Archives for posts with tag: Hypnotic Brass Ensemble

Melvin Gibbs and JT Lewis of the band Harriet Tubman

Words by Hank Williams

This week, the annual Winter Jazz Fest is on and in full swing. The 16th edition of the popular festival has morphed slightly this year, with an additional Brooklyn “marathon” night of music and standalone events in addition to the now-traditional . In this post, we’ll take a look at the two marathon nights of music on Friday January 10th and Saturday January 11th in venues scattered around the heart of Greenwich Village and the new Brooklyn marathon on Friday January 17th. I’ll also look at the Saturday January 11th show in Brooklyn.

As we’ve done for the past few years, we’ll go through a shows with a viewers’ guide to some of our preferred picks, with an admitted lean toward former guests on the Suga in My Bowl radio show.

I’ll point you toward the artist lineup, but hopefully this will help wade through the myriad choices available each night. Obviously, there are several ways to experience the festival. You can either pick and choose key acts, take a more eclectic approach and see what you find, or some combination of the two. It’s all good.

FESTIVAL THEME AND FOCUS

Social justice is front and center with the festival: as it has been for the last few years. The #MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter, and #wehaveavoice are all part of the fabric surrounding the festival and it has joined the Europe-based Keychange initiative that urges festivals to achieve a 50:50 gender balance for acts by the year 2022. This follows on the discussion opened by the  We Have Voice Collective that published an open letter calling for a code of conduct, safe spaces for women, LGBTQIA, transgender, and non-binary music artists, and more opportunities for work in a field that’s often dominated by men.

This serves as an important concrete action backing up the expressed solidarity. There will again be a series of talks–this time highlighting wellness and health aspects of jazz–during the daytime on the weekend of January 11th-12th and during the following week, ending on Friday the 17th.

TICKETS AND ADMISSION

WJF has a variety of ticket options for either the Friday or Saturday Manhattan marathon nights–or both–and the new Brooklyn Marathon or standalone events. As usual, they don’t offer tickets for individual sets on Marathon nights. That said, tickets are a pretty good deal for how much music you get if you see more than a single show and there’s likely something to suit almost everyone’s taste. The one constant is that we strongly recommend getting tickets in advance, since the festival’s popularity does lead to sellouts.

LOCATIONS AND LOGISTICS

The WJF’s heart is still in the center of the Village and WJF mainstays Zinc Bar, The Bitter End, and Le Poisson Rouge return with poles in the West and East Village also.

Zinc Bar is small, popular, and perennially crowded, so be warned that seeing an act scheduled there means getting there very early, and possibly skipping something else in the process.

On the western frontier of the Village and Tribeca is SOB’s.

The Dance, the Nuyorican Poets’ Café, and Webster Hall anchor the northern/eastern ends of the Village/Lower East Side.

Nublu, Zürcher Gallery, Subculture, Mercury Lounge, and Bowery Ballroom are clustered together on the East Village/Lower East Side.

Obviously, figuring out what one wants to see also means taking into account the logistics of who’s playing where and getting between venues, which requires some planning with the larger distances between venues. It’s still very possible to venue-hop since most are a brisk walk, Citibike, or cab ride away. The projected unseasonably warm weather for the Manhattan Marathon should make the task slightly easier.

 

Photo credit: Winter Jazz Fest (screenshot)
You can download the map here and there’s a copy in the festival program. Pickup of wristbands for marathon nights is at Le Poisson Rouge (158 Bleecker St).

HOT TIP: Use the WJF’s crowd estimator to see how much space a venue has before deciding to leave where you are. It’s at: https://www.winterjazzfest.com/crowds

FRIDAY JANUARY 10

The recently renovated Webster Hall plays host to a solid night of programming. Teenage piano prodigy Joey Alexander takes the stage at 7 PM, followed by trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire at 8:15 and drummer Makaya McCraven‘s “In These Times” at 9:30.

Alexander’s gained a lot of (deserved) positive press since an invitation to play at Jazz at Lincoln Center and Wynton Marsalis at age 14 and his following debut album, centered around a solidly inventive cover of My Favorite Things. Alexander’s maturing exponentially as a player and should be around for a long time. Catch him now and decades later you’ll be able to look back and recall his trajectory as an artist from your own experience.

