Posts Tagged ‘Will Bernard’

Some Cat From Japan & East Coast Jam Cruise Reunion

@ Brooklyn Bowl (06.03.10)

I had originally intended to attend the Trombone Shorty & Michael Franti show at Governor’s Island with the NYC Funk Live Krewe but two things drew me to The Brooklyn Bowl this night:

  1. The event was playing host to a Jam Cruise East Coast Reunion Party
  2. Some Cat From Japan was opening for Galactic and I loves me some Will Bernard (and the rest of the members)

When I arrive, the venue is scarce as it always is around 8pm.  Ron Johnson spots me from stage: “Karen, can you take some pictures for me please?”  Damn right Ron, my pleasure!  To my left, my buddy is setting up his taping equipment.  Always a positive thing.

Some Cat From Japan @ The Brooklyn Bowl

Some Cat From Japan @ The Brooklyn Bowl

So, who loves Jimi Hendrix?  Better yet, WHO DOESN’T love them some Jimi Hendrix?  Some Cat From Japan is a power house lineup that explores the music of Hendrix through their own interpretations.  Boy, I tell ya! For a group that doesn’t rehearse and mixes up its lineup, they are better then real good.  I will let you go check out the backgrounds of these guys…go now. Here they are:

Will Bernard (Guitar)

Ron Johnson (Bass)

Scott Metzger (Guitar)

Jason Crosby (B3 Keyboard player and violinist )

Eric Bolivar (Drummer)

Jason Crosby and Will Bernard @ Brookly Bowl

Jason Crosby and Will Bernard @ Brooklyn Bowl

The show was slated to start at 8pm and it totally did.  Numerous friends were “late” as a result and were not happy.  These shows never start on time.  But with Galactic coming on at 9:15 and Quest Love dj’ing the 11:30 late night set, things were sticking to schedule.  Galactic did, after all, have two more nights to rage.

I am not a fan of cover bands.  Period.  In this case, there are cover bands and then there is Some Cat From Japan.  Man, we were specifically there to see THEM.  To see a band comprised of exquisite musicians who have the talent, technique, and personal love for the music, developed from childhood, that allows for them to deliver a  show complimenting Jimi’s music through a completely interpretive approach.  The approach…to just play and rage it.   They just get up there and have a damn good time playing  the music from one of their own inspirations.  It’s a beautiful thing to watch.

Some Cat From Japan @ The Brooklyn Bowl

Some Cat From Japan @ The Brooklyn Bowl

Tonight, Jason Crosby would be playing keys in place of Nigel Hall who was busy touring with The Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi Band.  Jason would also be bringing us the element of a violin to the mix.  So lovely.

Set List: Freak Out ~ Who Knows ~ Manic Depression ~ Freedom ~ Little Wing ~ Crosstown Traffic ~ Spanish Castle ~ Freak Out

Eric Bolivar @ Brooklyn Bowl

Eric Bolivar @ Brooklyn Bowl

Probably the only warm up they had attempted all day, they raged on stage for awhile.  Just getting their flow.  Honestly, they could have done this all night and I would have been cool with it.  But then it was right into Who Knows! with the strum of Will’s strings announcing the familiar melody. YES!!  Just a hard rock song that made you want to head bang or something.  I have no idea, I just wanted to smile.  I knew that much.  Bernard got his first rage in right away while Bolivar slammed out the beat and Johnson‘s bass reminded us of the melody. Crosby‘s keys and Metzger‘s accompaniment twinkled behind the other instruments.  It was Who Knows but it was their own song.  Ragers.

Jason Crosby @ Brooklyn Bowl

Jason Crosby @ Brooklyn Bowl

During Manic Depression, Eric Bolivar took a SICK drum solo…one of the only notes I wrote down about the show.  I got my first taste of Jason on violin as he gave us a GORGEOUS rendition/breakdown where the keys solo might have been.  I wondered if there was a violinist out there who might have put out a Jimi cover cd.  Answer after looking…nope.  Hmmmm….someone needs to get on that.  I am thinking Lili Haydn.  Mmmm, mmmm, good!

