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                                                                               JAZZIMPROV.COM AUGUST 2006




The Ultimate Directory of NY Area Jazz Club, Concert & Event Listings
                                                                                          Interviews with:
                                                                                                  Maynard Ferguson
                                                                                                        Jon Faddis
                                                                                                     Winard Harper
                                                                                                       Jackie Ryan

                                                                                    Performance Reviews:
                                                                                           Nancy Kelly, Jason Rigby,
                                                                                    Jack Wilkins, Hendrik Meurkens,
                                                                                                     Vision Festival,
                                                                                        Clifford Brown Jazz Festival,




              Eddie
                                                                                       Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks




            GOMEZ &                               Mark
                                                                                      JON
                                                                                     FADDIS
                                                                                       AT JAZZ
                                                                                     STANDARD
                                                                                      AUG 1 - 6




                                               KRAMER                                 JACKIE
                                                                                       RYAN
                                                                                         AT
                                                      Art of The Heart              DIZZY’S CLUB
                                                                                       AUG 28
                                                          Iridium Aug 24-27




Ira Gitler’s Apple Chorus                                                            WINARD
                                                                                     HARPER
Jazz Club Profile: DIZZY’S CLUB COCA COLA                                           CD RELEASE
                                                                                      AT JAZZ
                                                                                    STANDARD
                                                                                    AUG 29 - 30
Plenty of Reviews of Cool CDs
Including: T.K. Blue, Jimmy Cobb, Harry Connick, Jr., Pete Malinverni and others!
LivePerformanceReviewsLivePerforman
                                                      they were going to perform them. Giglio sug-
      Joe Giglio & Paul Bollenback                    gested Bird’s “Big Foot” as a blues, which they                            RAGTIME TO SWINGTIME
               Live at 107 West                       did in a combination of unison and octaves,                            Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks
                June 30, 2006                         while Bollenback suggested “Days of Wine and                           JVC Jazz Festival, Kaye Playhouse
                                                      Roses” with a modulation up a minor third (as                                    June 21, 2006
                                                      Bill Evans had done it on “Affinity”), but he
By Dan Adler                                          took it even further, suggesting modulating up a                 By Michael Steinman
                                                      minor third two more times to get back to the
      Friday nights with Joe Giglio at “107           original key. Giglio demonstrated that he was up                      This concert could have been a dry exercise
West” (www.107west.com) have become a                 for the challenge, soloing fiercely over the                     in musical archaeology—and yet it wasn’t. Al-
word-of-mouth tradition among NY-area jazz            modulating sections, and then he countered with                  though it began with the earliest self-proclaimed
guitar fans over the past few years. Located at       an idea to play “I Can’t Get Started” as alternat-               “jass” performances from 1917 and the most
107th Street and Broadway in Manhattan, this          ing solo guitar sections, where they each played                 recent repertoire was more than seventy years
cozy neighborhood eatery specializes in reasona-      a beautifully constructed unaccompanied chord                    old, the music was positively frisky. Even the
bly priced Cajun cuisine, delicious deserts and a     solo section before getting into tempo at the                    makeup of the crowd was encouraging: the
well-stocked bar. Although not everyone comes         bridge. The duo’s version of “Alice in Wonder-                   younger members, some born too late to have
here to listen to the music on Fridays, there is      land” started as waltz and went through some                     seen Benny Goodman, even on television, gave
always a dedicated group of fans who know that        excellent interplay as Bollenback and Giglio                     me hope that this music would still have a fol-
nothing can beat seeing your favorite artists from    changed the tempo to two and then back to three.                 lowing in years to come.
a few feet away, while enjoying some great food       The guitar enthusiasts in the audience were                           The evening was dominated by Vince
and wine with no cover charge or time limit. As       thrilled—clapping for solos and exchanging                       Giordano’s Nighthawks, a stylish tentet devoted
Giglio likes to writes in his weekly email an-        comments with the duo in between tunes. It was                   to evocative recreations of hot dance music
nouncements: “It’s the best jazz hang in town.”       truly an informal and very comfortable setting                   taken from recordings and original orchestra-
      If you look at the photos section of Joe        for all involved. As the evening progressed,                     tions, with its gifted soloists given space for
Giglio’s website (www.joegiglio.com), you will        Giglio announced a surprise guest and handed                     improvised solos. Especially notable were reed-
see the vast array of jazz guitar legends that have   his guitar to Howard Alden. Alden, who usually                   man Dan Levinson, fluent but concise; Dan
played duets here with Giglio over the past few       plays a 7-string guitar, had no problem adjusting                Block, always fervent; and trumpeter Jon-Erik
years. Famous local players like Jack Wilkins,        to Giglio’s custom-built 6-string Forshage guitar,               Kellso, forceful and pungent. Giordano shuttled
Howard Alden, Carl Barry, Joe Cohn, John Hart,        and he played two tunes with Bollenback. “Like                   back and forth between bass sax, aluminum
Peter Bernstein, Randy Johnston, Joe Beck and         Someone in Love” was taken at a medium tempo                     string bass, and tuba without missing a beat at
many others appear here regularly with Giglio,        and provided some beautifully melodic soloing                    even the fastest tempos. “Railroad Man,”
as well as some notable out-of-towners like           by both, whereas the up-tempo “Stablemates”                      “Bashful Baby”, and “Two Tickets to Georgia”
Bucky Pizzarelli, Joe Diorio, Frank Potenza,          that followed was a tour-de-force for both play-                 all paid homage to bandleader Ben Pollack, and
John Stowell and others who make sure to let          ers. Both Bollenback and Alden took amazing                      the lovely “Smoke Rings” and “Blue Prelude,”
Giglio know when they plan to be in town on a         solos that kept weaving melodies through the                     remembered clarinetist Clarence Hutchenrider
Friday. But, it’s not always just guitar duos.        complex chord changes as if they didn’t exist.                   and the Casa Loma Orchestra. It was particularly
Giglio has recently recorded an album with vio-             There followed some excellent duets of                     fine to hear the Nighthawks in the Kaye Play-
linist Rob Thomas and bass legend Ron                 Alden with Giglio, with Alden playing an entire                  house, where their un-amplified sound was never
McClure, and they have both appeared here with        solo in artificial harmonics (in the style of Tal                distorted or obscured.
