- BIX, 1979: THE NEW YORK JAZZ REPERTORY COMPANY at the Grande Parade du Jazz: DICK HYMAN, DICK SUDHALTER, BOB WILBER, SPIEGLE WILLCOX, NORRIS TURNEY, HEYWOOD HENRY, BUCKY PIZZARELLI, GEORGE DUVIVIER, BOBBY ROSENGARDEN (July 10, 1979)
- “SOUNDIE”? WHAT’S A SOUNDIE?
- ASKING QUESTIONS for TRIO and QUARTET: LEE KONITZ, JIMMIE ROWLES, RED MITCHELL, SHELLY MANNE (Grande Parade du Jazz, July 7, 1978).
- “ECHOES OF SWING”: APRIL DeSHIELDS IS DOING WHAT WE’D LIKE TO DO, ONLY BETTER
- “MY THOUGHTS ARE EVER WENDING HOME”: MARC CAPARONE, JOHN SMITH, CARL SONNY LEYLAND, JEFF HAMILTON (August 13, 2013)
- BENNY SENT ME: JON-ERIK KELLSO, SCOTT ROBINSON, CHRIS FLORY, PAT O’LEARY at The Ear Out (May 23, 2021)
- “WE LOVE THEM. MADLY.” GABRIELLE STRAVELLI, DAN BLOCK, MICHAEL KANAN, PAT O’LEARY (Swing 46, October 5, 2021)
- “IN SUNNY ROSELAND,” or THE ARTS OF MELODIC EMBELLISHMENT: BARNEY BIGARD, VIC DICKENSON, DICK SUDHALTER, ART HODES, MARTY GROSZ, PLACIDE ADAMS, PANAMA FRANCIS (Nice Jazz Festival, July 22, 1977)
- START THE WEEK RIGHT
- NOTHING STAYS THE SAME”: TAMAR KORN, ROB EDWARDS, JARED ENGEL, GREG RUBY at The Ear Out (August 15, 2021)
- ELISE ROTH WEARS THREE HATS, AT LEAST
- “CAN’T YOU TAKE A DARE?”: JON-ERIK KELLSO, JAY RATTMAN, MATT MUNISTERI, TAL RONEN, ALBANIE FALLETTA, JOSH DUNN at The Ear Out (June 6, 2021)
- A VISIT TO THE PAST, WITH “WILD REEDS AND WICKED RHYTHM”: EDDY DAVIS, SCOTT ROBINSON, CONAL FOWKES, ORANGE KELLIN, DEBBIE KENNEDY (The Cajun, March 29, 2006)
- EVERYTHING VENERABLE WAS ONCE NEW
- “YOU HAVE TO GET OUT OF YOUR CHAIR SOMETIME”: LARRY McKENNA with STRINGS (World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, October 12, 2021)
- THE MAESTRO FROM MILAN
- THE MOST OPTIMISTIC WEATHER FORECAST: TAMAR KORN and her METAPHYSICIANS OF DELIGHT at THE EAR OUT: ROB EDWARDS, GREG RUBY, JARED ENGEL, COLIN HANCOCK, ANDREW STEPHENS (August 15, 2021)
- “ROCK AND RYE”: RAY SKJELBRED and his CUBS at the SACRAMENTO JAZZ JUBILEE: KIM CUSACK, CLINT BAKER, KATIE CAVERA, JEFF HAMILTON (May 24, 2014)
- A STRING SESSION ON SPRING: ALBANIE FALLETTA, MATT MUNISTERI, TAL RONEN, JOSH DUNN at The Ear Out (June 6, 2021)
- DICK HYMAN / RUBY BRAFF IN CONCERT: “EUPHONIC ORGANISATION” (11.9.85, Norfolk, England)
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Tag Archives: IMAGINATION
OUT OF THE CRADLE, ENDLESSLY ROCKING: MATT MUNISTERI at CORNELIA STREET CAFE (MATT RAY, DANTON BOLLER, Oct. 3, 2013)
More evidence of what everyone should know: that guitarist / singer / composer / arranger Matt Munisteri is blazingly yet subtly inventive in many kinds of music, transforming everything he touches into something sharp and new yet always full of the deepest human spirit.
