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Concert Reviews (849)

Nothing beats experiencing live jazz music as its being created right in front of you.  Stop here for reviews of your favorite jazz artists live and in concert.

On March 13, the third night of his European tour, Mike Stern performed at the Hnita Jazz Club in Heist-op-den-Berg (Heist on the mountain) near Antwerp, Belgium. Performing with Mike were, Bob Franceschini (sax), Lincoln Goines (electric bass) and Richie Morales (drums). Looking terrifically young for his 46 years, Mike stepped on stage and, picking up his Yahama Pacificia, led the quartet in a composition, Play, from his latest Atlantic release of the same name. This slightly funky, upbeat
Every year during the last week of June, thousands of music lovers descend upon the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in upstate New York to enjoy a great weekend of jazz. This year was no exception, with an estimated 25,000 expected to attend daily. Although the name of the event has changed a few times over the years, (such as the Kool Jazz Festival, Newport Jazz Festival, Saratoga, and Saratoga Jazz Festival), it's still a weekend get-a-way that's looked forward to by northeasterners from sever
Been listening to the left speaker on my "stereo". The right speaker's connection comes and goes; great source of frustration. 'Til recently. Been listening to a variety of things - funk, pop, much jazz. Kinda all over the place from minute to minute, but one common theme - a strange, never before felt openness to the possibility that anything can happen - and I hope it does. Neil Finn's summer release "Try Whistling This" most in my ears these days. Of all songwriters, he is most consistent
29.01.2011

Georg Graewe Quartet

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There was magic in the air as the Georg Graewe Quartet rendered me slack-jawed, stupefied and speechless - k.o.'d me after one set! Can't even really recall what happened during that last hour. But that first hour! Fifty-five minutes, to be exact - one improv. Straight through 55 minutes! I just wanted time to stand still. Like a freight train packing a load of dynamite; rolling freneticism from the start that never let up. Flying piano hands (courtesy Berliner Graewe) climbing all over each oth
29.01.2011

Joshua Redman Band

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When you haven't exactly warmed to an artist's latest album, it might make you a little wary about checking them out live. But those who think with a 'glass-is-half-full' attitude would've been in great luck had they been in the audience for this Joshua Redman Band show. The heat generated from that stage was unexpected, at least when based on the cool, detached vibe of Redman's latest disc, "Timeless Tales (For Changing Times)", but what a pleasant surprise to brighten up a dark, rainy March ev
On February 9 at the Iron Horse in Northampton, Ma., the stage was occupied by two top performers in the avant garde idiom of jazz-Matthew Shipp, on piano, and William Parker, on bass. Shipp met Parker 15 years ago and expressed a desire to play with him. Shipp's desire was fulfilled and they have played together numerous times in various group situations ever since. Despite the difference in their age, Shipp commands his instrument with finesse and sophistication that begins to match Parker's m
The second in the series of Amherst Mtghouse Concerts, put on by Michael Ehlers, took place last night to a full house crowd. The group, OTHER DIMENSIONS IN MUSIC (led by Roy Campell, brass; with Rashid Bakr, drums; Daniel Carter, reeds; and William Parker, bass), performed in keeping with its name. Accompanied by Matthew Shipp at the piano, the basic quartet played a one-hour long first set; the group, not to mince words here, simply jumped in. Carter, on tenor, and Campell, on trumpet, seem
29.01.2011

Steve Lacy: In Concert

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Last night to an intimate, appreciative audience, Steve Lacy and trio, made up of Jean-Jacques Avenel on bass and John Betsch on drums, revealed nothing but jewel-like precision , which is Lacy's total concern and has been ever since he began playing. The concert began with a Monk tune so fluidly rendered by the group that it proved an easy entrance into the growing intensity that filled the remainder of the evening. The next tune, Lacy's "The Bath", delivered a wonderful lilting and breath o
A saxophone quartet can be very dangerous territory for the ears to wander into. When it 'works', it can be very, very good and when it doesn't, it can be very, very bad. Four saxes with no bass or drums could be a really crazy, out-there trip for the adventurous listener's ears. With a traditional rhythm section, there comes certain expectations for structure along with the melodic aspect provided through the 'out-front' instruments like horns, guitars, etc. The possibilities, then, with four s
29.01.2011