Will Bernard @ Brooklyn Bowl

Will Bernard @ Brooklyn Bowl

Bernard took his liberties straying away from the formula of every song.  Seriously, boys and their toy RAGING.  As I write this, all I want to do is write each of the artists and ask them what their first Hendrix memory was.  Shoot, for many artists, hearing a Hendrix tune WAS the reason they played, regardless of instrument…just that they wanted to make MUSIC!  Hendrix had the influence and power to move every man on that stage.  That is pretty intense.  I wondered if these musicians realized that there were fans in their audience who would be covering their songs in the future with as much passion as they were tonight for Jimi.  It was a great rage on stage that night for sure.

Scott Metzger @ Brooklyn Bowl

Scott Metzger @ Brooklyn Bowl

Crosstown Traffic meant time to move around.  I ran into Annabelle, aka Julie McCoy, as she shouted, “HEY! NICE SHIRT!!  I had, of course, worn my Jam Cruise paraphernalia.  On stage, everyone’s fingers flying a mile a minute with the whine of the guitars screaming through the lanes. It sounded ridiculous as I was summonsed to the Jam Cruise table to gather my Street Team gear for Mountain Jam.  Woohoo!  I got my “Ask Me About Jam Cruise” shirt. You know how happy that makes me?  And during Mountain Jam, you know how many people asked me about Jam Cruise when I wore it the last day? ZERO!  LOL…they couldn’t get past “Ask Me” is my guess…love it!

Some Cat From Japan @ Brooklyn Bowl

Some Cat From Japan @ Brooklyn Bowl

Little Wing slowed down the rage into a sexy sway of the hips.  Crosby turned to the violin again, so very pretty!  The rest of the stage filled in a beautiful backdrop.  There were fun pulls of strings.  This might have been the point when Will bent down and fiddled with all of his equipment and knobs but I could be wrong.  I do wish  could have gotten to the review sooner, as getting to it a few weeks later, behind other shows in my mind, has clouded my memory.  But the beauty of my life is that I shall see them again soooooooooo soon 🙂  And the recording will come out even sooner!

Annabelle and Ron Johnson @ Brooklyn Bowl

Annabelle and Ron Johnson @ Brooklyn Bowl

Spanish Castle was supposed to close out their set but having too much fun up there, the time had flown by and they had run out.  I literally felt like they were up there for 5 minutes but we had been given a good 45 minutes of solid FUN!  And guess what friends…I surround myself with musically knowledgeable people who’s opinions I greatly respect.  The following day was Mountain Jam and even with an entire weekend of utterly amazing music, there was speculation that the Some Cat From Japan set was one of the best all weekend.  I can’t say that, but I can certainly understand where those statements came from.  This show was incredible and I can’t wait to finally hear it again.

After the show, I lingered for the usual goodbyes.  Ron Johnson came into the audience and thanked me for taking pictures for him.  What a sweetheart!  Some artists really do appreciate the fans.  And I hope they forever know how much I appreciate them.

And now…It was time for Galactic

Corey Henry, Cyril Neville and Ben Ellman of Galactic! (06.03.10)

Corey Henry, Cyril Neville and Ben Ellman of Galactic @ Brooklyn Bowl! (06.03.10)

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June 2010 Potential Show Run Down

June 2010 Potential Show Run Down

(If there is ANYTHING that I have missed that must not be missed, please point it out as this is updated daily things constantly.)

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010:

  • (Free) Dred Scott Trio w/Clay Ross @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($10 w/ 2 Drink min) Jason Lindner Trio w/Mark Guiliana @ Zinc Bar
  • ($45-$85) Reggie Watts w/ Conan O’Brien @ Radio City Music Hall

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010:

  • ($10 w/ 2 Drink min) Jason Lindner Trio @ Zinc Bar
  • ($25-$45) Lisa Loeb @ City Winery
  • ($29.50) Toots & the Maytals @ B.B. Kings
  • ($45-$85) Reggie Watts w/ Conan O’Brien @ Radio City Music Hall

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010:

  • ($15) Galactic Feat. Corey Henry w/ Sp. Guest Corey Glover of Living Colour@ Brooklyn Bowl (Funk Live) –> Some Cat From Japan (A Will Bernad Project) opening for Galactic (Jam Cruise Reunion Party)
  • ($15) Eli “Paperboy” Reed & True Loves @ Mercury Lounge
  • ($32-$35) Dark Star Orchestra @ Music Hall Of Williamsburg
  • ($30-$35) Anders Osborne / Tab Benoit @ Rocks Off Concert Cruise Aboard The Temptress
  • ($35) Michael Franti & Spearheads & Trombone Shorty @ Govenor’s Island
  • ($40-$30) Dee Dee Bridgewater: Tribute to Billie Holiday @ The Blue Note
  • ($150) Patti LaBelle @ B.B. King Blues Club
  • ($??) Eldar @ Iridium Jazz Club

