Mimi Fox

October 29th, 2015

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Joe Pass, one of the greatest 20th-century guitarists, once said that Mimi Fox “plays with tremendous fire” and “can do pretty much anything she wants on the guitar.”

Fox’s “firm control, clarity and concept” (AllAboutJazz.com) will provide an evening of both rich musical texture and passion. Winner of six consecutive DownBeat Magazine’s international critic’s polls, Fox is not only a world-renowned guitarist but composer and recording artist as well. Her introduction to the international jazz scene in the 1990s with a pair of CDs on Monarch records was followed by eight more, many critically acclaimed. Perpetually Hip, a 2006 double CD, was called a “masterwork” by the San Francisco Chronicle. Of her most recent album, Standards, Old & NewGuitar Player Magazine proclaims, “Beyond her passion and virtuosity, Fox plays with a profundity that only comes from a lifetime devotion to ones art.”

Touring extensively throughout the Caribbean, Japan, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe, her schedule includes major festivals from Tokyo to New York, including Montreal, Guinness Cork, Perth International, and Monterey Jazz Festivals. In addition to her breakneck performance calendar, Fox has composed and performed original scores for orchestra, documentary films, and dance, and has received prestigious grants from organizations including the California Arts Council and the William James Association.

“A remarkably accomplished straight ahead player with flawless time, pristine execution, serious chops…and an inner urge to burn” (JazzTimes), Fox will provide a profound evening of both rich virtuosity and passion.

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The UW School of Music and Earshot Jazz presented renowned guitarist Bill Frisell in an evening of duo and trio performances with trumpeter Cuong Vu and pianist Robin Holcomb in this Earshot Jazz Festival event celebrating Frisell’s appointment as affiliate professor of music in the UW Jazz Studies program. this was the first of four appearances by Frisell in the 2013 Earshot Jazz Festival.

 

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

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Lionel Loueke Trio

October 22nd, 2012

Lionel Loueke Trio was the headline act last night at the Seattle Art Museum Plestcheeff Auditorium as the Earshot Jazz Festival rolls on. Beautiful sounds from this trio especially the unique Lionel Loueke on vocals and guitar.

Click on the schedule here 2012 Earshot Jazz Festival  continues.

Hailed as a “gentle virtuoso” by the New York Times, guitarist and vocalist Lionel Loueke followed up his acclaimed Blue Note releases Karibu (2008) and Mwaliko (2010) with the extraordinary Heritage, released in August of this year. Co-produced by pianist and label mate Robert Glasper, Heritage finds Loueke in top form.

A veteran of bands led by Terence Blanchard and Herbie Hancock, Loueke brings jazz into vibrant contact with the sounds of West Africa, in particular, his native Benin. Starting out on vocals and percussion, Loueke picked up the guitar at age 17. After his initial exposure to jazz in Benin, he left to attend the National Institute of Art in nearby Ivory Coast. In 1994, he left Africa to pursue jazz studies at the American School of Modern Music in Paris, then came to the U.S. on a scholarship to Berklee. From there, Loueke gained acceptance to the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, where he encountered his Gilfema (ObliqSound, 2005) release bandmates – bassist Massimo Biolcati, drummer Ferenc Nemeth, vocalist feature Gretchen Parlato – and musicians with whom he would form creative relationships.

The title of his latest recording, Heritage, is a direct reference to his personal odyssey. “I have two heritages,” Loueke says. “One is from my ancestors from Africa, and that goes through my music, my body, my soul, every aspect of what I do. But also I have the heritage from the Occident, from the West, from Europe and the U.S. I speak English, I speak French, and I have that heritage too.”

While Heritage finds Loueke performing with a larger ensemble at times, he remains explosive in the trio context with bassist Biolcati and drummer Nemeth.

Earshot Jazz presented Bill Horist in the 2nd in the series, Jazz: The Second Century last night at the Chapel Performance space.

Internationally prolific in the alternative and underground and in rock, jazz, avant-garde and folk music, Seattle guitarist Bill Horist has appeared on 70 recordings and has performed well over 1,000 concerts throughout North America, Mexico, Europe and Japan. He’s worked with John Zorn, Wayne Horvitz, Stuart Dempster, Trey Gunn, Secret Chiefs 3, Shazaad Ismaily, Saadet Turkoz, Jack Wright, Amy Denio, Eyvind Kang, Paul Hoskin, Wally Shoup, Paul Kikuchi, Jessica Lurie, Tucker Martine and Master Musicians of Bukkake, Axolotl and the Paul Rucker Ensemble in addition to extensive solo activity. Horist is an Artist Trust grant and fellowship recipient (2006, 2005). From Horist’s Second Century submission: I view jazz as an aspiration more than a genre. … For those that see jazz as a genre, it might be difficult to consider that what I do is related somehow. … I suppose it becomes difficult for a forward-thinking idea to countenance the gravity of its own growing history, but if there’s any place where the duality can exist, it’s here, in this music.

Bill Horist opened up the evening and was followed by Trio Orangutan.