Marian McPartland

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During the week of May 17 through the 23rd, Marian McPartland, legendary host of National Public Radio's Piano Jazz appeared at Yoshi's World Class Jazz House in Jack London Square, Oakland, California. Marian has hosted NPR's Piano Jazz since 1978. It is the longest-running jazz program in the history of network radio, but aside from her radio personae, Marian has a long history as a gifted jazz pianist, writer and composer. Her Saturday's May 21st performance was outstanding and Ms. McPartland
KKSF Smooth Jazz, 103.7 fm, were the sponsors of the Earth Day Jazz Festival held April 25, 1999 at the Concord Pavilion in Concord, California, where Joe Sample and Lalha Hathaway headed the bill to perform to a crowd of thousands of jazz fans who filled the pavilion and grassy slopes surrounding the arena. Cheers went up as John Evans of KKSF introduced pianist Joe Sample. Joe looked good and very laid back as his trio performed several of Joe's legendary songs, the third and best being wha
I happened to catch up with Roy Hargrove at Yoshi's after seeing their performance in Europe earlier this year and oh, oh, oh! Just goes to show ya, you can never judge an artist by one performance. That stands to reason. Roy and his pals were more groovin', more improvisational, looser. There was plenty of hard-driving jazz, a touch of ballads and plenty of technical fortitude, but one thing I never expected was to hear Roy sing! He offered up a vocal kitchen of corn bread, collard greens, m
Combining international performers with the tropical warmth and hospitality of beautiful Barbados produces a winning combination. Paint It Jazz 2000 was the most ambitious festival in its seven year history, drawing world-renowned artists from Canada, the Netherlands and the USA as well as providing a venue for local performers to be heard by an international audience. DENISE JANNAH: The opening night concert, on January 12, was performed in the spacious and acoustically fine Garfield Sobers
As a jazz aficionado, dreaming of a show that brings all my favorite jazz artists together performing all in the same evening is simply that a dream. Now imagine this: on the night of January 28, 2000, at The Bass Performance Hall in Ft. Worth, Texas dreams came true! For artists, fans, promoters, record label owners this was the place to be and no one left disappointed. Here's a sampling of the artists that presented and received awards and then were good enough to entertain us at the podium
29.01.2011

Frode Gjerstad Trio

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Frode Gjerstad: alto saxophone; William Parker: acoustic bass, piccolo trumpet and shakuhachi; Hamid Drake: drums and percussion Frode Gjerstad brought his "dream" trio to Kerrytown Concert House on a cold Michigan Friday night, in January. Having won Norway's 1997 Musician of the Year Award, he was given the opportunity to pick a pair of musicians he would most like to work and record with from the entire world-scene. This trio is the happy result and they have continued their collaborati
When Kim Waters said, "fellas, you're going to be thanking me later tonight!", he must have been so right. Just the Sax took the Houston jazz crowd by storm on Saturday, January 22nd and left every one needing either their partner, a glass of wine to relax, or a cold shower to forget their "troubles". Sweet, sexy and saxy, Paul Taylor, Marion Meadows, Kim Waters and Gerald Albright all delivered with such a variety and distinction in each style and set selection that is was a musical ride all
For my money the best concerts put the audience in a world where everything makes sense. The Frode Gjerstad Trio did that when they played on January 21. The approximately hundred people in attendance swayed and pulsated to the music. Many had their eyes closed. Hands pounded knees in unison with drummer Hamid Drake's grooves. Heads shrieked and turned to the sax playing of Frode Gjerstad. Some people hung on every hand gesture, move, or sound that came from bassist William Parker. Everybody
Guitarist, Phillip Catherine, performed tonight at the Berrigen Cultural Center, along with Bert van den Brink, piano, Bas Kooimans, double bass, and Hans van Oosterhout, drums, at a concert sponsored by Motives for Jazz, a major jazz promoter here in Belgium. With the duet of Linx-Wissels opening the concert and Aka Moon following, the Philip Catherine Quartet stole the evening, no contest. Philip's melodic style and superb artistry was well founded with the rest of the quartet and they repe
Closing the 11th Annual Magic Triangle Jazz Concert Series at UMass Amherst was a performance by trumpeter, Baikida Carroll, and his quintet. The members are Erika Lindsay, tenor sax, Steve Colson, piano, Michael Formanek, bass and Pheeroan Ak Laff, drums. This concert distinguished itself by being based on Carroll’s composed music. Improvisation took place but did not lend itself to the forefront of the music making. The inspiration that the concert left behind was minimal. Exchanges between
When Peter Brotzmann's Die Like a Dog Quartet played the Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor, MI on April 21, you needed to see the group's leader change from his saxophone to a clarinet because the change in sound was not immediately apparent. For the first ten minutes of the ensemble's performance trumpeter Roy Campbell Jr. was not playing and the audience was able to observe from the look on his face to his talk with bassist William Parker that this was due to frustration with technical prob