Archive for Bootleg

Blindfold Bootleg Series: Walter Smith III

Posted in Improvisation, Musical Influences, Performance with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2015 by pogo56

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I’ve maintained for years that Walter Smith III is the Wayne Shorter of my generation.  I say this of the Houston native because like Wayne Shorter, who’s played alongside the greatest trumpet players of his generation and above (Miles, Freddie Hubbard, and Lee Morgan immediately come to mind); Walter has also done the same with his generation, performing with the likes of Ambrose Akinmusire, Sean Jones, Darren Barrett, Terence Blanchard, and Dave Douglas.  Walter has one of the most seamless streams of music originality that you can imagine coming from and improvising music.  He’s dona ALL of his homework so he is at home in any style that’s laid before him.  Not only is he a great saxophonist, he’s also an excellent composer, arranger, and educator.  Here’s what Walter had to say after hearing the examples:

Example 1: Marcus Strickland live at the Regattabar Cambridge Ma 2008
Marcus Strickland (sounds like his tone and time feel)

Response:  I’ve been listening to Marcus for years…I met him at IAJE when I was in high school and he was playing a white LA Sax! He blew me away then and continues to be one of my favorites and a real torch bearer for our generation.

Example 2: Myron Walden live at Fat Cat NYC (year unknown)
Not really sure on this one ….if I had to guess I would say Myron Walden? Sounds like his alto phrasing and articulation a bit, but I don’t know his tenor playing quite as well as his alto playing.
Response:  It’s cool how you can hear someone’s nuance regardless of the instrument they are playing! His playing with fellowship was a huge inspiration to me and still is. Also “Like A Flower Seeking the Sun” is still on the desert island list…

Example 3: Logan Richardson live at the Duc du Lombards Paris 2013
Logan Richardson (pretty awesome sound and patience).

Response: One of the absolute trend setters on the saxophone these days who is always pushing and inspiring. Another dude that’s carrying the torch for the generation!

Example 4: Ravi Coltrane live at the Jazz Standard 2013
So familiar but i can’t place it! My guess is going to be J.D. Allen but it’s more Trane than Wayne here.

Response: I can’t believe I missed this one! Especially because I’m pretty sure that I was at this show one day that week! Ravi has great ideas and great phrasing and always brings the energy!

Example 5: George Garzone live at the Museum Boston (year unknown)
Again, super familiar but I can’t place it! great sound/taste.

Response: Wow! Garzone! He’s a bad dude and has taught just about everybody I know at some point. Always great to hear him.

Example 6:  Bill McHenry Live at the Village Vanguard Nyc (year unknown)
hmm…

Response: I only have “Roses” and the quartet record with Paul Motian so I’m not as familiar with his playing as the rest of the guys here but getting more of his stuff is definitely on my list of things to do. Great ideas and unique directions with his phrases. Very cool.

Example 7:  Tim Warfield live at Scullers (year unknown)
Tim Warfield? Sounds like his sound and inflection for sure.
The one thing that’s happening here is I’m realizing how small my sound is!
Response: Tim is my man! Fell in love with his playing from the Nicholas Payton records in high school and he’s definitely a powerful saxophone player. He has one of the most colorful tones and set of inflection of anybody. I’d also imagine it would be fun to play in a rhythm section behind him since he has so much energy all the time.

Do yourself a big favor if you haven’t already and pick up Walter’s latest record on his website!!

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Blindfold Bootleg Series: Jeremy Pelt

Posted in Improvisation, jazz trumpet music, Performance with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2015 by pogo56

Jeremy Pelt

I truly think that any trumpeter of my generation or younger that’s playing anything of consequence owes a debt to Jeremy Pelt.  Jeremy is a prime example of an artist that has continued to reinvent himself, producing great interesting projects that are steeped in the history of the trumpet in this music as well as forward thinking.  I myself owe a huge debt to my fellow JP for simply bringing me down to Wally’s in the fall of 1997 and asking me to play for him as well as the subsequent lessons that followed!!  Here’s what Jeremy had to say after hearing the examples:


Example 1
-Dave Douglas Live at R-bar

1) Hmmm… I must admit that I’m completely clueless as to who it might be. There are shades of Keyon Harrold in there, but it’s definitely not him. There are shades of me in there, but definitely not me. I like where his solo went though, and I can’t wait to find out who it was.

Example 2-Wynton live with Freddie Hubbard NYC

2) Wynton Marsalis sitting in with Hub at the Blue Note. Interesting to hear how his sound evolved. Also, funnily enough listening to the first couple of phrases, you get the impression the Wynton is mocking Hub, which was the wrong thing to do in THIS period of Hub. Before he called Wynton up, he completely KILLED ‘Hubtones’.

Example 3-Ryan Kisor Live in Japan

3) Hmmm…. Can’t say I know who this is either. Obviously they’re indebted to Woody. The voicings on the piano suggest that it could be Harold Mabern on the piano.

