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Festival-goer claims it was ‘psychologically inadvisable’ for him to hear Larry Ochs Sax and Drumming Core perform

Jazzman Larry Ochs has seen many things during 40 years playing his saxophone around the world but, until this week, nobody had ever called the police on him.

That changed on Monday night however, when’s Spain’s pistol-carrying Civil Guard police force descended on the Sigüenza Jazz festival to investigate allegations that Ochs’s music was not, well, jazz.

Police decided to investigate after an angry jazz buff complained that the Larry Ochs Sax and Drumming Core group was on the wrong side of a line dividing jazz from contemporary music.

The jazz purist claimed his doctor had warned it was “psychologically inadvisable” for him to listen to anything that could be mistaken for mere contemporary music.

According to a report in El País newspaper yesterday, the khaki-clad police officers listened to the saxophone-playing and drumming coming from the festival stage before agreeing that the purist might, indeed, have a case.

His complaint against the organisers, who refused to return his money, was duly registered and will be passed on to a judge.

“The gentleman said this was not jazz and that he wanted his money back,” said the festival director, Ricardo Checa.

“He didn’t get his money. After all, he knew exactly what group he was going to see, as their names were on the festival programme.

He added: “The question of what constitutes jazz and what does not is obviously a subjective one, but not everything is New Orleans funeral music.

“Larry Ochs plays contemporary, creative jazz. He is a fine musician and very well-renowned.”

“I thought I had seen it all,” Ochs, who reportedly suffered a momentary identity crisis, told El País. “I was obviously mistaken.”

“After this I will at least have a story to tell my grandchildren,” the California-based saxophonist added.

by Giles Tremlett

Jazz Photography by editorial photographer and photojournalist Daniel Sheehan who covers jazz performances, and  creates portrait photography for publications and corporations. He is also a Seattle Wedding Photographer at A Beautiful Day Photography,  a wedding photographer with an artistic  photojournalist style.


Evan Flory-Barnes conducts his ensemble in the premiere performance of his large chamber composition ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF A CELEBRATION at Town Hall in the final presentation of the 2009 Earshot Jazz Festival.


What a great performance by the orchestra moving through a fusion of jazz, hip-hop, and classical music, complete with modern dancers and freestyle break dancers.


The Seattle bassist and composer is excited premiering the large chamber work, a snapshot of the abundance of inspiration that can thread artistic mediums together in Seattle. The premiere of Acknowledgement of a Celebration features 35 musicians and ten dancers set to Flory-Barnes’s new compositions.
Flory-Barnes credits his University of Washington instructor Barry Lieberman and contemporary double bass player Francois Rabbath for his own technical bass skills and expressive and inspired playing.



Flory-Barnes performs with an inclusive passion and expressive intensity, as though he were completely immersed in music. He regularly brings his trio, The Teaching, to the Lucid jazz club in the University District for an open community jam and hang. The Teaching appeared in the 2008 Earshot Jazz Festival at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center.


The extraordinary, quicksilver trumpeter calls on some of New York’s finest improvisers – Tony Malaby (tenor sax), Andy Milne (piano), Ben Street (bass), and Mark Ferber (drums) – to carve out space among jazz, pop, and contemporary classical music.


Alessi is a busy educator, sideman, and bandleader. He attended the California Institute of the Arts, and he is the founder and director of the School for Improvisational Music in Brooklyn and a jazz faculty member at New York University. He’s performed alongside Uri Caine, Don Byron, Steve Coleman, and Drew Gress. The band’s self-titled release was voted one of the top ten records of 2002 by Jazz Times. The This Against That project’s second release, Look, featured guest Ravi Coltrane. Alessi’s music is crisp, warm, and layered, with astounding passages and moments of surprise in what can be epic pieces of music.


Celebrating the historic musical kinship of Quincy Jones and Ray Charles, this SRJO project focused on the body of work that yielded the pivotal recording Genius + Soul = Jazz.

The 1961 release features Count Basie’s hard-swinging big band – including Clark Terry, Roy Haynes, Thad Jones, and Fathead Newman – arrangements by Quincy Jones and Ralph Burns, plus Charles on organ and singing a couple. The remake of “One Mint Julep” on the record was a chart-topper, which understates the lasting effect of this seminal recording, a genre-busting favorite of music lovers everywhere. Ably handled by the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra – including Bill Ramsay (baritone sax), Mark Taylor (alto sax), Jay Thomas (trumpet), Thomas Marriott (trumpet), Clarence Acox (drums) – with special guest vocalist Dean Bowman, above, the performances featured guest organist Joe Doria, below,  commemorating Charles’s debut recording on Hammond B3.



November 7th, 2009


Hans Koch performs solo on bass clarinet at the Chapel Performance Space on one of the last days of the Earshot Jazz Festival 2009.

The Swiss reedman is one of the most fearless improvisers in music. He was a delight to see and hear. Talk about circular breathing, he was one of the best I have seen.

Koch left his career as a classical clarinetist and has worked since with Fred Frith, Cecil Taylor, and Andrew Cyrille. He’s scored radio plays and films and is also known to extend explorations of his own musical sound on electronics in addition to reeds.


November 7th, 2009


Earshot Jazz presented John Abercrombie, Anthony Pincotti (drums), Drew Gress (bass), and Mark Feldman (violin) at the Triple Door.

