Drummer Matt Jorgensen presented “Tatooed by Passion” with strings in a special world premiere performance Tuesday Oct 26th at the Triple Door.

This original work was inspired by the paintings of his late father-in-law, the prominent abstract-impressionist artist Dale Chisman. A moving and deeply personal musical journey, “Tatooed by Passion” draws influence directly from Chisman’s paintings, his home city of Denver, his life-long friends, and his constant reinvention of himself as an artist. Jorgensen explains that with “Tatooed for Passion” he wanted to expand his “own palette from previous recordings, exploring broad new textures and musical landscapes.” Jorgensen was joined by longtime collaborators—trumpeter Thomas Marriott and saxophonist Mark Taylor, Corey Christiansen, guitar and Dave Captein on bass.

Continue reading at: EarshotJazz Festival

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

Photograph by  Seattle photojournalist Paul Joseph Brown. He is also a Seattle wedding photographer photographing weddings with A Beautiful Day Photography Seattle wedding photographers.


DJ Spooky shows off his apple computer and ipad before he start of his performance at the Triple Door Saturday night.

As the Earshot Jazz Festival continues to roll along into its second week, in one of the most intriguing offerings of the week, multimedia innovator and conceptualist DJ Spooky, aka Paul D. Miller teamed up with the Seattle Symphony’s own wunderkind Joshua Roman, (below picture) and the sparkling Seattle-based string quartet of violinists Gennady Filimonov and Irene Mitri, violist Michael Lieberman, and cellist Paige Stockley, (pictured at bottom) to perform DJ Spooky’s compositions “North/South” and “Ice Music,” as well as a solo cello piece written especially for Roman.

“That subliminal kid,” DJ Spooky has released numerous solo albums and recorded with musicians from all genres, including Slayer’s Dave Lombardo, Public Enemy’s Chuck D, and Mike Ladd. In 2002 he contributed to Thirsty Ear’s Blue Series with Optometry, which featured New York jazzmen Matthew Shipp, William Parker, and Guillermo E. Brown.

His eclectic career reaches far beyond his extensive discography; he has also published a collection of essays on the aesthetics of electronic music, Rhythm Science, and his media works have appeared in museums and galleries across the world, including the prestigious Venice Biennale for Architecture in 2000.

Continue reading at: EarshotJazz Festival

In another Earshot jazz Festival presentation, the superb quartet of Idaho saxophonist Brent Jensen and Seattle-based all-stars pianist Bill Anschell, bassist Jeff Johnson, and drummer John Bishop celebrated their latest Origin Records release, Motives on Saturday night at Tula’s. It was a superb performance all around of some wonderful music.

Already garnering stellar reviews, the disc is proof of “how many great jazz musicians there are throughout the United States,” according to Jazz Review. Jazz Chicago calls it a “true gem of a recording. This album entrances immediately from the start—beginning with Jensen’s tribute to free jazz pioneer and Ornette Coleman drummer Ed Blackwell…”

While the musicians are well-known to many in the Pacific Northwest and beyond, it is worth mentioning some of their credentials. Jensen currently serves Director of Jazz Studies at the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls and has performed with a variety of jazz artists, including Gene Harris, Bill Watrous, Lew Soloff, John Stowell, the Manhattan Transfer and the Lionel Hampton Big Band. Pianist Anschell performs regularly with many of Seattle’s finest musicians and has also worked with Nnenna Freelon, Ron Carter, Benny Golson and Russell Malone.

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JAMES CARTER swings with his sax in performance Friday night at the Triple Door as he played with his “HEAVEN ON EARTH” band featuring John Medeski on Hammond B3 and Adam Rogers on guitar, bassist Ralphe Armstrong and drummer Lee Pearson. The sold out first show was extraordinary and well received by the standing room only crowd. Wish I could have stayed for the second set. I have a lot of good pictures and will post them at another date.

Here are some program notes by John Ewing:
“In 2009 James Carter released a record called Heaven on Earth (Half Note Records). It featured a select group of New York based musicians including organist John Medeski, bassist Christian McBride, guitarist Adam Rogers, and drummer Joey Baron. Like many of Mr. Carter’s recordings, it differed greatly from the work that preceded it. His previous release, Present Tense (Emarcy, 2008) portrayed the saxophonist as a rugged traditionalist more than willing to work within pre-established forms without ego driven pyrotechnics.

