June 14, 2015 |
The Painted Bride hosted a celebration of the saxophone Tuesday night. The PRISM Quartet welcomed two of the most celebrated performers in modern jazz for a show blurring the lines between jazz and classical music. In this latest installment in the Heritage/Evolution series, PRISM's season finale added Chris Potter and Ravi Coltrane to the mix. The show opened with two pieces by PRISM founding member and tenor player Matthew Levy. The pastoral "Found," written in honor of the composer's second wedding anniversary that night, began with Coltrane playing solo.
March 25, 2014 |
What's the difference between a band and a group? The distinction may seem insignificant, but it's definitely meaningful to Pat Metheny. Between his latest ensemble's self-titled 2012 debut and its new follow-up, Kin , the Pat Metheny Unity Band became the Unity Group. The change entailed the addition of Italian multi-instrumentalist Giulio Carmassi and a more orchestral approach to repertoire. The Keswick's marquee Saturday promised the Unity Group, but enthusiastic listeners essentially got two bands/groups for one ticket.
February 4, 2013 |
Performers at the inaugural Monterey Jazz Festival in 1958 included such greats as Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, and Louis Armstrong. Nearly every notable name from the last half-century of jazz history has graced the stages at California's Monterey County Fairgrounds, making it one of the world's longest-running and most renowned jazz festivals. How to represent that impressive legacy in a touring show? The festival made all the right choices in assembling a stellar ensemble of all-stars to celebrate its 55th anniversary, entrusting its direction to Philly's own Christian McBride.
August 11, 2012 |
Nature itself seemed to respond to Pat Metheny's Unity Band at Longwood Gardens on Thursday evening. In part that was intentional, as when a line of red-lit fountains suddenly erupted behind the open-air stage during the guitarist's soaring final solo. But there was also an element of the serendipitous, as when flashes of distant lightning seemed to strobe the sky in time with Antonio Sanchez's thunderous drum solo. Not to mention Metheny's trademark mane, every bit as much a topiary feat as the towering hedges surrounding the stage.
August 3, 2012
Jukebox the Ghost The quirky, uplifting piano-driven pop that Jukebox the Ghost released on their first album quickly earned them comparisons to artists like Ben Folds and They Might Be Giants (a subsequent tour with Folds probably cemented that comparison). Since their 2008 debut, the Brooklyn-based, D.C.-raised trio have released an additional two LPs, including this year's Safe Travels . Like its predecessors, its songs are energetic and heartfelt, with strong beats and a pop-rock sensibility.
November 25, 2011
Paul Motian, 80, a drummer, bandleader, composer, and one of the most influential jazz musicians of the last 50 years, died Tuesday in Manhattan. The cause was complications of myelodysplastic syndrome, a blood and bone-marrow disorder. Mr. Motian was a link to groups of the past that influenced what jazz sounds like today. He had been in the pianist Bill Evans' great trio of the late 1950s and early 1960s and in Keith Jarrett's so-called American quartet during the 1970s. But it was in the second half of his life that Mr. Motian found himself as a composer and bandleader.
May 19, 2011 |
You can't blame Chris Potter for being a little flummoxed. Tasked with composing a new piece of music based on one of the paintings in the Philadelphia Museum of Art's collection, the saxophonist was handed not a lush, colorful masterpiece of French impressionism or an explosion of color à la Jackson Pollock, but a stark, austere black-on-white piece by the minimalist Ellsworth Kelly. "To be honest," Potter recalls, "my first reaction when I saw it was, 'Wow, what on Earth am I going to do with this?
March 29, 2010 |
Chris Potter suffers from M?ni?re's disease, a condition that has cost him nearly all of the hearing in his left ear. Performing Saturday at Chris' Jazz Cafe in Center City, the tenor saxophonist demonstrated that one ear could do the work of two, and then some, before a packed house. Potter, 39, appeared with the Chris Potter Underground, a quartet he formed in 2004. Doing nothing apparent to compensate for the hearing loss, Potter stood between Craig Taborn's Fender Rhodes electric piano and guitarist Adam Rogers.
February 9, 2007 |
The word "fusion" gets applied to a lot of jazz music these days, usually in the same way the Surgeon General's warning is applied to a pack of cigarettes: a direct warning to stay away mounted on a perennially popular product. So it's to Chris Potter's credit that the saxophonist's latest CD, "Underground" (Sunnyside), doesn't conjure the dreaded f-word at first listen. But fusion is undeniably what Potter is going for. "The 'Underground' band has been an experiment for me to try and synthesize some new kind of balance between the jazz aesthetic I've been most associated with in my career, and other contemporary forms like funk, hip-hop, electronic music, etc.," Potter explained via e-mail.
June 9, 2000 |
The 15th annual Mellon Jazz Festival starts Tuesday, bringing a lot of good talent - some of which has just been through Philly. This year's festival, dedicated to the late Sun Ra, also has a couple of late additions. The Yellowjackets will join headlining violinist Jean-Luc Ponty at the Keswick Theater on Thursday night. The festival continues through June 19 to bring under its umbrella Harry Connick Jr. and his big band for a sold-out concert at the Academy of Music. Among the returning recent visitors to our fair city are saxophonist Kenny Garrett, flutist Dave Valentin (with Marlon Simon)