Friday, June 4th, 2010:

  • Mountain Jam IV Music Festival, NY ~ Day I
  • (Free) Von Ghost @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($15) Galactic Feat. Corey Henry w/ Sp. Guest Corey Glover of Living Colour@ Brooklyn Bowl (Funk Live) –>
    • Some Cat From Japan (A Will Bernard Project) opening for Galactic
  • ($25) The Return of George Porter Jr. & Runnin Pardners/ Papa Grows Funk @ Sullivan Hall (Funk Live)
  • ($35-$60) Drive By Truckers & Jamie McLean @ Tarrytown Music Hall
  • ($36/SOLD OUT) RJD2, Pretty Lights, Chiddy Bang @ Terminal 5
  • ($40-$30) Dee Dee Bridgewater: Tribute to Billie Holiday @ The Blue Note
  • ($??) Eldar @ Iridium Jazz Club

Saturday, June 5th, 2010:

  • Mountain Jam Music Festival, NY ~ Day II
  • 12th Annual Star Scape Music Festival, MD
  • (Free) West African Band @ St. Nicks, Harlem
  • (Free) Underground Horns @ The Shrine
  • ($15) Galactic Feat. Corey Henry w/ Sp. Guest Corey Glover of Living Colour@ Brooklyn Bowl (Funk Live) –> Some Cat From Japan (A Will Bernard Project) opening for Galactic
  • ($30) Martin Sexton, Ryan Montbleau Band @ Nokia Theater Times Square
  • ($36.50 – $40) Southside Johnny And The Asbury Jukes @ B.B. Kings
  • ($40-$30) Dee Dee Bridgewater: Tribute to Billie Holiday @ The Blue Note

Sunday, June 6th, 2010:

  • Mountain Jam Music Festival, NY ~ Day III
  • ($18-$25) Holmes Brothers @ City Winery
  • ($40-$30) Dee Dee Bridgewater: Tribute to Billie Holiday @ The Blue Note

Monday, June 7th, 2010:

  • (Free) Fela! On Broadway Original Cast Recording Release Party @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($30) Brand New Heavies feat. N’Dea Davenport @ Highline Ballroom

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010:

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010:

  • ($3 suggested) Norah Jones @ Prospect Park Bandshell
  • (Free) Phish on Late Night with Jimmy Falon
  • (Entered a contest but found no price) Jeff Beck – A Tribute To Les Paul @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($10-$15) Trouble & Bass @ Santos House Party
  • ($16-$18) Easy Star All-Stars @ Highline Ballroom
  • ($20-$25) An Evening With Eric Lindell (Album Release Party) @ Sullivan Hall (Funk Live)

Thursday, June 10th, 2010:

  • Bonnaroo Music Festival
  • (Free) Sarah Mclachlan on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
  • ($15-$20) Orchard Lounge @ Higher Nubela @ Club Love
  • ($20-$25) Evening with Eric Krasno & Chapter 2 @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($20) Jamie Lidell w/ Alex B. @ Music Hall Of Williamsburg
  • ($20-$30) Duncan Sheik & Holly Brook @ City Winery
  • ($35 for each set) Jorma Kaukonen of Hot Tuna @ Iridium Jazz Club

Friday, June 11th, 2010:

  • Bonnaroo Music Festival (Manchester, TN)
  • Reggae On The Road (Lighting Ridge Park, NY)
  • (Free) Allison Moorer on Late Show with David Letterman
  • ($5) Rotary Downs, The Pimps Of Joytime, Big Light @ Brooklyn Bowl (Funk Live)
  • ($25) David Allan Coe @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
  • ($25) The Budos Band @ Rocks Off Concert Cruise (The Temptress) (7pm-11pm)
    • ($25-$30) Rubblebucket @ Rocks Off Cruises (The Temptress) (11pm-4am)
  • ($25-$80) Jethro Tull w/ Procol Harum @ Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
  • ($30-$45) Leo Kottke @ City Winery

