WBGO Blog
  • Live Blog: Anat Cohen at Village Vanguard 10.22.08

    October 22, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Anat Vanguard Door

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    8:00pm
    Anat walked into the club a few minutes before doors opened to the public.  She's using a new reed on her soprano saxophone tonight, so she spent some time warming up the soprano and breaking in the new reed.

    8:05pm
    The first set is sold out tonight.  There's a party of 16, a party of 10, and a party in the Village Vanguard tonight.

    8:20pm
    Anat and I have talked through tonight's program.  Should be a good one!

    8:35pm
    Pianist Jason Lindner just arrived.  He and Anat are talking about how to end the second set.  They're ahead of everyone tonight.

    8:52pm
    The band's all here.  Showtime in T minus 8 minutes.

    9:03pm
    We're live.  Anat Cohen and her quartet (Jason Lindner, piano; Joe Martin, bass; Daniel Freedman, drums) are blasting into a modern arrangement of Fats Waller's "Jitterbug Waltz."

    9:05pm
    Anat quotes "Pop Goes the Weasel."  Thad Jones would be proud.   His quote of it from Count Basie's version of "April in Paris" is one for the ages.  One more time!

    9:20pm
    Montuno, baby!  Ernesto Lecuona's "Siboney,"  played with vigor.  Anat's clarinet tone is the sound of unbridled optimism.  It's refreshing.

    9:32pm
    This is such a difficult song to cover.  If you're gonna tackle Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come," you better bring everything you have to this song.  I believe Anat has done that.

    9:40pm
    "Washington Square Park" opens with Jason Lindner plucking the piano strings, which are covered with paper.  It makes the piano sound like a berimbau, or some kind of African-based instrument.  Very cool.

    9:45pm
    Anat switches to tenor sax.

    9:52pm
    That song went to a lot of places.  All in Washington Square Park.  Now, we're moving into the blues with Don't Let the Sun Catch You Cryin'.  As an aside, I really love Taj Mahal's version...

    10:06pm
    Clsong out the set with the Brazilian Duke Ellington, Pixinguinha.  His composition "Um A Zero."  Tudo bem!

  • Live Blog: Bill Charlap Trio at Village Vanguard 10.8.08

    October 8, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Vanguard Marquee: Bill Charlap Trio
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    8:01pm
    Doors are open at the Vanguard, and folks are pouring in for tonight's show.

    8:05pm
    The trio rarely gets to the Vanguard with time to spare before the show.  I guess that's how they keep it fresh.  It's definitely how to keep the production crew on edge.

    8:10pm
    Some extramusical news from the Vanguard.  Last night, someone robbed the nail salon at street level, just above the Vanguard.  Normally, that would not be a problem.  But the genius burglars decided to turn on the faucets and flood the place.  That caused a mess inside the club.  Lorraine Gordon arrived at 4am to a flooded club that resembled a swimming pool, complete with cops and firemen.  Jed Eisenman from the Vanguard came in at 11am and got to work.  Folks who walk in tonight would never know the difference.  That's showbiz!

    8:40pm
    Bill Charlap?  Check.  Peter Washington?  Check.   Kenny Washington?  Not yet.

    9:02pm
    The band's all here...obviously.  They started with an underrated composer, Gigi Gryce.  This is "Satellite."  Not a song that even most jazz aficionados know.  But these guys know it just fine.

    9:07pm
    Not to diminish David Tallacksen's excellent recording skills, but it definitely helps when you have this kind of natural balance among the musicians.  You can't make a bad performance sound great.  Not to worry here.

    9:14pm
    After a lovely version of Gerry Mulligan's "Curtains," Bill Charlap moves directly into Hoagy Carmichael's "Stardust."

    9:23pm
    The trio is swinging Lucky Thompson's "Prey-Loot" mercilessly.

    9:26pm
    Close your eyes, and you could almost imagine Peter Washington as Oscar Pettiford.  Such a crystalline tone.  It's a joy to hear Peter, always.

    9:32pm
    Harold Arlen's music always had a real blues feel.  I suspect that's a big reason why jazz musicians love his music.  This is "When the Sun Comes Out."

    9:37pm
    You're clear "Out of This World."  Another Harold Arlen composition.  Great rhythm driving this one.  Kenny Washington is providing the ultra-hip beat.

    9:51pm
    "Make Me Rainbows."  Bill Charlap's knowledge of the Great American Songbook runs pretty deep.  Nice swing.

    9:56pm
    Someone's cell phone just ruined this recording of Kern's "The Way You Look Tonight."  Even on vibrate, it interferes.  People turn them off!  What's so important???  Aarg...

    9:58pm
    The trio is burning thought the chord changes on "The Way You Look Tonight." I don't think I've heard many musicians play the Jerome Kern standard at this tempo.  Yowza.

    10:05pm
    Such a great trio when it comes to straight-ahead bebop and songbook.  They're on their own turf.  And you can hear it!

    10:08pm
    Just when I thought the show was over, surprise!  "Sophisticated Lady."  Duke Ellington gets the nod.

    10:14pm
    Goodnight, all.  We're back at the club in a few weeks.  Tell all your friends.
    -Josh