Giglio in trios and duos.                             Farlow) and Giglio playing some fantastic chord                       But as electrifying as the Nighthawks were,
      A veteran of the New York jazz scene,           solos. Finally, it was Bollenback and Giglio back                they were overshadowed by three songs early in
Giglio is a formidable player who can adapt to        together again, this time taking “Body and Soul”                 the program by Dan Levinson’s Roof Garden
any context. He has superb technique that allows      as a slow Bossa nova, with Giglio surprising                     Jass Band, which recreated the Original Dixie-
him to play exciting and interesting solos to         everyone with some tasty rock and blues licks                    land Jazz Band, the Frisco Jazz Band, and Ted
match the caliber of his guests; he always seems      that blended in beautifully.                                     Lewis. This quintet featured Kellso, Levinson,
to have interesting and surprising chord solo         The duo closed the evening with a super-fast                     David Sager, Peter Yarin, and Kevin Dorn (who
arrangements for any standard tune, and his           version of “Donna Lee” which they did in unison                  was seated behind an antique set complete with a
comping is always harmonically rich and varied.       before launching into blistering solos. Bollen-                  bucolic landscape ornamenting the bass drum).
You can hear excerpts of his critically acclaimed     back’s exciting solo reminded everyone why                       The RGJB, leisurely and hot, especially on a
CD’s and extensive live recordings on his web-        John McLaughlin chose to give such a glowing                     gliding “Livery Stable Blues,” offered music that
site.                                                 endorsement to his first album, and Giglio fol-                  few have ever heard so clearly. All of the tunes
      On this particular evening, I was lucky         lowed suit with a great solo of his own, demon-                  were entirely idiomatic but still swinging.
enough to catch Giglio playing duets with the         strating once again why so many of the world’s                        Violinist Andy Stein’s Blue Five honored
great Paul Bollenback who was back in his home        top guitarists enjoy playing duets with him. If                  less well-known 1930s recordings by Joe Venuti,
base in New York in between his busy travel           you are a jazz guitar fan, you owe it to yourself                the highlights being a sweet “Nothin’ But
schedule (www.paulbollenback.com). Bollen-            to check out Giglio’s fine playing and the unique                Notes”, a goofy, uninhibited “I Want to Ring
back will also be appearing at “Smoke” with the       setting he has created to preserve the tradition of              Bells”; young pianist Bryan Wright gave pensive
band from his latest CD on July 7-8). Having          jazz guitar duets.                                               readings of Bix Beiderbecke’s “Flashes” and “In
spent years playing with great modern players                                                                          the Dark.” Since jazz and pop of the period re-
like Gary Thomas and Joey DeFrancesco, Bol-                                                                            lied heavily on singers, the concert also offered
lenback is known for his musicality, awesome          BOB ACKERMAN/PAM PURVIS TRIO                                     turns at the microphone from Stein, a perky
technique and choice of contemporary material.                      EVERY SUNDAY                                       Nancy Anderson (channeling a Broadway flap-
However, this evening was all about playing               “Velvet & Brass” ♪ 5:00—8:30pm                               per), Marion Cowings, Sager (paying tribute to
standards in a traditional setting.                       Cecil’s Jazz Club & Restaurant                               Jack Teagarden), and Giordano—the last two
      Giglio and Bollenback chose the tunes on               Cool Vibe, Comfortable Seating and Great Food & Drinks!   taking the prize for casual, affecting singing.
the spot and then decided within seconds how             364 Valley Road, West Orange, NJ • 973-736-4800                    In addition to fine, brief commentaries by
                                                           www.pampurvis.com • www.bobackermansaxophones.com


8 August 2006       Jazz Improv ® Magazine’s New York Jazz Guide & Directory           www.jazzimprov.com                            To Advertise CALL: 212-889-0853
Giordano and Levinson, Rich Conaty, the host of              tions of her voice. Bassist Earl Sauls, heretofore   viding a great pocket for Breakstone to dig into
WFUV’s “The Big Broadcast” was the host. His                 content with providing a foundation while main-      his syncopated lines. Rogeri took a solo that
vaudevillian radio personality, complete with                taining low visibility, stepped out from behind      revealed finely-honed improvisational skill as
misfiring jokes, amused his listeners. Authentic             the band to lay down a rhythmic solo full of         Breakstone’s set drew to a close.
