b there or b square 3/19/18


Arthur’s Tavern Grove Street Stompers feat. Joe Licari ▲ Amadou Gaye, A Royal Crime
Bar Next Door Sagi Kaufman Trio w. Yoav Eshed, Simon Wilson ▲ Nora McCarthy Trio w. Marvin Swell, Donald Nicks
Birdland  Constantine Maroulis ▲ Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
Blue Note Eric Krasno & Friends feat. Cory Henry
Caffe Vivaldi Open Mic Night
Cleopatra’s Needle Jam Session/Open Mic
Cornelia St. Cafe Noa Ford w. Josh Deutsh, Dan Loomis, Ronen Itzik
Dizzy’s Brubeck Brothers Quartet w. Dan Brubeck, Chris Brubeck, Mike DeMicco, Chuck Lamb
Fat Cat Ben Paterson Duo ▲ George Braith Group ▲ Afterhours w. Billy Kaye
Flatiron Room Kat Vokes Trio
Jazz Standard Mingus Big Band
Jules Bistro Les Lundiz chez Jules avec Francois Wiss
The Kitano Jam Session w. Iris Ornig
Mezzrow Dan Cray w. Joe Martin, Mark Ferber ▲ Afterhours w. Pasquale Grasso

Rue B Soul & Jazz Singers Jam Session feat Jerome Foster
Smoke Vincent Herring Quartet & The New Jam Session
Swing 46 Swingadelic
Tomi Jazz Shoko Igarishi Trio ▲ Kaz Araki Duo
Village Vanguard Vanguard Orchestra
Zinc Bar Strings Attached: Jack Wilkins, Vic Juris, Ron Affif, Mark Whitfield feat. Jimmy Bruno ▲ The New School Jam Session with John Koozin
55 Bar Kelsey Jillette & the Americas Project w. Tony Romano, David silliman, Daniel Foose ▲ Mike Stern w. Teymur Phell, Richie Morales


Barbès Braincloud ▲ Locobeach
Bar Lunático Kate McGarry Quartet w. Keith Ganz, Sean Smith, Clarence Penn
Bushwick Public House Daniel Carter, Eric Plaks, Adam Lane, Tcheser Holmes ▲ Stephen Gauci, Sandy Ewen, Adam Lane▲ Welf Dorr Quartet ▲ Nick Fraser Quartet w. Kenny Warren, Brandon Lopez ▲ Drew Wesely, Ben Rolston, Colin Hinton ▲ Stelios Mihas, Zach Swanson, Michael Sutton
Sir D’s Lounge Adam Kolker’s Expanded Trio
Three’s Brewing Jeremy Udden Sound Pairings

see rest of the week…

Mike Eckroth/Scott Colley at Mezzrow 3/12/18 (by Jeff McGregor)


PERSONNEL: Mike Eckroth (piano), Scott Colley (bass),

SET LIST: The Touch of Your Lips (Noble), So Tender (Jarrett), You and the Night and the Music (Schwartz), Sabia (Jobim), Moon River (Mancini), Willow Weep For Me (Ronell)

HIGHLIGHTS: The duo’s interpretation of “Sabia” shone with understated lyricism from Eckroth and subtle counterpoint from Colley.

The piano/bass duo is an important format for Mike Eckroth. In his early years, he held a nightly duo gig with bassist and mentor Morrie Louden. More recently, he released a duo record with bassist Ron McClure. Eckroth cites Charlie Haden’s duo records with Keith Jarrett and Kenny Barron as important reference points as well classic pairings like Evans/Gomez and Ellington/Blanton. He explains, “You leave a lot out in any duo format, but you also gain leeway that you wouldn’t have in a bigger band..

