At the New England Conservatory these days, "improvisation"
means all kinds of things, not all of them jazz. You need have looked no
further than the performance by Rabbit Rabbit at the Regattabar Wednesday
night. The band is the duo project of the violinist/composer/singer (and NEC
faculty member) Carla Kihlstedt and composer-multi-instrumentalist Matthias
Music radio - specifically jazz - in Boston
just took another big hit. Beginning on July 2, WGBH will begin to make changes
that will drastically reduce the hours of both its locally-produced and
nationally syndicated jazz shows. Specifically, Eric Jackson's evening jazz
show - currently heard Monday through Thursday from 8 pm to midnight, and
Sundays from 10 to midnight - is moving to weekends only, 9 pm to midnight.
PHOTO: Michael Schreiber
If you want to know how the Robert Glasper Experiment packed the Regattabar for two shows on a Tuesday night, the answer lies somewhere between Kurt Cobain and J Dilla. Pianist Glasper is riding on the heels of the release of the new Black Radio (Blue Note). He got a full page in the Sunday New York Times Arts & Leisure section and a spot on Letterman last week, but that doesn’t come close to explaining the young, heterogeneous audience that filled the club.
After doing the Berklee thing, plugging all the local hot spots from the Plough & Stars to the Regattabar, writing a sheaf of dandy original material and covering plenty of other good stuff, MISS TESS took off for Brooklyn two years ago with the rotating cast of her BON TON PARADE. Last night she was back at a familiar haunt, the Lizard Lounge, celebrating the release of a two-disc set, Live Across the Mason Dixon Line — one half recorded at the R-bar, the other at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, Georgia.
A jazz supergroup of sorts made its debut at Scullers this week. The Joe Lovano/Dave Douglas quintet, calling itself Soundprints, rolled into town for sets Tuesday and last night. Advance word was that this was a Wayne Shorter-devoted project, which Douglas confirmed from the stage Wednesday night. His own 1997 album Stargazer was a Shorter dedication, and this band’s name itself is an allusion to Shorter’s “Footprints.
After three songs at the Regattabar with his trio on March
16, Dan Tepfer introduced the next number as “the only tune that really swings
on the CD.” He sort of wasn’t kidding. Tepfer favors all kinds of odd and mixed
meters, and that tune, an original called “Diverge” (from Five Pedals Deep, on Sunnyside), was the only one in which drummer
Colin Stranahan played a standard-swing dotted rhythm on his ride cymbal.
After more than 50 years, the pre-1950s American Songbook is
beginning to lose some of its grip on mainstream jazz. Or, at least, other
songs are coming in. At the Lily Pad last Thursday night, the young Canadian
singer Amy Cervini (a 2000 New England Conservatory grad) did indeed sing the
standard "Come Love." And she sang it backed by a standard jazz-piano trio.
All we really know is that Gang Starr Foundation legend Big Shug will be rocking with a jazz band at Wally's Cafe this Sunday (8/16) night at 9pm. The set should be interesting, as Shug has been showcasing his vocal range quite a bit lately, lacing hooks for cats including Termanology and even recording his own r&b album, Living Room, with producer Moss and Christina Aguilera engineer Charles Roane (check this recent Phoenix feature on Shug for more).