A remarkable concert featuring Vijay Iyer Trio live at Fasching on April 13 2010 in full power. Here is Vijay in full concentration at the piano (pic taken with my EOS 7d and the 100-400 L, which I took by mistake thinking that it was the 70-200L 2.8!). In addition to Iyer on piano, the trio includes Stephan Crump on bass and Marcus Gilmore on drums. Their most recent album is “Historicity” (2009) on the ACT label. Several of the pieces of that album were featured at the Fasching concert. Vijay Iyer uses thick chords sweeping across the keyboard generating an orchestral backdrop onto which melodic lines navigate. Improvisation remains the central theme. From Vijay Iyer’s website: “his powerful, cutting-edge music is firmly grounded in groove and pulse, but also rhythmically intricate and highly interactive; fluidly improvisational, yet uncannily orchestrated; emotionally compelling, as well as innovative in texture, style, and musical form.”
Guitarrist Jonathan Kreisberg played with his quartet at Jazzklubb Fasching, Stockholm, on March 18, 2010, along Will Vinson (saxophone, piano), Joe Martin (bass), and Mark Ferber (drums). The two sets included most material from Kreisberg’s latest album of originals “The South of Everywhere” (2007, Mel Bay Records) and pieces from his Criss Cross 2009 ballads album “Night Songs”. Kreisberg demonstrated very strong playing and virtuosity, feeling at home just about everywhere on the neck of his hollow Gibson guitar. A taster can be seen in this video -recorded on the Canon EOS 7D and EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L lens- also featuring fellow drumer Ferber raising to the occassion. Photographs taken during the concert can be accessed from the the link under the photo gallery on the left side bar.
The Jazz Session featured drummer and composer John Hollenbeck in a recent podcast. I was really struck by his music so I got his “Eternal Interlude” CD. It is a work for a large ensemble, too long crew to list here but available from Hollenbeck’s website. The CD is sonically poweful with incredible textures, beautiful lines and cadenzas. One of the many hidden jewels that I discover through Jason Crane and his terrific podcast.
Featured here is the 19:21 minute long title track. An amazing piece.
Pianist and composer Myra Melford appeared with her Be Bread Trio at Jazzklubb Fasching, Stockholm on March 4, 2010. The Trio is a scaled-down version of Myra Melford’s Be Bread Ensemble whose most recent release “The Whole Tree Gone” appeared in the Firehouse label this past Janurary. Along with Myra Melford in piano and harmonium, the Trio fetaured Stomu Takeishi in bass and Brandon Ross in acoustic guitar. The Trio sounds definitely more intimate than the full ensemble with an even stornger improvisational compononent. Main highlights were the delicate tones from the harmonium, dramatic solos by Stomu Takeishi, and tempered guitar harmonise by Ross. Listen to Jason Crane’s interview with Myra Melford at the Jazz Session website. View the photo gallery of the Fasching concert.
I just have to log in this one. Recorded January 27, 2010, at House of Peranakan, Pan Pacific Orchard, Singapore, with the Canon EOS 7D and the 24L II prime lens. We could just not believe what our ears where hearing. We had a great time, mostly due to the company, since the food was so so and the music was … well, this video tells the whole truth. Saying that it was “out of tune” would be a total understatement. Here it is in all its glory for the record of generations to come. Sit down on your favorite chair, and enjoy!
Argentinian guitarrist Luis Salinas and his band gave a concert at the Gran Rex theater in Buenos Aires on November 26, 2009, followed by Brazilian multi-instrumentalist and composer Hermeto Pascoal. Having taken distance from the Buenos Aires scene, Salinas was not in my radar. But I must say that I was very impressed about his musicianship, honesty and freshness. Technique does not get in the way for Salinas to convey the melodies and rhythms from his home country in an inspired jazz-folk fusion with solid support from a 5 men strong band of accomplished musicians. Not at easy with words, Salinas explained to the audience his affinities and admiration for the master Hermeto Pascoal, who appeared later in the evening with his own band including young wife Aline Morena in voice and percusssion.
The Munich-based record label ECM (Edition of Contemporary Music) celebrated its 40 years of existence with a star-loaded festival in Mannheim, Germany, on October 22-25, 2009. I arrived a day later, and so missed John Abercrombie’s Quartet. Nevertheless, what followed was a series of truly outstanding concerts with many of the label icons that I have worshiped for many years. Brazilian composer and multi-instrumentalist Egberto Gismonti appeared in 14-string guitar and piano in duo with his son, Alexandre, in classical guitar. A loaded evening in which the Gismonti’s touched upon most of the standards from several decades of Egeberto’s repertoire, from “Dansa das Cabecas” (1977) to “Saudacoes” (2008).
Here are two unreleased live recordings from trumpet player Paolo Fresu. D’Estate was recorded on July 1, 2007 during the Jazz Baltica Festival at Salzau, Germany, with Fresu in trumpet and Don Friedman in piano.
La Sicilia is a composition by pianist Steffano Bollani who appeared along with Fresu and Paolo Russo in bandoneon at Club Nefertiti, Gothenburg, Sweden, on December 12, 2007.
I was blown away by this trio when I saw them on the previous day at Jazzklubb Fasching in Stockholm. Both recordings come from the Swedish radio. The image (taken with the EF 70-200 L II lens on the EOS 7D) comes from Fresu’s concert along Ralp Towner at the ECM 40 Years Festival anniversary in Mannheim 2010.
Geri Allen played with her quartet at the Iridium club on Time Square, New York City on the 20th of June 2009. In addition to Geri Allen on piano, her band included Ravi Coltrane on saxophone, Joe Sanders on bass and the amazing Jeff “Tain” Watts on drums.
Majestic playing from Allen, who once again demonstrated her command over harmony, melody and rhythm. Incredible energy form Watts, a veteran drummer that keeps going unabated with top players all around. Introspective playing from Sanders, not one note in excess. Ravi Coltrane raved on the sax, swinging as needed and with soaring solos that filled the club from the first note.
In December 2008, the Swedish Radio showed up at the home of Swedish pianist Bobo Stenson to record an interview and a series of solo piano improvisations at Stenson’s private studio. In the absence of available solo recordings of the acclaimed pianist, this was a very special event. The interview covered several aspects of Stenson’s musical life. Inevitably, he was asked about Keith Jarrett, and the Swedish pianist took distance -without being overt critical- from his colleague’s use (or abuse?) of ostinato techniques. Featured here, from the over 70 minutes piano recording, is the beautiful “Alfonsina y El Mar” from Argentinian composer Ariel Ramirez -now a standard piece of the Stensonian repertoire.