Photo courtesy of the artist.
This Tuesday, December 11, The Jazz Gallery welcomes bassist Harish Raghavan and his working quintet back to our stage for two sets. A top-call sideman for elder musicians and peers alike, Raghavan convened his first working band at the beginning of 2018. In an interview with Jazz Speaks, Raghavan spoke about the band’s origins.
This had been a long-term idea of mine. I wanted to do a record, because I hadn’t done one yet. I didn’t want to just throw something together. I wanted to get the music out in front of people and feel that energy. I had never really led a band before—I led gigs here and there.
So with that idea for the record, I wanted to go out and book some gigs—for the first six months of the year, I was going to book a gig a month and see if we could get a sound together. I recorded the second gig that we did at ShapeShifter Lab and even by that point, it really felt that we had a sound. I think it’s because I know all of these guys, but also because they’re all friends with each other. Instantly, there was a rapport and we really got through the music quickly.
Raghavan’s quintet will head into the studio this month to cut their debut record. Before checking out their ever-deepening rapport at the Gallery this week, take a listen to the leader’s composition, “Ween,” below:
Eric Revis (L) and Julius Rodriguez (R). Photos courtesy of the artists.
This week, the third edition of this season’s Jazz Gallery Mentoring Series kicks off with performances at The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, The Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, and The Jazz Gallery. This third edition features bassist Eric Revis mentoring pianist/multi-instrumentalist Julius Rodriguez. Beyond his longstanding association withs saxophonist Branford Marsalis, Revis has put together an acclaimed body of work as a bandleader over the course of several records, including 2017’s Sing Me Some Cry (Clean Feed). Writing in the New York Times, Nate Chinen notes that Revis’s working trio with Kris Davis and Gerald Cleaver has “a rare and mystifying cohesion.”
Currently studying in the Juilliard jazz program, Julius Rodriguez has established a strong reputation in New York as both a drummer and pianist. In an interview with Jazz Speaks, Rodriguez noted how this dual perspective informs his playing:
[Piano and drums] are different worlds, though they connect through rhythm. When I’m playing drums with a piano player, there are a lot of things we catch rhythmically, and vice versa when I’m playing piano with a drummer. People notice that, and they love to see that connection. They’re both accompanying instruments, and their job is to make the soloist feel comfortable and sound good. It’s different on the piano, because you have all the harmonic things you can do. On the drums there’s the rhythm. So the harmonic sense helps me on drums, and the rhythmic awareness helps me on piano.
In addition to creating a strong hookup with Revis on the leader’s open and mercurial compositions, Rodriguez will be sparring with drummer Nasheet Waits and saxophonist Andrew D’Angelo over the course of the concerts as well. (more…)
From L to R: Eric McPherson, Kris Davis, and Stephan Crump. Photo courtesy of the artists.
This Saturday, December 8, The Jazz Gallery welcomes the Borderlands Trio to our stage for two sets. Featuring bassist Stephan Crump, pianist Kris Davis, and drummer Eric McPherson, the band last graced our stage a year ago to celebrate the release of their debut album, Asteroidea (Intakt). In an interview with Jazz Speaks, Crump spoke about the group’s unique sense of collective orchestration:
I think we all share an orchestral sense, a sense of structure, as far as each member has a broad conception of the range of possibilities on his or her instrument, and the various colors and textures and overtones, and thinking about what one can offer to the music that orchestrates it properly at any given moment based on what the others are offering. That might take each of us into areas that aren’t necessarily traditional areas on the instrument, but everybody in the band percieves the music on that level as well. I think of it as orchestration. So that’s really satisfying, because on a simple level it means that everybody’s always making things work. Whatever anybody offers to the music, the rest of the band will contextualize it instantly so it works, even as things are always morphing.
Before coming out the Gallery to hear the trio’s ever-deepening interplay, check out the sprawling and shapeshifting title track from the group’s album.
Photo courtesy of the artist.
This Thursday, December 6, The Jazz Gallery is pleased to welcome vocal trio SONICA to our stage for two sets. Featuring Thana Alexa, Nicole Zuraitis, and Julia Adamy, the group performs original compositions and smart arrangements, deftly mixing their voices with Alexa’s looping station, Zuraitis’s keyboards, and Adamy’s bass. Check out their piece “15/4” performed lived, below:
For their performance at the Gallery, SONICA will be joined by special guest drummers (and husbands) Antonio Sanchez, Dan Pugach, and Ross Pederson. Don’t miss the chance to check out this trio’s unique artistry live. (more…)
Album art courtesy of BFM Jazz.
This Sunday, December 2, The Jazz Gallery is pleased to welcome the University of Miami’s Frost Concert Jazz Band to our stage for a special performance of American Dreamers: Voices of Hope, Music of Freedom. This past fall, John Daversa, chair of the university’s studio music & jazz department, spearheaded an album featuring performances by “Dreamers”—undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children. The album’s repertoire includes fresh takes on classic Americana, including Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever,” Bernstein’s “America,” and Woody Guthrie’s “Deportee,” interspersed with musical spoken-word segments by the Dreamer-performers.
Following in the footsteps of works by the likes of Sonny Rollins, Nina Simone, Charles Mingus, and others, the album is a work of musical activism. According to one of the album’s producers, music attorney Doug Davis, “We’re hoping to use the music for messaging purposes. We’re using the album to get these phenomenal kids in front of people who otherwise wouldn’t be aware of the issue. If lightning can strike because we hit the right notes, well that’s the goal.”
Before coming out to hear the Frost Concert Jazz Band’s special performance of this work, give a listen to the album, below.