jazz of this vintage is often hard to find amidst            variety. Sauls demonstrated his remarkable yet             It was back to Kelly’s soulful voice for the
more commercialized versions, but it was viv-                inconspicuous contribution on “I’ll Get Along,”      third set. Cole Porter’s “I Concentrate on You”
idly alive, if only for two hours, on East 68th              unearthing rich, protracted bass notes to serve as   proved a refreshing change of pace as the rhythm
Street.                                                      a low counterpoint that made Kelly’s vocals all      section imbued the tune with a lively samba
                                                             the more poignant. Steve Johns, a versatile and      vibe. Sauls added colorful and inventive bass
                                                             highly capable drummer, lent a great sense of        playing while Cion distilled the essence of the
          Nancy Kelly                                        swing and scintillating brush-work to the music.     song in her solo. A storyteller both in and out of
       Joshua Breakstone                                     Trading fours on “Honeysuckle Rose,” Johns
                                                             demonstrated a penchant for tasteful phrases that
                                                                                                                  a tune, Kelly kept the audience’s attention be-
                                                                                                                  tween songs with witty banter and offhand sto-
    Live at the Long Island Jazz Festival                    attracted attention at no expense to Kelly.          ries, creating a personal interlude to the music.
             Rockville Centre, NY                                  The teamwork was evident throughout as               Kelly’s unique phrasing made for a dy-
                June 15, 2006                                each musician bolstered the others’ efforts. No      namic rendition of “Come Rain or Come Shine.”
                                                             one was the better for this fruitful collaboration   Her voice dripped sweetness as she settled into
By Dimitry Ekshtut                                           than Kelly herself. With charisma exuding from       the melody’s caress. From silky smooth to a
                                                             her voice, she swung away on “I’ve Got the           soulful rasp, she molded Billy Joel’s “New York
      How does one breathe new life into a song              World on a String,” singing with the sheer pleas-    State of Mind” into a beautiful jazz ballad ac-
sung innumerable times over? Those melodies                  ure of one newly cognizant to the wonders of         companied by Cion’s sympathetic voicings.
most familiar to the ear are fragile creatures with          their own voice.                                     Kelly’s love for this tune was evident from the
which the most delicate care must be taken. It is                  Guitarist Joshua Breakstone took over for      sincerity of her voice to the eloquence with
the warhorses of the jazz repertoire that demand             the second set, retaining Johns and Sauls but        which she sang. Sauls contributed a heartfelt,
the utmost of an artist’s interpretative prowess.            leaving Cion in favor of Vinnie Ruggieri. This       intelligently-wrought solo with a sense of mel-
Stick too close to others’ handling of a melody              guitar-led quartet, more bebop-oriented than         ody at its core. An up-tempo “Jeanine” put the
and risk compromising your individual voice,                 Kelly’s, embarked on a set consisting of tunes       spotlight on Cion’s grooving organ-playing as
yet stray too far and its intrinsic beauty, misman-          familiar and forgotten, revitalized by Break-        the rhythm section steamed along beneath. Her
aged, dissipates. A compromise must be made                  stone’s playing. Ethyl Waters’ “Cabin in the         earthy solo was recapitulated on the drums by
between convention and invention, contribution               Sky” swung hard thanks to Johns and an aggres-       Johns, who seemed able to catch any rhythms
and deference. When a vocalist strikes this bal-             sive, punchy solo sound from Breakstone. The         Cion threw his way.
ance just so, the melody leaps out and fastens               guitarist, a fluent conversationalist in the lan-          Breakstone joined Kelly and her band for
itself to our hearts, minds, and imaginations.               guage of bebop, dispensed a variety of phrases       the finale, a charming rendition of “There Will
This is music set free of the trappings of twelve            that would have been right at home in the forties    Never Be Another You.” The tune was a fitting
notes, a music which speaks with the eloquence               and fifties.                                         description of the mutual admiration evident
of a Shakespeare and the force of a Hemingway.                     “That’s All” once again showcased Johns’       between the two, who are long-time friends and
Such sounds do not emit from all, or even many,              finesse with the brushes, giving the music a gen-    musical compatriots. They were giggly as little
vocalists. But when they do, as was the case for             tle yet persistent swing. Here Breakstone’s lines    children playing together in a sandbox, the years
Nancy Kelly, the result is pure magic.                       displayed an originality of invention that hinted    melting off to expose only a shared devotion to
      Kelly’s seasoned voice lent a gentle, famil-           at a capacity for more than just the traditional     the song and each other. It is such moments, so
iar air to a succession of songs memorable for               bebop phraseology. Replying to his polyrhyth-        few and precious, that make one appreciate the
their great melodies and inspired lyrics. Focus-             mic thrusts, the band latched on to Breakstone’s     mystique of this music we call jazz.
ing on swing tunes and ballads, she soared                   energy and engaged in deeper communication
through “I Wish You Love” and simmered on                    than had previously been evident.
