A Pacific Northwest Editorial Photographer's Blog

jazz photography

Photos of The Charles Lloyd New Quartet in Seattle

The Charles Lloyd New Quartet with Jason Moran, Reuben Rogers, & Eric Harland playing at Town Hall.

All Photographs on this website Daniel Sheehan © 2009. All Rights Reserved. Please inquire for permission before using.

It was a beautiful new group Charles Lloyd brought to town earlier this month. I have been meaning to post some photos form this performance and here they are. If you missed the show it was a wonderful performance. Charles is one of my all time favorite musicians. And so is Jason Moran. I was happy to get the chance to hear Eric Harland and Reuben Rogers play as well.

These cats were very intense and yet the music was very spiritual.

“Since the 1960s, tenor saxophonist and flautist Charles Lloyd’s life has alternated between periods of musical and personal exploration. After spending a decade or so working as a sideman in different blues and jazz groups, Lloyd hit a goldmine of critical acclaim and popular support in with his quartet’s groundbreaking performance at the 1966 Monterey Jazz Festival (no small feat in a period when jazz’s audiences were largely moving in new directions). This particular group was notable not just for Lloyd’s debut as a fresh and exciting leader, but also because two of its members, Keith Jarrett and Jack DeJohnette, were themselves only a few years away from exploding as widely innovative and influential jazz musicians….

Lloyd’s New Quartet is fortified with relatively young but well-established jazz musicians who are fully capable of sharing Lloyd’s pursuits. A leader in his own right, Jason Moran (piano) brings the group a unique, mature second lead voice. He’s one of those pianists who sometimes convince you that you’re listening to 80 years of jazz piano history rolled into one set of fingers. His heavy left hand will dabble in vintage 1920s stride playing right before flowing through a sequence that breaks into advanced Andrew Hill territory, while his frank, direct solos often develop in unpredictable turns that take full advantage his repertoire’s diverse influences.

On stage, when Lloyd himself isn’t soloing, he doesn’t just stand there; he frequently can’t resist dancing to the pulsing, breathing rhythms provided by his fellow musicians. Reuben Rogers (bass) and Eric Harland (drums/percussion) form a reliable, gregarious backbone that’s perfect for bringing the exotic structures in Lloyd’s compositions to life. Whether the tune is funky, swinging, Latin, or has no definable rhythm at all, the team decorates it with outbursts that always feel natural and appropriate….” – Nathan Bluford from the Earshot Jazz program guide. Jazz Photography by editorial photographer and photojournalist Daniel Sheehan who covers jazz performances, and creates portrait photography for publications and corporations. He is also a Seattle Wedding Photographer at A Beautiful Day Photography, a wedding photographer with an artistic photojournalist style.


Earshot Jazz Festival Week 2

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The Washington Composers Orchestra presented an evening of music specially suited for the gorgeous acoustics of the Chapel Performance Space at the Good Shepherd Center as part of the continuing Earshot Jazz festival which is now in its second week.

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Robin Holcomb conducting Wayne Horvitz’s concerto for clarinet “River of Whiskey,” featuring guest clarinetist Beth Fleenor.

Robin Holcomb, Wayne Horvitz, and Tom Varner lead this adventurous 15-piece ensemble which featured top-flight Seattle improvisers and composers including Mark Taylor, Thomas Marriott, Eric Barber, Byron Vannoy, and Phil Sparks. Approaching the traditional jazz big band as a “pocket orchestra,” the program featured four extended compositions by Holcomb, Horvitz’s concerto for clarinet “River of Whiskey,” featuring guest clarinetist Beth Fleenor, and Chris Stover’s “The Murderess.” The program will also include the Seattle premier of “Laredo,” written for saxophone quartet by Holcomb, and commissioned by the Rova Saxophone Quartet.

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Wayne Horvitz at the piano.

Also last night at the Triple Door Earshot presented Meshell Ndegeocello
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Meshell Ndegeocello at the Triple Door Tuesday night

Earshot Jazz Festival presented the endlessly inventive bassist, composer, singer, and bandleader Meshell Ndegeocello who incorporates elements of soul, rock, jazz, funk, and hip-hop to express “the love I’ve felt and the energy I’m surrounding myself with.” She possesses a deeply expressive musical perspective and a fierce intelligence. The Triple Door was sold out including standing room only and everyone was so into Meshell and her mesmerizing performance.

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Deantoni Parks, drums, Chris Bruce, guitar, Keefus Ciancia, keyboards, Ndgeocello, and Mark Kelley bass.

