Eric Revis Quartet

December 8th, 2014

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Also playing at EMP on October 29th for the 2014 Earshot Jazz Festival was the Eric Revis Quartet in a beautiful set of music.

Often called New York’s first-call bassist, Eric Revis has built a distinguished career as a session player and bandleader. He is known most for his work with the Branford Marsalis Quartet and the trio Tarbaby, which he “tri-leads” with Orrin Evans and Nasheet Waits.

For the Eric Revis Quartet, he has assembled an impressive lineup, featuring saxophonists Darius Jones and Bill McHenry, and drummer extraordinaire Ted Poor. Among the words used to describe their recent release, In Memory of Things Yet Seen, in All About Jazz, were “formidable,” “ballsy,” and “hard-hitting,” as well as “swarming, episodic freestyle dialogues, perky bop fabrications and exploratory ruminations.”

Born in Los Angeles, Revis began playing bass at age 13. When he later moved with his family to San Antonio, he played in an alternative rock band, but soon discovered a connection to jazz. “Jazz just kind of stuck,” he told Jazz Times in a recent interview. A bandmate from the alternative rock band he played in had a large record collection and would frequently loan Revis recordings. “He wasn’t separating the music by style; Miles Davis and Kenny Dorham came along with Ornette Coleman and the AACM. I really identified with everything,” he recalled.

Graduating from the University of New Orleans (in Ellis Marsalis’ program), Revis moved to New York in 1993 and soon began playing with the legendary jazz vocalist Betty Carter. In 1997, he joined the Branford Marsalis Quartet, of which he is still a member, and quickly gained a reputation for his powerful approach to playing the bass. “He plays with a certain kind of physical authority you don’t find very often,” Branford Marsalis told Jazz Times.

Jazz photography of Eric Revis

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John Seman’s Lil Coop Quintet

October 14th, 2014

Jazz photos from 2014 Earshot Jazz festival
Last Saturday I had the joy to hear John Seman’s Lil Coop Quintet at the Chapel Performance Space as the 2014 Earshot Jazz Festival continues.
Bassist, composer, archivist and advocate for improvised music John Seman explores composition and free improvisation and musical past and future – in the moment – with his Lil Coop Quintet, featuring Stephen Fandrich on piano, Robbie Beasley on trumpet, Kate Olson on soprano sax and Tom Zgonc on drums.

A fixture on the Seattle music scene for more than a decade, Seman is co-founder (with Mark Ostroski) of nonprofit new music advocacy organization Monktail Creative Music Concern. Additionally, he holds a sound preservation and recording venture, RPM Preservation, and is a co-host of Floatation Device (91.3 KBCS), a program dedicated to highlighting improvised music from the Northwest and around the world.

Here is a link to the 2014 Earshot Jazz Festival Schedule

Jazz photos from 2014 Earshot Jazz festival

Jazz photos from 2014 Earshot Jazz festival

Jazz photos from 2014 Earshot Jazz festival

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Sunday night Earshot Jazz presented Bill Frisell in his second appearance at this year’s Festival at  Jones Playhouse Theater UW. This time he played with  in-demand young bassist Luke Bergman and New York/Seattle drummer, Ted Poor, both of whom range from the most subtle to the thunderous. All three now on the UW jazz faculty.

Here is a link to the Earshot Jazz Festival website  schedule for the rest of the Festival.

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Evan Flory-Barnes: Folks

November 2nd, 2012


Evan Flory-Barnes led his group Folks a new project with drummer D’vonne Lewis, pianist Darrius Willrich and multi-instrumentalist Bernie Jacobs last night at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center as Earshot Jazz Festival continues.

The 2012 Earshot Jazz Festival continues in it’s  last week ending on Sunday with Robert Glasper. Click on the schedule here 2012 Earshot Jazz Festival 

A Seattle original, the young Lewis is a multi-award winning drummer yet soft spoken about his accomplishments. He has worked steadily since before even graduating high school – with saxophonist Hadley Caliman’s band, for a short time with Willrich and Flory-Barnes; with Joe Doria’s McTuff; with Ethiopian singer Meklit Hadero; in Bandalabra; and in the house band at Teatro Zinzanni.

