Saturday, May 24, 2014

Review- Improvised Round Robin Duets, Undead Music Festival, May 14th, 2014, Town Hall, New York City

Improvised Round Robin Duets, Co-Presented by Undead Music Festival With Red Bull Academy, May 14th, 2014, Town Hall, NYC,

By E. Joyce Glasgow,
Photo Credits/Copyrights: E. Joyce Glasgow

The idea of a night of improvised music duets is a great concept and in the case of this year’s concert at the Undead Festival, very successful and creative.  Having only a five- minute period to connect with another musician in an improvisation heightens the level of concentrated listening, openness and immediacy between the two musicians.
 Guitarist, Nels Cline, opened with a thoughtful, five-minute, rock flavored, solo on electric guitar, then joined in a complimentary pairing with electronic musician, Daedelus, moving more further, organically, into a dreamy, spacious, atmospheric electronic direction. Jazz trumpeter, Dave Douglas, then joined Daedelus, transitioning from the atmospheric into a jazz tinged abstract duet and then Douglas moved into a more high energy, complex and rhythmical jazz conversation, when joined by drummer, Shigato.  Shigato was then joined on vocals and keyboard by Amp Fiddler, the two transitioning into a funk mode. Pianist, Marco Benevento, joined Amp Fiddler and the music moved into a playful blues oriented abstraction. Benevento was then joined by saxophonist, James Carter and the musical duet became a cacophonic,  intense jazz interaction.  Vocalist, Petra Haden joined Carter and the mood shifted into a duet conversation that was softer and more reflective, with haunting vocals. Jherek Bischoff, joined Haden on ukulele, and the musical interaction became more lively, rhythmical and bright. Bischoff picked up an electric guitar in his duet with tenor saxophonist, David Murray and the musicians moved into a more intense, out, atmospheric direction again. Drummer, Terri Lyne Carrington, joined Murray and the two conversed in a jazz interaction, which was dynamic, with richly layered drumming by Carrington. The duet continued, this time with Marc Ribot, on electric guitar, joining Carrington and the music turned to an epic, demonstrative rock, with a strong beat. Ribot then was joined by pianist, Allen Toussaint, who led Ribot into a more delicate, melodic direction. We then had the delightful privilege of hearing an extended solo by Allen Toussaint, who played alone while waiting for his next duet partner, vocalist, Jamie Liddell to work out some glitches with his electronic equipment.  This was the most musically straight ahead part of the evening as Toussaint played bits of familiar standards in a medley, including “Tipitina” and “Georgia” and treated us to some Stride piano. Once Lidell got his equipment on track, he and Toussaint played more abstractly with great vocal effects by Lidell. Karsh Kale joined Lidell on tablas, a good pairing between the timbres of Indian tablas and singing with vocal effects. Kale then played with guitarist Kaki King, in what I felt was one of the most empathic duets of the evening. King and trumpeter, Wadada Leo Smith. were the final duet partners, and headed in a bluesy direction. Smith, with his trumpet muted, closed out on a five-minute solo, bringing the evening to a close with an expansive, pensive solo. All the musicians (except Toussaint) then came out for an energy filled encore together that was a real treat, musicians weaving through group playing. It was a nice large ensemble contrast to the duet evening.

Petra Haden (vocals) duet with Jherek Bischoff (ukulele)

Karsh Kale (tablas) duet with Kaki King (guitar)

L. to R.: Dave Douglas (trumpet), Wadada Leo Smith (trumpet), Kaki King (guitar), Petra Haden (vocals)

L. to R.: Petra Haden (vocals), Marc Ribot (guitar), Jherek Bischoff (guitar),Dave Douglas (trumpet), Daedelus (electronics), James Carter (sax), Jamie Lidell (vocals)

L. to R.: Marco Benevento (piano), Amp Fiddler (keyboard), Wadada Leo Smith (trumpet), David Murray (sax)

L. to R.: Wadada Leo Smith (trumpet), David Murray (sax), Kaki King (guitar)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Undead Music Festival 2014, NYC, In Progress, To Feature Stellar Evening of Musical Improvised Jazz Duets on May 14th, 2014.

By E, Joyce Glasgow,

The Undead Music Festival is the spring offering co-sponsored by the folks who bring us Winter Jazzfest , NYC, each winter. The “Round Robin” Duets concert on May 14th, at NYC’s Town Hall, looks to be an intriguing, major highlight, featuring improvised duos by some of the top, highly respected musicians on the jazz scene. Artists will include: Allen Toussaint, Amp Fiddler, Daedelus, Dave Douglas, David Murray, James Carter, Jamie Lidell, Jherek Bischoff, Kaki King, Karsh Kale, Marc Ribot, Marco Benevento, Nels Cline, Petra Haden, Shigeto, Terri Lyne Carrington, Wadada Leo Smith and more.
The evening is structured so that one musician will begin and a second will join the improvisation, the first leaves and another joins the duet, continuing through the evening in this pattern, in what should be a stimulating and thoughtful flow of improvised styles and musical expressions and communications between the musicians.

