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Posts Tagged ‘Bruce Hornsby’

Tiny Rager with Questlove, Christian McBride and Gary Bartz. SO HAPPY!!!

Tiny Rager with Questlove, Christian McBride and Gary Bartz. SO HAPPY!!!

Questlove Presents Mo’ Meta Blues I ft. Booker T, Eric Krasno, Gary Bartz, Charistian McBride & Nigel Hall @ The Blue Note (06.21.11)

Questlove – Drums
Eric Kranso – Guitar
Booker T. Jones – Organ
Gary Bartz – Saxophone
Christian McBride – Bass

Surprise Guest:
Dee Dee Bridgewater – Vocals
Nigel Hall – Vocals

The Blue Note Venue Front

The Blue Note Venue Front

The Blue Note is a venue name that is known around the world for housing some of the world’s most famous jazz musicians in it’s various Milan, Tokyo, NYC and Nagoya locations.  For true NY music goers, we aren’t always fond of this venue but no one can deny that some of our city’s greatest music is made inside that sardine-packed tourist trap.

For 30 years, The Blue Note has brought us some of the most phenomenal music played by phenomenal collections of musicians.  This year, to celebrate their 30 years dedicated to music, The Blue Note, along with Jill Newman Productions, has put together a month long calendar of music around the city, creating the inaugural Blue Note Jazz Festival.

Over the past month The Festival has featured numerous high-profile acts within the walls of the Blue Note  such as Dave Brubeck, Chris Botti, Nancy Wilson, Bobby McFerrin, Roberta Flack, Brian Wilson, Medeski Martin & Wood, El Gran Combo, McCoy Tyner, Bill Frisell, Meshell Ndegeocello, Madeleine Peyroux, Chaka Khan, and many more. As well, numerous acts have been held around the city’s various outdoor spaces such as Parks and other music venues.

Questlove @ The Blue Note (Photo by Dino Perrucci)

Questlove @ The Blue Note (Photo by Dino Perrucci)

For two nights, famed drummer Questlove hosted Mo’ Meta Blues 1  featuring a collection of amazing jazz virtuoso musicians to include guitarist Eric Kranso and bassist Christian McBride.  The group was completed with legendary saxophonist Gary Bartz and Rock N’ Roll Hall of Famer organist Booker T. Jones (Booker T and the MG’s).

I was terribly excited for a performance mixing the old school with the new school.  It is performances like these were I wish there were more youth in the audience. More young musicians who have deliberately sought out the best in the scene; sitting in the audience watching how it’s done.  Looking around, I couldn’t help but wonder how in a city like NYC, there were not more musical savvy teenagers. Where is the disconnect? Is it because our music isn’t on the radio? Just something I always ponder while sitting waiting for shows to begin.

Booker T Jones latest Cd: The Road From Memphis

Booker T Jones latest Cd: The Road From Memphis

Tonight’s musicians would be performing a selection of songs from Booker T’s new album, The Road From Memphis, a wonderful collection of songs with collaborations with Yim Yames of My Morning Jacket, Sharon Jones and Lou Reed and The National’s Matt Berninger.  Produced by Jones with The Roots’ ?uestlove and Rob Schnapf (Beck, Elliot Smith), Memphis was recorded by Daptone Records mastermind Gabriel Roth with backing by The Roots.  Enjoy Booker T’s video for his cover of Lauryn Hill‘s “Everything is Everything.”

The new school rhythm section alone could have kept my attention for both sets. Questlove has been drumming since he was a little boy on tour with his famous 50’s doo wop father, Lee Andrews of Lee Andrews & the HeartsQuestlove is best known as the drummer for the Grammy Award-winning band The Roots, which is now the in-house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Christian McBride, Questlove‘s high school homie, is considered a virtuoso bass player and is one of the most recorded bassists of the last 20 years. He has performed and recorded with a massive number of artists, jazz legends and ensembles including Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, Diana Krall, Roy Haynes, Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Wynton Marsalis, Hank Jones, Joshua Redman, as well as with hip-hop, pop, soul, and classical musicians like The Roots, Kathleen Battle, Carly Simon, Sting, Bruce Hornsby, and James Brown. His sound is liberating and intoxicating.

