Entries tagged with “Philadelphia Weekly”.


In the current issue of Philadelphia Weekly:

Surface to Air
Sun., July 15, 8pm. $7. With Rake, Nick Millevoi. Café Clave, 4305 Locust St. 215.386.3436 www.riprig.com

There’s serenity but also a restless spark in the music of Surface to Air. Jonathan Golberger’s acoustic guitar and Jonti Siman’s upright bass give a hint of stripped-down folk and jazz. Rohin Khemani’s tabla and percussion bring an energized North Indian element, pushing the trio into open improvised terrain. The eponymous debut is mostly original, but even the cover of “Heysátan” by Sigur Rós and the theme from Blood Simple end up sounding like originals. At the new underground music series Rip Rig (first and third Sundays), they’ll share a bill with local six- and 12-string guitar maverick Nick Millevoi and the duo Rake (Ryan A. Miller, Jake Nussbaum). — David R. Adler

In the new issue of Philadelphia Weekly

Little Worlds
Sat., July 7, 8pm. $5. With The Horrible Department. Highwire Gallery, 2040 Frankford Ave. 215.426.2685 www.museumfire.com/events

Guitarist Ryan Mackstaller, trombonist Rick Parker and drummer Tim Kuhl are the Brooklyn-based Little Worlds, and they’re making a series of EPs focusing on Béla Bartók’s Mikrokosmos. (Book Two is out soon.) Composed for piano as a teaching tool, Mikrokosmos is no mere exercise: it stands up as a 153-part masterpiece, comparable in some ways to Bach’s Goldberg Variations, with section titles like “Triplets in Lydian Mode” and “Two Major Pentachords.” Little Worlds expands the palette for three instruments plus electronics, recasting Bartók in a distinctly noir-ish experimental vein and drawing on jazz/classical precedents that go back decades. West Philly’s The Horrible Department, a theatrical, accordion-fueled troupe, shares the bill. — David R. Adler

Furthur
Sat., July 7, 7:30pm. $34.50-$59.50. Mann Center, 5201 Parkside Ave. 215.546.7900 www.manncenter.org

Given that late-era Grateful Dead was a rickety, frequently out-of-tune machine, Furthur (named after a legendary Ken Kesey tour bus) is arguably a better representation of the band and its legacy. Founding icons Phil Lesh and Bob Weir, plus newer recruits, have found a way to keep the Dead’s repertoire afloat, and why not. Say what you will about the late Jerry Garcia and his tie-dyed minions, but the Dead is a piece of cultural history, the musical link between hippiedom and the earlier Beat Generation. Their epic, country-jazzy improv spawned an entire genre, and they’ve still got something a lot of “jam bands” lack: songwriting genius. — David R. Adler

In the new issue of Philadelphia Weekly:

Erik Deutsch
Sun., June 3, 9pm. $10. World Café Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400 www.worldcafelive.com

There’s much to live up to when you title your new album Demonio Teclado, or “demon keyboard.” But Erik Deutsch, on the piano, Rhodes, organ and other teclados, has all the requisite skills. The former Coloradan and current Brooklynite is prized in groove-jazz and pop circles, with sideman stints ranging from Charlie Hunter to Shooter Jennings (son of Waylon). His 2007 debut Fingerprint was a marvel, combining modern jazz and hints of acoustic Americana. The 2009 follow-up Hush Money was more electric, in line with Deutsch’s rootsy instrumental rock leanings. His new originals, varied in mood, dovetail with tasty covers of Ike Turner and Neil Young. — David R. Adler

My Critic’s Pick about the event, in the new Philadelphia Weekly. Plenty more info here.

In the new issue of Philadelphia Weekly:

Steve Lehman Trio
Sun., Apr. 15, 8pm. Free. The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St. 215.573.3234 www.arsnovaworkshop.org

Steve Lehman came to town last year and performed his “Nos Revi Nella” for alto sax and string quartet. That’s backwards for Allen Iverson — a man Lehman sees not just as a point guard but a great “spatial improviser.” Basketball as music? It makes sense when one hears Lehman’s skewed abstract rhythm and surging forward momentum, well captured on his 2009 octet disc Travail, Transformation and Flow. On his new Dialect Fluorescent, Lehman pares down to trio and deconstructs music by Coltrane, Duke Pearson and Jackie McLean, in addition to his own. Bassist Chris Tordini subs for Matt Brewer on what will be a flame-throwing album release gig. — David R. Adler

In the new issue of Philadelphia Weekly:

Scallion/Ember Schrag/Susan Alcorn
Thu., Apr. 5, 7:30pm. $6. Highwire Gallery, 2040 Frankford Ave. 215.426.2685 www.museumfire.com/events

Philly’s Darian Scatton, singer/multi-instrumentalist and founder of the tiny Edible Onion label, records under the name Scallion and makes absorbing, vulnerable music full of hazy tempos and textures. He shares this bill with labelmate Ember Schrag, a Nebraska-born singer/guitarist with a darker, folkier acoustic bent. Joining in, from Baltimore, is Susan Alcorn, whose 2006 title And I Await the Resurrection of the Pedal Steel Guitar sums up her project — bringing the pedal steel beyond its genre of origin and into the arena of improvised and experimental music. She’s done inspired solo work and collaborations with such fellow adventurers as Eugene Chadbourne, Joe McPhee and Andrea Parkins. — David R. Adler

