Tag Archives: Lewis Nash

More Joyful Music On New York City Summer Nights and A Day Filled With Beauty

It seems that summertime in New York presents with more options for great jazz and music that is to my liking than at other times during the year.  This summer it is really the case for me.

As my frequency changes and intensifies ( along with everyone else’s on this planet!)  I’m  finding  that the literal vibration and energy of music I love is increasingly  exciting and moving to me.

For example, last weekend I so loved the musical creations of  the Vincent Herring Quartet appearing at The Kitano that I felt I couldn’t miss the opportunity to experience them again the next night!

The quartet was comprised of Vincent Herring on alto saxophone, David Williams on bass, Lewis Nash on drums and Mike  Ledonne on piano.  What I perceived  as unusual and excellent about this combination of musicians was the balance of mastery each player possessed on their own and especially in combination with the others.

Three out of the four players had worked together for years as a regular grouping with the legendary pianist Cedar Walton. After the first measure of the first piece of music on the first night they were completely entrained with each other.

When Vincent introduced one of the pieces he told us that the quartet had not had time to rehearse together. I never would have guessed that to be true from the subtly and nuance of each song. They were simply one of the very best combinations I’ve seen yet.

It was indeed a rare treat for me.

Last night, instead of writing this piece I was listening to a totally different kind of thrilling music.  I have always wanted to go to a Klezmer concert and early in the summer I noticed that the Jewish Museum was having a Klezmer group perform.

I was so excited to go but the tickets were completely sold out by July 4th. I persisted and called the museum. Even though I was first on the waiting list for tickets, I really didn’t think I’d get to the concert so I made plans with a friend to enjoy a Restaurant Week lunch and a visit to MOMA ( The Museum of Modern Art).

To my surprise I got the call from the Jewish Museum as soon as they opened in the morning.

So, Thursday was filled with a lovely luncheon with my  dear friend at the French Restaurant Benoit. Then we saw a Walker Evans photographic exhibit and a huge exhibit about the Swiss artist and architect Le Corbusier.

Both exhibits were really interesting and so filled with beauty that I felt saturated with visual stimulation after awhile.

I walked through Central Park from the bottom on Central Park South ( East 60th Street) up to the Jewish Museum located on Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street. Being in my beloved Central Park always grounds me and adds to my happiness.

Then I sat in the  first row in the auditorium to hear my first Klezmer music. I thought that the music would take the minor and bittersweet cadences of Jewish prayer and music and add joy to it.

That is exactly what I experienced with the very fine musicians of The Isle of Klezbos.  They played for almost two hours. Here is a sample of their music from U Tube. In this video the musicians are the same with the exception of the bass player . There was wide variation in the rhythms , the mood and complexion of the songs that were played.

Finally, here is a slide show of my two musical events, lunch at Benoit, the two exhibits at MOMA and one little picture of the construction Gibralter, by Alexander Calder that made my heart laugh.  Enjoy!

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Spectacular Music In New York City On A Summer Night

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Last Friday night, July 5th, 2013 I was really fortunate to experience not only an outstanding classical music concert, The Planets- An HD Odyssey,  but I also made a dash afterwards for a wonderful late night jazz set by two of my favorite jazz musicians.

Imagine sitting in the glorious cool of Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center on an overly  hot,  sticky summer night. My excitement about the program was really high. I had purchased my ticket the moment I learned about the program.

The first piece was the  short piece Short Ride in a Fast Machine by my favorite contemporary classical composer John Adams.

Next was a rarely performed magical and subtle  piece Ballet of the Snowflakes by Offenbach from his fairy-tale opera,  Trip To The Moon. Listening to this one piece live would have been enough of a treat for me.  The program continued to delight me.

A beautiful waltz by Joseph Strauss,  Music of the Spheres , added to the excitement before the final spectacular performance of The Planets by Gustav Holst.

I had never heard a live performance of Holst’s masterpiece before and although I was gaga about the Venus The Bringer of Peace segment and I always  liked  the Jupiter The Bringer of Jollity, I had always found that in recordings  the other planets were quite lack luster by comparison to these segments.

I was amazed at how different the whole composition is when heard live. All of the seven segments are of comparable beauty, complexity  and intensity. When the outstanding  NASA pictures of the planets were projected on a screen behind the orchestra it made  an experience that I probably will remember for my whole life.

Here is the link to the New York Times review of the program. www.nytimes.com/2013/07/08/arts/music/new-york-philharmonics-the-planets-builds-on-holsts-work.html?_r=0   

For more information about the program, here is the link to the New York Philharmonic’s website with program notes     http://nyphil.org/ConcertsTickets/EventDetails?event={2BBDD777-44AA-4D33-B3B4-03C3793ABBDF}

The magic at the very end of the composition was thoroughly sustained by several minutes of complete silence as Conductor Bramwell Tovey literally held the tension and vibrancy of the music in his baton. It was really amazing!

Then I ran out, hopped in a taxi  to the Hotel Kitano to immerse myself in the incomparable  jazz of pianist George Cables, drummer Lewis Nash and the bass by David Wong.

What is  fascinating about  experiencing this trio is the very playful,  joyous interplay between the outstanding musicians.  The level of communication and  degree of being in synch with each other is so very high.  The pleasure and fun that the musicians are having is palpable.

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Wow! What a night!

More Jazz And Spring Progresses in Central Park & My New York City Garden

I just can’t resist sharing with you pictorial updates of the lilacs, flowers and trees in Central Park, the wisteria on an East 70th Street . These pictures were taken while I was walking on May 3rd.

Check out the photo of the back of a man walking his cat on a leash through Central Park. You’ve gotta think that this could only be seen in New York City!

Included in the sideshow is an update of my garden in progress. You can see the whole palette that I have to work with to create my piece of paradise along with the first big containers I planted.

Finally,  jazz fan that I am, I went to Smoke Jazz Club again for a really special evening on Saturday night.

The Renee Rosner Quartet was performing lyrical, balanced, beautiful music. Renee was the pianist along with  my absolute favorite drummer Lewis Nash, the great Peter Washington on bass and Steve Nelson on the vibraphone.

In the recent past I had heard the same quartet minus Peter Washington perform at Dizzie’s. There was a real difference in the performance on Saturday night.

Smoke’s stage is miniscule in comparison to Dizzie’s and in this venue there was a perfect blending of the sounds of each instrument. At Dizzie’s the vibraphone sound seemed dominant much of the time when Nelson was a part of the song.

To make a perfect set even more enjoyable,  to my delight the greatest of all bass players, Sir Ron Carter,  came to have dinner and to enjoy the set as a part of his birthday celebration. He and his wife sat one table away from where I was so you can see his profile in my picture . I had seen him perform last year on his birthday at Dizzie’s!

If only I could capture the sounds of this night for you.  Enjoy!

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