We're an hour from showtime. Earlier today, I visited Cedar Walton at his home in Brooklyn. I'll post the interview with the complete wrap-up of our time at the Vanguard tonight. Stay tuned.
Not a full house expected tonight. Could be that the recession is starting to put a dent in recreation budgets. Not a good sign for jazz.
Epoch Films is shooting a Heineken commercial in the Village Vanguard tomorrow. Keep an eye out for that in the near future. Real musicians will not be a part of the shoot. Just actors. They have reserved all parking spots on both sides of the club. As you might know, parking spaces in NYC are a premium, so the neighbors are none too thrilled about finding a spot for their cars.
Bassist David Williams is the first member of the trio to arrive tonight. More later.
Drummer Lewis Nash just arrived. He recently finished recording a studio date for Willie Nelson with Joe Sample, Christian McBride, and guitarist Anthony Wilson. Willie sings standards!
Still no leader...Cedar Walton, paging Cedar Walton???
Cedar must have heard the page. And he was looking for parking...
"Cedar's Blues" opens the show, and the trio is swinging mercilessly.
"Dear Ruth," an original composition dedicated to Cedar's mom. She was a piano teacher. She must have been a good one!
Lots of original compositions so far. This one is "Sixth Avenue." Funky.
This is "Back to the Holy Land," I think. Cedar is calling songs on the fly.
Sorry for the long break in action. We're listening to "Time After Time." This is such a great trio. Plenty of chemistry.
"Body and Soul" with a samba beat. I just heard a reference to "Mona Lisa" go by...
A little Christmas Music, anyone? With some blues for good measure.
We're soundchecking Los Guachos at the Village Vanguard right now.
I just learned that Jeff Ballard and his honey, Lourdes Delgado, are moving.
To Spain. There's only one catch - they need to sell their apartment in Brooklyn.
So if you or someone you know is in the market for a 2BR pad in the
Windsor Terrace section of Brooklyn, here's the listing.
Let me know if you buy it, so I can collect my broker fee.
Ronnie Mathews, a pianist who has contributed so much to jazz, is terminally ill. He is battling pancreatic cancer at First Methodist Hospital in Park Slope, Brooklyn. WBGO's Sheila Anderson visited yesterday, as did Mathews' friend, the pianist Barry Harris. Harris brought a keyboard, and played some music for the ailing Mathews.
If you would like to leave a message for Ronnie Mathews, you may do so. His home number is 718.783.4073. Messages will be delivered to him in the hospital.
WBGO and the jazz community send Ronnie Mathews wishes for strength and peace during this difficult time.
Here are a few images from Jazz on the Mountain, Michael Bourne's yearly January retreat at the Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz. Fran Kaufman took these photos. Fran is always on the scene, taking shots of music in the making. Now thru February 24th, you can see more of Fran Kaufman's jazz photography at Brooklyn Academy of Music's Brooklyn Next Art series.
Finally, a note from Michael Bourne:
"Jazz on the Mountain" was the best it's been in the 9 years I've been working the jazzfest at Mohonk Mountain House. All three nights the enormous hotel was sold-out, first time ever for the whole Martin Luther King weekend. Every concert was a hit, which was especially heartening since I book artists that I personally like. Joe Locke was especially a hit, playing opening night with The Brazilian Trio (Helio Alves, Nilson Matta, Duduka da Fonseca) and Maucha Adnet, playing an electrifying show Saturday afternoon and getting a standing O with his own new Force of Four group, joining Dena DeRose on Sunday afternoon, and highlighting the free-form "Parlor Games" on Monday morning. When I asked folks which were favorite shows, every artist was enthusiastically named, including singer Kendra Shank, Steven Bernstein and the Millenial Territory Orchestra, Hipmotism with saxophonist Erik Lawrence and singer Marya Lawrence. Marya Lawrence was the surprise of the weekend, twice playing seriously bopping solos on a slide-kazoo. The Frank Vignola Quintet blew the roof off Sunday evening with the swinging vitality of Django's Hot Club Quintet but without trying to imitate Django. I "performed" "As Time Goes By" during the Monday morning musical mixing and matching of players from the weekend. We've already pretty much programmed next year's jazzfest, which will be my 10th at Mohonk." -- MBourne
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