2010 NYC Winter JazzFest

January 7, 2010


Three of our clients’ ensembles, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society (also playing two sets at Jazz Gallery the following night), the Mary Halvorson Trio and the William Parker Quartet, will be part of the highly anticipated 2010 NYC Winter JazzFest this weekend.

The two-night extravaganza will feature over 50 performances at five different venues in the West Village.

Argue and his acclaimed 18-piece big band will kick off Friday night’s festivities at (Le) Poisson Rouge at 6:20 p.m.

Parker’s all-star quartet, which features Lewis Barnes (trumpet), Rob Brown (alto saxophone) and Hamid Drake (drums), is a last-minute 10:30 p.m. addition to Saturday’s line-up at Sullivan Hall.

Ms. Halvorson’s longstanding trio, with bassist John Hébert and drummer Tomas Fujiwara (sitting in for Ches Smith), will also perform on Saturday night. Their set at Kenny’s Castaways is scheduled to start just after midnight.

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Howard Mandel: Best Jazz CDs Of 2009

December 1, 2009


Author, jazz critic and President of the Jazz Journalists Association Howard Mandel posted a list of his favorite CDs from 2009 on his blog, Jazz Beyond Jazz, this past Friday.

Darcy James Argue’s Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam) and The Thirteenth Assembly’s (un)sentimental (Important Records) both earned spots of the 11-title list.

Of the former, Mandel writes, “Recasting the ‘jazz’ orchestra with an ear hip to a spectrum of contemporary composition but most of all sound itself, Argue diplays a nervy ethos by conducting 18 not-very-well-known but gutsy instrumentalists through arresting themes, solid rhythms and energized solos. This is Brooklyn offline, ironic but earnest, and has drawn a following among listeners in their late 20s-early 30s.”

And, he called the debut of Taylor Ho Bynum, Tomas Fujiwara, Mary Halvorson and Jessica Pavone’s collective quartet, The Thirteenth Assembly, “Chamber music for moderns—a cornetist, drummer, guitarist and violaist walk the lines between structure and improv, sensitivity and humor, questions and suggestions, inherent references to the past and unpretentious confidence they’re in the right place for music now.”

The list was compiled from nearly 1000 CDs Mandel received for review since last November, so naturally there were lots of honorable mentions. John Hébert’s highly regarded debut, Byzantine Monkey (Firehouse 12), was part of the “Also Much Enjoyed” list.

UPDATE: Mandel’s Top 11 of 2009 is now posted at the Jazz Journalists Association’s Web site.


Positive Catastrophe At New Languages Festival Tonight

September 25, 2009
Photo by Heather Conley

Photo by Heather Conley

Positive Catastrophe will perform tonight at the ongoing New Languages Festival at McCarren Hall in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

The brainchild of cornetist/composer Taylor Ho Bynum and multi-instrumentalist/composer Abraham Gomez-Delgado, this self-described trans-idiomatic little big band connects the musical dots between intergalactic jazz legend Sun Ra and iconic Latin Jazz innovator Eddie Palmieri.

The group, which will be performing music from its acclaimed debut release, Garabatos Volume One (Cuneiform Records), also features Mark Taylor (French horn), Reut Regev (trombone), Jim Hobbs (alto sax), Matt Bauder (tenor and baritone sax), Pete Fitzpatrick (guitar), Alvaro Benavides (bass) and Tomas Fujiwara (drums).


Mary Halvorson Quintet In Philly Tonight

September 11, 2009
Photo by Peter Gannushkin

Photo by Peter Gannushkin

Tonight, guitarist/composer Mary Halvorson and her newest group, the Mary Halvorson Quintet, will open Ars Nova Workshop‘s 10th anniversary season with a performance at the International House in Philadelphia.

The line-up for this concert will feature Jonathan Finlayson (trumpet), Jon Irabagon (alto saxophone), Trevor Dunn (bass) and Tomas Fujiwara (drums).

This will be one of only three performances this fall, with varying personnel due to scheduling conflicts, before the group goes into the studio to record the follow-up to Ms. Halvorson’s widely acclaimed debut, Dragon’s Head (Firehouse 12 Records).

She will also be performing this month with Matthew Welch’s Blarvuster on September 17th and 18th at The Kitchen in New York and with Ches Smith and These Arches on September 23rd at Barbès in Brooklyn.


