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Dave Brubeck Quartet and Ramsey Lewis Trio last night at the Paramount, Seattle. Great performances by both, although the sound on Brubeck's set was a bit off and it seemed like the mic on the bass was too low.

 

Ramsey Lewis trio was excellent and played some very interesting new work that hasn't been recorded yet. I'm not very conversant about jazz, but I was fascinated by the fusion of jazz and classical in the newer pieces. They also did a couple of jazzed up gospel songs which was fun.

 

I've never seen Brubeck live before, even though I grew up listening to him and other west coast recordings since my father was a fan, and had frequented the LA jazz clubs in the '50s. Local clarinetist, Bill Smith, who's played with Brubeck off and on since the '40s, joined in for the last few numbers including a great closing rendition of "Take Five". It's amazing that Brubeck is still doing this at 88!

 

 

 

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Last week, Norah Jones at the Hammersmith Apollo. I know, I know, and I was not sure why I'd booked even before it started. I mean, I've never bought the new album. But as I'm sure I bored everyone wi

Going to see the Finn brothers in Central Park this evening. I assumed it would have sold out, but I got a message pushing half price tickets which I couldn't resist. Think it will piss down?  

Saw the Cowboy Junkies again last night, in an ice cold Beacon Theater. They had to wind up a ninety minute set at 11pm - union rules - which is a pity, as I think the audience would have loved anoth

Last night to the Anvil to see Mawkin.Causley. A group of youngsters from the youth folk movement that grows out of Sidmouth folk festival. Their individual musicianship (although the 6 string bassist was pretty good)is not out of the top drawer but together they aren't half bad and their arrangements are excellent. Mainly foot stamping, dancing, English, folk music, but flavoured with modern techniques and sounds. Jim Causley has a good voice for this stuff, if the rest of his act can be a little too camp, and he isn't afraid to sing it like it is (or should that be was) as shown by his unbowdlerised rendering of the Cutty Wren.

 

A good evening of music showing that the tradition is alive and well in at least some young people's hearts.

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Last night at Irving Plaza (they are there tonight and tomorrow as well), Crowded House. And indeed the house was as crowded as I have ever seen it, with a heavy sprinkling of happy slightly-to-rather drunk Kiwis. They played some new stuff (eh) and some old stuff (good as ever). The band sounded a little wonky and some of the arrangements made things wind out past their natural ends but Neil Finn was in terrific voice. The band's set-up was way,way more elaborate than I expect at Irving Plaza: tons of equipment, a very fancy lightboard.

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I'm jealous. Big Kraftwerk fan. Also, have you heard of Senor Coconut? They do astonishingly brilliant covers and their CD of Kraftwerk covers is worth a listen.

 

No, I had not heard of them, Carolyn, strangely enough. How fun! Thanks for the heads up.

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wilco tonight at the mayo civic center in rochester. a great show--more than 2 hours long (including a 7 song encore). the set list skewed quite heavily towards "a ghost is born". it was more than an hour before they touched "yankee hotel foxtrot", with a subdued version of "jesus etc.", and they only returned to it once more ("heavy metal drummer" in the encore). as far as i could tell, not very much indeed from "sky blue sky". a very different performance from when i last saw them, ages ago on the "being there" tour. on that occasion, they essentially tore that record down and rebuilt it live as a loud, abrasively rocking record. this show wasn't as exhilarating an experience as that one was, but still very good. non-musical highlights included tweedy taking the piss out of a group of highly enthusiastic and not very coordinated (or music-appropriate) dancers in the front row.

 

this was the first leg of their new tour. strange that they aren't playing minneapolis, and it seems like they're heading to some more unlikely places.

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Thanks, now I know I don't have to see them in NYC! What about Summerteeth? Anything at all?

 

that's my favourite wilco album, by the way. yeah, they played a few. off the top of my head: "via chicago", "a shot in the arm", "how to fight loneliness".

 

and, they did also play "i'm the man who loves you" from "yankee hotel foxtrot".

 

from "a ghost is born" there was "at least that's what you said", "hell is chrome" (in my top 5 wilco songs), "hummingbird", "theologians", "company in my back", and "handshake drugs".

 

from "being there": "misunderstood" (also in my top 5), "red-eyed and blue", "i got you (at the end of the century)".

 

from "a.m": "box full of letters" and "casino queen"

 

maybe 3 songs from "sky blue sky".

 

there'll probably be a setlist up somewhere on the web today.

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Was (Not Was) appeared on Conan O'Brien last night. They kicked ass! I had no idea they were that good or had the incredible triple soul man attack of Sweetpea Atkinson / Sir Harry Bowen / Donald Ray Mitchell.

