came to Ann Arbor as a U-Michigan student, collaborating with saxophonist James Carter, drummer Gerald Cleaver, and the Lunar Octet. His improvising often adopts a modular approach, in which he begins with small units of melody and rhythm and then develops them into larger forms and structures. Clarinetist and saxophonist Chris Speed, bassist Chris Lightcap and drummer Dave King round out the quartet. MGN

ie Jones, George Kanzler, Michael G Nastos & Eric Wendell

atova, The Baylor Project by Deneka Peniston, Towner by Caterina di Perri, Whitfield by Deneka Peniston.


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9:30pm Deanna Kirk/John Di Martino; 8: Noam Wiesenberg Qnt; 9: 6pm Cowboys & Frenchmen, 8pm The Powell Brothers; 10: Ari Hoenig Brazilian Trio; 11: Lage Lund; 12: Anouman; 14: Nancy Marano & Jack Wilkins Duo, 9:30pm Kevin Burke; 15: Alexa Barchini; 16: Martin Nevin Gp; 17: Sara Serpa Trio; 18: Kinan Azmeh & City Band; 19: Mostly Other People Do the Killing; 21: Dan Weiss Trio; 22: Tom Guarna & Wishing Stones Project, 9:30pm Jon Cowherd Mercy Project; 23: Paul Jones Sxt; 24: The Crash Trio + One; 25: Tom Chang Qnt; 26: Sofia Ribeiro; 28: Marta Sanchez Qnt, 9:30pm Carmen Staaf. The CUTTING ROOM: 44E 32nd St (bet Madison & Park Av). 212-691-1900. www.the Feb 9: 7:30pm Matthew Shipp Trio. The DJANGO: At Roxy Hotel. 2 Av of the Americas at Walker St. www.roxyhotelnyc. com. 212-519-6600. Feb 17-18: 10&11:30pm Mark Whitfield. DOWNTOWN MUSIC GALLERY: 13 Monroe St (bet Market & Catherine Sts). 212-4730043. Sun: 6pm In-Store shows. The EAR INN: 326 Spring St (bet Greenwich & Washington Sts). 212-4319750. Sun: 8-11pm EarRegulars feat Jon-Erik Kellso & friends. FAT CAT: 75 Christopher St at 7th Av. 212-6756056. $3 adm/no min. Sets unless otherwise noted: Early (E), Late (L), Night (N); E 7pm except Sun-Mon&Fri 6pm; L 9pm except Thurs&Sat 10pm, Fri add 10:30pm; N 1:30am except Sun 1am, MonWed 12:30am. Residencies (R): Sun E Terry Waldo & Gotham City Band, N Brandon Lewis & Renee Cruz; Mon N Billy Kaye; Tues E except 02/28 Saul Rubin Zebtet; Wed E except 02/1 Raphael D'Lugoff Trio + 1, N Ned Goold; Fri L The Supreme Queens; Sat N Greg Glassman. Feb 1: E 4 IN' 1, L Groover Trio, N R; 2: E The Flail, L Saul Rubin Zebtet, N Pablo Bencid; 3: E Ai Murakami Qnt, L R + Jared Gold/Dave Gibson, N Ray Gallon; 4: E Robert Quintero, L Raphael D'lugoff Qnt, N R; 5: E R, 8:30pm Jade Synstelien & FCBB, N R; 6: E Osso String Qrt, L Miki Hiyama, N R; 7: E R, L David Oquendo & Havana 3, N Jeremy Manasia; 8: E R, L Harold Mabern Trio, N R; 9: E Rodney Green Qrt, L Greg Glassman Qnt, N Mimi Jones; 10: E Oscar Williams, L R + Jerome Jennings, N Avi Rothbard; 11: E Noller/Sylla, L Antoine Drye, N R; 12: E R, L Caroline Davis Qnt, N R; 13: E Eric Fraser, L Ned Goold Qrt, N R; 14: E R, L Peter Brainin & the Latin Jazz Workshop; 15: E R, L Don Hahn/Mike Camacho Band, N R; 17: L R; 18: N R; 19: E&N R; 20: L George Braith, N R; 21: E R; 22: E&N R; 23: L P.O.D; 24: L R + David Weiss & Point of Departure; 25: L Kamarata Jazz, N R; 26: E&N R; 27: N R; 28: L Itai Kriss & Gato Gordo, N John Benitez & Latin Bop. GREENWICH HOUSE MUSIC SCHOOL: 46 Barrow St (bet 7th Av S & W 4th St). 212242-4770. Sound It Out series w/Feb 4: 7:30pm $18/15 Taka Kigawa + Sebastien Ammann & Color Wheel; 11: 8pm $15/12 Nick Millevoi & Desertion Trio; 18: 8pm $20/18 Francois Courturier/Anja Lechner Duo. HIGHLINE BALLROOM: 431W 16th St (bet 9th & 10th Avs). 212-414-5994. Feb 3: 7pm $25-100 adm Wé McDonald w/spec guest Matthew Whitaker & friends; 17: 8pm $25/30 Cyrille Aimée.


JAZZ GALLERY: 1160 Bway at 27th St. 5th Fl. 646-494-3625. Sets: 7:30&9:30pm $15/10 adm, $22/12 Fri-Sat. Feb 1-2: Melissa Aldan Sxt/Glenn Zaleski Sxt; 3-4: Joel Ross Good Vibes; 8: Immanuel Wilkins Qrt; 9: Andy Milne & Dapp Theory; 10-11: David Virelles; 15: Talujon + CTRL-Z; 16: Ches Smith/Craig Taborn/Mat Maneri; 17: Christine & Ingrid Jensen w/Ben Monder; 18: Ferenc Nemeth; 22-23: Threadgill + Iyer + Prieto; 24: Adam Larson Qrt. JAZZ STANDARD: 116E 27th St (bet Park & Lexington Avs). 212576-2232. Sets/adm unless otherwise noted: 7:30&9:30pm; $30 except Mon-Wed $25. Residencies: Sun 1:30-3pm Jazz for Kids; Mon (R) Mingus Monday feat Mingus Big Band. Feb 1-4: $53 02/1-2, $40 02/3-4 Monty Alexander; 5: closed; 6: R; 7: Theo Bleckmann; 8: Yotam Silberstein; 9-10: Alfredo Rodriguez/Pedrito Martinez; 11-12: Alfredo Rodriguez Trio; 13: R; 14: $30 Bria Skonberg; 15-16: $30 02/15 Ralph Towner Solo; 17-19: Mingus Big Band Festival; 20: R; 21-26: $30 02/21-23&26, $35 02/24-25 Ravi Coltrane Qrt; 27: R; 28: Wolfgang Muthspiel. JOE’S PUB: At Public Theater. 425 Lafayette St & Astor Pl. 212-9677555. Adm varies. Feb 3: 7:30pm Pedro Giraudo Tango Ensembles w/spec guest Sofia Tosello; 4: 7:30pm Jazz Stories w/Bernard Purdie & David Haney; 5: 9:30pm Michael Mwenso. KNICKERBOCKER BAR & GRILL: 33 University Pl at 9th St. 212-228-8490. Fri-Sat: 9pm-1am. Feb 3-4: Jill McCarron/Chris Haney; 10-11: John Colianni/Boots Maleson; 17-18: Robert Silverman/Davis Zox; 24-25: Mike Longo/Paul West. LE POISSON ROUGE: 158 Bleecker St at Thompson St. 212-796-0741. Adm varies. Feb 8: 7:30pm $20/25 adm Dhafer Youssef. METROPOLITAN ROOM: 34W 22nd St (bet. 5th & 6th Avs). 212-206-0440. Sets unless otherwise noted: Early (E) 7pm, Late (L) 9:30pm. Residency (R): Tues L Annie Ross. Feb 3: E Monika Ryan; 4: E Luiz Simas & Nanny Assis, L John Minnock; 6: L Ryan Allen; 7&14: L R; 16: L Enrique Haneine; 17: E Jorge Altamirano; 21&28: L R. MEZZROW: 163W 10th St (bet 7th Av & Waverly Pl). 646-4764346. Sets/adm: Early 8-10:30pm, Late (L) 11pm-close; adm varies. Residencies: Sun L John Merrill & friends; Mon L Pasquale Grasso; Tues L Jam w/Miki Yamanaka & Adi Meyerson; Wed L Tony Hewitt & friends; Thurs L Spike Wilner w/spec guest; Fri L Johnny O'Neal. Feb 1: Roberta Piket; 2: Claudia Acuña; 3-4: George Burton; 4: L Theo Hill; 5: JP Jofre; 6: Dan Tepfer; 7: Fred Hersch; 8: Mike Eckroth; 9: Ben Allison; 1011: Orrin Evans; 12: David Hazeltine; 13: Kate McGarry; 14: Sheila Jordan; 15: Glenn Zaleski; 16: Ben Wolfe; 17-18: Jonny King; 19: Dave Frank; 20: Steve Ash; 21: Joanna Wallfisch; 22: Wilerm Delins; 23: Bill O'Connell; 24-25: Bill Mobley & Steve Nelson; 26: Michael Kanan; 27: Sam Yahel; 28: Bryn Roberts & Lage Lund. NEW YORK CITY BAHA’Í CENTER: 53E 11th St (bet Bway & University). 212-2225159. Tues: 8&9:30pm $10/15 adm. Feb 7: Jorge Sylvester & the ACE Collective; 14: Mike Longo Trio; 21: Lou Caputo & Not So Big Band. continued on page 22

