Archive

Posts Tagged ‘pdx jazz’

Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin (PDX Jazz Fest)

26th Feb 11 (Sat) Leave a comment

Last night’s Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin show at the Alberta Rose Theatre as part of the 2011 Portland Jazz Festival last night was amazing… due to work and other commitments, I won’t be able to edit and post the photos until probably Monday or Tuesday.  UPDATE: the review is live now, sorry about the delay.

(more coming soon)

Check back sometime next week!

~Dan

Nik Bartsch’s Ronin @ PDX Jazz Fest (2/25)

22nd Feb 11 (Tue) Leave a comment

If you missed your chance to get tickets to see Grammy-winning ‘Best New Artist’ Esperanza Spalding on Friday, February 25th at the Portland Jazz Fest.  Well, you’re out of luck – unless you can win some or find a reasonable scalper.

My choice for PDX Jazz Fest’s Feb 25th offering was always Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin anyway!  That show is Friday, February 25th – 8:30pm, Alberta Rose Theater.

Nik Bärtsch is a Swiss pianist & composer.  His albums with his band Ronin are more on the rock/funk side of the jazz continuum, and on record, it is stunning.  I can’t wait to see him live.

Check out some Ronin sound samples on Amazon (click the album covers below):

And lucky for you, tickets are still available!!  Find out how to get tickets HERE.

~Dan – np: Nik Bärtsch’s RoninHolon

PDX Jazz Fest starts THIS WEEK

15th Feb 11 (Tue) Leave a comment

The Portland Jazz Festival (aka PDX Jazz Fest) kicks off this Friday, February 18th, 2011.  It boasts a great line-up of acts that brings attention to the theme Bridges & Boundaries – Jewish & African-American jazz playing together.  And now, it boasts new Grammy award winner – Esperanza Spalding!  Congrats!

PDX Jazz Fest 2011 – Headliners

  • Friday, February 18, 7:30pm, Winningstad Theater, Randy Weston
  • Saturday, February 19, 7:30pm, Winningstad Theater, Anat Fort
  • Sunday, February 20, 7:30pm, Winningstad Theater, Dave Frishberg
  • Thursday, February 24, 7:30pm, Newmark Theater, Don Byron
  • Friday, February 25, 7:30pm, Newmark Theater, Esperanza Spalding
  • Friday, February 25, 9:30pm, Crystal Ballroom, Poncho Sanchez
  • Friday, February 25, 9:30pm, Alberta Rose Theatre, Nik Bartsch’s Ronin
  • Saturday, February 26, 2:00pm, Crystal Ballroom, The 3 Cohens
  • Saturday, February 26, 7:30pm, Newmark Theater, SFJAZZ Collective
  • Saturday, February 26, 8:00pm, Tony Starlight’s, Gerald Clayton
  • Saturday, February 26, 9:30pm, Crystal Ballroom, Regina Carter
  • Sunday, February 27, 2:00pm, Newmark Theater, Joshua Redman
  • Sunday, February 27, 7:30pm, Crystal Ballroom, Maceo Parker
    FULL SCHEDULE (Feb 18-27)

I’m most excited about Nik Bartsch’s Ronin (above) set on Friday the 25th.  That and other shows still have available tickets.  If you’re in town, head on over to pdxjazz.com for the info.  If you’re out of town, head on over to Alaska Airlines and get your plane ticket along with your festival tickets.  This is not a fest to miss!

~Dan – np: Ozric TentaclesPungent Effulgent 

PDX Jazz 2011 schedule

14th Oct 10 (Thu) Leave a comment

About 3 weeks ago, the Portland Jazz Fest (aka PDX Jazz Fest) announced their 2011 line-up and theme (Bridges & Boundaries – Jewish & African-American jazz playing together), well, last night, they announced the actual schedule for the main line-up.  Many more side shows will fill-in, but here’s the schedule for the main shows:

  • Friday, February 18, 7:30pm, Winningstad Theater, Randy Weston
  • Saturday, February 19, 7:30pm, Winningstad Theater, Anat Fort
  • Sunday, February 20, 7:30pm, Winningstad Theater, Dave Frishberg
  • Thursday, February 24, 7:30pm, Newmark Theater, Don Byron
  • Friday, February 25, 7:30pm, Newmark Theater, Esperanza Spalding
  • Friday, February 25, 9:30pm, Crystal Ballroom, Poncho Sanchez
  • Friday, February 25, 9:30pm, Alberta Rose Theatre, Nik Bartsch’s Ronin
  • Saturday, February 26, 2:00pm, Crystal Ballroom, The 3 Cohens
  • Saturday, February 26, 7:30pm, Newmark Theater, SFJAZZ Collective
  • Saturday, February 26, 8:00pm, Tony Starlight’s, Gerald Clayton
  • Saturday, February 26, 9:30pm, Crystal Ballroom, Regina Carter
  • Sunday, February 27, 2:00pm, Newmark Theater, Joshua Redman
  • Sunday, February 27, 7:30pm, Crystal Ballroom, Maceo Parker

Nik Bartsch’s Ronin & SF Jazz Collective (featuring a Stevie Wonder catalogue) are my top two picks for the festival.  Tickets for PDX Jazz Members went on-sale yesterday (10/13/2010).  General public on-sale date is Saturday, October 23rdConsider joining and supporting this great jazz festival!

