Jazz Listings from the New York Times

Steven Bernstein live at Saalfelden 2009
Image via Wikipedia

From NYTimes.com:

STEVEN BERNSTEIN’S MILLENNIAL TERRITORY ORCHESTRA (Thursday) This brashly exuberant little big band, led by the slide trumpeter and arranger Steven Bernstein, dusts off assorted vintages, with an emphasis on dirty swing. The band’s ranks include serious improvisers, including the clarinetist Doug Wieselman, the saxophonist Peter Apfelbaum, the trombonist Clark Gayton and the drummer Ben Perowsky. At 10 p.m., 55 Bar, 55 Christopher Street, West Village , (212) 929-9883, 55bar.com; cover, $10. (Chinen)20100128

ELEVATION (Friday) This reflective ensemble, conceived by the pianist Lucian Ban and organized around the playing of the tenor saxophonist Abraham Burton, further includes an adaptable rhythm section, with John Hébert on bass and Eric McPherson on drums. At 9 and 10:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street, West Village , (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com; cover, $12, with a $6 minimum. (Chinen)20100128

CHAD TAYLOR AND CIRCLE DOWN (Friday) Mr. Taylor, a versatile and texture-aware drummer, functions as the first of equals in this exploratory trio, which also features the lyrical pianist Angelica Sanchez and the responsive bassist Chris Lightcap. At 8 p.m., the Stone, Avenue C and Second Street, East Village , thestonenyc.com; $10. (Chinen)

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Is that jazz? Explore improvisation, composition and more at Seattle festival

From the Seattle Times Newspaper:

Formal composition vs. spontaneous creativity is the prevailing theme at a series of experimental jazz performances called Is That Jazz? Seattle’s Avant Jazz Music Festival.

The festival convenes Friday night with two performances at the Chapel Performance Space in Wallingford by the Sunship quintet and the Sun Ra Tribute Band, named for the jazz composer, pianist and philosopher who helped pioneer free jazz in the 1950s and ’60s. The event continues Saturday night with performances by esteemed clarinetist Bill Smith’s trio and bassist Evan Flory-Barnes’ big band, called Threat of Beauty.

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Jazz Listings from the New York Times

From NYTimes.com:

ROY CAMPBELL’S AKHENATEN/MATANA ROBERTS’S ILLUMINATION (Thursday) Drawing on the expressive and searching music from his most recent album, “Akhenaten Suite” (2008), the trumpeter Roy Campbell leads a group with Bryan Carrott on vibraphone, Hilliard Greene on bass and Michael Wemberly on drums. Ms. Roberts, an alto saxophonist, pursues her own visions with a band that includes the cornetist Graham Haynes, the pianist Gabriel Guerrero, the harpist Shelley Burgon and the drummer Damion Reid. At 8 p.m., Roulette, 20 Greene Street, at Grand Street, SoHo , (212) 219-8242, roulette.org; $15; $10 for members, students and those under 30. (Chinen)

EVOLVING MUSIC/EVOLVING VOICE (Monday) This weekly series features improvised music from the experimental side of the tracks, in a diverse array. At 7 p.m., things kick off with a duo of the vocalist Katie Bull and the bassist Joe Fonda; at 8, Yoon Sun Choi sings with backing from Jacob Sacks on keyboards and Vinnie Sperrazza on drums. The 9 p.m. slot will feature the saxophonist and trumpeter Joe McPhee, along with the bassist Dominic Duval and the trumpeter Jean-Luc Cappozzo; the final set, at 10, goes to Basso Continuo, a group led by the tenor saxophonist Stephen Gauci, with the trumpeter Herb Robertson and two bassists, Ken Filiano and Mike Bisio. The Local 269, 269 East Houston Street, at Suffolk Street, Lower East Side , (212) 254-5420, rucma.org; $20. (Chinen)

? FORWARD FLIGHT (Friday and Saturday) Subtitled “A Gathering of Brass in Contemporary Music,” this four-day affair is a subseries of the Festival of New Trumpet Music. It wraps up this weekend with a lot of intelligent ruckus, notably through sets by the Chicago Underground Duo, which features the cornetist Rob Mazurek (Friday at 7:30 p.m.), and the Open Circuit International Trumpet Ensemble, a trans-Atlantic assemblage spearheaded by Taylor Ho Bynum, one of the festival’s chief organizers (Saturday at 9). For a full schedule, fontmusic.net. Abrons Arts Center, 466 Grand Street, at Pitt Street, Lower East Side , (212) 598-0400; $15; $12 for students. (Chinen)

