This show presents the ever-vivacious drummer Vinnie Sperrazza’s return to Sound It Out as the linchpin of a double-bill. The second half showcases guitarist Sean Moran – whom All Music Guide lauded for blending “a rock sensibility with a free aesthetic” – making his series debut, leading his Sun Tiger trio with Vinnie and cellist Hank Roberts. Their set will celebrate the release of the band’s eponymous debut album on Skirl Records. The night’s opening half features Vinnie’s new trio The Choir Invisible, with the drummer alongside saxophonist Charlotte Greve and bassist Chris Tordini.
Guitarist extraordinaire Brandon Seabrook – dubbed “wildly virtuosic” and “one of New York’s great musical individualists” – returns to the Sound It Out series to lead a powerhouse new trio featuring the great combo of pianist Cooper-Moore and drummer Gerald Cleaver.
In this double-bill, the ever-soulful Frank Kimbrough – one of Sound It Out’s very favorite artists, a pianist that the Paris Review has justly lauded for his “bewitching lyricism” – returns to the series to play in a duo with kindred-spirit bassist Masa Kamaguchi, visiting from Spain. Masa does double-duty on the night, also playing in the opening set in a trio with pianist Megumi Yonezawa and drummer Ken Kobayashi, whose set was the highlight of 2018’s 55th anniversary show at Greenwich House for ESP-Disk, the label that last year released the trio’s deeply poetic debut album, “Boundary.”
This double-bill presents two Sound It Out debuts… The second half of the evening will see saxophonist Caroline Davis making her series debut at the head of her trio Alula, featuring pianist Matt Mitchell and drummer Dan Weiss. Caroline’s playing has been praised by JazzTimes for its mix of “warmth and daredevilry.” Dan will also be behind the kit for the opening set by a group led by trombonist Michael Dessen, making his Sound It Out debut in a visit from California. DownBeat has called Michael “a musician for this moment.” His trio also includes bassist Chris Tordini, plus vocalist Fay Victor – a longtime Sound It Out fixture – as a special guest.
This double-bill presents electric bassist/guitarist Simon Jermyn’s debut as a leader in the Sound It Out series. The first half of the evening at Greenwich House features the Dublin native on guitar in his Sooner duo with Charlotte Greve on alto saxophone, electronics and voice, plus special guest Joe Branciforte on live processing and synth. The second set will find Simon leading his quartet Trot-a-Mouse, featuring him on bass guitar, Charlotte again on alto sax, Anna Webber on tenor sax and Mark Ferber on drums.
This double-set night presents the return to Sound It Out of a series favorite: alto saxophonist Michaël Attias, who will be celebrating the release of his first solo album, “échos la nuit.” Some of Michaël’s initial solo performances — on alto and piano, virtually simultaneously — were at Greenwich House as part of Sound It Out. In addition to his opening solo set, Michaël will close the night by leading his ace Quartet with Kris Davis (piano), Sean Conly (double-bass) and Satoshi Takeishi (drums).
Juno Award-winning pianist Andy Milne — whom The Guardian aptly describes as “a superb pianist of Herbie Hancock-like fluency” — makes his long-awaited return to the Sound It Out series with his trio Unison, featuring bassist John Hébert and drummer Clarence Penn. The show will also include colorful guest spots by koto player Yoko Reikano Kimura, cellist Hank Roberts and trumpeter Ralph Alessi. All About Jazz has praised Andy’s “sophisticated… sterling musicianship,” with the pianist saying that his piano-trio philosophy resides at “the intersection between texture and groove.”
To celebrate its 7th anniversary, the Sound It Out series presents a sequel to the sold-out “Monk on Guitars” fundraising show of 2015. This time, the revolving lineup of guitarists features Andy Summers of The Police (whose 1999 all-Monk album “Green Chimneys” is a highlight of his solo discography). He’ll play a mini-set within the night’s main set. The lineup also includes, as bandleader/stage czar, the great young guitarist Nick Millevoi. Returning from the 2015 show is guitarist Miles Okazaki (who recently recorded the complete works of Monk on solo guitar), along with David Gilmore and Steve Cardenas. New faces this time include guitarists Ricardo Grilli and Harvey Valdes. Joining these guitarists will be bassists Michael Formanek, Stephan Crump and Jerome Harris, as well as drummers Francisco Mela, Satoshi Takeishi, Richie Barshay and Kate Gentile.
