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Live Blog: Cedar Walton Trio at the Village Vanguard 12.17.08

Cedar Walton Trio Sign at Village Vanguard
See some photos.

8pm
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.

8:03pm
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.

8:06pm
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.

8:19pm
Bassist David Williams is the first member of the trio to arrive tonight.  More later.

8:47pm
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!

8:50pm
Still no leader...Cedar Walton, paging Cedar Walton???

8:51pm
Cedar must have heard the page.  And he was looking for parking...

9:01pm
"Cedar's Blues" opens the show, and the trio is swinging mercilessly.

9:11pm
"Dear Ruth," an original composition dedicated to Cedar's mom.  She was a piano teacher.  She must have been a good one!

9:19pm
Lots of original compositions so far.  This one is "Sixth Avenue."  Funky.

9:30pm
This is "Back to the Holy Land," I think.  Cedar is calling songs on the fly.

9:51pm
Sorry for the long break in action.  We're listening to "Time After Time."  This is such a great trio.  Plenty of chemistry.

9:58pm
"Body and Soul" with a samba beat.  I just heard a reference to "Mona Lisa" go by...

10:06pm
A little Christmas Music, anyone?  With some blues for good measure.

Live Blog: Ravi Coltrane at the Village Vanguard 11.19.08

Ravi Coltrane Marquee

Listen to the show.
See some photos.
Hear an interview with Ravi Coltrane.

8:06pm
Doors have opened at the Village Vanguard for tonight's show.  More than 40 years have passed since a saxophonist named Coltrane led a group at this club.  This evening, we will hear Ravi Coltrane's debut.  Welcome.

8:28pm
None of the musicians are here.  Ravi and the band tend to operate freely on their own internal clock.  We, on the other hand, are following a master clock.  Thirty-two minutes to showtime!

9:03pm
We're live from the Village Vanguard.  Saxophonist Ravi Coltrane is playing an original, "Amalgams," from his upcoming release, Blending Times.  The quartet includes pianist Luis Perdomo, bassist Drew Gress, and drummer E.J. Strickland.

9:12pm
Pianist Luis Perdomo just crashed the keyboards.  Bassist Drew Gress is now taking a solo.   Gress was featured in pianist Uri Caine July performance of Live at the Village Vanguard.  Check out the entire series.

9:18pm
Another Ravi Coltrane original, "Round Two," begins peacefully.

9:29pm
"Trading Duos" seems fairly self-explanatory.  Band members sort of move in and out of this composition.  I'malways a fan of the sax/drums sections.

9:37pm
This composition named after Ravi's first son, William (John Coltrane's middle name).  "One Wheeler Will."

9:46pm
After a long and heartfelt introduction, Ravi plays "Jagadishwar," a composition by Alice Coltrane, his mother.  She passed away on January 12th 2007.  On Ravi's upcoming release, Blending Times, he closes with a harp/bass/saxophone version of Charlie Haden's "For Turiya."  Turiya is Alice Coltrane.

10:00pm
The quartet is closing with "Giant Steps," a Coltrane original.  John Coltrane, that is.

Live Blog: Anat Cohen at Village Vanguard 10.22.08

Anat Vanguard Door

Listen to the archived concert.
See some photos.

8:00pm
Anat walked into the club a few minutes before doors opened to the public.  She's using a new reed on her soprano saxophone tonight, so she spent some time warming up the soprano and breaking in the new reed.

8:05pm
The first set is sold out tonight.  There's a party of 16, a party of 10, and a party in the Village Vanguard tonight.

8:20pm
Anat and I have talked through tonight's program.  Should be a good one!

8:35pm
Pianist Jason Lindner just arrived.  He and Anat are talking about how to end the second set.  They're ahead of everyone tonight.

8:52pm
The band's all here.  Showtime in T minus 8 minutes.

9:03pm
We're live.  Anat Cohen and her quartet (Jason Lindner, piano; Joe Martin, bass; Daniel Freedman, drums) are blasting into a modern arrangement of Fats Waller's "Jitterbug Waltz."