For more information on the Undead Festival, which continues in NYC through May, 16th, 2014, visit

Below is a "Round Robin" improvised duet from the 2013 concert.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Scenes from The Affordable Art Fair, April 2nd-6th, 2014, Metropolitan Pavilion, N.Y.C.

By E. Joyce Glasgow,

Photo Credits/Copyrights: E. Joyce Glasgow

The Affordable Art Fair,, April 2014, N.Y.C., offered lots of impressive choices for art collectors, in the $100.00- $10,000 price range. The wonderful thing about this particular art fair is that it is very casual, friendly and down to earth and features works by many artists which are appealing, individual, express experience and very collectible, while still being accessible to visitors who have affordable options, even with small wallets for art buying. Nothing at this fair can be priced over $10,000 and I saw some small pieces that were as low as $20.00.
The fair included panels and interviews. I caught a lively interview with interior designer, Nate Berkus, long- time collaborator of Oprah Winfrey and currently the host and a judge on NBC TV's home redesign competition show,"American Dream Builders". During Q. and A., Berkus shared some good advice for those of us who want to spruce up our surroundings. Before anything else, he said it is important to clean our spaces and get rid of our collected clutter. He feels that the most important design element in recreating one's space is lighting. He mentioned that one could add a few touches of a favorite color with some well chosen accessories. He talked about decorating his own place only in black and white. Berkus is known for successfully partnering high end design elements with inexpensive accessories in creating a beautifully designed environment.

 There were some artists whose work I particularly enjoyed at the fair. Englishman, James Sparshatt, has visited Cuba eighteen times since 1999, witnessing the changes it has gone through over the years since then. He has developed a body of black and white photographs which captures and documents the personality, sensuality and passion for life embodied in the Cuban people. His photographs are compelling and informative of this unique island culture.
James Sparshatt
James Sparshatt

Atsuko Kawai, exhibiting with the Arts Student League, has created subtle, Zen-like, dreamy, color mezzotints, a technique which requires a lot of skill and patience. Her lovely pieces were surprisingly affordable, in the $150.00 range, framed.
Atsuko Kawai
James Kenny's stunning, black and white photo portraits of African tribes people, featured at Capital Culture Gallery, U.K., capture an incredible depth of his subjects.

James Kenny

Julia Rivera's whimsical and eccentric ceramic figures, at the Juan-Marc Gallery, reasonably priced in the $350.00-$650.00 range, embody a sense of humor and a life of their own.
Add caption
The Juan-Marc Gallery had a wonderful and intriguing variety of two dimensional and three dimensional art in their booth. Their booth was lively and colorful, had sweeping energy and had a great visual composition. The large figure sculptures had a lot of movement and life to them.
Juan-Marc Gallery

An interesting justaposition of photos.


Friday, March 21, 2014

April is Jazz Appreciation Month!

l you have to do is put a JazzApril logo on your site and we'll link back to you. Show how many jazz lovers there are! Support Jazz Appreciation Month and International Jazz Day ! More info/register:

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Preview - N.Y.C. Vegetarian Food Festival, March 1st and 2nd, 2014, Metropolitan Pavilion, New York City


N. Y. C. Vegetarian Food Festival, March 1st-2nd, 2014, 11AM-6PM, Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street, New York City.

By E. Joyce Glasgow,

The 4th annual New York City Vegetarian Food Festival will take place on March 1st and 2nd, 2014, at the Metropolitan Pavilion.

This hugely popular event features the latest in vegetarian, vegan, raw vegan, organic, non-GMO foods, cruelty free eating, environmental protection and animal welfare.

There will be over 100 vendors and non-profit organizations, dozens of food samples, including raw vegan chocolate, a kid’s area and a number of lectures and food demonstrations over the two days.

Some lectures will include:

“How to Live a Super-Healthy Life All on a Plant Based Diet”; “Mind If I Order the Cheeseburger? And Other Questions People Ask Vegans”;  “Eating Vegan in a Non-Vegan World”; “Managing a Vegan Diet on a Shoestring”; “Relieving Stress and Anxiety with Traditional Chinese Medicine” and “Get Your Glow On: Fertility, Pregnancy & Beyond”.

Delicious and creative sounding recipe demonstrations will include:

“Korean Eggplant Tacos with Kimchee Mayo and Rutabaga Rarebit”; “Edamame and Beluga Lentil Sliders with Sprouts and Spring Onion Jam”;  “ Black Pepper Tofu Macaroni Salad”; “Compassionate Crab Cakes”; “Vegan Chocolate: Ganache the Great!” and “Okra and Chick Peas with a Coconut Tomato Curry Served on Spiced Poha”.

On March 2nd, there will be a raffle benefiting the NY Coalition for Healthy School Food.

Below is a video overview of the first New York City Vegetarian Food Festival (2011) and several others that take place around the United States.

The second video below is by raw vegan chef, Kristina Bucaram, one of this year's featured speakers at the festival.