“You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To.” Both                           There was an interested story behind Mal               Hendrik Meurkens
featured the keyboard artistry of Sarah Jane                 Waldron’s “Soul Eyes.” Breakstone, a favorite in                   Cornelia Street Café
Cion, whose ebullient Rhodes-inspired solos                  the jazz circles of Japan, discussed how the Japa-                   June 14, 2006
bounced to and fro from the keys, bubbling with              nese view of all-time standards differed from
delight.                                                     that expressed back home. The three big stan-        PERSONNEL: Hendrik Meurkens (Harmonica);
      On “But Not for Me,” this provoked a fasci-            dards in Japan, Breakstone explained, are            Helio Alves (Piano); Gustavo Amarante
nating scat reply from Kelly, complete with                  “You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To,”                  (Electric Bass); Adriano Santos (Drums);
horn-like inflections that explored the fine grada-          “Autumn Leaves,” and Waldron’s “Left Alone.”
                                                             American audiences are surely familiar with the      By Dan Adler
                                                             first two – they are essential components of the
  If you enjoy our New York                                  jazz repertoire here and elsewhere. Yet “Left             New York Jazz lovers know that Cornelia

  Jazz Guide, that you have
                                                             Alone” is mostly unheard of in the States. Be-       Street Café (www.corneliastreetcafe) is one of
                                                             musedly, Breakstone announced that he would          those venues where you are likely to find world-
 in your hands, you’ll LOVE                                  not play “Left Alone,” but another Waldron
                                                             tune. His rendition of “Soul Eyes” harkened
                                                                                                                  class players stretching the envelope every night
                                                                                                                  of the week, and June 14th was no exception. On
    Jazz Improv® Magazine                                    back to the flourishing decades when bebop
                                                             reigned supreme, though with a Latin flavor that
                                                                                                                  the schedule, was an evening of duets by
                                                                                                                  Hendrik Meurkens on Harmonica and Brazilian
 CD with each issue, 200-300 pages each issue, in-depth,     would have been uncharacteristic at the time. For    Pianist Helio Alves, but as my friends and I
 intelligent, and compelling interviews, magnificent photo   his solo, Breakstone conceived captivating,          walked down the stairs to enter this basement-
 galleries, 75-100 detailed CD, DVD, Book & Product          plaintive melodies delivered by way of a biting      turned-jazz-club a few minutes into the first set,
 reviews articles, and as a bonus, for those who make        tone heaving on vibrato yet light on legato.         the additional sound of bass and drums made it
 music - songs, solos, analyses, “How-to” articles & more.         Breakstone introduced “Where or When?”         clear that we are in for a special treat. These
                                                             with a pleasant chord melody. The band altered       were the sounds of the Hendrik Meurkens
 SUBSCRIBE — 1-888-472-0670                                  dynamics nicely to accommodate the subtly            Samba Jazz Quartet which has been making
    www.jazzimprov.com
                                                             shifting moods of Breakstone’s phrases. Johns’       music together for over a year
                                                             ride cymbal and Sauls’ attack on the upright         (www.hendrikmeurkens.com) and has recorded a
                                                             were locked together in a perfect embrace, pro-      live album at Cecil’s Jazz Club in NJ last De-
To Advertise CALL: 212-889-0853                                    Jazz Improv ® Magazine’s New York Jazz Guide & Directory   www.jazzimprov.com    August 2006 9
                                                 cember.                                               and Toots Thielemans’ famous “Bluesette” with
                                                       The first tune, “Mountain Drive” is also the    a 2 beat feel rather than a waltz.
                                                 first tune on Meurkens latest CD “Amazon                   The comparison of Hendrik Meurkens with
                                                 River” which also features Helio Alves on Piano       Toots Thielemans is inevitable, especially since
                                                 alongside the legendary Dori Caymmi, Paquito          Thielemans has also recorded with all the great
                                                 D’Rivera and Oscar Castro-Neves. Meurkens’            Brazilian artists. But it goes beyond the surface
                                                 instrumental virtuosity as well as the depth of his   of just the sound of the harmonica. Following in
                                                 understanding of Brazilian music was immedi-          Thielemans footsteps, Meurkens continues to
                                                 ately striking. His timing and execution are per-     evolve a language of linear improvisation
                                                 fect and his solos are like mini-compositions in      through complex chord changes which is very
                                                 themselves, full of melodic and harmonic sur-         melodic and compositional and attempts to stay
                                                 prises that always resolve themselves logically.      away from obvious licks and predefined pat-
                                                       Helio Alves, a native of Sao Paulo Brazil       terns. This combination of infectious Brazilian
                                                 and one of the best known Brazilian/Jazz players      rhythms with highly sophisticated harmony and
                                                 around, followed suit with a great solo which         beautifully melodic compositions and improvisa-
                                                 fused Brazilian and Jazz influences with a keen       tions are a winning combination that appeals to
                                                 sense of harmonic and rhythmic freedom. Alves         the most demanding audience as well as the
                                                 has performed and recorded with Claudio Roditi,       casual listener.
                                                 Paquito D'Rivera, Gato Barbieri, Airto Moreira,            The Hendrik Meurkens Samba Jazz Quartet
                                                 Flora Purim, John Patitucci, Al Foster, Leny          will be performing at Zinc Bar in NY, August 1-
                                                 Andrade, Rosa Passos, The Caribbean Jazz Pro-         3, where Meurkens will also be playing his sec-
                                                 ject, Joyce, Oscar Castro Neves, Yo-Yo Ma, Joe        ond instrument, vibes, as well as Harmonica.
                                                 Henderson and others.
