Howard is on the scene at The Triple Door, Egan’s and more …

Posted 11 March, 2013 in Howard - Comments Off comments

by Howard Londner

Mar 6, 2013 – Jargon
The Triple Door Musicquarium
Bryan Smith – alto sax
Gregg Belisle-Chi – guitar
Carmen Rothwell – double bass
Max Wood – drums

All original songs by Bryan Smith and Gregg Belisle-Chi. All of them good. A couple of them could swing a little more. On solos Mr Belisle-Chi’s guitar was a little too loud. Otherwise he demonstrated the kind of excellence we can expect from him. Bryan Smith also played very good. Excellent solos. Ms Rothwell played good. Had one really outstanding solo. She does need to step up more, play with more audacity, especially while accompanying, drive those cats! Mr Wood also played good, with good solos. I sense Max needs to have more fun. He seems to intense.

There were many distractions to the musicians tonight, that I hope to write about in more detail at a later date. Playing and listening isn’t neurosurgery, still, distractions have to effect you. I would say this band plays a thoughtful kind jazz, yet not pathetically serious. They will be playing at the Royal Room April 1 with Christian Pincock’s band. Check it out and you tell me.

The Seamonster Lounge –  Jacque Willis Presents…
Jacque Willis – vibes, keytar
Kate Olson – soprano sax
Paul Fischer – guitar
Geoff Harper – double bass
Byron Vannoy – drums

Only caught the last half of the last set. Good Music. Fusion. Good solos by everyone except Byron who didn’t take one. Jacque rotates different people the first Wednesday of each month at the Seamonster.

Mar 7, 2013 – Jacob Zimmerman Quintet
Egan’s Ballard Jam House
Jacob Zimmerman – alto sax
Ray Larsen – trumpet
Gus Carns – piano
Mark Hunter – double bass
John Bishop – drums

This band was a real treat, playing Bebop era songs. Jacob Zimmerman,  Racer Sessions kid, showed his dexterity in different genres, and also how good an alto player he is. Good tone, vocabulary, and solos. Ray Larsen played powerfully, yet didn’t overwhelm the small room. Great crowd pleasing solos. Gus Carns brought an off beat bent to these traditional Bebop tunes with some crazy chords and intervals. John Bishop played well. Good solos. Mark Hunter was very impressive. Good solos, and his swinging bass lines
kept the rhythm section on course between the two independent styles of Mr Bishop and Mr Carns. (more…)

Howard Londner is on the scene …

Posted 7 March, 2013 in Howard - Comments Off comments

Note: In a previous review I spelled Mr Chad McCollough’s name incorrectly. Sorry, Chad. Chad will be at Hiroshi’s  Mar 15.

Feb 28, 2013 – Barca
Adam Kessler – drums
Phil Sparks – double bass
Victor Noriega – keys

The only thing I didn’t care for at this gig was the tone of Mr Noriega’s keyboard. His playing was very good. He spends most  of his time between NY and Vancouver, BC. He’ll be at the Royal Room to play with Chris Stover Mar 26.

Mr Sparks was playing great as usual. Mr Kessler played better than I’ve ever heard him.

The harmonies were good. Not sweet like Brahms. Together, yet coarse.

Sitting in for a couple of tunes each were Brad Gibson, drums, Evan Flory-Barnes, bass, and Greg   Schroeder, trombone. Everyone played very good, with some exceptional notes from Mr Schroeder, who will be at Hiroshi’s Mar 8. A very, very good night. A lot of fun.

Mar 1, 2013 – Latona Pub
Victor Noriega – keys
Phil Sparks – double bass
Abe Lagrimas, Jr – drums

Tonight the keyboard sounded more like a piano, more enjoyable. Mr Noriega and Mr Sparks both played very good. Mr Lagrimas is a Hawaiian kid who moved to LA about 2007. He was up here visiting family and probably needed some pocket change. He’s a good drummer. Check him out online, and maybe you can catch him next time he’s up here, or if you’re down in LA.

