Posts Tagged ‘Brent Birckhead’

Farewell to Balbed: Jazz Setlist, August 6-12

Friday, August 7
Anyone who's seen him play must have known it was coming. Tenor man Elijah Balbed, who we named D.C.'s Best New Jazz Musician in 2010 and Best Tenor Saxophonist in 2013, was always too talented, too ambitious, too relentless in pursuit of his craft to not make The Big Move. Yes, New York calls [...]

One Track Mind: Mark Meadows’ “Once Upon a Purple Night”

Standout Track: No. 5, “Once Upon a Purple Night,” a gentle jazz waltz led by the wordless vocals of Christie Dashiell on Mark Meadows' Somethin' Good. At least, it starts out as a gentle jazz waltz. But after melodic, one-chorus solos by vibraphonist Warren Wolf, alto saxophonist Brent Birckhead, and pianist Meadows (and a restatement [...]

Jazz Setlist, March 21-27: Corey Wallace’s DUBtet, Charles Lloyd, Benny Golson, Ensemble Volcanic Ash

Thursday, March 21
The trombonist and composer Grachan Moncur III is one of the unsung heroes of jazz. A man who first toured with Ray Charles, he then became a regular in New York hard bop—a sideman for Benny Golson, Sonny Rollins, and Jackie McLean. The latter served as his transition into the '60s New Thing, [...]

“Just Melody, All the Time”: Q&A with Brent Birckhead

The alto saxophone is somewhat overshadowed by its bigger brother, the tenor—but not when Brent Birckhead is on the bandstand. He's a powerful player with both muscle and lyricism, and a generous helping of the blues undergirding them. Birckhead was a prime choice for Bohemian Caverns' Artist in Residence program, for which he is the [...]

Jazz Setlist, September 6-12: RIP Jerry Gordon

The holiday weekend prevented me from properly addressing the death last week of Jerry Gordon, a favorite local guitarist who was renowned for his lovely melodic imagination and mastery of the playing style first developed by Wes Montgomery. Gordon was a longtime area resident, having performed in D.C. for over 20 years, and was a [...]

Jazz Setlist, Sept. 8-14: An Embarrassment of Riches

Remember how I said that September was when the magic would happen? Behold, this week, where I severely cherry-picked the week's offerings and am still having to do an extra-long column.
Friday, September 9

There are so many things about The Cookers that scream "All-Star Band." The truth, though, is that they are an All-Should-Have-Been-Stars Band. Organizers [...]

Jazz Setlist, April 21-27: Natives Only

Thursday, April 21
A month shy of her 24th birthday, DC's Andrea Wood has a smallish, wiry frame that can't possibly contain the robust, supple voice she exhibits on her debut CD, Dhyana. Her range is uncanny: She's got flawless rhythm (in terms of the beat and the Portuguese syllables she enunciates) on the bossa tune [...]

D.C. Jazz Loft: Wow

It wasn't in a high-profile venue—just a small artists' studio, tucked away in Mount Vernon Square—but last night's D.C. Jazz Loft was the showcase that the local jazz scene has needed for years.
Presented by CapitalBop (which is to say: Giovanni Russonello and Luke Stewart, the site's staff), the Jazz Loft was an evening-long concert featuring five [...]

Progress Report: Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra

It's the kind of milestone you announce to the audience. "As of tonight, we've been playing for six months," trumpeter and co-leader Joe Herrera proclaimed as the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra began its set at the titular club Monday night. D.C.'s only big band-in-residence has been a runaway success in that half-year, filling seats at [...]

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