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So to catch up on my festival coverage,  last night’s show  was the wonderful Eric Vloeimans as Earshot Jazz Festival 2014 rolls on. Eric Vloeimans was as wonderful as ever playing with a new group and  a delightful set of music. Always a great dresser I was most impressed with his shoes last night.

“Jazz trio instruments that come to mind typically aren’t trumpet, accordion and cello. Nor was it necessarily so for Dutch trumpet sensation Eric Vloeimans (pronounced “Flooeymans”), who concocted the present ensemble by combining an instrument he loved (cello) with one he formerly hated (accordion) and added himself. The initial gig proved electrifying for audience and performers alike and, thus, Oliver’s Cinema (the name is an anagram of the trumpeter’s name) was born. Rounding out the trio are accordionist Tuur Florizoone from Belgium and cellist Jörg Brinkmann from Germany.

Regarded as one of Europe’s best performers, Vloeimans has been active in a wide variety of ensembles. He has toured the U.S. twice with his acoustic chamber jazz group, Fugimundi Trio, whose repertoire ranges from contemporary jazz, hymns, and world music to standards. He also leads Eric Vloeimans’ Gatecrash, which has earned a reputation as one of Europe’s top cross-over bands. Vloeimans has played with an array of international artists, among them Mercer Ellington, Peter Erskine, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Wayne Horvitz and Joey Baron.

Jörg Brinkmann studied at the college of Arnheim, Netherlands, and is renowned for his ability to play with jazz and pop bands. Tuur Florizoone is one of the most beloved musicians from Flanders, and has performed with a wide range of contemporary artists, including Carlos Nunez, Manu Chao, Zahava Seewald, and more.

The group’s 2013 CD takes the cinema theme seriously, and includes music written for film, including themes like Rosemary’s Baby and Cinema Paradiso, music with a cinematic quality, Ennio Morricone-like soundtracks and new, original and evocative compositions for imaginary films.”

Here is a link to the 2014 Earshot Jazz Festival Schedule

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Carmen Lundy Group

October 16th, 2014

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On Tuesday at the Triple Door, Earshot Jazz Festival 2014 presented the Carmen Lundy Group in an amazing performance. Carmen was electric!

Carmen Lundy has been ranked with the great vocalists, though her agile vocal style is utterly distinctive. Her sextet includes pianist Patrice Rushen and rising-star drummer Jamison Ross, winner of the 2012 Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition.

Lundy began her professional career in Miami, Florida, as a jazz vocalist and composer when there were very few young, gifted and aspiring jazz vocalists on the horizon. Over four decades later, Lundy is celebrated throughout the world for her vocal artistry and is highly regarded for her jazz innovation.

Currently on the Afrasia Productions label, Lundy releases her fourteenth album, Soul to Soul, on September 23. Almost two years in the making, it consists of new original songs by Lundy, and a few very special collaborations. Lundy spent more than a year working on Soul to Soul, composing and arranging 11 of the 13 tracks, and playing and recording all the instruments in her home studio.

The album features legendary artists including Patrice Rushen, Geri Allen, Randy Brecker, Ada Rovatti, Warren Wolf, Bennie Maupin, harpist Carol Robbins, and Simphiwe Dana, a stunning South African vocalist and composer, among others.

Check for upcoming shows – Here is a link to the 2014 Earshot Jazz Festival Schedule
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Taylor McFerrin

October 16th, 2014

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Monday night at the Triple Door,  Earshot presented Taylor McFerrin as the 2014 Earshot Jazz Festival continues.
The Brooklyn-based producer, composer, pianist, DJ, beatboxer and son of an iconic mentor performs “everything from soft ambient keys, moody guitar riffs and solemn choirs bellowing across shuffles, to spiraling synths arpeggiating into the unknown” (Contactmusic).
Taylor McFerrin released his first LP, Early Riser, in June 2014 on Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder record label. Taylor’s musical style is equally influenced by the legends of 60s and 70s soul, the kings of the Modern Beat Generation, Golden Era hip-hop, free-form jazz and electronic music. By playing all of the instruments on his productions, while also relying heavily on sampling and chopping up his live takes, he has found a sound that seamlessly bridges myriad musical worlds and draws the listener into a constantly shifting audio soundscape.

Here is a link to the 2014 Earshot Jazz Festival Schedule

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On Sunday night, Earshot Jazz Festival presented Tri Minh Quartet: Sounds from Hanoi at the PONCHO CONCERT HALL, CORNISH COLLEGE OF THE ARTS.

This much-traveled pianist, a masterful mentor to a wholly new musical amalgam, excelled in composition at Hanoi Conservatory of Music and then revolutionized the jazz and electronica scenes of his city and country, infusing those genres with local elements. His quartet for piano, zither, and traditional and contemporary instruments is rivetingly fresh.

In Sounds from Hanoi, Trí Minh’s Quartet uses improvisation – a vital, though differently expressed component of both Vietnamese traditional forms and jazz – to create a dialogue between instruments in ways that echo Hanoi’s experimental side, a side Trí Minh and his friends connect with the growing voice of civil society in Vietnam.

