Summer Jazz 2004

JOHN ABERCROMBIE
July 21-24
Birdland, 315 West 44th Street, 212.581.3080

Surrounded by bass and violin on his glistening new ECM disc, the guitarist is investing in strings. He's long split the difference between aggression and discretion, and the back 'n' forth has given his music an odd sort of élan, which for this gig will be enhanced by drummer Joey Baron. MACNIE


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The Village Voice Jazz Supplement: Crossing Over Everywhere

  • Crossover Realities
    Seeking ways to get heard and to grow, and more often succeeding at the latter
    by Larry Blumenfeld

  • Fleishedik and Milchedik
    Jazzing the classics and classing the jazzers from Jelly Roll Morton to Uri Caine
    by Francis Davis

  • Band in My Head
    How Mojo, Bitches Brew, and Butch Morris inspired a funktional African American family unit
    by Greg Tate

  • The Joan Baez of Jazz
    A great tradition strives to keep itself young by discovering its inner Melissa Manchester
    by Tom Smucker

  • Darn That Dream
    Major tie-up on the one-way street from jazz to jam
    by Martin Johnson
  • Related Stories

    More About

    RAY ANDERSON & WYCLIFFE GORDON
    June 25-26
    Sweet Rhythm, 88 Seventh Avenue South, 212.255.3626

    Two of the hippest trombonists in the music's history unite for a brass blast that might wake the neighbors. Polyphony is sacred to both of these virtuosos, so prep for an evening of hard swing, earthy backbeats, and plenty of back 'n' forth. MACNIE


    SAM BARDFELD
    June 30
    Makor, 35 West 67th Street, 212.601.1000

    A violin/trumpet/vibes front line is going to earn points for character regardless of the music's slant, but I trust Bardfeld (he of the bow and the book) to come up with an array of tunes that will make you grin while admiring their design. MACNIE


    BENEVENTO-RUSSO DUO
    June 20
    JVC Jazz Festival, Jazz Standard, 116 East 27th Street, 212.576.2232

    Former members of a New Jersey middle school jazz band, keyboardist Marco Benevento and drummer Joe Russo reconnected in NYC a few years ago and have been making beautiful—and gentle, tornadic, and downright freaky—music together ever since. Less is more—unless guests show up, in which case all bets are off. GEHR


    PETER BERNSTEIN & THREE
    June 10-13
    Jazz Standard, 116 East 27th Street, 212.576.2232

    Fluency is the guitarist's middle name. Last year's Heart's Content was a cagey bit of craft that illustrated how he dispenses his derring-do. With a crew (Mehldau, Grenadier, Stewart) that revere the tune as much as they do the elaborations, he created some of the most vivid mainstream around. They're all on this gig. MACNIE


    URI CAINE
    June 22-27
    JVC Jazz Festival, Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South, 212.255.4037

    A JVC Jazz Festival centerpiece, the great, broad-minded pianist's six-night workout is bracketed by trio evenings: "Bach to Boogie-Woogie" and an untitled closer likely to feature his recent electric-Rhodes infatuation. In between are two of Caine's magnificent and eclectic classical deconstructions, "The Mahler Project" (June 23) and "The Goldberg Variations" (June 26); the electronics-and-DJ-driven "Bedrock" quintet (June 24); and "Blue Wail" (June 25), a quartet featuring saxophonist Greg Osby. GEHR


    'CARAMOOR FESTIVAL'
    July 31
    149 Girdle Ridge Road, Katonah, New York, 914.232.1252

    Joe Lovano curates this season's all-day party in the woods, and he's brought the crème de la crème on board. Pianist Pete Malinverni will charge through hard bop. Saxophonist Kenny Garrett will conjure Coltrane's fervor. Drummer Lewis Nash will blend finesse and fire. Singer Kurt Elling will scat his way to the moon. And birthday boy Hank Jones will join Lovano's quartet to prove just how sage an 86-year-old can be. MACNIE


    BILL CHARLAP+ROGER KELLAWAY
    July 7-10
    Birdland, 315 West 44th Street, 212.581.3080

    The much acclaimed Charlap's been playing in a variety of configurations lately. This piano duet may be the oddest: There are a lot of bumps in the road when you're negotiating 176 keys. Judiciousness and strategy are part of both participants' palette, of course—they'll be operating on more than crossed fingers. MACNIE


    ORNETTE COLEMAN+ABBEY LINCOLN
    June 20
    JVC Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall, 881 Seventh Avenue, 212.903.9600

    Harken to the elders. So many others are vamping on Coleman's quartz-edged melodies these days, and he plays so rarely, you may have forgotten that the real deal—appearing here with a quartet—is still around. Making her headlining debut at this venue, the dramatic Ms. Lincoln possesses an almost operatic presence that should fit the room just fine. GEHR


