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Photo via www.youtube.com

Photo via www.youtube.com

Since making their debut at The Jazz Gallery back in December 2014, The Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet has become one steady working unit. They’ve toured Europe multiple times, playing to enthusiastic audiences, and have become regulars at The Gallery. The two videos below attest to just how tight the group has become.

This Saturday, March 12th, the group will play its fourth night on our stage since their founding. Come out to see the group continually hone their sound, while assuredly pushing in new directions. (more…)

Photo by Nadja von Massow via Flickr // Filter by Pixlr

Photo by Nadja von Massow via Flickr // Filter by Pixlr

This Friday, March 11th, The Jazz Gallery is proud to welcome trumpeter Michael Rodriguez back to our stage. Rodriguez has established himself as one of the most versatile sidemen in New York over the past 15 years or so, playing with everyone from Charlie Haden and Joe Lovano, to Ryan Keberle’s Catharsis, to the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. These varied experiences filter into Rodriguez’s work as a leader as well. Eclecticism is on full display in a recent performance of Rodriguez’s quintet below, as the group effortlessly shifts from Bill Frisell’s lyrical ballad “Throughout” to jaunty hard bop.

Rodriguez will present an intimate quartet of his peers at the Gallery this week, including drummer (and fellow member of Keberle’s Catharsis) Eric Doob, pianist Adam Birnbaum, and bassist Zach Brown. (more…)

Photo courtesy of the artist.

Photo courtesy of the artist.

This Thursday, March 10th, The Jazz Gallery is proud to celebrate the release of saxophonist Livio Almeida’s new album, Action and Reaction. Originally from Brasilia, Brazil, Almeida is a member of the O’Farrill musical mishpacha, playing regularly in groups led by Arturo O’Farrill, and in the O’Farrill Brothers Band. In an interview with Jazz Speaks, Zack and Adam O’Farrill noted what aspects of Almeida’s musicianship drew them together:

Adam O’Farrill: Other than my brother, saxophonist Livio Almeida has been the longest standing member of the band since its inception in 2009. He’s from Brasilia, BR, and the first time I had ever played with him was in the West 4th St. train station. We just jammed, and I fell in love with his playing. As an improviser, he has a strong sense of youth and willingness to discover, and he really knows when to raise the energy level. Not only is he an amazing musician, but he truly is a sweet and generous person.

Zack O’Farrill: Livio also has a gigantic sound which is the essential element for my brother, who doesn’t have much of a tolerance for small, timid playing!

Action and Reaction was recorded in 2014 and features seven original tunes by Almeida, showcasing an expansive aesthetic. The album’s title track is a case in point—it features Almeida soaring lyrically over Zack O’Farrill’s intensely funky drumming. Check out a live version of the infectiously energetic tune below.
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Photo courtesy of the artist.

Photo courtesy of the artist.

Steve Lehman has built a career not only through his muscular tone on saxophone, but also formidable intellect. “He’s a state-of-the-art musical thinker,” raved the New York Times two years ago. His forays into spectral harmony and liminality have taken him across disciplines and into collaborations with Anthony Braxton, the Talea Ensemble, and Vijay Iyer. This weekend, he’ll resurrect his Quintet, which last released an album, “On Meaning,” in 2007. This iteration will feature Jonathan Finlayson on trumpet, Chris Dingman on vibraphone, Matt Brewer on bass, and Justin Brown on drums. We caught up with Lehman by phone; excerpts are below.

The Jazz Gallery: What’s the occasion for this concert?

Steve Lehman: Really, the occasion is getting together without an occasion. Especially when I perform in New York, it’s so often oriented toward getting ready to make an album, or a tour: having to frame it as a big event. I wanted to give myself the space to be serious about the music, but also create a platform to play with people I haven’t played with in a while. And to feel like it’s okay to do a concert without thinking about what the press release is gonna be.

TJG: What will the material be?

SL: There might be some new arrangements. We brought in a René McClean piece. We’re doing a Kenny Kirkland piece called “Chance” that I’ve done with the trio a fair amount. But I’m not premiering any new music.

TJG: Have you played with any musicians recently that have had a profound impact on your playing?

SL: I’ve had pretty long standing relationships at this point. I don’t shake the personnel up. At the same time, I love getting to play with new people. This will be the first time I get to play my music with Justin Brown. We’ve played in a couple other contexts. That’s always great to connect with someone whose music you feel an affinity for.

I have been working on a project that has a recording coming out later this year, called Selebeyone. That was the first time I worked with any kind of vocal component. It was two rappers: one from Senegal [Gaston Bamar Ndoye], and one from the states [HPrizm], who’s also a longtime collaborator of mine. The way we integrated electronic and acoustic elements, I certainly learned a lot from it.

TJG: Has it been any different working with hip-hop artists?

SL: Labels aren’t that important. I’m focused on the nuts and bolts of the music: what’s going on with rhythm, harmony, melody, timbre. That’s usually what draws me to somebody’s music rather than the genre distinctions.

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Photo by Jennie Barst, courtesy of the artist.

Photo by Jennie Barst, courtesy of the artist.

Guitarist Rotem Sivan has a lush, intimate tone, paired with an elegant sense of line and a world traveler’s disposition. Originally from Jerusalem, Sivan has been a New Yorker for several years now. He came up through the Smalls orbit, playing with and learning from the likes of guitarist Peter Bernstein, drummer Ari Hoenig, and bassist Ben Street. The Jazz Gallery is proud to welcome Mr. Sivan and his trio back to our stage, this Thursday, March 3rd.

This past year, Sivan released his third album as a leader A New Dance (Fresh Sound). Sivan and his bandmates Haggai Cohen Milo on bass and Colin Stranahan on drums have an almost uncanny rapport, slipping through Sivan’s fleet-footed compositions with ease. Check out the band’s inviting sound in the video preview below.

Sivan will also be joined by special guest vocalist Gracie Terzian for the evening’s two sets. Terzian released her debut EP in 2015—Saints and Poets—and received positive notice from critics Ted Gioia and Terry Teachout. Terzian and Sivan have been collaborating more frequently as of late—check out their version of the Jobim classic “Insensatez” below. (more…)