Daily Archives: June 7, 2013

IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO REMEMBER NOT TO FORGET: MATT MUNISTERI, WESTWARD! (June 24, 2013)

matt-m hand

The ever-surprising guitarist, singer, composer Matt Munisteri is coming to California for his first gigs in this state.  He and the fine bassist Todd Sickafoose will playing at DUENDE in Oakland on June 24, 2013 (that’s TONIGHT — Monday) at 9 PM . . . . and you can buy tickets ($10) here.

DUENDE is at 468 19th Street in Oakland: phone 510.893.0174.

Munisteri

Having seen and heard Matt in a variety of contexts — the EarRegulars, with Catherine Russell, with Whit Smith, with Bucky Pizzarelli, with Matt Glaser, with his own band Brock Mumford, in his show devoted to the music of Willard Robison — I know that he always offers a cornucopia of surprising and gratifying music — his own compositions, tunes you wish you knew better, hot jazz, roots music — nothing by-the-numbers.

And here is his website, so that if you’re not near Oakland, you can still climb aboard.

May your happiness increase!

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JAZZ WALKED IN: DAN BLOCK, ED WISE, DANNY TOBIAS at THE MERMAID INN (May 17, 2013)

Here’s a sweet surprise, courtesy of George Gershwin and improvisatory impulses that won’t be denied.  In between sets on a recent Marty Grosz gig at The Mermaid Inn, two, then three players took the stand to explore LOVE WALKED IN: first Dan Block, alto, with Ed Wise, string bass, then Danny Tobias, cornet.  Delicious results!

Once again, here’s an explanation — without words — of why improvising musicians call it PLAYING.

May your happiness increase!

SWEETLY INTIMATE SWING: MICHAEL GROH and NED BOYNTON at AMNESIA (June 2, 2013)

One of the pleasures of this 2013 California summer has been discovering this intimate, swinging duo — Michael Groh (whom I knew and admired from GAUCHO) on guitar and vocal, and Ned Boynton (new to me) on guitar.  Learn more about Ned here. They played a lovely varied set at Amnesia in San Francisco on Sunday, June 2, offering the kind of relaxed, creative music that we always imagine musicians play when there’s a small audience of people on the same wavelength.

Here are three highlights:

BUDDY BOLDEN’S BLUES (or I THOUGHT I HEARD BUDDY BOLDEN SAY), containing useful information for dancers and lovers of fresh breezes:

A sweetly mobile reading of FOR ALL WE KNOW:

W.C. Handy’s ever-relevant lament about duplicity on all levels, LOVELESS LOVE:

Michael somewhat whimsically called this duo — a compact, intimate band — THE NEW EXCELSIOR RHYTHM BABIES, a spinoff from a larger unit.  To get the full story, ask him on a set break.

May your happiness increase!

A GATHERING OF GIANTS: LOUIS, SIDNEY, LIONEL, BUDDY and FRIENDS

This photograph from the Burt Goldblatt collection was recently for sale on eBay.  Sidney Catlett, Lionel Hampton, Louis Armstrong, Buddy Rich . . . and presumably members of Lionel’s big band, (guitarist Billy Mackel over Sid’s shoulder) —  the scene is apparently the middle-to-late Forties.  Louis is taking a breath between phrases or getting ready to play . . . half paying attention to something offstage?

A keen observer pointed out to me that Lionel is wearing raised heels . . . Tall was always good.

LOUIS, SID, HAMP from Burt Goldblatt

The photograph doesn’t come from the January 1944 Metropolitan Opera House concert (the more famous photographs from that occasion show a different stage and dark suits) but the soundtrack — for those who have the recordings — must have resembled the DRUM DUET that came late in the concert.

I’m happy to report that this photograph is now owned by someone who not only knows how to hear the music but how to play it as well.

LOUIS, SID, HAMP recto

Anyone want to begin manufacturing Catlett – Hampton – Rich – Armstrong t-shirts?

May your happiness increase!