This is Phil’s gig. Every Friday evening five to seven.  He rotates different people to play with him. Sometimes, people sit in. Tonight Darian Asplund added his tenor sax for one song. He sounded fine. (more…)

Full House: 3 Mondays and 2 Sundays

Posted 4 March, 2013 in Howard - Comments Off comments

On The Scene with Howard LonderON THE SCENE WITH HOWARD LONDNER … AT THE ROYAL ROOM AND THE TRIPLE DOOR

All shows at The Royal Room except where noted.

The Royal Room Collective Music Ensemble – Jan 21, 2013
Eric Eagle – drums
Geoff Harper – double bass
Tim Kennedy – piano (1, refers to the night present)
Ryan Burns – piano (2,3)
Al Keith – trumpet
Samantha Boshnack – trumpet
Chad McCullugh – trumpet
Naomi Seigel – trombone
Jacob Herring – trombone (1,2,)
Steve Moore – trombone
Beth Fleener – clarinet
Kate Olson – soprano sax
Jacob Zimmerman – alto sax (1,2)
Craig Flory – tenor sax (1,3)
Greg Sinibaldi – baritone sax (1,3)
Wayne Horvitz – conductor, composer, arranger

I don’t know if Mr Horvitz wrote or arranged any of these songs. I can’t remember hearing any of them before, that is my assumption. Mr Horvitz is involved in a lot of projects, almost all good, and
this one of the better ones.

Check out this line up of musicians. On a par with WACO. Some of these folks play in both bands. A note about some of the players; Eric Eagle – Steady cat. Good drummer. Geoff Harper – An excellent bass player.
Tim Kennedy and Ryan Burns – Both good performers. Al Keith – One of those cats that unfortunately  people don’t know enough about. A really, really good musician. Chad McCullugh – One of the more melodic trumpet players around. Jacob Zimmerman – A good alto player. Craig Flory – An excellent, versatile musician. Plays great tenor, as well as other reeds and woodwinds. Greg Sinibaldi – Good baritone player. Also a mean tenor. He also composes  in twelve tone formulas, and that can be reflected from time to time in his solos. Beth Fleener, Samantha Boshnack, Naomi Seigel, Kate Olson – These ladies are
always a pleasure to listen to.

(more…)

Review: Three Tuesday at The Owl ‘n Thistle

Posted 1 March, 2013 in Howard - Comments Off comments

On The Scene with Howard LonderON THE SCENE WITH HOWARD LONDNER

Jan, 22, 2013
Eric Verlinde – keys
Jose Martinez – drums
Tom Marriott – trumpet
Clipper Anderson – double bass

These guys were a lot of fun to listen to. They all played great. Jose Martinez plays so fast, with such an intense high energy (and he looks so comfortable doing it) it’s incredible. If you could bottle and utilize his energy a lot of oil rich countries would have to get a job.

Clipper Anderson, usually backing up the great Greta Matassa, I believe hasn’t really received the respect he deserves as the great bass player he is. He played outstanding. His bass sounded vigorous, filling up the joint, each note seemed like a statement, quick, interesting, exciting.

The last tune the house band played, “Solar”, was an event by itself. They were so tight, yet playing at different sounding melodies. Wow! Crazy!

(more…)

Two Saturdays at Boxley’s in North Bend

Posted 28 February, 2013 in Howard - Comments Off comments

ON THE SCENE WITH HOWARD LONDNER

boxleys-sidewalk

Boxley’s is a vanguard for jazz in the village of North Bend. It’s owner, Danny Kolke, leads a trio on Sunday nights. On Wednesday nights the local middle and high schoolers perform, The Future Jazzheads.  Never a cover. Good food, good drinks, friendly and attentive staff. Danny always wants you to have a good dinner and hear great music.

