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September 2016 Newsletter

9.9 Rale Micic's Night Music

In his first outing as bandleader in five years, Serbian guitarist Rale Micic reimagines the heartfelt work of Bela Bartok
Good things often take time to take shape. It took Rale Micic (pronounced Rah-lay Mee-cheech) five years to wrap his arms around Night Music, his first album as a leader in that time. In the interim, the Serbian guitarist had been working with Tom Harrell in his recent First Impressions ensemble, as well as recording the sweet trio disc 3, with Gregory Hutchinson (Ray Brown, Joshua Redman, and Joe Henderson) and Scott Colley (Herbie Hancock, Jim Hall). These projects propelled Micic to prominence and kept him in the public eye. But nothing—including his three previous recordings as a bandleader prior—will quite prepare that same public for Night Music.
Casually billed as a “reimagination of Bartok,” Night Music is that and more. Bartok, the Hungarian classical composer, fused ethnic folk music with traditional classical to create work of incredible national pride, Micic creates an equally distinctive mélange of ethnic music, conventional jazz and more urban elements. In the same way that Harrell, another of Micic’s heroes, was inspired to push the impressionism of Ravel and Debussy, Micic, who grew up in Belgrade before moving to New York City, was inspired to nudge the sounds of Bartok into a modern era.
The events that inspired Micic and eventually yielded this project, his fourth as a leader, are startling. Micic grew up listening to Bartók’s music thanks to his classical music-loving grandfather. He later studied Bartók’s string quartets in college. But the connection grew deeper still when he moved to New York City after four years at Berklee. Several years after settling into his Riverdale neighborhood in upper Manhattan, Micic discovered Bartok, the man he considered one of the greatest composers of the 20th century, lived only two blocks away from where Micic himself had been living for a dozen years. Bartok spent his last few years in Riverdale transcribing Serbian folk music at Columbia. Motivated by the inspiration and closeness he felt to the spirit of Bartok, Micic conceived Night Music, a heartfelt tribute of extraordinary beauty and an immense accomplishment.
Strangely, the project took Micic in starkly different musical directions. Micic had especially loved Bartok’s nocturnals, where the old composer would venture out into nature, hear the sounds of the night, and translate that sound into music. Micic wondered what sort of compositions he’d come up with if Bartok were alive today and living in New York. Night Music was his personal answer.
Throughout the recording, Micic finds many connections between his ambitions and the work of Bartok, from the harmonic depth of the music to the jazz related chromatics. And it’s all brought together by his band of talented brothers: Grissett, drummer Jonathan Blake and Micic all play with Harrell. Holt is a longtime musical partner. The chemistry is pure, as they all find their way together through Bartok’s tuneful looking glass.
The modern day reimagining begins with “Hotel Insomnia,” a pulsating drum ’n’ bass number that is unlike anything Micic has recorded before. While the bass groove from Corcoran Holt (Kenny Garrett, Benny Golson, Jimmy Heath) is heavy and propulsive, Danny Grisset’s Fender Rhodes lends a soft counter cushion, just right for Micic’s flowing lines and embellishments. “On this one,” Micic admits, “I was imagining Bartók passing by nightclubs with dance music blaring and just hearing all these different sounds and hot rhythms going on. That’s what the city is at night nowadays.”
Micic’s lovely ballad “Blue” features Blake’s delicate brushes. It’s one of the first pieces I wrote when I began thinking about this project,” says the composer. “The harmony is intricate and moving around, but the melody is very simple. It’s not an easy piece to play but it sounds very easy once you listen to it. I love that. I like my music to be accessible too. I’m always trying to achieve that with the music, to have whoever is listening be able to enjoy it no matter if they know anything about jazz or not.”
And that’s what’s extraordinary about Night Music. While it came about after a series of unexpected coincidences, and while the concept itself sounds rather deep and profound, it is indeed really accessible, with a sense of immediacy that makes this recording so easily embraced.
 You can hear their natural chemistry from track to track on this inspired outing.
9.9 Azzolina, Govoni, Nussbaum and Zinno's Chance Meeting

In June of 2014, four first-call jazz artists in mid-career, all with New England roots and impressive resumes, stepped on stage and made some music together. 

Their existing connections were tenuous. Drummer Adam Nussbaum and bassist Dave Zinno played together for two weeks behind Italian masters saxophonist Gaspare Pasini and pianist Dado Moroni. After the tour, Nussbaum pointed Zinno in the direction of guitarist Jay Azzolina, who had New England ties. Zinno booked a gig in Providence and invited old friend Dino Govoni to blow some sax, making it a quartet. Four veterans, educators as well, products of the Boston—New York jazz axis. Before meeting, they had many experiences in common. After their “chance” meeting, they added making music together to that list.