For comprehensive daily updated listings with sort-by options—by artist, location, day or time—go to

NE CAN BE FORGIVEN FOR NOT having heard all the entries in pianist O Matthew Shipp's discography. This is not

due to any deficiencies of the material, but, rather simply, because his recorded output is massive. In 2016 alone, Matthew either led or served as a prime collaborator on ten records. But while this level of work might be daunting to track, it also is intensely rewarding to hear, offering an utterly engrossing glimpse into the multi-decade artistic development of one of today's greatest pianists and composers. This year, Matthew leads his trio featuring longtime collaborator Michael Bisio on bass and drummer Newman Taylor Baker, a comparative newcomer to the ensemble. Together, they release Piano Song, the second record of the trio and Matthew's 19th and final album for Thirsty Ear Records, a label whose Blue Series imprint has been largely forged by Matthew's vision as its artistic director. Piano Song serves as a pitch-perfect testament to the capabilities of the group. Sometimes hard swinging, often boundary pushing, yet at moments intensely reflective, personal, and even atmospheric, Piano Song provides devoted fans with a thrilling array of material to absorb. For newcomers, the album serves as a welcome introduction, effectively utilizing a timehonored ensemble format to create a unique alchemy of the familiar and the unexpected. "The piano trio is a well-established configuration within jazz parlance; there’s a great history of jazz trios," Matthew notes. "That can be intimidating because there's been so much great work done, but it's also liberating because there are no specific rules to hold you in." Indeed, that refusal to correspond to proscribed rules or handed-down musical strictures has

helped Matthew's ensembles and performances achieve a distinctive and somewhat paradoxical result, managing to be unmistakably Matthew's music even as they highlight his ability to voraciously absorb and incorporate many different sounds and genres. Recognizing this skill to create a unique musical universe that accommodates different stylistic planets, helps to guide one through the sometimes dizzying display of Matthew's discography: from the hypnotic loop fusion of Harmony and Abyss to the solo piano work that offers a unique glimpse into Matthew's love for pianists like Mal Waldron and Bud Powell: I've Been to Many Places. While other artists might share this talent, Matthew excels at it, perhaps due to a crucial formative period in his career: a 15-year tenure in the quartet of the late master David S. Ware. Joining the saxophonist's ensemble in 1989, Matthew quickly established himself as the perfect keyboard complement to David's work. "David hasn't gotten his due yet," Matthew says. "He was a free thinker and an iconoclast, but also very disciplined. I don't call his music 'free jazz.' We weren't always playing 4/4, or in a cycle of repeating chord changes, but what we played was in a specific universe whose aspects were as defined and disciplined as those of any other group." To be sure, Matthew's own projects are not stylistic copies of the Ware Quartet. However, this more abstract concept of building clearly defined musical universes provides a link between the ensembles. "I think of David as a conceptualist and thinker of his own universe, and I think of myself in the same way," he explains. "The fact that my language worked in his universe has made me feel grateful that I could have my own musical world, yet still fit into someone else's while still being myself musically." Matthew's leadership style extends to collaborators at the same level of openness and communication that David offered to him. On Piano Song, plaintively melodic bass work and the rhythmically omnivorous drumming coexist gorgeously with Matthew's own ferocious technique. As a result of this avowed openness, Piano Song demonstrates a continued growth for the trio, and thus shows off a distinct new sound the group has forged even since its 2015 release The Conduct of Jazz. As the trio prepares for its performance at The Cutting Room, Matthew views it as a continuation of the process begun on the album. "The album, as a document, can kind of define the group," he says. "The live gigs, however, can serve as extrapolations and further conversations from that album. So any performance for us is a part of the continuum, from when we first got together as a group, to The Conduct of

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NORTH SQUARE: At Washington Square Hotel. 103 Waverly Pl at McDougal. 212254-1200. Sun: 12:30&2pm free adm Jazz Brunch Trios. Feb 5: closed; 12: Roz Corral w/Jim Ridl & Jay Leonhart; 19: Scott Morgan; 26: Roz Corral w/Ron Affif & Paul Gill. NUYORICAN POETS CAFÉ: 236E 3rd St (bet Avs B & C). 212780-9386/212-505-8183. Sets: 9:30pm. Tues: $10 adm Latin Jazz feat 1st Tues Chembo Corniel, 2nd Tues Bronx Conxión, 4th Tues Willie Martinez & La Familia Sxt; 1st Wed: $13 All That - Hip Hop Poetry & Jazz; 1st Sat: $15 Banana Puddin’ Jazz series feat Rome Neal + Jam 02/4 w/Leonieke Scheuble. SHEEN CENTER: 18 Bleecker St @ Elizabeth St. 212-925-2812. Feb 10-11: 7:30pm $45 adm Lindsey Webster. SMALLS JAZZ CLUB: 183W 10th St at 7th Av. 212-252-5091. Sets: Afternoon (PM) Sun 4:30-7pm, Sat 4-7pm, Early (E) 7:30-10pm, Late (L) 10:30pm-1am, Night (N) 1-4am; jam following N; adm varies. Residencies (R): Sun 1pm Vocal masterclass by Marion Cowings, PM Ai Murakami Trio feat Sacha Perry, N Hillel Salem; Mon L except 02/6 Ari Hoenig, N 02/6&13 Jonathan Michel, 02/20&27 Jonathan Barber; Tues N 02/7&21 Jovan Alexander, 02/14&28 Jon Beshay; Wed N 02/1&15 Aaron Seeber, 02/8 Sanah Kadoura; Thurs N 02/2&16 Joel Ross, 02/9&23 Sarah Slonim; Sat N 02/4&18 Brooklyn Circle, 02/11&25 Philip Harper. Feb 1: E Ari Hoenig Qrt, L Jared Gold Trio, N R; 2: E Todd Herbert Gp, L Ken Fowser Qnt, N R; 3: E Dan Block Qnt, L Joe Farnsworth Qrt, N tba; 4: PM Robert Edwards, E Ralph Lalama & Bop-Juice, L Joe Farnsworth Qrt, N R; 5: 1pm-PM R, E Johnny O'Neal Trio, L Charles Owens Qrt, N R; 6: E Kenneth Salters & Haven, L J.D. Allen Trio, N R; 7: E Spike Wilner Trio, L Lucas Pino Nnt, N R; 8: E Sean Nowell Qrt, L Curtis Nowosad & CNQ, N R; 9: E Tatum Greenblatt Qrt, L Nick Hempton Band, N R; 10: E Behn Gillece Qrt, L Duane Eubanks Qnt, N Joe Farnsworth; 11: PM Tuomo Uusitalo, E Saul Rubin Qrt, L Duane Eubanks Qnt, N R; 12: 1pm-PM R, E John Dokes Qnt, L Ilya Lushtak Gp, N R; 13: E Josh Lawrence, L-N R; 14: E Jeremy Manasia Trio, L Steve Nelson Gp, N R; 15: E Akiko Tsuruga Gp, L Harold Mabern Gp, N R 16: E Jeff Hirschfield Gp, L Carlos Abadie Qnt, N R; 17: E Chuck Redd Gp, L Ken Peplowski Qrt, N tba; 18: E Will & Peter Anderson Qnt, L Ken Peplowski Gp, N R; 19: 1pm-PM R, E Lezlie Harrison Gp, L Jerry Weldon Gp, N R; 20: E The Marquis Hill Blacktet, L-N R; 21: E The Marquis Hill Blacktet, L Frank Lacy Gp, N R; 22: E Gilad Heksleman Trio, L Jim Pryor Qrt, N tba; 23: E Gilad Hekselman Trio, L Troy Roberts Qrt, N R; 24: E Taru Alexander Gp, L Sam Newsome Qrt, N tba; 25: E Chip White Dedications Sxt, L Sam Newsome Qrt, N R; 26: 1pm-PM R, E Rodney Green Gp, L Ian Hendrickson-Smith Gp, N R; 27: E Greg Murphy & The Murphtet, L-N R; 28: E Spike Wilner Trio, L Steve Nelson Gp, N R. The STONE: 2nd St at Av C. www.thestone nyc. com. Adm varies. Tues-Sun: 9pm weekly residencies. Feb 1-5: Simon Hanes; 7-12: Kris Davis; 14-19: Brandon Ross; 21-26: Chris Dingman; 28-Mar 5: Oscar Noriega. SUBROSA: 63 Gansevoort St (bet Washington & Greenwich Sts). 212-997-4555. Sets: 8&10pm $20 adm. Residencies (R): Mon Latin Jazz Monday;


