Coming up at Ars Nova Workshop

From Philly’s Ars Nova Workshop:

Saturday, October 3, 8pm
STEVE LEHMAN TRIO
Steve Lehman, alto saxophone; Matt Brewer, bass; and Damion Reid, drums

Philadelphia Art Alliance, 251 S. 18th Street
$12 General Admission

Named a Rising Star on the alto saxophone by the Downbeat Magazine International Critics Poll, Steve Lehman’s work resides on the frontiers of contemporary music. He has been recognized as one of today’s truly original creative voices by The Wire, The New York Times, National Public Radio and The BBC. A former student of both Jackie McLean and Anthony Braxton, he has performed and recorded throughout the world with his own ensembles, and with those led by Anthony Braxton, Dave Burrell, Meshell Ndegeocello, Mark Dresser, Vijay Iyer, Oliver Lake, and High Priest of Anti-Pop Consortium. For his only Philadelphia appearance in 2009, Lehman will present a set of his cutting-edge trio music, including selected compositions from his critically acclaimed Pi Recordings octet record, “Travail, Transformation & Flow”, meticulously re-arranged for the acoustic trio format.

Saturday, October 10, 8pm
CUONG VU TRIO
Cuong Vu, trumpet; Stomu Takeishi, bass; and Ted Poor, drums

+ PLANET-Y
Yanni Papadopoulos, dg-20 Casio digital guitar; and Charles Cohen, Buchla
Music Easel

Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Avenue
$10 General Admission

Vietnamese trumpeter Cuong Vu is widely recognized by jazz critics as a leader of a generation of innovative musicians. A truly unique musical voice, Cuong has lent his trumpet playing talents to a wide range of artists including Pat Metheny, Laurie Anderson, David Bowie, Dave Douglas, SunnO))) and Cibo Matto. Since 1994, Cuong has been actively leading various groups, most notably his trio with Stomu Takeishi (Don Cherry, Henry Threadgill, Paul Motian) and Ted Poor (Kurt Rosenwinkel, Jerseyband, Aaron Parks), which has toured extensively throughout the world. His most recent recordings as a leader include “It’s Mostly Residual” featuring guitarist Bill Frisell and “Vu-Tet” featuring Chris Speed. Each record displays how he has carved out a distinctive sonic territory on the trumpet while blurring all stylistic borders. This evening will also feature a rare appearance from Planet-Y – Buchla Music Easel master Charles Cohen and Stinking Lizaveta’s Yanni Papadopoulos, best described as “Subotnick meets Sun Ra meets Schnitzler.”

Tuesday, October 13, 8pm
THIRD MAN TRIO
Han Bennink, drums; Michael Moore, reeds; and Will Holshouser, accordion

Fleisher/Ollman Gallery, 1616 Walnut Street, Suite 100
$12 General Admission

Since the demise of the legendary and critically-acclaimed Trio Clusone – featuring Han Bennink, Michael Moore and Ernst Reijseger – in 1998, the jazz community has been anxiously awaiting a vehicle for composer Moore and the raucous Bennink to carry on with their peculiar melodic, harmonic and rambunctious work. Following a near decade-long search, Bennink and Moore,
both members of Misha Mengelberg’s Instant Composers Pool, found the ideal “third man” in Brooklyn-based accordionist Will Holshouser. Holshouser, a student of Anthony Braxton, has collaborated with Antony and the Johnsons, David Krakauer & Klezmer Madness, Maria Schneider and Regina Carter.

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Firehouse 12 To Present The Steve Lehman Trio October 9th

From Improvised Communications:

On Friday, October 9th, New Haven’s Firehouse 12 will present innovative saxophonist / composer Steve Lehman’s only area performance this year as part its fifth annual Fall Jazz Series. Lehman, who grew up in Hartford before earning two degrees at Wesleyan University during studies with Anthony Braxton and Jackie McLean, will be performing selections from his latest release, Trevail, Transformation, and Flow (Pi Recordings). Originally composed for his octet, the music, which daringly integrates elements of spectral harmony into jazz, has been meticulously arranged for this acoustic trio featuring bassist Chris Tordini and drummer Damion Reed.