Taylor Ho Bynum In August

August 10, 2009
Photo by Hilary McHone

Photo by Hilary McHone

Cornetist/composer Taylor Ho Bynum won’t be leading any of his own groups during the month of August per se, but he will play three dates in NYC with three different bands that feature him as a co-leader.

Those bands include The Throes (formerly the Nate Wooley/Taylor Ho Bynum Quartet) with special guest Soo-Jung Kae, a collective trio with Joe Morris (on bass) and Abraham Gomez-Delgado, and The Thirteenth Assembly with Mary Halvorson, Jessica Pavone and Tomas Fujiwara.

The Throes with special guest Soo-Jung Kae
Tuesday, August 11th at Douglas Street Music Collective (Brooklyn, NY)

Taylor Ho Bynum/Joe Morris/Abraham Gomez-Delgado
Monday, August 24th at The Local 269 (New York, NY)

The Thirteenth Assembly
Sunday, August 25th at Freddie’s Bar & Backroom (Brooklyn, NY)

Please stay tuned for more news about Taylor’s forthcoming record, Madeleine Dreams (Firehouse 12 Records), and the September 19th CD release event at The Jazz Gallery.


Mary Halvorson In July

July 6, 2009
Photo by Peter Gannushkin

Photo by Peter Gannushkin

Guitarist/composer Mary Halvorson has a busy month of gigs planned for July, including a performance with Myra Melford’s Happy Whistlings at The Stone on July 7th before heading off to Europe with Anthony Braxton’s Diamond Curtain Wall Trio for dates at the Pomigliano Jazz Festival on July 11th and the North Sea Jazz Festival on July 12th.

She’ll then remain in Europe for two dates with her trio at Norway’s Molde Jazz Festival on July 14th and Amsterdam’s Bimhuis on July 17th.

Aside from one other sidewoman date with Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up at Barbés on July 22nd, the rest of the month will be taken up by Mary Halvorson/Jessica Pavone Duo tour dates in support of their latest release, Thin Air (Thirsty Ear).

Mary Halvorson Trio
Tuesday, July 14th @ Molde Jazz Festival (Molde, Norway)
Friday, July 17th @ Bimhuis (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Mary Halvorson & Jessica Pavone
Tuesday, July 21st @ Bowery Poetry Club (New York, NY)
Saturday, July 25th @ The Windup Space (Baltimore, MD)
Monday, July 27th @ Morris Book Shop (Lexington, KY)
Tuesday, July 28th @ TBA (Mt. Comfort, IN)
Wednesday, July 29th @ The Hideout (Chicago, IL)
Thursday, July 30th @ TBA (Detroit, MI)
Friday, July 31st @ TBA (Buffalo, NY)
Saturday, August 1st @ Metropolis Underground (Syracuse, NY)

Anthony Braxton Diamond Curtain Wall Trio
Saturday, July 11th @ Pomigliano Jazz Festival (Napoli, Italy)
Sunday, July 12th @ North Sea Jazz Festival (Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

Myra Melford’s Happy Whistlings
Tuesday, July 7th @ The Stone (New York, NY)

Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up
Wednesday, July 22nd @ Barbes (Brooklyn, NY)


Taylor Ho Bynum Trio At Vancouver Jazz Fest Tomorrow Night

June 30, 2009
Photo by Scott Friedlander

Photo by Scott Friedlander

On Wednesday, July 1st at 8:00 p.m., cornetist/composer Taylor Ho Bynum’s longstanding trio with guitarist Mary Halvorson and drummer Tomas Fujiwara will perform at the Roundhouse Performance Centre as part of the TD Canada Trust Vancouver International Jazz Festival.

Bynum is also teaching at the Vancouver Creative Music Institute this week and will perform in a quartet with Nicole Mitchell, Joëlle Léandre, and Paul Plimley on July 2nd and in the faculty-student showcase concert on July 3rd.

He will return to the States to perform with Myra Melford’s Happy Whistlings at The Stone on July 7th before jetting off again to play with Anthony Braxton’s Diamond Curtain Wall Trio at the Pomigliano Jazz Festival on July 11th and the North Sea Jazz Festival on July 12th.