                                                       Meurkens’ association with Brazilian music
                                                 is very deep. In the 80’s he lived in Rio for a                     Jason Rigby
                                                 number of years and since then he has recorded                      Cornelia Street Café
                                                 over 15 highly acclaimed albums of Brazilian                          June 19, 2006
                                                 Jazz. He is well known for introducing audiences
                                                 to lesser known forms of Brazilian music such as      By Steve Jankowski
                                                 Chorinhos, and in this performance he delighted
                                                 the audience with three originals of this style:           Upbeat, contemporary, busy, that’s what
                                                 “Menina Na Janela” from the same album,               you can expect at the Cornelia Street Café,
                                                 “Choro Da Neve” and “Choro N. 8”.                     which will be celebrating its 30th anniversary in
                                                       In between songs, Meurkens spoke to the         Greenwich Village next year. In both the upstairs
                                                 audience about the other musicians and told           restaurant and the downstairs jazz club/poetry
                                                 amusing anecdotes about his process of compo-         studio/theatrical stage, business was quite brisk
                                                 sition. According to his story, Meurkens travels      for a Monday night in June. (By the way, try the
                                                 from his home in New Jersey to visit relatives in     spinach and pear salad. Trust me.)
                                                 his native country of Germany with his family              Jazz was on the menu downstairs, in an
                                                 and a small Casio keyboard, and that’s where he       environment best described as a 50 by 16 foot,
                                                 writes most of his compositions. He spoke about       brick-encased rectangle. Mirrors in window-like
                                                 the process of refining each composition, search-     frames on one wall and in gilt edged borders on
                                                 ing for the next chord or phrase, being guided        the other helped make this enclosure safe for
                                                 only by the intuition of knowing when it’s            claustrophobics. Without denigrating its current,
                                                 “right”. The audience enjoyed his stories and it      welcoming character, one can easily imagine the
                                                 helped the make the connection between the            room in a more permissive century, when the
                                                 music and the people on stage. Great musicians        haze of burning cigarettes mixed with the smell
                                                 always make it seem so easy and effortless, and       of alcohol to create a considerably unhealthy but
                                                 it’s nice to be reminded that there are months        classic environment for jazz addicts.
                                                 and years of painstaking efforts involved in mak-          Jason Rigby, group leader and reed virtu-
                                                 ing it seem so natural and flowing.                   oso, would fit well here anytime. His fat, rich
                                                       This quartet was exceptionally tight. Bassist   tone, especially on tenor, did not require a Shure
                                                 Gustavo Amarante and drummer Adriano San-             mike jammed down the bell. We heard him just
                                                 tos, both New-Yorkers originally born in Brazil,      fine, au natural. He and his group, featuring
                                                 provided an excellent rhythmic and harmonic           Mike Holober on piano, Cameron Brown on
                                                 foundation for Alves and Meurkens to build their      bass, and Mark Ferber on drums took the free
                                                 solos upon. As I was looking around the audi-         way this evening. Free as in meaning they didn’t
                                                 ence, everyone was moving their body to the           improvise around standard tunes with standard
                                                 beat and most people had a joyous smile on their      structures, or spend a lot of time even in the
                                                 face. There is something universally appealing        diatonic world. The evening was put together to
                                                 about great Brazilian music, which, in contrast to    celebrate Jason’s new album Translucent, a
                                                 other forms of popular music, seems able to           word that ultimately proved to be an accurate
                                                 maintain its rhythmic and harmonic sophistica-        description of the overall experience of the 9 pm
                                                 tion.                                                 set.
                                                       Besides Meurkens’ own originals, the quar-           The first piece, “Proximo,” from one of
                                                 tet played a lesser-known Jobim tune called           Jason’s earlier album, had a bossa nova feel,
                                                 “Voçe Vai Ver”, a tune by Joao Donato called          which created a nice backdrop for Mike Ho-
                                                 “A Rá” (which you can see on video at the quar-       lober’s living and breathing, four-legged Rho-
                                                 tet link above), and they closed the evening with     des. (A sound that still defies true-to-life replica-
                                                 a medley of “Someday My Prince Will Come”             tion in the digital world. The recognizably sub-


10 August 2006   Jazz Improv ® Magazine’s New York Jazz Guide & Directory   www.jazzimprov.com                        To Advertise CALL: 212-889-0853
tle-yet-edgy tone of this keyboard formed an          ness from Jason, and he didn’t disappoint, giving
effective aural counterpoint to Jason’s sax,          us fractured lines and unexpected turns of
which took us through the full range of the in-       phrase. Mike Holober kept the faith as well, with
strument, playing top to bottom, touching every
octave, building variations upon variations with
                                                      blocks of tightly voiced changes luring us to a
                                                      Southampton you won’t find anywhere on Long             LIVE               JAZZ
                                                                                                                                 LIVE            JAZZ
a high energy approach that would ultimately          Island.