TOMAS FUJIWARA AND THE HOOK UP (Friday) Mr. Fujiwara’s alert drumming has propelled some excellent ensembles on the new-music landscape. Here he presents his own open-ended compositions for a band with Jonathan Finlayson on trumpet, Brian Settles on tenor saxophone, Mary Halvorson on guitar and Danton Boller on bass. At 8 p.m., the Stone, Avenue C and Second Street, East Village , thestonenyc.com; cover, $10. (Chinen)

JOE MORRIS TRIO/FLAHERTY, CORSANO, CARTER (Tuesday) Joe Morris, a guitarist who applies the clear tone of Jim Hall to darker and pricklier purposes, has close history with the pianist Steve Lantner and the drummer Luther Gray, with whom he plays an 11 p.m. set. A preceding set, at 10, will feature quick-flash collective improvisation by the saxophonist Paul Flaherty, the drummer Chris Corsano and the multireedist and trumpeter Daniel Carter. Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery, near Bleecker Street, East Village , bowerypoetry.com; cover, $10. (Chinen)

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New Releases from Ayler Records

From Ayler Records:

Snus – Niklas Barnö, Joel Grip, Didier Lasserre
This trio was first put together by Marc Fèvre, the active foreman of parisian dynamic wine and free music venue, l’Atelier Tampon, for the celebrations of legendary bassist Alan Silva’s 70th birthday. Ayler Records liked this, and decided to record and produce a CD with the group a few months later. The meeting between the two swedes, Joel Grip and Niklas Barnö, and the frenchman Didier Lasserre, is a clash of free minds, nestled up in improvisation, stating their now’s with a firm but gentle slap in your face. Free music it is, and energ(et)ic all the more. A special blend of free jazz and free improv, a sophisticated mix of talents that tastes different, fresh and highly addictive.

Free Unfold Trio – Ballades
(J. Le Masson, B. Duboc, D. Lasserre)
The Free Unfold Trio ventures, and we with them, where many would instead turn round and go back : to the edge of the unknown, to secret places where an underlying depth permeates every gesture; where it feels good to lose oneself now and again. On the razor’s edge, in the open air, wandering about between silence and what’s unplayed. Four stretched out ballads, their melodies in dotted lines, as if diffracted, of dazzling brightness – gleaming seen as an art form.

Nuts (B. Duboc, R. Siddik, I. Oki, D. Lasserre, M. Sato)
Symphony for Old and New Dimensions
These men are calling home. These men are crying for home. For many a home. France. United States. Japan. Elsewhere… When Benjamin Duboc gathered these four men around him, he knew he had to bring forth an underlying intuition that the gathering, the very act of gathering individuals was the key of music-making today. NUTS is a playground of gathered individuals caught in the act of meeting each other. Live.

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Jazz Listings from the New York Times

From NYTimes.com:

DARCY JAMES ARGUE’S SECRET SOCIETY (Saturday) “Infernal Machines” (New Amsterdam), one of the most celebrated jazz releases of 2009, was the debut of this ultramodern big band, led by Mr. Argue, an indefatigable young composer. Girded with indie-rock textures and a generous sense of drama, it still only captures part of what the group can pull off in performance. At 9 and 10:30 p.m., Jazz Gallery, 290 Hudson Street, at Spring Street, South Village , (212) 242-1063, jazzgallery.org; $15; $10 for members. (Chinen)

COMPANY OF HEAVEN JAZZ FESTIVAL (Friday through Sunday) Organized by a booking agency, this event unfurls a succession of worthy artists in brief club sets, beginning with a group led by the trombonist Reut Regev (Friday at 8:30 p.m.) and ending with Ballin’ the Jack, led by the clarinetist Matt Darriau (Sunday at 11 p.m.). In between are more than half a dozen smart bets, including Totem, a group led by the bassist Mario Pavone (Friday at 11); the Thirteenth Assembly, a potent young improvising collective (Saturday at 8:30); and the Michael Musillami Trio + 3, led by Mr. Musillami, a guitarist (Sunday at 8:30 p.m.). Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street, West Village , (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com; cover, $10 per set, $25 for the night, with a $7 minimum per set. (Chinen)

