• 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.

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

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

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

    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.

    Pop Tune #1

    What a great solo by Adam Rogers.  Dirty blues.

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

    Chris Potter has picked up the bass clarinet.

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

    Wow, that was lovely.

    Untitled Original.   New music

    Chris Potter and Nate Smith are playing duo.  Whole lotta music goin' on.

  • Live Blog: Motian/Frisell/Lovano at the Village Vanguard

    September 3, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Vanguard Motian Trio Marquee

    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.

  • Live Blog from the Village Vanguard: Kenny Barron 4

    August 27, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Kenny Barron 4 at the Vanguard

    Listen to the show.
    View some photos from tonight.

    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.
    "A kiss."

    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."