~Dan – np: Jacob Fred Jazz OdysseyStay Gold

PDX Jazz 2011 Theme

23rd Sep 10 (Thu) 3 comments

Portland Jazz Festival (aka PDX Jazz) has announced their 2011 theme:

BRIDGES AND BOUNDARIES:
JEWISH & AFRICAN AMERICANS PLAYING JAZZ TOGETHER

FESTIVAL HEADLINERS INCLUDE: ESPERANZA SPALDING, SFJAZZ COLLECTIVE featuring STEVIE WONDER’s catalog, REGINA CARTER, AND JOSHUA REDMAN

February 18 through 27

Past, present and future collaboration between African Americans and Jewish Americans is the message behind Bridges and Boundaries: Jewish & African Americans Playing Jazz Together, the theme of the 2011 Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air Portland Jazz Festival presented by US Bank. The festival, which annually selects a compelling musical and programming theme, will be held Friday, February 18 through Sunday, February 27 at venues throughout Portland. The complete festival lineup will be announced on October 13 when single show and special package tickets go on sale exclusively to PDX Jazz members. Tickets will become available to the general public on October 23.

A select few of this year’s culturally diverse headliners include Avishai Cohen, the Israeli trumpeter, one of the leading players in the new all-star SFJAZZ Collective, performing the work of African American pop icon Stevie Wonder. Cohen will also be joined by his siblings Anat Cohen and Yuval Cohen for a special performance of The 3 Cohens. Famed African American violinist Regina Carter will return to Portland, presenting her newest project, Reverse Threads, which traces the musical history of African cultures, including tribes of Ugandan Jews. And, Joshua Redman, son of African American saxophonist Dewey Redman and Jewish American dancer Renee Shedroff, leading his new James Farm Quartet that includes both African American and Jewish American musicians.

African and Jewish American community leaders, Portland Jazz Festival’s new Artistic & Community Ambassador Esperanza Spalding (who will lead her new Chamber Music Society in an exclusive Portland area engagement), and many other artists will participate and interact in panel discussions and “Jazz Conversations” focusing on artistic and social perspectives. National jazz journalists, writers, and critics-including Nat Hentoff-will also participate in these events.

For a complete schedule of events, please visit:

www.pdxjazz.com

I’m excited about the SF Jazz Collective and their 2011 Stevie Wonder theme (though it won’t have Dave Douglas and Joe Lovano this year), but I’m mainly excited about Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin.  Holy cow, they’re good.

~Dan – np: Andy McKeeOne World

PDX Jazz Photo Wrap-up

2nd Mar 10 (Tue) Leave a comment

As mentioned earlier, there is a Flickr stream for all official Portland Jazz Festival 2010 photos by Fran Kaufman.  Check them out, they capture various aspects of the fest from shows, jam sessions, interviews, et cetera…

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pdxjazz/
(click link for larger photos)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pdxjazz/
(photos by Fran Kaufman)

And if you missed it, check out my reviews for Dave Holland Quintet (2/27), Pharoah Sanders (2/28), and Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy (2/28).  It was a truly fantastic weekend.  Also check out Oregon Music News’ complete coverage

Stay tuned to http://www.pdxjazz.com/.  Sign up for their mailing list and be there for next year’s fest!

~Dan – np: First Meeting (Satoko Fujii, Natsuki Tamura, etc) – Cut the Rope 

REVIEW: Dave Douglas @ PDX Jazz Fest (Portland, OR – 2/28/10)

1st Mar 10 (Mon) 5 comments

Right on the heels of Portland Jazz Fest‘s Dave Holland Quintet and Pharoah Sanders, was Dave Douglas and his Brass Ecstasy band – the capper to the festival.  I’d seen Dave Douglas four times before, twice with John Zorn‘s Masada quartet and twice with SF Jazz Collective (with Joe Lovano, Miguel Zenon and others).  I was looking forward to seeing my first show with Dave Douglas as primary bandleader.

This new band of his features Dave Douglas on trumpet, Vincent Chancey on french horn, Luis Bonilla on trombone, Marcus Rojas on tuba, and Nasheet Waits on drums.  Their debut album, Spirit Moves, came out last year, and it was in my Top 5 Instrumental Albums from 2009.  Go get it!

