Fri, 27 June 2014
Thirty years has now passed since a group of young jazz musicians were tagged with the title “The Young Lions”, and released a series of albums and performances that helped change the direction and flow of jazz. Mark Whitfield would have to be near the top of the Second Wave of Young Lions, along with Christian McBride, Carl Allen, Tim Warfield, Benny Green, Marlon Jordan and Roy Hargrove, all of whom appeared with him as The Jazz Futures in a live Newport Jazz Festival recording in 1993.
Whitfield had graduated from Boston's prestigious Berklee College in the Spring of 1987, having studied composition and arranging as well as all styles of guitar performance. Upon graduation, he returned to his native New York to embark on a career as a jazz guitarist that afforded him the opportunity to collaborate with the legendary artists that first inspired him, including Hammond B-3 masters Brother Jack McDuff and Jimmy Smith; Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Clark Terry, Herbie Hancock, Stanley Turrentine and his greatest teacher and mentor, George Benson.
Along the way, the New York Times dubbed Whitfield "The Best Young Guitarist in the Business" and in September of 1990 Warner Bros. released his solo debut, The Marksman. The success of this release has led to a recording career that has produced 14 solo projects to date and a myriad of collaborative efforts with a kaleidoscope of different artists in recent years; Sting, D'Angelo, Mary J. Blige, Chaka Khan, John Mayer, Jill Scott, Roy Hargrove, Diana Krall, Lauryn Hill, and Chris Botti.
In September of 2005, Mark Whitfield accepted the invitation to join the faculty at his alma mater. His recordings have been sporadic since then, having not released a CD since his CD tribute album Songs of Wonder. However, recent appearances onstage with the Dave Matthews Band have shown that he has not missed a lick in that time.
So it wasn’t a surprise when Whitfield was tabbed for the guitar chair in the Newport Now60 Band, touring through the Festival circuit this summer. Led by clarinetist and saxophonist Anat Cohen, the ensemble features vocalist Karrin Allyson; five-time Grammy- winning trumpet wizard, Randy Brecker; guitarist Whitfield; and pianist Peter Martin; with Clarence Penn on drums and Larry Grenadier on bass. The Rochester, Montreal, Ottawa and Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival all have them on their lineups for late June gigs, and (of course) the Newport Jazz Festival has them on tap for August.
Podcast 435 is my conversation with Mark, as he talks about the Now60 Band, his upcoming projects, and his great joy to be working with his son, Mark Whitfield, Jr., an up-and-coming jazz drummer. Musical selections from the Whitfield catalog are featured, including "Little Digi's Strut" from The Marksman, and two tracks from Patrice - the solo "We'll Be Together Again" and a funky tribute to his former boss, "Brother Jack".
Direct download: Podcast_435_-_A_Conversation_with_Mark_Whitfield.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 10:40am EDT
Thu, 26 June 2014
Legendary drummer, Ginger Baker, renowned for his work with Cream and Blind Faith was once voted at "The musician least likely to survive the '60s." But now, four decades and a few years later, he has proved them all wrong and he is heading to the United States for a June 2014 jazz fusion tour and a new CD titled Why? due June 24 on Motema Music.
Teaming up with funk and jazz giant tenor saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis--the architect of James Brown's era-defining soul of the late '60s and Van Morrison’s musical director for years; bassist Alec Dankworth; and African percussionist Abass Dodoo, the band is known as Ginger Baker’s Jazz Confusion. Together they play hip, progressive jazz originals in-a-Thelonious-Monk-style but with exciting African rhythms. After a brief series of stops in the US, including B.B. King’s in New York City June 24-25 and the Wilbur Theater in Boston June 29, they will appear at the Montreal Jazz Festival on June 30.
Baker has shunned the title of “Rock Drummer” for years, pointing out that the improvisational nature of his work with bands like Cream and Blind Faith owed far more to jazz than rock. When the latter group broke up after only one album, several members went on to form a jazz rock fusion band known as ‘Ginger Baker’s Airforce,’ adding sax, flute, organ and extra percussion to the band.
After leaving Brown, he worked as an arranger and musical director for CTI Records' Kudu label, collaborating with artists like George Benson, Hank Crawford and Esther Phillips. In the late 1970s he moved to San Francisco and formed a band with former Miles Davis sideman David Liebman. He also led the JB Horns with Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker. This man oozes funk from every pore.