Feb 9, 2013 – The Diana Page Quartet
Diana Page – vocals
Darin Clendenin – piano
Nate Parker – double bass
Greg Williamson – drums

This quartet played two sets. The only things I disliked was the balance the first set, it was hard to hear the vocals, and Ms Page didn’t do any scat singing. What I like about scat singing is it frees the singer up, allows him or her to improvise outside the lyrics, and then they can really show their stuff. The more a singer does it, the more I like it.

I once heard another vocalist in the Seattle area describe Ms Page’s singing and presentation as “charming”. She is my second favorite singer in the Northwest after Johnaye Kendrick. Her voice is beautiful. Very lyrical, a high range. I’ve heard her sing “Body and Soul” before in a more traditional mournful sort of way.  Tonight she picked up the tempo and put a little edge on it. Cool. Which one do I like better? I don’t know, both great in their own way. Next song, “Bye bye Blackbird” also had some edge thrown in. Cool again.

Darin Clendenin played good. Good solos, and accompanied Diana beautifully. Nate Parker is a real steady cat. His bass is big and bold. His solos are like a pitcher throwing a bunch of well located fastballs, and then, a breaking ball, just enough to keep it interesting, making sure you better pay attention. Greg  Williamson was on the money as usual, really good fills. (more…)

Review: Cornish Contemporary Big Band / WACO at The Royal Room

Posted 25 February, 2013 in Howard - Comments Off comments

On The Scene with Howard LonderONE THE SCENE WITH HOWARD LONDNER

Note: In an earlier review I misspelled Kate Olson’s and Samantha Boshnack’s names. My apologies ladies.

Live Review:
The Cornish Contemporary Big Band
The Washington Composers Orchestra (WACO)
at The Royal Room, Jan 20, 2013

The Cornish Contemporary Big Band
Tom Varner – french horn, conductor, instructor
Kyle Doran – drums
Josh Cobian – bass
Jackie Sandberg – piano
Shohei Ogami – electric guitar
Eric Duburry – trumpet
Huley Freedlund – trombone
Andrew Coulter – trombone
Alex Huber – alto sax
Michael Conklin – tenor sax
Chris Thorne – tenor sax
Mattius Leino – baritone sax

When you hear the name Cornish, you know you’re going to get quality in the arts. And this band is no exception. A credit to Mr. Varner, who has been leading the band for only this school year, and his talented, dedicated students. They were really tight. They played a really good book, including Wayne Horvitz and Tom Varner songs.

I was especially impressed with Jackie Sandberg, Shohei Ogami, and Michael Conklin. Their solos were intricate, yet fluid. Exciting. This band played one set.

The Washington Composers Orchestra (WACO)
Wayne Horvitz – conductor, piano
Robin Holcomb – conductor, piano
Tom Varner – french horn
Greg Sinibaldi – tenor sax (chair is usually Eric Barber)
Mark Taylor – alto sax, flute
Steve Treseler – alto sax, clarinet
Stuart MacDonald – tenor sax
Jim Dejoie – baritone sax
Thomas Marriott – trumpet
Steve O’Brien – trumpet (chair is usually Al Keith)
Samantha Boshnack – trumpet
David Marriott – trombone
Nelson Bell – bass trombone
Chuck Deardorf – double bass (chair is usually Phil Sparks)
Greg Campbell – drums

This is my favorite big band in the PNW. Most songs are either original compositions and/or arrangements by Ms Holcomb, or Mr Horvitz, or Mr. Varner. Except for the last tune of the night, the end of the second set, “Don’t Stop Now”, where the band seemed a little disjointed, that is, not really playing all together, the band sounded better than ever! I mean check out the line-up! These musicians are great! Even when they make mistakes, when they don’t sound good, they don’t sound bad. You can bet your money on this band. Like there’s only one thoroughbred racing shetland ponies. Easy money.

The compositions and arrangements sound a lot like Mingus and sometimes like 20th century composers like maybe Kurt Weill, maybe Bartok, maybe
Messiaen. Sometimes it swings, I mean really swings! Sometimes it tugs at your mind and soul. Real eclectic.