As the primary guitarist in heavy avant-rock band Swans, Norman Westberg has for years contributed to often overwhelming waves of volume with a mix of the rhythmically slashing and the harmonically sensual. Solo, he has developed a sound that’s oceanic but in a much different way. Westberg makes the six strings of his guitar vibrate through delay effects and loopers to create swells of mysterious, shape-shifting resonance – a brand of ambient music that’s as evocative of as many different things as there are listeners who hear it. In his first appearance in the Sound It Out series, Norman will play a full set of his bewitching solo music. Opening up the evening will be the duo of Simon Jermyn (guitar) & Joseph Branciforte (electronics), returning to the series after a wonderful performance earlier this season.
Sound It Out’s 2019-20 season, its eighth at New York City’s Greenwich House Music School, opens with a guitartastic double-bill presenting guitarist Nick Millevoi‘s powerhouse Desertion Trio plus the fiery opener of guitarist Ava Mendoza solo. Desertion Trio, featuring Millevoi alongside bassist Johnny DeBlase and drummer Kevin Shea, makes its return to Greenwich House to showcase tunes from its latest thrill-ride of an album, “Twilight Time,” a collection of vintage covers. JazzTimes described “Twilight Time” as “a neon-lit, shapeshifting adventure that gives an avant-garde edge to timeless classics.” And Rolling Stone picked the album’s title track, an otherworldly, reverb-drenched rendition of a vintage Platters number, as one of its “Songs You Need to Know,” calling it “an explosive take on a dreamy pop chestnut.” At 7:30pm, Mendoza will open the show solo, making her Sound It Out debut. Guitar World included her in its list of “10 Female Guitarists You Should Know.” Knocked out by her playing, Wilco guitar hero Nels Cline mused: “What obscure, overlooked master playing in some slashing, raw-yet-virtuosic manner is this?”
Guitarist Harvey Valdes — one of the breakout players in Sound It Out’s “Monk on Guitars 2” extravaganza this past June — continues September’s guitar-centric theme by celebrating the release of his absorbing new album, “Solitude Intones Its Echo,” with a solo performance. (His solo version of “Pannonica” during the “Monk on Guitars 2” event was a jaw-dropping marvel.) All About Jazz has called Harvey’s music-making “cosmic,” while the Free Jazz Collective described his first solo album, “Roundabout,” as “sublimely beautiful.” This show is a Destiny Records double-bill, starting at 7:30pm, with the duo of guitarists Charlie Rauh & Cameron Mizell opening the night with tunes from their new album on the label, the lovely, Americana-laced “What We Have in Common.”
Drummer-bandleader Francisco Mela – who has thrilled Sound It Out audiences in multiple shows, including both sold-out “Monk on Guitars” fundraisers – returns to Greenwich House to lead his own MPT Trio with saxophonist Hery Paz and guitarist Juanma Trujillo, plus special guest Cooper-Moore on piano/percussion. Mela – who has been described as “one of the most important Cuban drummers in jazz” by JazzTimes – has played with the heavy-weight likes of McCoy Tyner, Joe Lovano, John Scofield, Jason Moran, Chucho Valdés, Mark Turner and Kris Davis. The iconic pianist Tyner has said: “Mela is just a fantastic player. He has his own style and his own sound.”
Ever-evolving drummer-composer Devin Gray – who played the second show in the Sound It Out series back in 2012 and has come back many times since as a leader and sideman – returns to the Greenwich House stage to celebrate the release of the first album with his trio featuring saxophonist Chris Pitsiokos and bassist Luke Stewart. About Devin’s art, Jazzwise magazine has said: “A musician-drummer rather than a drummer-drummer, Gray is interested in making music that is deeply evocative… shaped by a fizzing, often restless push-pull energy.” Devin’s hand-picked solo opener for the show is guitarist Wendy Eisenberg. Billboard magazine has said that Wendy can play “with the ferocity of a cobra,” as well as disarm with the poetically contemplative.
Bassist-composer Michael Formanek’s Very Practical Trio – featuring saxophonist Tim Berne and guitarist Mary Halvorson – returns to the Sound It Out series, celebrating the Intakt release of “Even Better,” the trio’s first album together. Michael, a longtime Sound It Out favorite, scored three consecutive five-star reviews in DownBeat for his previous albums on ECM, and The New York Times has described his music as “graceful in its subversions, even sumptuous.” Jazzwise has praised Tim’s art as being “suffused with genuine humanity and more than a little wisdom,” while the Wall Street Journal called Mary “one of the most exciting and original guitarists in jazz – or otherwise.”