July 23rd, 2014
LAst month Earshot Jazz presented in concert Human Feel at the Seattle Art Museum. This collective, after its start in Boston, in the 1990s became a quintessential representative of new directions in New York area jazz. Andrew D’Angelo (alto sax, bass clarinet), Chris Speed (tenor sax, clarinet), Kurt Rosenwinkel (guitar), and Jim Black (drums) played sparkling, angled jazz with jazz-rock energy, improvisers’ intuition, and contemporary chamber music chops.
It has always commanded the attention and affection of Seattle jazz fans because Black, D’Angelo, and Speed all ventured East from Seattle. They are certainly among our city’s finest musical exports. During the last 20 years, they and the band’s fourth stellar member, guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel, have been present at, if not generative of, some of the major turns in modern jazz – sometimes referred to as the “Downtown Jazz Scene,” perhaps misleadingly, particularly now that the band is very much ensconced in Brooklyn. The quartet’s mid-90s recordings, Welcome to Malpesta in 1994 and Speak to It in 1996, gained attention and wrought influence at the same time as the members of the quartet all branched out into other highly considered outfits. Speed and Black began long tenures with Tim Berne’s Bloodcount and two of Dave Douglas’s numerous. They performed together in Pachora, Speed’s yeah NO quartet, and Black’s AlasNoAxis quartet. Black played with Ellery Eskelin’s trio and with Laurie Anderson, while D’Angelo joined Matt Wilson’s quartet and Rosenwinkel landed an enviable contract with Verve. Still, as Human Feel they remained a touchstone of small-group collaboration, and their approaches influenced rising jazz experimenters the world over.
In its latest orbit, says Black, the band is intent on “balancing lyricism, aggression, order, and chaos, discipline and anarchy.” A new album, Human Feel’s sixth, is expected soon from Skirl Records.
October 22nd, 2010
JAMES CARTER swings with his sax in performance Friday night at the Triple Door as he played with his “HEAVEN ON EARTH” band featuring John Medeski on Hammond B3 and Adam Rogers on guitar, bassist Ralphe Armstrong and drummer Lee Pearson. The sold out first show was extraordinary and well received by the standing room only crowd. Wish I could have stayed for the second set. I have a lot of good pictures and will post them at another date.
Here are some program notes by John Ewing:
“In 2009 James Carter released a record called Heaven on Earth (Half Note Records). It featured a select group of New York based musicians including organist John Medeski, bassist Christian McBride, guitarist Adam Rogers, and drummer Joey Baron. Like many of Mr. Carter’s recordings, it differed greatly from the work that preceded it. His previous release, Present Tense (Emarcy, 2008) portrayed the saxophonist as a rugged traditionalist more than willing to work within pre-established forms without ego driven pyrotechnics.
Heaven on Earth however features a mix of avant-garde fire, hard bop inspired blowing, and a generous squeeze from the greasy funk oil can. This particular dynamic not only provided a perfect spotlight for Mr. Carter’s volcanic virtuosity, but it also allowed for much experimental interplay between the musicians, all of whom know how to throw their weight around. Continue reading at: EarshotJazz
May 2nd, 2009
Ingebrigt Haker Flaten on bass and Mats Gustafsson on Sax Thursday night at Poncho Performance Hall
I just wanted to post one more shot from the Thing concert last night. It was truly an amazing concert. An incredible amount of energy was expended up on that stage. Then next time they come back to Seattle try and get out and see them. Photo by Seattle photographer Daniel Sheehan who shoots Seattle wedding photography on weekends creating award winning wedding photojournalism
April 4th, 2009
Ab Baars at the Asian Art Museum Friday night with Amsterdam’s top improvisers in the Ab Baars Trio, playing with Chicago’s MacArthur-winning sax titan Ken Vandermark.
More to come.
Photograph by Seattle photographer Daniel Sheehan, a photojournalist specializing in jazz photography, photojournalism and portrait photography for publications and corporations. He is also a Seattle wedding photographer with an unobtrusive, story-telling approach creating award winning wedding photojournalism among Seattle wedding photographers.