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Ndegoecello’s debut album Plantation Lullabies came out like a breath of musical fresh air in the early 1990s, combining the crisp danceable production of modern hip-hop with funky, old-time soul. A major talent in many areas, from her nimble finger-funk on the bass to her breathy, robust vocals and her continually developing, passionate songwriting, Ndegeocello has excelled as a bandleader, drawing on the talent of jazz musicians such as pianist Geri Allen and saxophonist Joshua Redman for guest spots. Ndegeocello frequently ends up guesting on albums by artists including The Rolling Stones, John Mellencamp, and Rahzel of the Roots, but her excellent work as a musician never detracts from the direct, polished quality of her solo albums, which continue to evolve and improve. On October 6, she will release Devil’s Halo, her eighth studio album. The 10-time Grammy nominee co-produced the new album alongside guitarist Chris Bruce. Photographs by Seattle Photographer Daniel Sheehan specializing in portraits and photojournalism for publications and corporations and a Seattle wedding photographer, shooting weddings with artistic documentary Seattle wedding photography.


Earshot Jazz Festival opens with Garfield HS and MIGUEL ZENÓN

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GARFIELD HIGH SCHOOL JAZZ BAND, With SPECIAL GUEST MIGUEL ZENÓN, under the direction of Clarence Acox, opened the 2009 Earshot Jazz Festival Friday night to a packed house at the Triple Door. What a great vibe to begin the festival. It is amazing to see some many talented young musicians coming up here in Seattle. What a fantastic show.

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Miguel and all of those student sax players were a delight to hear. Photographs by Seattle photographer Daniel Sheehan, a photojournalist specializing in jazz photography and portrait photography for publications and corporations and a Seattle wedding photographer with a story-telling approach creating award winning wedding photography.


Jazz Photography – A Travis Shook Comeback

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Travis Shook made his comeback to the Seattle jazz scene at Tula’s Jazz Club last Wednesday night, playing in town for the first time in about five years. His performance with the Travis Shook Trio was greeted warmly by a full house. The Seattle Times ran an article by Hugo Kugiya detailing his career’s ups and downs. “The jazz pianist Travis Shook, a curiosity to some who remember his name, a cautionary tale for others, lives in rural, upstate New York, far from the city and the place he first greeted fame. People don’t recognize him much these days, and for a long time he preferred it that way.

“I’m 40 and I feel a lot more comfortable with myself now,” said Shook, a fixture on the Seattle jazz scene in the early 1990s and once considered one of the greatest jazz musicians of his generation. “That’s all that matters to me. Musically, I’m a much better player than I was. But the main thing is that I’m comfortable with myself. That was my biggest hurdle.”

For most, that would seem a small accomplishment, but for Shook, who experienced meteoric success and sudden failure, who was addicted to alcohol and drugs, who was virtually unemployable for a number of years, this is not an insignificant step.

“Comeback,” is the word he settled on.”
Read the rest at The Seattle Times

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it was a delight to see and hear Essiet Essiet perform on the bass behind Shook.

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Matt Jorgensen was great at drums throughout the set.

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Jay Thomas made an appearance as well during the first set.
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Travis looked pleased at the applause at the end of his first set.
Photographs by Seattle Photographer Daniel Sheehan specializing in photojournalism, portraits and photography for publications and corporations, and photojournalistic Seattle wedding photography.


Jazz Portrait Jerry Dodgion

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Jerry Dodgion has some gigs lined up in the San Francisco Bay area and needed a new portrait for publicity so we got together and made this portrait. Jerry is an American jazz saxophonist and flautist.
Jerry Dodgion, alto saxophone, flute, arranger and composer, hails from Richmond, California on San Francisco Bay. He gained early experience in 1950s with bay area bands of Rudy Salvini, John Coppola/Chuck Travis and Gerald Wilson as well as brief appearances with the Vernon Alley quartet which included backing Billie Holiday in 1955.
Dodgion joined Benny Carter, on Gerald Wilson’s recommendation, for the opening of the “Moulin Rouge” in Las Vegas ‘55. Jerry joined the Red Norvo quintet [`58-’61] which included long stints in Las Vegas at the “Sands Hotel.” Many tours accompanying Frank Sinatra ‘59-’60 plus touring as part of the Benny Goodman groups of ‘59-’61 which incorporated the Red Norvo quintet into Goodman’s ten piece band (including Flip Phillips, Bill Harris and Jack Sheldon) and subsequent versions which included Zoot Sims, Carl Fontana and Charlie Shavers.

After a long career as a side man, Dodgion’s first release as a bandleader arrived in 2004 with his ensemble The Joy of Sax, featuring saxophonists Frank Wess, Brad Leali, Dan Block and Jay Brandford, pianist Mike LeDonne, bassist Dennis Irwin and percussionist Joe Farnsworth.


Larks, They Crazy – Robin Holcomb

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Robin Holcomb sang performing Larks, They Crazy at the  Seattle Art Museum last month.