Akinmusire and McCraven take slightly different approaches to the music, rooted in hip hop and beats as much as the jazz canon. Appropriately, perhaps, the night wraps with a DJ set by Pete Rock (yes that Pete Rock …) at midnight.

Over at SOB’s, the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble hits at 7:45 PM. The band’s anchored by the sons of the late Phil Cohran, a key figure of the Chicago branch of the Art Ensemble of Chicago. They’ve successfully taken the meticulous lessons from their father and the older generation of politically and socially-conscious musicians and adapted it to the current era and the reality that much of their musical world has been shaped by hip hop. Expect a brass-heavy set with a party vibe, but don’t underestimate them: solid musicianship, not gimmicks, are the foundation of their performances. If you miss them here, fortunately, you get another shot on Saturday, when they’ll be at Mercury Lounge at 11:30 PM.

At the new venue, The Dance, Guitarist Marc Ribot and trumpeter Jaimie Branch are both worth a look.

Ribot’s Ceramic Dog ensemble hits at 11 PM. Described as a noise rock trio, Ceramic Dog is one of many ensembles the incredibly inventive and prolific guitarist has fronted at Winter Jazz Fest over the years. Expect a somewhat loud and high energy set from them.

Branch is flying high (excuse the pun) on the successful release of her 2018 Fly Or Die debut and follow-up Fly or Die 2 albums as a leader along with side projects like James Brandon Lewis’s Unruly Notes. Branch’s approach seems to pull as much from the avant garde tradition as from current influences of pop and hip hop. Branch has serious chops, though, and her musicianship will impress you. It’ll be worth staying up late for her 12:15 AM set.

Finally, at Nublu, Mary Halvorson joins fellow guitarist John Dieterich at 10:45 PM. Halvorson’s dense, looping electric guitar style’s attracting more fans, both as a side player and as a leader. Her collaborations with fellow guitarist Marc Ribot and others showcase her ability as a collaborative player capable of adding dense textures to an ensemble, which she’s continued in her own projects as a leader. For a deep dive, see our March 2018 show with Halvorson.

 

 

 

SATURDAY JANUARY 11th

The Nuyorican Poets’ Café hosts a solid night of music, poetry, film clips, and probably some personal remembrances in the honor of the late poet/journalist Steve Dalachinsky, co-curated by his partner, poet Yuko Otomo. Expect lots of regulars from the Vision Festival, including guitarist Marc Ribot, vocalist Fay Victor, pianists Matthew Shipp, Kris Davis, and Matthew Shipp, saxophonist James Brandon Lewis, and many more people in sets running from 7 PM-Midnight. Steve’s poetry was heavily influenced by free jazz and the Beat movement and he often read with musical accompaniment.

Meanwhile, over at The Dance, steel pedal guitarist Susan Alcorn’s Quintet hits at 10:45 PM.  Alcorn, originally inspired by Blues slide guitar, now blends free jazz and avant-garde European classical styles in her approach. Here, she’ll be joined by guitarist Mary Halvorson in a set that recreates a collaboration from the Vision Festival. See a version of their collaboration below.

 

 

Over on the east side, Subculture hosts The Cookers at 7:30 PM and René Marie’s Experiment in Truth at 11:15 PM. the Cookers is a supergroup of veterans Eddie Henderson, Billy Harper, Eddie Henderson, Donald Harrison, George Cables, Cecil McBee, Billy Hart, George Cables, and David Weiss. Hart and Henderson are alumni of Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi formation and Harper was a trusted part of Lee Morgan’s ensembles. Expect a hard-hitting, post-bop set from them that’s likely to have a wide appeal to jazz aficionados and neophytes alike with music that’s technically challenging yet very accessible. René Marie will probably slow things down a bit for the late set, with smoother, lyrically dense ballads that will appeal to fans of vocalists.

