What happens when a New Orleans piano giant meets the city’s most consistently entertaining big-band retrofuturist? After relocating to Brooklyn from the Crescent City, it didn’t take Henry Butler long to hook up with exuberant trumpeter and bandleader Steve Bernstein, whose Millennial Territory Orchestra has arguably been the city’s most purely entertaining jazz group for some time. Rearrangements of early New Orleans standards like Bessie Smith’s “Gimme a Pigfoot (And a Bottle of Beer)” and Fats Waller’s “Viper’s Drag” translated the pianist’s salubrious idiosyncrasies to a slithery, slamming nonet. Butler, Bernstein, and their rollicking Hot 9 — Curtis Fowlkes (trombone), Doug Wieselman (clarinets), Peter Apfelbaum (saxophones), Erik Lawrence (saxophones), Charlie Burnham (violin), Matt Munisteri (guitar), Brad Jones (bass), and Donald Edwards (drums) — make early 20th-century jazz sound like it was born yesterday.
Tuesdays-Sundays, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. Starts: Dec. 31. Continues through Jan. 5, 2013
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 25, 2013