Paco De Lucía
Tue., Apr. 10, 8pm. $35-$67. Kimmel Center, 260 South Broad St. 215.731.3333 www.kimmelcenter.org

In the early ’80s, flamenco guitar master Paco de Lucía teamed up with fellow acoustic shredders John McLaughlin and Al DiMeola to make Friday Night in San Francisco and Passion, Grace & Fire — albums that melted the brains of American jazz guitar geeks. But de Lucía has proven a timeless artist, an innovator who has brought traditional flamenco into contact with jazz and other modern sounds. His taut rhythms and lightning staccato solo runs are instantly recognizable, and richly documented on his new two-disc release En Vivo: Conciertos Live in Spain 2010. His troupe in Philly will include keyboard, bass, percussion, two vocalists and a young dancer named Farruco. — David R. Adler

In the new issue of Philadelphia Weekly:

Frank Wess Quintet
Sat., Mar. 24, 8pm. $25. Chris’ Jazz Café, 1421 Sansom St. 215.568.3131 www.chrisjazzcafe.com

Philly saxophonists know where they’ll be this weekend: hearing 90-year-old Kansas City native Frank Wess, who made his greatest mark with Count Basie’s “New Testament” band from 1953 to 1964. With his flute — just as imposing as his tenor — Wess gave a distinctive sparkle to Neal Hefti’s classic Basie arrangements, helping to carve out a future for postwar big bands on such albums as April In Paris, Atomic Basie and Chairman of the Board. Recent collabs with Hank Jones, Paul Meyers and others show he can still invent blues-drenched melodies for miles. His A-list quintet will feature pianist George Cables, guitarist Roni Ben-Hur, bassist Santi Debriano and drummer Victor Lewis. — David R. Adler

In the new Philadelphia Weekly:

Alexis Cuadrado’s Noneto Ibérico
Sat., Mar. 3, 8pm. $25 ($30 day of show). Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine St. 215.925.9914 www.paintedbride.org

A Barcelona native and longtime New Yorker, bassist Alexis Cuadrado has been documenting quality work since 2001. But he outdid himself in 2011 with Noneto Ibérico, his second for the Brooklyn Jazz Underground label, bringing jazz and flamenco together in a way that was rigorous, authentic and fresh. He wrote new tunes but adhered to traditional forms such as bulerías, soleá and fandango, adding palmas (handclaps) and jaleos (hollers) for good measure. Best of all, he got a smoking nine-piece band to play it all. This week he’ll have saxophonists Jon Gordon and Loren Stillman, trombonist Alan Ferber, guitarist Brad Shepik, pianist Robert Rodriguez and other monsters in the house. — David R. Adler

In the new Philadelphia Weekly:

Tigran
Sat., Feb. 25, 8pm. $20. Chris’ Jazz Café, 1421 Sansom St. 215.568.3131 www.chrisjazzcafe.com

A native of Armenia, pianist Tigran Hamasyan has traveled far — literally and musically — in his 24 short years. Since coming to the U.S., he’s won the prestigious Monk Competition (in 2006) and drawn deserved praise for his records World Passion, New Era, Red Hail, the solo piano opus A Fable and most recently the vinyl-and-download-only EP No. 1. Tigran’s muse leads him into dark meditations but also go-for-the-throat modern jazz. He’s got a harder-rocking side as well, and a gift for bringing Armenian folk melodies into new improvised contexts. He’ll arrive in Philly with a quintet featuring saxophonist Ben Wendel and drummer Nate Wood, both of Kneebody fame. — David R. Adler

Norman David and the Eleventet
Mon., Feb. 27, 7pm. $8. Plays and Players Theater, 1714 Delancey St. 215.735.0630 www.playsandplayers.org

Three things are clear from spinning At This Time, the 2011 release from Norman David’s Eleventet. One, David writes beautifully, with a unique if underexposed voice in the field of modern jazz composition. Two, David knows exactly what ensemble — a “little big band” if you will — can bring out the swing and subtlety in his music. Three, David plays fierce soprano saxophone, holding up strong next to Dick Oatts, George Garzone and other world-class figures. A Montreal native, David’s been at in the Philly area since 1989, and he’s in the midst of a residency playing album cuts and new music with a fine local lineup. — David R. Adler

Egg on my face for not posting this in advance of last night’s show. But here it is anyway, from Philadelphia Weekly:

David “Fuze” Fiuczynski
Sat., Feb. 4, 8pm. $25 advance ($30 at door). Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine St. 215.925.9914 www.paintedbride.org

Just as Hendrix used Delta blues as a launching pad into space, double-neck guitar maniac David “Fuze” Fiuczynski builds on a jazz-rock foundation and ventures into microtonal musical concepts of Asia and the Middle East. His instantly identifiable sound, on fretted and fretless guitars, has caught the ear of esteemed bandleaders such as Jack DeJohnette, Billy Hart, Muhal Richard Abrams and Rudresh Mahanthappa. This week with his Screaming Headless Hendrix project — a spinoff of his band Screaming Headless Torsos — Fuze will bring his advanced theoretical system, “Planet MicroJam,” into focus. His five-piece unit includes vocalist Freedom Bremner, bassist Justin Schornstein, drum heavyweight Kenwood Dennard and Turkish microtonal keyboardist Utar Dundarartun. — David R. Adler