Coming up at Ars Nova Workshop

From Philly’s Ars Nova Workshop:

Saturday, October 3, 8pm
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, trumpet; Stomu Takeishi, bass; and Ted Poor, drums

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
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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In Conversation with Matana Roberts

The ISSUE Project Room interviews Ms. Roberts.

Matana, a 2006 Van Lier fellow, Brecht Forum fellow, and 2008 and 2009 Alpert Award in the Arts nominee, has appeared as a collaborator on recordings and performances in the U.S., Europe, and Canada with her own ensembles as well as with the collaborative jazz trio Sticks and Stones, Black Rock Coalition founder Greg Tate’s Burnt Sugar, Reg E Gaines and Savion Glover’s homage project to the late John Coltrane, the Oliver Lake Big Band, the Julius Hemphill Sextet, and the Merce Cunningham dance company. She recently released a homage project to her hometown, entitled “The Chicago Project,” on Barry Adamson’s Central Control International, produced by pianist extraordinaire Vijay Iyer, featuring friends and supporters of her Chicago development. She has also recorded as a side person on recordings with such iconic bands as Godspeed You Black Emperor, TV on the Radio, Guillermo Scott Herren’s Savath and Savalas, Silver Mt Zion, and sound artist Daniel Given’s Day Clear/Day dark. Matana is a member of the AACM– Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians and the BRC– Black Rock Coalition.

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Jazz Listings from the New York Times

In the Times:

REZ ABBASI GROUP (Thursday) “Things to Come” (Sunnyside) is the strong new statement from Rez Abbasi, a Pakistani-American guitarist with a taste for fluid introspection and slippery fusions. Here he reassembles the album’s superb cast: the alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, the pianist Vijay Iyer, the bassist Johannes Weidenmueller, the drummer Dan Weiss and the vocalist Kiran Ahluwalia. At 9 and 10:30 p.m., Jazz Gallery, 290 Hudson Street, at Spring Street, South Village , (212) 242-1063,; $15 for the first set, $10 for members; $10 for the second set, $5 for members. (Nate Chinen)20090910

CLAUDIA QUINTET (Sunday) This improvising chamber ensemble pursues texturally oriented and often contrapuntal exploration; John Hollenbeck’s drumming is one color on a palette that also includes Chris Speed’s clarinet and tenor saxophone, Ted Reichman’s accordion, Drew Gress’s bass and Matt Moran’s vibraphone. For this performance, the group becomes a sextet with the addition of Gary Versace on piano. At 9 and 10:30 p.m., Jazz Gallery, 290 Hudson Street, at Spring Street, South Village , (212) 242-1063,; $15, $10 for members. (Chinen)20090910

? CLEAN FEED FEST (Wednesday and Thursday) Named after a record label based in Lisbon, this festival celebrates the exploratory side of modern jazz. Among the highlights during the event’s first leg: the drummer Harris Eisenstadt, leading the same band as on his fine album “Canada Day,” due out next month (Wednesday at 9:30 p.m.); and the cellist Daniel Levin, with the quartet featured on his new release, “Live at Roulette” (Thursday at 9:30). (Through Sept. 20.) Cornelia Connelly Center, 220A East Fourth Street, East Village ,; $15. (Chinen)20090910

STEPHAN CRUMP’S ROSETTA TRIO (Saturday) An intriguing string-based ensemble, featuring the compositions and bass playing of Mr. Crump and the guitar work of both Liberty Ellman (acoustic) and Jamie Fox (electric). At 9 and 10:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street, West Village , (212) 989-9319,; cover, $12, with a one-drink minimum. (Chinen)20090910

FUTURE QUEST (Friday) The subtitle of this performance, “Reimagining the Music of Meredith Monk,” partly explains what the quest in the title is about. Ms. Monk has long been a fearlessly multidisciplinary artist, and here she serves as a muse for two of her longtime ensemble members, the vocalist Theo Bleckmann and the percussionist John Hollenbeck. Also on board, in what promises to be a unique proposition: the saxophonists Ellery Eskelin and Tony Malaby, and the pianist Gary Versace. At 9 and 10:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street, West Village , (212) 989-9319,; cover, $10, with a one-drink minimum. (Chinen)20090910

HENRY GRIMES (Saturday) Mr. Grimes, a bassist and long-lost titan of the avant-garde, performs a benefit concert for Harlem Textile Works alongside such fearless improvisers as the drummer Michael Wimberly and the multireedist Andrew Lamb. At 7 and 9 p.m., Black Box Theater, 308 West 133rd Street, Harlem ,; $15, $7.50 for students. (Chinen)20090910

JOHN HÉBERT QUARTET (Wednesday) “Byzantine Monkey” (Firehouse 12) is the engrossing debut from John Hébert, a bassist of deep intuition and extensive experience as a sideman. He draws partly from the album here, in a one-night stand featuring the trumpeter Ralph Alessi, the alto saxophonist Tim Berne and the drummer Satoshi Takeishi. At 8 p.m., Barbès, 376 Ninth Street, at Sixth Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn , (347) 422-0248,; $10. (Chinen)20090910

INTERPRETATIONS: ADAM RUDOLPH/YUSEF LATEEF (Thursday) Mr. Lateef, 88, a legendarily open-minded multireedist, and Mr. Rudolph, 53, a horizon-scanning percussionist, have been collaborative partners on and off for the last 20 years, with shared investment in the idea of a musical universalism. Here they each present new works, though Mr. Lateef won’t be playing an instrument; in addition to composing much of the music, he reads his own poetry. At 8:30 p.m., Roulette, 20 Greene Street, at Grand Street, SoHo , (212) 219-8242,; $15; $10 for students and under 30; free for Roulette members. (Chinen)20090910