“Half the fun up here is the fun music trivia we all have and finding the fun in referencing it in the music we play up here.  I am just warning you all now, there will be a lot of inside musical jokes on this stage.” ~ Questlove

Booker T Jones @ The Blue Note (Photo by Dino Perrucci)

Booker T Jones @ The Blue Note (Photo by Dino Perrucci)

Then you had Booker T. Jones from Booker T and the MGs.  Booker T. & the MG’s were the house band for the famous Memphis Soul music label Stax Records.  They recorded with all the Stax Records artists, including Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, and Isaac Hayes, but they also recorded their own material between sessions.  The song they are most famous for is Green Onions, a song they played every set during this run. My favorite and earliest memory of hearing this song can be seen right here:

All the Blue Note sets had the same set lists, in varying order:

  1. Down In Memphis ( Booker T on vocal, #5 on disc)
  2. Rent Party (#7 on disc)
  3. Walking Papers (#1 on disc)
  4. Everything is Everything (#6 on disc)
  5. Hip Hugger (Old Booker T Song)
  6. Gentle Smiles (Gary Bartz Tune)
  7. Born Under A Bad Sign (William Bell cover)
  8. Can’t Find Love
  9. Green Onions
  10. Melting Pot
Look at Those Happy Faces @ Blue Note (Photo by TinyRager)

Look at Those Happy Faces @ Blue Note (Photo by TinyRager)

Both nights, Questlove was the first to enter on stage.  He sat at his drum kit and announced each artist individually as they waited patiently at the top of the stairs. Questlove‘s sense of humor came out immediately.  “Please welcome Mr. Eric Kras-NOW,” as he emphasized the last part with a huge smile. “Please welcome Mr. Gary “Blow Your Horn” Bartz!” And so it continued till each member was on stage and the show could begin.

Down In Memphis ( Booker T on vocal, #5 on disc)
Rent Party (#7 on disc)

They stated the set with Down In Memphis with Booker T. on vocals.   His signature plunking Organ keys sounding just like I remembered.  Rent Party followed with Eric Kranso taking the lead on the solo. During the song, Kranso took the guitar licks and changed them up slightly, causing a jubilant stir from Booker T. and QuestloveBooker T. could be caught glancing at Kranso with looks of interest and obvious delight as Kranso took the song to level Booker T. probably wished was on his new cd.

Eric Krasno @ The Blue Note (Photo by Dino Perrucci)

Eric Krasno @ The Blue Note (Photo by Dino Perrucci)

Walking Papers (#1 on disc)

“The next song selection and what not is…You know we gotta be classy, this is the Blue Note after all!  The next song selection and shit …..” ~ Questlove as the venue erupted in laughter. Probably the one and only time I will hear cursing on the stage of the Blue Note from time to come.

The third selection was Walking Papers. Questlove described the song titles as “the papers that your angry wife gives you.” The song broke into a funky beat and my friend and I all complained about being forced to sit through this danceable set.

Whole Group @ Blue Note (Photo by TinyRager)

Whole Group @ Blue Note (Photo by TinyRager)

Everything is Everything (#6 on disc)

Booker T.‘s cover of Lauryn Hill‘s Everything is Everything followed. This song should have been sung by Nigel Hall who was waiting in the rafters during the first set while this song played but was sitting at our table for the second.  However, Booker T. played the vocals on his organ. No words. Personally, I feel that it is the words of this song that make it powerful and I loved how this elder artist was playing the younger tunes but it was general consensus around my table that it should be sung, not played.  Watching Gary Bartz, I wondered when he learned the song and how long it took him to learn it.  Did he really like it?  On the new cd, Booker T. also covers Gnarls Barkley‘s Crazy.

Hip Hugger (Old Booker T Song)

The best thing about being on this stage the past few days has been our ability to vicariously feel like we are in each others bands. We all have so much respect for each others bands and projects. This next tune will make us honorary MGs”  ~ Questlove introducing HipHugger.

As they segued into HipHugger, Christian McBride took the lead.  He shot out the gate with his solos on this song each set. His smile infectious, his playing addicting.

Gary Bartz @ The Blue Note (Photo by Dino Perrucci)

Gary Bartz @ The Blue Note (Photo by Dino Perrucci)

Gentle Smiles (Gary Bartz Tune)

At this point I should tell yall a little something about the magnificent Gary Bartz as he was the reason this show was even taking place!! When Jill Newman approached Questlove with the list of musicians that might want to take part in this project, Gary Bartz‘s name was what stopped him.

Gary Bartz is a Grammy winning alto saxophone player who first touched down on ears in the mid 60’s.  He played with epic jazz musicians like Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Charles Mingus’ Workshop and McCoy Tyner before even reaching the 70’s.  His music became influential amongst many genres and soon Gary’s music hit Questlove‘s ears as he followed the rise of hip-hop.

If you were a fan of hip-hop in 1991 then you might have known of a song called Gentle Smiles but might not have known it was a Bartz original.  A Tribe Called Quest famously used this sample for their song Butter on the “The Low End Theory” 1991 album. Everyone knows that album, or rather they should. Questlove dropped some serious licks while playing this song, probably having played it in his head over and over for years coming up in the scene.  It was a slow, downright sexy rage.

