Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Undead Jazzfest Reviews

LPR, Kenny's Castaways, and Sullivan Hall hosted the Undead Jazzfest this past weekend, and The New York Times, Time Out New York, and The Village Voice gave it great reviews. Below are a few highlights.

The New York Times:

The best way to fight a pervasive assumption is to pretend it doesn’t exist. The organizers of the first Undead Jazzfest, which ran Saturday and Sunday night at three clubs in the center of the West Village — Le Poisson Rouge, Sullivan Hall, and Kenny’s Castaways — are not necessarily hostile to the idea that jazz audiences like to sit and stay in one place and enjoy a set from beginning to end in silence and then go home. They’re just not interested in it.

Time Out New York:

This past weekend’s Undead Jazz Festival brought two nights of frantic jazz collaborations to Greenwich Village’s (Le) Poisson Rouge, Kenny’s Castaways and Sullivan Hall. The excitement of running between venues like children at a carnival made the experience even better. This year’s Undead (the first annual, organizers Search & Restore promise) included established artists such as Uri Caine, Ben Allison and Dave Douglas, and up-and-comers like Nir Felder, Mary Halvorson and the recent Brooklyn transplant Michael League.

The Village Voice:

That spark was in ample supply Saturday, the first of Undead's two-night run. We began at LPR with trumpeter Graham Haynes and a "sound designer" who goes by Hardedge, both sitting at a table of electronics and crafting improvised, Hassell-like dreamscapes accompanied by abstract computer animations; now and then, Haynes would pick up his cornet to add some echoed and delayed overtones. After that dreamy lead-in, Matthew Shipp came on for some raucous solo piano that brought us back down to earth. Lately known for sparring verbally with some jazz bigwigs (Herbie Hancock, especially), Shipp attacked his keyboard with the same abandon that frequently gets him mentioned alongside Cecil Taylor, concocting an engaging, challenging brew that backed up his jazz-press bluster with further proof of his enormous skills.

Thanks to the organizers, performers, and everyone who attended for making the event such a success!

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