Tues 7&9pm Pedrito Martinez, Sat 12am Habana Nights. Feb 3: Luis Blasini Y Iroko La Banda; 4: 12am R w/Gerardo Contino Y Los Habaneros; 6: R w/Rodrigo Bonelli Qnt; 7: R; 10 7:30&9:30pm, 11 8&10pm: Sie7e; 11: 12am R w/The Quintero Project; 13: R w/Chameleon; 14: R; 17: 7:30&9:30pm Gregorio Uribe; 18: R w/Gerardo Contino Y Los Habaneros; 20: R w/Robby Ameen; 21: R; 25: 12am R w/Carlitos Padron; 27: R w/Jiyoun Lee Trio; 28: R. TRIBECA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER: 199 Chambers St. 212220-1460. Feb 4&18: 7:30pm $30/20 adm Monk-in-Motion feat 02/4 Orrin Evans, 02/18 Charenee Wade; 9: 8pm $45/50 adm Highlights in Jazz series feat Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks, Ms. Vinnie Knight, Cynthia Sayer & Joyride Band w/Adrian Cunningham. VILLAGE VANGUARD: 178 7th Av S at 11th St. 212-255-4037. Sets: 8:30&10:30pm. Adm: $30/1 drink min. Residency (R): Mon Vanguard Jazz Orch. Feb 1-5: Ambrose Akinmusire Qrt; 6-13: Vanguard Jazz Orch; 14-19: Miguel Zenón Qrt; 20: R; 21-26: Joe Lovano & Dave Douglas Sound Prints; 27: R; 28-Mar 5: Craig Taborn. ZINC BAR: 82W 3rd St (bet Thompson & Sullivan). 212-477-8337. Sets: Early (E) 7pm except Sat 8pm + 9,11pm&12:30am except Fri 8pm, Mon + 2am. Adm varies. Residencies: Sun 9pm12am Tango w/Fernando Otero; Mon 10pm Ron Affif Trio; Tues 11pm $10 Evolution Jam by Revive Music; Thurs: 11pm&12am $15 Roman Diaz Midnight Rumba; Sat 10,11:30pm&1am Monika Oliveira & The Brasilians. Feb 6: 10pm-2am VandoJam feat Mike Lee.


AN BEAL BOCHT CAFÉ: 445W 238th St. 718- 884-7127. 1st Wed: 8&9:30pm $25-10 adm Linda's Jazz Nights. Feb 1: Emily Braden Qrt.


65FEN: 65 Fenimore St. www.65fenmusic Mon: 9&10pm $10 don 65Fen Music series. Feb 6: 9pm Musicianer, 10pm Lukas Kœni; 13: 9pm E Penniman James/Eric Reeves/Lisanne Tremblay, 10pm The Good Owls; 20: 9pm Jaimie Branch, 10pm Will Greene/Zoe Christianson; 27: 9pm Sam Sowyrda Solo, 10pm Devin Gray & Fashionable Pop Music. 440 GALLERY: 440 Sixth Av. 718-499-3844. 1st Sun: 4:40pm $5 don Me, Myself and Eye. Feb 5: Briggan Krauss. BAMCAFÉ: 30 Lafayette Av. 718-636-4100. 9:30pm/free adm. Feb 10: Braxton Cook; 18: The Ed Stoute Experience. BARBÈS: 376 9th St at 6th Av. Park Slope. 718-965-9177. Residencies: Sun 9pm Stephane Wrembel; Mon 7pm Brain Cloud; Tues 9pm Slavic Soul Party; Wed 10pm Mandingo Ambassadors. Feb 1: 8pm Andy Statman. BRIC ARTS: 647 Fulton St. 718-683-5600. Feb 16: 8pm $15/18 adm Roy Ayers/Shareef Keyes & The Groove. continued on page 24

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Gary Walker, “Morning Jazz Host”, WBGO, 88.3 FM/

JOEY ALEXANDER BETHANY BAPTIST CHURCH / FEBRUARY 4 Joey Alexander starts every day quietly at the piano, playing gospel music and thinking about his day. For this young man, the ascension has been an incredible journey from his beginnings in Bali to attention and performances on stages at festivals around the globe. Mostly self-taught, aided by listening to his father's extensive record collection, it's a journey of endless expression, technique and talent, bringing laser focus to Joey's remarkable abilities to create and draw legions to his unexplainable gift. Two recordings, My Favorite Things and Countdown (Motéma), capture an array of new looks at old nuggets, along with inspiring originals that demand repeated listening. With a playful musicality and keen sense of swing, Joey creates a crowded excitement, a delight he shares with his trio in Newark. KEVIN MAHOGANY DORTHAAN'S PLACE AT NJPAC / FEBRUARY 12 Vocalist Kevin Mahogany's Kansas City roots surrounded him with a feeling for jazz. He learned to swing like Charlie Parker, sing a ballad like Lester Young and deliver the blues like Big Joe Turner, dripping with Gates Barbecue Sauce. Kevin has demonstrated on numerous recordings his feeling for standards, Jobim, Monk, Ellington, Sam Cooke and Motown, approaching each with a baritone styling that fits nicely with a small group, and drives a big band to head turning heights. Kevin's latest recording, The Vienna Affair (Mahogany Jazz), captures him live, showing an added ability for original stories in song. There's a richness in every phrase that many seek but few attain.

FRANK VIGNOLA BERRIE CENTER / FEBRUARY 25 Guitar icon Les Paul once told The Wall Street Journal that Frank Vignola was one of his five most admired guitarists. A Long Island native, Frank developed his fast fingered technique working in the worlds of jazz, classical, rock, R&B and pop. He has toured with Les, Wynton Marsalis and Queen Latifah. Frank's Hot Club of France tributes brought to life the music of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. Frank teamed up with fellow guitarist Vinny Raniolo for Melody Magic (Azica), a recording showing skill and affinity for Beethoven and Bach, The Beatles, Sting and more. Hear for yourself why Guitar Player Magazine calls Frank "one of the most vicious tremolo-pickers on the scene" when Frank, Vinny and bassist Gary Mazzaroppi bring alive the spirit of Les Paul.