One set stands out at the centrally-located Le Poisson Rouge: saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin’s Pursuance, which presents the music of John and Alice Coltrane with legendary bassist Reggie Workman, who was part of John’s early 60s groups. Benjamin, whose work often leans toward engagement with pop and party music, will show her range and depth here. This is a set that’s also bound to have a wide appeal. See Benjamin’s take on Coltrane’s “Liberia” in the embedded clip:

 

 

Over at SOB’s, saxophonist Tia Fuller’s 7:30 PM set is a good pick. Fuller’s supple style was on full display on last year’s Diamond Cut release and should provide much of the grist for the night’s set.

 

 

If you missed the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble’s Friday night set (or want to see them again) then they’ll be at Mercury Lounge at 11:30 PM. Mercury was a venue that had space issues last year, though, so get there early and be prepared to fight your way to the front of the room.

Finally, Webster Hall again has a solid night of programming with harpist Brandee Younger, drummer Makaya McCraven, and pianist Robert Glasper. Younger’s 7:30 PM Soul Awakening set should draw on material from her album of the same name and reflects her thorough digestion of Alice Coltrane and harpist Dorothy Ashby and her own musical voice.

McCraven’s 8:15 PM set presents work from his Gil Scott-Heron tribute, We’re New Again. Finally, Glasper’s 10:45 PM set finds the versatile pianist in an electric trio setting with a DJ as one of the members. It should be an interesting intersection of his traditional trio work and his affinity for the sampling and looping of hip hop.

SATURDAY JANUARY 11th Brooklyn Show

I’ll actually be spending much of Saturday night in Brooklyn at The Sultan Room for the standalone show of Harriet Tubman and guitarist James Blood Ulmer.

Tubman, consisting of drummer JT Lewis, bassist Melvin Gibbs, and electric guitarist Brandon Ross, is a power trio that shows elements of their various influences. Tubman’s music is deceiving though. It’s deeply layered and complex as they develop melodies that call for a response from each member. While it is music that holds greater appeal for fans of electrified sound, fusion, or avant garde, their appeal is much greater. Critics and a wider audience seemed to grasp that with their last two releases, including last year’s Terror End of Beauty.  It’s hard to tell exactly what they’ll play since nearly anything from their catalog is fair game, but anything they bring to the table will be satisfying.

Ulmer is a great match for Tubman. Joyce Jones talked to him for our last show on WBAI, where Ulmer went through his varied influences though let it be known where he comes from: “I play the blues. I call it the political blues.” Ulmer was also key in the late Ornette Coleman’s formation of his theory of Harmolodics and absorbed much of those lessons as well. He doesn’t gig as much these days and his last Winter Jazz appearance had him playing solo in a thoroughly captivating performance that showed his masterful storytelling and guitar prowess.

 

 

FRIDAY JANUARY 17th Brooklyn Marathon

Photo credit: Winter Jazz Fest (screenshot).  Map download here and there’s a copy in the program

Details are still in formation for the new Brooklyn Marathon night, but sets with DJ Logic and drummer Billy Martin, bassist Ben Williams’s I Am a Man, trumpeter Keyon Harrold catch my eye right now.

DJ Logic is one of a few who successfully works in an improvisational setting with other musicians and turns samples into true instruments and part of multi-layered performances. Paired with Martin, one of the popular long-running Medeski, Martin, and Wood trio, the set shows lots of promise.

 

Standalone Shows: through January 18th

While I don’t have space here to detail them all, you should take a look through the schedule of separate shows. From Detroit to the World on Sunday January 12 features a pre-show discussion on the history of Detroit’s jazz scene. On the same day, pianist Kris Davis and drummer Terri Lyne Carrington team up with the incredibly inventive DJ Val Jeanty for another set worth checking out. Remember that tickets for most of these shows are sold separately.

That’s a lot! But the nice thing about Winter Jazz is that it presents you with a good dilemma: who to choose from the sheer amount of interesting acts. We’ll check back in after it’s all wrapped up.

Are you planning to go? Who are you looking forward to seeing? Let us know in the comments.