A few members of the band I would like to write about tonight’s performance. Chuck Deardorf played great tonight as whenever I’ve heard him play. Interesting bass lines, dynamic solos, the bass has a full sound, every note clear as crystal. Samantha Boshnack took the very best solo I ever heard her play tonight. Jim Dejoie plays bari sax as good or better than anyone I’ve heard in this state, and he was on the money again tonight.

The band usually plays once a month at the Royal Room. I heard they will be taking a break until the first Sunday in April. Check the Royal Room calender and make sure you see this band. I mean, c’mon, whaddaya gonna do … bet on a pony?!

Thanks to all the musicians and composers/arrangers, thanks for reading, and I’ll be seeing you around.

Review: Cry and Roar Night 1

Posted 24 February, 2013 in Howard - Comments Off comments

On The Scene with Howard LonderON THE SCENE WITH HOWARD LONDNER

Cry and Roar: Three year anniversary of the Racer Sessions Festival Night I

Insistent Caterpillars
Evan Woodle – drums
Cameron Sharif – keyboard
Carmen Rothwell – double bass

Of the six bands I heard over the two nights of the festival, this is the one I liked the most. These folks played outside the box without leaving the box (you try that!). What I mean is, they had a respect for musical roots, and were still looking to do new things, be different. Mr. Woodle played well as he always does. Mr Sharif also played well, and used the keyboard to get a vibes-like tone. The second tune they did reminded me of Eric Dolphy’s Out To Lunch album.

Ms Rothwell was great. I’m going to adopt that girl! Her bass was big and full, right up there with the other instruments. She needs to learn some more
vocabulary, that’ll happen, she’s young. She’ll be playing at the Triple Door Musquarium Mar 6 at 8:30 with a quartet called Jargon (no cover). Don’t believe me, check it out yourself, even for only one set.

Neil Welch’s Sleeper
Neil Welch – tenor sax
Ivan Arteaga – alto sax
Evan Smith – bass clarinet
Christian Pincock – trombone
David Balatero – cello
Natalie Hall – cello

This music wasn’t supposed to be all jingles and entertaining, Mr Welch was trying to make a statement. The music was very serious. It was played with a film showing behind and over the musicians. The music was good. Their was a moment when I thought I heard something like Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. Everyone played good, I especially liked the cello parts. Recently I saw Ms Hall play in a chamber ensemble, and she was great there too. I made the mistake of letting people get in front of me this SRO night, and as short as I am, I couldn’t see nothin’! that didn’t help my appreciation of the music.

Wand
Andrew Swanson – keyboard, guitar, vocals
Aaron Otheim – keyboard
Camreron Sharif keyboard
Abbey Blackwell – double bass
Evan Woodle – drums
Chris Icasiano – drums

These folks played well and their music was enjoyable. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I like the bass sound right up front with everyone else. Ms Blackwell, what I heard, sounded good. Good clear tones. I wish I could have heard more. The music was pretty loud. As I said it was enjoyable, after all night on my feet this cowboy was all done. I was really to whupped to dig the music. That’s really too bad, because I heard during the sound check at the beginning of the evening sounded really good!

Soon I’ll devulge to everyone the greatest title ever given a jazz song. I could tell you now, but my marketing instructor would rap my knuckles with a ruler. Thanks to all the great musicians, and thanks for reading.

{read the review of Night 2}

Review: Night 2 – Racer Sessions Cry and Roar

Posted 21 February, 2013 in Howard - Comments Off comments

On The Scene with Howard LonderON THE SCENE WITH HOWARD LONDNER

Jan 19, 2013
Cry and Roar
Racer Sessions Third Year Anniversary Festival Night II

Three bands again tonight, one set each.

Christian Pincocle’s Live Composition Ensemble
Christian Pincocle – conducting
Ivan Artega – alto sax
Jacob Zimmerman – alto sax
Evan Smith – baritone sax
Chad McCullough – trumpet
Andrew Olmstead – keyboard
Connor Apperson – percussion
Schraepfer Harvey – percussion
Don Berman – percussion

This band was my second favorite of the two nights I was at the festival. The horns played great, hitting some crazy high notes. Their solos were excellant.