 

Of course I go onto Pollstar this morn & find out that they played the Blender Threater last night. Grrrrr. :angry:

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Adriano Adewale first came to our attention when we saw him, as Adriano Pinto, in the Antonio Forcione Quartet. Last night at the Forge at the Anvil in Basingstoke he played with his own band, although Nathan Thomson also plays with Forcione.

Whereas the Forcione Quartet is based more around Flamenco and Jazz Adewale's own band brings out the African aspects of Latin American/Jazz music.

 

The gig has to be rated as one of the best gigs of the year so far. Adewale has to be one of the best 'World music' percussionists on the scene at the moment and the rest of the band are well matched. Kadialy Kouyate took the Kora out of Africa and firmly into the Jazz world without ever losing the essential spirit of the instrument, Nathan Thomson kept the whole thing firmly together with his double bass playing only letting it go when he picked up a Kenyan flute or when duetting with Marcelo Andrade on orchestral flutes. Andrade also played saxophones and one number with a forerunner of the violin from the Moorish traditions of North Africa and Spain. I noted the Gypsy influences found in Central European music in that tune which came via that people's movement from Northern India across North Africa and into Spain and from there to Latin America and which is also found in classical music from the Early period, especially that of the Medieval and Renaissance Mediterranean composers. But, despite all these influences, and the hints and snatches of other traditions, this is very much their own music. Jazz purists may sneer, but this was jazz at its finest albeit with a strong 'World' flavour, and given the roots of that music, none the worse for that.

 

wo8WSx-cw-Q

 

cwqor9G13n4

 

Not the full group but if he can do this with just a tambourine think what he can do with the full battery.

 

Adriano Adewale and Nathan Thomson will be appearing in the Antonio Forcione Quartet as part of the London Guitar Festival at London's South Bank Centre and I understand tickets are still available.

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there'll probably be a setlist up somewhere on the web today.

 

and from the interwebs:

 

Hell is Chrome

You Are My Face

Company in My Back

Via Chicago

Impossible Germany

Shot in the Arm

Side with the Seeds

At Least That's What You Said

How to Fight Loneliness

Pot Kettle Black

Handshake Drugs

Cars Can't Escape

Poor Places

Hummingbird

Jesus, etc.

Hate It Here

Theologians

Walken

I'm The Man Who Loves You

 

Encore #1

Misunderstood

California Stars

Box Full of Letters

Heavy Metal Drummer

 

Encore #2

Red-Eyed and Blue

I Got You (At the End of the Century)

Casino Queen

 

more "yhf" than i remembered. also more "sky blue sky".

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Last night at Maxwell's, Nick Lowe. Just him and his guitar for about 90 minutes. He rocked out, he sang ballads, he mixed the old and the new. Some of his new songs are quite lovely. As is his voice, especially once he warmed up a bit. He did an especially fine,sly,subversive rendition of All Men Are Liars with some clever new lyrics inserted.

 

On sale in the back: CDs and vinyl records.

 

It was absolutely freezing in the place; I would have been happier leaving my coat on. When Lowe mounted the stage he commented on it as well--"it's a bit parky in here, isn't it?" :P (That expression just tickles me)

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And today in Hoboken, a lovely Crafts Fair with 2 soundstages. A couple of nice sets by folks unknown to us, followed by headliner Micky Dolenz. He is in close to same voice as with the Monkees (cant say "good voice" as he never really had one) and he is a good show biz performer. His sister and a very decent backup band worked thru many Monkee hits, including some that were originally sung by Davey Jones. But what belongs in the surreal thread is that they covered "Gimme Some Lovin" (Spencer Davis Group w/S. Winwood?), "Oh, Darling" (Beatles) and, get this, "Purple Haze". His band was tight and the lead guitarist is solid for these kind of gigs. Supposedly, this was in tribute to the fact that Hendrix opened for the Monkees on their initial tour back when. Never thought I'd hear someone do a cover of Hendrix. Fun afternoon.

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Alicia Keys at Staples Center. I really dislike the Staples Center for concerts, but somtimes that's the only chance you have. The show opened as people were filing in and drinking with Jermaine Paul doing a brief, largely ignored set. This was followed by Ms. Idol, Jordin Sparks. She's got a long way to go, and I wonder if she will ever get there. Then, there was Ne-Yo who has serious style with touches of Marvin Gaye and Prince. He's smooth. Lastly, the diva herself arrived and delivered all the hits and more. It's unfortunate that it had to be in the barnlike confines of Staples where vocal subtleties are lost in the magnification process. Oh well. Here's a review of a prior evening's concert that is pretty spot on.

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