Gary Bartz’s Gentle Smiles:

A Tribe Called Quest’s Butter, sampling the song:

Nigel Hall @ The Blue Note (Photo by Dino Perrucci)

Nigel Hall @ The Blue Note (Photo by Dino Perrucci)

“And now I’d like to introduce you to the last member of our clan. A person who has his graduate degree in soul walking and Jamesology.  I’ve given him new monikers each set. I need help giving him one for this set,” said Questlove as he looked at the rest of his band. Nigel Hall was introduced by Questlove last night as Nigel Baptiste, Nigel Cosby was his name for tonight’s first set and Norman Huckstable Hall was thrown out this time by Christian McBride.

This was Nigel Hall‘s first paid performance at the Blue Note. As we stood at the top of the stairs and chatted he was wringing his hands and seemed slightly nervous.  So endearing.

Celestial Blues (Gary Bartz Tune)

As Nigel Hall began his next song he spoke of the Maine State Slogan being “They Way Life Should Be” and how the song he was about to sing is more tactical version of that statement.  “so meditate and contemplate”  Gary Bartz raged thru his solo.  Gary Bartz is the reason Questlove went after this gig.  When Jill Newman,  the lady who helped fund the Blue Note Jazz Festival, read Questlove the list of musicians who were interested in the super jam…this is the name that solidified the deal.

Whole Group raging The Blue Note (Photo by Dino Perrucci)

Whole Group raging The Blue Note (Photo by Dino Perrucci)

Born Under A Bad Sign (William Bell cover)

There was more banter and The Temptations Get Ready was teased by the rhythm section, another inside musical joke. Nigel Hall went on to sing Born Under A Bad SignNigel went off in the song, getting lost in his own voice. We got lost as well.  Having been part of The Warren Haynes Band for a few months, Nigel Hall has fused this song to his blood line.  And as always, I heard people asking “who was this guy,” questioning with the biggest smiles possible!!!   The night before, I was unlucky enough to miss Dee Dee Bridgewater, who came out in the second set to join Nigel on this song.  Amazing.

“Let’s give fun a round of applause ~ Questlove

Got To Get Some > Cant’ Find Love

As they began to play the next tune Got To Get Some, Questlove stopped and I think might have broken something as he said “well, they are gonna charge me five bucks for that! ” Nigel responds, “Sounds alright.  So long as its tight, its alright.” Nigel sang soulfully through Got To Get Some and Cant’ Find Love.

Whole Group w/ Nigel @ Blue Note (Photo by TinyRager)

Whole Group w/ Nigel @ Blue Note (Photo by TinyRager)

Green Onions & Melting Pot (Booker T Covers)

Nigel Hall bounced off the stage as the remaining group broke into Green Onions.  Christian McBride is such an amazing bassist as he kicked his bass so deep during this song.  Seeing this song performed live was truly special.  With these musicians, who were having so much fun on stage, they brought the song to life and I have to admit that it was one of my fav parts of the set. Just hearing the opening immediately made me smile. It’s impossible not to love this song.

The super group ended their exciting set with Booker T’s Melting Pot from his 1971 studio album.  Here is the studio version of the song. There were certainly to many restrictions on picture and video taking at The Blue Not like always.

When super groups like this gather, it’s always a shame to miss the magic. I hope this brought you into the moment, if only a little bit!

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May 2011 Music Calendar

May 2011 Music Calendar

Calendar updated daily!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

  • ($20-$25) Bill Frisell Quartet featuring Ron Miles, Tony Scherr, Kenny Wolleson @ Village Vanguard

Monday, May 2, 2011

  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($20) The Airborne Toxic Event @ Pianos
  • ($25) Mingus Big Band @ The Jazz Standard

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

  • (Free) Dred Scott Trio @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($24) The Airbourne Toxic Event @ The Mercury Lounge

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

  • (Free) Brooklyn Shakedown with Nutritious @ Bembe
  • ($24) The Airbourne Toxic Event @ The Bowery Ballroom
  • ($40-$133) Batiashvili, Bartók, and Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony @ Avery Fisher Hall

Thursday, May 5, 2011

  • New Orleans Jazz Festival, New Orleans, LA
  • (Free) Gent Treadly @ 11th Street Bar
  • (Free) Nir Felder Group (Mark Guiliana) @ 55 Bar
  • ($5) Sophistafunk @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($15) Jackie Greene @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($20-$25) The Airborne Toxic Event @ Webster Hall
  • ($40-$46) Bad Religion @ Terminal 5
  • ($65-$144) Gladys Knight @ Beacon Theater
  • ($1,500 – $5,000) Alan Gilbert Conducts 120th Anniversary Concert @ Carnegie Hall
    • Gala tickets include a seat at the concert and admission to a post-concert dinner-dance at The Plaza