They hit the stage shortly after 7:30pm and went right into the title track from their record, “Spirit Moves.”  It’s a fun number and a great start to the set.  Right after that, they did a lengthy version of “Bowie,” which is dedicated to Lester Bowie.  It was fun to see that song breathe and take over the room.  I’m also impressed by Luis Bonilla’s soloing on it.  It has to be difficult to solo on a trombone…

The trombone, horn, and definitely tuba drive the sound of this band to a familiar New Orleans street band – which I’d imagine was what Dave Douglas was aiming his sights towards.  Marcus Rojas also did some “tuba beat boxing” to mix things up.

I knew all of the songs they played, but luckily Dave announced them from the stage (yay, I didn’t have to keep them all up in my head)…

Setlist: about 90 minutes

  • Spirit Moves
  • Bowie
  • I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry (Hank Williams)
  • Fats
  • Rava
  • Awake Nu (Don Cherry)
  • The Brass Ring (with drum solo)
  • Mr Pitiful (Otis Redding)
  • Encore: Twilight of the Dogs

All members got their fair share of solos.  The drum solo on “The Brass Ring” was fantastic, and Dave Douglas’s trumpet solos were colorful and vibrant, as usual.  Favorites of the night were the bebop of “Fats,” and the acrobatic trumpet on “Rava.”  Dave played a lot of that song off mic, yet his sound carried throughout the room.  Thank you Portland Jazz Fest!  It was a wonderful weekend of great music.  See you next year!

I took a few iPhone photos.  I wish I was able to bring in my regular camera, as I was right up front and the iPhone only takes marginal photos at best (::sigh::).  Anyway, check out my photos below, or check the link at the bottom for PDX Jazz’s Flickr photo stream.

DAVE DOUGLAS’ BRASS ECSTASY PHOTOS
these pictures are (cc) 2010 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

For photos from this and other PDX Jazz shows, check out PDX Jazz’s flickr stream:



(photos by Fran Kaufman)

The Appropriate Linkage:

~Dan – np: Susie Ibarra & Roberto RodriguezElectric Kulintang

REVIEW: Pharoah Sanders @ PDX Jazz Fest (Portland, OR – 2/28/10)

1st Mar 10 (Mon) 4 comments

So, Pharoah Sanders is a legend.  He’s played with jazz great John Coltrane, and his tenor sax work has eclipsed those around him.  Free-jazzmaster Ornette Coleman referred to Pharoah as “probably the best tenor player in the world.”  He has a large swath of albums over the past 5 decades.  Passing up an afternoon concert at this year’s Portland Jazz Fest wasn’t an option. :)

I was just at the Newmark Theatre the night prior for the smokin’ Dave Holland Quintet show.  My seat for Pharoah was is almost the exact same spot (L12 versus L11).  I got a good spot right in the middle to check out Pharoah’s band: William Henderson on piano, Hans Glawischnig on bass, and Justin Faulkner on drums.  After a short introduction, the band hit the stage – Pharoah in a bright purple shirt…

The feel of the show was all over the place.  When Pharoah first started, it was quite remarkable.  He doesn’t play in straight lines, but your mind tends to connect those lines right as his sax is connecting them for you.  He seemed very much like a songbird who was free to sing what he wanted – but still very melodic.  He was very much like a bridge between John Coltrane and the more free-jazz Ornette Coleman.

They started off the show with a 25+ minute “My Favorite Things.”  Most of the rest of the 2+ hour show was the power trio of piano/bass/drums playing with Pharoah walking on and off stage and jumping in where he saw fit.  His long disappearances were interesting, but a 70 year old jazz legend can do whatever he wants. :)  On three of the songs, Portland (now New Orleans) saxophonist Devon Phillips came up and joined the band.

They played 6 or 7 tunes, and ended the show with an encore of “Save Our Children,” sung by Pharoah.  2 hours in total… utterly brilliant work from this master and his great band.

For photos from this and other PDX Jazz shows, check out PDX Jazz’s flickr stream:

(photos by Fran Kaufman)

The Appropriate Linkage:

~Dan – np: David Bazan – Curse Your Branches

REVIEW: Dave Holland @ PDX Jazz (Portland, OR – 2/27/10)

28th Feb 10 (Sun) 5 comments

I got into Dave Holland around the same time as a lot of other jazz.  I got into jazz through the backdoor (John Zorn) and then slowly moved into the more straight ahead jazz.  I think I can officially blame Ken Laster and his In the Groove, Jazz and Beyond podcast for playing a lot of Dave Holland.  Anyway, shortly after hearing Holland, I picked up Extended Play: Live at Birdland and Critical Mass.  Both are great, but the latter is quite fetching.  When I found out he was one of the headliners at this year’s Portland Jazz Fest, I was stoked.

