Okay, the heading of this post is not as catchy to sing as Vernon Duke's homage to the Big Apple in the Fall but it reminds that my jazz heart goes pitter-patter this time of year when Firehouse 12, 45 Crown Street in New Haven, announces its lineup of its Fall Concert series (I also know feel the same way in late Winter when the performance space/recording studio announces its Spring lineup.)
Since I rarely get into New York or Brooklyn to enjoy the music offerings, the Firehouse offers a generous taste of what I'm missing by being a homebody. For 13 Fridays, starting on September 16 and ending on December 16 (the venue takes the day after Thanksgiving), the performance space will offer music that ranges from straight-ahead jazz to more exploratory forms of creative music.
For a taste of his Trio's music, click on the following link and check out his appearnace on WBGO-FM's "The Checkout" - www.wbgo.org/thecheckout/index.php?s=Fabian+Almazan.
Pianist Amina Claudine Myers makes her Firehouse debut with her Trio on September 30 followed the next week (10/07, Yom Kippur, no less...sigh) by cellist Erik Friedlander's Bonebridge Quartet featuring guitarist Doug Wamble, bassist Trevor Dunn and drummer Michael Sarin. On October 14, the Harriet Tubman Double Trio also makes its debut in the performance space. The high-energy Trio, led by guitarist Brandon Ross and anchored by the dynamite rhythm section of Melvin Gibbs (electric bass) and J.T. Lewis (drums), has been doubled with the addition of Graham Haynes (cornet) as well as DJ Logic and DJ Val.
Here's a track from "Perennial", the band's 1st CD on BJU Records (courtesy of the label and IODA Promonet.) Little Trees (mp3)
The month of November belongs to ensembles led by saxophonists. On November 4, alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa debuts his Samdhi quartet, an ensemble that features the excellent young drummer Damion Reid as well as electric guitarist David Gilmore and electric bassist Rich Brown. The next week (11/11), cellist Friedlander and drummer Sarin return to The Firehouse, this time as members of saxophonist Marty Ehrlich's Rites Quartet. Based on the sounds of the late alto saxophonist/conceptualist Julius Hemphill (1938-1995), the music is bluesy, filled with exciting twists and turns and hard to resist. On the 18th, saxophonist Jeff Lederer, a veteran of drummer Matt Wilson's bands, takes center stage with his Sunwatcher ensemble. Joining him will be the exuberant Mr. Wilson and the exciting keyboard player Jamie Saft (plus a bassist to be announced.)
Song for Owen [for Owen Eisenstadt] (mp3)
Last but definitely least (December 16), trumpeter Russ Johnson has assembled an all-star quintet to play the music of saxophonist Eric Dolphy (1928-1964). The ensemble, known as Out to Lunch (after Dolphy's most famous Blue Note LP), features saxophonist Roy Nathanson, bassist Brad Jones, pianist Myra Melford, and drummer George Schuller (who's part of the Baggetta Quartet - see above). The music, some of it discovered by Schuller's father Gunther in the family attic), may be 50 years old but bristles with great energy and shines with originality.
Every gig features both an 8:30 and a 10 p.m. set (separate admissions) - you can buy a Series Seasons Ticket that allows entrance to both sets at almost half the price of buying the tickets separately. Last season, a number of the first sets sold out. Whatever you decide about the tickets, you should find time check out this excellent series. For more information, go to http://firehouse12.com or call 203-785-0468.