For complete details on exhibitors, speakers, chef demos, other festival events, ticket purchase and directions visit

Friday, January 24, 2014

Review- Winter Jazzfest 2014, New York City, January 7th-11th, 2014


Winter Jazzfest 2014,  New York City,  January 7th-11th, 2014, Various Venues

By E. Joyce Glasgow,

Kudos to the organizers of Winter Jazzfest, N.Y.C., 2014 for their success in producing such an impressive and ambitious program for their tenth anniversary year. 
The annual, weekend, two-night marathon, grew to over ninety jazz bands being presented at an expanded number of venues in Greenwich Village, plus three additional nights of celebratory concerts, two in honor of Blue Note Record’s seventy-fifth anniversary.
There were so many wonderful and eclectic groups playing, I wished I could have cloned myself, so that I wouldn’t miss a thing. I’m including a small handful of videos, below, that I have chosen to give the readers of this page a good cross section of the kind of variety and talent available to be heard at this year’s festival. Check back here to see my photos from this year, which I will upload soon.
Venues are important to me, because the physical atmosphere and sound can make or break my enjoyment of a concert. Two of this year’s new venues were great choices for showcasing the weekend marathon performances, because they provided atmospheres more conducive for quiet, serious listening, more formal and relaxing than some of the noisy bar venues. The NYU Law School Lounge is a beautiful, grand room, on Washington Square, with beamed ceiling, decorative plaster molding, dramatic Persian rugs, hardwood floor, good acoustics and comfortable wing backed and arm chairs scattered around the perimeter, for those of us who needed to rest our weary bones after a lot of standing at the other, almost chair-less venues. The sound and lighting were very well done at the NYU Lounge. I decided to spend most of the first night of the marathon here, enjoying some amazing groups, with interesting and adventurous musical projects. The noted musicians performing here are all well-loved, versatile, New York jazz regulars, known for composing and stepping into new musical territory. The line-up for this stage was very complimentary. All with distinctively different projects, they flowed through the evening with a more cerebral yet accessible focus. The music was intelligent and thoughtful. The groups included the Ben Wendel Quartet; the Ches Smith trio, featuring one of my favorite jazz pianists, Craig Taborn; Nate Wooley’s Seven Story Mountain, an intriguing thirteen piece ensemble, featuring two vibraphones, electronics, two drummers, violin, trumpets and trombones; and Chris Lightcap and Bigmouth.
Another great new music venue for the festival is Subculture, on Bleecker Street.  This is a new performance space, set up for serious listening, with excellent sound and lighting, theatre seating and an unobtrusive, quiet bar window off to the side. The owner said his motivation for opening was what he felt was a lack of good music listening rooms in downtown Manhattan. This venue is a good place to enjoy music in an intimate, comfortable setting and is a great addition to the New York music scene. I heard Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, an eighteen-piece orchestra, here (see video below). Composer/conductor, Argue’s compositions are evocative, atmospheric and distinctive and he’s bringing a fresh, exciting approach to composing for big band. Argue received a Grammy nomination for Best Large Jazz Ensemble for his first CD, Infernal Machines (2009) and now again for his second, Brooklyn Babylon, released in 2013.  A performance highlight was an original waltz he penned in memory of musician, Leon Helm. I really like his composition, Transit, which you can hear in the video below.
I loved hearing the No BS Brass Band, an eleven-member brass group from Richmond, Virginia. (See video below). Their set in the Bowery Electric basement room was raucous and fun and their intensity, physicality and inclusive party spirit energized the over-packed house into a mass, amoeba-like swaying dance frenzy.
Alto Saxophonist, Big Chief Donald Harrison brought a taste of Mardi Gras Indian energy to Le Poisson Rouge with his funky New Orleans septet, Congo Nation (see video below).

A delightful new discovery for me, and one of my personal favorites at the festival, was the sixteen-piece ensemble, Mother Falcon, from Austin, Texas, who played at Le Poisson Rouge (See video below).  This talented and passionate group of young musicians plays with skill, appealing earnestness and wild, sweet, youthful bravado. Their original compositions and arrangements of cover tunes are pleasing, clever and new. I especially like their tunes, Marigold, Marfa and Dirty Summer, which you can hear in the video below. Their instrumentation includes a wide variety of instruments straddling the classical, rock, folk and jazz worlds, including cellos, violins, mandolin, guitars, piano, saxophones, trumpets, bassoon, clarinet, flute, double bass, pedal steel guitar, glockenspiel, percussion and drums.
I only have a few complaints about the festival, but don't think much can be done about it. Some of the venues are smaller bars and it is so crowded that sometimes it is impossible to get in to hear some of the performers. Loud talking by patrons during the music in these bar atmospheres can diminish the listening experience too. Most of the bar venues won't allow you to sit in the few chairs they do have unless you are going to be there long enough to fulfill a two drink minimum, which means you are committed for awhile to stay at that venue. With ninety bands to hear, I want the freedom to spontaneously go from one place to another at a moment's notice. In some places, the only seating is on the floor. If you are not a floor sitter, for any reason, then two nights of mostly standing can be exhausting.
Musically, the festival is such an exciting and stimulating event though, that it is worth all the wrangling, pressed flesh, long walking between venues in downpours and testing of one's patience, to get somewhere to experience those magical, musical moments that are very satisfying and worth the effort.