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A look inside The Jazz Gallery

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via http://clarencepenn.com

via http://clarencepenn.com

When asked in a recent interview what music meant to him, Clarence Penn replied, “I mean, music for me is existence. It’s life. It’s everything to me…All the good and the bad, like life.”

Penn, a native of Detroit, might best be known for his versatility and sensitivity as a drummer, having performed and recorded with a diverse range of artists in and around the jazz world: Betty Carter, Maria Schneider, Michael Brecker, Ellis and Wynton Marsalis, Luciana Souza, and many others. His latest recording as a leader, Dali in Cobble Hill (2012), features an all-star cast comprised of Chris Potter, Adam Rogers, and Ben Street, and he is planning to release a new album in the near future that will feature the music of Thelonious Monk.

Read more about Clarence Penn and his Monk project here.

Clarence Penn performs at The Jazz Gallery this Saturday, August 3rd, with Gregoire Maret (harmonica), Chad Lefkowitz-Brown (tenor saxophone), Gerald Clayton (piano), and Yasushi Nakamura (bass). Sets at 9 and 10:30 p.m., $20 general admission and FREE for Members and SummerPass holders. Purchase tickets here.

Photo by Jemma Evans

Photo by Jemma Evans

After its inception in 2010, Stranahan/Zaleski/Rosato quickly developed a special group sound that is rare to find in this day and age. Within a year, the group released its début album Anticipation (2011) to wide acclaim, of which All About Jazz writes, “Throughout the CD, drummer Colin Stranahan, pianist Glenn Zaleski, and bassist Rick Rosato achieve a seamless harmony…” The Ottawa Citizen also remarks, “‘Anticipation’ helps set the standard high for not only jazz 20-somethings, but for musicians of all ages.” We wrote about the trio in April when they performed at the Gallery, and also made available an exclusive stream of “Limitless,” the title track from their new album (expected October 2013).

Want to learn more about the band? Here are a couple of our favorite YouTube videos of the trio: the first is their odd-metered rendering of “All the Things You Are,” from Anticipation, which is followed by a 2011 live performance of the title track “Anticipation” in Montreal and a five-minute segment about the band by Brooklyn Independent Television, which originally aired in January. (more…)

Courtesy of Ingrid Laubrock

Courtesy of Ingrid Laubrock

Ingrid Laubrock, who can be heard playing in groups led by herself and in collaborative projects with musicians like Kris Davis, Mary Halvorson, Ralph Alessi, Tyshawn Sorey, and Tom Rainey, among others, has assembled a quintet for this Saturday that features a distinctive configuration of four horns with drums. We caught up with her by phone to talk about the music that she’ll be performing this weekend.

The Jazz Gallery: You’ve played with all of these musicians before—could you say a few words about why you’ve assembled them in this particular configuration? 

Ingrid Laubrock: I’ve always wanted a band without piano, guitar, or a harmony instrument. I wanted to blend winds and brass, and although I’ve done similar projects in the past, I never quite did it like this. For this ensemble, I was really interested in the “breath factor”—you know, the fact that you have to use your breath to create a certain sustain and blend. (more…)

Photo by Oskar Landi

Photo by Oskar Landi

“Jazz allows you to create a dialogue with people from different cultures and different styles,” says Juancho Herrera, the Venezuelan-born guitarist and singer-songwriter, “and if you know the traditions of what you’re playing, you can make it work.” Herrera will perform at The Jazz Gallery this Friday, July 26th, with a band of long-time collaborators. The Jazz Gallery had a chance to speak with him over the phone about bending musical genres, misconceptions about South American and Latin American music, and the cuatro.

The Jazz Gallery: On your most recent recording Banda (2013), you collaborated with Yayo Serka on percussion and Ben Zwerin on bass, both of whom will be playing with you on Friday. You’ll also be joined by Rafi Malkiel on trombone and Sofia Tosello on vocals. Can you comment a bit about the music that you’ll be performing on Saturday?

Juancho Herrera: They are songs based from South America, but the material we’ll be playing will be mostly new. There will be some songs from that record and the previous record as well, but about 70% of the material is going to be new songs that we’ll be recording in the fall.  (more…)