Tag Archives: Michael Blake

July 24th Listings

Saturday – Frequent duo partners Pianist Connie Crothers and bassist Michael Bisio decided to record one of their frequent sessions at Crothers’ Williamsburg loft last year. The results were magical, and released this year on the Mutable Music label. They will revisit the format at The Stone tonight, in what promises to be a riveting reunion.

Sunday – Saxophonist Michael Blake will debut some new music at the 55 Bar with his new quartet, a group that includes pianist Landon Knoblock, bassist Michael Bates, and drummer Greg Ritchie.

Monday – If you can’t beat the heat, at least hear some beautiful music. The elegant and incisive pianist Armen Donelian will take the stage in Bryant Park at 12:30 PM for a free concert.

Tuesday – While I have never hear the band This Sporting Life, the inclusion of the multireedist Josh Sinton and Myk Freedman — who played lapsteel beautifully when I went to school with him; you’ve got to love him just for that, right? — makes this an easy pick. The show is at Douglass Street Music Collective in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn, so go out and hear some new music at a venue that deserves, and needs, your support. I’ll see you there.

Wednesday – Two women — guitarist Mary Halvorson and multi-instrumentalist Ikue Mori — who are continually redefining and reinvigorating improvisation play back to back at the Whitney Museum. Halvorson is the relative newcomer, but has been a force on the NYC creative music scene for the last 5 years. Mori has been a fixture since the late 1970’s when she emerged with the likes of the seminal downtown group DNA; today, she applies her considerable skills to laptop loops and electronic drones. Catch Halvorson at 1 PM followed by Mori at 4.

Thursday – Pianist Joanne Brackeen is a specialist when it comes to thorny rhythms and group interplay, but she is also a skilled ballad interpreter. Catch her compelling post-bop quartet — featuring bassist Ugonna Okegwo and drummer Johnathan Blake — at the Jazz Standard tonight.

Friday – John Zorn hosts an improv night at The Stone featuring virbraphonist and pianist Karl Berger, multireedist Scott Robinson, pianist Sylvie Courvoisier, multi-instrumentalist Ikue Mori, drummer Greg Cohen and other guests. Not to be missed.

July 17th Listings

Saturday – Hip hop and spoken-word artist TK Wonder will perform at Central Park Summerstage with a band featuring drummer Ben Perowsky’s Moodswing orchestra and saxophonist Michael Blake. The show starts at around 1pm.

Sunday – For decades, Trio 3 — comprised of alto saxophonist Oliver Lake, bassist Reggie Workman, and drummer Andrew Cyrille — has proven that an avant-garde all-star group can be more than the sum of its considerable parts.Tonight, the bassist Mark Helias will sub for Workman, at 8pm at the Museum of Modern Art in midtown.

Monday – Drummer Scott Neumann bring his Trio Sante — featuring saxophonist Michael Blake — a master of the trio setting — and the propulsive Mark Heliasto Small’s in the west village.

Tuesday – The Brooklyn-based bluegrass group, The Dustbusters, take the stage at The Jalopy Theater in Red Hook for their only performance in NYC this summer. If you haven’t been to Jalopy, this is the perfect opportunity to hear the new generation of pickers and singers that have made Brooklyn home in the past few years. In addition to fiddler Craig Judleman and multi-instrumentalist Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton — two Brooklyn-based phenoms — the group will also be joined by Frank Fairfield, a twenty-something bluegrass wonder from Los Angeles.

Wednesday – I’ve listed The Jalopy Theater’s weekly Roots & Ruckus series before, but it deserves another shout-out this week, for the inclusion of multi-instrumentalist and singer Salvatore Geloso, whose bracing falsetto and lyrical double entendres defy categorization. Rumor has it that Geloso is skipping town for the west coast by August, so catch him here, while you can.

Thursday – It’s safe to say  that the komungo, a zither-like instrument from Korea, hasn’t yet found it’s place in the jazz pantheon, but Jin Hi Kim has made significant inroads in introducing the evocative instrument to American audiences in the last decade  with the likes of Billy Bang and William Parker. Tonight, she will join drummer Gerry Hemingway for a duo performace at The Stone.

Friday – An undisputed master of prepared piano — an endless variety of techniques for manipulating the piano’s stings to produce otherworldy sounds — Denman Maroney will perform in a duo with French cellist and composer Emmanuel Cremer at I-Beam in Brooklyn.

June 26th Listings

Saturday – The much-anticipated Bang On A Can Marathon takes place today, at the World Financial Center in Lower Manhattan. The 12-hour new-music festival will be kicked off by drummer, composer John Hollenbeck’s Large Ensemble, featuring the dream-team tenor lineup of Tony Malaby, Ellery Eskelin and a talented newcomer, and a former classmate of mine at The New School, Jeremy Viner.

Sunday – Saxophonist Ellery Eskelin brings a trio featuring keyboardist Gary Versace and drummer Ted Poor to the 55 Bar on Christopher Street in the West Village.

Monday – The 15th Annual Vision Festival begins its second week with an all star lineup of iconoclastic improvisors, including Joelle Leandre, Marilyn Crispell, Mat Maneri and Wadada Leo Smith among many others, at Abrons Art Center on the lower, Lower East Side.

Tuesday – The saxophonist Michael Blake has spent the last 20-plus years forging a sound that successfully blends the hefty soulfulness of Hawkins, Webster and Lucky Thompson with a free-minded, post-bop sensibility. The results are uncommonly compelling. Catch Michael’s new quartet featuring pianist Landon Knoblock, bassist Michael Bates and drummer Greg Ritchie, at Miles Cafe, a new club on East 52nd Street in Manhattan.

Wednesday – I-Beam, the no-frills performance/rehearsal loft in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn, hosts two sets by first-rate improvisors. At 9, pianist Craig Taborn will perform solo and at  10:30 saxophonist Tim Berne will join pianist Matt Mitchell for a duo performance.

Thursday – Drummer Tomas Fujiwara and cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum face off for a duo set at The Stone on Avenue C in the East Village.