—-
Hank Williams is an associate producer for Suga’ in My Bowl on WBAI Radio and webmaster for the Suga’ and Behind the Mic sites. He is also a PhD candidate in English and Africana Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center and teaches at Lehman College in The Bronx.

bandstand_picPhoto Credit: Hank Williams

Welcome to Suga in My Bowl radio‘s weekly feature, On The Bandstand, where we collect upcoming NYC area shows from current and past Suga’ guests. We’re online weekly and on the air on NYC’s WBAI-FM radio every Tuesday night from 10 PM -12 midnight. Keep up with us via Facebook, the blog here, or our main website, or Twitter and we’ll keep track of the schedule for you.

This week’s show presents an interview Joyce did with the late drummer Alphonse Mouzon! Be sure to tune in Tuesday night. Meanwhile, we have more listings for you this week.

Sophie Huber’s documentary film Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes has been extended at Metrograph in Manhattan through July 1.

Bassist William Parker leads the In Order to Survive ensemble with drummer Hamid Drake and multi-instrumentalist Cooper Moore at Brooklyn’s Shapeshifter Lab on July 1.

Trombonist/seashellist Steve Turre leads a quintet in an afternoon set at Zinc Bar as part of the VTY Jazz series on June 30.

Bassist Linda May Han Oh is at the Village Vanguard from July 2-7.

The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is at the International African Arts Festival at Commodore Barry Park in downtown Brooklyn on July 4.

Saxophonist Billy Harper leads a quintet at Smoke with trumpeter Freddie Hendrix from July 4-6.

Pianist Marc Cary’s Harlem Sessions series continues with weekly late Saturday night sets at Smoke on July 6 and 13.

Saxophonist T.K. Blue leads a Randy Weston tribute band with bassist Alex Blake and percussionist Baba Neil Clarke at the International African Arts Festival at Commodore Barry Park in downtown Brooklyn on July 7.

Organist Dr. Lonnie Smith is at the Jazz Standard from July 2-7. He leads a trio on the first 3 nights and an octet on the final 3.

Bassist Ron Carter is at the Blue Note from July 9-14.

Bassist Mimi Jones leads an ensemble at Red Bank NJ’s Two River Theater on July 5 and 6 and is at Smalls leading an after hours set on July 11.

Pianist Billy Childs is at the Jazz Standard from July 11-14.

Vocalist Charenee Wade is at Harlem’s Ginny’s Supper Club on July 12 and 13.

Vocalist Carmen Lundy is at Jazz Forum Arts in Tarrytown NY on July 12 and 13.

Poet and multi-instrumentalist Ngoma Hill is at Sister’s Uptown Bookstore in Harlem on July 16 and the third Tuesday of every month for the Fat Tuesdays poetry and music showcase.

Drummer Terri Lyne Carrington leads an ensemble at Grant’s Tomb in a free outdoor concert as part of the Jazzmobile series on July17.

Pianist Harold Mabern leads a trio at Smalls in a late set on July 17.

Check back this week for our review coverage of the 24th annual Vision Festival!

That’s all for now. Suga’ in My Bowl will be back on WBAI‘s airwaves on Tuesday July 2 in our new weekly 10 PM slot! We’ll also have another edition of “On the Bandstand” online next Sunday with a fresh set of listings.

—-
Hank Williams is an associate producer for Suga’ in My Bowl on WBAI Radio and webmaster for the Suga’ and Behind the Mic sites. He is also a PhD candidate in English and Africana Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center and teaches at Lehman College. Find him on Twitter @streetgriot

bandstand_picPhoto Credit: Hank Williams

Welcome to Suga in My Bowl radio‘s weekly feature, On The Bandstand, where we collect upcoming NYC area shows from current and past Suga’ guests. We’re online weekly and on the air on NYC’s WBAI-FM radio every Tuesday night from 10 PM -12 midnight. Keep up with us via Facebook, the blog here, or our main website, or Twitter and we’ll keep track of the schedule for you.

We’ve been pre-empted this week for special news programming. See you next week. Meanwhile, we have more listings for you this week.

Sophie Huber’s documentary film Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes has been extended at Metrograph in Manhattan through June 27.

Bassist Charnett Moffett is at Birdland on June 26.

Bassist Mimi Jones is at Smalls leading an after hours set on June 26.

Drummer Antonio Sanchez leads the Migration ensemble at Le Poisson Rouge on June 28.

Trumpeter Freddie Hendrix is at Smoke with Stanley Cowell’s Quintet from June 28-30.