Pianist Willrich is the co-founder of Critical Sun Recordings, where he’s released urban soul albums Darrius, Love Will Visit and Can’t Get Enough. He’s a graduate of Cornish College of the Arts and is a private piano teacher and at Seattle Central Community College.

n his near-forty-year career, saxophonist, flautist, vocalist Bernie Jacobs is a personality completely at-ease in his craft. He’s worked with drummer Billy Drummond and saxophonists Steve Wilson and Sam Newsome, and the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra. He regularly performs with Andre Thomas’ Quiet Fire and as a guest at the New Orleans Creole Restaurant and in drummer Greg Williamson’s groups.

This amazing band, assembled by festival bassist Flory-Barnes, performs at the freshly retrofit-renovated Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, which celebrates African American performing arts and cultural legacies for all of Seattle. Langston Hughes PAC holds an African American Film Festival each spring and many other events during the year. – SH

Evan Flory-Barnes 2+2

October 19th, 2012


Last night’s concert at the Chapel Performance Space, was a special treat starting with an unusual double bass duo performance.
Bassist and composer Evan Flory-Barnes explored new musical possibilities, first with stellar Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame bassist Jeff Johnson and then with expressive pianist Dawn Clement one of Seattle’s greatest acoustic spaces.
The featured artist of this year’s Earshot Jazz Festival is one of Puget Sound’s most expansive creators.
– Peter Monaghan

Click on the schedule here 2012 Earshot Jazz Festival  continues.


So for my final set of the evening on Sunday I ended up at Tula’s and got to enjoy the Jon Hamar Quintet.the top-flight Seattle bassist Jon Hamar explored new music with tenor-sax titan Rich Perry, virtuoso multi-reedist Todd DelGiudice , pianist John Hansen and drummer Julian MacDonough,

Here is the  2012 Earshot Jazz Festival schedule


Hamar released his third CD, Hymn (Origin), in September to stellar reviews. DelGiudice features on the release, which eschews the traditional trio format to explore the melodic possibilities sans drums. Bolstered by the lithe alto sax of DelGiudice and Grammy-nominated Geoffrey Keezer on piano, Hamar presents a diverse collection of originals and arrangements that highlights the spirited interplay of these three voices.

Kennewick-born Hamar began playing string bass at age 11. He earned a bachelor’s degree in classical bass performance from Eastern Washington University and a master’s degree in jazz from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. He teaches at Central Washington University, Northwest University (Kirkland), Edmonds Community College.

Hamar welcomes Rich Perry, a colossal jazz talent appearing on over 70 CDs. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Perry became interested in jazz in high school, then studied briefly at Bowling Green State University before moving to New York City. In 1977, he joined the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra and spent two years touring the U.S. and Europe, and then continued with Mel Lewis. The band is now known as the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and has three Grammy-nominated CDs. Perry is on the jazz faculty of William Paterson University in New Jersey.

Also making up the group tonight: the fluid clarinet and sax tones of Florida-native Todd DelGiudice, assistant professor of clarinet and saxophone at Eastern Washington University and member of the Spokane Symphony Orchestra; gem of the Northwest jazz scene, pianist John Hansen, an ensemble player with an attentive ear; drummer Julian MacDonough, the energetic timekeeper behind an eclectic mix of bands and instructor in Western Washington University’s jazz department.

– GB

Here is the  2012 Earshot Jazz Festival schedule

Portrait Makes the Poster

October 9th, 2012

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This year I created a photograph for a poster advertising Seattle’s annual Earshot Jazz Festival. This photo of Evan was shot in the extremel low light at The Backdoor at Roxy’s, a jazz club in Fremont The 2012 Earshot Jazz Festival is starting up on Friday Oct 12th. Here is the  2012 Earshot Jazz Festival schedule.

Here is how the poster came out.

Seattle’s annual Earshot Jazz Festival returns October 12th and continues through November 4th with more than 50 distinctive concert events in venues all around the city.

