Tag Archives: Gerg Cohen

KENNY DAVERN’S ART AND CRAFT (2004)

TO HONOR KENNY DAVERN, CLICK HERE: ALL MONEY GOES TO THE MUSICIANS!

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=VBURVAWDMWQAS

Don Wolff, our generous benefactor, has offered these performances by Kenny Davern’s favorite quartet from a 2004 New Jersey Jazz Society concert. 

Half of this quartet — Kenny and his favorite drummer, Tony DiNicola — are gone.  Happily, guitarist James Chirillo and bassist Greg Cohen are very much on the scene.

These performances mix intensity and lightness, and although I’ve sometimes thought that Davern, at this stage of his career, was more concerned with polishing his craft than taking risks, I realize that such hair-splitting is meaningless when faced with such music and the void Kenny left when he died.  The discussion between those who privilege the “art” of improvisation and the “craft” of perfecting your approach to a particular song seems less important than the result.   

Those of us who saw and admired Kenny — whether on clarinet, soprano saxophone, baritone or even bass sax — will find themselves caught up in his particular ethos immediately.  If you never had the chance to see and hear this irreplaceable man, here he is, with his most noble friends:

I’M SORRY I MADE YOU CRY:



WILD MAN BLUES:

AM I BLUE?:

BEALE STREET BLUES:

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COMING SOON: TENORS BLOSSOMING

It might seem to some loyal readers that this blog has already gone on vacation — not so.  I have been busily listening and video-recording without time to post the results, but wonderful music is on the way. 

For whatever reasons (cosmic alignment, good fortune) there has been a splendid confluence of tenor saxophone majesties in the New York City area. 

On Sunday, June 27, the EarRegulars (renamed “the Irregular EarRegulars” by bassist Greg Cohen) were Greg, saxophonists Harry Allen and Scott Robinson, with young Eric Schwam sitting in, guitarist James Chirillo, with a guest appearance by violinist Valerie Levy.  On Tuesday, June 29, piano master Michael Kanan organized a session at Smalls featuring one of my heroes, Joel Press, on tenor and soprano sax, with bassist Pat O’Leary and drummer Joe Hunt.  The next night, Wednesday, June 30, Michael, Joel, and Joe Hunt reassembled at Sofia’s and were joined by bassist Neal Miner and — for one set — the legendary 82-year old Ted Brown, also on tenor. 

No histrionics or walking the bar — just swing, deep feeling, and thoughtful musical conversations.  Stay tuned!  Coming soon to a computer near you!

THE EAR INN, APRIL 6

Candid portraits taken from the ideal vantage point — a barstool right in front of the band:

Matt Munisteri (guitar) and Harvey Tibbs (trombone) deep in thought at a medium tempo.

Brad Shigeta (trombone), Marty Elkins (vocal), Greg Cohen (bass), Jon-Erik Kellso (trumpet), Stanley King (washboard). Notice that both Brad and Jon-Erik have mutes in their horns — essential for growling, although not at the audience or each other!

Greg, Jon-Erik, Orange Kellin (clarinet), Matt