Here he is with bassist Danton Boller and pianist Matt Ray at the Cornelia Street Cafe in New York City on October 3, 2013.
Much of the music performed that night was composed by Willard Robison — someone who, like Matt, turns a satiric eye on our rush to delude ourselves while offering us comfort in his melodies and hope that happiness and enlightenment are possible.
But the show wasn’t an archivist’s self-indulgence immersion in “the old stuff,” reproduced exactly from aged discs and crumbling pages.
Matt is far too imaginative for that, so each of the Robison songs was like a jewel in a new setting: I knew the melodies, but thought, “Wow! I have really never heard that song before.”
The same was true for Nick Lucas’ PICKIN’ THE GUITAR, reminding us how brilliantly Matt plays that much-abused instrument. The Sammy Cahn-Saul Chaplin GET ACQUAINTED WITH YOURSELF (which we usually associate with Willie “the Lion” Smith and O’Neil Spencer) receives a sharp modernist edge thanks to the new lyrics from Rachelle Garniez and Matt.
Matt was beautifully and wittily accompanied by pianist Matt and bassist Danton. They swung and provided just-right commentaries and eloquent solos: this wasn’t three musicians together for the night behind their music stands, but a true band, a conversation among equals, rocking us towards deeper insights.
(WE’LL HAVE A NEW HOME) IN THE MORNING:
COUNTRY BOY BLUES:
GET ACQUAINTED WITH YOURSELF:
PICKIN’ THE GUITAR:
STILL RUNNIN’ ROUND IN THE WILDERNESS:
I HEARD A MOCKING BIRD SINGING IN CALIFORNIA:
‘T’AIN’T SO, HONEY, ‘T’AIN’T SO:
Walt Whitman would have approved: Matt’s spirit is expansive, fluid, encompassing us all.
May your happiness increase!
The imagination of pianist Jessica Roemischer is roomy and ranging.
At the keyboard, she creates cathedrals of sound: visible, tangible, not just audible. Improvising on familiar themes — the blues, traditional melodies, folk songs, hymns — she may begin with plain-spoken melodic lines, simple chords.
She doesn’t rush; she doesn’t intimdate the listener by jumping into complexities before the music is ready for them. She takes her time. A murmuring, rumbling bass becomes more turbulent water. Blue notes make themselves felt in surprising places. Her harmonies deepen; her chords grow more dense, each sonority given its own space to echo before a new cluster tumbles in. Single-note lines give way to arpeggios, creating impressionistic washes of sound and timbre. Clouds and rippling pools emerge from treble and bass; simple lines and chords become a conversation, then an orchestra.
The listener sees something three-dimensional ascend towards the sky, its base solid, its foundation broad, its spires reaching upwards, large but never imposing. And her improvisations settle and become more quiet; then, the listener is back on the ground, enriched and delighted.
I have heard and seen this in performance: she wove together the strains of SHENANDOAH and WALTZING MATILDA, slowing down the latter to match its American cousin, making the intertwined melodies both mournfully yearning and hopeful. AMAZING GRACE moved from quiet simplicity to great cloud-rhapsodies of sound and back to an eloquent plainness.
Here is one version of AMAZING GRACE — but it is only one set of variations on a theme. Roemischer is a true improviser, bravely venturing, her vistas unrestricted, but always honoring the melody and its harmonic richness.
Roemischer has a new solo CD, called HAVEN, which mixes traditional material, Sixties pop, Bruce Springsteen, and her own lilting originals. It’s a rewarding series of journeys, inward and outward. Visit her at http://www.pianobeautiful.com.
“Heaven on Earth, they call it 211 West 46th Street.”
Last Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011, at Club Cache in the Hotel Edison, Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks did what they’ve been doing every Monday and Tuesday night for many weeks: they made the past come alive. But last night they also peeked around the corner of the present into the future.