Chance Meeting, on Whaling City Sound, is the byproduct of that opportunistic convocation. Together in one explosion of light, ten originals full of purposeful playing and sublime solos have emerged. AGNZ cohere beautifully, in a single, dynamic force, playing with the confidence of visionaries that have the same elevated goal: to reach a new level not as individuals, but as an exhilarating ensemble with multiple talents and a single mind.

Presiding over the quartet, in many ways, is the spirit of Michael Brecker. The first time Govoni saw Brecker play around 25 years ago, Nussbaum was on drums. Azzolina, a neighbor of Brecker’s for many years, spent many afternoons informally jamming with the sax great in his basement. As for the creative process, it came from four distinctive streams. “We all brought in different compositions and began interpreting the music and hearing what it was telling us to play,” said Nussbaum. The material took them in a variety of directions, from gentle ballads (Govoni’s melancholy“ Lament for Michael Brecker”) to searing, propulsive (“Azzolina’s corrosive“ 1 of 3”). All four artists bring compositions in. One of Zinno’s, “Meatsauce,” is stealthy and playful, while Nussbaum’s closer, “Insight, Enlight,” is heartfelt and evocative.

"Music is supposed to take you places where you usually don’t go,” said Nussbaum. We’re assuming he’s talking about “playing” music, but you could also apply that theory to listening. This session, this chance meeting, takes both player and listener to places they don’t usually go, making the recording an unexpected delight.

9.6 with 17-piece Ron Cunha Big Band, the big band's book now includes Peter Hand's terrific arrangement of Dave's tune, "The Sixties", The Clubhouse, 5150 Fair Oaks Blvd. Carmichael, CA 95608, 7-9:30pm, FREE

9.17 with vocalist Michelle Deveaux, Mastroserio Winery, 7351 Fairplay Rd. Somerset, CA 95684, 6pm, FREE

9.23 with vocalist Michelle Deveaux, Cabana Winery, 5610 Elvas Ave, Sacramento, CA 95816, 7-10pm, FREE

10.4 with 17-piece Ron Cunha Big Band, the big band's book now includes Peter Hand's terrific arrangement of Dave's tune, "The Sixties", The Clubhouse, 5150 Fair Oaks Blvd. Carmichael, CA 95608, 7-9:30pm, FREE

11.2 Duo with Michelle Deveaux, Dave on piano, Ben Kopf on bass. Michelle will be singing Dave's original compositions. Dave will be playing the Church's woderful 9 ft. concert grand piano. Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1300 N St. Sacramento, CA 95814, 12pm noon, FREE

Live Music in Downtown New Bedford!

The summer tradition continues! Centre Street Sessions presented by Whaling City Sound and Fiber Optic Center, Inc. In the Kaller Beef Building parking lot on Centre Street. Sets at 5:30 & 7:15pm. Rain location: BayCoast Bank (corner of William & Purchase Street).

9.8 Donna McElroy Group: Donna McElroy - vocals, George Schuller - piano, John Lockwood - bass, Yaron Israel - drums

September 5, 2016
  • 9.7, 14, 28 9p - 1a Paris Blues - Les Goodson Intergalactic Soul Jazz Band 2021 Adam Clayton Powell BLVD · NYC · 212.222.9878 With: John Cooksey & Don Pate
  • 9.8 8 - 9a PS 284 - Eric Wyatt Quartet 213 Osborn Street · Brooklyn, NY With: The Jazz Foundation of America
  • 9.8 7 - 10p Light Rail Cafe - Spirit of Life Ensemble
    237 Randolph Avenue · Jersey City, NJ · (201) 434-9900
  • 9.9,17,24 7 - 10p Lorenzo's - Solo Piano 1100 South Avenue · Staten Island, NY · 718-477-2400
  • 9.10 2 - 6p Sugar Hill Restaurant - Eric Wyatt Trio
    609-615 DeKalb Ave · Brooklyn, NY · (718) 797-1727
  • 10.18 7:30 - 10p Smalls - Greg Murphy Quintet
    183 West 10th Street · NYC · (212) 675-7369
    With: Josh Evans, Eric Wyatt, Dezron Douglas & Kush Abadey
September 5, 2016

Upcoming Tim Ray Trio Shows
9.6 The Tim Ray Trio CD Release Event, plus special guest Mike Turk - harmonica, John Lockwood - bass & Bob Savine - drums, The Sahara Club Methuen, MA 7:30p

9.8 The Tim Ray Trio featuring Marshall Wood - bass & Donna Byrne - voice at Thelonious Monkfish, Cambridge, MA 7 - 10p

9.11 The Tim Ray Trio CD Release Event, featuring John Lockwood - bass & Mark Walker - drums Narrows Festival of the Art, Fall River, MA 12 - 1p
10.27 Riverwalk Cafe, Nashua, NH