PAUL MEYERS LUNA STAGE / FEBRUARY 26 On the New York scene for many years, guitarist Paul Meyers has shared his skills with Kenny Barron, Ron Carter, Sonny Fortune and Geri Allen, and toured with the legendary vocalist Jon Hendricks. His recordings, including those with Frank Wess and Andy Bey, and World On A String (Miles High) are testament to Paul's diversity of melody, harmony and style, from Arlen/Koehler to John Lennon, Billy Strayhorn, Cole Porter and the Gershwins. Paul's own compositions mirror this flexibility. Paul says, "jazz has always had an explorer's heart. For me, a beautiful part of that exploration is in the rhythms, dimensions that push the form forward." With bassist Leo Traversa, drummer Vanderlei Pereira and saxophonist Mike Lee, Paul shares the marriage of jazz with Brazilian and Latin music.


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BROOKLYN CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC: 58 7th Av. 718-622-3300. 1st Fri: 7pm $5 adm Open Stage. Feb 4: 7:30pm $15 adm Brooklyn Jazz Wide Open series feat Min Xiao-Fen Solo & Duo w/Satoshi Takeishi + WORKS. The DRAWING ROOM: 56 Willoughby St #3. Sets: 7pm. Feb 4: $15 adm Lena Bloch Qrt; 5: $20 Alan Broadbent; 12: $20 Peter Bernstein/Michael Kanan; 19: $20 Gene Bertoncini. KORZO RESTAURANT & BAR: 667 5th Av (bet 19th & 20th Sts). 718-499-1199. Tues: 9&10:30pm $10 don/$10 min Konceptions Music series by James Carney. Feb 7: Caroline Davis Qrt, 10:30pm Jen Shyu; 14: 9pm tba, 10:30pm Richard Bonnet/James Carney; 21: 9pm The Horns Band, 10:30pm Leo Geno; 28: 9pm Noah Garabedian Qrt, 10:30pm tba. KUMBLE THEATER: 1 University Pl (bet DeKalb & Willoughby). 718-488-1624. Feb 25: 8pm $35 adm Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio. NATIONAL SAWDUST: 80N 6th St. 646-7798455. Feb 18: 11am $20/5 adm Oran Etkin & Timbalooloo; 22: 7pm $20 The Stone feat Matt Mitchell. ROULETTE: 509 Atlantic Av at 3rd Av. 917-267-0363. Sets: 8pm $25-15 adm. Feb 1: James Brandon Lewis Trio; 9: 8pm Robert Dick/Ursel Schlicht; 21: Weasel Walter Large Ens; 28: Richard Sussman Evolution Ens. SHAPESHIFTER LAB: 18 Whitwell Pl. 646-820-9452. Sets/adm unless otherwise noted: Early (E) 7pm, Late (L) 8:15pm, Night (N) 9:30pm; $10 adm. Feb 1: $8 E Ammann/Davis Qrt, L Caleb Curtis Double Trio, N Conscience Collective; 3: E Charles Blenzig & NYC Hiphopjazz Orkistra; 4: 4-6pm Amy Winehouse Teen Jazz Ens; 6: E New Forum; 7: E $8 Nathan Peck & the Funky Electrical Unit/Andy Bianco Qnt, N Camera con Camera; 8: E Schapiro17, L tba, N $15 Schapiro17; 9: 8pm Josh Deutsch, Pat Carroll, Jure Pulk, Frank Cohen w/Patricia Wichmann; 10: E Clockwork Trio, L SuperBrian; 12: L Amazonas Strings, N $15 Markus Reuter & Mark Wingfield w/spec guest Marko Djordjevic; 13: 6pm New Forum; 15: 8pm Sergej Avanesov Qrt; 16: E Sean Noonan & Soap; 17: L $8 Funk Pterodatyl; 20: 6pm New Forum; 22: 7:30&9pm Erica Seguine & Meg Okura Ens; 23: E Mute the Commercials, L $8 Matt Robbins Gp; 24: E-L Retrosonik. SIR D’S LOUNGE: 837 Union St. 718-6239065. Mon: 8-11pm Monday Night Big Band Jazz. Feb 6: Jon De Lucia Oct; 13: Steve Feifke Big Band; 20: Art Lillard & Heavenly Big Band; 27: Lou Caputo & Not So Big Band. SISTAS’ PLACE: 456 Nostrand Av at Jefferson Av. 718-398-1766. Sat: 9&10:30pm $20/25 adm. Feb 4: Reggie Nicholson Gp; 11: T.K. Blue; 18: Chuk Fowler w/Patsy Grant; 25: Carl Bartlett Jr. WILLIAMSBURG MUSIC CENTER: 367 Bedford Av. 718-3841654. Fri: 10pm-2am free adm/2 drink min Gerry Eastman Qnt w/spec guests + Jam. Feb 2: 8pm The Liberté Big Band; 4: 10pm David Acker, 11:15pm Rubens Salles; 5: 9pm Ken Ychicawa; 9: 9pm Kevin Sun, 10pm ConSoul Big Band; 12: 9pm Harry Smith,


10:15pm Matt Malanowski; 16 8pm Liberté Big Band; 18: 9pm Rogiérs; 19: 9pm Guy Mintus Trio; 23: 8pm Dan Pugach Nnt; 25: 10pm Mughal Muesli, 11:15pm Jacob Varmus; 26: 9pm Fuck Squad.


The 9th NOTE JAZZ & SUPPER CLUB: 15 Bank St. Stamford. 203-504-8828. BUTTONWOOD TREE: 605 Main St. Middletown. 860-3474957. Sets: 8-10pm. Feb 4: Daniel Meron Sky Begins Trio; 10: The Charter Oak Jazz Qrt; 18: Uri Shaham; 25: Luke Hendon. RIDGEFIELD PLAYHOUSE: 80 East Ridge. Ridgefield. 203-438-5795. Feb 8: 7:30pm Tiempo Libre; 18: 8pm Rita Moreno feat Russ Kassoff. The SIDE DOOR JAZZ CLUB: At Old Lyme Inn. 85 Lyme St. Old Lyme. 860-434-0886. Sets: 8:30pm. Feb 3: Mike Casey; 10: Andy Milne & Dapp Theory.

LONG ISLAND The JAZZ LOFT: 275 Christian Av. Stony Brook. 631-751-1895. Sets/adm: 7pm $20-10. Wed: 7-8pm $10, 8pm $5 Jam w/FM Band. Feb 2: The Jazz Loft Big Band; 4: 7:30pm Swing Dance Long Island; 16: Rich Iacona & The Little Big Band; 18: Andrea Veneziani Trio feat Kenny Werner; 23: Interplay Jazz Orch; 24: Bill Rignola Qrt. LONG ISLAND UNIVERSITY-POST: 720 Northern Blvd. Brookville. 516-299-2895. Feb 10: 8pm $22 adm Tiempo Libre. TREME: 553 Main St. Islip. 631-277-2008. Sets: 7-11pm. Feb 1: ELEW; 8: Eric Berg Qrt; 12: Tim Siciliano Trio; 15: Swing Sessions w/Dudley; 16: Latintology; 19: John Ray & Irving Grossman Spt; 24: Spike Wilner; 26: Jam; 28: Nawlins Funk Band.

NEW JERSEY BERGEN BERGEN PERFORMING ARTS CENTER: 30 N Van Brunt St. Englewood. 201-2271030. Feb 16: 8pm $9939 adm Chris Botti. BERRIE CENTER: Sharp Theater. 505 Ramapo Valley Rd. Mahwah. 201-684-7844. Feb 25: 810pm $30-24 adm Frank Vignola Trio. PUFFIN CULTURAL FORUM: 20 Puffin Way. Teaneck. 201836-8923. $10 don. Feb 4: 8pm Emilio Solla Tango/Jazz Trio; 11: 8pm Lorens Chuno; 24: 7pm Roni Ben-Hur. ESSEX BETHANY BAPTIST CHURCH: 275W Market St. Newark. 973-623-8161. Feb 4: 6-7:30pm Jazz Vespers feat Joey Alexander. DORTHAAN’S PLACE: At Nico Kitchen + Bar continued on page 30

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ANOTHER REASON TO CELEBRATE Rock solid Camille Thurman has been singing since age 4, but when it came time to study music, she chose the saxophone over voice. She wanted to excel on sax and didn't think she could reach her goals without giving the instrument 100 percent of her attention and effort. That changed, however, when colleagues at a Jazz in July program overheard her singing in the shower.

