Bettye LaVette

October 17th, 2012

Another evening of wonderful performances. Bettye LaVette at the Triple Door put on a very amazing show. Her voice has to be experienced.

2012 Earshot Jazz Festival  continues. Click on the schedule.

Bettye LaVette is one of the greatest soul singers in American music, possessed of an incredibly expressive voice that at one moment exudes formidable strength and intensity and at the next appears vulnerable, reflective, reeking of heartbreak. LaVette has been recording for over four decades.

Born in Muskegon, Michigan, in 1946, LaVette grew up in Detroit. LaVette is one of few soul singers who didn’t start in church. At the age of 16, with legendary Motor City music raconteur Johnnie Mae Matthews, LaVette’s first single was the insouciantly swinging “My Man – He’s a Loving Man.” LaVette next hit the charts with the Dee Dee Ford penned “Let Me Down Easy” in springtime 1965. Over the next three-plus decades LaVette cut a string of consistently strong singles for Big Wheel, Silver Fox, SSS, TCA, Atco, Epic, West End, Motown and Bar/None. To this day, “Let Me Down Easy” remains the singer’s theme song.

A buzz in the early 2000s that surrounded LaVette in soul circles caught the attention of Anti- Records president Andy Kaulkin, who signed her to a three-record deal. The resulting records – A Change is Gonna Come Sessions (2009), Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook (2010) and Thankful N’ Thoughtful (2012) – reflect the wisdom of age.

The result is a blessing to us all.

– DB;

What an amazing treat this evenings performance was. 2012 Earshot Jazz Festival presented  Tatsuya Nakatani at the  CHAPEL PERFORMANCE SPACE. Tatsuya Nakatani is a creative percussionist originally from Osaka, Japan. The intuitive, versatile percussionist uses drums, gongs, cymbals, singing bowls and much else to create organic, intense music. Nakatani approaches improvisation from the visceral, non-linear and intuitively primitive, creating via extended percussion techniques. A free improviser, experimenter, rocker and noisemaker, Nakatani is, essentially, a folk musician, performing countless solo percussion concerts and surprise collaborations during his travels.
Consult the 2012 Earshot Jazz Festival schedule and prepare for your next Earshot performance.

Nakatani plays solo and in a first-time duo improvisation with special guest violist Eyvind Kang at tonight’s performance.

Currently based in Easton, PA, Nakatani tours extensively – Japan, China, Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, England, Scotland, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal, Poland, Ukraine, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Argentina, Chile, Israel, the U.S. – fostering a raw and fresh quality in his music, which can only survive through an open willingness to share energy, culture, music and self on a global human scale, he says.

Nakatani has released over sixty recordings and has worked with Ken Vandermark, Assif Tsahar, Peter Brotzmann, Frank Gratkowski, Billy Bang, Reuben Radding, Joe Morris, Joe McPhee, Jack Wright. While touring, he also conducts master classes and workshops at schools and universities, emphasizing his unique musical approach and philosophy.

– Schraepfer Harvey

Check out the 2012 Earshot Jazz Festival schedule

So for my final set of the evening on Sunday I ended up at Tula’s and got to enjoy the Jon Hamar Quintet.the top-flight Seattle bassist Jon Hamar explored new music with tenor-sax titan Rich Perry, virtuoso multi-reedist Todd DelGiudice , pianist John Hansen and drummer Julian MacDonough,

Here is the  2012 Earshot Jazz Festival schedule

Hamar released his third CD, Hymn (Origin), in September to stellar reviews. DelGiudice features on the release, which eschews the traditional trio format to explore the melodic possibilities sans drums. Bolstered by the lithe alto sax of DelGiudice and Grammy-nominated Geoffrey Keezer on piano, Hamar presents a diverse collection of originals and arrangements that highlights the spirited interplay of these three voices.

Kennewick-born Hamar began playing string bass at age 11. He earned a bachelor’s degree in classical bass performance from Eastern Washington University and a master’s degree in jazz from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. He teaches at Central Washington University, Northwest University (Kirkland), Edmonds Community College.

