Another great hang in New York City, always so vibrant and stimulating. I originally had to go and take care of some business for my immigration status and it was obviously a good chance to see my big family of friends as well as an excuse to play with my fellow musicians. Emi also came along - it was her first time! - and I really enjoyed serving as a guide and being a tourist myself checking out some things I had yet to see. For the first week we had the honor to be hosted by Mr. Carlo Vutera, owner of one of the best music clubs in the city - Rose Live Music located on Grand St. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn - which has become during the last few years THE spot for new bands and concepts to develop into amazing musical projects and often a residency for some well established acts. During our stay there Emi and I had the opportunity to hang with Mr. Fangio, Carlo's little dog, who actually appears to be the star (if not the boss!!) of the entire neighborhood.
This time around my gig took place at Nublu along with Michael Blake, Jason Lindner and Ben Allison. It was my first time playing with Jason and Ben and it was something I had in mind for a long time. The music was spacey and groovy at times, especially playing "For Tommaso" a tune that Jason wrote for the occasion, featuring a tight hip hop groove on the A section switching into a more melodic and dreamy bridge. Definitely a great present from JL!! A lot of friends showed up, some of whom I hadn't seen in years, which made it even more fun. Here's an excerpt from Nublu.
Some of the best performances I've seen this time around actually took place at Rose. I really enjoyed listening and dancing to the music of Troy Simms's Mobius Collective with special guest Jojo Kuo (former drummer of Fela Kuti's Egypt 80) and the sound of percussionist Chauncey Yearwood's Soul Survivors who has been performing at this venue every Monday for the last 3 or 4 years. It's amazing to see how everybody has grown so much on their musical concept. This goes for other two great artists I kept up with, Brian J and his Pimps of Joytime and my longtime companion and partner in crime Yah Supreme who is now working on his latest album.
I was definitely struck by Jason Lindner's projects Now Vs Now and his latest Breeding Ground both playing at the Zinc Bar in Manhattan, which new location I had still never seen. Among the many musicians who took part to this concert were Mark Guiliana on drums, Panagiotis Andreou on bass, Edmar Castaneda on Colombian harp and many other great talents. Jason is in my opinion one of the most visionary musicians around who is able to keep his music fresh, vibrant, enjoyable and sophisticated. Keep an eye on this cat!
I couldn't miss going to the Vanguard, an old time favorite. Paul Motian was playing with an interesting set up: 2 bassists Thomas Morgan and Ben Street, Masabumi Kikuchi on piano and Loren Stillman on alto saxophone. The music didn't take off as I was hoping it would, but it was fun hearing Poo's (Masabumi's nickname) noises during his playing - Keith Jarrett is nothing compared to him as far as covering his own solos with his voice!!! After the gig we got to hang out with Poo, Thomas and my good friend Todd Neufeld who I hadn't seen in a while. He's another musician/artist whose future will definitely be as bright as his guitar playing Todd already recorded in a number of interesting records including "Koan" by Tyshawn Sorey with Thomas Morgan on bass, one of the most beautiful things I heard in recent times. Something I will definitely work on will be a project that I started while still living in New York that featured Todd on guitar and a few other great young cats in the scene. Here's me, Thomas Morgan and Todd, just in front of the sexy shop, next door to the Vanguard.
During my tourist trips to midtown Manhattan I had a chance to go visit my friends Barry - owner of Drummers World drum shop - and Roberto Romeo, the famous saxophone repair man in New York. Roberto showed me his new rehearsal studios one of which might turn into a concert room. Stay tuned for that.. In the meantime you can check his website: Roberto's Winds.
What else, oh yeah! can't miss to mention the great punk festival I saw in Thompkins Square Park with people dancing around in circles. I almost got involved but then I bailed out not to get hurt!
Ciao New York!!!
Dance in Punk Festival - NYC from Tommaso Cappellato on Vimeo.
Thompkins Square Park June 2010