Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Live and Exciting Music

Firehouse 12, 45 Crown Street in New Haven, welcomes the duo of Tim Berne (alto saxophone) and Matt Mitchell (piano, keyboards) for an evening of sonic explorations. This is the 7th visit to the Elm City for the 60 year-old Berne, who first came t critical attention in the mid-1970s when he moved to New York City and began studying/collaborating with saxophonist/conceptualist Julius Hemphill (1938-1995).  Like his mentor, Berne continues to "push the envelope", creating music that does not fit easily into any boxes.  He has documented his music on labels such as Black Saint/Soul Note, JMT and Columbia Records. He has run his own label, Screwgun Records, since 1996 and currently leads a quintet known as Snakeoil, whose 3rd ECM recording "You've Been Watching Me" was issued last month.

Matt Mitchell, who is a member of Snakeoil, is also making his 7th appearance at The Firehouse (with his 8th just 3 weeks away, as a member of the Rudresh Mahanthappa Quintet). He's worked with a slew of great artists, from Ravi Coltrane to Dave Douglas to John Hollenbeck to Mario Pavone.  His 2013 recording "Fiction", issued in Pi Recordings, is a group of fascinating duos with drummer Ches Smith (not surprisingly also a member of Berne's Quintet).

As has been said many times, "expect the unexpected" when you go to see Tim Berne & Matt Mitchell - this should be quite an evening.  They'll play 2 sets, with the first commencing at 8:30.  The 10 p.m. show is a separate admission.  For more information, go to firehouse12.com.  

Not ones to rest on their laurels, Jan and Ken have a very busy weekend planned at The Side Door Jazz Club in Old Lyme. They start their 3rd year of presenting the finest live jazz along the CT shoreline on Friday May 15 with a return visit from vocalist Diane Schuur.  One of the finer contemporary interpreters of blues and jazz, Ms. Schuur has collaborated with numerous artists and has won 2 GRAMMY Awards in her career, which now spans 4 decades.  Her first set starts at 8:30 p.m.

The following night, the Club welcomes drummer Nasar Abadey & Supernova for 2 sets of high-energy music.  His Supernova shines brightly, a quintet that features 2 musicians with links to Hartford, native son Josh Evans on trumpet and the great tenor saxophonist Abraham Burton (who graduated from the Haart School).  Filling out the band is pianist Allyn Johnson and bassist James King.  Mr. Abadey, who is on the faculty of the Jazz Studies Department of the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, continues the tradition of other great drummers, such as Max Roach, Art Blakey, and Ralph Peterson Jr., in mentoring young musicians.  His son Kush Abadey has toured and recorded with trumpeter Wallace Roney and organist Jared Gold.  The music starts at 8:30 p.m

On occasion, The Side Door opens its door on Sunday night - they will do just that this week when trumpeter Ingrid Jensen brings her Berklee Quintet to Old Lyme for an 8 p.m. show (note the earlier start time).  Joining her will be saxophonist Daniel Ko, bassist Max Salinger-Ridley, Cuban-born pianist/vocalist Zahili Gonzalez Zamora, and drummer Peter Barnick.  Ms. Jensen, who may be best known for her work with the Maria Schenider Orchestra, is also a Berklee School alum and spends a good deal of her time working with younger musicians.  The Side Door appearance is the group's 4th in 5 nights, culminating with Monday's show at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

For more information and reservations, go to thesidedoorjazz.com or call 860-434-0886.

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