Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Christian McBride = MAN OF STEEL

Even though he needs to hook up a RSS feed already so all of us RSS nuts can subscribe in our readers, Christian McBride is a bad man.

I never knew a musician could work so much and still find time months later to put it all together so coherently. In particular, what he says about his friends Freddie Hubbard and Tony Reedus is just priceless. We need more musicians blogging! But for our generation, there is no better connector between today and yesteryear than Christian McBride.

Some YouTube video is indispensable for such a remarkable year in a musician's career:

Five Peace Band in The Hague, Netherlands (featuring bowed bass solo):

Five Peace Band in Ankara, Turkey:

Now bring back the podcast and we're golden!


All-Star Salute to Ray Brown:
28 Los Angeles, CA Walt Disney Concert Hall

Christian with "Five Peace Band":
31 Seoul, Korea Welch-Ryang Auditorium
02 Tokyo, Japan (THRU 2/8) Blue Note Tokyo (THRU 2/8)
10-11 Kowloon, Hong Kong Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall
13 Manila, Phillipines Harbour Garden/Sofitel Phillipine Plaza
17 Adelaide, Australia Her Majesty's Theater
18 Melbourne, Australia Hamer Hall
20-21 Sydney, Australia Sydney Opera House
22 Auckland, New Zealand Aotea Centre - ASB

27 Parkersburg, WV West Virginia University - Parkersburg (CAC)
03 Gainesville, FL University of Florida/Phillips Center
04 Jacksonville, FL Florida Theater

A CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE SITUATION w/ Ron Blake, DJ Logic & David Gilmore:
06 South Orange, NJ SOPAC (South Orange Performing Arts Center)

Christian with "Five Peace Band":
19 Los Angeles, CA Royce Hall - UCLA
20 Santa Barbara, CA Campbell Hall - UCSB
21 Berkeley, CA Zellerbach Auditorium - UC Berkeley
24 Modesto, CA Gallo Center for the Arts - Mary Stuart Rogers Theater
25 Denver, CO Paramount Theater
27 Miami, FL Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts
28 Savannah, GA Savannah Music Festival - Trustees Theater
01 Houston, TX Verizon Wireless Theater
02 Austin, TX University of Texas Performing Arts Center - Bass Concert Hall
03 Chicago, Ill Chicago Theater
04 Ann Arbor, MI Hill Auditorium/University of Michigan
06 Nashville, TN Schermerhorn Symphony Center
07 Urbana, IL Krannert Center/Tryon Festival Theater
23-25 New York, NY Frederick P. Rose Hall/Lincoln Center
26 Glenside, PA Keswick Theater
28 Montreal, QUE Place des Arts
29 Bethesda, MD Music Center at Strathmore
30 Boston, MA Berklee Performance Center
01 Burlington, VT Flynn Center for the Performing Arts

Friday, January 16, 2009

some grossly overlooked records of 2008

Shame on me for not including the fantastic albums by:

Randy Newman - Harps & Angels (Nonesuch) - pointed commentary on the state of our country (the US) we've come to expect from America's favorite piano satirist and Pixar composer.

Ry Cooder - I, Flathead Limited Deluxe Edition (Nonesuch) - Classic guttural Cooder sound with steel guitars and mandolins and stacked fifths of vocal harmony. I, Flathead is much more even-headed than the previous installment in this trilogy about life for migrants in Southern California (which was called My Name is Buddy). The new disc, in my opinion, was one of the most thoughfully put-together packages of recorded sounds I have had the pleasure of owning. The CD comes in a hard cover-bound book with all lyrics and a short novel which is a fictional account of what it might have been like for working class immigrants and migrants arriving in Southern California in the early to mid-20th century and their trials and tribulations. Also it's about the hobby of drag racing on wide open salt flats (about which there was a stunning article with remarkable panoramic photography in the Travel section of the Sunday New York Times the Sunday before Thanksgiving).

Moss - Moss (Sunnyside) - I really began listening to this record in earnest in late 2008 when preparing my final list. I could try to elaborate on the sound of this remarkable ensemble but I think Jeff Simon of The Buffalo News said it best in his review of this disc:
"This jazz vocal supergroup has just created the greatest vocal fusion of jazz, rock and folk music since the first record by Bobby McFerrin 26 years ago. And Moss' version of Neil Young's "Old Man" in Kate McGarry's and Peter Eldridge's arrangement is the most extraoridinary jazz version of a great folk rock song since McFerrin's version of Lennon and McCartney's "Blackbird." You've never before encountered anything that even remotely resembles their blend of close harmony, folk song, classical composition and jazz rhythms. The singers involved are Brazilian jazz singer Luciana Souza, jazz/folk singer Kate McGarry, jazz singer Peter Eldridge, downtown genre buster Theo Bleckmann and Lauren Kinhan of, yes, New York Voices. It's as if they invented an entirely new blend of urban madrigalism for the 21st century, composed of coffee shop, jazz club, off-Broadway theater and church basement. It's not all on the same incredible level, but what's great here is amazing." - Jeff Simon, The Buffalo News

More may come to mind but these three were the most glaring omissions from my Best Recordings lists which I took a lot of time in considering this year.

Hopefully coming soon will be a rundown of my recent concert-going activities during APAP including last weekend's Winter Jazz Fest put on by Brice Rosenbloom, founder of boomBOOM Presents (one of the true champions of live music presentation in New York City) at three new venues for this now five-year-old ritual which used to take place at the now-shuttered (though quickly reopened) SoHo club (now in Williamsburg), The Knitting Factory. The new venues which worked remarkably well given the snowy, icy circumstances were Sullivan Hall, (Le) Poisson Rouge and Kenny's Castaways) and globalFEST arranged by veteran concert producer/curator Bill Bragin of Lincoln Center (formerly of Joe's Pub) and Shanta Thake, currently of Joe's Pub and other world music mavens such as Fabian Alsultany. Both were amazing musical nights and terrific hangs. Hopefully I will get around to posting details and impressions, thought it's all still really a blur...

Until next time, keep a light in the window...