Sunday Night at the Triple Door Earshot Jazz presented  one of my favorite groups The Bad Plus. The were BAD. So intense and interesting to watch.
As badass as highbrow gets. A rollicking and thought-provoking good time with the acclaimed Reid Anderson (bass), Ethan Iverson (piano) and Dave King (drums), who always go a leap ahead of the conventional piano trio.

The Bad Plus has spent almost fifteen years redefining what a piano-bass-drums trio can be. They’ve reached audiences of all demographic stripes with an uncompromising body of original music (plus some ingenious, genre-jumping covers) and dedicated touring around the globe. On their eighth studio album, Made Possible, they take their distinctive musical MO to captivating new heights, proving once again that the rules of musical convention are made to be broken.

Throughout, The Bad Plus has held fast to a band ethos and belief in what the trio likes to call avantgarde populism (progressive, musically sophisticated ideas without the highbrow trappings). Made Possible is a vivid and convincing document of this passionate stance, loaded with genre-defying music that is at once complex, heartfelt and instantly engaging.

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





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

Jazz guitarist John Scofield in concert
Earshot Jazz Festival 2013 presented John Scofield’s Überjam Weds night at the Triple Door. John Scofield’s new groove outfit featured bassist Andy Hess, guitarist and sample ace Avi Bortnick and drummer Luis Cato, fresh from a new studio album. A veteran of bands going back to Chet Baker, Gerry Mulligan and Miles Davis, Scofield is an ever-evolving jazz-rock icon with a distinctive sound. The Überjam unit effortlessly blended diverse influences in a seamless, modern groove – adding Indian samples or dub bass, for example – with guitar improvising master Scofield flying on top.

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

Jazz guitarist John Scofield in concert

Jazz guitarist John Scofield in concert

Jazz guitarist John Scofield in concert


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

Christian Scott Band

October 31st, 2012

I was really impressed with the Christian Scott Band last night at the Triple Door as part of the Earshot Jazz Festival. I had never heard Christian play and he has a wonderful tone and a high level of energy that was great.

The 2012 Earshot Jazz festival continues in it last week. Click on the schedule here 2012 Earshot Jazz Festival 
Christian Scott grew up in a jazz family in New Orleans. His grandfather Clinton Scott was the host of “Sittin’ in with Clint,” a jazz program at the WWOZ radio station; his uncle, saxophonist Donald Harrison, is a modern jazz icon. Scott takes these traditional foundations and creates innovative compositions with his self-described style of “stretch music,” pushing the limits of traditional jazz by adding stylistic elements like rock and hip-hop. Bandmates Matthew Stevens on guitar, Lawrence Fields on piano, Kris Funn on bass and Jamire Williams on drums meet him at every beat.

Scott started playing the trumpet at 12 and within a year was performing alongside his uncle. When he was 18, he self-released his self-titled album Christian Scott. At 22, he signed with Concord Jazz and released the Grammy-nominated album Rewind That. With the release of sixth album Christian aTunde Adjua this year, Scott shows no signs of slowing down.

Christian aTunde Adjua’s two-CD, 23-track collection takes traditional New Orleans jazz to edgy territories. Trained in classic jazz, Scott says, “My uncle took me back to the very beginning of the music. He taught me stuff that Buddy Bolden was playing in the early 1900s.”

Scott’s provocative style goes a step further to illuminate current social and political issues. He reflects on the devastation caused by hurricane Katrina, racism, abortion and gay marriage. Song “The Last Broken Heart,” from his Yesterday You Said Tomorrow (2010), was inspired by debate over gay marriage. “It’s a very challenging song to play, but the small dissonances within the song make it very captivating,” Scott says. “What could be more beautiful than two people deciding to love each other? It’s better than two people deciding to hate each other, but somehow that’s more acceptable.”
Scott says, “There’s no better time than right now to fix all of the problems and issues that we face as individuals and as a society,” he says. “The problems that some of the musicians of the 60s addressed still exist. They may look a little different, but they’re still around.” – ST

Bettye LaVette

October 17th, 2012

Another evening of wonderful performances. Bettye LaVette at the Triple Door put on a very amazing show. Her voice has to be experienced.