I spoke with Pee Wee from London, and our conversation – which is difficult to hear sometimes, but please bear with us – is Podcast 434. Musical selections “Aiko Byae”, “St. Thomas” and “Footsteps” from Why? are included, as well as a Jaco version of “The Chicken”.
Ginger Baker’s Jazz Confusion will perform at Boston's Wilbur Theatre, 246 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116 on Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 7 PM. Tickets at $55, $45 and $25 are on sale now at www.ticketmaster.com. For more information go to www.thewilbur.com.
Direct download: Podcast_434_-_A_Conversation_with_Pee_Wee_Ellis.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 9:00am EDT
Wed, 25 June 2014
The 37th annual Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival, one of the most celebrated and longest running jazz events in the world will be held on Saturday, June 28 and Sunday, June 29 at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. This year's festival headliners include Earth, Wind & Fire, Trombone Shorty, Terence Blanchard, Dave Holland Prism, Patti Austin, Jon Batiste & Stay Human, Eddie Palmieri Salsa Orchestra, Dr. Lonnie Smith, and Newport Jazz Festival®: Now 60, among others. Tickets for the festival will be available online beginning February 25 for Saratoga Performing Arts Center's highest level members and March 18 for the general public. Tickets and information are available at www.spac.org.
Located in Saratoga Springs, New York at the bucolic Saratoga Performing Arts Center, the festival was founded in 1978 by jazz impresario George Wein and has hosted a who's who of jazz greats over the years including Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, B.B. King, Wayne Shorter and Ray Charles. With an inside seating capacity of 5,200, lawn seating of 20,000, world class jazz talent performing on two stages, and an idyllic state park setting located just three hours driving time from either Boston or New York City, the festival draws thousands of fans from across the Northeast and throughout North America.
One of the great joys – and ultimately dilemmas – of the Festival is the high quality of acts on two stages; the inside shed Main Stage and outdoor Gazebo Stage. While the household names play on the Main Stage, the up-and-coming or lesser known acts are on the latter, and they include some of my favorites, including the Marc Cary Focus Trio, Jaimeo Brown, Mary Halvorson Trio, Sean Jones Quartet, Warren Wolf & Wolfpack, and Tim Berne's Snakeoil, all of whom are making their festival debuts. The stage will also feature returning saxophonist Lew Tabackin with his trio.
While two-days and two-stages of live, world class jazz is the centerpiece of the weekend, fans can also enjoy a host of amenities including a fine arts and crafts fair, CD signings by artists, a full-service bar in the Hall of Springs, southern style barbeque and other food vendors, all presented by Stella Artois. Guests are welcome to bring in their own food and beverages, as well as blankets, tents and lawn umbrellas. Parking for the event is free.
As he has for the past few years, Danny Melnick, President of Absolutely Live Entertainment, which co-produces the festival with SPAC, joins us for a podcast preview of the weekend. Podcast 433 features our conversation about the festival, including musical selections from some of the performers, including:
Ronnie Earl & the Broadcasters - "My Buddy Buddy Friends" from Now My Soul.
Terence Blanchard - "Comet" from Magnetic.
Earth, Wind & Fire - "Got to Get You Into My Life" from The Essential Earth, Wind & Fire.
Marc Carey Focus Trio - "Indigenous" from Four Directions.
Trombone Shorty - "Vieux Carre" from Say That to Say This.
Direct download: Podcast_433_-_Previewing_Freihofers_Saratoga_Jazz_Festival_with_Danny_Melnick.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 10:00am EDT
Sat, 21 June 2014
By the time you've read this posting, the Summer Solstice will have occurred. For those scientifically inclined, that's the moment when the sun's apparent position on the celestial sphere reaches its greatest distance above or below the celestial equator, about 23 1/2° of arc. At the time of summer solstice, the sun is directly overhead at noon at the Tropic of Cancer. Or, you can simply say it's the first day of summer.
So let's celebrate this day with the appropriately titled song "Summer Solstice", the title track from saxophonist Azar Lawrence. Lawrence has been unjustly ignored in recent years, given his strong background. Beginning at the age of 19, he has been supporting acts as diverse as Woody Shaw (he played on "The Moontrane"), War, Earth,Wind & Fire and Ike & Tina Turner. He played sax for Elvin Jones for two years, and was part of McCoy Tyner's band for another five years.