9:05pm
Anat quotes "Pop Goes the Weasel."  Thad Jones would be proud.   His quote of it from Count Basie's version of "April in Paris" is one for the ages.  One more time!

9:20pm
Montuno, baby!  Ernesto Lecuona's "Siboney,"  played with vigor.  Anat's clarinet tone is the sound of unbridled optimism.  It's refreshing.

9:32pm
This is such a difficult song to cover.  If you're gonna tackle Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come," you better bring everything you have to this song.  I believe Anat has done that.

9:40pm
"Washington Square Park" opens with Jason Lindner plucking the piano strings, which are covered with paper.  It makes the piano sound like a berimbau, or some kind of African-based instrument.  Very cool.

9:45pm
Anat switches to tenor sax.

9:52pm
That song went to a lot of places.  All in Washington Square Park.  Now, we're moving into the blues with Don't Let the Sun Catch You Cryin'.  As an aside, I really love Taj Mahal's version...

10:06pm
Clsong out the set with the Brazilian Duke Ellington, Pixinguinha.  His composition "Um A Zero."  Tudo bem!

Montreal - Here I Come!

I write this sitting in the press room of the Festival International de JAZZ de Montreal, looking out at a sea of banners announcing JAZZ JAZZ JAZZ and more wonderful JAZZ. Facing me is the image of a special man we lost last year, Oscar Peterson, displayed proudly on the building that houses two of the main stages of this great festival. Tonight, I will walk past Oscar to hear Dee Dee Bridgewater and then two of the greatest living pianists of our day- Hank Jones and Oliver Jones, performing together, with Oscar Peterson looking over all of us.

Oscar Peterson

Its too early- even for this festival- for the music to start from all of the outdoor stages surrounding the Place des Arts, but the soundchecks go on, the crews deliver cases of instruments and cables and speakers, and the excitement builds. The WBGO team will be blogging from "The Montreal Jazz Festival" in the coming days, sharing some of the highlights not only of the festival, but the wonderful city that welcomes us all every year to share in this extraordinary event.

If you are here, let us know. Share your thoughts and experiences. Where are you eating? What are you seeing? Who have you discovered? With so many events going on, we can't possibly bring all of them to those of your reading this. But you can share your experiences. I promise to put up some photos as I go.

I can't sit still anymore- I've got a whole city to explore... First stop: got to buy my tee shirt!
-Amy

Live Blog - Village Vanguard 6.11.08

Vanguard Sign Illuminated

Join the live chat.
Check out some photos from today and tonight.

Welcome to the show. Thanks for joining us tonight.
The first song is "Venga." It's from the last Guillermo Klein recording.
Called Una Nave.

Second song is "Juana." From LOS GUACHOS II.

This band has been rehearsing nonstop. That, combined with being together on and off for 13 years, makes a HUGE difference for the music.

9:19 Singer Carmen Canela has joined the band onstage. She is featured on the new recording, FILTROS. She flew in from Barcelona to be at the Village Vanguard this week. Singing "Amor Profundo."

9:23 Carmen singing "Textura de Sueno." This is based on a poem by Nicaraguan writer, Gioconda Belli. Loosely tranlated as "Haunted Night."

9:29 George Gershwin's "Fascinating Rhythm," with "Moliendo Cafe."
Carmen's last tune with Los Guachos tonight. Also from UNA NAVE.

9:32 Very powerful solo from Miguel Zenon.

9:41 "Vaca." This is an Argentine children's song with a beat from Ghana and a composition from the modernist Gyorgi Ligeti called "Hungarian Rock." Cool. Hear a story about it here.

9:47 "Yeso," from the new record, FILTROS. Everyone singing. A very beautiful song.

10:00 Evertime I hear this song, "Miula," I feel like I'm in a time warp. Guillermo told me he thinks about the movie, MATRIX. Funny.

10:13 Sorry, folks. I got so wrapped up in the last tune that I was neglecting the blog. Music does this to me.

Hope you enjoyed the show. Come back next week for Brian Blade and the Fellowship Band.
-Josh