2012 Earshot Jazz Festival  continues. Click on the schedule.

Bettye LaVette is one of the greatest soul singers in American music, possessed of an incredibly expressive voice that at one moment exudes formidable strength and intensity and at the next appears vulnerable, reflective, reeking of heartbreak. LaVette has been recording for over four decades.

Born in Muskegon, Michigan, in 1946, LaVette grew up in Detroit. LaVette is one of few soul singers who didn’t start in church. At the age of 16, with legendary Motor City music raconteur Johnnie Mae Matthews, LaVette’s first single was the insouciantly swinging “My Man – He’s a Loving Man.” LaVette next hit the charts with the Dee Dee Ford penned “Let Me Down Easy” in springtime 1965. Over the next three-plus decades LaVette cut a string of consistently strong singles for Big Wheel, Silver Fox, SSS, TCA, Atco, Epic, West End, Motown and Bar/None. To this day, “Let Me Down Easy” remains the singer’s theme song.

A buzz in the early 2000s that surrounded LaVette in soul circles caught the attention of Anti- Records president Andy Kaulkin, who signed her to a three-record deal. The resulting records – A Change is Gonna Come Sessions (2009), Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook (2010) and Thankful N’ Thoughtful (2012) – reflect the wisdom of age.

The result is a blessing to us all.

– DB;

Dave Peck Trio

October 15th, 2012

In the second offering at the Triple Door on Sunday was the Dave Peck Trio. Pacific Northwest pianist Dave Peck is known for his introspective style and lush harmonic coloring. His award-winning albums Trio, Solo, 3 and 1, Out of Seattle, Good Road and Modern Romance are radio and critical favorites. The Dave Peck Trio includes the brilliant Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame bassist Jeff Johnson, along with the Los Angeles drum standout Joe LaBarbera. Both rhythmic and romantic, the trio uses the standard repertoire as a framework for new composition and form. Their work is rich, intuitive and harmonically complex with a unique, signature sound.

Here is the  2012 Earshot Jazz Festival schedule to see what is coming up next.

Coda Magazine praises Peck as “Introspective and astute … lush and deeply attentive … warm, adept and perfectly subtle with enormous craft.” DownBeat describes his playing as “lyrical and pastel, swinging and bluesy, with a ringing crystalline touch.”

Peck has appeared on Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz, Jazz After Hours, NPR’s Jazz Alive, VH1 and CBC Television. He has performed with some of the great jazz artists of our time, including Bud Shank, Chet Baker, Joe Williams and Freddie Hubbard.

– DB

Here is the  2012 Earshot Jazz Festival schedule to see what is coming up next.

Clarence Acox leads the Garfield High School Jazz Band at The Triple Door Tuesday

Earshot Jazz Festival 2011 presented the always exciting Garfield jazz band, nationally acclaimed, who performed with special guest, alto saxophonist Wessell Anderson, a veteran of the bands of Wynton Marsalis and a respected leader in his own right.

Check out the Earshot Jazz Festival Schedule to see what’s next in the 2011 Festival lineup.

Wessell Anderson’s dedication to jazz education is unwavering. Currently a faculty member in the jazz department at Michigan State University, for over a decade, he served as a mentor to students across the globe as a member of Wynton Marsalis’ globe-trotting Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Over the years, he had many opportunities to meet Clarence Acox and the student musicians who are part of the award-winning Garfield High School Jazz Band during the annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition each May in New York.

Although he studied with Alvin Batiste in Louisiana, and his big, vocalized sound and Marsalis association a might lead you to believe he’s from the trumpeter’s and Acox’s home state of Louisiana, Anderson was actually born and raised in New York City. For this concert, though, Anderson will bring his warm sounds to the Emerald City as the featured soloist for this set with the Garfield High School Jazz Band under Acox’s direction. In 2010, the band made history at the Ellington competition, becoming the first band ever to win the national contest four times. Expect a big band set of swinging tunes by legendary composers like Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Count Basie and Mary Lou Williams.