JON IRABAGON (Saturday and Monday) Mr. Irabagon, an energetic and proficient young alto saxophonist, leads two distinct groups in the coming days, each a reflection of his personality. His quintet — with the trumpeter Brandon Lee, the pianist Adam Birnbaum, the bassist Peter Brendler and the drummer Donald Edwards — plays concise, well-reasoned post-bop, as heard on “The Observer” (Concord), his most recent album. That group appears on Saturday; on Monday Mr. Irabagon, Mr. Brendler and the drummer Kevin Shea make up the Rollins Trio, invoking the precedent of Sonny Rollins and basing a full set’s outcome on the marathon explication of a single tune. Saturday at 10 p.m., Fat Cat, 75 Christopher Street, at Seventh Avenue, West Village, (212) 675-6056, fatcatmusic.org. Monday at 9 p.m., Zebulon, 258 Wythe Avenue, near Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn , (718) 218-6934, zebuloncafeconcert.com; no cover. (Chinen)

INGRID LAUBROCK QUARTET (Wednesday) Ingrid Laubrock, a German-born tenor and soprano saxophonist who is based in Britain, works here with Mary Halvorson, a shrewdly slippery guitarist; John Hébert, a stalwart bassist; and Tom Rainey, a stark, suggestive drummer. At 8:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street, West Village , (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com; cover, $10, with a $7 minimum. (Chinen)

? TONY MALABY (Monday and Tuesday) Mr. Malaby, a saxophonist of broad imagination and fearless disposition, leads two groups next week, each worthy. On Monday he reunites the band from “Paloma Recio” (New World), one of the better slept-on jazz releases of 2009: the guitarist Ben Monder, the bassist Eivind Opsvik and the drummer Nasheet Waits. On Tuesday he enlists a favorite frontline partner, the trumpeter Ralph Alessi, as well as the bassist Drew Gress and the drummer Billy Drummond. Monday at 8 and 9 p.m., the Local 269, 269 East Houston Street, at Suffolk Street, Lower East Side, (212) 254-5420, rucma.org; $10 per set, or $20 for the night; $7 per set for students, or $15 for the night. Tuesday 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)

MOSTLY OTHER PEOPLE DO THE KILLING (Friday) Rampaging through the jazz tradition is the sport of choice for this four-piece free-bop band, led by the bassist Moppa Elliott and featuring the trumpeter Peter Evans, the alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon and the drummer Kevin Shea. “Forty Fort” (Hot Cup), the group’s fourth album, is a characteristic thrill ride, prankish in its affect but gravely serious in its execution. At 9 p.m., Zebulon, 258 Wythe Avenue, near Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn , (718) 218-6934, zebuloncafeconcert.com; no cover. (Chinen)

NYC WINTER JAZZFEST (Friday and Saturday) For New York City jazz fans the Winter Jazzfest has become a perennial postholiday splurge and a righteous kick-start to the new year. Held this year in five separate clubs, all within a tight radius in Greenwich Village, it puts forth a profusion of available talent with an unspoken emphasis on cosmopolitan chic. For highlights, see the feature elsewhere in this section; for a full schedule and ticket information: winterjazzfest.com. Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street, near Thompson Street, Greenwich Village ; $25, or $30 for a two-day pass. (Chinen)

CHAD TAYLOR AND CIRCLE DOWN (Thursday) Mr. Taylor, a versatile and texture-aware drummer, functions as the first of equals in this exploratory trio, which also features the lyrical pianist Angelica Sanchez and the responsive bassist Chris Lightcap. At 9 and 10:30 p.m., Jazz Gallery, 290 Hudson Street, at Spring Street, South Village , (212) 242-1063, jazzgallery.org; $15, and $10 for members, in the first set; $10, and $5 for members, in the second set. (Chinen)

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Jazz Listings from the New York Times

From NYTimes.com:

THE BAD PLUS (Friday through Sunday) The pianist Ethan Iverson, the bassist Reid Anderson and the drummer David King constitute the Bad Plus, a delivery system for smartly sweeping original songs, as well as wryly affectionate renditions of pop tunes. At 9 and 11 p.m., Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South, at 11th Street, West Village , (212) 255-4037, villagevanguard.com; cover, $25, with a $10 minimum.