Here is a link to the 2014 Earshot Jazz Festival Schedule

 

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Gregg Belisle-Chi

October 16th, 2014

JAzz photography by Daniel Sheehan

Opening up at the Chapel Performance Space for John Seman’s Lil Coop Quintet last Saturday night at the 2014 Earshot Jazz Festival was Guitarist Gregg Belisle-Chi and vocalist Chelsea Crabtree who mine the intersections of composition and improvisation with dark, rich guitar work and pristine vocals.

The marriage of improvisation and composition in jazz has been tumultuous, especially in the technological age. But guitarist Belisle-Chi looks to reinvigorate this relationship. He sees improvisation and composition not as disparate entities at odds with one another, but two studies that serve each other – a view that is reflected in Belisle-Chi’s dark and rich fret-board wanderings.

Recordings from the Belisle-Chi curated Racer Session last March exist in beautiful and thought-provoking ambiguity: what seems structured is loose and free, improvisation is focused and informed. The future of Belisle-Chi’s music is one of exploration into the dark, liminal spaces between composition and improvisation, and even the earliest fruits of this adventure are thoughtful and impacting.

Here is a link to the 2014 Earshot Jazz Festival Schedule

JAzz photography by Daniel Sheehan

 

John Seman’s Lil Coop Quintet

October 14th, 2014

Jazz photos from 2014 Earshot Jazz festival
Last Saturday I had the joy to hear John Seman’s Lil Coop Quintet at the Chapel Performance Space as the 2014 Earshot Jazz Festival continues.
Bassist, composer, archivist and advocate for improvised music John Seman explores composition and free improvisation and musical past and future – in the moment – with his Lil Coop Quintet, featuring Stephen Fandrich on piano, Robbie Beasley on trumpet, Kate Olson on soprano sax and Tom Zgonc on drums.

A fixture on the Seattle music scene for more than a decade, Seman is co-founder (with Mark Ostroski) of nonprofit new music advocacy organization Monktail Creative Music Concern. Additionally, he holds a sound preservation and recording venture, RPM Preservation, and is a co-host of Floatation Device (91.3 KBCS), a program dedicated to highlighting improvised music from the Northwest and around the world.

Here is a link to the 2014 Earshot Jazz Festival Schedule

Jazz photos from 2014 Earshot Jazz festival

Jazz photos from 2014 Earshot Jazz festival

Jazz photos from 2014 Earshot Jazz festival

Jazz photographer Daniel Sheehan at the opening on the 2014 Earshot Jazz festival

Last Friday evening, the 2014 Earshot Jazz Festival began with a celebration of the absolutely distinctive master of jazz life, Thelonious Sphere Monk. On 10/10, which would have been Monk’s 97th birthday, Earshot took festivities to Town Hall for a colossal Thelonious Monk tribute that was all about 10. The party included one solo Monk composition each from 10 great Seattle pianists. Coming from various stylistic backgrounds, and expressing Monk’s profound influence on their own jazz continuum, this lineup of pianists would be impressive in any city in the world: Marc Seales, Dawn Clement, Dave Peck, Sumi Tonooka, Overton Berry, Marius “Butch” Nordal, Darrius Willrich, Aaron Otheim, Wayne Horvitz and Tim Kennedy.

The genesis for this creative project is the Royal Room’s Piano Starts Here series, which looks to “highlight the work of the most prolific and talented pianists to have ever tackled the instrument.” In the series, each artist selects their own piece, without regard to possible duplications, assuming that no two pieces could be the same. Tonight’s piano performances offer ten unique takes on Monk’s idiosyncratic contributions to jazz.

Balancing the stage tonight is a remarkable 10-tet assembled by Wayne Horvitz for this romp through straight transcriptions and improvisations on the landmark 1959 album The Thelonious Monk Orchestra at Town Hall, commonly known at Monk at Town Hall. Horvitz conducts an amazing 10-tet that stays true to the spirit, the title, and the unusual instrumentation of the original performance. The band of Seattle jazz luminaries includes Greg Sinibaldi, Mark Taylor, and Skerik on saxophones; Al Keith on trumpet, and Christian Pincock on trombone, along with Tom Varner on French horn, and Julio Cruz on tuba. Driving the rhythm section are bassist Evan Flory-Barnes, pianist Ryan Burns, and drummer Ted Poor.

I will try and catch up with my coverage of the festival in pictures.  Here is a link to the 2014 Earshot Jazz Festival Schedule

Jazz photographer Daniel Sheehan at the opening on the 2014 Earshot Jazz festival

Jazz photographer Daniel Sheehan at the opening on the 2014 Earshot Jazz festival

Jazz photographer Daniel Sheehan at the opening on the 2014 Earshot Jazz festival

Jazz photographer Daniel Sheehan at the opening on the 2014 Earshot Jazz festival

Jazz photographer Daniel Sheehan at the opening on the 2014 Earshot Jazz festival

Jazz photographer Daniel Sheehan at the opening on the 2014 Earshot Jazz festival

Jazz photographer Daniel Sheehan at the opening on the 2014 Earshot Jazz festival

Jazz photographer Daniel Sheehan at the opening on the 2014 Earshot Jazz festival

Jazz photographer Daniel Sheehan at the opening on the 2014 Earshot Jazz festival

Jazz photographer Daniel Sheehan at the opening on the 2014 Earshot Jazz festival

Jazz photographer Daniel Sheehan at the opening on the 2014 Earshot Jazz festival