Friday, May 6, 2011

  • New Orleans Jazz Festival, New Orleans, LA
  • (Free) Taurus (Mark Guiliana) @ Bowery Electric
  • ($10) The Mother Hips @ The Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($15 – $20) The Infamous String Dusters @ Bowery Ballroom
  • ($22) Reverend Horton Heat plus Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band @ The Bell House
  • ($24-$45) The Airborne Toxic Event @ Town Hall
  • ($25-$30) Minus The Bear @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
  • ($40-$46) Bad Religion @ Terminal 5
  • ($40-$127) Batiashvili, Bartók, and Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony @ Avery Fisher Hall

Saturday, May 7, 2011

  • New Orleans Jazz Festival, New Orleans, LA
  • ($22-$27) The NEW DEAL with special guests OTT & Sub Swara @ Terminal 5
  • ($43-$138) Batiashvili, Bartók, and Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony @ Avery Fisher Hall

Sunday, May 8, 2011

  • New Orleans Jazz Festival, New Orleans, LA
  • ($22) Reverend Horton Heat plus Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band @ Highline Ballroom
  • ($41-$46) Interpol / Blonde Redhead @Terminal 5

Monday, May 9, 2011

  • (Free) Now vs. Now (Mark Guiliana) @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($25) Mingus Big Band @ The Jazz Standard
  • ($1,500 – $5,000) James Taylor @ Carnegie Hall
    • Package A: Tickets are either $2,500 or $5,000 and include the exclusive After-Party and a seat in the Prime Parquet at the concert.
    • Package B: Tickets are $1,000 and include the pre-concert Cocktail Reception and a seat in the Parquet or Second Tier at the concert.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

  • (Free) Chris Morrissey Quintet @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($30-$40) Pharoah Sanders Quartet @ Birdland New York
  • ($32-$38) Raphael Saadiq @ Webster Hall
  • ($45-$65) Al Jarreau and the George Duke Trio @ The Blue Note
  • ($60-$159) Paul Simon @ The Beacon Theater

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

  • (Free) Brooklyn Shakedown with Nutritious @ Bembe
  • ($15) The Louis Armstrong Centennial Band @ Birdland NYC
  • ($45-$65) Al Jarreau and the George Duke Trio @ The Blue Note
  • ($55-$159) Paul Simon @ The Beacon Theater
  • ($50-$65) Blind Boys of Alabama @ City Winery

Thursday, May 12, 2011

  • (Free) Maceo Parker @Pier One ~ Brooklyn Bridge Park
  • ($15) Break Science @ Highline Ballroom
  • ($30-$40) Pharoah Sanders Quartet @ Birdland NYC
  • ($35-$40) Brenda Russell and the George Duke Trio @ The Blue Note
  • ($40-$64) Warren Haynes Band @ Beacon Theater
  • ($40-$87) A Celebration of Kate McGarrigle w/ Rufus Wainwright, Emmylou Harris & Martha Wainwright Town Hall

Friday, May 13, 2011

  • (Free) Meshell Ndegeocello @ Gatehouse Restaurant and Bar, Brooklyn
  • ($12) Wyllys @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($30) Deftones @ Best Buy Theater
  • ($30) The Mahavishnu Project plays the music of Jeff Beck @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($30-$40) Pharoah Sanders Quartet @ Birdland NYC
  • ($35-$40) Brenda Russell and the George Duke Trio @ The Blue Note
  • ($40-$55) Allen Toussaint @ City Winery
  • ($40-$87) A Celebration of Kate McGarrigle w/ Rufus Wainwright, Emmylou Harris & Martha Wainwright Town Hall

Saturday, May 14, 2011

  • (Free) The Prigs @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • (Free) Meshell Ndegeocello @ Gatehouse Restaurant and Bar, Brooklyn
  • (Free) Red Baraat for the Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concert Series @ The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
  • ($24-$29) Crash Test Dummies with Rob Morsberger @ City Winery
  • ($30) Deftones @ Best Buy Theater
  • ($30-$40) Pharoah Sanders Quartet @ Birdland NYC
  • ($45-$65) Al Jarreau and the George Duke Trio @ The Blue Note
  • ($80-$130) David Crosby & Graham Nash @ Town Hall

Sunday, May 15, 2011

  • (Free) Red Barraat for Celebrate Brooklyn! at Brooklyn Bridge Park @ Celebrate Brooklyn Dance Party
  • ($30) Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra @ Birdland NYC
  • ($35-$55) Taylor Hicks @ City Winery
  • ($45-$65) Al Jarreau and the George Duke Trio @ The Blue Note
  • ($45-$75) Marcus Miller Presents: A Concert for Japanese Tsunami Relief  @ Highline Ballroom
    • Featuring Raheem Devaughn, Robert Glasper, Sean Jones, Angelique Kidjo, Gregoire Maret, Raul Midon,Q-Tip, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Kaoru Watanabe, Louis Cato, Alex Han, Federico Gonzalez Pena, Vince Wilburn, Wallace Roney and more TBA!

