September 3, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
The show starts an hour from now, and we're as ready as we can be. The crew arrived at 6pm, and Bill Frisell was sitting onstage, practicing silently. He seemed to like the alone time, so we didn't bother him. Paul Motian came to the club for a minute, then darted off to dinner. Joe Lovano was leaving the airport in Cleveland at 3:30pm. Haven't seen him yet. With jazz, all is in flux, always.
Due to an emergency, Joe Lovano missed opening night. Saxophonist Bill McHenry, who plays regularly with Paul Motian, subbed for both sets last night. This is the second night of the trio's residency, but the first evening they're together. Aftermore than two decades of playing together, these guys can just come in and play.
We're live. The trio is playing "The Bag Man," from their ECM release, I Have The Room Above Her. Named after the Jerome Kern song from Showboat.
This trio is comprised of musicians who are some of the foremost interpreters of Thelonious Monk's music. This one called "Light Blue." Motian played a week with Monk, but considers him a looming influence.
After a beautiful "Time and Time Again," the trio goes into one of their familiar songs, "Jack of Clubs." These gentlemen are completely in the moment...
Thelonious Monk's "Ruby My Dear," minus piano. Bill Frisell's opening is wafting around the ether. Float like a butterfly...
I'm detecting a trend here. This is "Let's Cool One," another Monk composition.
I really love this song. It's called "Cambodia." Apparently, Manfred Eicher from ECM inspired the name. He said it sounded like Cambodia. Maybe minus the Khmer Rouge?
Bill Frisell = sound architect. This is amazing.
10:05pm After a brief snippet of "Drum Music," we end. Regretfully. But the band here for the next two weeks. It's even better in person. Ciao.
© 2008 WBGO
August 27, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
Thanks for joining us tonight. It seems that New Yorkers consistently pack the Village Vanguard when Kenny Barron plays. Tonight is no exception to that rule. Another crowded house for our live show. Enjoy.
The Kenny Barron 4 are:
Kenny Barron - piano
Kiyoshi Kitagawa - bass
Francisco Mela - drums
Dayna Stephens - tenor saxophone
It has come.
After a brief introduction of the band members, Kenny Barron launches into "Softly As in a Morning Sunrise."
A standard from a standard-bearer of modern improvisation.
Nice bass solo from Kiyoshi Kitagawa. I can hear him breathing. Kiyoshi has been with Kenny Barron for ten years.
9:15pm Um Beijo, a Barron original. On the new CD, The Traveler. Lyrics on the record, sung by Grady Tate.
Dayna Stephens is a young saxophonist with a well-tempered sound. Smoky. I like it.
"Shuffle Boil," a Thelonious Monk composition. Perhaps you know about Sphere, the band that assembled after Monk's passing to continue his music in the famous Monk quartet sound? Kenny Barron, Charlie Rouse (then Gary Bartz), Buster Williams, and Ben Riley. Great records.
Shuffle Boil is at a full boil. Dayna Stephens with a Charlie Rouse-ing solo. Forgive the bad pun...People who know me will tell you I cannot help myself...
Who needs the Democratic National Convention? Give me this.
"Blame it on My Youth"
Kenny Barron was a great admirer of pianist Tommy Flanagan. Flanagan's photo is right next to the piano at the Village Vanguard.
Another original, "New Samba."
© 2008 WBGO
July 1, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
9:00pm Opening with "Loose Trade." This may or may not lead into Wayne Shorter's "Nefertiti." We'll see.
9:03pm Lorraine Gordon, the Vanguard owner, just arrived. She's gracious enough to allow us to be here at the Vanguard. That, and she lets me set up shop in her office.
9:06pm I seem to be having an issue with the Chat Room. Bear with me.
9:11pm I saw this trio here in 2003. I was captivated by the improvisation of it all. When I looked onstage, I saw all of the high quality microphones, and realized that the show was being recorded. It's a great record.
9:13pm That last song premiered tonight. Simply called "1." Originally it was called "Vanguard 1." Not sure if this title will stick...but that's what it is tonight.
9:15pm "Foolish Me." Beautiful and quiet.
9:20pm You'll find this one, "Snaggletooth," on that Live at the Village Vanguard recording from 2003
9:25pm This is "Interloper." Uri named it tonight, while he was picking the set list. Originally, it was "Vanguard 2."
9:31pm This is "Othello," if I remember correctly.
