London Broil: John Butcher at The Stone

From All About Jazz:

On a sheer sonic level, John Butcher goes further into his instrument—and further out of it—than any of his monumental precursors in the iconoclast tradition of abstract British improvising. Not that he’s going to bury such icons as Terry Day, Trevor Watts, or Evan Parker; but as he demonstrated in solo performance last week at The Stone in Manhattan, this tenor and soprano saxophonist—trained in physics—is particularly well-attuned to the properties and propensities of the sound produced by his horns, apart from its customary dissection into elements of harmonic theory and acoustic principles, and takes it to places unknown to most listeners until now.

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Jazz Listings from the New York Times

In the NYTimes.com:

VIJAY IYER TRIO (Friday through Sunday) “Historicity” (ACT), likely to rank among this year’s most inventively purposeful jazz releases, finds the pianist and composer Vijay Iyer investigating the very premise of a repertory album, with restive versions of songs by (among others) M.I.A. and Andrew Hill. He celebrates the album’s release here, with the same bassist, Stephan Crump, and a worthy substitute drummer, Justin Brown. At 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., with an 11:30 set on Friday and Saturday, Jazz Standard, 116 East 27th Street, Manhattan , (212) 576-2232, jazzstandard.net; $30; $25 on Sunday. (Chinen)20091105

NUBLU JAZZ FESTIVAL (Friday through Thursday) For the last seven years the East Village club Nublu has promulgated a downtown mix of jazz, club music and international groove. For much of this month a similar sound prevails at its first annual jazz festival, with artists like the Inbetweens, led by the bassist Noah Jarrett (Saturday); the Seamus Blake Trio, led by its namesake saxophonist (Sunday); the drummer Ben Perowsky and his Moodswing Orchestra (Monday); and the trumpeters Eddie Henderson and Kirk Knuffke (both Thursday). At 9 and 10:30 p.m. and midnight, Nublu, 62 Avenue C, between Fourth and Fifth Streets, East Village , nublu.net; cover, $10. (Chinen)20091105

JESSICA PAVONE/CURHA-CHESTRA/SCOPA TRIO (Thursday) Ms. Pavone, playing violin as well as viola, presents “wordless songs inspired by life’s cast of characters,” a project with the guitarist Brandon Seabrook, the bassist Jonti Siman and the drummer Harris Eisenstadt. Also on the bill are the Curha-chestra, a boisterous ensemble led by the trombonist Curtis Hasselbring; and Scopa Trio, an improvising group led by the trombonist Brian Drye. At 8:30 p.m., Zebulon, 258 Wythe Avenue, near Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn , (718) 218-6934, myspace.com/zebuloncafeconcert; free. (Chinen)

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Jazz Listings From The New York Times

From NYTimes.com:

GO HOME (Friday through Sunday) This slinky, groove-minded ensemble features the collective contributions of the clarinetist Ben Goldberg, the trombonist Curtis Fowlkes, the guitarist Charlie Hunter and the drummer Scott Amendola. The group is on tour in support of its recently released self-titled debut. At 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., with an 11:30 set on Friday and Saturday, Jazz Standard, 116 East 27th Street, Manhattan , (212) 576-2232, jazzstandard.net; $30, $25 on Sunday. (Chinen)20091029

THE MAHAVISHNU PROJECT (Tuesday) This single-minded repertory project, led by the drummer Gregg Bendian, pursues the visionary fusion of the Mahavishnu Orchestra with all appropriate fervor. Besides Mr. Bendian, it consists of the guitarist Chad McLoughlin, the violinist Zach Brock, the keyboardist Neil Alexander and the bassist Peter Brendler. At 9 p.m., Drom, 85 Avenue A, between Fifth and Sixth Streets, East Village , (212) 777-1157, dromnyc.com; $15. (Chinen)20091029

NUBLU JAZZ FESTIVAL (Thursday) For the last seven years the East Village club Nublu has promulgated a downtown mix of jazz, club music and international groove. For much of the coming month a similar sound will prevail at its first annual jazz festival, which begins on Thursday with a duet featuring the free-jazz saxophonist Charles Gayle and the Sun Ra Arkestra bassist Juini Booth; a trio led by the saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc; and the Mandingo Ambassadors, breezy specialists in a West African musical tradition. At 9 and 10:30 p.m. and midnight, Nublu, 62 Avenue C, between Fourth and Fifth Streets, East Village , nublu.net; cover, $10. (Chinen)20091029