prove to be an essential part of his style.                 A very responsive and supportive audience
      With “Turquoise Turkish” you get some           helped keep the energy flowing throughout the
colors you won’t find in the jumbo box of Cray-       set. In retrospect, there’s really only one ques-
ola crayons. Mark Ferber started off with aggres-     tion for listeners: do you enjoy free playing with     Cecil’s Restaurant & Jazz Club
sive rolling toms, setting the stage for Jason and    limited structure and no comforting familiarity, a       364 Valley Road, West Orange, NJ
Mike who deliver a thematic statement consist-        style where the listening value rests primarily on                 (973) 736-4800
ing of rapid 16th note phrases played in unison.      the skills of the musicians? Point is, if you prefer          www.cecilsjazzclub.com
Jason’s solo work started with an expertly con-       recognizable tunes divided into, 8, 12, or 16
trolled trill in the upper register of the tenor,     bars, Jason and friends may not be for you. On              THE HOTTEST JAZZ CLUB IN
eventually leading to a series of descending          the other hand, if you revel in freedom, or would                   NEW YORK
chromatic phrases played with passion and a           like to be more aware of what it means in a mu-                 IS IN NEW JERSEY
great deal of agility. This arrangement featured a    sical sense, I wholeheartedly recommend turning                Jazz 7 Nights A Week
clever interlude with Mike’s bubbly sounding          to Jason Rigby.                                              Open For Lunch & Dinner
Rhodes trading innuendos with Jason’s sax.                                                                            2:00PM to 2:00AM Daily
Everyone exited with a reprise of the main
theme, poked and prodded along by some hard                        Jack Wilkins                              Friday & Saturday, August 4 & 5 9PM
and loud fills and hits from drummer Ferber.                           Le Madeleine                                       VANESSA RUBIN
      With “Green is Greener”, Jason used so-                          June 26, 2006
prano sax to establish a melancholy tonal palette,                                                                    Friday, August 11 9PM
substantially different in feel from what he’d        By Dan Adler                                                    PETE ZIMMER QUINTET
played thus far. With Mike using the upper reg-
ister of the Rhodes to create the sound of a ce-            If you are ever in the mood to hear some                  Saturday, August 12 9PM
lesta and bassist Cameron assuming the role of        great solo jazz guitar on a Sunday or Monday                    ERIC FRAZIER QUARTET
the heavy, Jason was provided with a translucent      evening in Manhattan, just head over to Le                 Wednesday August 16 8PM
(there’s that word again) backdrop for his story.     Madeleine on the corner of 9th Ave and 43rd
                                                                                                                             BWP Presents
He is clearly comfortable on the soprano, and he      street (www.lemadeleine.com). There is no
created one of his most structurally inventive        cover charge, and you can just get a drink or
                                                                                                             AHMED ABDULLAH & DIASPORA
statements of the evening, rising and falling in      dessert at the bar, or enjoy their reasonably           Friday & Sat., August 18 & 19 9PM
both expressions and intensity, creating a joyous     priced Bistro menu. Most weeks, you will get to             RADAM SCHWARTZ &
and memorable experience before returning to          hear the great Gene Bertoncini playing his
                                                                                                               CONSPIRACY FOR POSITIVITY
the quiet sadness and reflection heard at the be-     unique style of jazz on a classical guitar. Once in
ginning of ”Green”. Mike Cameron also contrib-        a while, when Bertoncini is traveling, he calls         Friday & Sat., August 25 & 26 9PM
utes with an appropriately sensitive and cleverly     upon another great player to fill in for him such        NAT SIMPKINS & HENRI SMITH
nuanced solo contributing to the hazy, see-           as Paul Meyers, or in this case, Jack Wilkins.             w/ special guest CHARLES NEVILLE
through quality of the piece.                               Guitarist           Jack        Wilkins                     of the Neville Brothers
      The next selection, at this point sans title,   (www.jackwilkins.com) has been a part of the
may well remain sans title since it defies being      New York jazz scene for more than four dec-            Saturday Afternoons in August           5 PM
characterized by either color words or conven-        ades. His flawless technique and imaginative                       MIKE LOGAN TRIO
tional language. Toms and bass drum took over         chordal approach have inspired collaborations
                                                                                                              Sunday Afternoons in August 5 PM
the room with whip cracks on snare and bursts of      with Charles Mingus, Michael and Randy
raw, percussive energy on rims and cymbal.            Brecker, Stan Getz, Phil Woods, Chet Baker,             PAM PURVIS & BOB ACKERMAN
Jason then took the lead with phrase after phrase     Jimmy Raney, Bob Brookmeyer, Buddy Rich,                 Sunday Evenings in July 9 PM
of intense, passionate and seemingly discon-          and some of the greatest singers like Sarah            MATT CHERTKOFF ORGAN GROOVES
nected phrases, each containing disconcerting         Vaughan, Mel Torme, Ray Charles, Tony Ben-
dissonance as the most dominant element. Mike         nett, Manhattan Transfer, and others. In the liner              Mondays in August       8 PM
Holober’s block chords underneath supported           notes of his 1978 album The Bob Brookmeyer
                                                                                                                 3rd, 17th CECIL'S BIG BAND
Jason’s darkest, most personal commentary yet,        Small Band: Live at Sandy’s, Brookmeyer calls
                                                                                                                    LED BY JOE ELEFANTE
a torrent of expression that may well be his best     Wilkins “the most imaginative guitarist to have
work of the evening precisely because it felt so      emerged since Jim Hall,” and continues to say:              Monday August 7 & 21 8 PM
