Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Busy Week of Live Music in CT (Part 1)

There is so much live music in our small state this week that this column must be posted in 2 parts.

On Wednesday July 16, bassist, composer and CT native Mario Pavone brings his "Street Songs: The Accordion Project" to Cafe Nine, 250 State Street in New Haven.  He has assembled quite a band - Matt Mitchell (piano), Adam Matlock (accordion), Carl Testa (acoustic bass), and Steve Johns (drums) plus a brass quartet that features Dave Ballou (cornet, flugelhorn), his wife Leise (french horn), Peter McEachern (trombone) and Gary Buttery (tuba) - and the music reflects his upbringing in the Italian community of Waterbury.  Like many of his ensembles, Mr. Pavone blends older and younger musicians who bring a wealth of experiences to his music, enriching the listener's evening.  The concert celebrates the release of Pavone's new Playscape Recordings CD (same name as the concert).

Doors open at 7 p.m. with the music starting at 8. For more information and ticket reservations, go to www.cafenine.com/event/553707-mario-pavone-street-songs-new-haven/.

Photo by Jimmy Katz
24 years ago, saxophonist Joe Lovano collaborated with drummer (and, at the time, Wesleyan instructor) Ed Blackwell on a pair of recordings, a trio date titled "Sounds of Joy" (with bassist Anthony Cox on ENJA) and "From The Soul" (on Blue Note with pianist Michel Petrucciani and bassist Dave Holland.) The drummer, who suffered terribly from diabetes, passed away just 10 months after the Blue Note sessions. In a recent conversation with Mr. Lovano, he recalled several trips to Middletown to visit and play with Mr. Blackwell and how easy their connection was.  That connection is quite evident on the 2 CDs.

On Thursday (7/17), Joe Lovano brings his Trio Fascination to Crowell Concert Hall at Wesleyan (Wyllys Avenue) for a concert that not only celebrates those earlier sessions but also looks forward to new music that the saxophonist has created for this band. Joining him are bassist Peter Slavov (a member of Lovano's US Five band), drummer Lamy Istrefi Jr (a native of Kosovo, Albania) plus special guest Judi Silvano (vocals).  Mr. Lovano, who plays tenor and soprano saxophone (among many others), enjoys these small groups as it allows him to interact on an intimate level, building the music up from the rhythm section.  Ms. Silvano, who is the saxophonist's wife, adds her voice in unique ways, serving as another improviser with her wordless vocals.

The concert starts at 8 p.m.  For more information, go to www.wesleyan.edu/cfa or call 860-685-2806.

If you want a real treat, head over to the home page of the HR Big Band (the short name of the Frankfurt (Germany) Radio Big Band) and check out the video of Joe Lovano's performance of John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme", arranged by Jim McNeely.  Trust me, it's well worth the 2 hour investment of time as this performance is quite wonderful.  Talking with the saxophonist, he had nothing but praise for the Big Band (note the joy on drummer Paul Hochstader's face as the music unfolds) and for the superlative arrangement, which allowed him to be be himself in the midst of the legendary Coltrane composition. Mr. Lovano certainly displays a debt to Coltrane's saxophone legacy but also goes his own way throughout the performance. After a short intermission, the second half of the video features several arrangements of Lovano compositions as well as more Coltrane material.  Go to www.hr-online.de/website/rubriken/kultur/index.jsp?rubrik=2023 and hunker down for a most wonderful experience.

Speaking of impressive saxophonists, Cuban-born Yosvany Terry has made his mark on the American music scene performing alongside Dave Douglas, Ravi Coltane, Cassandra Wilson, David Murray, Taj Mahal and many others since arriving in New York City in 1999.  Not only does he play tenor and soprano saxophones but he is also known for his percussion work (especially the chekere).  He has a brand new CD, "New Throned King" (on pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba's 5Pasion label), featuring a sextet with numerous guests playing original compositions based in Terry's study of vodun.

This Thursday, he brings his Bohemian Trio for an 8:30 p.m. show at The Side Door Jazz Club in Old Lyme.  The ensemble, formed in 2013, features French-born cellist Yves Dharamraj (a recent graduate of Yale University) and pianist Orlando Alonso (also a native of Cuba) playing music that brings together myriad influences, from Afro-Cuban music to classical to tango to rock and much more.  Though the Trio has yet to release a CD, you can hear a selection of its music by going to www.bohemiantrio.com.  Better yet, see and hear them live in a room that accentuates the joy and sounds of music. For ticket information, go to thesidedoorjazz.com or call 860-434-0886.

On Friday, The Side Door Club presents The Zach Bartholomew Trio.  Organized in 2009 at Florida State University, the ensemble features pianist Bartholomew, bassist Brandon Robertson and drummer Miles Bozeman. They released their debut CD, "Out of This Town" in 2012, concentrating on original music and new interpretations of jazz favorites. They have played venues throughout the United States.  Their first set begins at 8:30 p.m.

On Saturday, it's the music of the Metta Quintet.  Formed at the turn of the 21st Century by the not-for-profit JazzReachInc (a group committed to the "promotion, performance, creation and teaching of jazz music", the Quintet features tenor and soprano saxophonist Marcus Strickland, alto saxophonist Mark Gross, pianist David Bryant, bassist Zach Brown, and drummer Hans Schuman.  Over the course of 3 CDs, Metta has commissioned works by Brad Mehldau, Mark Turner, Miguel Zenon, Omer Avital, the afore-mentioned Yosvanny Terry and others.  The music is exciting, forward-looking, and challenging while the band plays with great fire and style.  To find out more about the Quintet and its music, go to www.jazzreach.org/metta-quintet.html.

The opening set commences at 8:30 p.m.  Call 806-434-0886 for reservations or go to  thesidedoorjazz.com.

The next post will talk about the 4th and final concert in the UMOJA series, about this weekend's Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz and the Monday Night Bushnell Park series.

No comments:

Post a Comment