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Upcoming Ars Nova Workshop Shows

From Philly’s Ars Nova

Sunday, May 24 | 8pm
Sun Ra Arkestra
In celebration of Maestro Marshall Allen’s 85th birthday and the 95th anniversary of Sun Ra’s arrival on Earth

Johnny Brenda’s
1201 Frankford Avenue

Event Description:
Ars Nova Workshop presents a very special performance of the Sun Ra Arkestra in celebration of the 85th birthday of Marshall Allen. Join us for complimentary Moon Pies, a special midnight toast and DJ hi-res spinning classic jazz and breaks. Archival films featuring the Arkestra and Sun Ra will be projected on two large screens throughout the evening. You don’t want to miss this!

As a young musician, Marshall Belford Allen (b. May 25, 1924) performed with pianist Art Simmons, Don Byas and James Moody before enrolling in the Paris Conservatory of Music. After relocating to Chicago, Allen became a pupil of Sun Ra, subsequently joining the Arkestra in 1958 and leading Sun Ra’s formidable reed section for the next 40 years. Marshall, along with John Gilmore, June Tyson and James Jacson, lived, rehearsed, toured and recorded with Sun Ra almost exclusively for much of Sun Ra’s musical career. As a member of the Arkestra, Allen pioneered the Free Jazz movement of the early sixties, having remarkable influence on the leading voices in the avant-garde. He is featured on over 200 Sun Ra recordings in addition to collaborations with Phish, Sonic Youth, Digable Planets and Medeski, Martin & Wood. Marshall assumed the position of maestro in 1995, following the ascension of Sun Ra in 1993 and John Gilmore in 1995. Marshall continues to be committed to the study, research and development of Sun Ra’s musical precepts and has launched the Sun Ra Arkestra into a dimension beyond that of mere “ghost” band by writing fresh arrangements of Sun Ra’s music, as well as composing new music and arrangement for the Arkestra. He works unceasingly to keep the big-band tradition alive.

Friday, June 5 | 8pm
Darcy James Argue’s
Secret Society

International House Philadelphia
3701 Chestnut Street

Event Description:
Vancouver-born, Brooklyn-based composer-bandleader Darcy James Argue directs Secret Society, a “powerful and well-stocked ensemble” (New York Times) featuring his “ambitious, sprawling, mesmerizing” music (Montreal Gazette). Secret Society is an 18-piece steampunk bigband that envisions an alternative musical history, one in which the dance orchestras that ruled the Swing Era never went extinct, but continued to evolve with the times, remaining a vital part of the musical landscape straight through the present day. Argue’s compositions bring together “a big, broad musical vocabulary” (New York Times), one which invokes “Duke Ellington and minimalism and Tortoise and Funkadelic and Elliott Carter and much else besides melding into one floating, shifting, dodging music” (zoilus.com).

Secret Society includes powerful soloists like Ingrid Jensen (trumpet), Sam Sadigursky (saxophones), and Ryan Keberle (trombone), and is anchored by the “scarily good” (nightafternight.com) rhythm section of Matt Clohesy (bass) and Jon Wikan (drums). The group headlined a night at the 2008 New Languages Festival, a performance All About Jazz called “the highlight of the evening.” They have performed at a variety of venues around NYC, including Le Poisson Rouge, the Jazz Gallery, the Living Theatre, Makor, Flux Factory, and the Bowery Poetry Club, and recently completed a tour of Eastern Canada. Their debut recording will be released on New Amsterdam Records in May 2009.

Argue has made international appearances at the Cologne Jazz Festival and the International Association for Jazz Education Conference in Toronto. He is also a founding member of the New York composers’ federation Pulse, who have presented projects featuring John Abercrombie, John McNeil, and Pete McCann. He was selected for the Brooklyn Philharmonic Composer Mentorship Program, and his work Body Double, for string quartet and tapan, was premiered by percussionist Svet Stoyanov and members of the Brooklyn Philharmonic at the the Music Off The Walls series at the Brooklyn Museum. Argue penned the arrangements for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s collaborations with jazz-soul songstress Lizz Wright, alt-country artist Shelby Lynne, and the Klezmer Conservatory Band.

Argue’s awards and commissions include the Jazz Gallery’s Large Ensemble Commissioning Series, the BMI Charlie Parker Composition Prize/Manny Albam Commission, the SOCAN/IAJE Emerging Jazz Composer Award, the SOCAN Award for Composition, the Down Beat Student Music Award, and grants from Meet The Composer, the American Music Center, and the Canada Council for the Arts. In addition to his own groups, Argue’s music has been performed by the BMI New York Jazz Orchestra, the Eastman New Jazz Ensemble, the University of North Texas Jazz Repertory Ensemble, the NEC Jazz Composers’ Orchestra, the McGill Jazz Orchestra, and others.