10.28 Wamsutta Club, New Bedford, MA
click image to view YouTube video
Upcoming Monika Herzig Shows
September 5, 2016


9.10 Monika Herzig Trio w/ Peter Kienle & Lawrence Clark, Rick's Cafe Boatyard, Indianapolis, IN 7-11p
9.15 Monika Herzig Trio, C3, Bloomington, IN 7-9p

9.17 Monika Herzig Trio with Peter Kienle & Lawrence Clark, Rick's Cafe Boatyard, Indianapolis, IN 7-11p
9.22 German American Heritage Museum, Washington, DC, 6.30p
9.23 Charlottesville Jazz Society @Unity Church, Charlottesville, VA, 8p
9.25 Nighttown, Cleveland, OH, 7p
9.27 Marshall University, Huntington, WV, Jomie Jazz Recital Hall, 7.30p
9.28 Louisville Jazz Society @ Kentucky Country Day School Theatre, Louisville, KY 7p
9.29 Jazz Fables Series, Bear’s Place, Bloomington, IN, 5.30p
9.30 Deaconess Sports Park, Evansville, IN, 7p
10.1 Jazz Kitchen, Indianapolis, IN 7.30p

Musical Collaborators for the September 2016 tour include:
Jamie Baum (flute) – Guggenheim Fellow, numerous awards as flutist/ composer
Rosa Avila (drums) – Pearl Drums artist, with Villalobos Brothers, Andy Williams, and more
Reut Regev (trombone) – Enja Recording Artist from Israel
Jennifer Vincent (bass) – Jazz at Lincoln Center educator, bassist with Duke Ellington Orchestra etc
Leni Stern (guitar) - Fender and D’Addario artist w. Michael Brecker, Bill Frisell

Upcoming Danny Bacher Shows
9.13 An Intimate evening with Danny Bacher (with Mark Soskin) Pangea

9.28 Danny Bacher Showcase in Orlando
12PM Danny Bacher Quartet On-Air Concert WUCF Orlando
Station Details

10.4 Danny Bacher Trio The Friars Club 57 E 55th St, New York, NY 10022 212-751-7272



Upcoming Greg Abate Shows

9.4 Sakonnet Vineyard Allstars with Dan Moretti, Dave Zinno and others, 1pm

9.13 Pot u FeuCustom St. Providence, RI with Ben Cook, Todd Baker and Gary Johnson, 6:15 - 7:15

9.14 Sardellas with Dick Lupino and Kent Hewitt, Newport, RI, 7:30pm

9.22 Rochambeau Library Concert with Kent Hewitt, Todd Baker and Gary Johnson, Hope Street, Providence, RI, 7 - 8:30pm

9.24 Chan's, 267 Main Street, Woonsocket, RI, 8pm, CALL 401-765-1900 FOR RESERVATIONS, Greg Abate Quartet with Kent Hewitt, Todd Baker and Gary Johnson, $20

9.27 Jocko's Jazz, Greg Abate Quartet, 7:30-10:30 pm, 2 sets, $10, Sahara Club, 34 Bates St. Methuen, MA 01844, 978-683-9200

9.30 private concert wingate, Providence, RI. 2-4pm

Upcoming Jason Miles Shows

9.15 To Grover With Love, South Philadelphia, PA, 8pm & 10pm, $30


Upcoming Rale Micic Shows

9.7 - w Alma Micic Trio at G Bar, NYC
9.8 - w Greg Wall at 323 Jazz Westport, CT
9.9 - Rale Micic & Camila Meza Duo, Guitar x2 Series at Bar Thalia, Symphony Space, NYC
9.18 - Alma & Rale Micic Quartet at Riverdale Festival, Bronx, NY
9.21 - Westchester Jazz Festival, White Plains, NY
9.23 - Rale Micic & Peter Mazza Duo, Guitar x2 Series at Bar Thalia, Symphony Space, NYC
9.24 - Rale Micic Trio at Bar Next Door, NYC
10.5 - Music of Don Friedman at Linda’s Jazz Night’s, NYC

Kristen Lee Sergeant News

10.27 Kristen Lee Sergeant “Inside Out” CD Release, Birdland Jazz Club NYC 6-7:15p

Eric Hargett News

September 5, 2016
"Eric Hargett's playing has it immediately identifiable sound, great time and sense of phrasing, soulful with a sophisticated harmonic concept, and deep roots in the jazz and blues tradition. He knocked me out and can't wait to hear more..."
Gary Smulyan
On the Horizon

On the Horizon

October Releases:

10.14 The Dave Liebman Group's EXPANSIONS LIVE


For the latest news feed via Mixed Media Promotion

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