Camille Thurman, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola

"They gathered around to find out who was singing," recalls Camille, who was persuaded to add voice to her studies. "Voice is the first human instrument, everyone can relate to it. An instrumentalist needs that aspect to tell a story with the melody. I'm blessed to have both gifts, they help each other in a beautiful way." Though she initially felt shy about both playing and singing on gigs, Camille has noticed that she's felt more confidence, personally and musically, since adding the vocal component. Listeners will get a chance to hear it themselves at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola on Feb. 7, when Camille and the Darrell Green Trio debut material from their upcoming CD paying tribute to the great Horace Silver. Camille has arranged and written lyrics to some of Silver's seldomheard tunes from the 1970s and 1980s. She began listening to the vintage recordings on the advice of her mentor Antoine Roney, and was further inspired by Let's Get to the Nitty-Gritty: The Autobiography of Horace Silver. "Reading that gave me a little understanding of him. I was moved by his compassion, his awareness of what's going on in society, and how he used his music to share his views," Camille explains. "That message is relevant today, for humanity to be conscious of one another, to be mindful of our place, to be helpful, supporting and nurturing."

By Elzy Kolb

Learning Silver's story—how he created his music, how he named his compositions, who he played with, his relationships beyond the bandstand—fired her imagination in preparing for the upcoming tribute album, which will be released later this year. History of all kinds intrigues Camille, who has a degree in geology and environmental sciences. "I fell in love with geology, I could get lost in looking at the rock in Central Park, seeing evidence of the glacier that passed over the earth," she muses. "If you just look around, you can understand the history of where you are. Seeing how rivers flow across the land, everything is working together. We're so connected with our environment, we can't live without one another." Appreciating history, whether musical, geological or societal, is key for Camille. "When we get beneath the layers we become better people, we have a better understanding of society and the world," she points out. "We can use that understanding as an inspiration. That's how we fix things. That's our job; that's what we're supposed to do."

Full immersion Pianist and composer Frank Kimbrough counts fellow pianist and composer Paul Bley among his greatest influences, and describes him as his main mentor. "His playing was great, but his thought process was very provocative; he could drive you crazy," Frank says. While Bley never practiced, he was always turning over ideas about music in his mind. "He could be like a crazy person muttering to himself in the street, he thought about it all the time without ever touching an instrument. He'd save it up so there would be a certain anticipation, a certain rush when he did play."

Frank Kimbrough, Jazz at Kitano

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ANOTHER REASON...continued from page 25

Frank mentions a few tips from Bley that he took to heart, but doesn't share with his students at Juilliard: Don't practice; don't play much; don't give a lot of direction to other musicians. Of course, all it takes for this method to work is years of practice, regular playing and building relationships. But it does work, as evidenced by Frank's latest CD, Solstice (Pirouet), with bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Jeff Hirshfield. Released in November, when Frank turned 60, most of the tunes on Solstice are first takes—one is a sound check. "It was like falling off a log; there was no work involved. We just walked in and hit it," he notes. "I don't tell them what to do. I hire people to do what they do; when they do that, it will be correct." He continues, "It's a three-way conversation, not solo and backup. Jeff and Jay have been playing together for 35 years; I've known them for 20 years. It's all about concentrated listening. There's a lot of give and take, an intimate conversation between us. Listeners get to eavesdrop on the conversation." Frank took a stack of 15 or 20 tunes into the session, "We just played, I had no order written down, then later I cut out the fat." When he chose the tracks for the album, Frank noticed that coincidentally, five are written by women, and another he had learned from Shirley Horn, his mentor. "It wasn't about picking women; these were just things I like. The music comes first, the back story happens afterward when you start to see patterns. These composers all influenced me or were close to me somehow." Frank's wife, Maryanne De Prophetis, wrote the title track; Carla Bley and Annette Peacock (she wrote two of the tunes) both composed for Paul Bley; Frank has been a mainstay of Maria Schneider's band for more than two decades. Solstice also contains a Kimbrough original, "Question's the Answer." Frank points out that he's not as prolific a writer as in his youth, but notes that quantity doesn't necessary equal quality. "Sitting down to write is putting the cart before the horse. I could write ten tunes to have one good one." These days, he takes an approach Paul Bley would recognize: "I might have an idea for a tune, then walk around the park with it for six months." By the time he writes it down, it's fully realized. Catch Frank, Jay and Jeff in action at Jazz at Kitano Feb. 10-11, where they celebrate the release of Solstice, and most likely play other originals and some standards.


Time zone Guitarist/composer Ralph Towner has written and recorded so much music, he's surprised whenever he comes across his discography. "I've been on so many records because I'm so old at this point," he says with a laugh. "I've been busy over the last 50 years; I've written more than 400 songs." Besides dozens of recordings as leader or co-leader with the band Oregon and players such as John Abercrombie, Gary Peacock, Gary Burton and Paolo Fresu, Ralph also appears on albums by Duke Pearson, the Paul Winter Consort, Weather Report, Kenny Wheeler, Keith Jarrett, Jan Garbarek, the folk singer Tim Hardin and many others.

Ralph Towner, Jazz Standard

His latest effort is a solo guitar album, My Foolish Heart (ECM), which comprises 11 originals, along with the title track, an Oscar-nominated standard from a 1949 movie of the same name. Starting out as a young pianist in New York in 1968, Ralph was inspired by an iconic version of "My Foolish Heart" played by Bill Evans, Scott LaFaro and Paul Motian. "I was so moved by that," he recalls. "I wanted to feel what it's like to be in that space, play that way, have that feeling, that reverence." Studying the trio's playing on the tune set Ralph on the path to developing his own style. “I squeezed every drop of inspiration from that record on first impact. I internalized the feeling, which was the whole point: internalize, change it slightly and make it your own." About three years later, Ralph experienced a similar breakthrough when—on a whim—he bought a guitar, which soon became his primary instrument. "A guitar is actually an ancestor of the piano, it has a pianistic function similar to a keyboard. It's kind of a portable piano with a special personal sound," he points out. "It's like a small orchestra. Everyone sounds different on guitar." Approaching his 77th birthday on March 1, Ralph is grateful for finding his flow through the Evans recording and the fluke purchase that turned him into a guicontinued on page 29


Double Hat: Musician/Club Owner UCKED AWAY IN UPPER HARlem lies one of the best live jazz experiences for people who truly love the music: Bill's Place. Every Friday and Saturday night, Harlem saxophonist Bill Saxton's club, which is built upon the site of a Harlem speakeasy on the original legendary Swing Street, offers up a blend of ferociously swinging, intensely melodic hard bop steeped in Harlem's rich history. A dry venue, in relatively close quarters, Bill's Place is for many listeners a dream outcome: a small, intimate space to hear uncompromising music, surrounded by audience members there for the listening experience. Bill Saxton explains it best: "what we sell is music."

Bill Saxton

In 2004, Bill and his wife, scholar and author Theda Palmer Saxton, sought to purchase a building, and came across a space on 133rd street that needed significant renovation, but proved promising. Buying the building as a home and a performance space, as well as for rental units, the Saxtons stumbled onto a treasure of jazz history. "Randy Weston was the first person to suggest to me that there was something special going on with the block I'm on," Bill explains. "He encouraged me to research it. Sonny Rollins said the same to me, saying it was one heck of a block.