? NEW LANGUAGES FESTIVAL (Thursday) Now in its fifth year, this musician-run festival draws a range of left-of-center musicians under its umbrella, including an admirable assembly here: the Respect Sextet, a dynamic collective (at 8:30 p.m.); House of Mirrors, an improvising quartet (at 10); and Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, a precision-honed big band (at 11:30). (Through Sept. 26.) McCarren Hall, 98 Bayard Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn ,; $10. (Chinen)20090910

RED HOOK JAZZ FESTIVAL (Sunday) This low-key open-air festival, not far from the docks in Brooklyn, features a handful of indie-minded ensembles, led by venturesome improvisers like the saxophonist Ras Moshe and the trombonist Steve Swell. From 2 to 5:30 p.m., Cabrini Green Urban Meadow, at the corner of President and Van Brunt Streets, Red Hook, Brooklyn ,; donations accepted. (Chinen)20090910

SEX MOB (Friday) The members of this downtown institution have lately been engaged in various other pursuits, but their sound is as raucous, and their rapport as rambunctious, as ever. Steven Bernstein plays slide trumpet and leads the charge, though equal weight is pulled by Briggan Krauss on alto saxophone, Tony Scherr on bass and guitar, and Kenny Wollesen on drums. At 10 p.m., 55 Bar, 55 Christopher Street, West Village , (212) 929-9883,; cover, $10. (Chinen)

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Releases Reviews

Tyshawn Sorey’s New Album Featured and Previewed

From Destination Out:

We’re pleased to continue previews of extraordinary upcoming albums with several tracks from Tyshawn Sorey’s Koan, which will be released in September on 482 Music.

Tyshawn Sorey is best known as an extraordinary drummer, having performed with Muhal Richard Abrams, Mark Helias, Butch Morris, Steve Lehman, Dave Douglas, Steve Coleman, Wadada Leo Smith, and many others. The New York Times recently dubbed him one of “five drummers whose time is now.” But Sorey’s composition skills are equally formidable, evidenced on his work in Fieldwork (a collaborative project with Steve Lehman and Vijay Iyer) and his solo debut That/Not.

He’s taken a new turn on Koan – de-emphasizing drums, spotlighting guitars, and embracing an almost minimalist aesthetic. The tunes are hauntingly spare, radiating a gentle beauty where each gesture carries maximum weight. You can get a sense of the album’s range from the brief solo guitar piece “Only One Sky” and the open improvisational environment of “Correct Truth.”

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The boundless sonic creativity of Okkyung Lee

From the Chicago Reader:

Okkyung Lee, who plays Sunday night at the Pritzker Pavilion in Min Xiao-Fen’s Asian Trio, is one of the most beguiling young figures in New York’s creative-music community. The Korean cellist—she came to the U.S. in 1993, at age 18—moves effortlessly between different worlds without changing her sound in any significant way. She plays in pianist Vijay Iyer’s multimedia project Still Life With Commentator as well as Laurie Anderson’s art-pop ensemble, but on her own she’s concerned mostly with improvisation.

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Ten Questions with Tyshawn Sorey

From Glowing Realm:

Tyshawn Sorey is a NY based composer and drummer. He first came to my attention as the drummer in pianist Vijay Iyer’s Quartet on the “Blood Sutra” album. He still plays with Iyer in the trio Fieldwork, with Steve Lehman rounding out the trio on sax. When Sorey’s debut as a leader came out on Firehouse 12 Records, I kind of freaked out about it here. It was so unlike anything I expected after hearing him in other contexts, and pretty much blew me away.

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Vijay Iyer Interview

Vijay Iyer
Image via Wikipedia

Pi Recordings interviews pianist Vijay Iyer

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Performances Releases

Vijay Iyer News

Vijay Iyer
Image via Wikipedia

The latest from Vijay Iyer:

JazzMix Festival presents Fieldwork
Nov 24 at Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St., NYC, 7:30pm

The collective trio FIELDWORK (Vijay Iyer, piano/compositions; Steve Lehman, alto saxophone/compositions; Tyshawn Sorey, drums/compositions) makes its first NYC appearance since June, as part of the ongoing JazzMix Festival. The performance is at the new-ish, large-ish venue Le Poisson Rouge, a lovely spot in the former home of the legendary Village Gate (158 Bleecker btwn Thompson & Sullivan, NYC; ONE SET ONLY at 7:30pm sharp). The concert will be filmed for broadcast by the European music television channel, MEZZO. We’ll be playing material from our CD Door, released last spring on Pi Recordings. Come join us and get on TV!

* I was interviewed by Ted Panken for about my favorite Andrew Hill recordings:

* Paper magazine asked me what books I’m reading:

* Time Out New York asked Talib Kweli, Santogold, Danny Hoch, Judith Jamison, myself, and several others some vague questions about diversity, or lack thereof (in response to this issue and its aftereffects).

* We recently recorded two discs: one with Tirtha [see ], and another featuring the new quintet and the ongoing trio. Watch for both releases in 2009.

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AAJ Reviews

Rudresh MahanthappaImage via Wikipedia From AAJ:

Rudresh Mahanthappa
Kinsmen (Pi Recordings)
Reviewed by J Hunter

16-Sep-08 Dave Holland
Pass It On (Dare2 Records)
Reviewed by Mark Corroto

16-Sep-08 Chris Speed / Chris Cheek / Stephane Furic Leibovici
Jugendstil (ESP Disk)
Reviewed by Raul d’Gama Rose

16-Sep-08 KotKot
Alive at Tonic (AWDR LR2)
Reviewed by Sean Patrick Fitzell

15-Sep-08 Lou Reed/Laurie Anderson/John Zorn
The Stone: Issue Three (Tzadik)
Reviewed by George Kanzler

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