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Thomas Mapfumo and Blacks Unlimited at Triple Door Monday

Earshot Jazz Festival 2011 presented The “Lion of Zimbabwe,” Thomas Mapfumo, and his  music that he calls “influenced by the people who are struggling at home. Their voices have been silenced. Someone has got to talk.” His chimurenga – music of struggle – has merged Shona traditions and the West.

Check out the Earshot Jazz Festival Schedule to see what’s next in the 2011 Festival lineup.

“Our music speaks for the people. We are influenced by the people who are struggling at home. Their voices have been silenced. Someone has got to talk,” Thomas Mapfumo explains. Widely revered in his homeland as the “Lion of Zimbabwe,” Mapfumo brings the protest music known as chimurenga (which means “revolutionary struggle” in Shona) – which he invented and made popular – to Seattle. His compositions mix traditional Shona mbira (thumb piano) music with Western rock and other modern genres. Even as they decry social injustice, political oppression, the AIDS crisis and domestic violence, Mapfumo’s uplifting, upbeat and danceable songs celebrate the human spirit and speak to the universal need for freedom.
Afropop Worldwide proclaimed that “since his first single in 1974, Mapfumo has shown an unfailing ear for a hook, for reaching his people. His voice, once described as a ‘bass whisper,’ endures, its defiant moral authority transferred gracefully now from a brash youthfulness to the intonations of a serene elder.” Continue reading Earshot Jazz Festival program guide

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Kenny Werner played with special guests David Sanchez, Randy Brecker, Scott Colley & Antonio Sanchez at The Triple Door March 6th as part of the Earshot Jazz Spring Series.

Kenny Werner is among the most gifted of pianists in jazz, possessed of a technique at once stunning in its range and sophistication and ear-opening in its aesthetic richness and depth. That reflects the scope of his experience in jazz. Early in Brooklyn-raised Werner’s career, he recorded early jazz, then played with Charles Mingus, and next toured and recorded extensively with Archie Shepp, and went on with stints with the likes of Mel Lewis and his orchestra, saxophonist Joe Lovano, and harmonica star Toots Thielemans.

A remarkable aspect of Werner’s career has been that he has developed his approach to playing into a pedagogy. He came by his approach through many years of thoughtfulness about music and life. In his 1996 book Effortless Mastery: Liberating the Master Musician Within, Werner, who teaches at New York University, explains how he has done just that in his own, séance-like playing. Werner’s All-Stars extend the lineup he featured on his 2006 recording Democracy Now (Half Note) with David Sanchez, one of the most sizzling of modern sax players.

From Puerto Rico, Sanchez has won the highest praise from the critics. Howard Reich said of him: “Technically, tonally, and creatively, he seems to have it all. 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. What results is far closer to the more daring postbop tradition than to standard Latin music.”

As advanced a player as Sanchez is the seasoned trumpeter and flugelhorn player Randy Brecker, a veteran of a vast range of musical projects – not just the bands of jazz legends like Horace Silver and Jaco Pastorius, but also those of pop and rock stars of many kinds: James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, Parliament Funkadelic, Frank Sinatra, Steely Dan, Frank Zappa. Is there another musician alive who could boast a range of collaborations to match that?

Completing the lineup is bassist Scott Colley, a veteran of more than 200 recordings who has backed Herbie Hancock, Jim Hall, Andrew Hill, Pat Metheny, and many others, along with Mexican drummer Antonio Sanchez. A percussionist since age 5, Sanchez studied classical piano at the National Conservatory in Mexico before enrolling at Berklee and graduating with the highest honors. From there, he became a drummer of choice for many of the modern greats of jazz, including Pat Metheny, Chick Corea, Gary Burton, and Charlie Haden.