Monday, May 16, 2011

  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($24-30) Rusted Root @ Bowery Ballroom
  • ($25) Mingus Big Band @ The Jazz Standard

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

  • ($20) Rusted Root’s Adam Ezra Group @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($30-$35) Lykke Li @ Webster Hall
  • ($35-$60) Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers w/ Henry Butler @ Highline Ballroom

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

  • (Free) Brooklyn Shakedown with Nutritious @ Bembe
  • ($20) Felice Brothers @ The Bell House
  • ($25) Maceo Parker @ S.O.B.’s
  • ($30-$35) Lykke Li @ Webster Hall
  • ($35-$40) En Vouge @ B.B. Kings
  • ($35-$60) Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers w/ Eric Lindell (Album Release) @ Highline Ballroom

Thursday, May 19, 2011

  • ($15-$20) Lo, Aaron, Dan and Jon of God Street Wine @ Joe’s Pub
  • (Free) Nir Felder Group (Mark Guiliana) @ 55 Bar
  • ($10) Fundimensionals @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($18-22) New Riders of the Purple Sage @ B.B. Kings
  • ($20) The Felice Brothers @ The Bell House
  • ($20) Reflection @ Rocks Off Cruise (The Halfmoon)
  • ($25-$31) Brett Dennen @ Webster Hall
  • ($35-$80) Adele @ Beacon Theater

Friday, May 20, 2011

  • ($20-$25) Bill Frisell Quartet featuring Ron Miles, Tony Scherr, Kenny Wolleson @ Village Vanguard
  • ($25) John Mayall @ B.B. Kings Blues Club
  • ($25) Murder By Death @ Rocks Off River Cruise

Saturday, May 21, 2011

  • ($12) Garage A Trois @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($20-$25) Bill Frisell Quartet featuring Ron Miles, Tony Scherr, Kenny Wolleson @ Village Vanguard
  • ($50-$77) Adele @ United Palace Theater
  • ($55-$75)  Johnny Mathis @ Lehman Arts Center, Bronx
  • ($55-$65) Esperanza Spalding @ Town Hall

Sunday, May 22, 2011

  • (???) Mark Guiliana @ 55 Bar
  • ($10-$15) A Soulful N’awlins Sunday Brunch w/ Brother Joscephus & The Love Revival Revolution Orchestra @ Le Poisson Rouge
  • ($20-$25) Bill Frisell Quartet featuring Ron Miles, Tony Scherr, Kenny Wolleson @ Village Vanguard
  • ($30) Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra @ Birdland NYC
  • ($50-$107) Elvis Costello and The Imposters – The Revolver Tour @ Beacon Theater

Monday, May 23, 2011

  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($20-$25) Bill Frisell Quartet featuring Ron Miles, Tony Scherr, Kenny Wolleson @ Village Vanguard
  • ($25) Mingus Big Band @ The Jazz Standard
  • ($50-$107) Elvis Costello and The Imposters – The Revolver Tour @ Beacon Theater

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

  • (Free) Dred Scott Trio @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($7) Richie Goods and Nuclear Fusion @ Local 269
  • ($20-$25) Bill Frisell Quartet featuring Ron Miles, Tony Scherr, Kenny Wolleson @ Village Vanguard
  • ($20-$100) Club d’Elf & John Medeski @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($25-$30) Panic At The Disco @ Terminal 5
  • ($30-$40) Kenny Barron Quartet with Terrance Blanchard @ Birdland NYC
  • ($30-$45) Stanley Clarke @ The Blue Note
  • ($35-$41) Artic Monkeys @ Rumsey Playfield, Central Park
  • ($40-$115) Bettye LaVette @ Cafe Carlyle
  • ($50-$107) Elvis Costello and The Imposters – The Revolver Tour @ Beacon Theater

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

  • (Free) Brooklyn Shakedown with Nutritious @ Bembe
  • ($10) Gent Treadly, Willie Waldman Project, DJ Logic @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($15) Kenny Barron Quartet with The Louis Armstrong Centennial Band @ Birdland NYC
  • ($20-$25) Bill Frisell Quartet featuring Ron Miles, Tony Scherr, Kenny Wolleson @ Village Vanguard
  • ($30-$45) Stanley Clarke @ The Blue Note
  • ($40-$115) Bettye LaVette @ Cafe Carlyle
  • ($52-$65) The Cars @ Roseland Ballroom

Thursday, May 26, 2011

  • (Free) Celebrate Brooklyn! at Brooklyn Bridge Park @ Celebrate Brooklyn Dance Party @ Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn, NY
    • Red Baraat and many more…
  • (Free) Tall, Tall Trees @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($30-$40) Kenny Barron Quartet with Terrance Blanchard @ Birdland NYC
  • ($30-$45) Stanley Clarke @ The Blue Note
  • ($40-$115) Bettye LaVette @ Cafe Carlyle

