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Bryn Roberts and Lage Lund. Photos courtesy of the artists.

Bryn Roberts and Lage Lund. Photos courtesy of the artists.

March may not be coming like a lion to the Northeast this year, but The Jazz Gallery is still kicking off the month with two sets by two longtime Gallery regulars—pianist Bryn Roberts and guitarist Lage Lund. Roberts, originally from Manitoba, Canada, and Lund, hailing from Norway, both came to New York not long after the turn of the century and have been playing together in different situations for over a decade.

Last year, the pair headed into Brooklyn’s Systems Two Recording Studios to cut an album of intimate duets. The record, which will come out later this year, features songbook standards and Brazilian tunes, as well as original compositions. This Tuesday, March 1st, the pair will convene at The Jazz Gallery to play music from their forthcoming album, as well as new material. Don’t miss this opportunity to see old friends sit down for some lyrical conversations. (more…)

Ingrid Laubrock's UBATUBA (Firehouse 12 Records, 2015)

Ingrid Laubrock’s UBATUBA (Firehouse 12 Records, 2015)

We last spoke with saxophonist and composer Ingrid Laubrock on the occasion of her 2015 Residency Commission Series premiere concerts last summer. Laubrock, perennially in-demand on the international improvised music scene for her versatile and sonically daring musicianship as both a saxophonist and composer, first convened the band now-known as Ubatuba several years ago, and one of their first performances was at The Jazz Gallery in the summer of 2013.

We caught up with Laubrock again in the summer of 2014 when the band returned under the name “Nor’easter,” and we were pleased to once again have the pleasure of speaking with Laubrock, who released Ubatuba on Firehouse 12 Records in the fall. She is currently preparing to release a duo album with her husband, drummer Tom Rainey, titled Buoyancy (Intakt, 2016), as well as preparing to record a new project, a sextet featuring Craig Taborn on piano, Tyshawn Sorey on piano and trombone, Miya Masaoka on koto, Dan Peck on tuba, and Sam Pluta on electronics and live processing.

The Jazz Gallery: This band was called Nor’easter at one point, wasn’t it?

Ingrid Laubrock: At the time, I had struggled to find a name for it. I wanted something to do with wind, so Nor’easter, but then I thought “Ubatuba” had a better ring to it. Ubatuba has absolutely nothing to do with wind—it’s a city in Brazil—but it has the word “tuba” in it and I thought it had a ring, and it is identifiable!

TJG: How did you decide it was time to document the music of this band?

IL: The first concert we did at The Jazz Gallery, I was really into it and it was sort of a catapult for me to compose for the band. In 2014, we rehearsed and then did a States tour, and when you tour or play several nights in a row, the music takes on a completely different shape. At the end of that, we documented the music at Firehouse 12, so it had a nice curve to it because we were really able to learn the music.

We just toured last October, our first European tour, playing partly music from the album and partly a new set, which we’ll play at The Jazz Gallery.

(more…)

Photo courtesy of the artist.

Photo courtesy of the artist.

This Friday, February 26th, the Jazz Gallery is thrilled to welcome the Charles Altura Quartet to the stage. Raised in sunny Northern California and an alumnus of Stanford University, Altura has quickly established himself as a unique voice on the electric guitar and has become a first call sideman for a luminaries such as Chick Corea, Terence Blanchard, Ambrose Akinmusire, Tigran Hamasyan, Linda Oh, Shai Maestro, and Dayna Stephens. Altura has set himself apart from other guitarists on the scene with his legato sense of phrasing, winding and unpredictable melodic lines, and attention to texture. Far from being a stylist, Altura approaches each musical situation differently, be it his blazing jazz fusion chops he showcases with Chick Corea’s Vigil, to the electronic wah-drenched soundscapes he plasters onto Terence Blanchard’s E-Collective’s originals.

Joining Altura at the Jazz Gallery are a number of Altura’s most trusted and frequent collaborators. Altura and pianist Fabian Almazan are both coming off of a late-January tour with Terence Blanchard’s E-Collective, and recently received a Grammy nomination for their most recent work with that group on the album Breathless. Bassist Matt Brewer frequently features Altura in his own groups, and a new Brewer-led recording is due to come out this year. Finally, drummer Marcus Gilmore and Altura spent much of the last year touring the world with Chick Corea’s Vigil. (more…)

Top row, L to R: Jeremy Dutton, Philip Dizack, Daryl Johns. Bottom row, L to R: Nir Felder, James Francies, James Tillman. Photos courtesy of the artists.

Top row, L to R: Jeremy Dutton, Philip Dizack, Daryl Johns. Bottom row, L to R: Nir Felder, James Francies, James Tillman. Photos courtesy of the artists.

This Thursday, February 25th, The Jazz Gallery is proud to present two sets by a collaborative group of bright, young musicians. Nicknamed the Cordon Bleu collective, these six musicians—trumpeter Philip Dizack, guitarist Nir Felder, pianist James Francies, bassist Daryl Johns, drummer Jeremy Dutton, and vocalist James Tillman—are at the forefront of the new generation of jazz. Each member of the group has performed on the Gallery stage before (Mssrs. Francies & Dutton were members of our mentorship series), but this will be the first time that they meet here in this configuration.

Before coming out and being present for the future of jazz, check out the videos below.

James Francies & Jeremy Dutton – “Sway”

The rhythms in this James Francies original are complicated and knotty, but the trio gives them an effortless flow.

Nir Felder – “Bandits”

Felder released his major-label debut Golden Age (Okeh) in 2014, featuring lyrical, rock-inflected compositions that seemingly opened up onto grand vistas. “Bandits” is a prime example. (more…)

The James Carney sextet at the Rubin Museum of Art. Photo courtesy of Oscar Noriega.

The James Carney sextet at the Rubin Museum of Art. Photo courtesy of Oscar Noriega.

Pianist and composer James Carney is one of those musicians who’s very hard to pigeonhole. He’s interested in novel formal structures and collective improvisation, but also has a keen ear for texture and lyricism. He typically plays with improvisers from across the stylistic spectrum, and the membership of his new sextet is tellingly diverse.

Having performed for the first time this past autumn, the James Carney sextet is a group with a bright future in store. The group is made up of both players more associated the modern jazz mainstream—saxophonist Ravi Coltrane and bassist Dezron Douglas—and with musical communities more left of center—trumpeter Stephanie Richards, multi-reedist Oscar Noriega, and drummer Tom Rainey. Carney acts as the glue between the varied musical spaces of his bandmates, channeling their musicianship through his strong compositions to make a cohesive whole.

The Jazz Gallery is pleased to present Mr. Carney and his sextet on our stage this Thursday, February 18th. Don’t miss this exciting meeting of varied musical minds. (more…)