hot house jazz | july 2014

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New York's Premier Jazz Guide


  • Where To Go & Who To See Since 1982

    July 2014

    Marcus BelgraveDizzysPage 30

    John ChinSmallsPage 10

    Jack WilkinsJazz Standard

    Page 29

    Cyrus ChestnutSmoke

    Page 10

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  • WINNING SP INSBy George Kanzler

    10 Belgrave cover photo by Wayne Norman, Chin by Michelle Watt, Chestnut by Stefe Jirofle

    THE MOST SALIENT FEATURE OFjazz in the 21st Century is its enor-mous breadth and diversity. A music thatonce was defined largely by a unifyingprincipleswinghas become fracturedand fragmented stylistically, spawninghundreds of styles and hybrids that incor-porate the influences of music rangingfrom serial modern to South Asian, tangoto West African, chamber to symphonic.Nowhere is the scope of options more evi-dent, in a handy microcosm, than in thetraditional, acoustic piano trio: piano, bassand drums.

    This Winning Spins highlights two newalbums by piano trios: one of them, CyrusChestnut's, comes out of the continuingmainstream tradition of swing and lyricalflair, and the other, John Chin's, exploresthe freer rhythmic structures and varietyof influences that have expanded jazz inrecent years. While the albums are stylis-tically at odds, they share an admirabletechnical virtuosity in the players as wellas a recording philosophy that emphasizesspontaneity and improvisation. Chestnut'swas recorded live at a club and Chin's withthe trio all together in one room in a studio.

    Midnight Melodies, Cyrus Chestnut(Smoke Sessions), recorded over two nightslate last year at Smoke Jazz & SupperClub on the Upper West Side, follows thecontours of a single set by Chestnut's triowith bassist Curtis Lundy and drummerLewis Nash. Surprisingly, it is Chestnut'sfirst live album as a leader and, judgingfrom the results, should definitely not behis last.

    The music has such verve that it palpa-bly buoys your spirits when you hear it.Chestnut, like such predecessors as ErrolGarner and Oscar Peterson, infuses hisplaying with a joyous energy and unflag-ging swing. This CD is loosely dedicated toone of Chestnut's compatriots and men-tors, the late John Hicks. Three of the 11tracks are Hicks material and in the notesChestnut explains how Hicks' versions ofsome of the others inspired him.

    The CD kicks off with a pair of Hickstunes: the bright ballad "Two Heartbeats"and the composer's tribute to anotherpianist, Sonny Clark, "Pocket Full ofBlues." The tracks amply displayChestnut's crisp articulation and singing,ringing way with single note lines, as wellas his ability to build solos from thosethrough block chords and resounding cli-

    maxes, as Lundy and Lewis follow his leadwith swinging dynamism.

    But the highpoint of the album is anoth-er Hicks piece: "Naima's Love Song," thepenultimate track. The first three minutesis a piano solo, beginning with a fondremembrance of a hymn, "Sweet Hour ofPrayer," then meandering on to a lush ren-dition of "For All We Know" before the triohits the Hicks tune. It is swung in asprightly tempo with clean, crisp pianoshadowed by attentive bass and drums; itthen morphs into a dancing, tropicalrhythmed final section before a deceleratedpiano and bass coda. It all adds up to a true tour de force. Also impressive are apair of Billy Strayhorn numbers, two Nashoriginals and a quicksilver version of"Giant Steps."

    Undercover, John Chin (BJU Records),says the leader, was made to document theprogress of his working trio with bassistOrlando Le Fleming and drummer DanRieser. The trio inhabits that very flexibleand slightly amorphous space that could becalled post-bop or post-modern. Temposare often elastic with swing much less aconcern than ensemble rapport and strate-gies may be borrowed, as that other post-modern trio The Bad Plus does, from rockand hip-hop as well as the jazz tradition.

    As a pianist, Chin is chameleon-like:pointillist and abstract at one juncture,gnarly or bluesy at another. The title tuneis compulsive in its persuasive mood, cre-ated with a fractured melody over an oddlyseductive time signature and a churningbeat that heralds polyphonic lines fromChin. His original, "If for No One," is a bal-lad with a bossa/samba rhythm and utter-ly distinctive, clipped piano phrasing.

    A more conventionally paced, but flex-timed, rhythm animates another ballad:Charlie Chaplin's "Smile," with bass andpiano weaving in a cat's cradle and Chinvoicing the melody low in his left hand overright hand arpeggios. Two Wayne Shortertunes absorb rock rhythm influences andthis trio's "Caravan" is a unique versionwith its ominous, deep, yet funky beats.Trio interplay reaches a crescendo on thefinale, John Coltrane's "Countdown."

    Cyrus Chestnut celebrates therelease of Midnight Melodies with histrio at Smoke July 18-19. John Chin isat Smalls July 14.