Bassist Melvin Gibbs is at The Stone with Wadada Leo Smith on June 29.

Pianist Marc Cary’s Harlem Sessions series continues with weekly late Saturday night sets at Smoke on June 29 and July 6.

Trombonist/seashellist Steve Turre leads a quintet in an afternoon set at Zinc Bar as part of the VTY Jazz series on June 30.

Bassist Linda May Han Oh is at the Village Vanguard from July 2-7.

The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is at the International African Arts Festival at Commodore Barry Park in downtown Brooklyn on July 4.

Saxophonist Billy Harper leads a quintet at Smoke with trumpeter Freddie Hendrix from July 4-6.

Saxophonist T.K. Blue leads a Randy Weston tribute band with bassist Alex Blake and percussionist Baba Neil Clarke at the International African Arts Festival at Commodore Barry Park in downtown Brooklyn on July 7.

Organist Dr. Lonnie Smith is at the Jazz Standard from July 2-7. He leads a trio on the first 3 nights and an octet on the final 3.

Pianist Harold Mabern leads a trio at Smalls in a late set on July 17.

Check back this week for our review coverage of the 24th annual Vision Festival!

That’s all for now. Suga’ in My Bowl will be back on WBAI‘s airwaves on Tuesday July 2 in our new weekly 10 PM slot! We’ll also have another edition of “On the Bandstand” online next Sunday with a fresh set of listings.

—-
Hank Williams is an associate producer for Suga’ in My Bowl on WBAI Radio and webmaster for the Suga’ and Behind the Mic sites. He is also a PhD candidate in English and Africana Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center and teaches at Lehman College. Find him on Twitter @streetgriot

bandstand_picPhoto Credit: Hank Williams

Welcome to Suga in My Bowl radio‘s weekly feature, On The Bandstand, where we collect upcoming NYC area shows from current and past Suga’ guests. We’re online weekly and on the air on NYC’s WBAI-FM radio alternate Sunday nights from 11 PM -1 AM. Keep up with us via Facebook, the blog here, or our main website, or Twitter and we’ll keep track of the schedule for you.

We’re off this week, but if you missed last week’s show of 2018 Winter Jazz Fest preview coverage with vocalist Fay Victor, head over to our archives to hear it. Be sure to tune in next week, when vocalist Jazzmeia Horn’s our guest! Keep an eye out for our review this week.

Drummer Terri Lyne Carrington and pianist Vijay Iyer are at the New School’s Tishman Auditorium for a discussion on sexism in jazz on January 15 as part of the Winter Jazz Fest. Admission is free with RSVP.

Drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, pianist Vijay Iyer, bassist Linda May Han Oh, vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater, Professor Farah Jasmine Griffin, drummer Jeff Tain Watts, saxophonist Tia Fuller and many more will be at the the New School’s Tishman Auditorium for a tribute to pianist Geri Allen on January 16 as part of the Winter Jazz Fest. Event proceeds go Geri Allen’s estate.

Saxophonist Archie Shepp and Flutist Nicole Mitchell are at Le Poisson Rouge for a discussion on jazz and protest moderated by saxophonist Ras Moshe on January 16 as part of the Winter Jazz Fest. It precedes a concert by Mitchell.

Flutist Nicole Mitchell has two shows this week at Le Poisson Rouge to wrap up the Winter Jazz Fest, where she’s this year’s artist in residence. On January 16, she presents the Afrofuturist Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds.  On January 17, Maroon Cloud with vocalist Fay Victor ends the festival.

Vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater is at the HarlemStage Gatehouse on January 16 for an Ella Fitzgerald celebration.

The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is at the Blue Note from January 19-21.

Bassist Linda May Han Oh is at the Jazz Gallery with Jonathan Blake’s trio from January 21-22.

Drummer Terri Lyne Carrington is at The Stone’s Lower East Side location on January 28.

That’s all for now. Suga’ in My Bowl will be back on WBAI‘s airwaves on Sunday January 21. We’ll also have another edition of “On the Bandstand” online next Sunday with a fresh set of listings.

