Portland Jazz Festival 2008

The recent Portland Jazz Festival 2008 is reviewed.

The Portland Jazz Festival (PDX Jazz) in its fifth year has already joined the ranks of world-class jazz festivals. More than 35,000 attended shows at over 25 venues, ranging from Arlene Schnitzer Hall (the “Schnitz,” with its capacity of 2,700 consistently housed nearly sold-out performances) to quainter venues like the city’s primary jazz club Jimmy Mak’s. One of the main reasons is its ringleader, Artistic Director Bill Royston who each year seems to come up with a dandy theme to thread everything together. Royston successfully creates a feeling of jazz community that stretches from local interest, through the Northwest, and to us on the “right” coast and beyond. In fact, the weekends were very New York-like: one day this reviewer caught seven sets of music!

Jazz Listings From The New York Times

From the Times:

BAD TOUCH (Tuesday) This exploratory quartet relies on the collective input of the alto saxophonist Loren Stillman, the guitarist Nate Radley, the organist Gary Versace and the drummer Ted Poor: resourceful improvisers, to a man. At 8 p.m., the Stone, Avenue C and Second Street, East Village, thestonenyc.com; cover, $10. (Chinen)

★ CARLA BLEY/STEVE SWALLOW/ ANDY SHEPPARD (Tuesday through Thursday) Off-kilter harmonies, serpentine forms and subversive wit are all trademarks of Ms. Bley, a pianist and composer who has recently focused her attentions on a slippery band called the Lost Chords. Two of that group’s members join her here: Mr. Sheppard, a saxophonist, and Mr. Swallow, a bassist (and Ms. Bley’s personal as well as professional partner). (Through April 12.) At 8:30 and 11 p.m., Birdland, 315 West 44th Street, Clinton, (212) 581-3080, birdlandjazz.com; cover, $30 and $40, with a $10 minimum. (Chinen)

DAVE DOUGLAS AND KEYSTONE (Thursday) This latest project from the trumpeter Dave Douglas imagines a new soundtrack to the silent films of Roscoe (Fatty) Arbuckle, via an instrumental cohort of saxophone, electric keyboards, turntables, bass and drums. As Mr. Douglas and his ensemble demonstrate on a recent live recording, “Moonshine” (Greenleaf), there’s nothing musty or particularly comic about their methods. (Through April 13.) At 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., Jazz Standard, 116 East 27th Street, Manhattan, (212) 576-2232, jazzstandard.net; cover, $25.

JASON MILES AND DJ LOGIC (Monday) DJ Logic and the keyboardist Jason Miles have a forthcoming world-fusion album, “Global Noize” (Shanachie), that upholds a stylishly cosmopolitan spirit of groove. Previewing material from the album here, they enlist some of its special guests, like the bassist Meshell Ndegeocello, the keyboardist Bernie Worrell and the trumpeter Christian Scott. At 8 p.m., Highline Ballroom, 431 West 16th Street, Chelsea, (212) 414-5994, highlineballroom.com; $25, $28 at the door. (Chinen)

OSCAR NORIEGA TRIO/SHOT X SHOT (Friday) The saxophonist and bass clarinetist Oscar Noriega leads an energetically evasive trio with John Hebert on bass and Tom Rainey on drums. Then Shot x Shot, a Philadelphia collective with a dual-saxophone frontline (Dan Scofield on alto, Bryan Rogers on tenor), previews material from its forthcoming second album. At 8 and 10 p.m., the Stone, Avenue C and Second Street, East Village, thestonenyc.com; cover, $10 per set. (Chinen)

SACKS/OPSVIK/MANERI/CLEAVER (Saturday) The pianist Jacob Sacks and the bassist Eivind Opsvik have a likably cagey new album, “Two Miles a Day” (Loyal Label/Yeah-Yeah), with Mat Maneri on viola and violin, and Paul Motian on drums. They regroup here, with Gerald Cleaver filling in capably for Mr. Motian. At 10 p.m., the Stone, Avenue C and Second Street, East Village, thestonenyc.com; cover, $10. (Chinen)

ZENOPHILIA (Wednesday) The drummer Zeno De Rossi, the saxophonist Francesco Bigoni and the bassist Danilo Gallo — all active figures on the contemporary left-of-center Italian jazz scene — pay a visit to New York, and connect with a kindred spirit, the American pianist Anthony Coleman. At 8 p.m., the Stone, Avenue C and Second Street, East Village, thestonenyc.com; cover, $10. (Chinen)

Musique Machine Reviews

Musique Machine:

Burial Hex – Menstrual Hoax

Menstrual Hoax is a brutal and degrading meeting of sludgy, grey and nasty lo-fi rhythmic torture, electro noise drains, and musty discharge covered feedback- all sliding along at a infected slugs pace.

Marek Bois – Boissche Untiefen
Boissche Untiefen gives the listener ten shots of edgy, slick and darkly playful modern techno. All slamming and grainy dark funked locked beat patterns changed with dark pushing ‘n’ bassy synth lines, clustered with noisy to ambient textures and flamboyant/sleazy melody lines.

Aranos – Mother of Moons Bathing
Mother of Moons Bathing flits, jumps and dodgers between been quirky/ bizarrely comical, darkly sinister and airless, noisy, cranky ‘n’ surreal and mysterious/ expansive- an hell of an ride really.

Various artists – The Garden of Forking Paths
The Garden of Forking Paths is a compilation of hypnotic, haunting and beautiful solo stringed instrument based music selected by folk Guitarist James Blackshaw and unlike a lot of compilations he’s managed to make this cohesive and flowing album that makes you want to return to its beautiful and atmospheric shores often.

Rigor Sardonicous – Vallis Ex Umbra De Mortuus
Rigor Sardonicous make raw apocalyptic doom thats often reduces to a crawling sludge pace with highly impressive and downright terrifying guttural utterings that sound like a demon talking just at your ear. Add to this some creative and experimental touchers that makes this rather blackly pleasing for much of it’s running time.