    'DMG ANNIVERSARY SHOW'
    June 18
    Tonic, 107 Norfolk Street, 212.358.7501

    The Downtown Music Gallery, owner Bruce Gallanter is celebrating the store's 13th anniversary and his own 50th birthday. With area favorites like Elliott Sharp (premiering his new power trio, Raw Meet), the John Zorn (with Masada), plus other guests, this should be a worthy toast to the scene. GROSS


    DON BYRON'S SIX MUSICIANS
    August 12-15
    Iridium, 1650 Broadway, 212.582.2121

    Caught him doing some Ellington voom voom a few months ago, and was reminded of just how vivid the characters of his ensembles really are. The clarinetist's sextet embraces the Latin cadences he absorbed growing up. But nothing is ever orthodox in Byron's world, as stuff like "Theme From Hatari" reminds. MACNIE


    'A DOUBLE RELEASE PARTY IN CELEBRATION OF WOMEN COMPOSERS': JENNY SCHEINMAN+MYRA MELFORD
    July 24
    Joe's Pub, 425 Lafayette Street, 212.539.8770

    This double bill should remind jazz buffs that Carla Bley isn't where this field begins and ends. Scheinman is a gifted, expressive violinist with a wide range of moods and styles. Pianist Melford has recently crafted a very canny, sensitive small ensemble record, nicely reminiscent at times of Bley herself. GROSS


    ELI DEGIBRI QUARTET
    July 29
    55 Bar, 55 Christopher Street, 212.929.9883

    The young Israeli tenor player has been getting props for a stint with Herbie Hancock and a handful of head-turning local gigs. Central to his new In the Beginning is a voluptuous tone that accents an array of fiercely judicious solos. When DeGibri takes off he pulls you with him. MACNIE


    FRANK KIMBROUGH TRIO
    June 30
    Sweet Rhythm, 88 Seventh Avenue South, 212.255.3626

    The pianist is an expert at the crab walk; his music gains ground by moving forward and sideways at the same time. That's beguiling, if not intriguing, and it places Kimbrough in good company—Andrew Hill and Misha Mengelberg busted similar moves. With a centerpiece entitled "Whirl," his new Lullabluebye is cunning and kaleidoscopic. MACNIE


    'FREESTYLE EVENTS': BORAH BERGMAN+DEE POP+ROY CAMPBELL+WILLIAM HOOKER+JASON HWANG+LIFETIME VISIONS ORCHESTRA+ANDREAS WILLERS
    June 13
    CBGB Lounge, 313 Bowery, 212.677.0455

    Any show in this imaginative weekly series is probably a good bet; this one looks special: It's almost a Vision Festival reunion not long after that great event ends. As with VF, leading lights of modern jazz like Hooker and Campbell are configured in all manner of interesting combinations. GROSS


    JOÃO GILBERTO
    June 18
    JVC Jazz Festival
    Carnegie Hall, 881 Seventh Avenue, 212.903.9600

    The suave septuagenarian's performances are tiny miracles of serene minimalism. Carnegie Hall becomes especially church-like as Gilberto, with just his modest yet perfect voice, simple yet unique guitar accompaniment, and a pristine repertoire of classic Brazilian songs by himself and others, holds his worshipful audience in sacred, sensual thrall. GEHR


    'THE JAZZ FOR KIDS PROGRAM'
    Sundays through June
    Jazz Standard, 116 East 27th Street, 212.576.2232

    Wynton's not the only one teaching kids about jazz. Here, for a measly $5 donation, young folks can experience the music through their peers in the Jazz Standard Orchestra. Reservations required. GROSS


    JOHN SCOFIELD TRIO
    June 16
    JVC Jazz Festival, Merkin Concert Hall, 129 West 67th Street, 212.501.3330

    After dabbling on the rock circuit and working with an orchestra, Scofield convened a couple of old friends for the late-2003 live trio dates distilled on the recent EnRoute. Drummer Bill Stewart and electric bassist Steve Swallow nudge and needle Scofield, who steps up when challenged on this album of mostly workmanlike originals. GEHR


    KEVIN EUBANKS BAND+LARRY CORYELL POWER TRIO
    August 17-18
    Iridium, 1650 Broadway, 212.582.2121

    You've seen guitarist Eubanks on late-night TV, but this bill's real treat is the ridiculously underrated Coryell, one of the few people who gave fusion a good name back in the day. Even unplugged, he's knows about "power," but here he's amped and paired with a suitable foil in drummer Paul Wertico (formerly with Derek Bailey and Pat Metheny). GROSS


    ANGELIQUE KIDJO+FEMI KUTI & THE POSITIVE FORCE
    June 24
    JVC Jazz Festival, Apollo Theater, 253 West 125th Street, 212.749.5838