9:38pm "The Axis of Evil" Suite Three songs that clearly identify Uri's political leanings.
They are "Stuff Hapens," "What Have They Done" and "BushWhack."
9:42pm You can also clearly detect Uri's comedic side on this music. He's a funny guy.
9:43pm I've yet to join the chat. All apologies. I'm having a problem reaching it, but I know that Patrick Jarenwattananon at NPR is holding down the fort. For those visiting the chat, you're in safe hands. I'm afraid that Iwon't be joining tonight. Too much going on. But check out the photo. Link is above.
9:50pm "What Have They Done" This is an abridged title. You might be able to figure out the rest. I'm not saying. For the record, is was a bit of self-censorship on Uri's part. That's why we have a disclaimer...
9:53pm I hope you all are enjoying the show. Let us know.
9:55pm Some flourishes a la McCoy Tyner. Uri and McCoy both from Philadelphia.
9:57pm There are more than 25 photos from today and tonight's experience at the Village Vanguard. Check them out.
10:00pm I hear the subway rumbling beneath Uri talking.
10:01pm "Smelly" is another Uri original.
10:02pm The Village Vanguard and its acoustics are really the perfect setting for a piano trio. The Vanguard website has a list of commercially available recordings from the club. You'll find quite a few great piano trio recordings. Lots, in fact.
10:04pm And I think that the Cuban legend Bebo Valdes is releasing a duo w/ bass album in early September. I'm getting off topic, though...
10:05pm We've finally moved to Wayne Shorter's "Nefertiti." Uri and the trio are caling options at this point. We're past the set list that he gave me earlier. Unchartered territory for thebroadcast, but the band knows this song well. Also on their Vanguard recording.
10:07pm Gotta go for now. Will be back.
© 2008 WBGO
June 18, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
We have reached maximum capacity at the Vanguard tonight. Both sets are
sold out, as is most of the week. Enjoy the show.
9:00 First up is Ruby Lou's Lullabye. Named for Brian's niece.
9:11 Kurt Rosenwinkel just blistered the front row with his solo on "Return
of the Prodigal Son."
9:17 I really love this song. Both Kurt Rosenwinkel and Melvin Butler solo
9:20 "Stoner Hill" is a section of Shreveport, LA. Brian Blade's hometown.
9:23 The title song from Season of Changes, the new recording from Brian
Blade and the Fellowship Band.
9:29 An epic, varied song. Could have easily been called "Seasons of Change."
9:36 This song has really whipped the crowd into a frenzy.
9:38 I love the combination of bass clarinet and harmonium. Beautiful.
9:42 Song called "Alpha and Omega." Brian is definitely from the church.
9:46 After a lovely intro from Rosenwinkel, we're motorboating with
"Evinrude Fifty," from Perceptual. Their last record (2000).
10:00 I think this is the last song. And it's never heard before. Until now!
Called King's Highway. In Shreveport. Not Brooklyn...
© 2008 WBGO
June 16, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
Well, the weather in New York is cooperating enough. We're live at Gracie
Mansion with the Rodriguez Brothers.
6:17 And we're off! The first tune was a blazing number called "Rowdy Rod."
6:24 Vibraphonist Joe Locke has joined the rest of the ensemble on stage.
They are Robert Rodriguez on piano, Michael Rodriguez on trumpet, Ricardo
Rodriguez (not one of the brothers, however) on bass, and Johnathan Blake
is the drummer.
6:25 "Like Joe," with Joe Locke.
6:31 Gary Walker just informed me that this band also plays with Joe Locke
as the leader. The group changes their name to Force of Four. And if you're
in Newark on June 26th, you can catch Force of Four at the Newark Museum
for the Jazz in the Garden Series. WBGO's Sheila Anderson is the host. Go!
6:39 "Sundance," featuring Joe Locke soloing. Also a nice solo from Michael
Rodriguez on flugelhorn. His choice of notes reminds me of Woody Shaw.
And this song also has that kind of vibe, too.
6:50 This one called "Rude Awakening." As the title implies...
Yet another tune for the absolutely effortless mastery of Johnathan Blake,
one of the young masters/monsters on drums.
6:57 Wow. What a piano solo.
6:59 The skies have gotten AWFULLY DARK. Uh oh...
We might be ending this very soon.
7:01 Everyone in attendance has huddled underneath the tent. And the band
is trading fours.
7:04 Due to extremely bad weather, this show is OVER.
© 2008 WBGO