Robin Holcomb’s playing and singing were a special treat during the Earshot jazz festival as I was lulled and then moved in some of the more stirring pieces. The pianist/composer/singer performed a reprise of her 1989 landmark Sound Aspects release, Larks, They Crazy. The album featured many of the top-working musicians in New York, including Horvitz, Previte, Marty Ehrlich, Doug Wieselman, and David Hofstra. Like Todos Santos, the album gathered much attention upon its release. Featuring some truly ambitious music, the drama of her compositions well deserves revisiting. Mark Dery of The New York Times wrote: “Ms. Holcomb has done something remarkable here: she has created a new American regionalism, spun from many threads – country rock, minimalism, Civil War songs, Baptist hymns, Appalachian folk tunes, even the polytonal music of Charles Ives. The music that results is as elegantly simple as a Shaker quilt, and no less beautiful.”
Holcomb was joined on stage here by the expansive, irrepressible Skerik on tenor saxophone, old New York friend Doug Wieselman on alto, D’Vonne Lewis on drums, and Geoff Harper on bass.


Bill Cosby & James Moody

James Moody and Bill Cosby
So far over the course of photographing the Earshot Jazz festival, the most surprising mpment was this one. A funny thing happened at the Nordstrom Recital Hall Saturday Nov 1st. I was there to photograph the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra performing with special guest NEA Jazz Master James Moody on sax and before it could start Bill Cosby sauntered out on stage to give his own surprise special performance. He was set to appear next door at Benaroya Hall and had a little extra time so he wandered backstage to see his old friend James.
He came out and with a little instruction to the orchestra he sat down at the piano and started to play Duke Ellington’s “Take The A Train”. He was a big hit and the orchestra and audience loved it.
Afterwards James Moody came out and they told a story about Moody’s 50th birthday they were performing together in Las Vegas but Moody didnt tell it right so Cosby had to retell it.
It cracked everyone up. What a special Earshot Jazz Festival moment.

Click here for the complete schedule for the rest of the upcoming shows at the 2008 Earshot Jazz Festival

 

Photograph by Seattle photographer Daniel Sheehan. 

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Seattle Photographer – Cyro Baptista

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Cyro Baptista Friday, November 7, Triple Door
Cyro was in great form tonight performing with his group Banquet of the Spirit at the Triple Door to a ful house. Wonderful spirits they were emanating from the sounds from the band.
Baptista’s mastery of the percussion of his native Brazil has propelled him to international renown. He has been a US resident for almost 30 years, but seems to spend much of his time drumming his way around the world with a host of leaders and outfits – from Yo-Yo Ma’s Brazil Project, to Trey Anastasio’s Band, to John Zorn’s Electric Masada, to Herbie Hancock’s Grammy award winning Gershwin’s World, to Sting, to Paul Simon’s Rhythm of the Saints.
But that’s just a taste of the career of this surpassing percussionist. He has been much praised and often honored with critics and readers awards in many varieties of music. In his own projects, including the percussion and dance ensemble, Beat the Donkey, Baptista exalts in percussion styles and instruments from around the world in performances that are thrilling, surprising, and dazzling.
That will be the case, here, too, as he presents his new quartet, featuring keyboardist Brian Marsella, bassist and oud player Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz, and drummer Tim Keiper.

Click here for the complete schedule for the rest of the upcoming shows at the 2008 Earshot Jazz Festival

Photograph by Seattle photographer Daniel Sheehan.

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Earshot Jazz Festival


Above, the scene at Tulas with the Eric Vloeimans Fugimundi on stage.
The 20th Annual Earshot Jazz Festival got underway last Saturday Oct 18th and will run until Nov 8th. I am attempting to go to almost every show and make some photographs and post them to my jazz photography blog EyeShotJazz
Already I missed one night, Weds, but hope it will be the only night I can not make it.
Here are a few of the pictures I have made so far.

Evan Flory-Barnes’ The Teaching Tuesday Night Oct 20th


Froy Aagre with her Quartet Monday Oct 19th

The amazing Anton Goudsmit with the Eric Vloeimans Fugimundi

Photograph by Seattle photographer Daniel Sheehan, a photojournalist specializing in jazz photography, photojournalism and portrait photography for publications and corporations and also a Seattle wedding photographer with an unobtrusive, story-telling approach creating award winning Seattle wedding photography and wedding photojournalism among Seattle wedding photographers.

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Bill Frisell and Victor Krauss

I had an assignment last July in Woodinville, WA and as I was heading into the hotel I ran into Bill and his friend Victor. Bill was driving Victor to his gig playing with Lyle Lovett at Ch. St. Michelle and his ancient Volvo had a problem. On one of the warmest days in July the heater would not shut off. I told him he has got to get that fixed, but in the mean time try driving with the windows open.  Although it is not that warm most of the year, I guess you could wait a month or so and it would be fine to have the heat back on.