Hamar welcomes Rich Perry, a colossal jazz talent appearing on over 70 CDs. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Perry became interested in jazz in high school, then studied briefly at Bowling Green State University before moving to New York City. In 1977, he joined the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra and spent two years touring the U.S. and Europe, and then continued with Mel Lewis. The band is now known as the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and has three Grammy-nominated CDs. Perry is on the jazz faculty of William Paterson University in New Jersey.

Also making up the group tonight: the fluid clarinet and sax tones of Florida-native Todd DelGiudice, assistant professor of clarinet and saxophone at Eastern Washington University and member of the Spokane Symphony Orchestra; gem of the Northwest jazz scene, pianist John Hansen, an ensemble player with an attentive ear; drummer Julian MacDonough, the energetic timekeeper behind an eclectic mix of bands and instructor in Western Washington University’s jazz department.

– GB

Here is the  2012 Earshot Jazz Festival schedule

Trio X

October 15th, 2012

Also at the Seattle Art Museum after Mathew Shipp was Trio X,  Joe McPhee on brass and reeds, Dominic Duval on bass and Jay Rosen on drums

Here is the  2012 Earshot Jazz Festival schedule

Throughout his career, McPhee has forged unlikely but rewarding partnerships around the globe, working with everyone from composer Pauline Oliveros to saxophonist Evan Parker and bassist William Parker. In the 90s, McPhee discovered two like-minded improvisers in Duval and Rosen.

Duval has been the bassist of choice for pianist Cecil Taylor for much of the last decade, while frequent cohort Rosen has stoked the fires of veterans such as Sonny Simmons and Charles Gayle.

The trio last night went with title Trio X after they premiered at New York’s Vision Festival in 1998 unnoticed by the press. The Vision Festival debut notwithstanding, the band now receives favorable notice for their recordings on the CIMP and Cadence Jazz labels, and especially for their live appearances, informed by a kind of tao of the avant-garde.

Trio X’s newest CD First Date (CjR, 2012), a recording of that 1998 Vision Festival performance, will be released at tonight’s performance.

– DB

Here is the  2012 Earshot Jazz Festival schedule

Matthew Shipp Trio

October 15th, 2012

Sunday at the SEATTLE ART MUSEUM PLESTCHEEFF AUDITORIUM Matthew Shipp Trio opened the evening. The Matthew Shipp Trio, with Mike Bisio on bass and Whit Dickey on drums, is one of the most compelling jazz trios around. Iconoclast Henry Rollins writes about longtime friend Shipp for Philadelphia’s Ars Nova Workshop: “It is listening to Matthew Shipp’s work that has always been a reminder to me that real jazz music, no matter how refined or complex it can be, relies primarily on guts.”

Here is the  2012 Earshot Jazz Festival schedule

DownBeat hailed the trio’s Art of the Improviser (Thirsty Ear, 2011) as “a monumental work that befits a musician who deserves a place of choice in the jazz piano pantheon.” Shipp and Bisio’s recent pared down duo release Floating Ice (Relative Pitch Records, 2012) received immediate praise as a “testament to their shared chemistry” (All About Jazz). Music that even further reveals the telepathic interplay in the trio – Elastic Aspects (Thirsty Ear, 2012).

Last night’s concert alternated between music from both the trio and duo recordings, with surprises along the way, emblematic of Shipp’s unique style and his successful collaborations with Bisio and Dickey.

Shipp has played piano since he was 5 years old. He studied at the New England Conservatory of Music with saxophonist Joe Maneri and cut his teeth working with saxophonists Roscoe Mitchell and David S. Ware and bassist William Parker. Shipp holds two enduring label relationships with Hatology and Thirsty Ear, where he also serves as curator and director of the label’s Blue Series.

Bisio, no stranger to Seattle audiences, invariably astounds audiences with the beauty of his tone and the intensity of his very personal musical language. As a recording artist, Bisio appears on over 60 CDs. As a composer, he has been recognized with nine project grants from various arts organizations; in 2003, he was awarded a Washington State Artist Trust Fellowship.

