RIP Amiri Baraka

Amiri Baraka
Amiri Baraka (Photo credit: opacity)


While Amiri Baraka was known as a poet, he also was a huge supporter of left-of-center jazz musicians, and his recent passing was lamented by dozens of the same. The New York Daily News explains:


The thing he undoubtedly was in that book was a staunch supporter of free jazz players, in that world something equally and literally as revolutionary as his Black Nationalist rhetoric. He was perhaps Albert Ayler’s only champion while Ayler was alive (something bittersweet now, in a time when such a lauded player as guitarist Marc Ribot carries a bright torch for the sax great and often plays with Ayler bassist Henry Grimes in Spiritual Unity). Baraka’s list now sounds like an all-star team of titans. Cecil Taylor. Pharoah Sanders. Ornette Coleman. And on.


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Newsbits: Nashville Circuit Benders / Jazz Right Now Reviews / Brighton UK Shows

The 2014 edition of the Nashville Circuit Bender’s Ball has issued a request for participation.

Jazz Right Now is featuring a concert review of the Yoni Kretzmer Double Bass Quartet and an album review of the Fay Victor Ensemble’s Absinthe & Vermouth.

Brighton’s Safehouse is featuring, on January 29th,
Crush!!! (Sonic Pleasure, Mark Browne and Ian Smith) and Lama Dalai (Johannah Henderson and Duncan Harrison).

Ari Brown Profiled

From Burning Ambulance:

Chicago-based saxophonist Ari Brown‘s been performing since the ’60s, but he’s only released three studio albums and one live disc as a leader. He began his career in R&B and soul bands, making the move to jazz in the early ’70s, when he joined the AACM. During the ’70s and ’80s, he worked as a sideman with everyone from Lester Bowie, Anthony Braxton and Von Freeman to Sonny Stitt and McCoy Tyner. He’s been a member of percussionist Kahil El’Zabar’s Ritual Trio since 1989, making six albums including the new Follow the Sun. His first album as a leader, Ultimate Frontier, came out in 1996, and his latest, Groove Awakening, was released in October.


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Upcoming Cornelia Street Cafe Shows

Michael Formanek
Cover of Michael Formanek


From New York’s Cornelia Street Cafe:


Friday, Jan 10 – 9:00PM & 10:30PM
John Hollenbeck , drums, composition; Chris Speed, tenor sax, clarinet; Red Wierenga, accordion; Matt Moran, vibraphone; Drew Gress, bass

Saturday, Jan 11 – 9:00PM & 10:30PM
Theo Bleckmann , voice, live electronic processing; Gary Versace, piano, keyboards; John Hollenbeck, drums, percussion

Sunday, Jan 12 – 8:30PM
Tomas Fujiwara, drums, comp.; Michael Formanek, bass; Mary Halvorson, guitar; Brian Settles , tenor sax; Jonathan Finlayson, trumpet

Monday, Jan 13 – 8:15PM & 9:15PM
Kiran Ahluwalia, voice; Rez Abbasi , guitar; Will Holshouser, accordion; Mamadou Ba , bass; Sameer Gupta , tabla

Tuesday, Jan 14 – 8:30PM
Kris Davis, piano; Mat Maneri, viola; Ingrid Laubrock, saxophone; Trevor Dunn, bass; Tom Rainey, drums

Friday, Jan 17 – 9:00PM & 10:30PM
Nikolaj Hess, piano; Mark Mommaas, tenor sax; Francois Moutin, bass; Ari Hoenig, drums

Saturday, Jan 18 – 9:00PM & 10:30PM
Chris Speed, saxophone, clarinet; Russ Johnson, trumpet; Russ Lossing, piano, rhodes; Michael Bates, bass; Dan Weiss, drums

Wednesday, Jan 22 – 8:30PM
Jon Irabagon, tenor sax; Mark Helias, bass; Barry Altschul, drums

Thursday, Jan 23 – 8:30PM
Jon Irabagon, tenor sax; Ralph Alessi, trumpet; Michael Formanek, bass; Tom Rainey, drums

Friday, Jan 24 – 9:00PM & 10:30PM
Jon Irabagon, tenor sax; Mary Halvorson, guitar; Tyshawn Sorey, drums


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Jazz Listings From The New York Times

Marty Ehrlich
Cover of Marty Ehrlich


Jim Black Trio (Thursday through Jan. 18) Jim Black is known as a drummer of convulsive intensity and a bandleader rooted in the protocols of noise-rock. But on “Somatic,” a recent album, he leads an acoustic trio featuring the young Austrian pianist Elias Stemeseder and the American bassist Thomas Morgan. Mr. Black appears with Mr. Morgan and Teddy Klausner on piano at 8:30 p.m.; for the following set, at 10 p.m., he adds a second bassist, Chris Tordini. Next weekend Mr. Black, Mr. Morgan and Mr. Klausner continue their three-night engagement, and will be joined by the saxophonist Tim Berne for a set next Friday. At IBeam, 168 Seventh Street, Gowanus, Brooklyn,; suggested donation, $15. (Chinen)

