2006 Jazz Supplement Listings

'At Night, Alone': Ralph Towner
JVC Jazz Festival, Zankel Hall at Carnegie, 57th & Seventh Ave, 212-247-7800

June 21Though sometimes a tad drifty in solo settings, the acoustic guitarist can be riveting when his excursions prioritize focus over luster. His new Time Line keeps things on the cinematic side; it's all about energized ruminations. MACNIE


David S. Ware
photo: Juliette Conroy
David S. Ware

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See also:
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    More About

    Bad Plus+Gold Sounds
    JVC Jazz Festival, Irving Plaza, 17 Irving Pl, 212-777-6800

    June 21Two chops-heavy jazz outfits that love messing with a rock repertoire. Pomp and pummel inform the piano trio, one of the wittiest bands to come along in years. Don't believe the haters who say they're only about shtick. James Carter and Cyrus Chestnut's scrutiny of the Pavement songbook gives their Gold Sounds some wiggle room between hooks and skronk. MACNIE


    Bill Frisell Trio
    JVC Jazz Festival, Symphony Space, 2537 Bway, 212-864-5400

    June 23The languid yet ceaselessly inventive guitarist's fascination with American string and pop music should be in full effect when he performs alone and together with jazz- gone-blues guitarist Kelly Joe Phelps and singer Petra Haden. One of last year's great treats, Frisell's utterly gorgeous and loosely space-themed duo album with Haden included covers of Coldplay, Henry Mancini, and Stevie Wonder. GEHR


    Billy Bang Ensemble
    Vision Festival XI, Angel Orensanz Foundation Center for the Arts, 172 Norfolk, 212-696-6681, visionfestival.org

    June 16The violinist's recent ruminations on a troubling Vietnam stint have nudged him closer to the mainstream—on his last two CDs, overt swing is in cahoots with animated abstraction. And when he moves into traditional Asian melodies, there's a poetic beauty afoot as well. MACNIE


    Bio Ritmo
    Midsummer Night Swing, Josie Robertson Plz, Columbus Ave & 64th, 212-875-5766, lincolncenter.org

    July 15Even as it cleaves to salsa clásica, the local nonet's eponymous 2004 album—its fifth release—turned out to be its most experimental. The band evoked its connection to the music's '70s roots while swinging into the future, through a classy mass of pulsating rhythm and wry Spanish wordplay. GEHR


    Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys
    Midsummer Night Swing, Josie Robertson Plz, Columbus Ave & 64th, 212-875-5766, lincolncenter.org

    June 30Granted, their bandleader has been gone for 30-plus years, but that hasn't stopped Ellington's or Mingus's bands from carrying on either. Leon Rausch was Wills's singer during the '60s and has carried on his legacy for some 20 years now, leading this latest incarnation of the band. Along with a Lone Star costume contest, BBQ, and dance lesson, this show should provide a valuable reminder of the too often ignored connection between country and jazz. GROSS


    'Bossa Nova: The Brazilian Soul of Antonio Carlos Jobim'
    Jazz in July, 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave, 212-415-5500, 92y.org

    July 25Part of the Bill Charlap–curated jazz series uptown, this night pays honor to the man who wrote "Girl From Ipanema" and dozens of other bossa nova classics, literally inventing the song form as he did. Here Charlap mix-and-matches Brazilian musicians like the fiery Trio da Paz and madcap percussionist Cyro Baptista with jazz folks like pianist Renee Rosnes and saxophonist Harry James. HENDRICKSON


    Brave Combo
    Midsummer Night Swing, Josie Robertson Plz, Columbus Ave & 64th, 212-875-5766, lincolncenter.org

    July 19The dance band of dance bands, these oddball sons of Denton, Texas, have been clocking their eclectic musical Kool-Aid for 26 years, and it hasn't lost a whit of its tang. This will be an all-request gig preceded by dance lessons, providing the opportunity to brush up on one's cumbia, merengue, norteña, polka, and hardcore hokey-pokey moves. GEHR


    'Clarinet Marmalade': Ken Peplowski+ Don Byron+Kenny Davern+Evan Christopher
    JVC Jazz Festival, Kaye Playhouse, 68th btwn Lexington & Park aves, 212-772-4448

