Sunna Gunnlaugs Trio

August 6th, 2014

Jazz photos of the Icelandic trio Sunna Gunnlaugs Trio

Earshot Jazz presented Sunna Gunnlaugs Trio at the Seattle Art Museum June 28th in a wonderful performance.
From Iceland comes a lyrical pianist with impeccable touch and time who, as The Washington Post said, “elegantly bridges soul-searching passages with uncluttered swing.” Three highly praised albums into a now-globetrotting career, Sunna demonstrates qualities that keep that lifestyle pleasurable: Her work is contemplative and unhurried, and yet fully capable of evoking great emotion and tension in her spacing and intonation. She counts as her influences the likes of Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett – the former echoes in her touch, the latter in a yearning lyricism – as well as Scandinavians like Bobo Stenson and Jon Balke. Like the last two, her accomplishment is in imbuing drama and feeling into measured playing, as well as relating a complexity of soul and spirit in glimmers as if through a drawn-out far-Northern gloaming. She has steeped her responses in both schools. After coming to the U.S. in 1993 to attend William Paterson, Sunna ventured to close-by New York City. There she eventually teamed with the likes of saxophonist Tony Malaby and bassist Drew Gress. She wins high praise for a style at once highly personal and compellingly inclusive of her audiences. She interpreted her repertoire with truly accomplished trio-mates, fellow Icelander Thorgrimur Jónsson on bass, and her and long-time collaborator (and husband) Scott McLemore on drums.

Jazz photos of the Icelandic trio Sunna Gunnlaugs Trio

Jazz photos of the Icelandic trio Sunna Gunnlaugs Trio

Dawn Clement Trio

August 6th, 2014

Jazz photography of Dawn Clement Trio at the Seattle Art Museum.

One of the Northwest’s premiere jazz artists, pianist/vocalist/composer Dawn Clement is a sought after collaborator who has worked with the likes of Pharaoh Sanders, Nancy King, Ingrid Jensen, Jay Clayton, and more. The Seattle native is currently a member of the jazz faculty at Cornish College of the Arts, where she has served since 2000. Her fourth album, Tempest Cobalt, marks her debut as composer.
Joining Dawn will be Byron Vannoy on drums and Geoff Harper on bass. The Dawn Clement Trio  performed original compositions, as well as some music they’ve written for Priester’s Cue.

Dutch jazz sax musician Tineke Postma
The internationally acknowledged Dutch jazz saxophonist Tineke Postma played at Earshot Jazz Art of Jazz series at SAM last night. She played a wonderful set and will play again on Saturday opening for Grace Kelly at the Kirkland Performance Center. She is in the US for a series of concerts throughout the country, including Portland, Washington DC, and New York City.
Dutch jazz sax musician Tineke Postma Dutch jazz sax musician Tineke Postma Dutch jazz sax musician Tineke Postma

Jazz Photography of the Instant Composers Pool Orchestra performs in Seattle.

The Earshot Jazz Spring Series brought he ICPO live on Stage at the Seattle Art Museum on April 3rd to an almost full house. One of the most wonderful performances I can remember seeing in a long time. I always really enjoy seeing Han Bennink perform but the whole ensemble this time was memorable.

“Bit-by-bit zany and artistically and technically brilliant, the ICP Orchestra is likely the globe’s most startling and ear-stretching jazz ensembles. This lineup of the world’s greatest collaborative improvisers was minus it’s founding pianist Misha Mengelberg, now in his late seventies.

Mengelberg and drummer Han Bennink, along with Willem Breuker, formed the group in Amsterdam in 1967, in the full throes of the free-jazz movement. The ICP Orchestra was then, and remains now, a marvel of instant composition driven by the spontaneity and idiosyncrasy of its members. In that lineup of maverick contributors: trombonist Wolter Wierbos, bassist Ernst Glerum, clarinetist and saxophonist Ab Baars, tenor saxophonist Tobias Delius, multi-reeds hornman Michael Moore, trumpeter Thomas Heberer, violist Mary Oliver, and cellist Tristan Honsinger.” – Peter Monaghan Read more on Earshot Jazz

Jazz Photography of the Instant Composers Pool Orchestra with Han Bennink, performs in Seattle.

