Our week in Edinburgh coincided with the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival and we were lucky enough to get great seats for the Norwegian Mona Krogstad Quartet at the Jazz Bar on the evening of July 19th (over a month ago, now!) to hear this excellent ensemble. A great time and rather than describe the music subjectively and inaccurately, I can recommend you listen to them. Click any of the pictures below to see them all bigger (you may have to click the post title first if you’re not seeing this directly on the web site already).
For those interested in technical details, these were difficult shooting conditions as it was dark and I was just shooting with my walk-around zoom lens from my seat so as not to disturb those around me. Needless to say, they were shot at a very high ISO and were reasonably noisy as well as sometimes not that sharp at low shutter speeds. I used DxO’s Pure Raw to recover as much quality from the raw files as possible before processing in Capture One, simply using the default settings.
This week was a great one musically although no cameras were allowed in either event. We spent a couple of days in London. On Wednesday evening we were at the Hammersmith Apollo for Shakti’s final London appearance. They gave a rousing performance that brought the audience to its feet after nearly every number (a tiny taste below – if viewing this in email click the post title to go to the browser and see the clip). And to make things even better, the show opened with a performance by Gary Husband and Nguyen Le.
Then, Thursday I was fortunate to be included in a group of English photography students invited to a discussion in a small theatre at the recently re-opened National Portrait Gallery between Stanley Tucci and Paul McCartney about the just opened exhibit of Paul’s pictures from 1964 (you can pay to view a recording of the live-streamed event here until July 6th). Here the secrecy was even greater and we were made to turn off our phones and seal them in envelopes before being granted entry. Tucci conducted an excellent discussion and McCartney was his usual charming, entertaining self. Interestingly, the discussion centered far more on photography and the Beatles’ experience on their triumphant initial US tour than I had dared hope. Below a shot from his Instagram. Two tremendous experiences.
These guys played a great set, combining sweet lyrical pieces with wide ranging dynamics as well as driving, beboppy pieces from Chris Potter on sax, spectacular drumming from Nahseet Waits (who regular viewers may remember was in the trio I posted from a few weeks back) and confident rhythm support from Joe Martin on bass.
As the concert, featuring Chris Potter on sax, Joe Martin on bass, and Nasheet Waits on drums, began, a demonstration of some kind of yoga or acrobatics was given to the music. At the end of the concert we heard that lessons were available. The photographer is Jimmy Katz, founder, with Dena Katz, of Giant Step Arts and the Walk With the Wind concert series.
The last Saturday of September we went to see one of the free Walk with the Wind performances in a series in Central Park honoring the memory of John Lewis. Performances, which are acoustic and feature small groups, take place at 1 p.m. on The Mall in Central Park. Here are some shots of the band – click on any one of them to see them all enlarged.
Went to see King Crimson with my old friend Joe in late September. they have a pretty strictly enforce policy of no photos till they’re done, at which point they start photographing each other and the audience, meaning no great photos of the band playing. And with the lights beaming into the audience at this point there’s massive flare to try and control…
Went to see Wayne Krantz and Oz Noy (with Dennis Chambers on drums and Kevin Scott on bass, playing as The Sellouts) with my friend Joe Silver last month. We were sitting right in front of Wayne and I could twist around to get a couple of shots of the others. Great set, if a little dissonant for my taste.
Went to see Tal Wilkenfeld at the Mercury Lounge last week. She’s a phenomenal bass (and guitar) player from Australia who burst upon the scene about a decade and a half ago. Known for a while for her playing with Jeff Beck she has developed her own voice and style, singing lyrically, and playing jazz-inflected kick-ass rock’n’roll.
Went to see Thomas Dolby at the Cutting Room a month ago with Frank Burrows. As Frank described it, “it wasn’t a a straight out concert, but a solo show with Dolby deconstructing some of his best-known songs. He told the story behind their creation while breaking down the structure- beats, chords, keyboard parts, and synth sounds, looping and layering them until he recreated the entire song which he then performed. He was very engaging, recounting a lot of personal and show-biz anecdotes in a very funny and self deprecating way.”
Dolby watching Shatner sing She Blinded me with Science
Dolby Now… and Then, with Bowie
Frank and Dolby’s Father-in-law
The show was opened by Dolby’s father in law, Jess Beller, 93-years young on piano, playing jazz standards with panache. Turns out he grew up in the Bronx, one block from where Frank did in Highbridge!
A little over a week ago I saw the wonderful singer/songwriter, Kati Katsaros and her band perform as ShadowGirl at the Bitter End in Greenwich Village. (Full disclosure, I know her mother and the guitarist, Frank Burrows).
Went to see John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension on a double bill with Jimmy Herring and The Invisible Whip in Newark a couple of weeks ago. First set was Jimmy Herring’s band which I’m not that familiar with but they played a cracking set. Next, out came John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension who played brilliantly. Then both bands did a set of classic Mahavishnu Orchestra numbers which was fantastic. Loved every minute of it. Finally got around to pulling together these snaps I took.
Last month I went to see the Women’s Resistance Revival Chorus, that grew out of January’s Women’s March, at City Winery with family and good friends and have finally gotten around to working on a few snaps from the evening. You can read all about it here. And you can see the images full-sized by clicking on any one of them.