    June 20As odd as it seems, the success of multi-artist shows built around a single instrument comes down to how well the rhythm section feeds the fire during each soloist's stint. This program has not one, but two back ends, and players such as Cyrus Chestnut, George Colligan, and Billy Hart should mix things up nicely as the sometimes recalcitrant horn is bent to fit a handful of personal aesthetics. MACNIE


    David S. Ware Quartet
    Vision Festival XI, Angel Orensanz Foundation Center for the Arts, 172 Norfolk, 212-696-6681, visionfestival.org

    June 18As last year's Live in the World suggested, the brawny tenor titan continually hones his squawk; it now contains as much finesse as it does fury. Of course, that advancement has a lot to do with the way cohorts Matthew Shipp and William Parker help press his buttons. His quartet has a regal status on this scene, and since it's said that this is the group's final American performance, you'd best prep for in-audience tears and onstage fireworks. MACNIE


    'A Father's Day Gift': Bobby Hutcherson Quartet
    JVC Jazz Festival, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Blvd, 212-491-2200

    June 18 A veteran who hasn't lost his touch when it comes to putting physicality into the music, the vibraphonist demands that his group interplay be sharp and that the blues be front and center. He lets you see him sweat, but there's elegance afoot as well. MACNIE


    Herbie Hancock
    JVC Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall, 57th & Seventh Ave, 212-247-7800

    June 23He's a superhero we take for granted until he sits down at the piano and illustrates just how he earned such a rep in the first place: dispensing very sophisticated ideas with clarity, commitment, and élan. The four-band program stretches from duets with Gonzalo Rubalcaba to his summit meeting with Holland, Shorter, and Brian Blade. MACNIE


    Hank Jones
    JVC Jazz Festival, Kaye Playhouse, 68th btwn Lexington & Park aves, 212-772-4448

    June 13Coming up on his 88th birthday, every time this master sits down to the 88s is a gift, for him and especially for us. Typically leading his own trio with bassist George Mraz and drummer Willie Jones III, the pianist with a light touch and rich harmonic ear will also be joined by vocalist Roberta Gambarini, guitarist Russell Malone, and Joe Wilder, a versatile trumpeter who has been around almost as long as Jones has. HENDRICKSON


    'Ladies Sing the Blues': Etta James+ Susan Tedeschi
    JVC Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall, 57th & Seventh Ave, 212-247-7800

    June 20On recent evidence from the Jazz and Heritage Festival, James's authority is only diminished slightly by her occasional seated delivery thanks to advanced years, but the way that she still can break into a song like "At Last" will bring out the tears. Tedeschi doesn't sing the blues as well but her guitar's been known to stand toe-to-toe with the Allman Brothers on a good night. GROSS


    Joe Morris & Barre Phillips
    Vision Festival XI, Angel Orensanz Foundation Center for the Arts, 172 Norfolk, 212-696-6681, visionfestival.org

    June 17The idiosyncratic guitarist is all about collaboration; he's got several ways to nurture the action of his teammates. Especially bassists. I recall an ancient duet with Lowell Davidson that made each participant seem more eloquent than previously considered. Morris's skittish lines should be an intriguing foil for the famed free bassist's considerable skills at abstraction. MACNIE


    'New Century: Same Genius': Ornette Coleman Quartet
    JVC Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall, 57th & Seventh Ave, 212-247-7800

    June 16The dapper living legend has been reminding us of his horn's keen lyricism during the last few JVC affairs, and with each passing year, those playful squiggles emit more emotion. Happily, the two-bass group Coleman's led for years now sounds like a tight little band. MACNIE


    New Orleans Jazz Vipers
    Midsummer Night Swing, Josie Robertson Plz, Columbus Ave & 64th, 212-875-5766, lincolncenter.org

    June 23The Crescent City's finest trad jazzers perform their canonic repertoire with a scruffy non-ironic ardor perfect for late-night dancing at regular haunts like Donna's. Which is where they tore it up with their guest, a blind teenaged multi-instrumentalist, during last month's first post-Katrina Jazz Fest. Request Joe Braun's timeless "I Hope You're Coming Back to New Orleans," a rare original. GEHR