Friday, May 27, 2011

  • ($15) Joe Krown Trio feat. Walter “Wolfman” Washington & Russell Batiste followed by MiloZ @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($20-$25) Steve Kuhn (solo piano) & The Daniel Bennett Group @ The Triad Theater
  • ($25) The Birdland Big Band directed by Tommy Igoe @ Birdland NYC
  • ($30-$45) Stanley Clarke @ The Blue Note
  • ($40-$115) Bettye LaVette @ Cafe Carlyle
  • ($50-$200) Wavy Gravy’s 75th Birthday!
    • Jackson Browne, Ani DiFranco, Steve Earle, Allison Moorer, Dr. John, Bruce Hornsby, Jorma Kaukonen, Steve Kimock, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Wavy Gravy

Saturday, May 28, 2011

  • ($20) Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars @ The Bell House
  • ($25-$28) David Johansen (Of the New York Dolls) @ City Winery
  • ($30-$45) Stanley Clarke @ The Blue Note

Sunday, May 29, 2011

  • ($18) Slick Rick @ B.B. Kings Blues Club
  • ($23-$28) Bob Schneider @ Bowery Ballroom
  • ($25) The Birdland Jazz Quartet @ Birdland NYC
  • ($30) Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra @ Birdland NYC
  • ($30-$45) Stanley Clarke @ The Blue Note
  • ($40-$115) Bettye LaVette @ Cafe Carlyle

Monday, May 30, 2011

  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($20-$25) Bill Frisell Quartet featuring Ron Miles, Tony Scherr, Kenny Wolleson @ Village Vanguard
  • ($25) Mingus Big Band @ The Jazz Standard
  • ($30-$45) Stanley Clarke @ The Blue Note
  • ($40-$115) Bettye LaVette @ Cafe Carlyle

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

  • (Free) Ray LaMontagne, Brandi Carlile, The Secret Sisters @ Central Park’s Summer Stage
  • (Free) Dred Scott Trio @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($15) 7 Walkers featuring Bill Kreutzmann of Grateful Dead, Kirk Joseph of Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Papa Mali and Matt Hubbard, Jason Crosby and Dark Loft @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($30-$45) Stanley Clarke @ The Blue Note
  • ($37.50) George Clinton & The Parliament-Funkadelic All-Stars @ B.B. Kings
  • ($40-$115) Bettye LaVette @ Cafe Carlyle

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Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

(179 McDougal Street)

(w/ Higher Nebulae, D.V.S., & Orchard Lounge)

Show Pamplet

Show Pamplet

In my mind, I consider myself just beginning to learn about (and possibly appreciate) these late night NYC music scenes.  A scene where the music doesn’t start until 11:00pm, maybe.  A scene where, unless you asked for help, you can’t find the door to the establishment, a scene hidden under the bowels of the city streets.   I normally rage a live concert where the doors open at 6pm and the show start at 8pm.  And THEN, if I have the energy (if?…who are we kidding?), I end up in a dark and grimy basement venue for the remainder of the night.  Most of the time it’s because a friend has talked me into raging harder and not because I feel as though there will be true talent on a stage.  To me, these are the times to mingle and dance till your a puddle of water on the floor.  I have no idea what is going on music wise as…how do I put this….it doesn’t register to me as live music.  It just doesn’t.

Rage Equipment!

Rage Equipment!

Dj-ing is clearly an art.  Sampling music, producing sounds, splicing tunes, putting them back together like a puzzle.  I get it.  I can see the DJs gears working in my mind’s eye when I hear some of the get-down beats we dance too.  And when they rage, I stop dancing and I embrace the lift in the room’s energy, nodding my head in recognition that they just mixed a dope track that got the floor jumpin’.  So, I love it, don’t get me wrong.  I do dance into a puddle and I have fun but it’s not the same thing if it’s just a person and their turntables.  It doesn’t drag me in and make my jaw drop.

Now, take that atmosphere, with that talented puzzle maker and throw in a live instrument.  Like Break Science who has Adam Deitch on the drums bringing forth that extra layer that makes it intoxicating, or The Sullivan Street Shakedown, which combines DJs with numerous live instruments rotated each month.  It lies in the fact that it’s alive to me at that moment.  It’s organic.  I can see it being created.  Tonight, I would be enjoying the performance of Jeff Bujak and he brought me exactly what I needed to have my jaw drop.

Rage equipment!

Rage equipment!

The show was held at Club Love.  Never having been before, I immediately was drawn to the name, wondering what it must look like.  I imagined it being dimly lit, a loungy-vibe with bright tones like purples, yellows and reds.  Slightly Disco-esque with plush couches and anything you would find in a Austin Powers movie.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.