“One of the most renowned and influential guitarists of his generation continues to amaze audiences the world over with understated and harmonically rich playing. His celebrated quartet features Drew Gress (bass), Mark Feldman (violin), and Anthony Pincotti (drums).

Abercrombie has experimented with guitar in the jazz tradition for more than 40 years, on nearly 50 albums. His extensive ECM catalog includes the essential-to-the-home-jazz-library Gateway trio records, with Jack DeJohnette and Dave Holland. They encored their 1975 and 1978 releases withHomecoming (1995) and In the Moment(1996).

Today, Abercrombie extends the textures of that ECM vibe with Feldman on violin and Gress’s warmth on bass. “I’d like people to perceive me as having a direct connection to the history of jazz guitar, while expanding some musical boundaries,” Abercrombie says. The quartet’s free melodic sound and Abercrombie’s extensive contributions to the jazz firmament delivers just that expansion and connection.


November 7th, 2009

Reggie Workman, Oliver Lake and Andrew Cyrille make up Trio 3

Earshot Jazz Festival presented a magnificent trio on stage at Poncho Hall, Cornish College tonight. Trio 3 was everything I expected, and more.
“Three all-time giants of jazz – Andrew Cyrille (drums), Reggie Workman (bass), and Oliver Lake (saxophones) – form one of the most dynamic and exciting small groups performing today. They navigate explosive performances with a shared understanding of the power of improvisation.

Born in 1939 Brooklyn, Cyrille extended to the avant-garde with a near decade-long association with Cecil Taylor in the sixties, drum duos with Milford Graves and other percussion groups, and collaborations that include Peter Brotzmann, William Parker, and Marilyn Crispell. Oliver Lake’s talents extend into multiple mediums. A poet, painter, and performance artist, Lake makes his home in this trio on saxophone. Lake is co-founder of the World Saxophone Quartet and the multi-disciplined collective Black Artists Group in St. Louis. Reggie Workman’s legacy perhaps needs no enumeration here. The all-star bassist features with some of the greatest musicians in jazz, from John Coltrane to Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers to Sam Rivers and Andrew Hill. He teaches at the New School in New York.


November 5th, 2009


Canadian-born pianist Kris Davis, a vital voice on the contemporary New York City scene, presented her Stone Trio, featuring composer and drummer Tyshawn Sorey and saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock Thursday night at Tula’s as part of the Earshot Jazz Festival. This was a surprisingly good trio. The music took awhile to get to me but then I was drawn in did not want it to stop. I wish I could have stayed for the second set but I needed to get back and post these photos. Hope they return to Seattle soon.


Davis’s music is winding and darkly energetic – an original voice. Her music is a mix of labyrinthine rhythms and melodic touches. Davis is a thoughtful composer with an ear toward the full realization of her music through cooperative group dynamics. Davis studied classical piano through the Royal Conservatory of Music, attended the Banff Centre for the Arts jazz program in 1997 and 2000, and continued studies on composition and extended piano techniques in New York City and Paris through grants from the Canada Council. Recent releases The Slightest Shift (2006) and Lifespan (2004) features Davis with saxophonist Tony Malaby, bassist Eivind Opsvik, and drummer Jeff Davis.


Ingrid Laubrock


Tyshawn Sorey

Soloist Carla Kihlstedt (violin) and the Odeonquartet, a world-renowned chamber group featuring Seattle Symphony musicians, perform Wayne Horvitz’s new chamber-music work, These Hills of Glory

Pianist Cristina Valdes performs the world premier of Wayne Horvitz’s For Piano Alone in Four Parts


The Odeon Quartet consisting of Gennady Fillmonov,  violin, Artur Girsky,violin, Heather Bentley, viola, and Helene Ferret, cello, perform the world premier of Robin Holcomb’s Carry Over


Wayne Horvitz joins the Odeon Quartet and Carla Kihistedt on  stage at the end of the performance of These Hills of Glory

Greg Williamson directing the ensemble on stage at the Triple Door Wednesday night as Earshot Jazz Festival continues.


Greg Williamson’s 16-piece group re-imagined the music of the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific (A-Y-P) Exhibition – Seattle’s first World’s Fair.

In an wonderful and fanciful presentation with photos projected behind them, the ensemble presented pieces performed at and written especially for the exhibition (re-interpreted for a modern jazz orchestra), complete with period instruments and costumes and large-screen projections of photographs from the exhibition. Directed by Greg Williamson, the ensemble featured terrific ensembles and solos from the Pony Boy All-Star Big Band. The performance consisted of works by such 1909 hitmakers as John Philip Sousa, Rossini, D.N. Innes, and E.E. Bagley, in addition to original pieces and morphings of works by more recent composers such as Duke Ellington and Quincy Jones.

Greg Williamson, drummer, percussionist and composer, has toured as a member of the swinging big bands of Woody Herman, Glenn Miller, and Harry James. He has also performed with Seattle’s own and widely renowned vocalist Ernestine Anderson since 1991, presently acting as her musical director. For many years he has led his own groups, ranging from Greg Williamson Quartet to the Pony Boy All-Star Big Band. In 1994, he founded Pony Boy Records, which has produced 40 releases, as well as the annual Pony Boy Records Jazz Picnic, and the weekly series Jazz & Sushi.