Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Good Friday and a Great Friday for Live Music

Singer, songwriter, improvisor, and poet Katie Bull will be in Middletown this Friday night to perform in the cozy performance space of The Buttonwood Tree, 605 Main Street.  She and the Katie Bull Group Project will present the entirety of her new CD, "All Hot Bodies Radiate" (Ashkokan Indie). The 13-song, 65-minute collection features all original material save for a lovely reading of Rodgers & Hammerstein's "If I Loved You" and a somewhat macabre reading of "Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead." The musicians on the CD are the ones who'll be onstage and they include Landon Knoblock (piano, electronics, vocals), Jeff Lederer (tenor and soprano saxophone), plus the splendid rhythm section of bassist Joe Fonda and drummer/chapeau specialist George Schuller.

The album, Ms. Bull's 5th as a leader or a co-leader, blends poetry, wordless vocals, "free jazz", swing, folk and so much more. The musicians swirl, wail. rock, and add so much support. The variety of sounds the quintet creates is quite impressive and the music often moves in unexpected directions.

The music starts at 8 p.m.  For more information, go to buttonwood.org. To find out more about Ms. Bull and her many projects, go to www.katiebull.com. Here's the Katie Bull Group Project in action from last summer's Monday Night Jazz Series.

'Tis week 2 of the Spring Concert Series at Firehouse 12 in New Haven and the venue welcomes the Ralph Alessi Baida Quartet.  Alessia, a critically-acclaimed trumpeter and composer, has worked with Fred Hersch, Ravi Coltrane, Steve Coleman and many others as well as being the founder and director of the School For Improvisational Music in Brooklyn, NY. Mr. Alessi and the Quartet - Gary Versace (piano), Drew Gress (bass) and Nasheet Waits (drums) - are touring in support of their new ECM album "Quiver."
Gustav Eckart Photography
This is the music that has so many different influences, touching on jazz, classical, and more.  The rhythm section plays so freely but never loses the basic pulse while the trumpeter's melodies offer so much for the musician to interact, create harmonies and impressive solos.

Ralph Alessi Baida Quartet will play 2 sets - 8:30 and 10 p.m. - for more information, go to firehouse12.org. Click on this link to hear the band in full voice.

The Side Door Jazz Club in Old Lyme welcomes saxophonist and composer Ravi Coltrane in concert on both Friday and Saturday.  Mr. Coltrane is touring with a new ensemble he calls The Void which includes Robin Eubanks (trombone), Jelani Bauman (trumpet - Friday night only), Glenn Zaleski (piano), Hartford-native Dezron Douglas (bass), and E.J. Strickland (drums) - Ralph Alessi takes over the trumpet chair on Saturday night.

Mr. Coltrane has not released an album since 2012's "Spirit Fiction", his first album on Blue Note Records. He had been touring regularly with his Quartet but has written new music for this expanded ensemble.  The Old Lyme audience will be among the first to hear this repertoire.

Doors open at 7:30 p.m. on both nights with the first notes at 8:30.  For more information, call 860-434-0886 or go to thesidedoorjazz.com.

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