Winter Jazzfest Review

The main stage of (le) Poisson Rouge.


At best, Winter Jazzfest is an extraordinary thing. It’s a significant jazz festival, not tied to any cultural institution. And it doesn’t rely on the names that would fill Carnegie Hall or Rose Theater, but on those that make up the music’s daily life, chosen with discernment and advocacy. That’s inspired. It took the form of about 60 performances (I passed through about a third of them) spread across Friday and Saturday in five rooms on or near Bleecker Street: Le Poisson Rouge, Sullivan Hall, Kenny’s Castaways, Zinc Bar, the Bitter End. Since 2005 Winter Jazzfest has leaned toward new groups, playing new music, and it helps push them into visibility: different audiences — twice as big or more as those groups would usually draw — enacting a different kind of listening, a sorting-out and contextualizing kind.

Unseen Worlds Releases

The latest from Unseen Worlds Records:

“Blue” Gene Tyranny Detours UW07 LP / CD / Digital – Released January 2012

Detours is “Blue” Gene Tyranny’s first album of new piano works since 2003’s Take Your Time. A beautifully recorded collection of tracks composed between 2004 and 2010, Detours belongs to a rarefied class of supremely listenable and beautiful piano albums that are not encumbered by any new-age shabbiness. It possesses the sort of timeless and elegant romanticism so unpretentious and accomplished it seems to at once effortlessly canonize itself.

Dickie Landry – Fifteen Saxophones – UW06 LP / CD / Digital – Released April 2011

First ever reissue of this little known classic from founding Philip Glass Ensemble member Richard “Dickie” Landry. Following two jazz LPs issued on the Chatham Square label (which he co-ran), Dickie Landry released Fifteen Saxophones, a set of 1974 recordings done with engineer Kurt Munkacsi, on the Northern Lights and Wergo labels in 1977. Fifteen Saxophones simultaneously demonstrates Landry’s boundary-pushing saxophone and his understanding of the minimalists’ long-form treatises on sound. Using intricate Revox tape delays, Landry’s strong personality as a player shines through a brilliant wall of sound. It is unsurprising Landry was a fixture in the same New York scene that spawned artists like Richard Serra – something equally monumental exists in the pieces found on this album.

All About Jazz Reviews

Aki Takase

From All About Jazz:

Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord
Quavers! Quavers! Quavers! Quavers! (Hot Cup Records)

The Ames Room
Bird Dies (Clean Feed Records)

Bani Ahead (Moonjune Records)

Steve Coleman and Five Elements
The Mancy of Sound (Pi Recordings)

Nicole Mitchell
Awakening (Delmark Records)

Steve Beresford, Stephen Flinn, Dave Tucker
Ink Room (Creative Sources Recordings)

Aki Takase / Han Bennink
Two for Two (Intakt Records)

Graham Collier
The Day of the Dead (BGO Records)

Mikko Innanen & Innkvisitio
Clustrophy (TUM Records)

Dead Cat Bounce
Chance Episodes (Cuneiform Records)