Entries tagged with “Philly”.

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

My story on the Center City Jazz Festival in Philadelphia, now online at A Blog Supreme.

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

In the new Philadelphia Weekly:

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

In the current Philadelphia Weekly:

Orrin Evans’ Captain Black Big Band
Mon., Mar. 28, 8pm. $10. Chris’ Jazz Café, 1421 Sansom St. 215.568.3131 www.chrisjazzcafe.com

Aside from being one of the most sought-after pianists in jazz, Orrin Evans is a kind of community leader and informal ambassador for the Philadelphia scene. His current project is the Captain Black Big Band, an extended family with members of all races, sexes and age groups gathered together for a noble purpose: to swing like beasts. Since the group polished its sound and rapport in extended residencies at Chris’s, it’s only fitting they return to celebrate their eponymous debut album, hot off the presses, recorded live in Philly and New York. The tunes are mostly Evans’s, and the tight, passionate arrangements, by altoist Todd Bashore, Baltimore bass clarinetist Todd Marcus and others, make the band sound like an advancing army. — David R. Adler

(Orrin Evans plays Smoke in New York, March 25 & 26, with a quintet featuring Eddie Henderson, Joel Frahm, Ben Wolfe and Donald Edwards.)