His most notable recording as a sideman came when he was chosen by Miles Davis to perform with his band at Carnegie Hall, concerts that would eventually be released on album as Dark Magus.As a leader, Lawrence has released six albums, most notably his 2010 release Mystic Journey. Lawrence and his quartet will concentrate on that material when he performs on the closing evening of the Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz July 20, 2009.
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT
Thu, 19 June 2014
The passing of Horace Silver yesterday at the age of 85 takes me back to the beginning of my real jazz education in the early 1970’s.
My Dad, Bert Siegel, was a jazz fan and persistent record collector. Some of my earliest memories involve hearing the music he played on the Hi-Fi. He played double bass and accordion as a teenager and college student, and was a huge fan of West Coast Cool Jazz, and “The Chairman of the Board”, Frank Sinatra. Although his bass stood in the living room as a decorative touch rather than a musical instrument, he stayed a jazz fan. .I may have heard “Take Five” before I heard “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.”
To me, Jazz was serious stuff, which is probably why I didn’t really pay that much attention to jazz when I started listening to rock music as a teenager. Where my Dad and my tastes started to come together, and where I had my first “a-ha” moment regarding jazz came when I played my new copy of Pretzel Logic by a band with which I wasn’t really familiar called Steely Dan. My friend Paul swore by them, and he had been right about Todd Rundgren’s Something/Anything so I picked it up.
The first track began with some kind of burbling percussion, and then slid into what I would later learn was a pretty direct cop of the bass line from Horace Silver’s “Song for My Father.” That 1965 tune was a classic of hard bop, with a bossa nova beat and trumpet-sax harmonies, a hallmark of the Blue Note label.
I’m not sure if it was that bossa nova sound – Stan Getz was Dad’s main man – or the familiarity of the bass riff, but my Dad was definitely intrigued by Steely Dan. From that day forward, I could always play their albums in the car. “He’s pretty good, that Steely Dan. He swings,” Dad was known to say. I never had the heart to tell him that it was a “they”, not a “he”. If he caught the X-rated Williams S. Burroughs reference in the band’s name, he never let on.
Checking out the liner notes and lyrics on the sleeve of “Pretzel Logic” I quickly figured out that these guys were into something more serious than your average rock and roll. Not only were there the stolen Silver beats on “Rikki, Don’t Lose that Number”, but they name-checked Charlie “Bird” Parker tunes on “Parker’s Band”:
You'll be riding by, bareback on your armadillo
You'll be grooving high or relaxing at Camarillo
There was also a wah-wah filled cover of Duke Ellington’s “East St. Louis Toodle-Oo” that closed the first side of the record. Pretty heady stuff for a 14 year old to digest. I checked out Horace Silver, Parker and Ellington right away, and have never left that road.
The point of this story is that Horace Silver’s music was so deceptively easy to love, so seductive, slinky, rhythmic and melodic, that his music could win over the heart of a 14 year old rock & roll fan. As a result, his music remains near and dear to my heart. I will miss “the Hard-Bop Grand Pop” was much, but will be able to turn to his music forever.
Category:general -- posted at: 8:18am EDT
Tue, 17 June 2014
"If someone had ordered up a program that explored four distinct areas of jazz expression with equal brilliance, they could not have done better than Empyrean Isles. It is as if Hancock had set out to present 'changes,' modal, funk and free playing and delivered each at its apex." - Bob Blumenthal.
Herbie Hancock had already released three albums as a leader when he entered Van Gelder Studios in New Jersey fifty years ago today. At the age of 24, he ws riding high - his debut album had spawned the hit "Watermelon Man", and he was anchoring what would become Miles Davis' Second Great Quintet. In fact, fellow band mates Tony Williams (drums) and Ron Carter (bass) joined him on the sessions, along with Blue Note regular and friend Freddie Hubbard.
Hancock brough with him that day two tunes that would become synonymous with his pre-electric output - "One Finger Snap" and "Canteloupe Island". Both are classics in every sense of the word, and have become part of the jazz standards repetoire. Two other songs - "Oliloqui Valley" and the lengthy "The Egg" were recorded and completed the sessions.
By the time the album was released later in the year, Hancock was deep into writing and arranging material that would appear in 1965 on his greatest acoustic album, Maiden Voyage. The Davis Quintet would formally add Wayne Shorter at saxophone in Autumn 1964, and begin work on E.S.P. in January 1965.