Compulsion: The Music of Andrew Hill (Tuesday) Before he died in 2007, the brilliant pianist-composer Andrew Hill saw his music find traction among younger generations of musicians, some of whom he mentored. This tribute features the alto saxophonist Greg Osby and the multireedist Marty Ehrlich (former Hill collaborators) in league with the saxophonists Donny McCaslin and Jaleel Shaw; the trumpeter Jeremy Pelt; and a rhythm team consisting of the bassist Ben Allison and two drummers, Matt Wilson and Billy Drummond. At 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., Jazz Standard, 116 East 27th Street, Manhattan, (212) 576-2232,; $20 cover. (Chinen)

Kris Davis Capricorn Climber (Tuesday) The pianist Kris Davis has a newish band, Capricorn Climber, that seeks out the unexpected corners within established musical relationships. Her partners, all adept with spontaneous texture, are the tenor saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock, the violist Mat Maneri, the bassist Trevor Dunn and the drummer Tom Rainey. At 8:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street, Greenwich Village, (212) 989-9319,; $10 cover, with $10 minimum. (Chinen)

Tomas Fujiwara & the Hook Up (Sunday) A drummer working along jazz’s experimental fringe, Mr. Fujiwara favors a mode of playing that’s forward-leaning but rarely blunt or aggressive, and never random. He’s preparing to record his third album with this smart band, which features the trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson, the saxophonist Brian Settles, the guitarist Mary Halvorson and the bassist Michael Formanek. At 8:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street, Greenwich Village, (212) 989-9319,; $10 cover, with a $10 minimum. (Chinen)

John Hollenbeck Fest (Friday and Saturday) The drummer and composer John Hollenbeck presents two of his excellent working bands this weekend, starting on Friday with the Claudia Quintet, a chamber-like but slyly combustible group with Chris Speed on reeds, Red Wierenga on accordion, Drew Gress on bass and Matt Moran on vibraphone. On Saturday Mr. Hollenbeck leads his Refuge Trio, which features the endlessly imaginative vocalist Theo Bleckmann and the adaptably lyrical pianist Gary Versace. At 9 and 10:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street, Greenwich Village, (212) 989-9319,; $10 cover, with a $10 minimum. (Chinen)

Steve Lehman Octet (Tuesday through Jan. 19) Several years ago the alto saxophonist and composer Steve Lehman introduced this gang of peers, an agile vehicle for his ultramodern compositions, which find use for both spectral analysis and the language of post-bop progressivism. Next week, in preparation for its second album, due out in June, Mr. Lehman scrambles the band for a residency at the Stone; in addition to original material, he’s expected to explore radically redrawn covers of tunes by the bebop pianist Bud Powell and the hip-hop duo Camp Lo. At 8 and 9:30 p.m., Avenue C and Second Street, East Village,; $15 for the night, $10 for students. (Chinen)

Tony Malaby’s Paloma Recio (Sunday) Paloma Recio, a vigorous working band led by the tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby, explores shadowy postbop terrain with the subtlest of Spanish accents. For this concert, presented by the Sound It Out series on Mr. Malaby’s 50th birthday, the band will feature the guitarist Ben Monder, the bassist Eivind Opsvik and two drummers, Dan Weiss and Billy Mintz. At 6 p.m., Greenwich House Music School, 46 Barrow Street, West Village, (212) 242-4770,; $15, $12 for students. (Chinen)

Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Indo-Pak Coalition (Friday through Sunday) Mr. Mahanthappa, an alto saxophonist who has made a project of expressive cultural hybridism, concludes his weeklong residence at the Stone with the intricate rapport of Indo-Pak Coalition, his working band with the guitarist Rez Abbasi and the drummer Dan Weiss. At 8 and 10 p.m., the Stone, Avenue C and Second Street, East Village,; $15 per set; $10 for students. (Chinen)

Winter Jazzfest (Friday and Saturday) A strategic overload of jazz and improvised music, celebrating its 10th anniversary in style, the Winter Jazzfest subsumes a swatch of Greenwich Village, with shows running from early evening well into the wee hours at Le Poisson Rouge, Zinc Bar, the Bitter End, Bowery Electric, SubCulture Arts Underground — and, new this year, the Judson Church, the Blue Note and a lounge at New York University’s Law School. A list of highlights could easily take up the rest of this space; for a full schedule, visit Tickets are $35 per day, or $55 for both. (Chinen)

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Coming to the ISSUE Project Room

Trumpeter Peter Evans
Trumpeter Peter Evans (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


From the ISSUE Project Room:


FRI, JANUARY 10 – 8:00PM
Peter Evans

Peter Evans opens his 2014 residency with a solo trumpet performance, a format he has been working with for over a decade. Improvisation is used as a method of pressurizing and slowly refining materials from concert to concert, a process of using the known as a catapult to the unknown. The results are nothing short of stunning.

SAT, JANUARY 11 – 7:00PM
Benefit for BOMB: Grubbs / Yeh / Keszler trio, Jules Gimbrone, Ben Lerner & Amy Sillman

SAT, JANUARY 18 – 8:00PM
SUN, JANUARY 19 – 4:00PM – All tickets $5
Artist-In-Residence: devynn emory,
“This room this braid”


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