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    PUBLISHER/MANAGING EDITOR:Gwen Kelley (formerly Calvier)gwen@hothousejazz.comCOPY EDITOR: Yvonne Ervinyvonne@hothousejazz.comPRODUCTION & ART DIRECTOR:Karen Pica karen@hothousejazz.comCONTRIBUTING WRITERS:Guy Arseneau, Ken Dryden, Yvonne Ervin,Ken Franckling, Seton Hawkins, GeorgeKanzler, Elzy Kolb, Ralph A. Miriello,Michael G. Nastos, Michael Steinman, Gary Walker, Eric WendellPROOF READER: Robert AbelCONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER: Fran Kaufman

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    Toll Free Phone: 888-899-8007/

    Hot House Jazz Magazine is published monthly and allcopyrights are the property of Gwen Kelley. All rights

    reserved. No material may be reproduced without writtenpermission of the President. No unsolicited manuscriptswill be returned unless enclosed with a self addressed

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    international $50.PUBLISHER EMERITUS: Dave N Dittmann

    CO-FOUNDERS: Gene Kalbacher, Lynn Taterka & Jeff Levenson

    For press releases and CD revues send a copy toGwen Kelley: PO Box 20212 - New York, NY 10025

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    UPPER MANHATTAN(Above 70th Street)


    92Y: 1395 Lexington Av at 92nd St. 212-415-5500. Jul 22-24&29-31: 8pmJazz In July feat 07/22: Jon-Erik Kellso, HarryAllen, James Chirillo, Bill Charlap, TedRosenthal, Sandy Stewart, Todd Coolman &Dennis Mackrel; 07/23: Brian Lynch, JimmyGreene, Jon Gordon, Bill Charlap, PeterWashington, Kenny Washington & DanielSadownick; 07/24: Jeremy Pelt, Ralph Moore,Steve Wilson, Renee Rosnes, Bill Charlap,Peter Washington & Lewis Nash; 07/29: DickHyman, Bill Charlap, Christian Sands, SeanSmith & Willie Jones III; 07/30: Ccile McLorinSalvant, Bill Charlap Trio & Jesse Davis; 07/31Sachal Vasandani, Ken Peplowski, MichaelDease, Bucky Pizzarelli, Renee Rosnes, BillCharlap, George Mraz & Carl Allen; 23: 8pmfree adm Jazz & Jam w/92Ys Jazz Combo.

    449 LA: 449 Lenox Av (bet 132nd & 133rd Sts).212-234-3298. Thurs: 1-3:30pm Jazz &Dessert; Fri-Sat: 8pm; Sun: 1-3:30&4-7pmPatio Jazz.

    809 BAR & GRILL: 112 Dyckman St (Off NagleAv). 212-304-3800.Thurs: 8:30-11pm Aquilitos Jazz in theHeigthzz feat Grant Goldstein Trio.

    AMERICAN LEGION POST: 248W 132nd St(bet 7th & 8th Avs). Wed-Thurs&Sun: 7:30pm-12am Jam.

    APOLLO THEATER: 253W 125th St. 212-531-5300.

    BEMELMANS: At Carlyle Hotel. 35E 76th St atMadison. 212-744-1600.Adm varies. Mon 5:30-8:30pm&9pm-12am,Sun 5-8pm: Earl Rose; Tues-Sat 5:30-8:30pm:Chris Gillespie; Tues-Thurs 9:30pm-12:30am&Fri-Sat 9:30pm-1am: tba; Sun 9pm-12am: Brandon McCune Trio.

    BILLS PLACE: 148W 133rd St (bet Lenox &7th Avs). 212-281-0777. $20 don. Fri-Sat: 9&11pm Bill SaxtonBebop Band.

    BILLIES BLACK RESTAURANT &LOUNGE: 271W 119th St (bet St. NicholasAv & Frederick Douglass Blvd).

    BISTRO TEN 18: 1018 Amsterdam Av at 110thSt. 212-662-7600. 9pm-12am Morningside JazzCollective.

    CAF DU SOLEIL: 2723 Bway at 104th St.212-316-5000. Fri:8-11pm. Free adm. Jul 18: Jen Wrobleski Trio;25: Marianne Solivan.

    CAMPAGNOLA: 1382 1st Av at 74th St. 212-861-1102. Fri-Sat: 8pm-12am Effie Jansen.

    CHEZ LUCIENNE: 308 Lenox Av at 125th St.212-289-5555.

    CHILDRENS MUSEUM OF MANHATTAN:Tisch Bldg. 212W 83rd St (bet Bway &Amsterdam). 212-721-1223.Wed 11am-3pm, Sat-Sun 3-3:30&4-4:30pm:All Jazzed Up. Jul 2: Joseph Wiggan; 5: Dayna

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    Stephens; 6: Rafi Malkiel; 9: Andrew Nemr; 12:Grandpa Musselman & Syncopators; 13&16:Michela Marino Lerman; 19: Brianna Thomas;20: Chad Lefkowitz Brown; 26: Kavita Shah;27: Itamar Borochov.

    CHOCOLAT RESTAURANT & LOUNGE:2217-23 Frederick Douglass Blvd at