—-
Hank Williams is an associate producer for Suga’ in My Bowl on WBAI Radio and webmaster for the Suga’ and Behind the Mic sites. He is also a PhD candidate in English and Africana Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center and teaches at Hunter and Lehman Colleges and The City College of New York. Find him on Twitter @streetgriot

bandstand_picPhoto Credit: Hank Williams

Welcome to Suga in My Bowl radio‘s weekly feature, On The Bandstand, where we collect upcoming NYC area shows from current and past Suga’ guests. We’re online weekly and on the air on NYC’s WBAI-FM radio alternate Sunday nights from 11 PM -1 AM. Keep up with us via Facebook, the blog here, or our main website, or Twitter and we’ll keep track of the schedule for you.

This week’s show wraps up our 2018 Winter Jazz Fest preview coverage with vocalist Fay Victor! You have three opportunities to hear her at the Winter Jazz Fest. She’ll be leading SoundNoiseFUNK on January 12 . She’ll be with Darius Jones’s LawNOrder on January 13 at Midnight. And she’ll be with Nicole Mitchell’s Maroon Cloud on January 17 at Le Poisson Rouge. Keep an eye out for our annual Cheat Sheet in-depth preview and a post-event report.

 

 

Pianist Vijay Iyer leads a sextet at Birdland from January 9-13.

Percussionist Steve Kroon leads a sextet at Smoke on January 10.

Hammond B3 Organ master Dr. Lonnie Smith leads a trio at the Jazz Standard from January 11-14.

Pianist Vijay Iyer leads a sextet at Birdland from January 9-13.

Saxophonist Billy Harper leads a quintet at Smoke from January 12-14.

Vocalist Kurt Elling is at Birdland for an early set on January 14.

The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is at the Blue Note from January 19-21.

 

Vision Fest promoters Arts for Art’s monthlong Justice is Compassion festival of avant garde jazz, dance, and visual art is going on right now and continues at the Lower East Side’s Clemente Soto Velez Center through January 12 with different sets almost nightly and there’s a lot going on this week.

Bassist William Parker plays on January 8 with JP Carletti’s trio.

Saxophonist James Brandon Lewis has a duo with pianist Aruan Ortiz on January 9.

William Parker’s brilliant, swirling, Songs for a Free World composition with vocalist Fay Victor is on January 10.

Pianist David Virelles performs on January 11.

All sets are at Clemente Soto Velez. There’s a preview further down and you can see the the full schedule here.

 

Also on the horizon is the annual Winter Jazz Fest which returns from January 10-14. This year’s artists in residence is flutist Nicole Mitchell, who’ll have several sets at the festival. Other highlights include talks on sexism in jazz and jazz protest with saxophonist Archie Shepp. There’s a tribute to Alice Coltrane by saxophonist Ravi Coltrane and the usual marathon nights of music on January 12-13. We’ll have more details in the next show and publish our annual cheat sheet and review online. Stay tuned for all of that.

That’s all for now. Suga’ in My Bowl will be back on WBAI‘s airwaves on Sunday January 21. We’ll also have another edition of “On the Bandstand” online next Sunday with a fresh set of listings.

—-
Hank Williams is an associate producer for Suga’ in My Bowl on WBAI Radio and webmaster for the Suga’ and Behind the Mic sites. He is also a PhD candidate in English and Africana Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center and teaches at Hunter and Lehman Colleges and The City College of New York. Find him on Twitter @streetgriot

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For New York City jazz fans and those who can get here, one of the things to look forward to in the summer are the music festivals and events. It’s a particularly good time of year with lots of shows—many of them free or low cost.

We’re far from summer, but as the weather thaws out this week, the big news is the 10th Anniversary of the at the Winter Jazz Fest, which is scattered throughout imultiple venues in Greenwich Village. While it officially started on the 7th, the real action is this weekend on the 10th and 11th.

With that in mind, we’ve assembled a “cheat sheet” of sorts of former Suga’ guests who will be performing. There are also a several other people we like (including a few we have on our radar for future shows), so we’ve added them at the end. And a reminder that you can go to the Suga’ in My Bowl audio archives, where all of our shows live on to check up on past guests. So with that out of the way, let’s dive in.