By Seton Hawkins

Then I saw an article on Swing Street, and it went on to list all the speakeasies in Harlem during Prohibition, and my address was one of them! Later, we found out that Billie Holiday was discovered by John Hammond in this spot. So when I perform here, I let people know about where they are, and what came before." Opened in 2006 following a two-year renovation project, Bill's Place has managed to maintain its drive and quality even as other venues around it come and go, thanks to the ingenuity and tenacity of Bill himself. Indeed, since its founding, Bill's Place has held steady even amidst the closure of St. Nick's Pub and Lenox Lounge, as well as the re-opening, closing, and reopening of Minton's Playhouse. Over the years, it has grown into a role as one of, if not the, last authentic voices of Harlem's jazz heritage. While the story and legacy of Bill's Place may draw initial attention, what propels its staying power is the quality of the music it has engendered across generations of artists. Bill's playing alone is a tremendous draw: sporting a massive tone and ample saxophone chops, Bill can conjure artists ranging from Coleman Hawkins to Jackie McLean, and to be sure, his ensemble playing reflects the wealth of mentorship he received from artists like Roy Haynes (who donated the drums at Bill's Place), Dannie Richmond, Clark Terry and many others. In turn, Bill has passed and continues to pass on these lessons to young artists, notably through his project ATYMONY (And the Young Musicians of New York). "Some of these young artists learn from me, because they don't otherwise have the opportunity to learn in the way I got to learn," Bill says. "I was fortunate to play with Clark Terry and with Frank Foster, and I've been able to teach younger artists the lessons I learned on the road." Bill's mentoring efforts span several generations of younger artists, as Theo Hill, Ali Jackson, Kyle Poole and many others can count Bill among their teachers and advocates. Ultimately, to Bill the challenges of running a venue are worth the sacrifice in service of honoring Harlem's jazz heritage and in passing it onto future generations. "Being born and raised in Harlem, I wanted to bring something back for the community," he explains. "I believe if you want

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Saxton photo by Paul Aresu.


FRESH TAKES F THERE'S ANY NEW TALENT NOT to be missed, it's organist and pianist ILeonieke Scheuble. She is performing at the Nuyorican Poet's Cafe this month. With impressive skills in organ playing, piano playing and composing, Leonieke is an upand-coming force with a fresh, new sound in the New York jazz scene. Showing an aptitude for piano at an early age, then shortly after, learning organ, Leonieke says, "I don't really have a preference, I enjoy both and they're so different. I make sure to learn tunes on both instruments, and then I just decide which I like better." When asked about her musical influences, she says, "I really love Bobby Timmons, Joey DeFrancesco, Dr. Lonnie Smith and vocalists like Billie Holiday, HOT FLASHES...

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something, you have to do it yourself and take a chance. This industry can stress you out, and make you question yourself. And I refuse to deal with that, because if you get caught up in it, you will be lost. I hope I live my life as a model of what a musician can do, rather than wait for someone to give a gig." Bill's Place holds live music every Friday and Saturday night, two sets each night. To learn more, visit www.billsplace

Bria Skonberg

Movies, Exhibitions, Valentine's Day, and Residencies Say What! A Geriatric Proposal is the brainchild of jazz violinist Aaron Weinstein and his brother Jeremy, and follows the story of a young jazz artist struggling with the travails of life on the


By Nick Dunston

Sarah Vaughan and Bing Crosby." When talking about some of her compositional approaches, Leonieke mentions "Often, I'll start by composing a melody over a set of the chord changes to a tune that I know and love." She follows up, "The tunes that I write are often very influenced by the music that I'm learning at the time." Hear Leonieke Scheuble play at the Nuyorican Poet's Cafe on Feb. 4.

road. A funny and engaging animated short, Say What can be viewed at The works of mixed media visual artist Sam Middleton is featured at GP Contemporary, beginning Feb. 1 in an exhibition entitled The Sam I am is Collage. Reflecting Sam's upbringing in New York City and immersion in Harlem's Jazz scene, the exhibit showcases his exceptional work in watercolor, gouache, and collage. The gallery is open Monday through Friday; for more details, visit New York City offers a wide range of romantic jazz possibilities on Valentine's Day. Vocalist Brianna Thomas has a special themed concert titled It Had to Be You at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola; learn more at Nonpareil vocalist Catherine Russell appears at Birdland on Valentine's Day, tickets are available at Bria Skonberg makes a one-night-only appearance at Jazz Standard, offering up a superb mix of material with special guest Houston Person. See more details at www.jazzs Kevin Mahogany brings his singular crooning talents to Smoke Jazz & Supper Club for a special performance. Make a reservation at www.smoke One of the last bulwarks for creative and experimental music in Manhattan, The Stone will commence its final 12 months of life beginning this month, offering fans a beautiful series of residencies to continued on page 29

B A C K S T A G E PA S S JAZZ ANECDOTE BY BILL CROW Bill Crow's books " Jazz Anecdotes" and " From Birdland to Broadway" can be found at your favorite bookstore, and at along with many interesting photos and links.

Lloyd Wells sent me a note expressing his sorrow at hearing that jazz guitarist Howie Collins had passed away. Howie had done a lot of subs for Lloyd when he was doing Broadway shows. Lloyd remembered seeing a Merv Griffin show that Howie subbed on for Jim Hall. Merv said something about the band, and the camera panned over to the bandstand, stopping right on Howie, who's face was buried in a roast beef sandwich.

Bill Wurtzel and Joe Roccisano were quietly playing a gig in a restaurant. A guest who had been sitting with friends, came over and praised them by saying, "With other bands you can't carry on a conversation." REEVES...

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As she looks forward to her upcoming performance at Jazz at Lincoln Center, where she'll be premiering new music with familiar bandmates, Dianne reflects on the most important component of concept: "You have to continue to develop your uniqueness—your authenticity," she says, "because nobody is like anybody else, or has the same experiences as anybody else." And after three decades of contemplative interpretation, harmonic conversation and resonating sound, no one's concept is more authentic than Dianne Reeves'.

Dianne Reeves performs at JALC Feb. 10-11. SHIPP...

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Jazz, through to Piano Song, to going on the road."

The Matthew Shipp Trio performs at The Cutting Room on Feb. 9 to celebrate the release of Piano Song.


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tarist. "I'm blessed to have this as a profession. It's a wonderful thing to be able to do, a wonderful experience to be in that zone; there's nothing like it. It's an out of body experience when things are going well. When you're playing really well people breathe with you, they're in tune with the smallest sound. It's fun and you don't get tired of it." Now based in Rome, Ralph visits New York to celebrate the release of My Foolish Heart at Jazz Standard Feb. 15-16. The CD's title is a bit of an in-joke, he reveals, laughing: "I had a little problem with my heart two or three years ago, that's all fixed now, but there's a bit of dark humor, a little irony in the name of the record."


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close out its tenure. Of note, vibraphone master Chris Dingman holds a residency Feb. 21-26, bringing in an incredible roster of collaborators, including Fabian Almazan, Ike Sturm, Tyshawn Sorey and many more. For a full list of events, visit A Moment You Missed by Fran Kaufman Hot House Contributing Photographer

Pianist, arranger and composer Helen Sung and vocalist CharenĂŠe Wade are clearly enjoying themselves as they share a look at upcoming arrangements backstage at the APAP meeting at the Hilton Hotel on Jan. 8. Both artists performed in the New York Suite with reedman Oran Etkin when he showcased his charming and informative program for kids.