With no sign to the establishment and the entrance being a door hidden by on of those large gate walls that businesses pull down when they close up shop, I only knew I was in the right spot thanks to the store owners around the area.  The show was to start at 10pm but I don’t think the doors even opened until 11pm.  I went across the street for a beer with the three other people foolish enough to come so early…see, I am still learning.

Rage Equipment!

Rage Equipment!

Upon entering Love, you head down the stairs into a dark, concrete floored, cavern-like basement and are forced either left or right.  If you choose right, you are met with the room that would be throwing us the get down grinds.  Probably holds about 250 (??) comfortably, one wall had bench style seating but that was it.  This was a room for dancing.  Period. There was a bar set up with caution tape around it, I assumed to give the waitress some room?  Flat out, not cool waitress.  I bought a $7 beer, gave her a $10 and she just ran with it.  When I asked her for my change, she was like “What? You want me to give you back 2 bucks?”  First of all, take a math course and Poor Service!!!  Seriously? Does it matter?  I used to be a waitress and I was a friggen princess even when I wanted to kill someone.  I will NEVER get used to the poor customer service practices in New York City.  There is TRULY nothing comparable in terms of shitty attitude .  Needless to say,  I was not amused.

Dancing and Hula Hooping

Dancing and Hula Hooping

There was no “stage” per say, just a portion of the floor that had been utilized for the equipment.  As well, there was an elevated portion that held the DJs booth.  I got to be sadly honest and admit that the front of the DJ booth was so high, I could barely see the tops of the DJ’s heads, let alone see them do their thing.  That made me sad.  But I am sure the rest of the world saw the Dj’s as they are all over 5 foot zero!!

If you took a left from Love’s entrance, you are taken to the restrooms, another bar and a separate room that looks cave-ish, like the walls were made of crappy styrafrom, the other walls were glass so that the patrons in the room were viewable from the bar area.  This room was for those who might need to take a rest from the intensity in the other room.  It is small but with stadium seating, more like concrete stairs.  It’s always good to have one of these rooms to retreat into when you have partied to hard.

Higher Nebulae started the night off with some dirty dance beats. There was some gospel layers and rock layers all with some deep whoomping bass.  When the bass beats were dropped we were given some familiar rock favorites and unexpected old school gems such as Metallica‘s “For Whom The Bell Tolls.”

D.V.S.

D.V.S.

Like I said, it’s hard for me to focus on the music when it’s just the DJs so I was wondering around trying to catch a buzz with the $10 beer in hand and attempting to get in the right frame of mind to dance into that puddle I was talking about.  The Banana Mafia was out in full force greeting what appeared to be half the venue who had come under his list.  He brought the energy, he brought in the dancers.  I appreciated that!  However, this Mafia member was without his Banana Suit?  Is that even allowed?  Am I supposed to be outing him over the internet?  Opps.  Either way, he raged all over that dance floor, as well as his friends, and we all had a blast together!!

D.V.S. was up next, his real name being Derek VanScoten.  Where as Jeff Bujak uses a piano to layer on top of his electronic beats, D.V.S. uses a Telecaster guitar.  I stopped my mingling and started focusing on D.V.S..  His music mixed Hip-hop, Soul and even Motown.  He sampled Jimi Hendrix‘s “Foxy Lady” and raged a great guitar during his samples.  He has recently toured as a solo artist supporting Ana Sia, Big Gigantic, Beats Antique, Boombox, Lynx & Janover, JFJO, and M80 Dubstation.  Honestly, not sure if I cared for him that much.  It didn’t do anything for me.

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Let’s talk about Jeff Bujak, the man of the hour!  Duuuuude.  Having just discovered him earlier this summer at Rock The Resort, I was VERY eager to see him again live.  Jeff Bujak is a true musician.  A truly technically talented piano player who, from the moment I stepped foot into his performance at RTR, has had me hooked.  To me, when I listen to his music at home, Jeff reminds me of a mix between Tori Amos and Bruce Hornsby. I could come up with a ton of combination but seriously, his music is beautiful and quirky and demanding with organized chaos and it is all his own! He has coined his music “Intelligent Dance Music.”  Intriguing, no?

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Jeff comes armed with everything needed to run his one-man show including light, sound, and smoke.  Cables and pedals everywhere, there is a laptop, a sound deck and his dual level keyboard at the helm of his personal electronic monster.  There is a row of lights above his left shoulder flashing us the light show in various colors and mixed to rage with the beat. His shoes were off and the show began.

The set list:

SET 1
Utopia > Kicker > Crowd > Machinist > Slimmy > Cascadation > Sunny’s Song* > PUTV > Mutator

* written by Benevento-Russo Duo (section of)

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Utopia got it started with a synthesizer drop and a deep beat. Very quickly the layering of faster beats were released and right away it was a dance party.  His songs have catchy samples, this one, sampling Cake’s The Distance by using the lyrics “Reluctantly crouched at the starting line…”  After a while, amid the heavy beat of smashing cymbals, I feel a reggae vibe that quickly turns back into a deep electronic beat.