Mon, 16 June 2014
The musical relationship between Keith Jarrett and Charlie Haden now spans almost five decades. Haden was part of the trio Jarrett put together with drummer Paul Motian in 1967 for his recording debut as a leader, Life Between the Exit Signs. Haden became a constant collaborator throughout the 70’s, anchoring the American Quartet (Jarrett, Haden, Motian and Dewey Redman), which released an astonishing 13 records of significantly exploratory jazz between 1971 and 1977 for the Impulse! label. These included some of my favorite recordings of the day, most notably their final release, Bop-Be.
The 2010 release of Jasmine on ECM, which was recorded in Jarrett’s home studio in 2007, reunited the pair, and the results were so sublime that it seemed inevitable that Manfred Eicher would get the pair to work together again soon. Last Dance is the result, and it stands as a testament to the collaborative might of two of our finest musicians.
Jarrett or Haden circa 1974 might have been shocked that their 40 years older selves were doing an album of standards, but they might have been pleased as well. Whether it is the extreme lyricism ofJarrett on “It Might as Well Be Spring” or the wonderfully ominous bass that Haden brings to “’Round Midnight”, Last Dance is full of the touches of these master interpreters. The upbeat “Dance of the Infidels” is a terrific example of the old friends not only doing a great reinterpretation of the Bud Powell standard, but of clearly having fun doing it. Listen for Haden’s tempo changing solo, that leads into another deft Jarrett run, then back to the neat riff of the melody.
Last Dance? Say it ain’t so.
Category:general -- posted at: 4:07pm EDT
Mon, 16 June 2014
From June 26 to July 6, jazz unveils all of its splendour in the venues of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, presented by TD in collaboration with Rio Tinto Alcan The 35th edition of the festival will be featuring the greatest artists from around the world, breathing new life into the music in its purest form or its many related musical genres, from blues to folk to hip-hop. With all of the free outside and ticketed inside events, it would be a fool’s errand to try to give you the kind of profile I normally present. Instead, here’s a venue by venue look at what is happening during the span of June 26 to July 6, with my choices of highlights and “best bets”:
Événements spéciaux TD series, 7:30 p.m., Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PdA – Not a lot of jazz here (Emmylou Harris?) but there is a lineup of heavyweights to cross off your conert bucket list – Earth, Wind & Fire (6/20); Tony Bennett (7/1); Aretha Franklin (7/2); Diana Ross (7/3-4); and B.B. King (with Gary Clark Jr )(7/5). Best Bet: Pink Martini’s “multicultural, polyglot sound” (6/30 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.) with a repertoire boosted by very special guests, The von Trapps (yup, them).
Grands concerts Rio Tinto Alcan series, 8 p.m., Théâtre Maisonneuve - Let’s hear it for the women! Cassandra Wilson (6/26) celebrates the 20th anniversary of her immortal album Blue Light 'Til Dawn; Dianne Reeves, (6/27); Stacey Kent (6/28) and Afro-Spanish singer Buika and her trio make their festival debut (6/29) here. Best Bets: a superlative double bill on 7/3 - the Terence Blanchard Quintet, joined for a second set by the Orchestre national de jazz de Montréal; and the first visit for legendary British drummer Ginger Baker (June 30), heading his quartet Jazz Confusion with Pee Wee Ellis, Alec Dankworth and Abass Dodoo, featuring top-flight high-energy jazz that dances with African rhythms.
Le Festival à la Maison symphonique series, 7 p.m., Maison symphonique de Montréal. The festival opens June 26-27with a concert to mark the 35th birthday of the Festival, the 80th season of the symphony and the 90th anniversary of Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin, the first work to break jazz into the world's premiere concert halls. Elvis Costello, Bobby McFerrin and the Glen Miller Big Band will also grace the stage. Best Bets: Two of my favorite pianists in solo concerts – Keith Jarrett (6/28) and Brad Mehldau (7/1)
Rythmes series, 8:30 p.m., Métropolis. The ultimate festival rock and soul potpourri – shows by the likes of Trombone Shorty; Burning Spear with Sly & Robbie; Zappa Plays Zappa and St.Vincent. Best Bet: the endless energy of Angélique Kidjo on June 26.
Couleurs SAQ series, 7 p.m., Club Soda. Mostly blues, from the likes of Beth Hart, Guy Davis, Corey Harris and Alvin Youngblood Hart. Blue Note singer José James will be premiering his new CD on June 30th. Best Bet: Rising young guitar star Omar "Bombino" Moctar, a Touareg from northern Niger, on July 1st.