Seattle musicians have new works in development all the time – at house concerts, at weekly jam sessions, in basement studios and at clubs and cafes around Seattle, including the Seamonster and the Royal Room. Jazz: The Second Century is Earshot Jazz’s  open question to that artistic community: so, what’s happening now?

Submissions are considered by a peer-review panel made up of musicians, journalists, former Second Century performers and concert producers. Earshot Jazz thanks all the unique and enterprising creative musicians of this city that submitted their work for consideration. Out of all the materials – a range of home recordings, studio materials, live video clips, full bands, duos and more – this year’s schedule follows below with occasional statements submitted with the artist materials.

– Schraepfer Harvey

Jimmie Vaughan

September 2nd, 2011


Last month Jimmie Vaughan played a lengthy raucous set at The Triple Door. I aad never seen him play and was blown away by his playing. He was commanding and soulful and I love his hair. Older brother to Stevie Ray Vaughan and first guitar teacher is still teaching people how to play the electric guitar with attitude.




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What a treat to see Bill Frisell play again in Seattle with Eyvind Kang and Rudy Royston as the Earshot Jazz Festival heads for its last 4 days.

In the Beautiful Dreamers trio, Frisell and violist Eyvind Kang join arms with drummer Rudy Royston to take a rustic, wind-blown repertoire (Blind Willie Johnson’s “Nobody’s Fault” sits alongside Little Anthony and the Imperials’ “Goin’ Out of My Head”) and infuse it with, well, dreamscapes and ethereality and percussive grit and tussle. In the studio, the band played things rather straight – minimal electronic manipulation and samples.

But the spacing and textures of Beautiful Dreamers live recalls the slightly later, at times warpy and tipsy Bill Frisell Quartet. Put simply, Frisell, a veteran if there ever was one, flourishes in a small, compact setting where he can create a spacious, three-way trio-logue that allows everyone their say, whether it’s clustery, open-ended, and stringy, or pile-driving and forward-leaning.

(Note: Bartlett’s full-length preview will appear in the November Earshot Jazz.)

Click here for the complete schedule for the rest of the upcoming shows at the 2010 Earshot Jazz Festival

Jazz Photography by Seattle photographer Daniel Sheehan creating portraits for publications and a Seattle Wedding Photographer.

Son Jack Jr., a fantastic traditional blues guitarist opened for Charlie Musselwhite at the Triple Door on Thursday night along with Michael Wilde and the Delta Hothouse rhythm section brought the sounds of the Mississippi Delta to Seattle. Here is part of what was said about his recent CD in Bluesnotes in September. “After multiple listens to Walk The Talk by Son Jack Jr. & Michael Wilde, I keep finding myself asking, “Just where in Mississippi is Seattle located?” It’s not? Then why do these guys sound like first cousins to folk like Kenny Brown or Lightnin’ Malcolm or Mississippi Morris? I swear you could picture yourself sitting on the front porch of a shotgun shack outside Senatobia cooling the heat and humidity with a nice cool glass of sweet tea while listening to this album. It just sounds that down-home authentic.
Outstanding readings of selections from the songbooks of R.L. Burnside, Charley Patton and John Lee Hooker drive the mix with believability that there has to be a mistake on where they actually live. Further driven home when you hear their original material. Ain’t no way that was written by anybody that hasn’t been brought up around cotton fields or strolling down Highways 49 and 61. These songs are modern blues classics. Great themes. Feeling down so low that you’d have to get up just to die? Their baby howls for them in the middle of the night. And you’d better listen to these guys, because they mean everything they say. They walk the talk! And it’s a serious conversation!
Instrumentation is A-1 throughout, start to finish. Michael Wilde’s chromatic workout on “Crying Time” is powerful and grasps at your heart with its intense somberness. On “Maximum Security” he can whoop things up just like Sonny Terry. Son Jack offers multiple blues guitar approaches from Delta fingerpickers, to sizzling slides, to Hill Country trance. But he can also surprise you with a track like “Requiem” on which he comes across more like Leo Kottke or John Fahey with his solo string beauty that tells you there is more behind this man than just the blues. The pair are joined nicely throughout the disc by drummer Billy Barner and bassist Mark Davies, with keyboardist Eric Roberts joining in on a pair of tunes. It adds the proper flavoring. Just the right piquant to get you snapping your fingers. This music is so tasty you might be smacking your lips trying to savor that deliciousness.
Walk The Talk is more than just a good CD. It’s exceptional. Kick back and throw the disc on your player. More than likely you won’t be sitting long. The groove here will make you move whether you plan on it or not. Son Jack Jr & Michael Wilde will make you believe that Seattle really is in Mississippi. The far Northwest corner that is. A run-out-and-buy-it record for anybody who loves Southern blues music. Top shelf material! Need I say more?”