Saturday, June 12th, 2010:

  • Bonnaroo Music Festival (Manchester, TN)
  • Reggae On The Road (Lighting Ridge Park, NY)
  • ($20-$25) NYC Undead Jazzfest (2 Nights, 3 Venues, 30 Bands)
  • (Free) West African Band @ St. Nicks, Harlem @12:30 (late night show)
  • (Girls free/$5) Higher Nebulae @ The Delancy (11pm-1145pm)
  • ($3) Allen Toussaint and Davell Crawford @ The Prospect Park Bandhshell
  • ($10) Will Bernard @ The Blue Note @ 12:30pm (late night show)
  • ($25) Grace Potter & The Nocturnals @ Webster Hall
  • ($30-$35) Leo Kottke @ City Winery

Sunday, June 13th, 2010:

  • Bonnaroo Music Festival (Manchester, TN)
  • Reggae On The Road (Lighting Ridge Park, NY)
  • ($20-$25) NYC Undead Jazzfest (2 Nights, 3 Venues, 30 Bands)
  • ($??) Undead Jazzfest w/ Mark Guiliana @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($7)  Afro Funky Party w/ Zongo Junction, Top Shotta & DJ Offbeat @ Cameo Gallery

Monday, June 14th, 2010:

  • (Free) Baaba Maal, Playing For Change @ Summerstage
  • ($8-$15 + 1 drink min.) Jim Campilongo Electric Trio (w/ Stephan Crump and Tony Mason) @ The Living Room
  • ($25) The Mingus Big band @ The Jazz Standard

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010:

  • (Free) Dred Scott Trio @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($30) John Butler Trio, State Radio, Angus and Julia Stone & State Radio @ Summerstage
  • ($40-$155) Carole King / James Taylor – Troubadour Reunion @ Radio City Music Hall
  • ($15) The Roots @ Highline Ballroom (this is weird online)

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010:

  • ($5) Chico Mann @ Santos House Party
  • ($25) Mary Gauthier @ Joe’s Pub (NolaFolk)
  • ($40-$155) Carole King / James Taylor – Troubadour Reunion @ Radio City Music Hall
  • ($50) Larry Graham + Central Station (S&TFS) @ B.B. Kings

Thursday, June 17th, 2010:

  • CareFusion Jazz Festival New York
  • (Free) Taylor Carson @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($??) Mark Guiliana @ 55 Bar
  • (??) Gent Treadly @ Flannery’s Irish Pub (called everywhere looking for price)
  • ($10-$12) Apollo Run @ The Studio @ Webster Hall
  • ($5) The Lee Boys @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($13) The London Souls @ Bowery Ballroom
  • ($20-$25) Tony Allen at Le Poisson Rouge (Funk Live)
  • ($25-$30)  Railroad Earth @ Rocks Off Concert Cruise Aboard The Temptress
  • ($40 – $90) Keith Jarrett Trio, Jack DeJohnette, Gary Peacock @ Carnegie Hall (Part of CareFusion Jazz Festival New York)
  • ($59.90-$99.50) New Kids on the Block @ Radio City Music Hall

Friday, June 18th, 2010:

Saturday, June 19th, 2010:

  • PHISH @ SPAC!!!
  • CareFusion Jazz Festival New York
  • (Free) West African Band @ St. Nicks, Harlem (12:pm – late night show)
  • (Free) Apollo Run @ Central Park’s Bandshell
  • (Free) Mike Stern Trio – Bitches Brew Revisited @ Prospect Park Bandshell
  • ($10) The McLovin’s @ Sullivan Hall (@9:30pm)
  • ($10) Sullivan Hall Shakedown @ Sullivan Hall (@12:30am)
    • Featuring Monchan, Chris Hall and DJ Nutritious w/ percussion by Steven Chopeck w/ visuals by Mamiko Kuchida plus special guest ElaNEF
  • ($12) Eli “Paperboy” Reed  @ The Bellhouse
    • Justin Townes Earle (opening for Eli Reed) @ The Bell House
  • ($12-$15)  Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey @ 92Y Tribeca
  • ($20) Black Dynamite Sound Orchestra @ Southpaw
  • ($59.90-$99.50) New Kids on the Block @ Radio City Music Hall

Sunday, June 20th, 2010:

Monday, June 21th, 2010:

  • CareFusion Jazz Festival New York
  • Make Music New York ALL DAY FUNK FEST! (Funk Live)
  • ($8-$15 + 1 drink min.) Jim Campilongo Electric Trio (w/ Stephan Crump and Tony Mason) @ The Living Room
  • ($25) The Mingus Big band @ The Jazz Standard
  • ($15) The Roots @ Highline Ballroom (this is odd online)

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010:

  • CareFusion Jazz Festival New York
  • (Free) Dred Scott Trio @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • (Free) Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue @ Late Show with David Letterman
  • ($25) Marcus Miller feat. Christian Scott: The Music of Miles Davis @ Highline Ballroom

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010:

Thursday, June 24th, 2010:

  • CareFusion Jazz Festival New York
  • Funk Fest 6 at Sullivan Hall (Funk Live)
  • ($10-$85) Blues Summit: James Cotton & Friends feat. Taj Mahal, Hubert Sumlin, Pinetop Perkins, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Shemekia Copeland, Darrell Nulisch, David Maxwell @ Jazz at Lincoln Center
  • ($15) The New Deal @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($15) The Late Night Jam Sessions @ City Winery (Part of CareFusion Jazz Festival New York)
  • (Unknown) Chico Man @ El Museo del Barrio
  • ($20 ) Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad @ Rocks Off Cruise (The Half Moon)
  • (Unknown) Victor Wooten @ BAM Rhythm and Blues Festival
  • ($32.50-$38) En Vogue @ B.B. Kings
  • ($35-$105) Herbie Hancock @ Carnegie Hall (Part of CareFusion Jazz Festival New York)
    • Special guests Terence Blanchard, Ron Carter, Bill Cosby, Dave Holland, Joe Lovano, Wallace Roney, Wayne Shorter, plus other artists to be announced

Friday, June 25th, 2010:

  • Phish @ Susquahana Bank Center, Camen, NJ
  • CareFusion Jazz Festival New York
  • (Free) Soul Cycle @ Brooklyn Academy of Music
  • ($10 – $15) Jason Lindner Trio @ The Jazz Gallery (Part of CareFusion Jazz Festival New York)
  • ($15) Harlem Stride: Henry Butler (NolaJazz), Osmany Paredes @ Harlem Stage Gatehouse
  • ($15) The Sam Kininger Band @ The Blue Note
  • ($35) Al Di Meola @ Highline Ballroom (YES!! YES!! YES!!)
  • ($98) Chuck Berry @ B.B. King Blues Club
  • ($41.50 – $156.50) Maxwell & Jill Scott @ MSG

Saturday, June 26th, 2010:

  • CareFusion Jazz Festival New York
  • (Free) Common & Soulive @ Fort Greene Music Fest 2010
  • (Free) West African Band @ St. Nicks, Harlem
  • (Free) Tinariwen & Toubab Krewe @ Central Park Summerstage
  • ($10) Reckoning @ Sullivan Hall (A post Furthur show playing music of the Dead, Phish and more…)
  • ($39.50) Furthur @ MCU Park
    • Featuring Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Jeff Chimenti, John Kadlecik, Jay Lane & Joe Russo
  • ($30- $385) Yes! & Peter Frampton @ Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
  • ($41.50 – $156.50) Maxwell & Jill Scott @ MSG

Sunday, June 27th, 2010:

  • NASFT Fancy Food Shows @ Javit Center
  • ($39.50) Furthur @ MCU Park
  • ($15) Elvis Perkins in Dearland @ Newtown Barge Park (1pm show)

Monday, June 28th, 2010:

  • NASFT Fancy Food Shows @ Javit Center

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010:

  • NASFT Fancy Food Shows @ Javit Center
  • (Free) Dred Scott Trio @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($8-$15 + 1 drink min.) Jim Campilongo Electric Trio (w/ Stephan Crump and Tony Mason) @ The Living Room
  • ($25) Robert Randolph @ Bowery Ballroom
  • ($35-$65) Alejandro Escovedo @ City Winery
  • (Sold Out) Passion Pit @ Prospect Park Bandshell

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010:

  • ($25) New Mastersounds @ Rocks Off Concert Cruise Aboard The Temptress
  • ($35) Passion Pit @ Govenor’s Island, NY
  • ($39.50 – $154.50) James Taylor & Carole King @ Madison Square Garden

