This is the month when we are supposed to give thanks (or Gracias or Merci, given the nationalities of our three main features). We get together, overdose on turkey with our families and go through the motions of gratitude, which is even harder with winter holiday advertisements already upon us. This year it is especially hard when recalling that 12 months ago we were visited with an electoral disaster of historical proportions. Since then, it seems that not a day has gone by without some fresh embarrassment, tragedy or horror. Any notion of normalcy has been wiped away like a picked-over turkey carcass.
So while some destroy with apparent glee, others create with palpable joy. Let us focus on the latter. Pianist Danilo Pérez (On The Cover) revives his PanaMonk project at Jazz Standard as part of the club's "Brilliant Corners" series, celebrating the centennial of Thelonious Monk. Trumpeter Randy Brecker (Interview) helps celebrate a different legend, Miles Davis, with three nights at Iridium devoted to the bandleader's electric period. And clarinetist Sylvain Kassap (Artist Feature) makes a rare U.S. appearance with several concerts around town.
Though October felt like August, snow will soon be arriving and another year will be over. But what a year it has been. America and the world will be lucky to survive another one like it.
On the Cover: DANILO PÉREZ
By Russ Musto; photos by Alan Nahigian
"I'm asked why am I revisiting the PanaMonk project after 21 years," Pérez says. "Of course it's Monk's 100th birthday this year. But also because his music really helped me connect to my Panamanian heritage." Pérez' PanaMonk is at Jazz Standard Nov. 30th-Dec. 3rd.
Interview: RANDY BRECKER
By Anders Griffen; photo by John Abbott
Trumpeter Randy Brecker is well known for working in various genres and with such artists as Stevie Wonder, Parliament-Funkadelic, Frank Zappa, Lou Reed, Bruce Springsteen, Dire Straits, Blue Öyster Cult, Blood, Sweat
& Tears, Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Billy Cobham, Larry Coryell, Jaco Pastorius and Charles Mingus. He worked a lot with his brother, tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker, and formed The Brecker Brothers band. Growing up in Philadelphia, he studied with Sigmund Hering and Tony Marchione and later with Bill Adam at Indiana University before moving to New York. Brecker is at Iridium Nov. 24th-26th with Electric Miles.
Artist Feature: SYLVAIN KASSAP
By John Pietaro; photo by Peter Gannushkin
The French clarinetist's oeuvre taps into disparate parts of his own heritage, fusing the continent's eastern and western cultures. Kassap is at Downtown Music Gallery and H0l0, both Nov. 19th, and Zürcher Gallery Nov. 20th.
Encore: TERRY GIBBS
By Ken Dryden
Terry Gibbs retired from performing after celebrating his 90th birthday, but his energy, irascible humor and enthusiasm make him sound like someone decades younger.
Lest We Forget: MONGO SANTAMARÍA
By Mark Keresman
Conga player Ramón Santamaría Rodríguez, best known as Mongo Santamaría (born 100 years ago last April) was among the musicians that forever changed the flow of the waters of American music.
Record Label Spotlight: FMR
By John Sharpe
The facts speak for themselves: some 500 releases of adventurous music issued over a 30-year span. There are few independent labels operating at the extremes that have been either as consistent or as determinedly focused on original voices as UK-based FMR. That's entirely down to the passion of Trevor Taylor, who started the imprint in 1987 at age 40. Artists performing this month include Matthew Shipp at The Stone Nov. 1st and João Lencastre at Drom. Nov. 21st.
(this month's performance venues in parentheses):
Ivo Perelman/Matthew Shipp -- The Art of Perelman-Shipp, Volume 6: Saturn Leo (The Stone)
Marco Colonna/Agustí Fernández -- Birth of Shapes s/r
Martial Solal/Dave Liebman -- Masters in Bordeaux Sunnyside (Jazz at Kitano)
Sherman Irby -- Cerulean Canvas Black Warrior (Jazz Standard)
Bonerama -- Hot Like Fire Basin Street (The Cutting Room)
Willie Jones III -- My Point Is... WJ3 (Jazz Standard)
Cadentia Nova Danica -- August 1966 Jazzhus Montmartre Storyville
Finn Von Eyben -- Finn von Eyben Workshop & Radiojazzgruppen (1966-1967) Storyville
Abdul Moimême -- Exosphere (at The Pantheon) Creative Sources
David Stackenäs -- Brick Clean Feed
Csaba Palotaï -- The Deserter BMC Records
John McLaughlin -- Live at Ronnie Scott's Abstract Logix (Town Hall)
Joe McPhee/Ingebrigt Håker Flaten -- Bricktop Trost (The Stone)
Vincent Herring -- Hard Times Smoke Sessions (Smoke)
Adam Rogers -- Dice ADRAJ (Jazz Standard; Village Vanguard)
Behn Gillece -- Walk of Fire Posi-Tone (Smalls)
Gary Peacock -- Tangents ECM (Jazz Standard)
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra -- Handful of Keys Blue Engine (Rose Theater)
John Zorn -- There is No More Firmament Tzadik (VIllage Vanguard)
Myra Melford/Zeena Parkins/Miya Masaoka -- MZM Infrequent Seams (The Stone)
Lena Bloch -- Heart Knows Fresh Sound-New Talent (The Drawing Room)
John Zorn -- Midsummer Moons Tzadik (VIllage Vanguard)
Pablo Ziegler -- Jazz Tango ZoHo (Le Poisson Rouge)
Dee Dee Bridgewater -- Memphis... Yes I'm Ready OKeh (Blue Note)
Marta Sánchez -- Danza Imposible Fresh Sound-New Talent (Cornelia Street Underground)
Adrian Cunningham -- Jazz Speak Arbors (Dizzy's Club)
Christian McBride -- Bringin' It Mack Avenue (The Jazz Gallery; Village Vanguard)
Mark Guiliana -- Jersey Motéma (Jazz Standard)
Jason Rigby -- One Fresh Sound-New Talent (Jazz Standard)
Hans Reichel -- Wichlinghauser Blues FMP-Corbett vs. Dempsey
Hans Reichel -- Bonobo FMP-Corbett vs. Dempsey
Kate Gentile -- Mannequins Skirl (The Jazz Gallery)
John Stowell/Jeff Johnson/John Bishop -- Scenes: Destinations Origin (55Bar)
Mark Kleinhaut/John Stowell -- Cross Country Lines Invisible Music (55Bar)