Nuits Heineken series, 11 p.m., Club Soda. The venue shifts gears from Blues to R&B bringing the likes of Cody ChesnuTT (6/28) and Will Holland, alias Quantic (6/29). Best Bet: young avant-garde jazz group Badbadnotgood (7/5) with covers of contemporary hip-hop hits.
Jazz Beat Hyatt Regency Montréal series, 9:30 p.m., Théâtre Jean-Duceppe, PdA. Now we’re talking jazz – The Newport Jazz Festival “Now 60” Band with Randy Brecker, Anat Cohen, Larry Grenadier, Karrin Allyson, Mark Whitfield, Clarence Penn and Peter Martin (6/26); . guitarist Mike Stern (6/37) with the Bill Evans Band featuring Tom Kennedy and Steve Smith; members of Wayne Shorter's peerless quartet (6/28) as a trio with Danilo Pérez, Brian Blade & John Patitucci ; the Jack DeJohnette Trio with Ravi Coltrane and Matt Garrison and their tribute to the immortal John Coltrane (6/29) and one of the leading outfits in Scandinavian jazz, the Tord Gustavsen Quartet (6/30). The Kenny Garrett Quintet,(7/1); a duo formed by Randy Weston & Billy Harper (7/2); Freddy Cole (7/4); Joe Lovano and US5 (7/5) and a kaleidoscopic musical reverie with Tom Harrell, Colors of a dream with Esperanza Spalding, Jaleel Shaw, Johnathan Blake, Ugonna Okegwo and Wayne Escoffery (7/ 6), finish the run of shows. Best Bets: read the paragraph again and take your choice!
Culte ! series, 7 p.m., Cinquième Salle, PdA . Perhaps the most unique program of the festival will be For the Record: Tarantino in Concert, an electrifying spectacle somewhere between film, music and theatre (June 25 to 30, 7 p.m. and June 28 and 29 at 2 p.m.): performed by a team of 28 dancers, musicians and stage performers delivering a musical version of cult-fave scenes by the film and soundtrack master, from Reservoir Dogs to Django Unchained.
Invitation TD series, 6 p.m., Gesù - Centre de créativité. Two artists - bluesman Harry Manx and trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire each get three nights to host artists of their choosing. Manx chose Charlie Hunter (6/26), Kevin Breit (6/27) and Dave Lindley (6/28); Akinmusire invited Bill Frisell (6/30), and pianists Tigran (7/1)and Brad Mehldau (7/2).
TD Jazz d'ici La Presse+ series, 6 p.m., L'Astral. Regional talent is featured here, highlighted by the Ranee Lee Quintet with a string quartet and special guests (6/26); Jean-Pierre Zanella Quartet with guitarist Mike Moreno (7/4), and trumpeter and bandleader Ron Di Lauro and Kind of Blue, a lovely tribute to the legendary Miles Davis album (7/6).
Le Club series, 9 p.m., L'Astral. Cécile McLorin Salvant opens this series (June 26 and 27), which will include shows from pianist Baptiste Trotignon and saxophonist Mark Turner (6/29), Mehliana, the electronica duo of pianist Brad Mehldau and drummer Mark Guiliana (7/1) and the first headline gig of bassistt Charnett Moffett (7/3) presenting his recent solo album, The Bridge. Best Bet: rising star pianist Kris Bowers (7/4).
Jazz dans la nuit series, 10:30 p.m., Gesù - Centre de créativité. Powerhouses like Roy Hargrove (6/26); Rudresh Mahanthappa and Gamak (6/27); the trio of Marc Copland, Gary Peacock and Joey Baron (6/28); the Lonnie Smith Octet (6/30); Christian McBride Trio (7/1) and Jamaican pianist Monty Alexander and his Harlem-Kingston Express (7/2). Best Bets: violinist Regina Carter’s Southern Comfort (7/5) and Canadian saxophonist and composer Christine Jensen and her Jazz Orchestra (7/6).
Musique au MAC series, 8 p.m., Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal. A world-wide series at this venue, highlighted by iconoclastic Québec collective L'orchestre d'hommes-orchestres (6/27 to 7/1) with Cabaret Brise-Jour - The Music of Kurt Weill.
Concerts intimes series, 7 p.m., Savoy du Métropolis. Highlight here seems to be the three jazz-loving California horn/reed players of Moonchild (7/3-4), with their new album, Please Rewind, somewhere between jazz and neo-soul.