Eckroth was joined by Scott Colley for their first performance since playing together as members of John Scofield’s quartet. Eckroth opened “The Touch of Your Lips” with an unaccompanied rubato introduction followed by a warm and swinging reading of the melody. Colley entered for the melody with a two-feel that continued as Eckroth began his solo with relaxed lines in his right hand. Colley’s two-feel eventually settled into a hard-swinging walking line. Eckroth dug in with increasingly dense textures and counterpoint in his left hand. Colley’s solo followed with searching, fluid lines eventually arriving at a final statement of the melody.

Eckroth opened Keith Jarrett’s “So Tender” with a rich and lyrical introduction that gracefully transitioned to the melody. Against a straight, medium-tempo pulse, Eckroth and Colley’s solos drew from a wide palette of rhythms and subdivisions, creating dense and captivating lines. The duo continued with an up-tempo version of “You and the Night and the Music.” Eckroth’s introduction established a deep groove with an unaccompanied chorus through the form that also seemed to be in the Jarrett tradition. After a hard-swinging solo from Eckroth, Colley entered with long eighth-note lines that picked up where Eckroth left off. He then shifted to a series of quarter-note triplets contrasting and complementing what had come before. Colley concluded with a series of double-stops before Eckroth delivered a loose recapitulation of the melody.

After a beautiful reading of “Moon River”, the duo closed with a blues-filled “Willow Weep for Me” in 6/4. Eckroth let loose with a soulful introduction that stretched through the piano before he and Colley dug into the form. As they had done all night, Eckroth and Colley balanced their own creativity with warmth and support for each other.

— by Jeff McGregor

b there or b square 3/12/18


Arthur’s Tavern Grove Street Stompers feat. Joe Licari ▲ Amadou Gaye, A Royal Crime
Bar Next Door Cole Davis Trio w. Jasper Dutz, Vaughn Stoffey ▲ Les Grant Trio w. John Chin, Evan Gregor
Birdland  The Donny Nova Band feat. Julia Trojan ▲ Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
Blue Note McCoy Tyner w. Special Guests
Cleopatra’s Needle Jam Session/Open Mic
Cornelia St. Cafe Katherine Ella Wood & The Jazz Festivity w. Jonathan Michel, Charles Goold, Reuben Allen
Dizzy’s Jazz at Lincoln Center Youth Orchestra w. Special Guest Lew Tabackin
Fat Cat Evan Shinners ▲ Ned Goold Quartet ▲ Afterhours w. Billy Kaye
Flatiron Room Kat Vokes Trio
Jazz Standard Mingus Big Band
Jules Bistro Les Lundiz chez Jules avec Francois Wiss
The Kitano Jam Session w. Iris Ornig
Mezzrow Michael Eckroth & Scott Colley ▲ Afterhours w. Pasquale Grasso
Minton’s Young Lion Series: Sarah Turkiew & Taylor Clay

Rockwood Music Hall Aaron Comess [I] ▲ Jim Campilongo Trio w. Chris Morrissey, Josh Dion [II]

Rue B Soul & Jazz Singers Jam Session feat Jerome Foster

ShrineJuanma Trujillo Group

Silvana Brian Kastan
Smalls Ari Hoenig Trio w. Gilad Hekselman, Orlando Le Fleming ▲ Afterhours w. Jonathan Barber
Smoke Bruce Williams Quartet & The New Jam Session
Swing 46 Swingadelic
Tomi Jazz Wishing On Stars ▲ Alan Kwan Duo
Village Vanguard Vanguard Orchestra
Zinc Bar Strings Attached: Jack Wilkins, Vic Juris, Ron Affif, Mark Whitfield feat. Saul Rubin
55 Bar Zack Brock, Chris Tarry, Joel Rosenblatt ▲ Lage Lund w. Matt Brewer, Justin Faulkner


