April 12, 2004

Great Jazz in Pittsburgh

If you're in Pittsburgh and you like the kind of jazz I like, you should definitely check out these two shows (descriptions lifted from Manny Theiner's e-mail alert):

Tonight! SATOKO FUJII (piano) and NATSUKI TAMURA (trumpet) from Japan
often compared to Cecil Taylor, Fujii has stormed out of the gate with
two dozen releases in the past decade including a quartet with drummer
Tatsuya Yoshida of Ruins, and CDs on Victo, Tzadik, Enja, and others.
with local improv ensemble Terpsichorribles
8 pm $10 all ages Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, Oakland
(the building with the fountain, between Carnegie & Hillman Libraries)

[My 2 cents: Fujii isn't that much like Taylor, and may be more accessible. WPTS had a big-band CD of hers that I liked to play. I haven't heard as much of her music as I'd like, but she's clearly become one of the musicians to watch--this'll be a rare chance to see her, so jump at it. Also, I think the Terpsichorribles is the improvising ensemble I played with in Pittsburgh.]

Fri Apr 16 avantjazz/improv
DAVID BOYKIN TRIO AACM-style free jazz from Chicago, on Thrill Jockey
and Boxmedia Records
featuring: David Boykin (sax), Karl Siegfried (bass) and Mike Reed (drums)
very much in the tradition of the Chicago radical black avantgarde, Boykin
cut his teeth in jam sessions at Fred Anderson's jazz lounge in the 90s.
with solo performance by Ben Opie (sax, from Opek and Thoth Trio)
8 pm $10 all ages Garfield Artworks

[My 2 cents: My other Pittsburgh improvising band, the one that consisted mostly of philosophers, opened for Boykin once. He's fantastic. Exploratory but with a great grasp of the tradition. Don't miss it.]

Also look for the Fall Apr. 22 and Erik Friedlander Apr. 25.

Posted by Matt Weiner at April 12, 2004 08:35 AM

I highly recommend Fujii's trio recordings with Mark Dresser on bass and Jim Black on drums. (Kitsune-Bi and To West are the only ones I have, and I have no reason to think them the best.)

Posted by: Jonathan Sutton at April 12, 2004 09:39 AM

For some reason I almost never run across her albums--I have "Breathtake," an early solo album, and the big band album WPTS had was "Jo." Track 3 or 4 of "Jo" is absolutely extraordinary, like almost no big-band music I've heard. A lot of her stuff does seem to be available on the web but pretty pricey; one reason to go to these shows is it's a great place to buy the artists' albums, and they actually make money from those sales!

Posted by: Matt Weiner at April 12, 2004 12:22 PM

Kitsune-Bi is at CD Universe for $14.29; Toward To West, OTOH, is import only there at $40! Don't know where I got it originally (maybe when I saw her in Houston a couple of years ago), but I am sure it cost me less than that...

Posted by: Jonathan Sutton at April 12, 2004 04:47 PM