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I’m finally starting to recover from my weekend of extreme jazz consumption at the 2010 NYC Winter JazzFest.  For some initial thoughts and a recap of my Day One experience on Friday, click here.  For some other excellent Winter JazzFest recaps, check out Ben Ratliff, Nate Chinen, Ben Allison, Jacob Teichroew and Hank Shteamer.

Having attended Winter JazzFest last year, Friday had pretty much been in line with my expectations.  Great music, solid crowds, high energy, good times.  But I also knew that this was the first year that the festival had expanded to a second day, and was going to feature five venues rather than Friday’s three.  It was clear that they were upping the ante — especially with such top-notch groups as Ben Allison, The Claudia Quintet, Gretchen Parlato and Vijay Iyer in the lineup.

Still, I had no idea what I was in for.  The NYC Jazz Scene flat-out kicked ass on Saturday, and everyone — promoters, musicians, arts presenters, and especially jazz fans — played a part in making it happen.  Congratulations to everyone for making it go over as well as it did!

Click through for the play-by-play of my Saturday night at NYC Winter JazzFest: Read the rest of this entry »

New York City’s only jazz festival has come and gone, and I was there.  So were a LOT of other people.  My one-word impression: wow.

For a comprehensive and well-written account of the two-night jazz extravaganza, check out Ben Ratliff’s review for the New York Times.  Nate Chinen, Ben Allison, Jacob Teichroew and Hank Shteamer also have some spot-on reflections.

The general theme of those reviews is that the festival was a huge success, attracting not only brilliant music but amazingly enthusiastic audiences.  I couldn’t agree more — Saturday’s crowd was especially mind-blowing.  The combination left me with more moments of jaw-dropping jazz-fan euphoria than any event that I have attended in a long time.  To borrow a phrase from Vijay Iyer, tossed out at the end of his set at Le Poisson Rouge that featured one of the liveliest audiences of the evening: “And they told me jazz is dead…”

Yeah, not so much.

Click through for the play-by-play of my Friday night: Read the rest of this entry »

I mentioned this briefly in my last post, but the Village Vanguard is doing something really cool, and it’s happening again tonight.  (Again, for the sake of full disclosure, it also bears mentioning that I have been involved with WBGO as a Production Intern for a couple of weeks now.)

J.D. Allen is in residency there this week, and tonight his trio, featuring Rudy Royston on drums and Gregg August on bass, will be recorded and webcast by WBGO and NPR Music.  If you’re in the NYC area, it will also be broadcast live on WBGO 88.3 fm.  Josh Jackson of WBGO and Patrick Jarenwattananon of NPR’s A Blog Supreme will be hosting a live web-chat as well.

I am really excited to hear the show.  Last month, when the same team put together the multiplatform megacast of the Fred Hersch Trio (click the link to see archived video!) I tagged along with Josh Jackson to see the whole project in action, having recently begun an internship with Josh and his excellent WBGO show The Checkout.  Tonight, I’m going to sit back in my living room with a Flying Fish ESB Amber Ale and enjoy the show in my easy chair.

I’m especially looking forward to this performance as a big fan of the piano-less trio.  Back in San Francisco, my absolute favorite regular gig was with drummer Zach Hash and a bassist (Eric Vogler, Dave Lockhart and Rob Ewing each played on one night or another, we never had a regular bassist.)  It’s a liberating experience as a horn player to be able to stretch into the harmonic realm normally occupied by pianists and guitarrists.  J.D. Allen is a master of this format, so it should be a pleasure to hear.

So come join me, Josh, Patrick, and whoever else shows up on the live chat at 9 pm sharp.  Seriously, click the link.  You will be witnessing one of the hippest things that has happened to jazz in this wild world of New Media.  Props to WBGO, NPR, J.D. Allen, the Village Vanguard and everyone else who’s making it happen.

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