May 16th, 2013
The Earshot Jazz 2013 Spring Series continues and last night presented the Refuge Trio. John Hollenbeck, above, played at the Chapel Performance Space with Theo Bleckmann on voice and Gary Versace on piano & keyboard in an amazing performance of various originals and covers.
Refuge Trio takes its name from the Joni Mitchell song “Refuge of the Roads”. The collaborative trio was formed to play at the 2002 Wall-to-Wall Joni Mitchell Marathon Concert at Symphony Space in NYC. Since then, they have continued to explore delicate and playful music with mystery and exuberance. Their unique voices also play an essential role in the ensembles of Laurie Anderson, Meredith Monk, Bob Brookmeyer, John Scofield and Maria Schneider. As the Refuge trio, they fashion a transformative experience for the audience with their music and spirit.
May 10th, 2013
The internationally acknowledged Dutch jazz saxophonist Tineke Postma played at Earshot Jazz Art of Jazz series at SAM last night. She played a wonderful set and will play again on Saturday opening for Grace Kelly at the Kirkland Performance Center. She is in the US for a series of concerts throughout the country, including Portland, Washington DC, and New York City.
April 17th, 2013
The Royal Room Collective Music Ensemble playing Monday night at the Royal Room.
The RRCME is a 15-20 piece band featuring Seattle’s finest and most innovative improvisers under the direction of composer Wayne Horvitz and performed his compositions in a loosely constructed format using a combination of on-the-spot (re)arranging and various other techniques, some of which have come to be known as “conduction”. Regular members include Beth Fleenor, Chad McCullough, Al Keith, Sam Boshnack, Ryan Burns, Geoff Harper, Greg Sinibaldi, Jacob Zimmerman, Craig Flory, Eric Eagle, Kate Olson, Naomi Siegel, Jacob Herring and Wayne Horvitz.
For moe on this amazing group of people look for the upcoming May issue of Earshot Jazz Magazine.
April 7th, 2013
The Earshot Jazz Spring Series brought he ICPO live on Stage at the Seattle Art Museum on April 3rd to an almost full house. One of the most wonderful performances I can remember seeing in a long time. I always really enjoy seeing Han Bennink perform but the whole ensemble this time was memorable.
“Bit-by-bit zany and artistically and technically brilliant, the ICP Orchestra is likely the globe’s most startling and ear-stretching jazz ensembles. This lineup of the world’s greatest collaborative improvisers was minus it’s founding pianist Misha Mengelberg, now in his late seventies.
Mengelberg and drummer Han Bennink, along with Willem Breuker, formed the group in Amsterdam in 1967, in the full throes of the free-jazz movement. The ICP Orchestra was then, and remains now, a marvel of instant composition driven by the spontaneity and idiosyncrasy of its members. In that lineup of maverick contributors: trombonist Wolter Wierbos, bassist Ernst Glerum, clarinetist and saxophonist Ab Baars, tenor saxophonist Tobias Delius, multi-reeds hornman Michael Moore, trumpeter Thomas Heberer, violist Mary Oliver, and cellist Tristan Honsinger.” – Peter Monaghan Read more on Earshot Jazz
April 3rd, 2013
Thomas Marriott’s Flexicon with Rick Mandyck on piano, Paul Gabrielson on bass, John Bishop on drums.
The 2012 Golden Ear Awards, celebrating the contributions and achievements in Seattle jazz, were presented at Tula’s on March 20 and Flexicon opened the evening. Here are some images from the evening of great sounds from some guys who have been around for a while.
March 17th, 2013
On March 2 at the Moore Theatre, I photographed Bill Frisell performing the music he composed for the film THE GREAT FLOOD by Bill Morrison, as the film played in the background.
Morrison’s new film is about an event that happened 86 years ago. The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 was the most destructive river flood in the history of the United States. It inundated 27,000 square miles and displaced more than a million people and caused over $400 million in damages and killed 246 people in seven states.
Bill Frisell composed quartet music for the film and performed it accompanied by trumpeter Ron Miles, bassist Tony Scherr and drummer Kenny Wollesen. It is an amazing film with wonderful music. A whole chapter of American history explained by the exodus of African Americans from the devastated states in the south to the City of Chicago in the aftermath of the Great Flood. The film footage captured this is wonderful to see. Like traveling in time to the music of Bill Frisell.
March 8th, 2013
I really enjoyed hearing the Jason Parker Trio on Wednesday night at Vito’s. He was playing really well and had a bunch of other folks sitting in on various numbers. One of them Sax player Brian Hartman I have know previously only as a photographer and was pleasantly surprised to hear how good he sounded with Jason’s group. Here are a few pictures from the late set. Brian is in the last shot below.