I was equally stoked that he’d be bringing saxophonist Chris Potter and drummer Nate Smith with him.  I saw Chris & Nate play in Cincinnati a few years back, and I loved both of them but was quite entranced with Nate’s drumming.  His flow and style are a sight to behold.

Well, on to the show…

I missed PDX Jazz Fest last year.  I was deeply entrenched in busy season at work (I’m a CPA), and perhaps there wasn’t as big of a draw in 2009 as in 2008 (SF Jazz Collective and Ornette Coleman).  2010, well, that’s another story… as I ended up staying the night to catch two shows on Sunday, too (check back for the Pharoah Sanders and Dave Douglas’ Brass Ecstasy reviews on Monday).  Anyway, no cameras allowed.  I took a couple with my iPhone, but they didn’t come out all that well; so, yeah, I’m not posting them.

The band went on around 7:40pm after a short introduction.  The band was Dave Holland on upright bass, the aforementioned Chris Potter (sax) and Nate Smith (drums), along with Alex Sipiagin on trumpet and Steve Nelson on vibes.  The first thing I noted was how Dave’s bass really breathed.  There’s a reason why he’s a heavyweight in the jazz world.  His tone, his swing, his lyricism – all very prevalent.

They started off with “Step To It,” which started with Nate Smith drumming barehanded and featured a massive Chris Potter solo, and was capped off with a great gentle back and forth between Dave and Nate.  Here’s how it all went down last night…

Setlist: 95 minutes

  • Step To It
  • Last Minute Men
  • Looking Up
  • Cosmosis
  • Make Believe
  • Free For All
  • Encore: Easy Did It

“Cosmosis” and the encore “Easy Did It” both featured great Dave Holland solos.  On “Free For All,” Nate Smith drum solo was quite playful.  He was going all out, and actually lost one of his drumsticks amidst his free for all.  I haven’t mentioned Alex or Steve yet… both were great, but didn’t seem to take as many solos as Chris or Nate.  Alex’s few solos were superb.  I love some good trumpet music (hence my Sunday plans for Dave Douglas).  Steve’s vibe work was great, moreso as a back-up for the band (his solos didn’t do much for me).  I think as far as a quintet goes, I’d opt for piano over vibes (especially with an already powerful drummer on the stage).

All in all, Dave Holland reaffirmed his place with me as a force to reckon with.  They played over an hour and half, and it seemed like it was about 20 minutes.  It totally flew by and was highly energetic.  I hope he brings this band around sometime soon!

For photos from this and other PDX Jazz shows, check out PDX Jazz’s flickr stream:


(photos by Fran Kaufman)

Well, off to the next show, Damien Jurado across town at the Mississippi Studios

The Appropriate Linkage:

~Dan – np: Dave Douglas’ Brass Ecstasy – Spirit Moves

PDX Jazz Fest :: Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy

16th Feb 10 (Tue) Leave a comment

Well, the PDX Jazzfest in Portland, Oregon, is only 1 week away.  You won’t want to miss it.  There are many fantastic local and national acts, including these great headliners:

Thursday, February 25 – Luciana Souza
Friday, February 26 – Mingus Big Band
Saturday, February 27 (3pm) – Trygve Seim & Frode Haltli
Saturday, February 27 (7:30) – Dave Holland Quintet
Sunday, February 28 (3pm) – Pharoah Sanders
Sunday, February 28 (7:30) – Dave Douglas Brass Ecstasy

As we lead up to the event, I’ll focus on one of the headliners a week… last up Dave Douglas and his horny band Brass Ecstasy.  I’ll be going to this show, which caps the PDX Jazz Fest.  I got into Dave Douglas via John Zorn’s Masada.  I’ve since gotten into Dave’s other bands: Tiny Bell Trio, Keystone, DD Quartet, DD Quintet, SF Jazz Collective, Second Sight, New & Used, Mosiac Sextet, Orange Then Blue, A Single Sky… tons of releases over 20+ years.

His Brass Ecstasy band released their debut recording, Spirit Moves, in 2009 – which features Dave joined by Vincent Chancey on french horn, Luis Bonilla on trombone, Marcus Rojas on tuba, and Nasheet Waits on drums and releases on Greenleaf Music.

Two-time Grammy-nominated jazz musician Dave Douglas is arguably the most prolific and original trumpeter & composer of his generation. From his New York base, where he’s lived since the mid 1980s, Douglas has continued to earn lavish national and international acclaim including trumpeter, composer, and jazz “Artist of the Year” by such organizations as the New York Jazz Awards, Down Beat, Jazz Times, Jazziz, and the Italian Jazz Critics’ Society. His solo recording career began in 1993 with Parallel Worlds on Soul Note and he has since released over twenty-eight recordings. In 2005, after seven critically-acclaimed albums for Bluebird/RCA, Douglas launched his own record label, Greenleaf Music. The same year, he was honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship. On Greenleaf, Douglas has released albums with his long standing Quintet, the electronic sextet Keystone, and the mixed chamber ensemble Nomad. His latest project, Brass Ecstasy, features a brass quintet of trumpet, french horn, trombone, tuba and drums and will release Spring 2009.

