Performances Reviews

John Hollenbeck – At Le Poisson Rouge, a Big Band Reaches for Bold Sounds


People forget that big bands have been places of real aesthetic boldness. Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Bill Finegan, Bill Russo, Gil Evans, Bob Brookmeyer, Gerald Wilson, Muhal Richard Abrams, Maria Schneider: these were and are no slouches, and there are clear signs that a few younger composer-arrangers will join that list. Let’s start with John Hollenbeck, whose 20-piece Large Ensemble played a superior show at Le Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village Monday night. His music was playful, profound, attentive to the soloists’ strengths and pretty much continuously imaginative — even though the band hadn’t had a gig since March.

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Firehouse 12 To Present The Gretchen Parlato Band October 16th

From Improvised Communications:

On Friday, October 16th, Firehouse 12’s fifth annual Fall Jazz Series will present a two-set performance by the Gretchen Parlato Band.

Led by New York-based vocalist/composer Gretchen Parlato, the most recent winner of the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition, this quartet, featuring pianist Fabian Almazan, bassist Alan Hampton and drummer Kendrick Scott, is touring the country in support of her new release, In A Dream (ObliqSound). The record documents a mix of her own original material as well as singular interpretations of music by Duke Ellington, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Stevie Wonder.

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Bagatellen Reviews

Rudresh Mahanthappa
Image via Wikipedia

From Bagatellen:

Aki Takase & Rudi Mahall – Evergreen

In its formative years, free jazz was, in part, an oppositional movement away from canonized jazz standards. The same tradition-bucking largely holds true today with many players avoiding embrace of the so-called Great American Songbook altogether in favor of other building blocks. The upshot is the recurring accusation that they couldn’t play them […]

Rudresh Mahanthappa – Kinsmen

Rubbing collaborative elbows with one’s influences can be a transformative experience for any artist. Sonny Rollins seized just such opportunity in his friendly donnybrook with Coleman Hawkins for RCA. Mingus almost botched his with Ellington on the sow’s-ear-into-silk-purse Money Jungle session. Flash forward to present day and it’s altoist Rudresh Mahanthappa’s turn […]

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