Argue was mentored by legendary jazz composer Bob Brookmeyer. He has also studied with Lee Hyla, Randall Woolf, Maria Schneider, and John Hollenbeck. He maintains a lively blog at secretsociety.typepad.com, which features commentary, photos, and live recordings.

Friday, June 12 | 8pm
Odean Pope + Sunny Murray
with
Odean Pope, tenor saxophone
Sunny Murray , drums

Philadelphia Art Alliance
251 S. 18th Street

Event Description:
Sunny Murray was one of the early avant-garde’s most inventive and influential drummers, doing a great deal to establish the role of the drums in free improvisation. Although Murray could swing as hard as anyone, he often abandoned the drums’ traditional timekeeping role. Born in 1936, Murray performed at first with traditional artists like Red Allen and Willie “The Lion” Smith, but soon branched out into more adventurous territory with Jackie McLean and Ted Curson. His big break, however, came when he joined Cecil Taylor’s group in 1959, which allowed him to improvise at a far more advanced level.

While touring Europe with Taylor, Murray met Albert Ayler, and wound up joining his band in 1964; through 1967, Murray appeared on most of the saxophonist’s greatest free jazz sessions. He also worked with Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry, and John Tchicai, and made his first albums as a leader with 1965’s Sunny’s Time Now (for Jihad) and 1966’s Sunny Murray Quintet (for the seminal ESP), the latter of which helped him win Down Beat’s New Star award. In 1968, Murray traveled to France, where he played with Archie Shepp and recorded as a leader for Affinity and BYG Actuel; returning to the U.S. in 1971, Murray settled in Philadelphia and formed a group called the Untouchable Factor, which he led off and on through varying lineups. Today, he resides in Paris and continues to perform and record regularly.

Grounded in the Baptist spirituals of his youth followed by a musical upbringing in Philadelphia with the likes of John Coltrane and organist Jimmy Smith as mentors, tenor saxophonist Odean Pope is the bridge between hard bop and free. His contributions to jazz are of major historical significance and through his over two decade long fruitful association with drummer Max Roach, groundbreaking saxophone choir, trio and quartet work and educational outreach he has influenced generations of musicians. At the same time, Pope cannot be pigeonholed and he has managed to maintain his creativity by continuing to innovate and perfect his sound.

He remains an incredibly busy and active musician with many recent releases in a variety of settings. These sessions showcase his saxophone choir, Locked & Loaded Live at the Blue Note (Half Note, 2006); his spiritual horn recorded au natural, Serenity (CIMPoL, 2007); an inventive tribute to Max Roach, To The Roach (CIMP, 2006); a deliciously funky hip hop jazz fusion, The Misled Children Meet Odean Pope (Porter, 2008); and an exciting trio date with drummer Sunny Murray and bassist Lee Smith, Plant Life (Porter, 2008).

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Take Five With Steve Lehman

Steve Lehman profiled:

Named a Rising Star on the alto saxophone in 2006, 2007, and 2008 by the Down Beat Magazine International Critics Poll, Steve Lehman is a saxophonist and composer whose work resides on the frontier of contemporary music. He has been recognized as one of today’s truly original creative voices by The Wire, The New York Times, and Down Beat Magazine, as well as by National Public Radio and the BBC. A former student of both Jackie McLean and Anthony Braxton, he has performed and recorded throughout the United States and Europe with his own ensembles, and with those led by Anthony Braxton, Dave Burrell, Meshell Ndgeocello, Mark Dresser, Vijay Iyer, Oliver Lake, and High Priest of Anti-Pop Consortium.

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Nodding to Jazz Tradition While Pursuing the Ideal

The Mario Pavone Double Tenor Quintet at the Iridium is reviewed.

Mario Pavone’s jazz can possibly be heard two different ways. His gig at Iridium on Wednesday night had two traditions running through it: the rhythmic and harmonic grids of bebop and all that descends from it, and the cathartic tracing-in-air of free jazz.

But that’s a pretty brain-first, ears-second way to put it. The mixture proposed by Mr. Pavone — his third way — represents its own tradition. And it’s a pretty old one, encompassing music made in the 1960s by Ornette Coleman, Andrew Hill, Jackie McLean, Paul Bley and many others.

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