TIM BERNE AND LOS TOTOPOS (Thursday) Mr. Berne, an alto saxophonist and composer with a taste for coarsely layered frictions, presents a newly minted ensemble with Matt Mitchell on piano and electronics, Oscar Noriega on clarinets and Ches Smith on percussion. The band focuses not only on sharp and convoluted new music by Mr. Berne, but also on some rather obscure material written more than 30 years ago by his former mentor, the saxophonist and composer Julius Hemphill. At 9 and 10:30 p.m., Jazz Gallery, 290 Hudson Street, at Spring Street, South Village , (212) 242-1063, jazzgallery.org; cover, $15. (Chinen)

PETER EVANS SEXTET (Monday) Mr. Evans, probably best recognized for his role in the upstart free-bop quartet Mostly Other People Do the Killing, is a trumpeter with an expressive command of timbre and tone. He’s also a bandleader of emerging promise; in this group he corrals the pianist Carlos Homs, the bassist Tom Blancarte, the drummers Kassa Overall and Kevin Shea, and the electronics artist Sam Pluta. An opening set will feature solo saxophone improvisations by Johnny Butler. At 10 p.m., Zebulon, 258 Wythe Avenue, near Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn , (718) 218-6934, zebuloncafeconcert.com; no cover. (Chinen)

GEORGE GARZONE GROUP (Wednesday) Mr. Garzone, a tenor saxophonist with a headlong but intelligent approach to free improvisation, presides over a tribute to the pianist Charlie Banacos, an influential jazz educator who traveled in the same Boston circles as Mr. Garzone (and who died just last month). The ensemble gathered for the task is worthy, with Rachel Z on piano, Peter Slavov on bass and Pete Zimmer on drums. 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)

KATT HERNANDEZ AND JOE MORRIS (Thursday) Mr. Morris, a guitarist who applies the clear tone of Jim Hall to darker purposes, has an assertive partner here in Ms. Hernandez, a Philadelphia-based violinist with broad experience in free-improvising and psychedelic-folk circles. At 10 p.m., the Stone, Avenue C and Second Street, East Village , thestonenyc.com; cover, $10. (Chinen)

MAT MANERI QUARTET (Tuesday) Mr. Maneri, a violist with an elastic approach to pulse and pitch, leads a well-suited band with Jacob Sacks on piano, Garth Stevenson on bass and Randy Peterson on drums. At 7 p.m., Barbès, 376 Ninth Street, at Sixth Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn , (347) 422-0248, barbesbrooklyn.com; cover, $10. (Chinen)

NICOLE MITCHELL’S TRUTH OR DARE (Saturday) More than a serious and soulful flutist, Ms. Mitchell, from Chicago, organizes her music with a high degree of conceptual savvy. In this group, which probably has nothing to do with Madonna (though you never know), she works alongside the violinist Renée Baker and the drummer Shirazette Tinnin. At 8 p.m., the Stone, Avenue C and Second Street, East Village , thestonenyc.com; cover, $10. (Chinen)

JESSICA PAVONE’S ARMY OF STRANGERS (Tuesday) Ms. Pavone, a violist and violinist with an increasingly prominent profile in avant-garde circles, works here with musicians a good deal more acquainted than her project’s name would suggest: Brandon Seabrook on guitar, Jonti Siman on bass and Harris Eisenstadt on drums. At 8 p.m., the Stone, Avenue C and Second Street, East Village , thestonenyc.com; cover, $10.

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AMN Picks of the Week

Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.

Trayer – One Over Zero (2009)
Jason Stein’s Locksmith Isidore – Three Less Than Between (2009)
Nublu Orchestra conducted by Butch Morris – Live at Jazz Festival Saalfelden (2009)
K-Space – Going Up (2005)
Zao – Ethnic 3 Live (2008)
Yard – DDS (2009)
Neo – Water Resistance (2009)

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Claudia Quintet to play First Night

From the Boston Globe, the Claudia Quintet will play Boston’s First Night fest this week.

NEW YORK – When percussionist and composer John Hollenbeck, an eclectically minded veteran of the New York scene with a portfolio ranging from big band and klezmer to avant-garde “new music,’’ set out to form his own group, he didn’t necessarily expect to make something as unusual – nor as durable – as the Claudia Quintet.

