Photos: Thomas Marriott’s Urban Folklore at The Royal Room

Posted 19 September, 2013 in Live Review, Photos - Comments Off comments

Photos by Jim Levitt

Trumpeter Thomas Marriott's Urban Folklore performs at the Royal Room, the night before heading in to the studio to record.

Trumpeter Thomas Marriott premiered the evening-length work Urban Folklore at The Royal Room on Wednesday, October 18. He was joined by Orrin Evans (piano), Eric Revis (bass) and Donald Edwards (drums). The group is in the studio today recording.

Trumpeter Thomas Marriott's Urban Folklore performs at the Royal Room, the night before heading in to the studio to record.

Trumpeter Thomas Marriott's Urban Folklore performs at the Royal Room, the night before heading in to the studio to record.

Trumpeter Thomas Marriott's Urban Folklore performs at the Royal Room, the night before heading in to the studio to record.

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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

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.

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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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380-synthesis
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