back stage — music notes
Think Ornette Colemen, with Middle Eastern overtones!
It’s been an incredible September with great music at Yoshi’s and elsewhere.
I was at the Monterey Jazz Festival, and heard some incredible music…. I think the star of the festival was Joe Lovano (the artist in residence); he played opening night with John Patitucci and Brian Blade, which was phenomenal. The next night they were slated to back up Hank Jones, but due to health concerns, Hank couldn’t make it, and John Scofield played with Lovano, Patitucci and Blade, the music was at a really high level. Scofield and Lovano have a long history together and their chemistry was obvious from the first song. Blade and Patitucci may be one of the strongest bass, drum combinations in jazz, and the four of them were formidable….
There was a lot of great music all weekend.
Speaking of great music, we have more here at Yoshi’s Oakland, too. For the next few weeks, there is quite a bit of straight-ahead jazz.
If you like your music to be a bit on the cutting edge, Iraqi/American trumpet player Amir Elsaffar will be here on the 6th, with a great band featuring Hafez Modirzadeh, Mark Dresser, and Alex Cline. Think Ornette Coleman with middle eastern overtones….. Then, back after a couple of years away, Regina Carter returns to Yoshi’s with a new band ‘Reverse Thread’ and a new concept. Reverse Thread is a collection of African folk melodies interpreted in a contemporary jazz style. The band features Regina Carter on violin, Will Holshouser on accordion, Yacouba Sissoko on the kora, bassist Chris Lightcap, and Alvester Garnett on drums & percussion.
Next week is a great mix as well, vocalist Nicolas Bearde starts off the week, followed by Tarbaby. Tarbaby features Orrin Evans on piano, who has been here with Roy Hargrove, Stacey Dillard on sax, who I have seen several times in New York but I don’t think he’s ever been here, Eric Revis, who has been here with Branford Marsalis will be on bass, and Nasheet Waits will be in the drum chair. This is take no prisoners, hard bop, played by the new generation of jazz musician. Trust me, this will be a great show.
Then it’s five nights of great piano starting with Jessica Williams playing solo. Jessica is one of my favorite players. She has great chops and a wealth of ideas. You can expect the unexpected when Jessica comes to town. Next up it’s the young pianist Eldar with his new band. I saw this band in January and it’s a change from his last acoustic trio. Eldar has a new band featuring Armando Gola (who has been there with Gonzalo Rubalcaba) on bass. Eldar is a monster player and is coming into his own. Come watch him grow. Finally, the week closes with the master, Cedar Walton. I have a long history with Mr. Walton; the first jazz show I ever saw was Cedar at the Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach. He brings in a good group too, with Eric Alexander on tenor, Steve Nelson (who has been here many times with Dave Holland) on vibes, Cedar’s long time bassist David Williams, and Joe Farnsworth on drums.
If you love straight-ahead or mainstream jazz Yoshi’s is the place to be in October.