    'One for My Baby: The Songs of Harold Arlen'
    Jazz in July, 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave, 212-415-5500, 92y.org July 27"Somewhere Over the Rainbow," "Blues in the Night," and "Stormy Weather" alone make Arlen a contender for one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th century. What's always drawn a jazz crowd to his tunes are the indelible melodies that he anchored them with, making them perfect for torch song treatment. As such, a four-piece horn band anchored by pianist Bill Charlap seems just right for his oeuvre. GROSS


    Eddie Palmieri
    BAM Rhythm & Blues Festival, Metrotech Commons, Flatbush & Myrtle aves, Bklyn, 718-636-4100, bam.org

    June 30This salsa and Latin-jazz giant has won eight Grammys during his 50-year career and influenced generations of musicians. Lately he's been leaning more toward jazz, fronting an outstanding midsize band that allows him to display the influence of Thelonious Monk and McCoy Tyner on his playing, but the horn charts are still sizzling and the rhythms unstoppable. HENDRICKSON


    Paul Rutherford Trio
    Vision Festival XI, Angel Orensanz Foundation Center for the Arts, 172 Norfolk, 212-696-6681, visionfestival.org

    June 15Like Albert Mangelsdorff before him, Rutherford is a monster on the trombone, messing with timbre, texture, and multiphonics to bring his free vocab-ulary to life. He's one of the few brass outcats who can tickle you with a solo gig, so the fact that he's making a rare U.S. appearance with an inspired rhythm section gives this gig the air of an event. MACNIE


    'Raphe Malik Memorial Tribute'
    Vision Festival XI, Angel Orensanz Foundation Center for the Arts, 172 Norfolk, 212-696-6681, visionfestival.org

    June 13Vision Fest's opening night is always an emotional affair and this is no exception. As always, the invocation comes from Art Ensemble's Joseph Jarman, joined by Vision organizers bassist William Parker and choreographer Patricia Nicholson. In addition, there's the homage to a fiery trumpeter and late Cecil Taylor veteran, starring Parker, the Arkestra's Marshall Allen, ace saxist Sabir Mateen, and trumpeter Roy Campbell, a supergroup that should make this evening worth attending. GROSS


    'Sam Rivers Lifetime Achievement'
    Vision Festival XI, Angel Orensanz Foundation Center for the Arts, 172 Norfolk, 212-696-6681, visionfestival.org

    June 14Great choice of a still-vital vet to celebrate (see Jason Moran's Black Stars for proof). The multi- instrumentalist and loft patriarch opens the evening with the hubbub of his Rivbea Orchestra and closes out the program with the long-standing trio of bassist Doug Matthews and drummer Anthony Cole. What connects the two events is the way that Rivers fills each with tumbling energy and plenty of horn (and piano and flute). MACNIE


    Sangam
    JVC Jazz Festival, Zankel Hall at Carnegie, 57th & Seventh Ave, 212-247-7800

    June 22Charles Lloyd's latest ensemble eschews everything save percussion, and with Zakir Hussain's tabla mixing it up with Eric Harland's traps, the incandescence of his reeds becomes primary. Agility, aggression—the saxophonist is at the top of his game these days. This stuff heats up quick. MACNIE


    'Tenors Galore': Houston Person Quartet+ Eric Alexander Quartet+Harry Allen
    JVC Jazz Festival, Kaye Playhouse, 68th btwn Lexington & Park aves, 212-772-4448

    June 14A little old-fashioned, but gorgeous, no doubt. Houston Person brings the luster of the blues to the foreground, and though a veteran r&b dude, he's got lots of improvisational ideas and a seductive tone. Labelmate Eric Alexander moves quicker, a locomotive flying through changes with authority (see It's All in the Game). Guest Harry Allen is wily anachronism, using a fluency in Pres, Bean, and Chu to propel his lithe lines. MACNIE


    James Blood Ulmer
    BAM Rhythm & Blues Festival, Metrotech Commons, Flatbush & Myrtle aves, Bklyn, 718-636-4100, bam.org

    August 4Though he's primarily known for the harmolodic sparks that fly from his guitar, Ulmer has always nurtured a blues jones that's come out more and more in his music recently. His gruff voice doesn't always command the respect that the classic Chicago shouters summoned, but he's got just the right amount of Delta croon to get his tunes across. And he still plays a hell of a guitar. GROSS

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