Now nine years old and about to release its fourth CD, the quintet features a distinctive front line of clarinet, vibraphone, and accordion. Its distinctive sound and Hollenbeck’s ambitious yet accessible compositions have earned critical acclaim and fueled the emergence of Hollenbeck, 41, as a prominent composer, a Guggenheim fellowship recipient who is frequently solicited for adventurous new commissions.

JOHN HOLLENBECK’S CLAUDIA QUINTET
At: First Church in Boston, Thursday, sets at 9 p.m. and 10:15 p.m.
Information and First Night buttons at http://www.firstnight.org

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Jazz Listings from the New York Times

From NYTimes.com:

IM BERNE AND LOS TOTOPOS (Wednesday) Mr. Berne, an alto saxophonist and composer with a taste for coarsely layered frictions, presents a newly minted ensemble here, with Matt Mitchell on piano and electronics, Oscar Noriega on clarinets and Ches Smith on percussion. The band focuses not only on sharp and convoluted new music by Mr. Berne, but also on some rather obscure material written more than 30 years ago by his former mentor, the saxophonist and composer Julius Hemphill. At 8 p.m., Barbès, 376 Ninth Street, at Sixth Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn , (347) 422-0248, barbesbrooklyn.com; cover, $10. (Chinen)

GERALD CLEAVER (Saturday) Dealing less in rhythm than in pulse, Mr. Cleaver’s drumming perfectly suits the fluid requirements of jazz’s post-everything avant-garde. Here he leads Violet Hour, which features a front line with two tenor saxophonists (Wayne Escoffery and Andrew Bishop) and a smart rhythm section (the pianist Ben Waltzer, the bassist Chris Lightcap). At 9 and 10:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street, West Village , (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com; cover, $10, with a one-drink minimum. (Chinen)

GARAGE À TROIS (Saturday) This ruggedly groove-oriented collective — Skerik on saxophones, Mike Dillon on vibes, Marco Benevento on keyboards and Stanton Moore on drums — rolls through town while touring behind a new album, “Power Patriot,” on the Brooklyn indie label Royal Potato Family. At 9 p.m., Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey Street, near the Bowery, Lower East Side , (212) 533-2111, boweryballroom.com; $20. (Chinen)

KONCEPTIONS AT KORZO (Tuesday) In the first set of this weekly series, at 9:30 p.m., the saxophonist John O’Gallagher draws partly from his adventurous new trio release, “Dirty Hands” (Clean Feed). A later set, at 11, will feature a trio led by the hyper-literate guitarist Ben Monder. At Korzo Restaurant, 667 Fifth Avenue, near 20th Street, Park Slope, Brooklyn , (718) 285-9425, korzorestaurant.com; cover, $7. (Chinen)

TONY MALABY QUARTET (Friday and Saturday) Tony Malaby, a tenor saxophonist equally capable of focused tension and wild abandon, enlists experienced partners in this quartet: the trumpeter Ralph Alessi, the bassist Drew Gress and the drummer Billy Drummond. At 9 and 10:30 p.m., Jazz Gallery, 290 Hudson Street, at Spring Street, South Village , (212) 242-1063, jazzgallery.org; cover, $15; $10 for members. (Chinen)

POSITIVE CATASTROPHE TRIO (Monday) Positive Catastrophe is a 10-piece band, jointly led by the cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum and the percussionist Abraham Gomez-Delgado, that pursues a blend of Afro-Cuban rhythm and freewheeling improvisation. Here the group is radically pared down to three pieces: the two leaders, along with Reut Regev on trombone. At 7 p.m., Barbès, 376 Ninth Street, at Sixth Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn , (347) 422-0248, barbesbrooklyn.com; cover, $10. (Chinen)

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How I became a fan of George Crumb

From the Times Online, reviews of recent Crumb performances.

The American composer George Crumb, who has just turned 80, is a pioneering spirit in the native tradition of Ives, Cowell and Cage, a figure with his roots in band music, gospel music and early jazz, but one who grafted himself onto the European avant-garde and gained much international réclame in the 1960s. Some of his works are contemporary classics — Ancient Voices of Children, for voices and ensemble; Black Angels, for electric string quartet — but in recent decades he has been a less potent presence, and performances of his music in this country are rare.

The BBC Symphony Orchestra’s adopting him for one of its Total Immersion days of concerts, talks and films at the Barbican was a welcome chance to consider his achievement afresh.

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