Entries tagged with “Joshua White”.


My monthly list of recommended CDs, as published in The New York City Jazz Record, June 2014:

Jeff Denson & Joshua White, I’ll Fly Away (pfMENTUM)

John Ellis & Andy Bragen, MOBRO (Parade Light)

Orrin Evans’ Captain Black Big Band, Mother’s Touch (Posi-Tone)

Ideal Bread, Beating the Teens: Songs of Steve Lacy (Cuneiform)

Anne Mette Iversen’s Double Life, So Many Roads (BJU)

Yosvany Terry, New Throned King (5Passion)

From the March 2012 issue of The New York City Jazz Record:

When bassist Ben Allison dedicated his Zankel Hall concert (Feb. 3) to New York City as a whole, he was glancing back at all the chameleonic work he’s done in town: music that has involved top jazz improvisers as well as figures like Joey Arias, the performance artist and drag queen. Arias joined Allison’s sextet onstage, in fact, and seemed less out of place than you’d think next to guitarists Steve Cardenas and Brandon Seabrook, saxophonist Michael Blake, drummer Rudy Royston and percussionist Rogerio Boccato. Spicing up the evening with costume changes and an outrageous flair, Arias was relegated to eye candy at times, adding a bit of interpretive dance to Allison’s crushing jazz-rock encore “Man Size Safe.” But he sang with panache on Allison’s eerie new composition “DAVE” (“digital awareness vector emulator”) and joined forces with Seabrook to create wild sonic effects on “Broken.” Blake switched between tenor, soprano and clarinet and often functioned as a unit with Cardenas, doubling or harmonizing melodies while Seabrook conjured fuzztone roars (on the bright 7/8 “Platypus”) and unexpected timbres on the banjo (on “Fred”). On “Roll Credits,” the funky 5/4 opener, Allison paired the guitars for big, unison-voiced arpeggios that rang through the hall. But even when the volume was high, the orchestrations were endlessly subtle. And “Green Al,” which people went away humming, emphasized another of Allison’s best qualities: the spirit of song. (David R. Adler)

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Having placed second in the 2011 Thelonious Monk Competition, pianist Joshua White was also the second to appear in the Tribeca Performing Arts Center’s annual “Monk In Motion” finalists’ showcase (Feb. 11). Kris Bowers, the winner, had appeared two weeks prior with a sextet including guest vocalists and a strong R&B element. Emmet Cohen would follow with a quartet (featuring Brian Lynch) a week later. White, from San Diego, assembled a top-tier New York band for the occasion with saxophonist Marcus Strickland, bassist Doug Weiss and drummer Adam Cruz. Opening with a trio rendition of “Yesterdays,” he combined dense “energy” playing with fast, in-the-pocket swing of a Tyner-esque stripe. Strickland joined on tenor for the lyrical original “A Million Days,” but White again gave reign to avant-garde impulses with a solo piano reading of “Skylark” — even if his harsh clustered chords led to a tranquil melody statement in the end. There were two large-canvas medleys as well: Wayne Shorter’s “Someplace Called ‘Where’,” originally an overproduced feature for Dianne Reeves on Joy Ryder, became a scaled-down duet for piano and soprano sax, easing into a heavily reworked “Tutu.” Later, the Beatles’ “And I Love Her” segued into Coltrane’s “Mr. Syms,” with similar liberties taken. The band nailed it all. And White harnessed a wide range of sounds into something his own. He’ll integrate his influences even more effectively as he gains seasoning. (DA)