emotionally specific.                                 “Jack is a musician who has all the tools to do             ELLINGTON LEGACY BAND
      As with many of Jason’s choices this eve-       anything he wants. And he can sound any num-
ning, the final one, “Southampton U.K.” began         ber of different ways.”                                         Tuesdays in August 9 PM
with cut-through percussion cruising on the syn-            Hearing Jack Wilkins play solo guitar in               JAZZ JAM SESSION
copated side of the street, bringing a shuffling      such an intimate setting is an unforgettable ex-         HOSTED BY BRUCE WILLIAMS
rhythmic figure accented by sharp accents on          perience. Playing his custom-built Benedetto
cymbals. Here, he chose bass clarinet to intro-       archtop electric guitar through a small AER            Wednesday August 2, 9, 23 & 30 8 PM
duce the theme, and it was a nice choice. (Every      amplifier, Wilkins’ guitar sound was warm and                 NEW MUSIC NIGHT
time I hear this rarely used instrument I am re-      inviting, appealing both to the most oblivious
minded how deep and distinctive it sounds, kind       diners, and to those of us who came especially to               Thursdays in August 9 PM
of like a clarinet on steroids.) “Southampton”        enjoy the music. There were quite a few promi-          LATIN JAZZ & SALSA DANCING
was certainly the most arranged piece the group       nent musicians in the audience all listening in-          WITH DAVE BRAHAM TRIO
played in this set, featuring breaks with sudden      tently, including Sue Mingus, the widow of the
stops and starts that were either planned or re-      great Charles Mingus (with whom Wilkins re-                       Live recordings by
markably prescient. We’ve come to expect fresh-       corded two albums), guitarists Carl Barry and              Tedesco Studios • (973) 736-4800
                                                                                                                    www.TedescoStudios.com

To Advertise CALL: 212-889-0853                            Jazz Improv ® Magazine’s New York Jazz Guide & Directory    www.jazzimprov.com   August 2006 11
    SUMMER AT
                                                       James Chirillo, bassists Dylan Taylor and Jon
                                                       Burr (who played on Wilkins’ famous You Can’t
                                                                                                                  Jason Robert Brown
CORNELIA STREET CAFE                                   Live Without It album, available on Wilkins’                    Live at Birdland Jazz
                                                       website as part of the Merge reissue).                               June 2006
                                                             Wilkins seemed to have an endless supply
                                                       of stunning arrangements to a wide variety of        By Kay Prins
                                                       standards. “You Go To My Head” got a rubato
                                                       treatment with lots of harmonic twists and pian-           On June 12, in the dimly lit Birdland Jazz
 LOW BRASS                                             istic inner-voice movements, while an up-tempo       Club, something was different from usual: in a
 Aug 1, 8:30PM Marcus Rojas                            “I Remember You” was a springboard for a             club whose walls are usually witnesses to hushed
 Aug 2, 8:30PM Josh Roseman Group                      wonderful single-line solo and some walking          conversations about Charlie Parker and the mer-
 Aug 3, 8:30PM Jacob Garchik Trio                      bass and comping in the Joe Pass tradition. Al-      its of fusion versus straight ahead, there was talk
 Aug 4, 9&10:30PM       Joe Fidler Trio                though Wilkins’ solo style is truly innovative       of the recent Tony awards and directing summer
 Aug 5, 9&10:30PM       Bob Stewart Trio featuring     and unique, he is well aware of everything that      stock theatre. On this particular evening, Bird-
             Billy Hart                                came before him. He teaches a popular course on      land exchanged its usual clientele of hardcore
 COMPOSERS COLLABORATIVE                               jazz guitar history, and is one of the few guitar-   jazz fans for a group of musical theater fans who
                                                       ists around today who has actually shared the        squeezed into the bar, hoping for a chance to
 Aug 8, 8:30PM Jody Hedhage and Mageret
             Lancaster                                 bandstand with the likes of Jimmy Raney, Tal         listen to the acclaimed playwright/composer
 Aug 9, 8:30PM THE GOLD STANDARD by                    Farlow, Chuck Wayne and Barney Kessel and            Jason Robert Brown.
             Ed Schmidt, composed and           per-   once in a while he will pay tribute to one of them         Flanked on either side of his piano by gui-
 formed by Jed Distler                                 by using one of their signature licks or chord       tarist Gary Singer and bassist Randy Landau,
 Aug 10, 8:30PM THE GOLD STANDARD                      sequences—all of which blend into an organic         and joined for a few numbers by vocalist Melissa
 Aug 11, 9:00PM First Avenue and Maya                  musical statement that is all his own.               Errico, Brown played a mix of old hits, future
 Aug 12, 9:00PM THE GOLD STANDARD                            The evening also included some beautiful       successes and recent releases by his band, the
 VESSELS OF SONG                                       ballad arrangements. “Polkadots and Moon-            Caucasian Rhythm Kings, from their new record
 Curated by Jay Vilnai                                 beams,” “My One and Only Love” and “These            Wearing Someone Else’s Clothes. Brown is truly
                                                       Foolish Things” kept modulating and changing         a performer whose background in theater shows
 Aug 15, 8:30PM Judith Berkson
 Aug 16, 8:30PM Romanshka                              moods and colors as Wilkins moved from ar-           in his bearing upon the stage, even in a concert
 Aug 17, 8:30PM Andy Statman                           ranged sections to improvisations and back,          setting. He was at once conversational and
 Aug 18, 9&10:30PM       Matt Darriau and the          always keeping things fresh and exciting. “When      highly stylized, intimate with the audience and
             Paradox Trio                              Sunny Gets Blue” got a Bossa Nova treatment          playing a role behind the fourth wall.
