Martin Longley stays up past your bedtime to report on late night happenings in the city that never sleeps.
Ensemble musikFabrik Avery Fisher Hall July 20, 2013 Karlheinz Stockhausen and Sun Ra must surely vie for the stellar position of most cosmically attuned composer within the bounds of the omniverse. Stockhausen's Licht is arguably his major work, at least in terms of sheer scale. It's a seven-day-long operatic cycle that its composer must have been relieved to complete before his demise. This performance of Michael's Reise Um Die Erde (Michael's Journey Around The World)" is a mere fragment when set beside the whole sprawl, lasting only around an hour. It's the second, ...read more
Lucian Ban & Mat Maneri The Rubin Museum Of Art June 7, 2013 This was the first in a three-part series where the Rubin's acoustic-only theatre was taken over by artists from the ECM label, all of them celebrating the release of new albums. It was an ideal situation for Lucian Ban (piano) and Mat Maneri (viola) to commune in intimate no-microphone fashion with the museum's always attentive Friday night audience. The candles were on the tables, the lighting was suitably dimmed. The Transylvanian Concert (ECM, 2013) disc was recorded live ...read more
Boris(le) Poisson RougeMay 6, 2013 It's hard to corral Boris into a metal-generic corner. Whilst this Tokyo trio's prime reputation revolves around a spiraling psychedelic ascension, it is just as likely to get grubby and direct, or even poppy and spangled. This Poisson show was the first of two nights, dedicated to a general 20-year career overview. The second evening was destined to reproduce a specific album, Flood (MIDI Creative, 2000), and to concentrate on the abstracted drone facet of the Boris output. The first night was sold out, but the Poisson never packs ...read more
Spiritualized Secret Project Robot April 2, 2013 The English cosmo-psychedelic drugsludge-rock combo Spiritualized would usually be expected to play at one of NYC's larger venues, such as Terminal 5 or Webster Hall. Just prior to their U.S. West Coast dates, Spiritualized suddenly announced a micro-gig, leaking the news on the morning of the show after rehearsing locally in preparation for the tour. Secret Project Robot is a small d.i.y. joint in the heart of the industrial wasteland of Bushwick, in Brooklyn (only a few weeks ago, its original Williamsburg building was ...read more
The Luis Bonilla Quintet Dizzy's Club March 19, 2013 For two nights only, trombonist Luis Bonilla brought his quintet to Dizzy's Club. The first set on the first evening launched off into an assured blast of convoluted style amalgamation. Many might view Bonilla as a Latin jazz specialist because of his Costa Rican background, but the Californian 'bone man bandleader's version of jazz skirts many different zones, usually within each individual composition. Opening with some sleazily slurred blues, the combo switched to ballad mood, transforming into a funk feel, with pianist Bruce Barth ...read more
Alash Carnegie Hall February 16, 2013 Carnegie Hall's late-night weekend series of shows always have a livelier atmosphere than their earlier 8:00 p.m. concerts. Typically a gig will begin down in the subterranean Zankel Hall at 10:00 p.m., continuing until almost midnight. It always seems as if the audience is geared up with energies already accumulated during their night's earlier activities. The only potential negative side effect of this situation is the increased likelihood of an early leave-taking minority. The appearance of Alash, a Tuvan trio of throat-singing minstrels, represented one of Carnegie's ...read more
The Ivo Perelman Quartet The Stone January 30, 2013 The leader of this quartet is actually its least-known member, outside of the hardcore free jazz zone. This gig arrived towards the conclusion of a fortnight's curation at The Stone by Joe Morris, who played upright bass for Brazilian tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman. The other members were pianist Matthew Shipp and drummer Gerald Cleaver. An impressive combination of players, even before their first notes were sent running. Microphones were strategically placed, and maybe this set will be publicly released one day. That would be ...read more
Barry Altschul Roulette January 8, 2013 Another 70th birthday to celebrate, another musician who commands the appearance and vitality of a much younger player. New York drummer Barry Altschul actually hit 70 two days before this celebratory gig at Roulette. The long-established experimental music venue is now settling in at its newer Brooklyn space very well. There's a sense that the joint has stabilized and refined itself as a performing space, in terms of its sound, light and acoustic qualities. Altschul elected to combine his birthday party with an album ...read more
Arto Lindsay New Museum November 30, 2012 Right from the outset, singer/guitarist Arto Lindsay appeared uncomfortable about the framing for this gig in the New Museum on the Bowery. He'd been involved in one of the current exhibitions upstairs, documenting the art scene in that area (Come Closer: Art Around The Bowery, 1969-1989). Much of the music erupting from that vivid scene would have typically inhabited some grimy, graffiti-covered, beer-swillin,' vomit-coated, dimly-lit joint, rather than this gleamingly white, blank-spaced, glare-lit gallery. Well, at least Lindsay's one-man show was down in the ...read more
Henry Cole & The Afrobeat Collective 92Y Tribeca May 30, 2012 The Checkout is a monthly live broadcast for the WBGO radio station, presented by DJ Josh Jackson. The deal down at 92Y Tribeca always involves two formidable combos, often featuring a very familiar act coupled with a surging fresh presence on the scene. As the red light of live" winks on, the night is governed by the demands of a tight start to the proceedings. Admission is usually reasonably priced, and the bar features some exciting special offers. Even though 92Y's location ...read more
Lee Konitz / Dan Tepfer Jazz Standard March 21, 2012 An improvising dialogue has been steadily developing between veteran alto saxophonist Lee Konitz and recently emerging pianist Dan Tepfer. Konitz is 84, Tepfer is 30. It's already been three years since their collaborative album on the Sunnyside label , 2009's Duets With Lee. The relationship continues, its aim a flowing exploration, but there's nearly always a tune at the core, often one with a deeply established substance. This was a one-nighter, with just two sets, so it was no surprise that the Standard ...read more
Thurston Moore The Allen Room February 2, 2012 It's impossible to escape the aura of respectable tradition that surrounds Lincoln Center's annual American Songbook series. The very concept evokes an established Broadway-and-beyond form that lies at the heart of U.S. popular music. The majority of the artists presented in Jazz At Lincoln Center's Allen Room hail from the mainstream, whether it be jazz, cabaret, country or pop, but the series has regularly encouraged a slightly subversive element, where representatives from the alternative rock world are invited to tread the boards of NYC's most ...read more
Sean Noonan & Pavees Dance The Douglass Street Music Collective December 15, 2011 It might seem as though drummer/composer Sean Noonan was enjoying a quiet year in 2011, playing fewer gigs than usual. The reality is that he's been busy scribing new works, in preparation for a twin album onslaught in 2012. He's also planning an extensive reissue drive for his existing catalogue. Six months ago, Noonan played at The Stone with his Boxing Dreams String Quartet. Just as it sounds, that involved Noonan's drumming together with a more aggressive than usual ring ...read more
The Dave Douglas/Donny McCaslin Key Motion Quintet Jazz Standard December 8, 2011 This was the first of four Dave Douglas nights at the Jazz Standard, each of them highlighting a different performance perspective. The unexpected has become the expected where this high-wire trumpeter is concerned. Douglas is perpetually scouting for fresh settings, new musical concepts and unfamiliar terrain where he's able to stretch his abilities, to heighten an already fearsome virtuosity and communicative playing passion. Three out of the four combos were premiering unexplored parameters. The second evening teamed Douglas with the new ...read more
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