Example 4-Tom Harrell with Johnathan Blake

4) Tom Harrell…That sound is so great, and you can hear K.D. all up in it.

Example 5-Keyon Harrold live in NYC

5.) Keyon Harrold…so open. Like the shape of his lines.

Example 6-Christian Scott Live at the R-Bar

6.) Is it Marquis Hill ?

Example 7-Art Farmer live in NYC

7.) Again…completely clueless.

Do yourself a favor and keep up with Jeremy’s new music and live appearances on his website!

Blindfold Bootleg Series: Dave Neves

Posted in Improvisation, jazz trumpet music, Performance with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2015 by pogo56

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Massachusetts native and recent NYC resident trumpet phenom David Neves has been a constant sonic inspiration for me.  I’ve been lucky enough to track his progress since I first heard him play at Wally’s about five or six years ago.  And he comes down often so its been that much more pleasurable to experience his progress week in and week out.  I often hire him to play in my band because I love the sound of the trumpet, especially when it’s in Dave’s hands, lol!!!  If you ask me he should have been in the Monk Semis in LA in 2014.  Here’s what Dave had to say after hearing with test:

Example 1-Dave Douglas Live at R-bar

I think this may be Dave Douglas? There are points of this solo where it sounds exactly like him, but there are also other parts where he plays things not really characteristic of his playing. To me, his inflections are Dave Douglas-ish though.

Example 2-Wynton live with Freddie Hubbard NYC

I’m really unsure of who this is. There’s points where it sounds like Freddie, but that would be too obvious. It’s not, but I can’t tell who it is. This is a good example though of a trumpet player who has a similar to other trumpet players (Freddie in this case).

Example 3-Ryan Kisor Live in Japan

To me, this sounds like Lee Morgan. His feeling and time-feel and ideas all scream Lee to me (in the beginning).  However, the lines he plays about a minute into the solo start getting a Woody Shaw sound definitely.  I can’t tell.

Example 4-Tom Harrell with Johnathan Blake

This is definitely Tom Harrell. Everything about this is Tom Harrell. He’s one of my favorite players. The space he leaves, his time-feel and his sound. Also whenever he plays anything, it sounds like he’s constantly searching for something different, but still with a melodic sense.

Example 5-Keyon Harrold live in NYC

In the beginning, I thought this might have been Roy Hargrove. I really can’t tell who it may be. It sounds like a younger trumpet player. Has so much fire and some awesome, and creative ideas. I just don’t know, but I wish I could play “One Finger Snap” like that. Then end when he’s holding the long notes out, it sounds like Nicholas Payton.

Example 6-Christian Scott Live at the R-Bar

Again, I can’t really tell who this is. Again, there’s some points where they sound a bit like Roy Hargrove, but there’s also points where it doesn’t sound like Roy at all.

Example 7-Art Farmer live in NYC

I really need to listen to more trumpet players! Whoever this is has a kind of Tom Harrell vibe, but I’m really unsure who it may be. John McNeil?

Dave has a new recording out that is excellent entitled Progress Report!  Stay afloat with what’s going on in Dave by visiting his facebook page!

Blindfold Bootleg Series: Julian Shore

Posted in Improvisation, Musical Influences with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2015 by pogo56

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Julian Shore is one of THOSE players.  And by that I mean that if you listen with intent to what he’s playing on the bandstand, you will often find yourself shaking your head in disbelief.  I’ve had the great fortune of making music with this fine gentleman for the past several years, most recently on a spring US tour with bassist Michael Feinberg’s Humblebrag.  Here’s Julian’s Test:


I do want to preface this with how difficult this was for me, given the wealth of influences present in so many pianists nowadays… A lot of these bootlegs sound like they’re pretty recent. Also I utterly stink at identifying modern pianists. I’ll do my best, but I’m not really certain with any of these! I just sort of stream-of-conciousness-ed them as I went along. I mostly just tried to pick out the influences I heard in each player, rather than definitively say one way of the other.

Example 1:  Fred Hersch, Nobody Else But Me,  live in NYC in duo with Mark Turner (year unknown).

1. My initial reaction is this sounds like Fred Hersch, so if it’s not Fred it’s someone very influenced by him. The touch sounds a little aggressive for Fred so maybe it’s not him (or maybe it’s the recording). But the material sure fits. Great contrapuntal playing between the hands, and that same bouncy feel. Even moving up to the high register with those little syncopations sounds like him. It’s slightly lacking in his normal sense of insane control at the end there I suppose, but maybe he’s just reaching for stuff. Either way it sounds fantastic whoever it is!
After:  Very cool. Fred’s really sounding so strong here, I’m curious when the recording is from. Special playing!
Example 2:  Aruan Ortiz, Ask me Now live at the Regattabar in Cambridge (year unknown)
2. Same sort of thing with the last one, only this sounds very much like Jason Moran to me. Lots of phrases and ideas I’ve heard from Jason before, and the interplay/use of space fits. Lots of cool, oblique phrases that abruptly change directions and are pulling from a very non-tonal place. And the time’s stretching all over the place. It’s nice to hear this kind of treatment of Ask Me Now, which is played so much these days. I really like it, very unique playing and it sounds like they’re really searching and playing without fear. Just playing what they’re hearing, and it’s great material. 
After:  Ahhh Aruan! Wow, I haven’t heard him in a while, but he’s always been a phenomenal player. Listening back, I’m pretty surprised I had such strong pull to Jason’s name. I think some confirmation bias took over! Regardless, it’s a free, organic and beautiful performance.
Example 3:  McCoy Tyner, Darn That Dream live at the Regattabar in Cambridge (year unknown)