Douglas is currently the artistic director of the Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music at the Banff Center and the co-founder and director of the Festival of New Trumpet Music, which will celebrate its 7th year in 2009.

In addition to leading his own groups, Douglas has an important ongoing musical relationship as a member of John Zorn’s Masada and with artists such as Anthony Braxton, Don Byron, Joe Lovano, Miguel Zenon, Uri Caine, Bill Frisell, Cibo Matto, Mark Dresser, Han Bennink and Misha Mengelberg. As a composer, Douglas has been commissioned by the Trisha Brown Dance Company, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Norddeutscher Rundfunk, Essen Philharmonie, Library of Congress and Stanford University. Recent large scale works have included Blue Latitudes, for chamber orchestra and 3 improvisers, and Delighted States, for big band with soloists (both unreleased as of press date).

Webpage: http://www.davedouglas.com/

FOR INFO & TICKETS: http://pdxjazz.com/tickets/

~Dan – np: Hotel LightsHotel Lights

PDX Jazz Fest :: Pharoah Sanders

9th Feb 10 (Tue) 3 comments

Well, the PDX Jazzfest in Portland, Oregon, is about 2 weeks away. You won’t want to miss it. There are many fantastic local and national acts, including these great headliners:

Thursday, February 25 – Luciana Souza
Friday, February 26 – Mingus Big Band
Saturday, February 27 (3pm) – Trygve Seim & Frode Haltli
Saturday, February 27 (7:30) – Dave Holland Quintet
Sunday, February 28 (3pm) – Pharoah Sanders
Sunday, February 28 (7:30) – Dave Douglas Brass Ecstasy

As we lead up to the event, I’ll focus on one of the headliners a week… next up Pharoah Sanders.

Pharoah Sanders is a most distinctive tenor saxophone player and a legend, he’s one of the last living members of John Coltrane’s late ensembles of the mid-’60s.  Pharoah Sanders possesses one of the most distinctive tenor saxophone sounds in jazz. Harmonically rich and heavy with overtones, Sanders’ sound can be as raw and abrasive as it is possible for a saxophonist to produce, and although he made his name with expressionistic, nearly anarchic free jazz in John Coltrane’s late ensembles of the mid-’60s, Sanders’ later music is guided by more graceful concerns.

Pharoah Sanders (his given name, Ferrell Sanders) formed his first group in 1963, with pianist John Hicks (with whom he would continue to play off-and-on into the ’90s), bassist Wilbur Ware, and drummer Billy Higgins. His first record as a leader was in 1964 for the ESP label. The group played an engagement at New York’s Village Gate, where John Coltrane heard him and by 1965, Sanders was playing regularly with the Coltrane group. Strength was a necessity in that band, and as Coltrane realized, Sanders had it in abundance.

After John Coltrane’s death in 1967, Sanders worked briefly with his widow, Alice Coltrane, and then primarily as a leader of his own ensembles. From 1966-1971, Sanders released several albums on Impulse, including Tauhid (1966), Karma (1969), Black Unity (1971), and Thembi (1971). In the mid-’70s, Sanders recorded his most commercial effort, Love Will Find a Way (Arista, 1977); it turned out to be a brief detour. From the late ’70s until 1987, he recorded for the small independent label Theresa. From 1987, Sanders recorded for the Evidence and Timeless labels. The former bought Theresa records in 1991 and subsequently re-released Sanders’ output for that company. In 1995, Sanders made his first major-label album in many years, Message From Home (produced by Bill Laswell for Verve). The two followed that one up in 1999 with Save Our Children. In 2000, Sanders released Spirits — a multi-ethnic live suite with Hamid Drake and Adam Rudolph. In the decades after his first recordings with Coltrane, Sanders developed the capability of playing convincingly in a variety of contexts, from free to mainstream, and as a mature artist he has discovered a hard-edged lyricism that has served him well.

Webpage: http://www.pharoahsanders.net/

FOR INFO & TICKETS: http://pdxjazz.com/tickets/

~Dan – np: Clare & The ReasonsThe Movie

PDX Jazz Fest :: Dave Holland Quintet

2nd Feb 10 (Tue) Leave a comment

Well, the PDX Jazzfest in Portland, Oregon, is about 3 weeks away. You won’t want to miss it. There are many fantastic local and national acts, including these great headliners:

Thursday, February 25 – Luciana Souza
Friday, February 26 – Mingus Big Band
Saturday, February 27 (3pm) – Trygve Seim & Frode Haltli
Saturday, February 27 (7:30) – Dave Holland Quintet
Sunday, February 28 (3pm) – Pharoah Sanders
Sunday, February 28 (7:30) – Dave Douglas Brass Ecstasy

As we lead up to the event, I’ll focus on one of the headliners a week… next up the Dave Holland Quintet.

