Concert Reviews

Review: Cohen, Wallace, Wesely & Shea at Pine Box Rock Shop Feb 4, 2019

The Variousound Sessions series at Pine Box Rock Shop featured an improvised set by saxophonist Ben Cohen, Korg electronicist Eli Wallace, guitarist Drew Wesely, and drummer Kevin Shea. This ensemble pitted three younger artists who have emerged on the Brooklyn scene over the past few years–Cohen, Wallace, and Wesely–pitted with the veteran Shea who has

Review: No Land and Joanna Mattrey, Performances at LaMaMa and Spectrum

Poet No Land has surged onto the scene over the past couple of years, performing in duos, trios, or solo, mesmerizing audiences with her precise diction and incisive commentary. Joanna Mattrey has been performing in New York the better part of a decade in a number of contexts, including solo sets, and has worked in

Azumi Oe, Sean Ali, and Carlo Costa at Triskelion Arts, January 11, 2019

For the opening night of the Never Before Never Again Fest at Triskelion Arts on January 11, the regular duo of dancer Azumi Oe and bassist Sean Ali teamed up with percussionist Carlo Costa for a deep synthesis of sound and movement. Oe is an evocative movement artist who improvises her movements with incredible grace

VAX to the Future

VAX lit things up at De-construkt on Saturday night. The room was packed and, as always with a VAX performance, there was considerable chatter within the audience before they took the stage about what might occur. VAX events are more than a simple concert, they are an event, one that is a bit more of

Review: Anna Webber Solo at Spectrum, Jan 4, 2019

As the second set at Spectrum on January 4 (following the trio of Kate Gentile, Brandon Seabrook, and Matt Mitchell that I reviewed yesterday), tenor saxophonist Anna Webber played “five short pieces.” In the course of her set, she demonstrated the many different forms her music can take. The first piece opened with high-pitched repetition

Review: Kate Gentile, Brandon Seabrook, and Matt Mitchell, Live at Spectrum, Jan 4, 2019

Three idiosyncratic players, drummer Kate Gentile, guitarist and banjoist Brandon Seabrook, and pianist Matt Mitchell came together at Spectrum for an interesting set of music. All three musicians are composers and each contributed pieces to this collective unit. The ways that the three fit together in different ways throughout the night was the driving narrative

Last Night at Cornelia: Tom Rainey Trio, Dec 30, 2018

Anyone who frequented Cornelia Street Cafe in recent years is aware of the tradition that arose with the Tom Rainey Trio playing the second to last night of the year. For each of the last eight years, an eager crowd gathered to hear one of New York’s most cutting-edge bands. Drummer and composer Tom Rainey has

Review: Lotte Anker, Craig Taborn, and Gerald Cleaver at Rehearsal Studios, Dec 19, 2018

Danish saxophonist Lotte Anker’s tour through New York in December was one of the highlights of the year and was the crescendo to four performances that she did, each with a different band, over the course of ten days. Her unique approach to her instrument pairs perfectly with the equally exploratory American pianist Craig Taborn

Review: Nate Wooley’s Battle Pieces IV Live at Roulette, Dec 3, 2018

Nate Wooley is one of the most thoughtful and interesting musicians working in New York. Battle Pieces makes daring new explorations into song structure, reinventing the relationships between members of an ensemble in a way that retains an alert sharpness during every live performance. Since the band formed for Anthony Braxton’s Tri-Centric Music Festival in 2014,