The future didn’t announce itself melodramatically: it wasn’t a larger-than-life baby wearing nothing but a sash. It was a young man, sixteen years old, who plays the banjo in the jazz band led by trumpeter Kevin Blancq at New York’s LaGuardia High School. The young man’s name is ELI GREENHOE, and he sat in with the Nighthawks to play one of the tunes he loves and has learned from his time in the LaGuardia Jazz Orchestra — Duke Ellington’s growly THE MOOCHE. I’ll have that performance for all of you to see and hear in a future posting.
To hear about Kevin’s band — rehearsing in a room with pictures of Benny, Hawkins, and Carter on the walls — is exciting. JAZZ LIVES hopes to pay them a visit, so stay tuned.
And the Nighthawks always excite! Here’s some of the hot music the boys offered last night — that’s Vince on vocals, bass sax, tuba, and string bass; Ken Salvo on banjo; Peter Yarin on piano; Arnie Kinsella on drums; Mike Ponella and Jon-Erik Kellso on trumpets; Harvey Tibbs on tronbone; Alan Grubner on violin; Dan Levinson, Mark Lopeman, and Peter Anderson on reeds.
You can’t go wrong with Benny Carter, who remains the King. Here’s his 1934 EVERYBODY SHUFFLE (which bears some relationship to KING PORTER STOMP, I believe): the original recording drew on Fletcher Henderson’s men and I recall a typically slippery Benny Morton trombone solo:
The nightly jam session — always a rouser — was BLUES MY NAUGHTY SWEETIE GIVES (or GAVE, if you’re lucky) TO ME:
Something for Bix and Jean Goldkette and Joe Venuti and a very young Jule Styne, SUNDAY:
Who knew that Ellington had written two compositions called COTTON CLUB STOMP? This is the later one, from 1930:
In honor of the Bennie Moten band (with Hot Lips Page, Eddie Durham, Count Basie, and Jimmy Rushing), OH, EDDIE!:
And since Vince and JAZZ LIVES always try to bring you something old, new, and futuristic all at once, here’s a Nighthawks premiere of arranger / composer / reedman Fud Livingston’s IMAGINATION (from 1927). Readers with excellent memories will recall that I posted the piano sheet music for this advanced composition on this site some time back at https://jazzlives.wordpress.com/2009/08/21/imagine-this/. If you can open two windows at once on your computer, why not play along on your piano!
More to come!
DROP A NICKEL IN THE SLOT TO HEAR THE MUSIC PLAY! ALL MONEY GOES TO THE MUSICIANS:
This was one prize — of several — acquired yesterday at the Coxsackie Antique Center, a multi-dealer showplace near Albany, New York, with a hundred dealers. Walking up and down the aisles, although the large store was clean and well-lit, which isn’t always the case, I began to be grateful that there were so many things I had no desire whatsoever to collect.
But this piece of sheet music — new to me! — suggests that hipness didn’t restrict itself to major urban centers in 1927 or after — or perhaps someone brought this from New York City to play on the piano at the summer house? My photographs of the score might be too small to play from, but perhaps my readers can solve this for themselves.
IMAGINATION is an unusually modern piece for 1927, harmonically sophisticated — but unless you can sight-read, you might not know what it sounds like.
Voila! The Bix Beiderbecke Discussion Group (http://www,bixbeiderbecke.com.) once again came to the rescue. There I found a good deal of information about Fud Livingston — composer, arranger, reedman — as well as audio versions of IMAGINATION by bands including Red Nichols, Miff Mole, Vic Berton, and other Twenties hot stars. (I hope that Professor Al Haim agrees that my petty larceny was done for a good purpose.)
Note: these files occasionally take some time to load; sometimes they stall; they require Real Player. But they do reward the patient and diligent.
To repay the Bixophiles for my borrowing these recordings from their site, here’s another piece of sheet music, also new to me, with distinct ties to Bix and Tram. More to come!