Mr Olmstead was very good on keys, playing a very good solo. The three drummers were fine. They produced some pretty interesting percussion sounds.

(more…)

Review: Hardcoretet at the Triple Door

Posted 12 February, 2013 in Howard - Comments Off comments

On The Scene with Howard LonderON THE SCENE WITH HOWARD LONDNER

Jan 17, 2013
Hardcoretet at the Triple Door
Art Brown – alto sax
Aaron Otheim – keyboard
Tim Carey – electric bass
Tarik Abouzied – drums

These young men play in a jazz fusion genre. Not my favorite kind of jazz. Tarik explained it to me on the break,… Older jazz tunes the head (the A) is played, then all the solos (the B), longer solos than with fusion stuff, then the head (the A) to finish up. With fusion songs the head will be played multiple times with one solo between each time the head is played. Tarik, I hope I got it right. If not, please write in and correct me. I owe you a beer ( there you go dude, I put it in writing!).

The main thing I didn’t care for is that their harmony was too tight. I prefer a little more edginess between the bass and keyboards. Sometimes I couldn’t tell where the keyboards left off and where the bass began. Besides that I had a real good time listening to these four guys.

They played some Herbie Hancock tunes, a lot of originals, and I thought I recognized one song from a Dave Holland CD.

(more…)

Review: Ply at Cafe Racer

Posted 9 February, 2013 in Howard, Live Review - Comments Off comments

 

ON THE SCENE WITH HOWARD LONDNER

On The Scene with Howard Londer

Jan 06, 2013
The Racer Sessions, Cafe Racer

Curators:
PLY
Michael Owcharuk- keyboard
Beth Fleener – clarinet
Paul Kemmish – double bass

The compositions were a M. Owchurak gig. The music was carefully crafted.
Mr Owcharuk played ok, helping give the music a little more fullness, that is, rounding it out. Giving the sound more depth. It didn’t need much of that as Mr Kemmish and Ms Fleener owned the place.

I’ve heard PK (Paul Kemmish) play double bass before, and I wasn’t really paying a whole lot of attention. I have heard him play bass guitar, and that’s very good. Now I just want to hear him play double bass. ‘Cause, man, he sounded very, very good. One solo he took was exciting, excellent.

Ms Fleener plays clarinet like a dream. Enjoyable, with substance, drive, as beautiful art. Great tone, clear, crisp and deep as appropriate.Wonderfully expressed. If you get a chance to hear her play, do it! She writes a whole new page for clarinet.

The way they do things at the Racer Sessions… after the evening curator(s) give an initial presentation (usually btween 15 to 30 minutes) things open up for anyone to come up and play. Music starts at 8, quits at 10. After the curator it’s no holds barred. Usually one person will start playing and others will join in, completely spontaneous.

You can take this to the bank… the Racer Session is the most happening weekly gig in Seattle! These are good kids, trying to make a difference in this world, their way, with music. I hang there almost every Sunday night if I’m not at the Royal Room. Sometimes I don’t care for the music,sometimes it’s kinda disjointed. After doing it for three years, these kids are starting to really get it together and play stuff harmoniously, with a lot of pop, spirit, and excitement. The slower tunes are making more sense. Later this night Jacob Zimmerman playing alto and Neil Welch on tenor did a great wonderful duet.

Ya better get down here. ‘Cause the next round of great jazz and music in general, in Seattle, will be coming from here. And no cover, always good. Thanks to all the great musicians at the Racer, and thanks for reading.

Review: Free Funk Union at The Triple Door

Posted 28 January, 2013 in Howard, Live Review - Comments Off comments

On The Scene with Howard LonderON THE SCENE WITH HOWARD LONDNER

Free Funk Union
Evan Flory-Barnes – bass
Darrius Willrich – keyboard, vocals
D’vonne Lewis – drums

The Triple Door
Jan 14, 2013

I went see the Mr Lewis’ gig expecting to hear the great and fun jazz one usually gets from D’vonne and the cats he rotates in and out for his trios. Tonight they were playing most pop songs, and that was a big disappointment for me.

