November 15, 2013. Posted by Tim Wilkins.
Listen now to pianist Randy Weston and tenor saxophonist Billy Harper perform live at WBGO and talk with WBGO's Rhonda Hamilton about their new Sunnyside CD, The Roots Of The Blues. The duo perform at New York's Iridium on November 26th and 27th. Enjoy!
© 2013 WBGO
November 14, 2013. Posted by Chris Dennison.
A great organ trio is like your favorite diner. You know the dishes and ingredients by heart, but they taste better every time, so you always want to come back for more.
Listen now to Larry Goldings on organ, Peter Bernstein on guitar and and drummer Bill Stewart from New York’s Village Vanguard, as broadcast live by WBGO on November 13.
Listeners love what these three serve up, with good reason. After twenty-five years together, they show an almost telepathic ability to read each other’s moves and predict where their improvisations will take them.
While they have been billed over time as the Larry Goldings Trio and the Peter Bernstein Trio, at the Vanguard they are billed as what they truly are: a deeply intuitive and collaborative trio.
Goldings’ relocation to the West Coast and busy schedules as sidemen make these trio gigs less frequent, but they are worth the wait. When these three play together, they sound like they are coming home: they combine a harmonically developed post-bop approach to melody with down-home blues and a hard-driving swing feel.
The group’s 2011 CD Live at Smalls offers a good introduction to this sound, in particular their take on “Milestones.” Goldings launches the iconic Miles Davis piece with with an esoteric free introduction, after which the band joins him for a statement of the melody and a solo by Bernstein.
Goldings then steers the tune back towards the freer side of things, with intervallic passages and skillfully employed reiterations of material from the tune. Stewart’s sense of melody is on full display during his solo on “Milestones,” and he provides thoughtful accompaniment throughout, from his subtle brushwork on “Nobody Else But Me” to the way he drives Bernstein and Goldings on the swinging “Chant.”
© 2013 WBGO
October 2, 2013. Posted by Chris Dennison.
Ravi Coltrane brought his new quartet to the Village Vanguard for WBGO's live broadcast from the club on Wednesday, October 2 at 8:30 p.m. Listen to this concert and review comments by hosts and audience members below. Enjoy!
Coltrane upended ears in 2012 with his Blue Note debut Spirit Fiction. Half the disc features longtime collaborators Luis Perdomo on piano, bassist Drew Gress, and drummer E.J. Strickland. On the balance, he forges a new sound with trumpeter Ralph Alessi, bassist James Genus, pianist Geri Allen, and drummer Eric Harland.
Spirit Fiction is shot through with duality. The title track superimposes separate recordings, a nod to Ornette Coleman’s double quartets on Free Jazz in 1960. On “Roads Cross,” the quartet starts together, pairs off Coltrane with Strickland and Perdomo with Gress, then reconvenes for a climax.
Indeed, Ornette echoes throughout Spirit Fiction, even though the altoist’s mournful keen is nothing like Coltrane’s urgent sound. The second group plays Ornette’s “Check Out Time” with dazzling interplay between Coltrane, album producer Joe Lovano and Ralph Alessi. The two tenors push each other and blend beautifully, and when Alessi’s trumpet joins the fray, they sound simply fantastic.
After Spirit Fiction, Ravi turned a new corner. Immediately after the disc, he set out on tour with the young and tremendously talented band of David Virelles on piano, Dezron Douglas on bass, and Johnathan Blake on drums: this is the group he brings to the Vanguard on Wednesday night.
While the new quartet has yet to release any studio recordings, their live performances reveal a fresh and exciting group, as in a November 17, 2012 performance of “Coincide” at the Jazzdor Festival in Offenburg, Germany.
As we can hear, Coltrane develops deceptively simple melodic lines with dynamic bursts of energy. All three younger players follow this cue: Virelles establishes a great sense of space, anchored in the tune’s three-chord riff, which he patiently fills with new harmonic territory. Blake also experiments with highly dense and more spacious sections. Douglas is the group’s rocket glue: he holds everyone together, even as his bass line propels us forward.
Wednesday’s broadcast promises to be an intense, high-powered show, in a venue known for drawing the best out of its performers. Don’t miss it.
© 2013 WBGO