TIMUCIN SAHIN GROUP (Wednesday) Timucin Sahin, a nimble guitarist and a scintillating composer from Turkey, celebrates the release of “Bafa” (Between the Lines), his new album, by reconvening two of its core contributors, the alto saxophonist John O’Gallagher and the drummer Tyshawn Sorey. The bassist, Drew Gress, should make a strong substitute for his younger colleague Thomas Morgan. At 8:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street, West Village , (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com; cover, $10, with a one-drink minimum. (Chinen)

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Jazz Listings From The New York Times

From NYTimes.com:

MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS AND FRED ANDERSON/MARK TAYLOR QUARTET (Friday) In addition to being a venerable pianist and composer, Mr. Abrams is an architect of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, which presents one of its periodic New York concerts here. Performing with Mr. Abrams is the saxophonist Fred Anderson, a peerless veteran of the Chicago jazz scene; also on the program is a quartet led by the French horn and mellophone player Mark Taylor. At 8 p.m., Community Church of New York, 40 East 35th Street, Manhattan , aacm-newyork.com; $25, students $12. (Nate Chinen)20091015

BLUIETT (Saturday) This veteran baritone saxophonist — also known by his full name, Hamiet Bluiett — has always advanced an agenda of blustery incantation. His presence in a small combo like the one heard here, with Kahil El’Zabar on percussion, is heavily, intensely physical. At 9 and 10:30 p.m., Sista’s Place, 456 Nostrand Avenue, at Jefferson Avenue, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn , (718) 398-1766, sistasplace.org; cover, $20. (Chinen)20091015

? BROOKLYN BIG BAND BONANZA (Monday) Organized by the composer Darcy James Argue and presented by the upstart promoters Search and Restore, this Monday showcase includes three ambitious young groups working with the palette (but not the parameters) of the traditional big band: Mr. Argue’s Secret Society, Andrew Durkin’s Industrial Jazz Group and Travis Sullivan’s Bjorkestra. Pound for pound, it’s the bargain of the week. At 7:30 p.m., Bell House, 149 Seventh Street, Gowanus , (718) 643-6510, thebellhouseny.com; $15. (Chinen)20091015

BROOKLYN EXPERIMENTS (Sunday) This relatively new series shines a spotlight on left-of-center jazz groups, like those featured here: the Mike Baggetta Quartet, led by its namesake guitarist and featuring Jason Rigby on saxophones, Eivind Opsvik on bass and George Schuller on drums (at 9 p.m.); and the Nate Radley Trio, another guitar-led enterprise, with the bassist Matt Pavolka and the drummer Dan Weiss (at 10:30). Rose Live Music, 345 Grand Street, Williamsburg , (718) 599-0069, roselivemusic.com; $10. (Chinen)20091015

EVAN PARKER (Friday) Mr. Parker, a titan of the British jazz avant-garde and one of the leading saxophonists in his idiom anywhere, has been in residence at the Stone every night this month so far. He closes shop with two characteristic sets: performing first at 8 p.m. with Tim Berne and Earl Howard on alto saxophones, and then at 10 with the electronics artist Ikue Mori. The Stone, Avenue C and Second Street, East Village , thestonenyc.com; $10 for the first set, $20 for the second set. (Chinen)20091015

TYSHAWN SOREY (Friday) Mr. Sorey can play the drums with an almost brutish physicality, but also with a sense of scale and equipoise. And he has lately been producing serious results as a composer, a side of his personality that figures most prominently here. At 9 and 10:30 p.m., Jazz Gallery, 290 Hudson Street, at Spring Street, South Village , (212) 242-1063, jazzgallery.org; $15, members $10. (Chinen)

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Vision Festival 2009 Review

William Parker
Image by digital_freak via Flickr

All About Jazz is publishing a seven-part review of the festival.

New York City’s annual Vision Festival is a unique showcase for avant jazz in such profusion and diversity that it attracts a returning audience from across the US and indeed the globe. At a time when other outlets for the music are closing or moving out of Manhattan, the Vision Festival has cemented its place in the calendar as a reliable must-see event for hometown fans too, with some 37 performances concentrated into seven nights.

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Two Avant-Gardists Join Forces

The collaboration between John Zorn and Richard Foreman is profiled.

Two guys meet on a corner in Manhattan’s East Village. First guy says to the second: “Why don’t you write me an opera?” Second guy shrugs and says “OK.”

“It was that simple,” said director Richard Foreman of the spark that led to “Astronome: A Night at the Opera,” his collaborative work with composer John Zorn that runs through April 5 at Mr. Foreman’s Ontological-Hysteric Theater. Seated beside him in Mr. Foreman’s book-lined loft, a week before the premiere, Mr. Zorn smiled. “I love that story,” he said, “because it’s at the heart of downtown, as far as I’m concerned. Things happen by chance all the time, between friends.”

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