Barbès Braincloud ▲ Los Cumpleanos
Bar Lunático Omer Avital’s Qantar w. Eden Ladin, Asaf Yuria, Alexander Levin, Ofri Nehemya
Bushwick Public House Eric Plaks, Aron Namenwirth, John Loggia ▲ Stephen Gauci, Sandy Ewen, Adam Lane ▲ Michael Lytle, Matthew Ostrowski, Nicolas Letman-Burtinovic ▲ Caroline Davis, Caleb Curtis, Charlotte Greve, Oscar Noriega ▲ Eli Wallace, Ben Cohen, Dave Miller ▲ Will Greene, Elias Stemeseder, Raf Vertessen
Sir D’s Lounge Michael Sarian and The Big Chabones
Three’s Brewing Jeremy Udden Sound Pairings


The Schomburg Center Fostina Dixon and Winds of Change with Edsel Gomez, Lonnie Plaxico, Ronnie Burrage

see rest of the week…

Ben Wendel at Village Vanguard 2/28/18 (by Kazemde George)

PERSONNEL: Ben Wendel (tenor saxophone), Aaron Parks (piano), Gilad Hekselman (guitar), Matt Brewer (bass), Eric Harland (drums)

SET LIST: February: Joshua Redman, November: Aaron Parks, July: Julian Lage, August: Mark Turner, May: Shai Maestro, October: Gilad Hekselman, Unforeseeable (all by Wendel)

HIGHLIGHTS:  Eric Harland’s playing was supportive, joyous, and contagious. During several sections he was also hollering and “wooing” so frequently that it almost constituted another voice in the music. 

“The Seasons” was a unique musical project undertaken by Ben Wendel in 2015. In each month, he composed a song dedicated to one of his musical collaborators, making up a cycle of 12 songs that showcases Wendel abilities as a player and composer while exposing the influences he has drawn from his colleagues. The project culminated in a series of videos of Wendel performing these pieces as duos, each along with the song’s dedicatee.

Like some of his favorite collaborators, Joshua Redman and Mark Turner, Wendel sports a powerful sound, a nimble altissimo range, and an expanded intervallic approach to improvisation, which is especially impressive given his strict adherence to tuning and uniform timbre. His playing was also very rhythmic, and he often used sub-divided note-groupings to build polyrhythms, and push the beat forward along with the rest of the band. His punchy attack and rhythmic integrity paired well with Brewer’s playing which was equally locked-in and confident. On his only solo of the night, Brewer played lyrically, and projected his melodies with clarity, and a seemingly effortless adherence to the groove.

Parks and Hekselman worked together as a comping unit, with Hekselman adding some moody textures, and Parks subtly marking chords, each in conjunction with one another and with the soloist. In his own solos Hekselman played the straight man. He stayed true to the compositions, and presented his ideas clearly and with a clear tone. On “November,” Parks delivered a dialed in a bluesy solo, but in others solos he ventured more towards abstraction, drawing up energy with flurries of notes, and contrary rhythms.

The compositions had a musical clarity with each piece framed around a distinct bass-line, rhythmic motif or melody, revealing the original format for the songs as duo performances. The ensemble did a great job of filling out these pre-distilled ideas, and with a lineup of very virtuosic players, it was refreshing how they all focused on building the songs, and allowing the strong musical cadences to land and be fully digested by the audience. Some of the set’s most exciting and satisfying moments happened when the whole band nailed the song’s theme and bass-line, accompanied by Harland’s audible hoots, and churning grooves.

by Kazemde George

Yotam Silberstein at Smalls 3/8/18 (by Jeff McGregor)

Yotam Silberstein

PERSONNEL: Yotam Silberstein (guitar), Nitai Hershkovits (piano), Doug Weiss (bass), Kendrick Scott (drums)

SET LIST: I’m Confessin’ That I Love (Smith/Grant), Capricho de Espanha, (Holanda), The Village (Silberstein), De tu lado del mar (Aguirre), McDavid (Silberstein)

HIGHLIGHTS: Silberstein’s arrangement of Carlos Aguirre’s “De tu lado del mar” perfectly set Aguirre’s striking melody. Weiss, Silberstein, and Hershkovits built on each others’ improvisations creating a seamless arc through the form.