Heaven on Earth however features a mix of avant-garde fire, hard bop inspired blowing, and a generous squeeze from the greasy funk oil can. This particular dynamic not only provided a perfect spotlight for Mr. Carter’s volcanic virtuosity, but it also allowed for much experimental interplay between the musicians, all of whom know how to throw their weight around. Continue reading at: EarshotJazz


October 21st, 2010

Nelda Swiggett performing with her trio at Tula’s Thursday night.

Seattle native, jazz pianist and composer Nelda Swiggett explores a variety of sounds and colors in her music – drawing from jazz, Afro-Cuban, gospel, blues, and more. She has arranged several of her original compositions for the Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra and toured extensively throughout the Pacific Northwest and Alaska with one of the Northwest’s top salsa bands, Cambalache. Her compositions and playing have been praised as “a bright palette, a sinewy execution and a powerful, assertive command.” (AllAboutJazz.com)

Her latest endeavor is performing in an intimate setting with a piano trio. Lately during her performances, Swiggett also uses her voice as an instrument, in addition to singing lyrics. “That’s really new for me and I’m looking to incorporate more singing into my original music,” she said.
“I’ve composed primarily for larger ensembles in the past — including several big band arrangements. My trio is a more intimate sound, and while I may still hear several horns in my head, I have only the piano trio and my voice for instrumentation,” said Swiggett. “It is a fun and interesting challenge to explore the possibilities for presenting my original music in this small group.”
-Jessica Davis


October 17th, 2010

Robert Glasper performing Sunday night at the Triple door with Vicente Archer on bass and Mark Colenburg on drums. On the heels of his acclaimed Blue Note release, Double Booked, pianist Robert Glasper continues to infuse jazz with hip-hop sensibilities. Glasper played a set that confirms his place on the “short list of jazz pianists who have the wherewithal to drop a J Dilla reference into a Thelonious Monk cover,” (latimes.com) with skill and finesse.

More than seven years ago, when in his early 20s, Glasper gave notice while working with Russell Malone, Mark Whitfield, Marcus Strickland, and “neo-soul” star Bilal that he may ascend to jazz-piano fame. A lyrical, rhythmic player, he “excels in providing crisp, melodic statements [with] a nice, lighter touch, and in restraining his considerable chops in the service of space,” said All About Jazz. Raised in Houston, Texas, he has combined lyrical insights with complex, compelling rhythms to emerge as one of the freshest voices in jazz today. He possesses what the New York Times called “percussive intensity, fresh ideas, [and] improvisatory logic.”

The son of a gospel-singing mother, Glasper played piano in church before he reached his teens. At home, he heard gospel, Motown, and R&B, and he also got into jazz, rock, pop, and hip-hop. Moving to New York to study at the New School University, he began playing with Christian McBride, Russell Malone, and Kenny Garrett.

He acknowledges Keith Jarrett and Mulgrew Miller as his greatest influences, and also Herbie Hancock and many other modern greats. Many listeners and critics have noted a singing quality in his playing, and he has himself said: “I guess it is the singer inside of me; I’m singing through the piano.” Like Eric Lewis or Brad Mehldau, he is alert to the possibilities of bringing pop and rock melodies into piano jazz.


October 16th, 2010

The CHICAGO UNDERGROUND DUO, Rob Mazurek, primarily on cornet, and Chad Taylor, on various percussion, products of the fertile Chicago improv scene, performed at EMP Saturday night as the Earshot Jazz Festival continues on it’s second day,
The duo, formed in 1997 as one arrangement of the members of the Chicago Underground Collective, describes its music as “an organic mixture of African, electronic, coloristic, jazz-influenced life supporting systematic, non-systematic feeling from two humans trying ever to expand outward and inward for the people and ourselves.”

But those are not the only ingredients in its heady mix. Mazurek and Taylor also acknowledge gathering strains of varieties of European and Asian music during their travels about the globe.

More pictures to come from some of tonight’s performances.

Clarence Acox gives a nod of approval to a band member in the Garfield High School Jazz Band which kicked off the opening act of the 2010 Earshot Jazz Festival.  It looks like it will be a wonderful Festival again this year and Garfield started it off on a high note.

Seattle’s Garfield High School, under the direction of Clarence Acox, took top honors at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 15th Annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival, again, in May of this year. The school made competition history, becoming the first band ever to win four times. Acox has led the band for nearly four decades, and he is clearly still going strong. He is known for helping to nurture strong soloists, like tenor saxophonist Roxy Coss who is a former member of the Garfield band.

I will be attempting to cover as many of the Earshot performances as I can again this year and posting pictures from them here as soon as I can. Check back later for images of The Kora Band and ROBERT PINSKY W/ MARC SEALES & PAUL GABRIELSON who were really great to night.