Hays Street Hart at Smoke Jazz Club presented tunes from their Bridges Record Release tonight. As I sat in the sold-out performance the sounds I heard reminded me of the incredible importance of the jazz trio (aka rhythm section). From the first few bars, I imagined the work of Bill Evans, bassist Scott LaFaro, and drummer Paul Motian—or perhaps Oscar Peterson with bassist Ray Brown and drummer Ed Thigpen.
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Conrad Herwig and The Latin Side All-Stars at The Django brought forth classic, expressive jazz. Herwig enriched it with the syncopation, excitement, and complexity of Latin rhythm, the pathos of Coltrane, and a dash of the rhythmic drive of Bebop. After the band played the head, solos didn’t just follow the tune’s melody, a technique common with jazz players. Solos inhabited the structure of bar lines, chords, and powerful rhythms in personal contexts. The complex relationships between improvised melodies, structures, and rhythm resulted in rich, abstract, and contextual meanings for listeners. It was fantastic!
The Michael Davis Hip-Bone Big Band shook the rafters tonight at New York City’s Birdland Jazz Club with one great number after another. Tonight was a celebration of their new album, Open City. Performed for a packed house, they broke it down with contemporary jazz. It was modern, sophisticated, and cool with smatterings of bebop.
Gilkes’s new album Cyclic Journey touches anyone who appreciates and enjoys world-class artistry and virtuosity in classical and jazz idioms. Cyclic Journey is a musical adventure where the listener can experience the sounds of a team of musicians at the top of their game. At the same time, Gilkes shares his biographical virtual journey that emerged from his creative imagination. As you listen, close your eyes, and permit yourself to be transported through his ephemeral, beautiful sonic world.
The Alexa Tarantino Quartet made the scene at the Birdland Jazz club. Alto saxophonist Tarantino brings the Bird back to Birdland with her smooth, mellow sound. She’s cool, relaxed, and versatile as she solos and trades with the best of them, allowing everyone to speak their own musical voices to songs in a great groove. She draws us into her world of energy, excitement, and romance. Her sound is soulful, rich, and as subtle and formidable as she commands.
Tonight at Smoke Jazz Club featuring vocalist Mary Stallings with Emmet Cohen – piano, Peter Washington – bass, and Joe Farnsworth – drums, was a true jazz event with ample chance to hear each artist solo and improvise. Unified interactions between Stallings, piano, bass, and drums were superbly executed and characterized by focused listening, rhythmic unity, improvisational interchanges, refinement, and a collective sense of musical accord. Along with the vocal sophistication and inspiration of Stallings’s lead, the instrumental trio created a vibrant and harmonious musical tapestry showcasing the exquisite refinement of the music and their respective profound artistry. It was a great night of jazz!
The incredibly personable Baker, currently living in New York City, was accompanied by an all-star band from the local jazz scene, including Grammy-nominated vocalist Nicole Zuraitis, 3rd generation jazz musician trumpeter and vocalist Benny Benack III, guitarist Max Light, Kevin Hailey on double bass and Curtis Nowosad on the drums.
The Art Bath Salon Series program was 21st century-multimedia at its finest, but with the intimacy of the Parisian salons made famous by the likes of Gertrude Stein, Gustave Courbet, and Franz Liszt. In this inviting artistic environment with stimulating badinage, patrons experienced and marveled at film, sculpture, painting, dance, photography, and music created by world-class artists and performers.
Lovers of live jazz didn’t have to drive to a New York City venue last week, thanks to the Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC) hosting the world-renown Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO) with Wynton Marsalis.
Swinging big band music was hot in Manhattan! From the moment the Tony Kadleck Big Band began their set at the Birdland Jazz Club, we tapped our toes and jumped to a tasteful, tight, polished sound, solid rhythm section, cats burnin’ solos, and sophisticated superb arrangements by trumpeter and band leader Kadleck.