    Benin native Kidjo's latest music uses Afro-Brazilian rhythms as a delivery system for high-voltage singing. Kuti and his big band throw down a less politically outspoken and more economical version of his late father Fela's symphonic Afrobeat grooves. GEHR


    'LES PAUL'S 89TH BIRTHDAY'
    June 7
    Iridium, 1650 Broadway, 212.582.2121

    Nowadays, don't expect innovation from this legendary Grammy-plated picker-instrument maker-studio gremlin. Expect the dexterous lightning runs that made him famous, now heard at a weekly residence in Times Square on an indefinite contract with his trio. He's played with a post-accident wired arm for over a half-century, and shows no sign of hanging up his pre-rock 'n' roll shoes. GROSS


    MARIO PAVONE QUINTET
    June 27
    CBGB Gallery, 315 Bowery, 212.982.4052

    What if you concocted a small-ensemble music that delivered the textural oomph of a larger band while offering the jaw-dropping agility of a duo? The bassist-composer has been bringing some due diligence to the question since forever, and in the last year or so, he's built a ensemble that—ta da!—nips it in the bud. MACNIE


    JASON MORAN
    June 18
    JVC Jazz Festival, Thalia Theater, Symphony Space, Broadway and 95th Street, 212.864.5400

    Worldly in repertoire and wise in method (or maybe vice versa), Moran is a pianist at the top of his still-relatively-young game. He seeks and finds inspiration from increasingly diverse sources, from James P. Johnson and Robert Schumann to Björk and Soul Sonic Force, then reconstructs them with undulating yet crystalline ideas like a Rubik's Cubist. This solo show could be a scorcher. GEHR


    MARCUS ROBERTS
    June 8-13
    Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South, 212.255.4037

    He has his florid moments, but the pianist's trio is a model of jazz interaction, romping with enough blues animation to be considered unruly, and reflecting with enough nuance to be deemedshoe-gazers. MACNIE


    HERB ROBERTSON
    June 30
    Barbès, 376 9th Street, Brooklyn, 718.965.9177

    Call your disc Music for Long Attention Spans in this day and age, and you're issuing a challenge. The trumpeter likes his open improvs to accumulate into one long statement; spilling forward is part of his aesthetic. So is an extended technique—he can make his instrument sound any way he chooses. MACNIE


    DEIDRE RODMAN
    July 21
    55 Bar, 55 Christopher Street, 212.929.9883

    The more you wade into the young pianist-composer's music, the more you discover her take on "jazz" avoids lots of the usual bric-a-brac. From the children's choir to the keen way she dodges prescribed turns, Rodman makes a point combining moods and melodies in an unusual way. Utterly refreshing. MACNIE


    ARCHIE SHEPP+ROSWELL RUDD QUARTET FEATURING REGGIE WORKMAN & ANDREW CYRILLE
    July 20-25
    Iridium, 1650 Broadway, 212.582.2121

    For a rare and undeniable NY super-group appearance, two leading lights of '60s avant reunite with two more longtime legends. Even if some detractors complain the leaders lack their old fire, it will still be more edgy, powerful, and bold than what's on jazz radio. GROSS


    SPANISH FLY
    June 21
    Tonic, 107 Norfolk Street, 212.358.7501

    Steve Bernstein plays slide trumpet with Sex Mob, but he leaves the sliding to wildcat guitarist Dave Tronzo in this eccentrically swinging, sometimes silly, yet always fascinating freestyle trio filled in on the deep end by go-to tuba dude Marcus Rojas. They've appeared only sporadically since 1997's Fly by Night so let's hope this gig portends a studio reunion as well. GEHR


    STEVE WILSON QUARTET
    June 18-19
    Up Over Jazz Café, 351 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, 718.398.5413

    The saxophonist works one of the greatest shell games in town. What sounds airy and buoyant is actually nuanced and heavy—the kind of deep musicianship that can afford to put an "aw shucks" demeanor up front. MACNIE


    THOMASZ STANKO QUARTET
    June 23
    JVC Jazz Festival, Merkin Concert Hall, 129 West 67th Street, 212.501.3330

    The prolific Polish trumpeter brings his quartet here on the heels of his moody yet lyrical ECM release Suspended Night. His band's an organic entity often deeply reminiscent of mid-'60s Miles Davis units, whose leader Stanko's own glossary of moans, shrieks, and singing tones echoes with personal variations. GEHR


    TIM RIES'S STONES PROJECT
    June 22-24
    Jazz Standard, 116 East 27th Street, 212.576.2232

    Surely there's some jazz ground to be gained with "Moonlight Mile" or "Time Waits for No One," and the saxophonist, who's been part of Mick 'n' Keith's touring camp for a while now, leaps into those waters all the way. It took Sonny Rollins to vivify that "Waiting On a Friend" coda, but I bet Ries gets somewhere with his thesis—especially with a Simon, Genus, Penn rhythm section. MACNIE

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