December 5th, 2012
Last night at The Royal Room the Frode Gjerstad Trio put on a blistering set. The Trio features: Frode Gjerstad, Saxaphone, Jon Rune Strøm, Bass and Paal Nilssen-Love – Drums
Sixty-four-year-old alto saxophonist and clarinetist Frode Gjerstadis threw down with long-time collaborator Paal Nilssen-Love and new bass player Jon Rune Strom as Gjerstad’s all-Norwegian trio performed at the Royal Room in an Earshot Jazz presentation. The following commentary is by Schraepfer Harvey from Earshot Jazz.
Nilssen-Love was 15 when he first started playing with Gjerstad. Since then, the drummer has continuously innovated and grown among a new generation of Norwegian and global improvisers. He’s performed with saxophonists Mats Gustafsson, Joe McPhee, Ken Vandermark and Peter Brotzmann.
In a blog update about recent duo release Side by Side (CIMP Records), with Nilssen-Love, Gjerstad writes, “Paal is a very natural player who is not dogmatic in any way. He is so much part of the moment and manages to grab it and process it in a very personal way. A great musician!”
The two have a handful of duo recordings, and Nilssen-Love is a central figure in the many other extensions of Gjerstad’s work, including his Circulasione Totale Orchestra, a collective of rotating improvisers first established in 1984.
Each iteration of that group is as distinct as the characters in it, and, like the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, started in mid-sixties London by Gjerstad’s friend, colleague and drummer John Stevens, the CTO is a threshold to the improvising life for many emerging free improvisation artists, as they cycle in with more experienced players. The acoustic-electric CTO that re-emerged in 1998, after a short hiatus, with Borealis (Cadence), is working in peak form for Gjerstad’s near-thirty-year project in scene building for Norway and the world.
The CTO came from Gjerstad’s direct experience performing with drummer Stevens and bassist Johnny Dyani (from Steve Lacy’s mid-sixties quartet including Enrico Rava): “I felt it was important to bring on some of the things I learned from playing with them, to younger musicians,” Gjerstad writes on his website.
Bassist Jon Rune Strøm recently joined Gjerstad’s trio and brings renewed energy for Gjerstad. “I feel very excited playing with Jon Rune, and I think we are moving into something else,” Gjerstad writes.
After two decades of trios with various international musicians, Gjerstad wass here with Paal Nilssen-Love and Jon Rune Strom, propelled by incredible creativity, rhythms and an astounding improvisational endurance and positive spirit. – Schraepfer Harvey
November 16th, 2012
Murl Allen Sanders performed at Tula’s as part of the Earshot Jazz Festival on Saturday November 3rd along with Seattle bassist Clipper Anderson, Tacoma drummer Mark Ivester and Portland saxophonist Warren Rand. “This is a high-energy ensemble combining modern and traditional aesthetics,” Sanders writes. Murl Allen Sanders describes his music as zyfusico – a fusion of jazz, pop and zydeco. He sings and performs on accordion, piano and harmonica.
Sanders’ accordion repertoire stretches across many musical genres – Latin, swing, funk, even orchestral. His Accordion Concerto No. 1 premiered in 2003 at University of Washington’s Meany Hall. A grant from Seattle’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs supported his Accordion Concerto No. 2 that premiered in 2007. The program for this festival performance doesn’t include an orchestra but does include original material, straight-ahead jazz and some blues.
As a student, Sanders played jazz piano at Nathan Hale High School and Seattle Community College. He earned a bachelor of arts in music education at the University of Washington. Now he teaches privately, performs, records movie soundtracks and has won awards for his compositions.
Sanders writes, “If you haven’t heard jazz accordion, come to this show!”
November 6th, 2012
On the last weekend of the 2012 Earshot Jazz Festival at the LLSLEY BALL NORDSTROM RECITAL HALL AT BENAROYA NEA Jazz Master and three-Grammy winner Branford Marsalis joined the all-star big band Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra on a tour of the music of his hometown –New Orleans – from early brass bands to Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, and King Oliver to modern interpretations of jazz classics such as “Basin Street Blues” and “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans.”
The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra is co-directed by saxophonist and arranger Michael Brockman, long-time member of the UW School of Music and an authority on the music of Duke Ellington, and drummer Clarence Acox, award-winning conductor of the Garfield High School jazz bands. SRJO includes many of the region’s best-loved jazz soloists and bandleaders.