Jazz Photography of the Instant Composers Pool Orchestra performs in Seattle.

Jazz Photography of the Instant Composers Pool Orchestra performs in Seattle.

Jazz Photography of the Instant Composers Pool Orchestra performs in Seattle.

Jazz Photography of the Instant Composers Pool Orchestra performs in Seattle.

Jazz Photography of the Instant Composers Pool Orchestra performs in Seattle.

Jazz Photographer Daniel Sheehan' jazz photo of Han Bennink performing with the Instant Composers Pool Orchestra on stage at the Seattle Art Museum.


Lionel Loueke Trio

October 22nd, 2012

Lionel Loueke Trio was the headline act last night at the Seattle Art Museum Plestcheeff Auditorium as the Earshot Jazz Festival rolls on. Beautiful sounds from this trio especially the unique Lionel Loueke on vocals and guitar.

Click on the schedule here 2012 Earshot Jazz Festival  continues.

Hailed as a “gentle virtuoso” by the New York Times, guitarist and vocalist Lionel Loueke followed up his acclaimed Blue Note releases Karibu (2008) and Mwaliko (2010) with the extraordinary Heritage, released in August of this year. Co-produced by pianist and label mate Robert Glasper, Heritage finds Loueke in top form.

A veteran of bands led by Terence Blanchard and Herbie Hancock, Loueke brings jazz into vibrant contact with the sounds of West Africa, in particular, his native Benin. Starting out on vocals and percussion, Loueke picked up the guitar at age 17. After his initial exposure to jazz in Benin, he left to attend the National Institute of Art in nearby Ivory Coast. In 1994, he left Africa to pursue jazz studies at the American School of Modern Music in Paris, then came to the U.S. on a scholarship to Berklee. From there, Loueke gained acceptance to the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, where he encountered his Gilfema (ObliqSound, 2005) release bandmates – bassist Massimo Biolcati, drummer Ferenc Nemeth, vocalist feature Gretchen Parlato – and musicians with whom he would form creative relationships.

The title of his latest recording, Heritage, is a direct reference to his personal odyssey. “I have two heritages,” Loueke says. “One is from my ancestors from Africa, and that goes through my music, my body, my soul, every aspect of what I do. But also I have the heritage from the Occident, from the West, from Europe and the U.S. I speak English, I speak French, and I have that heritage too.”

While Heritage finds Loueke performing with a larger ensemble at times, he remains explosive in the trio context with bassist Biolcati and drummer Nemeth.

Wayne Horvitz Band featuring Skerik, Joe Doria & D’Vonne Lewis performed on a beautiful August afternoon in the Bill and Melinda Gates amphitheater at the Seattle Art Museum Sculpture Park. Earshot Jazz, which put on the concert as part of its concert series “Art of Jazz“,  describes the sound of the group as “ New York Attitude from Seattle Jazz-Funk Masters”.
I thought it was great hearing Joe on the Hammond B-3 with Wayne on keyboards. Skerik blew real hard and D’Vonne kept a steady and cool beat going. What a beautiful evening performance with fantastic art all around the park. I especially love Richard Serra’s  sculpture “Wave” in the background. The next concert in the Art of Jazz series will be on September 8th with “The Teaching” at the Seattle Art Museum, downtown, 5:30 pm.

As you can see there was a great turnout. I like shooting in this space. I can get pictures unlike any other venue.

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May 13th, 2011

The ZIGGURAT QUARTET Performed at the Seattle Art Museum on last night as the Earshot Jazz Series ” Art of Jazz” continues. A good turnout heard the band’s expression of “rhythmic experimentation which drives the ensemble’s complex original compositions. Many of the pieces were deeply influenced by the rhythms of East Indian music, as well as jazz and contemporary chamber music.” Here are some photographs from the performance.

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Bill Anschellon piano.

Bassist Chris Symer and Eric Barber on saxophone .

Drummer  Byron Vannoy and Eric Barber.