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~ The Greatest Musical Adventure at sea goes on sale June 2nd, 2010 @ 12pm eastern~

Check out Jam Cruise 2011

I don’t know why, it’s the same reason why you like some music and you don’t like others. There’s something about it that you like. Ultimately I don’t find it’s in my best interests to try and analyze it, since it’s fundamentally emotional. ~ Jerry Garcia

The Line-Up:

Second Round Announcements:

Wish list:

Important Forum Posts:

Jam Cruise 9 Announces Ship, Dates, Ports & Lineup

Jam Cruise 9 Lineup

Ports of Call

Forum Frequently Asked Questions by 1st time Jam Cruisers

Unofficial Theme: Porno clowns

Official Thread for Unofficial Zebra Theme Night

M.E.A.T. (McTuff Earns a Turn)

The boat came by and I got on, that’s where it all began…..

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Rob Adler, Funkster

Rob Adler, Funkster

Editor’s Notes: Everyone please welcome Robert Adler!!  A fellow music loving friend & writer who was nice enough to contribute some musings regarding his first weekend adventures at The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, aka Jazz Fest, to the Tiny Rager blog!   Rob attended Jazz Fest, this year from Thursday, April 22, 2010 through Saturday, April 24, 2010.

Tipitina's JazzFest 2010

Tipitina's JazzFest 2010

Robert Walter @ Blue Nile (4.22.10)

Robert Walter @ Blue Nile (4.22.10)

I arrived in New Orleans on Thursday, April 22.  The highlight of the night was definitely The Stanton Moore Trio consisting of Stanton Moore, Robert Walter, Will Bernard.  Sitting in with them that evening was Anders Osborne.  That was a treat!

Anders Osborne & Stanton Moore @ Blue Nile (4.22.10)

Osborne & Moore @ Blue Nile (4.22.10)

I also enjoyed the Nevillution at Tipitina’s in da French Quarter too! Especially when Troy “Trombone” Shorty, of Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, came and played with Charles NevilleArt (Papa) Funk showed up, but didn’t play – he killed it at the Acura stage on Saturday during The Funky Meters set.  We kept floating back and forth between the Nevillution show & The Stanton/Anders set….just a perfect first night.

Nevillution (04.22.10)

Nevillution (04.22.10)

The brass band (above) was playing right outside of Cafe Brasil, about 100 feet to the left of the Blue Nile as you walk outside the venue on Frenchmen.  That’s the vision I will have in my head and crave for the next 51 weeks until it’s go time again.

Dr Klaw - Blue Nile (04.23.10)

Dr Klaw - Blue Nile (04.23.10)

We slept in Friday day and did nothing. We heard that the rain was coming in hard and that they almost closed the festival down for the day, so we stayed in, slept, ate muffulata from Central Grocery, slept some more, etc…woke up at like 6:30pm and went full steam ahead!!    The line-up for the night consisted of Dr. Klaw, Chapter 2, Galactic, Pimps of Joy Time.

Adam Deitch w/ Dr. Claw @ Blue Nile (04.22.10)

Adam Deitch w/ Dr. Klaw @ Blue Nile (04.23.10)

Seriously, Dr. Klaw brought the dirtiest, nasty funk you crave at shows — the kind that you want to hear when you’re knee deep in a funk set and they just need to turn it up a notch so you can get your freak on! And they turn it up even more because it’s Jazz Fest and you’re in New Orleans and everyone knows it!!  And that is when the magic seeps into the room. Everyone BROUGHT IT.

“Just another one of those wonderful night fest moments…This band was the perfect intermezzo between sets on 4/23, right after Dr. Klaw.”

Pimps of Joy Time @ Jazz Fest 2010

Pimps of Joy Time @ Jazz Fest 2010

When we got to Galactic it was 3 in the morning and the place was PACKED.  I mean jammed like cattle.  They had sold way too many tickets.  The sight lines from upstairs and sound were terrible, so we bailed around 4:30 and went up to Frenchmen for Pimps of Joy Time. They were fun and the room was spacious; very much what we needed at the time; room to breathe. We enjoyed it and walked around Frenchmen street taking in the scene, making friends, sitting on stoops, etc…

Rob and I chatted the other day:

Tube Line @ Jazzfest

Tube Line @ Jazzfest

Did I tell you about the tuba parade at jazz fest?  I was at the fest on Saturday eating some Crawfish Monica and I started to hear tuba lines….lots of them.  So, I turned around and saw twelve tubas heading my way.  What they done was gather all the tuba players from the NOLA community (Kirk Joseph, Tuba Phil Fraizer, Matt Perrine of Bonerama, Ben Jaffe of Preservation Hall Jazz Band etc…).  They had gotten together and paraded around the fairgrounds playing their tubas!”