Years ago I saw Mr Lewis play with a quartet, he was driving the band, and got way out in front … and I hate when drummers do that. Since then, every time I hear D’vonne he sounds better and better. More and more brilliant. I stated in a previous review that Byron Vannoy and D’vonne remind me of favorite drummer, Ed Blackwell. Just like Mr Blackwell D’vonne has a timing that is inherently superior to most, and he never forgets where the music and drumming came from. No matter what type of music, D’vonne always brings a lot of spark, funk, soul, excitement, and fun to the party.

Review: Gregg Belisle-Chi Trio at The Triple Door

Posted 23 January, 2013 in Howard, Live Review - Comments Off comments

On The Scene with Howard LonderON THE SCENE WITH HOWARD LONDNER

Jan 10, 2013 – The Triple Door
The Gregg Belisle-Chi Trio

Gregg Belisle-Chi – guitar
Chris Symer – double bass
Evan Woodle – drums

The only problem I have with tonight’s gig was the song list for the first set (three sets total.). Too many mellow songs in a row ( when you’re old like me you want some more excitement.).

About Mr Belisle-Chi… this kid can play! He is very good. If I was all about competition like downbeat or earshot I would vote this kid as one of the up and coming superstars of the Seattle jazz scene.

While the first set was mellow, Gregg always tried to give the songs that all important emotional extra that great musicians do. The next set was great! All the songs were either more up tempo than before, or if as slow or slower than before, much more interesting. That is, most weren’t just tunes, they intricate and more complex pieces to perform and listen to. The same was almost true of the third set,  just not as much as the second.

Gregg plays with a lot of skill, always tries new ideas and techniques, always trying to present the music as artfully as possible, always striving for the listener to feel as if Gregg played this music just for him.

Evan Woodle also played great. Always good fills, solos, and accompanying the others. Mr Woodle is a racer session kid. Evan, like Gregg, have both learned all the vocabulary of their art and are writing the verses their way. Good! Because it sounds so good!

Mr Symer really had it all going on tonight. No matter if he was plucking or bowing the bass, he sounded great. His accompanying always insightful, his bass lines always interesting, often making outstanding statements, always harmonizing well, solos, killer great. Chris did more bowing than I’ve heard him do in a gig before. Sounded awesome. Hope he does more
of it.

I want to write about this one song of the second set, Ornette Coleman’s Lonely Woman. Their presentation was knock out, light’s out, everybody else can pack up their stuff and go home. It seemed as if the three (I’m not a musician and I might be getting this wrong.) were playing at different tempos, so the trio was like a polyrhythm all it’s own, everybody serving up the music a little differently, all together. Yeah, man! That’s the best kind of jazz!

Thank you Gregg, Evan, and Chris

On The Scene with Howard Londner: Three groups at The Royal Room

Posted 21 January, 2013 in Howard, Live Jazz - Comments Off comments

On The Scene with Howard LonderJanuary 13, 2013
Three Bands (or musical groups) at the Royal Room.

Storm D’Angelo’s All Star Big Band
Storm D’Angelo – tenor sax, bass clarinet
Rubin Hohlbein – trumpet
John Otten – trumpet
David Klein – baritone sax
Lise Ramaley – bass
Daniel Arthur – piano
Quinn Anex-Ries – alto sax, clarinet
Noah Halpern – trumpet
Adam Shimabakuro – guitar
Kenzo Perron – drums
Porter Jones – trombone
Logan Pendergrass – bass trombone

Some of Roosevelt High’s finest, these kids are just great!

They could be tighter (how perfect were you in high school?), so what! These kids played great, were a lot of fun.
Support the kids… they’re doing something positive!