Les Soirées jazz Upstairs presented at 7 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. in Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill (1254 MacKay St.), with talent like the Heath Brothers (June 26 and 27), the Fred Hersch Trio (June 28 and 29), Sheila Jordan & The Hanky Panky Trio (June 30), the Bob Mover Quartet with Bob Cranshaw, Joe Cohn and Steve Williams (July 1), Ben Sidran & The Don't Cry For No Hipster Band and the Peter Bernstein Quartet with Jimmy Cobb, Harold Mabern and John Webber (July 5 and 6).
The Le Dièse Onze au Festival series will be presented every evening at 9:30 p.m. in Dièse Onze with a variety of local players, highlighted bythe Alex Côté Quintet and their Tribute to the Adderley Brothers (July 4).
The Festival closes out celebrations of its 35th edition on July 5th by marking the 80th birthday of one of its most loyal and longstanding friends: internationally renowned Montreal pianist Oliver Jones. The living jazz legend does up his 80th with a superb soirée in Théâtre Maisonneuve. with some of his musical friends: Lorraine Desmarais, Ranee Lee, Josée Aidans and Daniel Clarke Bouchard.
Sun, 15 June 2014
The Official Straight No Chaser Song of Father’s Day is, of course, Horace Silver’s “Song for My Father”. A hard bop classic, the original was released in 1965 and featured Silver on piano, Joe Henderson playing the unmistakable melody on sax, Carmell Jones doubling Henderson on trumpet, Teddy Smith on bass and Paul Humphries on drums. It’s got a Brazilian flavor to it, a Bossa Nova bounce that has become a well-deserved standard. The cover artwork pictured here features a photograph of Silver's father, John Tavares Silva, to whom the title song was dedicated
Lyrics were written to the tune, which is purely instrumental in this recording. I'd like to share them with you today to honor the memory of my father, Bert Siegel, who passed away a few years ago.
If there was ever a man
Thu, 12 June 2014
Bassist/Composer Michael Formanek will take up residency at The Cornelia Street Cafe for three nights, June 12-14, featuring three distinct and formidable ensembles:
Thursday, June 12, 8:30 & 10 PM - Michael Formanek's Elusion Trio featuring Kris Davis (See Podcast 419) (piano), Michael Formanek (bass) and Ches Smith (drums)
Friday, June 13th, 9 & 10:30 PM - The Michael Formanek Quartet Featuring Tim Berne (see Podcast 257) (alto Saxophone), Craig Taborn (see Podcast 345) (piano), Michael Formanek (bass) and Dan Weiss (drums). The Michael Formanek Quartet has, since 2010, received numerous accolades including consecutive Five Star reviews in DownBeat magazine for their ECM releases The Rub and Spare Change (2010) and Small Places (2012). The great drummer and composer, Dan Weiss will be joining the band for this special concert.
Saturday, June 14th, 9 & 10:30 PM - Michael Formanek's Resonator Sextet featuring Loren Stillman (alto & soprano saxophones), Andrew Bishop (tenor saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, flute), Kirk Knuffke (cornet), Angelica Sanchez (piano), Michael Formanek (bass), Tyshawn Sorey (drums). The Resonator Sextet is an expanded version of Resonator that premiered at the Cornelia Street Cafe in August of 2013. This assortment of amazing musical personalities should provide the basis for a truly unique and engaging evening of music.
Formanek has been truly busy as of late. He’s been receiving strong notices for his work in the three piece co-op band Thumbscrew with Brooklyn guitarist Mary Halvorson and drummer Tomas Fujiwara. Their eponymous debut CD earned 4 ½ stars in Downbeat .
I spoke with Michael as he was leaving for the airport to join his fellow Thumbscrew-ers in Europe for a series of dates. We talked about the freedom that a three day residence brings to a jazz artist, the strength of his various collaborators, especially his long-time friend and collaborator Tim Berne, and his next recording projects, including a big band date. Podcast 431 is our conversation, including musical selections from the Formanek catalog, including:
The Michael Formanek Quartet - “Inside the Box“ from The Rub and Spare Change
The Michael Formanek Quartet - “Pong“ from Small Places
Tim Berne - "Scanners" from Snake Oil.
Thumbscrew - "Falling Too Far" from Thumbscrew.
Direct download: Podcast_431_-_A_Conversation_with_Michael_Formanek.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 2:30pm EDT