WBGO Blog
  • Live Blog: Bill Charlap Trio at Village Vanguard 10.8.08

    October 8, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Vanguard Marquee: Bill Charlap Trio
    Hear an interview with Bill Charlap.
    Get a random sample of Bill Charlap's digital music collection.

    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

  • Live Blog: Chris Potter Underground at Village Vanguard

    September 16, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Chris Potter Soundcheck Photo

    See some photos from our day at the Vanguard.

    8:45pm
    The band returned from dinner.  Chris Potter is warming up the tenor.  Adam Rogers is drinking coffee.   We're live in fifteen minutes.

    9:02pm
    This is "Facing East."  The band has played it before, but this is the first time for posterity.

    9:17pm
    I'll be surprised if we get five songs during this set.  They play long.

    9:19pm
    This is "Viva Las Vilnius," from Follow the Red Line, Underground's most recent CD.  Recorded live in this club last year.  Love these grooves.

    9:35pm
    Pop Tune #1

    9:37pm
    What a great solo by Adam Rogers.  Dirty blues.

    9:42pm
    Chris Potter blistering the audience with a solo.  Quotes of "Jean Pierre" and "Nature Boy" in the solo.

    9:48pm
    Chris Potter has picked up the bass clarinet.

    9:51pm
    Bob Dylan's "It Ain't Me Babe."  As a ballad.  This is beautiful.

    9:55pm
    Wow, that was lovely.

    10:00pm
    Untitled Original.   New music

    10:06pm
    Chris Potter and Nate Smith are playing duo.  Whole lotta music goin' on.