Juilliard Jazz Quartet
(Juilliard Jazz Web Page)
Ron Carter on bass
Ron Blake on saxophone
Frank Kimbrough on piano
Carl Allen on drums
After Hours Set:
Peter and Will Anderson Quintet
Peter Anderson on Tenor Sax
William Anderson on Alto Sax
Ehud Asherie on Piano
Phil Stewart on Drums
Ari Roland on Bass
Julian Taylor on Sax
Michael Mwenso on Vocals
Frederick P. Rose Hall
Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola
Broadway at 60th Street
(Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola Website)
Roland Chassagne, Manager
Jason Olaine, Director of Programming & Touring
Desmond L. Prass, Asst. Manager
Michael Mwenso, JALC Curator & Programming Assoc.
L.A. Thompson, Venue Manager, Great Performances
Scott Thompson, Press
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
April 11, 2013
I caught the last three pieces played by Juilliard Jazz Quartet in the second set at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola Thursday night, after the Dance Theatre of Harlem performance at Rose Hall. Luckily, one of the pieces was a well-deserved encore, or there would have been just two. I was lucky, as well, that the After-Hours Set at Dizzy’s was extremely lengthy, with the Anderson Brothers Quintet, with some guest appearances, as well. The evening, as always, was pure jazz pleasure.
The first of the three pieces, “April’s Fool”, composed by Ron Blake, saxophonist, was smoothly led by the composer. It was eloquent, melodic, with thematic pliancy, liquid like spring rain. Carl Allen accompanied on brushes, with some exotic flair, and Ron Carter, on bass, added earthy whispering. Ron Carter’s piece, “Cut and Paste”, followed, with staccato tempos and hyper musical racing, all electrically charged with buoyant dynamism. Blake led this musical party right into Frank Kimbrough’s keyboard showcase, while Blake stood guard at the Steinway, watching Kimbrough’s wild melodic melee. Allen followed with a delightful drum riff, and here it seemed like an improvised jam. Carter’s “Loose Change” was next, named for the day after taxes, and it had a playfully swiveling rhythm. This kind of 5 PM upbeat mood also included Carter’s soulful bass with chordal support; then Blake led a caravan of warm, bluesy harmony.
The After-Hours Set was filled with surprises, with twin brothers, Will and Peter Anderson on alto and tenor saxes, Ari Roland on very dramatic bass, Ehud Asherie on virtuosic piano, and Phil Stewart on bristling drums. The aura shifted for this more contemporary, jamming quintet. Throughout the set, Will and Peter Anderson took turns on duo saxes, then solos, with each leaving the stage to highlight the other, while gazing in pride. These talented twins are rapidly rising stars on the wide jazz horizon. In the first piece, Peter Anderson’s “Correspondence”, Peter was showcased first, carrying the pulsating, fiery theme, followed by Will, twisting and repositioning the sequences. Asherie played a voluminous, vibrant interlude with a mesmerizing melody, before Roland grabbed his bow and played an unrestrained series of rousing and resonant chords. Stewart took the final spotlight, with a frenzied flourish.
Peter Anderson’s “Meat of the Matter” once again had both saxes switching off, with Will grabbing first lead. At this point I began focusing on the pianist, Asherie, as well, for his exceptional, seamless musicality. Roland, on bass, “leaned in”, maximizing the moment. Peter took the lead of his composition, next, with a waterfall of tumbling notes, before Asherie took off like a racehorse, in the midst of bursting bass and drums. The twins on saxes joined for a repetitive theme of plummeting crescendos. John Coltrane’s gorgeous “Theme for Ernie” was seamlessly led by tenor sax first, then alto, with a bigger band aura. The sumptuous inherent ballad was masterfully highlighted by Asherie on piano, then by Roland on bass, with sleek silkiness. “Contagious Curiosity”, by Will Anderson, was imbued with spirit and energy, and everyone had an illuminated turn.
Julian Taylor joined the band for outsized saxophone support, making this set super brassy and charged, and Michael Mwenso sang scat for a piece by Miles Davis, plus an ardent, expressive rendition of “Fly Me To the Moon”, stretching each lyric to endless fascination. When I left the Club, yet another band was onstage for a spontaneous jam. Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola is evolving, of late, with music well into the wee hours, and the crowd seemed in no rush, even on a Thursday night (I mean Friday morning). This is all great news for New York jazz aficionados.