I didn’t get enough of New York City in September, so I simply had to go back for the Winter Jazz Fest in January. For two whole weeks, I got to stroll up and down the avenues and, not least, enjoy amazing jazz music.
First stop was The Birdland. Marcus Roberts Trio with Jason Marsalis (drums) and Rodney Jordan (bass) & The Modern Jazz Generation delivered mesmerizing sounds from the stage this evening. As a child, I would frequently wake up to the sound of “Deep In The Shed” or “Time and Circumstance” playing on the stereo. However, I’ve never had the chance to see Marcus Robert’s perform live, so it was such a great honor to watch and hear him perform at The Birdland. A perfect start to my stay!
Next venue - The Bowery Ballroom. Marcus Strickland’s Twi Life and Chris Dave & The Drumhedz entered the stage and surely energized the crowd this evening. Strickland’s Twi Life played the tunes from their latest album Nihil Novi. I love this album so I’m very pleased I got to hear this concert. They delivered a great show!
I couldn’t miss the truly amazing trio, Christian McBride Trio, playing at the Village Vanguard. Together with Christian Sands (piano) and Jerome Jennings (drums), Christian McBride surprised the audience with some rather original tunes. They delivered a magnificent version of Michael Jackson’s “Lady In My Life”, and invited the audience to clap along to “Car wash”. A concert just as alluring, fun and groovy as you can possibly expect when these three share the stage.
Back to The Birdland, but this time to see a 10-piece ensemble lead by Vincent Herring (alto sax) with Jeremy Pelt and Jon Faddis (trumpets), James Carter and Eric Alexander (tenor saxes), Steve Turre (trombone), Mike LeDonne (piano), David Williams (bass), Carl Allen (drums) and Nicolas Bearde (vocals). They told the story of jazz, from the blues to the post-bop iterations from the 80’s to the present. And they told it beautifully!
I also heard two great performances at the famous jazz club, the Blue Note. One by trumpeter Chris Botti, who brought along the beautiful singer, with the beautiful voice, Sy Smith! The other concert was with another trumpeter, Roy Hargrove, who made captivating sounds with both his trumpet and his voice.
On the very last day of my stay in New York, I drove towards the airport with the fresh memory of hearing E.J. Strickland play at the Rockwood Music Hall. A perfect ending to my stay in NYC.