3. This one sounds like an older musician to me. The facility and pedal control sound like they’ve taken a hit over the years, but it’s still a great performance. Nice dynamics and a bit of arrangement to Darn That Dream. That big, booming left-hand is really reminiscent of McCoy’s solo piano playing, especially at the end with the right hand chordal stuff. Definitely reminds me of that, but without the furious pentatonic fills that usually accompany it. Also some of the lefthand voice movement is throwing me off. George Cables maybe? 

After:  Yeah, that left hand was kind of a giveaway for McCoy. But he is really sounding great here, even though it must be quite late into his career. Certainly a departure from his earlier solo records that I’ve heard.

Example 4:  Aaron Goldberg, Impressions live in Portugal with Nicholas Payton.

4. If this isn’t Aaron Goldberg, it’s someone very influenced by him. A lot of his trademark solo material littered throughout, as well as his touch and feel. Or maybe this is one of the guys who influenced Aaron! What do I know…. Also plenty of Kenny Kirkland influence as well. Very much coming out of that 80’s/early 90’s style of jazz piano, so it’s someone inspired by that tradition (which is obviously coming out of McCoy). Could be one of those 90’s guys. Beats me! But it’s swinging and has a lot of energy so it’s fun to listen to. 

After:  Yep, Aaron sounding great as always. He’s as rock solid as they come, always so strong and controlled. Nasty!

Example 5:  Leo Genovese, Berlin (Jason Palmer)  live in NYC with Jason Palmer Septet

5. This is one of your tunes Jason, right? ‘Berlin’ maybe? I can’t remember… I think I’ve played it before once. This guy or gal sounds like they’re coming out of Herbie, not that they’re sounding like a clone or anything. That 3-2-1 minor scale thing Herbie does is present in the beginning, and then it diverges into some really interesting line playing. A little time-stretchy sometimes, and it phases in and out of the harmony creatively which I like. Lots of chops, strong playing! I’m going to guess Cedric here maybe? 

After:  To be honest I’m a little shocked this is Leo! He’s always been such a chameleon, but even then, this one seems uncharacteristic. He was actually my piano teacher in high school (via Hal Crook), though I was a total slacker (Sorry Leo!). He’s long been a huge inspiration to me, and one of my very favorite musicians. Seeing him play with Hal every week in RI was one of the biggest reasons I got into playing jazz. Sad I didn’t get this one!

Example 6: Gerald Clayton, Blues live at Jazz Gallery NYC with Patrick Cornelius Octet (2013).

6. Definitely someone who’s been listening to Paul Bley (one of my favorites!). Similar feel and variation of touch to his lines. Some of his ‘licks.’ One of the few modern guys I can think of who’s REALLY coming out of Paul is Aaron Parks, who I also love. At first I thought it might be Aaron, but then he or she plays some uncharacteristic things there at the end, pulling from Herbie and other more usual-suspect jazz piano language. Maybe a really polished younger guy who’s still sewing his influences together? I haven’t heard a whole lot from him, but I’ve always really enjoyed his playing so maybe Christian Li? Or Luke? I’m going to feel like an idiot if I’m way off-base here… Could easily be a veteran with how great the playing is (like Gerald Clayton or something).

After:  Hah! Look at that… I really thought this was Gerald, but the young kids are all sounding so great these days, and they really seem to be pulling from a similar set of influences. Thought you might be getting sneaky! And of course Gerald is still very young. He’s just incredible… brilliant player.

Example 7:  Dave Kikoski, Mr. Day live in Xalapa Mexico with Jason Palmer, Francisco Mela, Emilliano Coronel (2013).

7. More of the pentatonic-based “power piano” playing we heard in example four, but this time pulling even harder from Kenny and McCoy. Very on-top, percussive feel; pulling the rhythm section along for the ride 🙂 Maybe Joey Calderazzo? For a second I thought it might be Orrin Evans out of the sheer strength of the playing, but I really don’t think it’s him. Danny Grissett maybe? I’m not very well versed with the material unfortunately, I feel like this one should be really obvious to me. Really no clue, but it’s someone who’s terrific at this style! Really impressive piano playing.

After:  Of course, Kikoski. Don’t know how his name slipped my mind, he’s a perfect fit. Beast of a pianist!

Julian has several great recordings out, one of my favorites being Filaments.  Keep up with the latest happenings with Julian by visiting his website!