The piano/guitar quartet has been a favorite format for Silberstein and one that he has explored throughout his career. As he explained,

I had a teacher that used to say that piano and guitar should just stay out of each other’s way. I have kind of made it my life goal since to prove him different. I love playing with piano and guitar and I think it can be the most wonderful thing, if it is done with care and love.

Silberstein has a long history with pianist Nitai Hershkovits. The two met as teacher and student at an Israeli music camp where Silberstein was teaching.

The set opened with a relaxed and swinging version of “I’m Confessin’ That I Love You.” After a sensitive treatment of the melody, Silberstein dug in, mixing double-time lines and soulful melodies. After solos from Hershkovits and Weiss, Scott returned to brushes for an understated improvisation full of subtle rhythmic tension.

The quartet followed with Silberstein’s arrangement of “Capricho de Espanha,” a fast, intricate melody in five by Brazilian composer Hamilton de Holanda. Against an open pedal, Hershkovits took the first solo overlaying the static harmony with an array of harmonic superimpositions. Scott supported with simmering intensity following Hershkovits to a climactic hit that ended Hershkovits’s solo and began Silberstein’s. Silberstein started in the low register with loose melodies that reset the energy of the group, patiently building towards a final statement of the melody.

“The Village,” the title track from Silberstein’s most recent album, sets a spacious, soulful melody against a fast moving pulse. Over the changes to “It’s Alright With Me,” the solo section swung with a burning series of trades between Silberstein and Hershkovits. Hershkovits’s right hand delivered intricate melodies punctuated by left-hand comping that reminded me of Brad Mehldau. Scott propelled the two with a straightish, quantized swing-feel before taking a powerful solo of his own.

“De tu lado del mar” opened with a duet between the piano and bass. Against a pedal in the bass, Hershkovits sensitively sang Aguirre’s melancholy song. Weiss took the first solo, perfectly extending the yearning romanticism of the opening with Hadenesque melodicism. The set closed with Silberstein’s “McDavid”, an up-tempo calypso with a happy melody. Each soloist was concise, never obstructing the joyful mood of the song, and illustrating the type of “care and love” that is at the heart of this group.

Jazzmeia Horn at Jazz Standard 3/2/18 (by Sami Stevens)

PERSONNEL: Jazzmeia Horn (vocals), Victor Gould (piano), Barry Stephenson (bass), Henry Conerway III (drums), Marcus Miller (saxophone)

SET LIST: Tight (Carter), I Didn’t Know What Time it Was (Rodgers/Hart), I Remember You (Schertzinger/Mercer, Arr. Horn), The Peacocks (Rowles/Winstone), Night and Day (Porter)

HIGHLIGHTS: Horn turned “Night and Day” into a stream-of-consciousness flow of self-love.


Jazzmeia Horn was personable and relaxed right from the top of Betty Carter’s “Tight” (also the first track on her recent A Social Call). She is an inheritor of the Carter tradition: chewing her words in a playful manner, possessing a seemingly spoken phrasing style, while maintaining nearly covert rhythmic complexity, very much one with her band.

“I Didn’t Know What Time it Was,” began with just bass and voice, the grid still clear and swinging. When the band eventually came in the interpretation continued to be inventive and fun. Marcus Miller (not the famous bassist) seemed to be cut from just the same natural cloth as Horn: the voice and alto trades felt like a fluid exchange of ideas.

Horn’s complex arrangement of “I Remember You” featured quick hits underneath the singer’s low-key rhythmic intricacy. Victor Gould was a supportive accompanist, offering encouraging and provocative ideas without intrusive ego. Barry Stephenson on bass and Henry Conerway III on drums were steady and swinging, letting the rest of the band build high on such a solid foundation.

Briefly excusing the rest of the band, Horn and Gould give a duo rendition of “The Peacocks,” a classic tune by Jimmy Rowles, gifted with exceptional lyrics by Norma Winstone in the mid 90’s. This story needs no fixing, it only needs to be sung. Horn paid it this respect, offering a light delivery with minimal adornment.