Cyrille and the Chief Raging

Cyrille and the Chief Raging

Saturday was awesome during day!! The clouds broke during The Funky Meters set and the sun shined with a wonderful breeze during My Morning JacketThe Midnite Disturbers KILLED it too, on Saturday, and closed their set with the Rebirth Brass Band‘s classic, “I FEEL LIKE FUNKIN IT UP!”

Dr Klaw w/ Kofi Burbridge

Chapter 2 w/ Kofi Burbridge

I really forgot how amazing the people and the vibe is. It’s like, sure, you can see a ton of NOLA funk and musicians at gigs in New York and at musical festivals or wherever, but there IS ONLY ONE JAZZ FEST – and that’s in New Orleans.   The vibe was WAY up all weekend in the clubs.  You could tell the second you walked into the right venue that you were in the right place. Smiling, familiar faces, great aroma, nobody says no! It’s all…Can you move over? Yes.  Can I have some of that? Yes.  Can you tell me who that is? Yes.  Can you please play more Clavinet?  Yes. Kraz, can you come out for a 4th time to play with Vinyl? Yes.

Monphonics @ Jazzfest

Monphonics @ Jazzfest

On Sat night, for example, the vibe was so high and the selection of music up on Frenchmen was so plentiful that we actually blew off Big Sam’s Funky Nation & Dirty Dozen Brass Band to go see a band called Monophonics at the Blue Nile!!  Thank heavens that we did.  I saw one of the best funk sets I’ve ever seen.  These guys were on fire fueled by their b3 / clavinet / organ player, Colin Brown.

Neville's Galore @ Jazz Fest

Neville's Galore @ Jazz Fest

These guys are from California, the Bay Area, but I hope they bless us back east with an NYC tour.   Their horn section was top notch, too. They opened for Vinyl, who came out around 4am and just totally blew me away, too.   They had the Monophonics horn section and their keyboard player out for about an hour during their set and all hell broke loose.   Eric Krasno came out and jammed with both bands.

Everyone was so happy to be there.  I wish I was going down there tonight (Monophonics are playing at the Howlin’ Wolf tonight / 4am)….51 weeks and counting.

Jazzfest: A Whirlwind Perspective (04.22-24.10) by Robert Adler

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One of the most beautiful things about New York City it’s ability to provide us with beautiful music, of an genre, at any given time of the day or night. On this nasty rainy Tuesday night nothing could have kept me from a lovely intimate jazzy evening with Will Bernard, Todd Sickafoose and Ches Smith at The Stone.

The Stone door

The Stone door

I had never been to The Stone before and my girlfriend and I had a hell of a time finding it as we walked by it’s door 4 times before realizing that was the venue. No sign, both walls flanking the door looked like those metal security walls that the store fronts draw down when they close up for the night.  We thought it was a closed store and kept walkin’ on by. The whole time I am geekin’ out hoping it wasn’t one of those places that won’t let you in once the gig has started.  Finally, we figured it out.  The only hint was a little sticker on the obscure front door that read “The Stone.”

As I entered The Stone, I was immediately taken aback. No windows, no bar, no merch counter…barely any light, was there even a bathroom?  About 10 rows of chairs, maybe 50 in all, lined the floor in front of the playing area. I loved it. Musical intimacy at its best. Especially because only 20 of the seats were filled!!!!

The three wonderful musicians, Will Bernard on Guitar, Ches Smith on Drums and Todd Sickafoose on Bass, come up the stairs a little after 10pm and the first thing Will says: “Everyone’s gone to the bathroom, right?”  Good stuff.  Clearly, there would be no set break.

California invaded NYC that night at The Stone.  All three musicians are transplants from various parts of California. Personally, I was born in Sacramento, California and wish I could remember more about the beautiful state. Good to know if I was still living out there, I would be surrounded by amazing musicians!!  Well, with the exception of these three!!!