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in NJPAC. 1 Center St. Newark. 888-4665722. Feb 12: 12pm $45/15 adm Jazz Brunch feat Kevin Mahogany. FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH: 40S Fullerton Av. Montclair. 973-744-6560. Feb 26: 3:155:15m $10 adm Spiritual Drumming Workshops by Richard Reiter. LUNA STAGE: 555 Valley Rd. West Orange. 973-395-5551. Feb 26: 7pm $18/20 adm Paul Meyers & World on a String. SOPAC: 1 SOPAC Way. South Orange. 973313-2787. Feb 19: 7pm Jazz in the Loft feat Frank Noviello. TRUMPETS: 6 Depot Square. Montclair. 973744-2600. Adm varies. Feb 4: 8-11pm Jack DeSalvo; 12: 7:30-10pm Lou Caputo & Not So Big Band; 13: 7-8:30pm Gabriel Alexander, Aphrodite Daniel & Achilleas Wastor; 24: 8&10pm T.K. Blue. VAN VLECK HOUSE & GARDENS: 21 Van Vleck St. Montclair. 973744-4752. Feb 11: 6:30-8pm $250 adm, 811pm $150 Jazz House Kids benefit feat The Jazz House Alumni Band, Claudio Roditi Bossa Trio, Matthew Whitaker. HUDSON MILLER BRANCH LIBRARY: 489 Bergen Av. Jersey City. 201-547-6907. Feb 25: 8-10pm T.K. Blue. MERCER 1867 SANCTUARY AT EWING: 101 Scotch Rd. Ewing. jazz. 609-392-6409. Feb 4: 8pm L Town Express; 26: 3pm Odean Pope/Gloria Galante Qrt. CANDLELIGHT LOUNGE: 24 Passaic St. Trenton. 609695-9612. Sat: 3:30-7:30pm free adm/$10 min. Feb 4: Lynn Riley; 11: Jeanne Brooks; 18: Landom Brothers; 25: Andrae Mutcherson. MCCARTER THEATRE: 91 University Pl. Princeton. 609-258-2787. Feb 15: 7:30pm Chris Botti. MIDDLESEX DUE MARI: 78 Albany St. New Brunswick. 732-296-1600. Fri: 6:30-9:30pm free adm The New Brunswick Jazz Project/ Feb 3: Kate Curran Duo; 10: 8-11pm Emma Larsson Duo; 17: Kate Baker Duo; 24: Mike Bond Duo. GEORGE STREET ALE HOUSE: 378 George St. New Brunswick. www.gsale 732-543-2408. The New Brunswick Jazz Project/ Tues: 8-11pm Emerging Artists + Jam. HYATT HOTEL: 2 Albany St. New Brunswick. 732-8731234. Thurs: 8-11pm free adm The New Brunswick Jazz Project/ Feb 2: Stephen Fuller Qrt; 9: Ralph Peterson & Triangular III; 16: Steve Fidyk Qrt; 23: Dave Schumacher Qrt; INC RESTAURANT: 302 George St. New Brunswick. 732-6400553. Wed: 8-11pm free adm The New Brunswick Jazz Project/ Feb 1: Jerome Jennings Trio; 8: Felix Peikli Trio; 15: Nat Adderley Trio; 22: Mike Bond Trio feat Tim Ries. MONMOUTH COUNT BASIE THEATRE: 99 Monmouth St. Red Bank. 732842-9000. Feb 19: 4pm Russ Kassoff w/Rita Moreno.


MORRIS BICKFORD THEATRE: 6 Normandy Heights Rd. Morristown. 973-971-3706. Concerts 89:30pm. $17/20 adm. Feb 6: Marty Eigen & Amani Qrt w/guest Leonieke Scheuble; 20: Dan Levinson Band w/Mike Davis, Matt Mussleman. MAYO PERFORMING ARTS CENTER: 100 South St. Morristown. 973-539-8008. Feb 17: 8pm $99-49 adm Chris Botti. SHANGHAI JAZZ: 24 Main St. Madison. 973822-2899. Free adm. Sets: Sun 6-8:30pm, Tues 6:30-9pm, WedThurs 7-9:30pm, Fri 6:30&8:30pm, Sat 6:30&8:45pm. Closed Mon. Feb 7: John Korba; 8: Harry Allen Trio; 17: Rob Paparozzi Trio; 18: Nilson Matta Trio; 19: 3-5:30pm Jazz Social feat Elise Axelrad; 21: Nicki Parrott/Rossanno Sportiello; 28: John Korba. OCEAN OCEAN COUNTY COLLEGE: College Dr. Toms River. 732-255-0500. $18/22 adm. Feb 15: 8-9:30pm Ricky Riccardi. PASSAIC WILLIAM PATERSON UNIVERSITY: 300 Pompton Rd. Wayne. 973720-2371. Feb 12: 4pm Claudio Roditi w/WP Latin Jazz Ens dir by Chico Mendoza; 19: 4pm Vincent Herring & Eric Alexander Qnt. SOMERSET WATCHUNG ARTS CENTER: 18 Stirling Rd. Watchung. 908-7530190. Feb 4: 8pm $22-10 adm JaZZ in the Gallery feat Carrie Jackson All Stars. UNION UNION COUNTY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER: 1601 Irving St. Rahway. 732-4998226. Feb 19: 7-9:30pm Jersey City Jazz Collective. WARREN RUTHERFURD HALL: 1686-R Rte 517. Allamuchy. 908-852-1894. www.rutherfurd Feb 26: 3-5pm $25/20 adm Jazz at the Rutherfurd feat Pete McGuinness Sxt.


76 HOUSE: 110 Main St. Tappan. 845-3595476. Wed: 8-11pm free adm Quintets w/Mark Hagan & feat artists + Jam. Feb 1: Andy Gravish; 8: Michael Rabinowitz; 15: Bobby Level; 22: Matt Haviland, Oscar Feldman. FALCON ARTS: 1348 Rte 9 West. Marlboro. 845-236-7970. $20 don suggested. Sets: 7-10pm; Sun 10am2pm Brunch (B). Feb 5: B Big Joe Fitz & The Lo-Fis, 7pm David Amram Qnt & friends; 8: Jazz Sessions at The Falcon Underground; 11: Ed Palermo Big Band; 12: Noah Haidu Qrt; 16: Latin Jazz Express; 26: Roland Vazquez Qnt. TURNING POINT CAFÉ: 468 Piermont Av. Piermont. 845359-1089. Mon: 8-11:30pm $5 adm Monday Jam by John Richmond.


DEER HEAD INN: 5 Main St. Delaware Water Gap, PA. 570-4242000. Sets: Sun 5-8pm, Thurs 8-11pm, Fricontinued on page 32

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BRIDGE CROSSINGS RANDON ROSS' MUSIC IS SOMEtimes quiet and deep, sometimes loud B and mysterious. His guitar playing and

compositions reveal themselves as simultaneously soothing and unsettling with an aesthetic, as you will read here, and hear when you listen, that is never static, always searching.

Q- Brandon, you have a few different groups you lead or co-lead. Tell us what you're working on with Harriet Tubman, Blazing Beauty, For Living Lovers? Or do you currently have other musical priorities? A- Currently, my musical focus is on music I've written for a Chamber Music America New Jazz Works grant project, "Immortal Obsolescence" which is a musical response to a visual chronicle of psychotherapeutic artifacts, documented by Venezuelan visual artist, designer and photographer, Carolina Munoz. The music is composed for For Living Lovers—my acoustic duo with acoustic bass guitarist Stomu Takeishi—and additional instrumentation through a song cycle of 11 compositions for improvisation. In addition to Harriet Tubman, (which has a new CD releasing on Feb. 24 on Sunnyside Records, Araminta) and Blazing Beauty, which will perform during my Stone residency this year (Feb. 14-19), I've found myself engaging with aspects of sound creation in the Glyph band, DarkMatterHalo, with sound designer, Hardedge and electric guitarist Doug Wieselman. Those are the projects that have released CDs in the last year. Additionally I have an "experimental"

By Cary Tone

ensemble, Brandon Ross Pendulum, (Hardedge; Kevin Ross, electric bass; Chris Eddleton, drums) which I am developing. Q- You've played with such a wide array of musicians. Cassandra Wilson, Muhal Richard Abrams, Tony Williams, Arto Lindsey, Archie Shepp, Oliver Lake, Bill Laswell, Henry Threadgill only a partial list. How have you developed such a broad pallet? A- I think Roscoe Mitchell put it very succinctly in an interview once. He said something like, and I'm paraphrasing here: "... If you are in love with music, if you're having a love affair with music, then you are going to listen to all kinds of musical expression…" I don't foster an attitude of musical apartheid. It's about whatever touches me or gets my positive attention. In terms of being able to function musically with those artists, as I look at it, those people are people who have been and are, musically themselves. When I first came to NYC, I had the good fortune to meet Ornette Coleman when I was invited to play at his place in the school building he had on Rivington Street, on LES. He said to me, "Always be musically, yourself." I assumed I knew what that meant. I did not. I have come to understand it, and live by it, and to have found myself in the company of musical mentors and colleagues who have made that choice also.