Friday January 10th Picks

At 9PM, singer Rene Marie takes the stage at the Zinc Bar. Diehard Marie fans should get there early, as the space is small and tends to fill quickly with the mix of people who are there as part of their regular hangout and people coming for the jazz fest.

We’ve featured Marie’s work twice on Suga’. First in March 2013 when she was the featured guest and then in November after the release of her Eartha Kitt tribute I Wanna Be Evil as part of our Eartha Kitt show.

Marie’s a deeply soulful singer and songwriter following in a long tradition of jazz balladeers. She’s no stranger to politics either, drawing heat for her rendition of the national anthem and then dedicating all the proceeds from her “This is Not a Protest Song” to homeless advocates.

Also at 9PM, veteran saxophonist Gary Bartz takes the Revive Music Stage with a quartet. Bartz was our guest in December 2010 and you can expect a strong set from him.

At 9:45 PM, drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts and Lionel Loueke take the stage at Le Poisson Rouge. We covered Watts in July 2013.

Honorable mentions:

We might stop by guitarist Mary Halvorson’s Septet at the 10:00pm show at Judson Memorial Church. We’re fans of free jazz, and Halvorson’s guitar explorations have caught our eye in the past.

Following them at Judson is Peter Brötzmann’s 11:15pm set with drummer Hamid Drake and Jason Adasiewicz. Brötzmann’s an electrifying performer and been a free jazz stalwart for years. He doesn’t make it to the US that often, so this set is one to see if you’re a fan of his type of work.

Saturday January 11th Picks

The Saturday sets with Suga’ guests happen to be conveniently concentrated in 2 venues. Early action sets at the Bitter End, before heading to Zinc Bar.

Michele Rosewoman’s New Yor-Uba ensemble takes the Bitter End’s stage at 6:15. It’ll be a smaller ensemble than the full big band featured last fall at Dizzy’s Club and Rosewoman’s looking to fill the lead vocal role, but expect a performance that’s intensely spiritual, swings hard, and blends Afro-Cuban rhythms at the same time.

Howard Johnson & Gravity follow at 7:30, with their tuba prowess rumbling the venue. We featured Johnson in 2012 and he had so much to say that we actually posted a web extra. It’s a rare opportunity to catch the Gravity ensemble.

Switching gears to the Zinc Bar, we find drummer Terri Lyne Carrington teaming up with harmonica virtuoso Gregoire Maret at 10:15pm. Carrington’s another guest whose been with us a couple of times. First, in 2007 for a profile of her work and then in 2011 the context of the Mosaic Project release, featuring women from all over the jazz spectrum.

At 11:30pm saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin & Soul Squad will be sure to keep the party going. Benjamin’s been working the NYC area jazz scene for a while now and got a breakthrough last year with a spot in the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival.

In the fine tradition of the after hours jam sessions, you’ll have to stay up really late for Marc Cary’s Focus Trio, who don’t take the stage until 12:45 AM, but we think it’s worth it. We talked to Cary for our Abbey Lincoln special, as he was her pianist and released For the Love of Abbey, a solo piano CD dedicated to Lincoln, last year. You may hear some of those compositions, but definitely count on hearing material from the trio’s Four Directions release.

Honorable mentions:

Saxophonist Henry Threadgill‘s “Ensemble Double-Up” In Remembrance of Lawrence Butch Morris has 8 and 10 PM shows at Judson. Following them, the 11:45pm show at Judson featuring guitarist Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog ensemble with guitarist Mary Halvorson promises to be one that’ll satisfy electric guitar fans. If you’re already at Judson, then you might as well stay for pianist Matthew Shipp’s Trio’s 1:00am set. We probably can’t stay up late enough to catch Hypnotic Brass Ensemble’s 1:30am set at Le Poisson Rouge, but the real night owls out there should consider giving them a look. We would if we could.

Hope to see you at the festival! What sets are you planning to or did you see? Let us know in the comments.

Hank Williams is an associate producer for Suga’ in My Bowl on WBAI Radio and webmaster for the Suga’ and Behind the Mic sites. He is also a PhD candidate in English and Africana Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center and teaches at Hunter and Lehman Colleges and The City College of New York.

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