Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

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2008/06/23 Donny McCaslin, Ben Monder, Adam Cruz, Boris Kozlov at 55 Bar

I’ve seen Donny McCaslin play in a trio and in Steps Ahead, and now in a quartet of top New York musicians.
I’ve seen Donny McCaslin play in a trio at Louis 649, and with Steps Ahead at Iridium. Since I was spending a lot of time in NYC this summer, I decided to see him perform in a quartet at 55 Bar. When I arrived, there was one seat the bar, right up at the front … and I had a nice conversation with the drummer’s fiancee.

The motivation for seeing the quarter was the sidemen: Adam Cruz on drums. Boris Kozlov on bass, and Ben Monder on guitar. Some of Donny’s tunes I’ve heard before, but in jazz there’s always space for different interpretations.

55 Bar, as usual, was packed. It’s a long, narrow basement with a few row of tables and lots of people standing at the back. Continue reading2008/06/23 Donny McCaslin, Ben Monder, Adam Cruz, Boris Kozlov at 55 Bar

2008/06/04 Mike Stern, Lionel Cordew, Tom Kennedy at 55 Bar, NYC

I’ve seen Mike Stern at 55 Bar before, and made a special point to go again with aspiring guitarist Antonio.
Mike Stern is one of my favourite musicians. I’ve previously seen him perform at the 55 Bar, in the Village in NYC, and he’s been a regular attraction at previous Toronto Jazz Festivals. Antonio is an aspiring guitarist, and our schedules only permitted us to see Steps Ahead at Iridium on the night that Mike wasn’t playing. Since I was spending a lot of time in town, I made a point of scheduling an evening when Mike is at 55 Bar. This evening was a trio with Lionel Cordew on drums and Tom Kennedy on bass.

Bar 55 is long and narrow. We enjoyed a front row view of the musicians, so Antonio did as most guitarist do — watching fingers fly. After the set, Antonio bought a CD and had Mike sign it.

Continue reading2008/06/04 Mike Stern, Lionel Cordew, Tom Kennedy at 55 Bar, NYC

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