At the pinnacle of his career, Dave Holland has settled into the unassuming role of jazz master. The multi-award and poll-winning bassist, composer, arranger and bandleader leads two of the most vibrant groups in jazz: the Dave Holland Quintet and the Dave Holland Big Band. He has collaborated in two of the top jazz collectives of the decade: the ScoLoHoFo quartet comprised of Holland, John Scofield, Joe Lovano and Al Foster and the Herbie Hancock-piloted all-star quartet including Wayne Shorter and Brian Blade.

Though he’s too busy to be fully engaged in outside projects, Holland has played on recent Roy Haynes albums and recorded trio dates with such leaders as Geri Allen and Kenny Wheeler-all outings that he says he could not pass up. He even has taken his recording career into his own hands, launching his own label imprint, Dare2 Records in 2005.

A onetime sideman with two titans of jazz, Thelonious Monk (a short tenure) and Miles Davis (a seminal experience during the trumpeter’s Bitches Brew era), Holland made his debut as a leader in the early 1970s. He broke in as a leader with Music for Two Basses (1971) with Barre Phillips and Conference of the Birds (1972) with a band featuring Sam Rivers and Anthony Braxton. Holland also expanded his work as a side musician to include recording with a diversity of artists such as Bonnie Raitt (Give It Up, 1972), John Hartford (Morning Bugle, 1972) and Lee Konitz (Satori, 1974).

In recent years, his recording career has continued to flourish, recording such milestone albums as his quintet CD, Extended Play: Live at Birdland (2003) and two Grammy-winning big band discs, What Goes Around (2002) and the potent follow-up Overtime (2005). Continuing this impressive creative streak into 2006, Holland released a new quintet album, entitled Critical Mass. The album is the first new studio recording by the Dave Holland Quintet to be released in over five years and marks drummer Nate Smith’s debut recording with the band.

In regards to his quintet, Holland sees his band as representing the evolution of different types of rhythmic structures and forms that has been transforming the face of jazz in the last two decades. In his search to keep the music vital, Holland says the band has delved into the rhythmic traditions of Africa, India, South America and the Caribbean, as well as the innovations in contemporary music in the hip-hop and R&B worlds.

Webpage: http://www.daveholland.com/

FOR INFO & TICKETS: http://pdxjazz.com/tickets/

~Dan – np: Yuka HondaHeart Chamber Phantoms

PDX Jazz Fest :: Trygve Seim & Frode Haltli

26th Jan 10 (Tue) Leave a comment

Well, the PDX Jazzfest in Portland, Oregon, is about 4 weeks away. You won’t want to miss it. There are many fantastic local and national acts, including these great headliners:

Thursday, February 25 – Luciana Souza
Friday, February 26 – Mingus Big Band
Saturday, February 27 (3pm) – Trygve Seim & Frode Haltli
Saturday, February 27 (7:30) – Dave Holland Quintet
Sunday, February 28 (3pm) – Pharoah Sanders
Sunday, February 28 (7:30) – Dave Douglas Brass Ecstasy

As we lead up to the event, I’ll focus on one of the headliners a week… this week is all about Norwegian jazz masters Trygve Seim & Frode Haltli.

A unique saxophone/accordion duo and key figures in the new Norwegian music, Trygve Seim and Frode Haltli have played together in many contexts. The accordionist joined Seim’s large ensemble for live performances after the release of Different Rivers in 2000, and participated in the recording of The Source and Different Cikadas later that year, as well as Sangam (recorded 2002-2004). He continues to tour regularly with Seim’s large ensemble. Trygve and Frode have been playing in duo since 2001: Yeraz is the first documentation of their work in this format.

The two musicians share an interest in the expressive potential of acoustic music across all stylistic boundaries, from world folk traditions to contemporary composition. Accordionist Frode Haltli came to contemporary music early, but simultaneously began playing folk music in his local village community, and at 13 was the youngest member of a traditional dance band. Folk has remained a thread in a musical life that embraces improvisation as well as performance of composed music with a special focus on modern composers. His prize winning debut album Looking on Darkness (ECM New Series, 2002) including the title piece written by Bent Sørensen, was a powerful summing up of new directions in Nordic composition. Passing Images (recorded 2004) made connections between folk and improvisation and pooled a team of maverick talents including classical violist Garth Knox, jazz trumpeter Arve Henriksen and singer/composer Maja Ratkje.

