Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Friday Night Live in CT 3/17

By Friday evening, the roads in these parts should be clear of the ice and snow that bedeviled Connecticut residents this week.  I suggest an evening of live music to celebrate one's freedom.

The Buttonwood Tree, 605 Main Street in Middletown, presents the duo of Satoko Fujii (piano) and Joe Fonda (bass) at 8 p.m.  The two were familiar with each other's work but hadn't meet until getting together for a short tour in November 2015. They recorded their second gig, releasing the performance as "Duet Song" in 2016.  What's impressive about their pairing is the fact that the music is totally improvised.  The results can be thrilling, "free", highly musical, ferocious, soothing, and well worth watching.

For reservations, call 860-347-4957 or go to

Here's a taste of the duo with guest trumpeter (and Ms. Fujii's husband) Natsuki Tamura:

Saxophonist and composer Dan Pratt comes to The Side Door Jazz Club in Old Lyme on Friday.  Best known for his work with an organ quartet, Pratt's new CD, "Hymn for the Happy Man", finds the California native alongside pianist Mike Eckroth, drummer Alan Mednard, and bassist Christian McBride for a program of original music that takes its cues from Wayne Shorter's Blue Note years and the early Wynton Marsalis Quintet.

For the Old Lyme gig, Pratt, Eckroth and Mednard will be joined by bassist Matt Clohesy.  They'll take the stage at 8:30 p.m. play two sets.  For more information and reservations, go to or call 860-434-2600.

Here's the title track:

As I wrote earlier this week (read here), the Firehouse 12 Spring 2017 Concerts series commences this week on Friday in the intimate recording studio and performance space located at 45 Crown Street in New Haven.  The opening show belongs to Stephan Crump's Rhombal, a quartet that features Ellery Eskelin (tenor saxophone), Adam O'Farrill (trumpet), Tyshawn Sorey (drums) and the leader on bass; he also has created all the music for the ensemble (so far).  The combination of blues, improvisation, brilliant interactions, and strong solos made for an impressive debut album (released in late Summer 2016) - the music should be even better live.

The Elm City date is the third of five-shows-in five-days that Rhombal is playing this week.  To find out more about the Mr. Crump and the band, go to   To make reservations or get more information about the Concerts series, go to or call 203-785-0468.

Here's a track from the album:

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