Here are some notes from Earshot Jazz on the Quartet’s appearance last fall “The Ziggurat Quartet’s recent Origin CD Calculated Gestureshas received widespread critical acclaim and significant airplay on jazz radio. According to the group’s page: “A passion for rhythmic experimentation drives the ensemble’s complex original compositions; many of the pieces are deeply influenced by the rhythms of East Indian music, as well as jazz and contemporary chamber music.”

Despite working in the “standard” jazz quartet format of horn, piano, bass and drums, the ensemble comes up with a vital and visceral approach that sounds sui generis. The repertoire is entirely original compositions by Bill Anschell, Eric Barber and Doug Miller. Pianist Anschell’s knowledge of Carnatic music strongly influences the complex rhythms and patterns in his compositions. Saxophonist Barber also has a deep interest in the music of India, plus that of the Balkans and Hungary; the asymmetrical meters and surging cross-rhythms that result swing in a decidedly unconventional but still infectious manner.  Although still dealing with odd meters, Miller’s tunes have a bit more of a traditional focus in terms of singable melodies.

Anschell is well-known as a humorist and writer in addition to his impeccable credentials as a musician.  His long tenure with vocalist Nnenna Freelon as musical director, arranger, composer and pianist included a Grammy nomination for her 1996 Shaking Free.  Anschell’s recordings under his own name have been warmly received.

Barber has collaborated with a long list of adventurous musicians, including Nels Cline, Mark Dresser, Vinny Golia, Wayne Horvitz, Wadada Leo Smith, Tom Varner, Nate Wooley, and Glen Velez.

A rising force on the Emerald City jazz scene, bassist Chris Symer is quickly becoming one of the most in-demand bassists in Seattle.

Add the colorful and resourceful drumming of Byron Vannoy to the mix and you have a quartet that plays ensemble music in the true sense of the word.”

-Bill Barton

Steve Lehman in concert with his Octet at the Seattle Art Museum on October 29th presented by the Earshot Jazz Festival 2010.

In the year since Steve Lehman made his first Earshot Festival appearance, in a riveting solo performance for sax and electronics, he has confirmed his standing as one of the most exciting and innovative jazz performers, anywhere.

His 2009 octet album Travail, Transformation & Flow has continued to draw rave reviews: four-and-one-half stars from DownBeat; top-10 listing from more than 30 publications around the country; and a New York Times rating as the pop or jazz CD of the year. The Jazz Journalists Association in April recognized Lehman in three categories: composer, alto saxophonist, and recording of the year.

Win acclaim like that, and suddenly the seemingly impossible can happen: a musician can get to go on tour with his octet, generally a prohibitively expensive undertaking. That is what Lehman has been doing. His eight-piece has appeared around the U.S. and Europe. It is scheduled to continue touring well into 2011.
Also since his last Earshot appearance, another of Lehman’s bands, Dual Identity, released its debut, self-titled disc. The band includes other leaders of the New York progressive-jazz scene including Rudresh Mahanthappa.

The same month, the Jack Quartet presented the world premiere of Lehman’s “Nos Revi Nella” for string quartet.

That suggests the Brooklyn-reared saxophonist’s musical range. So do his recordings with his quintet, and with the group Fieldwork (Lehman, pianist Vijay Iyer, and monster drummer Tyshawn Sorey). With Mahanthappa, those players comprise a new breed of charging instrumentalist-composers.

Continue reading at: EarshotJazz Festival

Click here for the complete schedule for the rest of the upcoming shows at the 2010 Earshot Jazz Festival

The Dawn Clement Trio: Dawn Clement, Geoff Harper on bass and Jazz Sawyer on drums at the Seattle Art Museum.

The Art of Jazz Series put on by Earshot Jazz in collaboration with the Seattle Art Museum continues every 2nd Thursday of every month with free admission. Dawn and her trio were in good form and did a couple of set that sounded great in the great hall of the Lobby of the museum
Jim Wilke was there too recording the music for his radio broadcast on Jazz Northwest program, Sunday afternoons, from 1 to 2pm on 88.5, KPLU.