I was especially impressed with, Mr Hohlbein, Mr Arthur, Ms Anex-Ries, and Mr Jones. If Mr Storm D’Angelo was a baseball player he’d be like Ken Griffey Jr. This kid is killer! He composes, plays great, and leads the band with a poise and grace and talent well beyond his years. You better be listening to these kids now, before they head off to NY.

This was the first band of the night, the last band was …

Nelda Swiggett Stringtet
Nelda Swigett – piano, voice, composer
Rachel Swerdlow – viola
Walter Gray – cello
Chris Symer – bass
Byron Vannoy – drums

Tonight’s performance was a tune-up for a CD they will be recording soon.

All the compositions were originals by Ms Swiggett, who played piano and sang well. All the tunes were pleasant, enjoyable.
Ms Swerdlow and Mr Gray are from the Seattle Symphony, so I’ll just shut up about them and you listen. Mr Symer played a great solo bowing (keep bowing, man, it sounds great.). Mr Vannoy and D’vonne Lewis both remind me of my favorite drummer, Ed Blackwell. Byron always has impecable time keeping, and always makes great statements concisely, that is, he doesn’t need a lot of flash and jive, he just plays the right amount of notes the right way! (Byron was my drum teacher, ’till he fired me because I was a lousy drummer and a lousier student.)

The band has a blend of third stream music with a touch of Stephan Grappelli.

The large group of musicians playing between these two bands call themselves Scrape.

Mostly classiacal folks, with jazz’s own Chris Symer on bass, and Gregg Belisle-Chi on guitar. Exquisite harmonies, interesting compositions (these aren’t quick little ditties). All of the compostions except two were by local jazz trumpeter, educator, and composer, the great Jim Knapp. If you want to hear classical music without paying the high ticket prices classical music usually charges … come see this band. A couple of drinks and a donation, and you’ll still be money ahead.

Thank you to all the musicians and composers tonight.
Thank you.

Review: Eastside Jazz Club / Owl ‘n Thistle

Posted 16 January, 2013 in Howard, Live Review - Comments Off comments

On The Scene with Howard LonderON THE SCENE WITH HOWARD LONDNER

Tom Marriott and Friends
Tom Marriott – trumpet
Mark Taylor – alto sax
Eric Verlinde – electric piano
Phil Sparks – double bass
Greg Williamson – drums

Eastside Jazz Club
Marriott Hotel, Bellevue
January 15, 2013

Started the night listening to this all-star quintet. As usual Phil Sparks was playing great bass.

Tom Marriott also played very well. His leadership was evident with the song selection,and the band’s balance. When I go to the Racer Sessions I feel like everyone’s Dad or Grandpa … Here I felt like a kid. The songs were all pretty straight ahead stuff or  recognizable ballads.

Eric Verlinde is a great piano player. As in any community or industry, some people get all the hype, some don’t enough. Unfortunately Eric may be in the latter category, not that others don’t deserve what they get (and some don’t), I just believe Mr Verlinde deserves more. He played some solos that really wowed the crowd.

Mark Taylor is a special musician. His is a unique, great tone. His presentation is mature, professional, thoughtful, and honest. He KO’ed everyone on “body and soul” during the second set.

(more…)

Review: Eastlake Trio at Hiroshi’s

Posted 15 January, 2013 in Howard, Live Review - Comments Off comments

On The Scene with Howard LonderON THE SCENE WITH HOWARD LONDNER

Magic Jazz…
The Tom Marriott Trio
Tom Marriott – trumpet
Phil Sparks – double bass
Greg Williamson – drums

becomes The Eastlake Trio
Tom Marriott – trumpet
Phil Sparks – double bass
Bill Anschell – electric piano

Originally Greg Williamson was to play drums. He was ill, and replaced with Bill Anschell.

Hiroshi’s
2501 Eastlake Avenue East
Seattle, WA 98102
(206) 726-4966

Being the elite, professionals that the are, the transition from one trio to the other was not a problem. The set lists were enjoyable, and the balance of the different instruments was very good.