Kicker into Crowd brought us the classical, straight out gorgeous technical chamber piano skills that I adore him for.  These gorgeous notes layer over the rest of the dance worthy beats.  They are hit hard, there are sounds of electric guitars playing but I know that is Bujak manipulating the keys.  The sequenced drum loops made it sound like the drummer was in the room with us at times.  Then we got a little more of the pure keys, nothing manipulated, just beautiful piano sounds.  It’s a gorgeous mixture of electronic and organic.  I mean, there is just GORGEOUS composition amongst his hectic beats.

So, being that I am a romantic female, I found it to be just lovely music and I was pleased to see mainly men in that basement dancing.  In reality, I wondered if these wookies heard what I heard.  They were certainly dancing to the beats but I wonder if they realized just how good he sounded in that basement.  Club Love is rumored as having one of the best sound systems, so perhaps that helped.  There are parts of the songs that got so slow and so sensual.  Preferring to be a stand alone dancer at most shows I attend, it was my pleasure to dance intelligently with some dudes that night to this intelligent music.  A real pleasure. 😉

The music pierced my ear drums and so my ear plugs remained in the entire night.  I love my ear plugs because they helps break down the sounds and I can hear the music very clearly.  I recognized that I was in a grimy basement but being raised on Broadway shows and Classical theater and concerts, I was able to close my eyes and get thrown into the plush seats I imagined earlier.   The raging beats faded away and all I could hear was the gorgeous classical technical training he was throwing at us.

The music sounded like this (around 5:15ish mins he busts out the chamber piano):

But my mind would shut out parts and I would just hear something that sounded like this, beats faded away…just gorgeous:

Machinist is a song that amuses me. I imagine being at an Insane Clown Posse  or 311 show raging out and then Jeff layers some beautiful unmanipulated organized piano playing over it.  That is what does it for me.  I know I always say I love my horns, but I grew up listening to my father plays his piano every night after dinner while I cleared the table and did the dishes.  This fact also makes me overly critical towards keys players and I don’t have a single negative thing to say about Jeff’s work. It was a complete package, a complete pleasure.

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Slimmy was mainly a synthesizer song and pretty sure I heard some Michael Jackson‘s “Thriller” in the mix.  It was HEAVY, deep, and a raging dance song.  This producer/composer really does delivers a vibrant sound so full of melodic energy it stirs even the most timid of dancers. No one was sitting. I make my way up to Jeff’s side, watching him play…oh the essence of a musician when they are in the zone.  Sometimes I swear can feel their energy radiate off them.  It’s what brings tears to my eyes sometimes.  We stand in the audience in love with these musician’s music but what we have to remember is they either love or hate what they are playing as well and you can fell it, you can see it.  The lights and the music and the venue were helping big time.  It was so beautiful and overwhelming.  One man was making all this happen.

I stepped outside for an adventure during Cascadation so I can’t tell you anything about that song. That is one you will just have to go and see to experience 🙂  I came back in towards the end of Sunny’s Song, partially written by Benevento-Russo Duo. Pretty, melodic, slower then the rest.  PUTV gave us a manipulated synthed start to the song with samplings from Eric B. & Rakim’s “Pump Up The Volume” gently layered on top of the rest of the tune.  He goes back and forth between the manipulated sounds and the organic sound the ivories make.  Again, the looped drum beats are stellar and fast forcing Bujak’s fingers to go full blast.

Mutator was last for the evening. To be honest, I wasn’t sure when one song ended or began.  My notes are full of lines where I believe one ends and another beings, arrows shooting up the page because I felt as if he had gone from one song to another and back again, not sure.  Sometimes it was clear and other times it was so well-played that if the change occurred, I had no clue where it was.

Here is the video I took of Jeff @ Club Love…sorry for the sound quality. I had my ear plugs in and it sounded GORGEOUS and crisp in my ear…you get the point 🙂

Orchard Lounge raged our faces off for the rest of the evening but I will have to review them another time.  Jeff was what had brought me here tonight. I had come with the intentions of leaving after Jeff’s set but there was NO WAY. Not only was I one of the first people to arrive that night, I ended up being one of the last people to leave.  Jeff hung out a bit and, when we weren’t dancing, I wandered with my dance partner, getting in to trouble here and there, totally full of energy.  It was a great night and all thank to Jeff….thanks Buj 🙂  Be sure to check out Jeff Bujak’s newest full-length released on Harmonized Records:  “Alive Like the Spine

And as I hit PUBLISH, the irony is not lost on me as I listen to my neighbor begin giving one of her lovely piano lessons…..life is magnificent!

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