“Night and Day,” offered a new side to Horn, a call and response with the audience, sharing a bit of her perspective on self-love and guns in school.  Its expected that a Jazz singer should know how to improvise notes, but verses? That’s a skill usually saved for Hip Hop and R&B sessions. And yet Horn did it with grace, embracing her role as the woke lady with the mic. At no point in the evening did Horn shy away from who she is, and this extended improvisation was no exception.

— by Sami Stevens

b there or b square 3/5/18


Arthur’s Tavern Grove Street Stompers feat. Joe Licari ▲ Amadou Gaye, A Royal Crime
Bar Next Door Sagi Kaufman Trio w. Yoav Eshed, Stephen Boegehold ▲ Valentina Marino Trio w. Taulant Mehmeti, Myles Sloniker
Birdland Cheryl Bentyne reARRANGEMENTS OF SHADOWS ▲ Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
Blue Note The Showdown Kids feat. Scott Metzger, Katie Jacoby, Simon Kafka ▲ WOLF!
Cleopatra’s Needle Jam Session/Open Mic
Cornelia St. Cafe David Amram w. Rene Hart, Kevin Twigg, Elliot Pepper
The Cutting Room CompCord Big Band w. Franz Hackl, Peter Oswald, Wayne J. Du Maine, Dennis Hernandez, John Clark, Mike Seltzer, David Whitwell, Jonathan Greenberg, Gerson Galante, Paul Jones, Paul Carlon, Scott Hoefling, Mercedes Beckman, Richard Sussman, Lawrence Goldman, Joe Abba, Melanie Mitrano, Gene Pritsker
Dizzy’s Monday Nights with WBGO: New York Youth Symphony Jazz Band feat. Vuto Sotashe
Fat Cat The Better Tones ▲ Behn Gillece Quartet ▲ Afterhours w. Billy Kaye
Flatiron Room Natalie Dietz Trio
Jazz Standard Mingus Big Band
Jules Bistro Les Lundiz chez Jules avec Francois Wiss
The Kitano Jam Session w. Iris Ornig
Mezzrow David Berkman & Chris Lightcap ▲ Afterhours w. Pasquale Grasso

Rockwood Music HallJim Campilongo Trio w. Chris Morrissey, Josh Dion [II]

Rue B Orion Turre Quartet
Smalls Ari Hoenig Trio w. Nitai Hershkovits, Matt Penman ▲ Afterhours w. Jonathan Barber
Smoke Jeremy Pelt Quartet & The New Jam Session
Swing 46 Swingadelic
Tomi Jazz Jasper Dutz Duo ▲ Nick Brust Duo
Village Vanguard Vanguard Orchestra
Zinc Bar Vando Jam feat. Mark Gross
55 Bar Sean Wayland


Barbès Braincloud ▲ Dilemastronaura y Los Sabrosos Cosmicos
Bar Lunático Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom w. Carmen Staaf, Tony Scherr
Bushwick Public House Devin Brahja Waldman, Brandon Lewis, Reggie Sylvester ▲ Stephen Gauci, Sandy Ewen, Adam Lane, Kevin Shea ▲ Rick Parker, Martin Philadelphy, Jeremy Carlstedt ▲ Joe McPhee, Elias Stemeseder, Ken Filiano, Raf Vertessen ▲ Eriq Robinson, Dave Ross, Matt Chilton, William Hooker ▲ Prawit Siriwat, Daniel Durst, Colin Hinton
Sir D’s Lounge Brian Krock’s Big Heart Machine
Three’s Brewing Jeremy Udden Sound Pairings


Jazz at Lincoln Center Young People’s Chorus of New York City [Rose Theater]
The Schomburg Center A Celebration of Alice Coltrane: Brandee Younger

see rest of the week…