Bill Anschell is one of my favorite pianists in the PNW. Always a pleasure, always comps his band mates appropriately, energetically, always solos well. Helped keep time for Mr Sparks when he took a solo. Always a professional, always very good.

One may think, ok, who’s going to keep time without a drummer. A lot of people listen to the drums, as do some horn players. A lot of drummers will tell you they listen to the bass. Phil Sparks, the swing maestro, had everything under control. Good solos, good swinging base lines, making it easy for the others to hear him and dig the time… the cat shoulda got paid double.

Hiroshi’s is a restaurant, not a jazz joint. Tom Marriot was considerate of the patrons who came to eat not listen. He showed what a master of the dynamics he is. And it’s harder to play trumpet that way, having to control your breathe and chops like that. That was no problem for Mr Marriott, always a great musician. there’s a reason why he’s so well respected around here. I hope he considers playing cornet.

Thanks Tom, Phil, Bill.
Thank you.

Review: Analog Honking Device at The Chapel

Posted 14 January, 2013 in Howard, Live Review - Comments Off comments

On The Scene with Howard LonderON THE SCENE WITH HOWARD LONDNER

Analog Honking Device
Cynthia Mullis – tenor sax
Brent Jensen – soprano sax
Steve Kim – electric bass
Chris Symer – acoustic bass
Chris Icasiano – drums

presented by:
Wayward Music Series
Chapel Performance Space

Let’s begin by thanking the Wayward Music Series for presenting this fine concert, other past performances, and music that will be forthcoming.

Also, if anyone knows of another venue, or hall, or space that regularly has jazz, and has better acoustics, and depth and definition for the performer’s instruments in the PNW, please tell me about it.

The harshest criticisms I can make about tonight concert are that Mr. Kim was sometimes too loud during his solos, and that the band played the Girl from Ipanema … I hate that tune!  Otherwise, this concert was just GREAT!

There was a set list, Monk tunes, etc.The thing is, the band would start playing the head, their way, still very recognizable, and go from there. It was free, and it had swing. This music was free, and didn’t disrespect itself or where it came from.

The harmonies were incredible. Ms. Mullis and Mr. Jensen had some fantastic harmony going on. Brent, how do you get such a big full sound out of that little horn? Steve Kim and Cynthia also had some good melodic harmony happening.

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Review: Collabrations at The Chapel

Posted 8 January, 2013 in Howard, Live Review, Seattle Jazz - Comments Off comments

On The Scene with Howard LonderONE THE SCENE WITH HOWARD LONDNER

Collaborations:
Briggan Krauss – alto sax
Wayne Horvitz – electronics and electronic keyboards
Robin Holcomb – piano and voice
Peggy Lee – cello
Dylan Van Der Schyff – percussion

January 05,2013
Wayward Music Series
The Chapel Performance Space

Wayne, I enjoy when you play hammond B3 or piano, and I like a lot of the things you write, I’m sorry Man, I have a lot of trouble with electronics. And since I don’t like to watch tennis, my opinion of a match wouldn’t be any good, so I’m not going to say anything about the electronic end of the gig.

That, and I thought some songs ended too abruptly, should have stretched out further are the only things I didn’t care for…

Overall I think the music was either very good, or very excellant. The first part the ladies, Ms Holcomb and Ms Lee performed. Second part, only the gentlemen, Mr Krauss, Mr Horvitz, and Mr Van Der Schyff. The third and final part all five played together.

Someone told me once that Berg, the modern classical composer was erasing some of a composition students’ notes on the sheet music.When the student asked why he was doing that, Berg replied that the silence between the notes were as important as the notes themselves. I think Ms Holcomb has a pretty good handle on that. She and Ms Lee had the right amount of harmony and disharmony. I also thought there was some classical style impressionism involved. They did about six or seven songs (I don’t remember exactly. ) and Robin sang on about half of them. She has a nice pleasant voice. Both ladies are excellant musicians.

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