Dickey is a uniquely gifted drummer, perhaps best known for his collaborations with David S. Ware and Shipp. A composer as well as a drummer, Dickey has reached new heights in his music with a recent coterie of great musicians, including alto saxophonist Rob Brown. He has performed with Shipp since 1991 and continues to play and record with Roy Campbell Jr., Mat Maneri, Chris Lightcap and many others.

– DB

Here is the  2012 Earshot Jazz Festival schedule

Dave Peck Trio

October 15th, 2012

In the second offering at the Triple Door on Sunday was the Dave Peck Trio. Pacific Northwest pianist Dave Peck is known for his introspective style and lush harmonic coloring. His award-winning albums Trio, Solo, 3 and 1, Out of Seattle, Good Road and Modern Romance are radio and critical favorites. The Dave Peck Trio includes the brilliant Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame bassist Jeff Johnson, along with the Los Angeles drum standout Joe LaBarbera. Both rhythmic and romantic, the trio uses the standard repertoire as a framework for new composition and form. Their work is rich, intuitive and harmonically complex with a unique, signature sound.

Here is the  2012 Earshot Jazz Festival schedule to see what is coming up next.

Coda Magazine praises Peck as “Introspective and astute … lush and deeply attentive … warm, adept and perfectly subtle with enormous craft.” DownBeat describes his playing as “lyrical and pastel, swinging and bluesy, with a ringing crystalline touch.”

Peck has appeared on Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz, Jazz After Hours, NPR’s Jazz Alive, VH1 and CBC Television. He has performed with some of the great jazz artists of our time, including Bud Shank, Chet Baker, Joe Williams and Freddie Hubbard.

– DB

Here is the  2012 Earshot Jazz Festival schedule to see what is coming up next.

Luciana Souza Trio

October 15th, 2012

In Sunday Earshot Jazz Festival presented a slew of different shows starting with Luciana Souza Trioat the Triple Door. Brazilian-born Grammy-winner Luciana Souza teamed up with California guitarist Larry Koonse and Toronto-born multi-genre bassist David Piltch for a lovely performance.

Here is the  2012 Earshot Jazz Festival schedule to see what is coming up next.

No stranger to collaborations of this nature, vocalist Souza has worked with genre-crossing luminaries like Paul Simon, Herbie Hancock, Argentinian classical composer Osvaldo Golijov and James Taylor. Her longstanding duo work with guitarist Romero Lubambo has earned her accolades across the globe.

Her recent August releases on Sunnyside Records – The Book of Chet and Duos III – offer Souza’s personal and masterful singing in homage to Chet Baker and traditional songs from the Brazilian repertoire with three master guitarists, including Lubambo. As a leader, Souza has eight acclaimed releases, including four Grammy-nominated records. Her complete discography contains more than 50 records as a side singer. In 2005, Luciana was awarded Female Jazz Singer of the Year, by the Jazz Journalists Association.

Souza is a Berklee College of Music graduate and a master’s degree holder in jazz studies from the New England Conservatory of Music. She’s taught at the Manhattan School of Music and at Berklee. From 2005 to 2010, Souza was the Jazz Artist in Residence with the prestigious San Francisco Performances.

Hailing from São Paulo, Brazil, Souza grew up in a family of bossa nova innovators; it comes as no surprise that her work as a performer transcends traditional boundaries around musical styles.

Here is the  2012 Earshot Jazz Festival schedule to see what is coming up next.

Ab Baars & Ig Henneman

October 15th, 2012

Also from las Saturday playing at the CHAPEL PERFORMANCE SPACE was Ab Baars & Ig Henneman.

Here is the  2012 Earshot Jazz Festival schedule to see what is coming up next.

Reeds man Ab Baars and violist Ig Henneman, both long-established members of the theatrically avant-garde New Dutch Swing pantheon, bring an unmistakable playfulness to their collaborations as a musical duo. The husband-and-wife team deliver lyrical, expressive pieces that animate memories of tiptoeing down a hallway, dancing outside or hiding beneath the bed. They communicate in whispers or cries, raising their eyebrows as they gesture in musical sign language. For all of its sharp dissonances and off-kilter rhythms, their sound is like a simple game of tag.

