March 10, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
Despite the name, Trio 3 - saxophonist/flutist Oliver Lake, bassist Reggie Workman, and drummer Andrew Cyrille - are anything but redundant. All are stalwarts of improvised music, each a master on their respective instrument. They just finished a run at Jazz Standard with special guest, pianist Geri Allen.
Saturday night, the quartet opened their second set with Oliver Lake's original, "Valley Sketches." Lake commanded the full range of his alto saxophone - from growling exhortations to charismatic high register shouts. Other highlights included Allen's "Thank You, Ma'am," and Reggie Workman's "November 1."
As much I as concentrate on the music, I am equally fascinated with the audience that attends music shows. While there were definitely some fans of the cerebral architecture onstage, this music was an initiation ritual for others. After all, Saturday night is a date night. I watched a youngish couple before the set, eating and drinking, smiling and enjoying each other's company. The blissful oblivion ended minutes after the music began. The further the music went, the farther the couple's intimacy seemed to migrate.
Don't get me wrong. I never blame the musicians. They do what they do. Trio 3 and Geri Allen may not be music to snuggle to, but it definitely feeds the brain. Music for a date night? Not really, unless your companion is an adventurous listener. Finding that special someone is never easy, but always worth the search. Same with the music.
© 2008 WBGO
January 28, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
Pianist Ryan Cohan brought his quartet into our studio, just before they hit the road. The band is part of The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad, the US Department of State-sponsored tour of young jazz and urban music ensembles. Starting January 30th, The Ryan Cohan Quartet is spending a week in each of the following places - Rwanda, Congo, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Jordan.
We recorded two songs with the quartet. Then we finished the session with solo piano. Check it out below:
© 2008 WBGO
January 16, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
Bassist Alexis Cuadrado is one of ten bandleaders in the Brooklyn Jazz Underground (BJU), a music cooperative formed in January 2007. In a couple of months, the BJU will launch its own record label. One of the first releases is a quintet record from Cuadrado called Puzzles. Alexis brought his Puzzles Quartet into our studio yesterday. We'll bring you the full session when the record is released to the public. In the meantime, enjoy this video we made:
The Alexis Cuadrado Puzzles Quartet is performing at Smalls, Saturday night at 8pm. It's part of the 2nd Annual Brooklyn Jazz Underground Festival, a three night music feast starting tomorrow night at Smalls, 183 West 10th Street (7th Avenue South).
More about that in another post.
- Josh Jackson
© 2008 WBGO
January 10, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
Hope is the thing with feathers. That's what Emily Dickinson wrote. Then again, Emily never left her bedroom, which sounds pretty hopeless. She never saw a moor, nor the sea. And she would not have gone to an Esperanza Spalding show, like I did this morning.
I always ask musicians I know for the scoop on who's coming up. Joe Lovano told me about Esperanza. I checked out her MySpace page, but I had not seen her live.
Her quartet featured Otis Brown Jr. on drums, Leonardo Genovese on piano and Fender Rhodes, and Jamie Haddad on percussion. Esperanza plays bass, and she sings.
Here are two songs about lost love, from two very different times and attitudes.
Esperanza Spalding has a new recording coming out in May on Heads Up Records. - Josh
© 2008 WBGO