Known for “adventurous, spot-on programming” (Jazz Times) and praised as “one of the best festivals in America” (Seattle Times) the Earshot Jazz Festival brings jazz greats from around the world into creative collaboration with area artists and audiences. Earshot also celebrates Seattle’s place in the world of jazz, with concerts by our award-winning high-school jazz programs and our own renowned resident artists. 2012 Earshot Jazz Festival schedule.

Get your tickets soon.

The 5th annual  Bellevue Jazz Festival started on Weds May 30th, and I began covering it on Thursday night at the Meydenbauer Center where the Clayton Brothers Quintet played a kick-ass set. The GRAMMY-nominated Clayton Brothers Quintet was formed in 1977 by brothers John and Jeff, and while their paths sometimes diverged, the brothers continue to share a common musical vision. Their album, Back in the Swing of Things, demonstrates their unique musical vision.

The album, as well as the songs “Expressions” and “Siblingity,” are bristling with surprises, delights, and the kind of musical telepathy that could only come from tuned in siblings. Their most recent recordings were nominated for GRAMMY Awards for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group. The brothers place a strong emphasis on sharing their knowledge and thus are dedicated jazz educators who travel extensively to participate in workshops and music clinics around the world.

The quintet also consists of John’s son and GRAMMY-nominee Gerald Clayton on piano, Obed Calvaire on drums, and Terell Stafford, a highly regarded trumpeter and band-leader.
Here are some highlights from the concert.

I had the privilege of meeting John Clayton before the set and watched as he warmed up on the 12o year old bass that once was the instrument belonging to legendary bassist Ray Brown.

Ben Williams Group

March 21st, 2012

In the second presentation of the Earshot Jazz Spring Series, Ben Williams put on a tremendously pleasing show last Saturday night. Rising-star bassist Ben Williams performed with his group at the Seattle Art Museum, downtown. The Washington DC-born, Harlem-based bandleader, musical educator, composer, electric and acoustic bassist was the winner of the 2009 Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Competition, an award that helped the young artist produce his debut CD release State of Art. That record has galvanized Williams as an emerging and prominent voice in the jazz today.

State of Art is a mature statement stamped with his voice: “I wanted to make an album that regular nine-to-five people could enjoy,” Williams says, “and to make a deep artistic statement as well. I like music that grooves, and I make sure that my music feels good.” Even before the release of State of Art, Williams was one of the most sought after young bassists in the world; his resume is a who’s who of jazz wisdom: Wynton Marsalis, Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, Terence Blanchard, Christian McBride Big Band, Nicholas Payton, Paquito D’Rivera, Cyrus Chestnut, Benny Golson, Roy Hargrove, and Mulgrew Miller, to name a few. Williams’ warm, woody tone, flowing groove, melodic phrasing and storytelling approach has found favor among musicians, but also a larger audience.

On the bassist’s appeal, Nate Chinen of the New York Times writes, “Williams took several long solos in his first set at The Jazz Gallery … and each one felt more like an entitlement than an indulgence.” He’s a natural who shares through his music what he sees happening in the world right now. From the liner notes of State of Art, by Williams: “This album is my honest and humble attempt at expressing (musically) what it feels like to be alive in 2011.” In this February’s issue of JazzTimes magazine, writer Giovanni Russonello reports on Williams and contemporaries in Harlem doing just that – Christian Scott, Gerald Clayton, Justin Brown, Jamire Williams. “It’s almost like a second coming of the Harlem Renaissance,” trumpeter Christian Scott says.

Evan Flory-Barnes

October 8th, 2008

I am looking forward to seeing Evan, one of my favorite local bass players play with The Teaching, a band that injects the Socratic into the post-jazz flow. Earshot Jazz Magazine calls Flory-Barnes ” a young dynamo on the local scene, the go-to bassist of a vast array of leaders. Experienced in symphonic, jazz and solo bass performance, along with several other styles, he also leads his own indefinable group.”

Go and check him out Monday October 20th at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center at 8PM.


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