 Aug 19, 9&10:30PM       Aaron Alexander's Midrash     where Wilkins kept the bass line going through-            The appeal of Brown’s music lies in the
             Mish Mosh                                 out while improvising chords and melodies on         sheer impossibility of it: it’s a mix of Broadway
 BRAZILIAN                                             top. There were some great swinging tunes like       show tunes and a sort of jazzy pop music, given
                                                       Ellington’s “I Got It Bad,” “Taking a Chance On      life by a flurry of complex notes and chord struc-
 Aug 22, 7:00PM Ligaçãu
                                                       Love” and Gershwin’s “Our Love is Here To            tures. Brown himself admitted during the per-
 Aug 22, 9:00PM Felipe Salles' homage to
             Hermeto Pascoal                           Stay” that had the audience tapping their feet and   formance that “[he] will never play one note
 Aug 23, 7:00PM Dende                                  looking over from time to time in disbelief that     where 36 will do.” And 36 usually do. For exam-
 Aug 23, 9:00PM Leonardo Cioglia                       Wilkins was producing all of this music on his       ple, musical director often quail at the daunting
 Aug 24, 7:00PM Eliane                                 own. A great round of applause came at the end       task of playing the fugue that opens his off-
 Aug 24, 9:00PM Clarice Assad                          of each song with the audience clearly showing       Broadway hit The Last Five Years. Because of
 Aug 15, 9&10:30PM     Cliff Korman Ensemble           their appreciation, while the musicians in the       the complexity of the music, it has a hauntingly
 Aug 16, 7:00PM Suzy Schwartz's Brazil Jazz            audience exchanged looks of amazement at the         beautiful quality. Many of the songs from Wear-
 Aug 16, 9&10:30PM     Dave Pietro & Banda Brazil
                                                       level of technique, musicality and artistry that     ing Someone Else’s Clothes bear a certain re-
 FLUTES                                                Jack Wilkins has attained.                           semblance to the pieces Brown has written for
 Aug 29, 8:30PM    Denominators
                                                             A pleasant surprise came at the end of the     the theater, but they still retain a quality of
 Aug 30, 10:00PM   Yael Asher and Junk 'KAT'           evening, when Wilkins invited guest guitarist        uniqueness that allow them to stand alone.
 Aug 31, 7:00PM    Pjuma Ensemble                      James Chirillo to sit in with him for a couple of    Singer’s solos were, as Brown promised, “on
 Aug 31, 9:00PM    Jeremy Steig                        duets. They tore into “How Deep is the Ocean”        fire,” and, when combined with Brown’s own
                                                       exhibiting some awesome technique and some           experimentation on the piano, they smoked,
 SUNDAYS IN AUGUST: DUOS                               great interplay. In this setting, Wilkins got to     creating an atmosphere of urgency and welcome
 Aug 6, 8:30PM Marc Mommaas/                           show off his more contemporary side as an excit-     tension.
             Tony Moreno                               ing soloist and one of the first guitarists in the         Brown’s choice of numbers to perform
 Aug 13, 8:30PM Liz Magnes/Hill Greene                 70’s and 80’s to earn the respect of modern play-    promised a series of crowd pleasers, from his
 Aug 20, 7&8:30PM      TBA
                                                       ers like Michael and Randy Brecker, Jack De-         well-known selections from The Last Five Years,
 Aug 27, 7:00PM Kate McGarry/Havie S
 Aug 27, 8:30PM Tony Malaby/Marcus Rojas               Johnette and Eddie Gomez, all of whom played         Songs for a New World and Parade to his best
                                                       on his albums.                                       songs from Wearing Someone Else’s Clothes and
 MONDAY IN AUGUST: WORLD                                     At this point the audience had mostly fin-     two new songs from musicals that will debut in
 Aug 7, 8:30PM     David Amram & Co                    ished eating their dinners, and were all listening   the next year. Perhaps the best part about the
 Aug 14, 8:30PM    Natalie Michan                      intently, so by the time Wilkins and Chirillo        performance was the way Brown responded to
 Aug 21, 8:30PM    TBA                                 closed the evening off with a version of “Samba      and built up the enthusiasm of the audience,
 Aug 28, 8:30      Harel Shachal and Anistar           De Orfeo” it felt more like a jazz club than a       most of whom know the music just as well as—
 September 1&2     John Hollenbeck's Claudia           restaurant—with the audience clapping for solos,     if not better than—Jason Robert Brown himself!
 9&10:30PM         Quintet                             laughing at musical jokes and taking in the great    The Caucasian Rhythm Kings and Melissa Er-
                                                       musical experience.                                  rico, led by the charismatic and talented Jason
 CORNELIA STREET CAFE                                                                                       Robert Brown were a truly special act to make
             29 CORNELIA STREET                                                                             its way to Birdland Jazz; It is highly recom-
         GREENWICH VILLAGE, NY 10014                                                                        mended that those looking for a unique and
               (212) 989-9319                                                                               beautiful musical style try to catch Brown in
       www.corneliastreetcafe.com                                                                                                        (Continued on page 13)


12 August 2006         Jazz Improv ® Magazine’s New York Jazz Guide & Directory   www.jazzimprov.com                       To Advertise CALL: 212-889-0853

				
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