October 3rd, 2008
David Sánchez played with his quartet at the Triple Door last October 25th during the Earshot Jazz Festival 2007. Here is an excerpt from Earshot Jazz Magazine.
David Sánchez commands a room, infusing
his huge tenor-saxophone tone with the musical passion of his native Puerto Rico. Specializing in jazz interpretations of mountainous works by Latin American composers, this Latin Grammy winner and his quartet exude palpable charisma and create music to remember every time.
“Technically, tonally, and creatively, he seems to have it all,” gushes jazz critic Howard Reich. “His sound is never less than plush, his pitch is unerring, his rapid-fire playing is ravishing in its combination
of speed, accuracy, and utter evenness of tone.”
Such ecstatic accolades follow Sánchez wherever he plays. After abandoning early efforts on the conga in favor of the tenor saxophone at age 12, he never looked back. Thanks to the enthusiastic endorsement of saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera, Dizzy Gillespie
invited Sánchez to join the United Nation Orchestra in 1990 and “Live the Future” tour – with South African singer extraordinaire Miriam Makeba – the next year.
Since then, Sánchez has toured and recorded with dozens of other stellar notables and produced sessions for Columbia Records, with which he has enjoyed a lasting relationship as a recording artist. After earning several Latin Grammy nominations, Sánchez released Coral, which took home the “Best Instrumental Album” in 2005. His most ambitiously reverential work to date, Coral documents Sánchez and the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra playing interpretations of masterworks by such Latin American luminaries as Antonio Carlos Jobim, Heitor Villa-Lobos, and Alberto Ginastera.
In his more intimate quartet, Sánchez folds Afro-Cuban rhythms into a mien of late-stage bebop and searing, trigger-happy solos. Newly signed to the resurging Concord Records, he came to Seattle with a growing legend that stands boldly on the cusp a fresh new chapter.
Photograph by Editorial Photographer and portrait photographers Daniel Sheehan. Daniel specializes in portraits and photojournalism for publications and corporations. At night he shoots jazz musicians on assignment for Earshot Jazz. Please respect his work and ask for permission to use any pictures.
Daniel is also a bridal photographer. He does wedding photography in an artistic, editorial fashion with classic photojournalistic style.
September 29th, 2008
Anat Cohen was another favorite of mine from last year’s Earshot Jazz Festival.
Tenor saxophonist and clarinetist Anat Cohen is winning high praise for her explorations of Afro-Cuban styles, Argentinian tango, Brazilian choro, classical,
and jazz music. In the decade since she came to the U.S. from her native Tel Aviv, Israel, Cohen has graduated from the prestigious Berklee College of Music, played with such notable Latin American-
styled bands as the Choro Ensemble, New York Samba Jazz (led by Brazilian drum master Duduka Da Fonseca), the pop outfit Brazooca, and the Three Cohens
(with her musical brothers), in addition
to touring the world as lead tenor saxophone in Sherrie Maricle’s all-female big band, the Diva Jazz Orchestra.
In 2005, Cohen’s debut CD, Place and Time, netted the distinction of being one of All About Jazz: New York’s “Best Debut Albums of 2005.” She followed with two discs, Noir and Poetica, this year. On the first, Cohen plays clarinet and tenor, soprano, and alto saxophones at the head of an ensemble of three woodwinds, three trumpets, two trombones, three cellos, and a rhythm section of guitar, bass, drums, and percussion on 10 songs that jazz historian Dan Morgenstern describes as “unfold[ing] like a Pan-American film score.”
Poetica takes a different, but no less compelling, approach to showcasing Cohen’s continually impressive talents as an arranger and bandleader. Here supported
mostly by pianist Jason Lindner, bassist Omer Avital, and drummer Daniel Freedman, Cohen plays only the clarinet on a set list that includes Brazilian, Israeli, and French songs, plus John Coltrane’s “Lonnie’s Lament” and two originals. On the strength of these two releases, Cohen now comes to Seattle on a wave of critical praise.