Both Netherlands natives, Baars began saxophone in a local marching band at fifteen, Henneman started with the piano at age five before taking up violin at eleven and later viola. In their decades-long careers, their art has found a home in performances with a who’s who of European improvisers, American legends ranging from Sonic Youth to Cecil Taylor, dancers, poets and filmmakers.

Baars and Henneman’s duo remains among the handful of groups that they invest most of their time in. Meanwhile, Baars holds in Misha Mengelberg’s revered Instant Composers Pool Orchestra, Henneman plays in The Queen Mab Trio, and each leads a small group under their own name. Their music kicks and skips in a way that rattles jazz conventions; those that prefer their narratives with looser boundaries find Baars and Henneman to be a couple of real sweethearts.

– Nathan Bluford

Here is the  2012 Earshot Jazz Festival schedule to see what is coming up next.

Andy Clausen’s Wishbone

October 15th, 2012

Opening up for Danilo Perez Trio at ILLSLEY BALL NORDSTROM RECITAL HALL AT BENAROYA HALL last Saturday on the 2nd night of the Earshot Jazz Festival was Andy Clausen’s Wishbone.

Here is the  2012 Earshot Jazz Festival schedule to see what is coming up next.
omposer and trombonist Andy Clausen gained significant national attention for his music while still a student in the acclaimed Roosevelt High School Jazz Band, before moving to New York City to study at The Juilliard School in the fall of 2010. His compositions and the work of his large ensemble have been hailed by the New York Times as “sleek, dynamic large-group jazz, a whirl of dark-hued harmony and billowing rhythm … The intelligent sheen of Mr. Clausen’s writing was as striking as the composure of his peers … It was impressive, and not just by the yardstick of their age.”

Clausen’s latest recording, Wishbone Suite, on Seattle’s Table & Chairs label, features the musicians joining him tonight: clarinetist Ivan Arteaga, pianist Gus Carn, accordionist Aaron Otheim and drummer Chris Icasiano.

Featuring a wealth of musical variety and compositional elegance, Wishbone Suite is, at this moment, the perfect vehicle for showcasing Clausen’s alluring compositions and the formidable skills of his large ensemble.


Here is the  2012 Earshot Jazz Festival schedule to see what is coming up next.

Danilo Perez Trio

October 15th, 2012

On Saturday the 2012 Earshot Jazz Festival continued with the wonderful Panama-born piano virtuoso Danilo Perez who has established himself as one of the preeminent jazz musicians of his generation. Writing in the New York Times, music critic Ben Ratliff praised him as “a bold example of the musicological rethinking of jazz.”

Perez earned Grammy nominations for his recordings in 1999 and 2001 and was nominated in 2001 and 2002 by the Jazz Journalists Association for Pianist of the Year, but the pianist is perhaps best known as a member of Wayne Shorter’s quartet with John Patitucci and Brian Blade. Featured in tonight’s performance are bassist Ben Street and drummer Adam Cruz, Perez’s longtime trio-mates also at the core of Providencia, his latest CD and debut on Mack Avenue Records.

On that record, Perez says, “It was crucial to me that we highlight the trio, because there’s a vocabulary that we’ve developed over the years.” The trio has developed its own volatile dynamic, one that’s “very unpredictable,” Perez says, “leaving a lot of space for freedom, but keeping connected to some of the Latin ideas about rhythm.”

The global ensemble Perez assembled for the album, no doubt a bow to his time with the legendary Dizzy Gillespie’s United Nations Orchestra, includes Indian American saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, Lebanese American percussionist Jamey Haddad, Colombian conga player Ernesto Diaz, Portuguese vocalist Sara Serpa and a Boston-based woodwind quintet. “I wanted to have an environment where we were affected by other instruments and colors, but also completely unaffected,” he says.