Bryan Zoran

Bryan Zoran

It was thanksgiving night at B.B. KINGS in Times Square. The winter wind was blistering cold outside, but Pinetop Perkins had the club steamin’ with the blues. I had the pleasure of meeting the 91-year old Mississippi bluesman before the show. He now lives in Texas and his blues is as strong and contagious as ever. The show opened with guitarist George Kilby Jr. leading the band, which consisted of an amazing array of musicians. Two saxophonists, a tenor and a baritone, complemented bass, drums
Billy Cobham’s Culture Mix blends the sounds of musicians from around the world to create a creative, breathing music that at times has a modern industrial feel but also makes you want to move your feet. Recording for a new live release, the group played Tuesday through Sunday at the Iridium and featured special guests Airto Moreira and Randy Brecker. The recording should be spectacular considering the intensity of the late set I witnessed on Saturday night.

Overall, the music created a very

29.01.2011

Courage and Skill

Published in Concert Reviews
Me’shell Ndegeocello celebrated her birthday by presenting those in attendance with a wonderful gift. She led an amazing cast of musicians through an exotic, flawless performance. Her Brazilian percussionist set the tone at the beginning of the first tune, giving the group a world music feel. Toward the end of the set he did a remarkable solo on a hand drum. Her group also included DJ Jahee Sundance, who added another interesting element to the overall soundscape. Well-placed waves of sound and
A night of glistening guitar-led ensembles started with the Larry Coryell Trio, featuring Mark Egan on bass and Paul Wertico on drums. They performed several tunes off their new CD, Tricycles. The title track really moved with Mark Egan setting a solid bass groove. Another selection from the new CD, Good Citizen Swallow, was also noteworthy. After highlighting tunes from the new CD, Larry Coryell broke out his octaves arsenal on the Wes Montgomery classic Bumpin’ On Sunset. Coryell commented tha
29.01.2011

On Fire in New York

Published in Concert Reviews
The evening started with an Archie Shepp composition that he wrote for his oldest daughter. After his daughter changed her name, he changed the name of the song. Beautiful and enthralling, the melody set the atmosphere and Shepp’s solo took the Iridium audience on a musical journey up toward the heavens. While the other musicians took solos, Shepp added texture and inspiration on the piano. This exchange reached its peak during Andrew Cyrille’s amazing drum solo. Shepp interspersed funky stateme
A night of outstanding music began with the Henry Grimes Quartet. His beautiful green bass caught my eye from the moment I walked in. His playing caught my ear from the moment he picked it up until he stopped playing. The quartet started out the set with more experimental compositions and moved to less dissonant material, closing with the familiar Sonny Rollins set finale Oleo. More often than not, sets of music usually flow in the opposite direction, becoming more experimental as the night goes
On a typical night, jazz masters Jack DeJohnette and Dave Holland are leading their own groups in any number of theatres and clubs around the globe. On this particular night, they were part of another jazz master’s trio, the venerable Herbie Hancock. Including the encore, an inspired version of Maiden Voyage that began with a brief bluesy run that transformed into an extended introduction by Hancock, the trio delivered a 105-minute set covering six selections.

The evening started with Herbie

Cassandra Wilson graced the Pabst Theatre stage on Sunday evening, March 21. The most inspiring vocalist over the last decade, she has a brilliance no one can deny. The latest group she has assembled is a wonderful collection of musicians who create a full, almost orchestral, sound that is the perfect complement to her voice.

Her set began with a song from her 1993 release Blue Light Til Dawn, entitled Children of the Night, a stirring, almost haunting number that set the tone for the evening

29.01.2011

Roy Haynes Day

Published in Concert Reviews
The President of Milwaukee’s Common Council, Marvin Pratt and a jazz drummer from Milwaukee, Victor Campbell presented legendary bebop artist Roy Haynes with a Proclamation, making May 31 Roy Haynes Day. Graciously accepting the award, Roy seemed a bit surprised to receive a Proclamation from the city of Milwaukee. When he recently told a friend he had a gig in Wisconsin they asked "Do people like jazz in Wisconsin?" Nonetheless, Roy seemed impressed with the Proclamation and with the enthusiasm
When the spotlight shines on Dianne Reeves, she shines right back. In her element, she draws in the audience from the moment she walks on stage and keeps their attention until the moment she walks off. Her voice is mesmerizing and she showcased it starting with the introduction, singing "Welcome, I am so happy to be here tonight and I hope you are too. The band has been working on some special music to play tonight just for you "

The thing that amazed me about Dianne Reeves’ voice is h

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