Inspired early in his creative life by Jan Garbarek and by Edward Vesala, Seim has worked in many modern jazz contexts, and continues to tour with Manu Katché’s group. In his own music, however, distance from conventional definitions of jazz becomes ever more marked. Investigation of Asian, Middle Eastern and East European music – and especially the sounds of the Armenian duduk, the Japanese shakuhachi, and the Indian bansuri flute – have had their impact on Seim’s music and brought about a redefining of the nature of dynamics. Subtle shadings and textures are part of his palette, and microtonal phrasing characteristic of his melodic approach.

Webpage: http://www.trygveseim.no/

Webpage: http://www.haltli.com/

FOR INFO & TICKETS: http://pdxjazz.com/tickets/

~Dan – np: Mycale play John Zorn’s Masada Book Two: Book of Angels, Vol. 13 – Mycale

PDX Jazz Fest :: Mingus Big Band

19th Jan 10 (Tue) Leave a comment

Well, the PDX Jazzfest in Portland, Oregon, is about 5 weeks away. You won’t want to miss it. There are many fantastic local and national acts, including these great headliners:

Thursday, February 25 – Luciana Souza
Friday, February 26 – Mingus Big Band
Saturday, February 27 (3pm) – Trygve Seim & Frode Haltli
Saturday, February 27 (7:30) – Dave Holland Quintet
Sunday, February 28 (3pm) – Pharoah Sanders
Sunday, February 28 (7:30) – Dave Douglas Brass Ecstasy

As we lead up to the event, I’ll focus on one of the headliners a week… next up the Mingus Big Band.

For those jazz fans who don’t know the music of Charles Mingus, go back to school.  He was a monumental force on bass and a great composer in his own right.  He had a firey-oft-angry personality, a strong conviction against racism, and a great sense for melody.  He was one of my first forays into jazz… I had Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus and Mingus Ah Um long before I had any other jazz in my collection.

The Mingus Big Band celebrates the music of the composer and bassist, Charles Mingus, who died in 1979. Under the artistic direction of (Charles’ wife) Sue Mingus, this 14-piece band performed Thursday nights from 1991 to 2004 at the Fez under Time Cafe in New York City, occasionally alternating with the Charles Mingus Orchestra. From November 2004 to September 2008, the big band had a residency at Iridium Jazz Club and in October 2008 moved to Monday residency at Jazz Standard. The Mingus Big Band tours extensively in the United States and abroad, and has eight recordings to its credit, six of which have been nominated for Grammys.

Regulars currently appearing in the 14-piece band:

  • 3 Trumpets: Randy Brecker, Earl Gardner, Alex Sipiagin, Lew Soloff, Tatum Greenblatt, Ryan Kisor, Kenny Rampton, Jack Walrath, Sean Jones
  • 3 Trombones: Conrad Herwig, Andy Hunter, Ku-umba Frank Lacy, Earl McIntyre, Dave Taylor, Robin Eubanks, Joe Fiedler, Clark Gayton
  • 5 Saxophones: Vincent Herring, Seamus Blake, Abraham Burton, Wayne Escoffery, Donny McCaslin, Mark Gross, Craig Handy, Jason Marshall, Lauren Sevian, Jaleel Shaw, Steve Slagle, Ronnie Cuber, David Lee Jones
  • Piano: Orrin Evans, David Kikoski, Helen Sung, George Colligan, Kenny Drew Jr.
  • Bass: Boris Kozlov, Hans Glawischnig, Andy McKee, Joe Martin, Ugonna Okegwo, Dwayne Burno
  • Drums: Donald Edwards, Gene Jackson, Victor Lewis, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Adam Cruz

Webpage: http://www.mingusmingusmingus.com/

FOR INFO & TICKETS: http://pdxjazz.com/tickets/

~Dan – np: John ZornCobra

PDX Jazz Fest :: Luciana Souza

12th Jan 10 (Tue) Leave a comment

Well, the PDX Jazzfest in Portland, Oregon, is about 6 weeks away. You won’t want to miss it. There are many fantastic local and national acts, including these great headliners:

Thursday, February 25 – Luciana Souza
Friday, February 26 – Mingus Big Band
Saturday, February 27 (3pm) – Trygve Seim & Frode Haltli
Saturday, February 27 (7:30) – Dave Holland Quintet
Sunday, February 28 (3pm) – Pharoah Sanders
Sunday, February 28 (7:30) – Dave Douglas Brass Ecstasy

As we lead up to the event, I’ll focus on one of the headliners a week… first up Luciana Souza.