Click here for the complete schedule for the rest of the upcoming shows at the 2010 Earshot Jazz Festival

Ralph Towner and Paolo Fresu put on a beautiful concert last Sunday night at the Triple Door as part of the Earshot Jazz Spring Series. I especially appreciated the sound of the classical guitar and the trumpet mingling together it was so sweet. Here are the rest of the pictures I wanted to share from the performance.






Best known as the lead composer, guitarist, and keyboardist of the classic jazz ensemble Oregon, Ralph Towner has led a storied four decade career in improvised music. Towner’s blend of jazz, folk, and contemporary classical music offered a compelling alternative to the jazz-rock that ruled much of the 1970s (interestingly enough, however, Towner was also a valuable contributorto some vintage Weather Report line- ups). Towner’s first unaccompanied twelve-string guitar recordings were received as an entirely new musical idiom, and if one artist came to represent that classic ECM sound – spacious, rural, European or classical in design – it was Towner. His working relationship with ECM producer Manfred Eicher led to numerous fruitful collaborations, including recordings with Gary Peacock, Jack DeJohnette, Jan Garbarek, and Gary Burton. Towner is a true innovator, presenting ever fresh ideas while maintaining his rich, “pianistic” approach to guitar.

As one critic has remarked, “his ability to work simultaneous lines, sustain rich harmonics and drones and even get a percussive counterpoint out of the snap of the strings and the thud of the sound-box is what makes his solo playing so rich and multi-dimensional.” A generation removed from Towner, Sardinian trumpeter Paolo Fresu is a premiere exponent of the new Italian jazz. Indebted to Enrico Rava, Kenny Wheeler, and mid-50s Miles Davis, Fresu creates a gorgeous sound on both trumpet and flugelhorn. Fresu has long admired Towner’s work for solo guitar, and paired together the duo creates sparse music of great melodic subtlety. Though they first met some fifteen years ago, Fresu and Towner recently released their first album as a duo, Chiaroscuro (ECM), a masterful exploration of the colors and opportunities afforded by the unique instrumental pairing. The duo’s live performances are augmented by some tasty electronics, and taken altogether Towner and Fresu create a music quite unlike any other.


Jazz Photography by Seattle photographer Daniel Sheehan who covers jazz performances, and creates portrait photography for publications and corporations and a Seattle Wedding Photographer at A Beautiful Day Photography, a wedding photographer with an artistic photojournalist style. Visit his newest website EYESHOTPHOTOS.COM to see samples of all of his work as a Seattle Photographer.

Ralph Towner and Paolo Fresu performing at the Triple Door Sunday night as  the Earshot Jazz Spring Series continues.

The duo of Towner and Fresu put on a beautiful concert. The sound of the classical guitar and the trumpet mingling together so fluidly was especially compelling. I will post some more pictures of the performance by these two in the coming week.

Best known as the lead composer, guitarist, and keyboardist of the classic jazz ensemble Oregon, Ralph Towner has led a storied four decade career in improvised music. Towner’s blend of jazz, folk, and contemporary classical music offered a compelling alternative to the jazz-rock that ruled much of the 1970s (interestingly enough, however, Towner was also a valuable contributorto some vintage Weather Report line- ups). Towner’s first unaccompanied twelve-string guitar recordings were received as an entirely new musical idiom, and if one artist came to represent that classic ECM sound – spacious, rural, European or classical in design – it was Towner. His working relationship with ECM producer Manfred Eicher led to numerous fruitful collaborations, including recordings with Gary Peacock, Jack DeJohnette, Jan Garbarek, and Gary Burton. Towner is a true innovator, presenting ever fresh ideas while maintaining his rich, “pianistic” approach to guitar.

As one critic has remarked, “his ability to work simultaneous lines, sustain rich harmonics and drones and even get a percussive counterpoint out of the snap of the strings and the thud of the sound-box is what makes his solo playing so rich and multi-dimensional.” A generation removed from Towner, Sardinian trumpeter Paolo Fresu is a premiere exponent of the new Italian jazz. Indebted to Enrico Rava, Kenny Wheeler, and mid-50s Miles Davis, Fresu creates a gorgeous sound on both trumpet and flugelhorn. Fresu has long admired Towner’s work for solo guitar, and paired together the duo creates sparse music of great melodic subtlety. Though they first met some fifteen years ago, Fresu and Towner recently released their first album as a duo, Chiaroscuro (ECM), a masterful exploration of the colors and opportunities afforded by the unique instrumental pairing. The duo’s live performances are augmented by some tasty electronics, and taken altogether Towner and Fresu create a music quite unlike any other.


Bill Frisell

January 24th, 2010


Bill Frisell playing with Tony Scherr on bazz and and Kenny Wollesen on drums, at the Triple Door.

Bill was in great form Sunday night playing with his Trio of Tony and Kenny. They looked like they were having a lot of fun playing a variety of tunes ending the set with the Lucinda Williams song “Ventura” whose beautiful chorus is:
“I wanna watch the ocean bend,
The edges of the sun,then
I wanna get swallowed up
In an ocean of love.”

I love watching Bill retune his Fender Telecaster as he plays mid-song below.