I know that it is crucial to cultivate my Self, or to allow my Self to cultivate me. A solitary singular pursuit. If I can realize it, I am my own reward.

Q- If you weren't a musician what other directions would your life have taken? A- When I graduated from high school I was either going to music college or drama school. I was very active in theatre in high school, and won a few awards for roles I played and I love something about the engagement with a director and interpreting direction through a character. I follow actors the way I do musicians. Interestingly, when I work with the producer/musician Kip Hanrahan, it is very

continued on page 32

Ross photo by Junya Suzuki.


continued from page 30

Sat 7-11pm. Adm varies. Residency (R): Thurs Jam w/Bill Washer & friends. Feb 2: R; 3: La Cuchina & Unplugged; 4: Dave Liebman & Expansions; 5: Patrick McGee Qrt; 9: R; 10: Iris Ornig; 11: Bob Dorough; 12: Erica Golaszewski Qrt; 14: Marianne Solivan Qrt; 16: R; 17: Mike Collins Qrt; 18: Silvano Monasterios; 19: Phil Markowitz & Zach Brock; 23: R; 24: Davey Lantz Trio; 25: Kate Baker & Vic Juris; 26: Bill Charlap Solo; 27: 58pm Delaware Water Gap Orch.


FLUSHING TOWN HALL: 137-35 Northern Blvd. Flushing. 718-463-7700. 1st Wed: 7pm $10 adm Jam w/Carol Sudhalter. Feb 18: 8pm $25/35 Mozayik feat Tulivu-Donna Cumberbatch Henry; 24: 8pm $16/10 adm Grace Kelly. JACKSON ROOM: 192-07 Linden Blvd. St Albans. 718-5252387. Last Sat: 8&10pm $15 adm incl snacks/beverage feat Ed Jackson Qrt. LOUIS ARMSTRONG HOUSE MUSEUM: 34-56 107th St. Corona. 718-478-8274. Sun&Sat 125pm, Tues-Fri 10am-5pm: $10 adm Guided Tours of Louis Armstrong House.


BEANRUNNER CAFÉ: 201 S Division & Esther St. Peekskill. 914-737-1701. Fri-Sat: 810:30pm $10 adm. Feb 3: Chico Alvarez & Mauricio Smith w/Ran Kan Kan; 4: Wali Ali; 11: Eric Person Qrt; 18: Mala Waldron Qrt; 25: The Voyagers. FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH: 199N Columbus Av at E Lincoln Av. Mount Vernon. 914-636-4977. 2nd Sun: 5:15-9pm $25 adm Second Sunday Jazz series. Feb 12: Antonio Hart.

Hot House is not responsible for any errors in the listings which may have occured from late changes or incorrect information supplied to us. Please call the venues or check website for up to date calendars.

BRIDGE CROSSINGS... continued from page 31

much like being directed theatrically. I sing on Kip's records as well as play guitar, and Kip's lyrics (which are more often proselike than lyrical) can be elliptical and hard to align with the music they've been written for—as well as being written in the studio, sometimes line by line and handed to me while we're recording—so he and I have established this 'pas de deux' that might well be a convergence of my theatrical and the musical inclinations. Q- What do you know today that you didn't know 20 years ago? A- I know today, that the importance of being oneself, and accepting oneself is themost important ability to cultivate in any (creative) endeavor. When I first met Ornette in '83, (I've shared this story a lot) the first thing he said to me was "How's the music business?" To which I sheepishly replied (being young and star struck) that I didn't know enough about it to say. After which he said, "There's the music world and the music business. A long time ago, I decided that I'd rather be a part of the music world." I know that it is crucial to cultivate my Self, or to allow my Self to cultivate me. A solitary singular pursuit. If I can realize it, I am my own reward. Q- What have you been listening to lately? A- Lately, I have been listening to Dori Caymmi's Poesia Musicada. Q- Is the nature of jazz and improvisation a political statement? A- In the context of politics, it would seem to be. In the context of true reality, it is a poetic facsimile of same. I define culture as the way of our lives. Politics would then be, in the way of our lives. The things we call jazz and improvisation are cultural gestures within a process of organization and manifestation. It's what humans do. Daily. Some more than others. Q- What's the last truly great piece of music you listen to live or recorded? A- It was a concert. A great concert, by Jeff Beck, in August 2016. I find it so satisfying to experience any artist who manages to be self-possessed, more or less complete; themselves, gestural, natural, revelatory, inspired and inspiring. That was a time when those qualities showed up for me. I had a teacher who used to use the term, "It of itself" as a description of what was ineffable. Jeff Beck was that. Q- You're having a dinner party and can invite three musicians. Who would they be? A- Ornette Coleman, Lawrence D. "Butch" Morris and Toru Takemitsu. For the complete interview, visit our website:

Brandon Ross has a weeklong residence at The Stone Feb. 14-19


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TH E L AT I N S I D E O F HOT HO U S E By Emilie Pons

HEN HE WAS YOUNG, PIANIST Mike Eckroth listened to the John W Scofield album Blue Matter and the Oscar

Peterson's Soul Espanol, in which Peterson plays Brazilian and Latin music. These two albums were precursory of Mike's colorful and diversified career. Mike belongs to many worlds and cultures and he is part of diverse projects. You might have listened to him if you ever watched John's live concert video The Paris Concert, but if you are a fan of Cuban, Afro-Peruvian and Brazilian music, you probably know Mike's sound as well. His humility is only exceeded by his talent: Mike, whose hazel eyes sizzle with intelligence, refuses to identify as an expert. But his eclecticism is riveting. He just graduated from NYU with a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology. During his studies, he not only transcribed and analyzed more than 70 solos by the bigger improvisers in Cuban music, he explains, but he also met guitarist John Scofield, who hired him from 2009 until 2011. For his dissertation, titled "Cuban piano improvisation on record from 1937 to 1949," Mike wrote about "the Cuban stylistic aspects of the 1940s that were carried on by later pianists." He is now looking into publishing a method book based on his research, the only one about that topic, he says. Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba is one of Mike's favorite musicians, along with Brazilian pianist Cesar Camargo Mariano. In Brazilian music, Mike loves the feel, the improvisation and the style, he says. "I just like doing things that have groove and rhythm in them," he adds. Mike just finished a mambo big band music recording in Cuba for the singer Pepito Gomez. He also plays a lot of salsa and Latin jazz with performers such as percussionists Johnny "Dandy" Rodriguez and Ralph Irizarry. Regardless, he remains humble: "Even after playing Cuban music for ten years,"

he says, "I am still learning so much about it." One of Mike's projects, the trio La Voz de Tres, features a Chilean singer and a Brazilian seven-string guitar player. He also plays with the Spanish Afrobeat band Peliroja, and his upcoming album Piano and Rhythms is influenced by classic Cuban records such as the Peruchin's Piano con Mona album. Another of Mike's trademarks is that he plays with a lot of guitarists, a pairing that speaks to his sensibility and, one more time, his talent. Mike also performs and records with bassist Ron McClure. New York, he says, is the only place where he sees himself when it comes to making a living as a jazz musician and supporting his family: after all, he is now a father of three. Mike is busy, and his dream is to replicate what he was able to achieve with John. Up to now, "John was definitely the height of my career," he readily admits. For his duo set at Mezzrow on Feb. 9, Mike features Matt Clohesy on bass. It will be a straight ahead gig, Mike explains. Regardless, the pianist is likely to exude his usual technical and improvisatory dexterity, spanning many genres, many decades, and many sensibilities.

Mike Eckroth is at Mezzrow Feb. 8 in a duo with Matt Clohesy




Hot House Jazz Guide | February 2017  
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