Directions to My House CD Cover

Directions to My House CD Cover

Many of the songs played last night were off an album that Ches and Will collaborated on a few years back called Directions to My House!

So, they go right into Agro Business. I notice that all the musicians were reading sheet music. With this style of  experimental jazz, it blows my mind how their actions can be translated into notes on a page.  I would LOVE to see what the drummers sheets look like. I kept going back to the drum composition. Couldn’t pull my eyes away from Ches’s playing.  Will begins to manipulate his trippy guitar sounds with the machines at his feet.  But we couldn’t hear the bass.

Turning to my pal,”Do you hear the bass?” “Not at all,” she says.

As I turn around to face the players, Todd bends down to turn up his amp. Now we are back business!

Wide Awake was next with it’s soft, slow start.  The drum brushes came out.  And soon the trippy picks of the guitar made way for the heavy parts that followed. As Wills face scrunched into his guitar rift, Ches proceeded to strike every surface of his drum kit.  Again, how does that translate into sheet music? Silence.  And then it’s Todd’s turn to bring it back up.  Todd’s fingers are moving a mile a minute and Will’s guitar softens as the song comes to a close.

Ches Smith @ Terminal 5 (03.28.09)

Ches Smith @ Terminal 5 (03.28.09)

It’s about this time that something in my memory triggers in relations to Ches Smith.  He looks sooooo familiar.  Turning to my friend, “I feel like I saw him with Les Claypool or something….” Today, while researching Todd, it all came together when I realized he was in the Secret Machines 3 and I had seen them open for Les Claypool at Terminal 5 last year.  I love when that kinda stuff hits home. And after last night, I will never forget his face, or hands, again.

I adore when the boundaries of time are broken in music; the spaces that can be manipulated with notes. The thing that separates each artist is when and where they place those notes.  Crab Apple Red is one of those songs that I love for it’s count/time/beat, pick your poison.   Todd started off with the deep bass and the rest flow in.  Will shined shortly after as he picked away at his guitar. After hearing the studio albums for a while, watching him play these songs live makes it so much more outstanding! It humbles you because they may make it look easy, but IT IS NOT!! As Will and Todd make eye contact with a smile, they put the song to sleep.

WE GOT A NEW SONG TONIGHT!!!!  In my notes I spelled it Mootwos, HAHA, but it is spelled Motooz.  Will bends over to prepare his machines to produce just the right sound they have felt this song was born to release.  I remember thinking…”foreboding”… when the song started. Low, mysterious…..Ches gave us a nice drum solo, Will manipulated sounds with his machines, turned over his guitar on his lap and then the SLIDE came out! Always a welcome sound.

“Are you having fun? I am having fun! It’s been a while since I got to play this stuff,” says Will.

Parental Guidance fullfill’s it’s name.  If there was a silent movie and the parents were yelling at the child, this would be the soundtrack.  It’s as if at first they are stomping their feet/bass strings and shaking their fist/drum sticks.  And then they calm down and talk rationally….relax. Ches’s cymbal manipulation was fun. My friend would later say, “I have never seen someone do that before!” Personally, I was wondering how using your fingers on the drums translates on to sheet music.  But, there is a story behind this song, I can feel it.

With Hall of Science, the brushes come back out on the drums, Will destroys his guitar into a manipulation of sound that would confuse most people. He slaps the guitar, smacks it. This is a whole different kind of rage. This is not music for the faint of mind, forget heart. It makes you focus. It makes you think.  There are parts that make it feel like a little getup and go jam and then there is chaos among the instruments.Will starts shaking the curtains, Ches scratches the floor with his feet, Todd rips the music in half……”HEY! That’s my music!” Will proclaims.  Laughter abounds.  “Guess we can’t play the head out.” But they do and I loved it!

Up until this point, I had wanted to remain seated. This isn’t the type of music you dance too, or rather,  I dance to. To each their own! But whenever I hear Not Necessarily Stoned, I immediately want to put on a  saucy red dress and move. And move slow. Each artist’s talent shined on this song. Will on guitar, Todd on bass and Ches on drums. It was a perfect song to end the evening.

After thanking Will, my fellow blogger friend and I leave the venue chatting away about the interesting performance we were just privileged to see. It’s always fun introducing friends into new musical environments. Another Happy Tuesday for this Tiny Rager 🙂 Thanks you guys!

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