Luciana Souza is a Grammy winning jazz vocalist from São Paulo, Brazil.  Her first solo album was An Answer to Your Silence (1999). The Poems of Elizabeth Bishop and Other Songs (2000) was fifth place in the New York Times‘ 2000 The Year in Pop and Jazz: The Critics’ Choice list. In 1991, she was elected Discovery of the Year by APCA for her work with Hermeto Pascoal. In the next year, she toured with the Zimbo Trio. In 1995, she was nominated for Outstanding Latin Act and, in the next year, Outstanding Jazz Vocalist at the Boston Music Awards. Among the artists she has been performing and recording with are her godfather, Hermeto Pascoal; Danilo Perez; Zimbo Trio; David Kikoski; Joey Calderazzo; Romero Lubambo; Guillermo Klein; Oscar Castro-Neves; Cyro Baptista; the Paul Winter Consort; Ben Sher Group; Steve Lacy; Kenny Wheeler; Donald Brown; John Patitucci; Kenny Werner; Osvaldo Golijov; Bob Moses; and George Garzone. From a musical family (her parents are Walter Santos and Tereza Souza), Souza has been involved with music since her childhood, when she worked with jingles. After four years at Unicamp University in Brazil, she went to the Berklee College of Music, where she received a bachelor’s degree in jazz composition. She received a master’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music. In 2009, Souza released Tide her first album for Verve and her second collaboration with husband and producer Larry Klein.

Webpage: http://www.lucianasouza.com/

FOR INFO & TICKETS: http://pdxjazz.com/tickets/

~Dan – np: dredgWaterborne (soundtrack)

Portland Jazz Fest 2010 – huzzah!!!

14th Oct 09 (Wed) Leave a comment

OYG!  The headlining line-up for this coming year’s Portland Jazz Festival is rad.

Thursday, February 25, 7:30pm, Hilton Pavilion Ballroom, Luciana Souza
Friday, February 26, 7:30pm, Newmark Theater, Mingus Big Band
Friday, February 26, 9:30 pm, Norse Hall, In The Country
Saturday, February 27, 3:00pm, Norse Hall, Trygve Seim & Frode Haltli
Saturday, February 27, 7:30pm, Newmark Theater, Dave Holland Quintet
Saturday, February 27, 9:30 pm, Norse Hall, Christian Wallumrød Ensemble
Sunday, February 28, 3:00pm, Newmark Theater, Pharoah Sanders
Sunday, February 28, 7:30pm, Crystal Ballroom, Dave Douglas Brass Ecstasy

I’m definitely going to the Dave Douglas show… and the other bold shows are definitely good possibilities.  More acts to follow in the coming months.  The festival runs February 22-28, 2010.

Tickets go on-sale October 27th at TicketMaster (or October 14th – 10am if you are a PDX Jazz member).

Find out more at:

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

A totally unrelated sidenote… Texas band of rock siblings Eisley just released a new EP called Fire Kite (digital only, out Oct 9th).  Album cover looks Jebus-y (or at least it’s geometrically-inclined with potentially religious ambivalence)… DL’ing now… we shall see…

~Dan – np: MegadethEndgame

PDX Jazz is back…

1st Oct 08 (Wed) 1 comment

As previously reported, PDZ Jazz (a not-for-profit responsible for bringing in a great Jazz Festival in the winter) was in a serious bleeding budget situation and shut down operations a little bit ago.  Thanks to Alaska Airlines, the City of Portland, and others… well, here’s what JazzPDX said about it…

Today, the Portland Jazz Festival announced that it will return this February, despite recent concerns about sponsorship and funding.  As of a couple of weeks ago, the festival was around $100,000 short of their required budget, but with help from Alaska Airlines, the City of Portland, and others, the festival will be able to return in full capacity on February 13th, 2009.

Luciana Lopez at the Oregonian offers more detailed coverage of the announcement.  Click here for her article.

Yay!

~Dan – np: Damien JuradoCaught in the Trees

Oregon Donor Needed

8th Sep 08 (Mon) 2 comments

Sad news.  This came through on the jazzpdx RSS feed yesterday…

The Oregonian has just published a breaking story highlighting the uncertain future of the Portland Jazz Festival after sponsorship troubles.  Here’s a clip from the article:

The Portland Jazz Festival, strapped for cash after losing its title sponsor in April, plans to stop operating as of Sept. 15. Barring a “miracle” infusion of about $100,000, the February 2009 festival — previously slated to be the exclusive 70th anniversary celebration for seminal jazz label Blue Note — won’t happen. Nor, most likely, will there be any festivals after that.

I got to see two great acts in one night (Ornette Coleman and the Dave Douglas/Joe Lovano-led SFJazz Collective) last year.  I’m hopeful some large-and-in-charge bigwig can front a $100,000 check for a great cause.

Please?  Pretty please?  It’s doesn’t even need to be someone from Oregon… that was merely a play on words.  California?  Idaho?  Washington?  Rhode Island?  Got any love for continuing the Portland jazz scene?

~Dan – np: Ornette Coleman & Prime TimeTone Dialing

%d bloggers like this: