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Tag: album review

A Colorful, Auspiciously Acerbic Debut Collection From Composer Gilbert Galindo

Not only is composer Gilbert Galindo’s debut album Terrestrial Journeys – streaming at Bandcamp – full of color and humor and vivid, edgy ideas: he’s also assembled a fantastic crew of New York new-classical types to play these compositions.

The opening track is Spunk, a lively, coyly dancing tune with tricky tempo changes, bursting staccato, understatedly clever counterpoint and a deft use of space. Dan Lippel‘s guitar adds a tantalizingly biting, gritty, slightly revertoned edge behind Clara Kim’s sailing violin solo. Jeff Hudgins’ crystalline alto sax cedes to a similarly all-too-brief solo from bassist Gregory Chudzik; the long quote as they reach the end is too good to give away.

Kathleen Supové‘s portentous Day in the Life piano chord opens Echoes of the Divine, Clare Monfredo’s distantly Indian-tinged cello joined by high harmonics from violinists Giancarlo Latta and violist Maren Rothfritz. Galindo packs a lot into almost fifteen minutes. Delicately stalactite droplets and the occasional raptured chord from the piano fill out the layered loops and slow, tectonically shifting textures from the strings, for a striking yet hypnotic contrast. Stately swells lead to a fleeting, warmly Romantic hint of a coda from Supové, bittersweet viola over sparse stillness, a moment of agitation and allusions to Messiaen before the composer reaches to complete the circle.

A brief, colorful, suspensefully pulsing overture, Let’s Begin features the Argus Quartet: all of the aforementioned string players minus Chudzik. Latta plays Though Your Footsteps Were Unseen, a brief diptych for solo violin, taking his time with simple, drifting chords and keening atmospheric harmonics when not pouncing through some devious poltergeist riffs.

Virtuoso clarinetist Thomas Piercy takes a rare turn on bass model in Lost in the Caves, a light touch of electronic reverb enhancing his tightly clustering, energetic, wary phrasing, with an animatedly conversational passage but also moments of surprising calm.

The trio of Kim, Monfredo and Supové tackle Imagined Passions, the three voices disengaged sufficiently to fuel a moody, wary, sometimes wispy disconnect with strong Messiaen echoes. This kind of passion could become deadly in a split second. Supové’s balance of lefthand murk beneath an icy stroll is striking, through a frequently disquieting gallery walk that becomes more of a shivery funhouse mirror.

She plays solo in My Soul Waits: this one’s full of some serious suspense and otherworldly, bell-like upper register along with anxious concentric riffs. Iktus Percussion take over for the concluding triptych, Not the Light, But the Fire That Burns, Supové joined by Chris Graham and Sean Statser. That coldly starry piano glitters in tandem with similarly eerie bells and bowed vibraphone throughout part one, The Glow That Flickers. Understatedly savage gongs and lows figure in part two, Deep Blue. The conclusion, Burn! has broodingly romping low-register in ratcheting syncopation from Supové, whiplash metallic drums amid menacingly echoey ambience. This is an unusual and often unselfconsciously profound collection of new classical music: let’s hope we hear more from Galindo sooner than later.

Among the artists on the record, the Argus Quartet have are ahead of everyone else in terms of upcoming concerts. Their next one is with pianist Steven Beck, playing play the New York premieres of Michael Shapiro’s Yiddish Quartet and Piano Quintet at Bargemusic on April 30 at 8 PM. Cover is steep, $35, but word on the street is that Shapiro’s new material is worth it.


Bongzilla Put Smoke in the Water in Greenpoint

The good news for NYC heavy rock fans is that St. Vitus is open again. The bad news is that there’s been a big bump in the cover charge, as you would expect from any club that passes the fees from online ticket middlemen on to their customers like the pizza places that use Uber Eats. So the twinbill with the thrash/spacerock/postrock hybrid Wizard Rifle and stoner riffmeisters Bongzilla will set you back $27. There are other acts on the bill, but these are the ones really worth coming out for, and the quality justifies the price.

The album at the top of Bongzilla’s Bandcamp page is an old one that goes back to 2008. It’s the band’s tantalizingly short, complete set from one of the Relapse Contamination Festivals: a lot of bands made live albums there and this is one of the best. Bongzilla are a riff band and don’t do much in the way of solos: the band name fits their immersive intensity.

Mike Henry’s drums punch up and then puncture Jeff Schultz’s wall of guitar fuzz until just a hint of an evil doom riff appears in the first song of the set, Gateway. Then the band hit a slo-mo gallop and run that simple heavy blues hook over and over.

Their second song, Stone a Pig isn’t as sludgy as you would expect from a 3rd gen Sabbath tune, thanks to Henry’s nimble drumming and the grit on the bass – if memory serves right, Cooter Brown held down that spot in the band at the time. His woozy where-did-that-come-from bass breakdown is there to fake you out and set you up for the roar that follows, through some unexpectedly tricky changes.

Methodical heavy blues riffs and an unpredictable series of tempo changes also feature heavily in their third song, Hashdealer and the closing cut, Keefmaster. This slow-burning blast from the past is another reminder that more bands should make live records.

And for a similarly riff-loaded, tuneful idea of what’s in store for the show, check out Wizard Rifle’s more texturally diverse, rhythmically tricky, thrashy most recent album from 2019.

Miwa Gemini Brings Her Darkly Surreal Narratives and Southwestern Gothic Tinged Sounds to the South Slope

This blog has called songwriter Miwa Gemini “sort of the missing link between Shonen Knife and Calexico.” The Japan-born, Brooklyn-based singer and multi-instrumentalist is one of the most unique tunesmiths to emerge from this city in the past several years. She populates her songs with quirky characters she calls “muses.” She got her start as a member of well-loved all-female accordion ensemble the Main Squeeze Orchestra. Since New York venues emerged from lockdown hell, she’s returned to playing with a rotating cast of supporting musicians. Her next gig is on April 29 at 4 PM at Freddy’s with a three-piece unit including Shoko Morikawa and taiko drummer/pianist Midori Larsen.

Miwa Gemini’s latest album Will I Fly – streaming at Bandcamp – was one of the innumerable great records that got lost in the ugly early days of the 2020 lockdown and sank without a trace. Gemini can be poignant one moment and ridiculously funny the next, sometimes in the same song. The music is on the brooding side, although there are many lighter moments. It’s a full-band record with rhythm section, layers of guitar, banjo and horns in places.

She opens with the title track. It’s a bristling mix of lickety-split, banjo-driven punkgrass and phantasmagorical circus rock with oompah horns. “I wonder if I fall. will I be free,” Gemini muses. The song may refer to the wirewalker Miss Scarlet, who plays a major role in the album’s sixth song.

Layers of sunny, jangly guitars mingle with the banjo in the slowly swaying, soul-infused second cut, Hattie’s Love Story. Gemini switches to her native language for the aptly titled Japanese Song, a lilting waltz with lingering spaghetti western guitar, accordion and a big, anthemic chorus: “The end is near…it’s just a beginning, it’s just a beginning.”

The banjo takes centerstage again in On the Road, a scrambling, Tom Waits-ish Kerouac homage spiced with oldtimey clarinet. The closest thing here to standard-issue indie rock here is Hard Time, a funny tune about the goofy things couples fight over.

Gemini goes back to a steady, somberly strolling klezmer-tinged atmosphere for Miss Scarlet and Zoe, a surreal tale of a circus elephant who’s in love with a cute trapeze girl. Butterfly, a delicate waltz, continues the narrative, a lingering mashup of moody southwestern gothic rock and Japanese folk.

Marching is Miwa Gemini’s Pink Panther theme, a coyly misterioso strut that brings to mind Brooklyn underground legends Kotorino. She goes back to waltz time for Sleepless Night, a warmly lush, catchy number that could be Rachelle Garniez with a Japanese accent.

The band hit a pulsing, slinky Nancy Sinatra noir groove for Jockey Full of Bourbon: it’s the most evocative and arguably best song on the album. Paris, a wistful, balmy waltz, is just as picturesque, with glockenspiel tinkling uneasily up through the wafting accordion and distant, forlorn muted trumpet. Gemini brings the album full circle with Little Monkey, shifting between shadowy, propulsive border rock and an equally menacing waltz.

Gemini also released a vividly melancholy, elegantly fingrpicked acoustic single, Snow Over Brooklyn, in 2021.

The Catalyst Quartet Release Another Batch of Delicious Rediscoveries

The Catalyst Quartet are in the midst of a herculean project, resurrecting the work of undeservedly obscure Black American composers. At this point in history, it looks like we’ve finally reached the moment where the racist divide-and-conquer originally conceived to justify the slave trade has been pushed back under the rock from which it crawled. So the time has never been more ripe for rediscoveries like these. While the sinister forces who astroturfed CRT and BLM may be doing their best to weaponize the legacy of artists like Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, William Grant Still and George Walker for a different kind of divide-and-conquer, we mustn’t conflate those schemes with the artists. There are so many breathtaking moments in those composers’ music, and nobody knows that better than violinists Abi Fayette and Karla Donehew Perez, violist Paul Laraia and cellist Karlos Rodriguez.

Their next concert is on April 24 at 7:30 PM as part of the monthly Music Mondays free concert series at Advent Church at 93rd and Broadway on the Upper West Side, where they’re playing works by Florence Price as well as new arrangements of old spirituals, and a new setting of Langston Hughes’s poem, Kids Who Die. It’s a neighborhood institution: get there at least fifteen minutes before showtime if you want a seat.

The quartet’s latest record in their ongoing Uncovered series is the third volume – streaming at Spotify – which opens with Perkinson’s succinct three-movement String Quartet No. 1, “Calvary.” He was an interesting guy: a jazz pianist and one of the first Black American symphony orchestra conductors, who also did some memorable arranging for Marvin Gaye in the late 60s. The quartet launch into the allegro first movement with a steely focus, weaving a counterpoint around a terse oldtime gospel-flavored riff. Diffusely reflective figures, in the same vein as the Debussy string quartet, give way and then mingle with a bouncy forward drive fueled by Rodriguez. Perkinson’s subtle rhythmic shifts, up to an almost aching crescendo from the violins, are a treat.

The gospel allusions grow more distant in the adagio second movement, spiced with delicate pizzicato accents, fleeting pauses and a persistent, wistful reflection drifting on the wings of simple echo phrases. The allegro vivace conclusion is exactly that, with a muted, lilting joy that finally swoops down out of the clouds in a jubilant glissando from Fayette. It’s a translucent, fun piece that should be heard more frequently.

Next up is another terse triptych, William Grant Still’s Lyric Quartet. The use of simple, catchy blues-infused phrases and variations is similar to the album’s first piece, the group picking up with a Dvorakian blend of Americana and Eastern European chromatics in the first movement, an otherwise rather wistful portrait of a plantation – one would assume without slaves!

Movement two, a Peruvian mountainscape, is summery and even more minimalistically crafted. The third movement, presumably a portrait of an American pioneer encampment, captures an optimistic bustle as well as some deliciously fleeting chromatics.

The concluding and most challenging piece is the best-known one here, George Walker’s String Quartet No. 1. There’s a vivid, achingly Bartokian quality in the precise chromatics and sudden swells of the first movement. The molto adagio second – often played as a standalone Lyric For Strings – echoes Samuel Barber and gets a rewardingly meticulous, insightfully dynamic interpretation from the ensemble. Stormy striding motives juxtapose against moments of wary reflection in the concluding movement. Like the first two volumes in the Catalyst Quartet’s series, this has as much historical value as it does as sheer sophisticated entertainment.

Lyrical Singers Nefeli Fasouli and Mona Miari Bring Darkly Thoughtful Greek and Palestinian Sounds to the East Village

There’s an intriguing twinbill coming up at Drom on April 26 at 8 PM that will probably slip under the radar outside the two artists’ individual diasporas, but if outside-the-box sounds are your thing, you shouldn’t sleep on it. Palestinian singer Mona Miari and Greek chanteuse Nefeli Fasouli share a searching, tender vocal quality, Miari the more overtly neosoul-influenced of the two. There isn’t much in English about either artist on the web, which puts you in the front of the line if you might be interested in checking them out live. Cover is $25.

Miami, for example, has just a single youtube clip: a lilting mashup of a couple of flamenco and Andalucian folk tunes. Fasouli recorded her album Your World – streaming at Bandcamp – live in the studio sometime before the 2020 global coup d’etat and ended up waiting to release it until June of the following year. It’s a fascinating, often wickedly catchy blend of dusky Greek traditional sounds, psychedelia, European jazz and occasional latin influences from guitarist and main songwriter Fivos Delivorias. Fasouli sings in Greek: her band (uncredited on the Bandcamp page) also features acoustic and electric piano, a rhythm section and occasional horns.

The opening number is Ride, an elegant, gently soaring cosmopolitan jazz tune that rises to a lively charanga atmosphere. She and the band follow with I Don’t Know What It Looks Like, a moody, cumulo-nimbus minor-key rembetiko theme bolstered by looming brass on the low end.

The title track is a poignant, hushed, wary fado-esque ballad set to a spiky interweave of guitar and bouzouki, Then the group dance through The Voice, a spare, bitingly chromatic, icepick electric rembetiko melody, Fasouli rising to an angst-fueled peak

For One Summer, a swaying, catchy rock ballad, wouldn’t have been out of the place as a hit for the Police in the early 80s. Next up is In Acherousia, a bouncy, electrified folk dance tune with clavinova and staccato electric guitar

When You Fall, a pensive minor-key waltz, has terse piano, organ and fiery blues guitar from Delivorias. Organ and electric guitar also figure in I’ll Tell You, a tricky, funkily syncopated party anthem that’s a mashup of Greek folk and LA lowrider latin soul.

Casa Malaparte, a low-key, uneasy, understatedly syncopated piano ballad, pulses along with some dramatic cymbal work. Delivorias takes over the mic for the first verse of the final cut, which translates roughly as Live Onstage and brings the album full circle with a blend of Euro-jazz, lingering nocturnal rembetiko and more than a hint of classic salsa. We so seldom get to hear such an intriguing mix of sounds in New York these days.

The Penniless Loafers Take Centerstage on a Killer Ska Triplebill at Otto’s Tonight

We are overdue for another ska revival. And it looks like it’s happening.

By the time the fast one-drop got popular in the US, it was already retro. And then it got corporatized, and watered down. And as the years went by and the diehards who played the oldschool stuff got old, the crowds that used to pack the Tribeca-era Knitting Factory trickled down into little bars like Don Pedro’s and Spike Hill and then finally Otto’s. If you’re a diehard who might be interested in seeing the glorious past and promising future of slinky formerly Jamaican sounds in New York, that’s where you can find a triplebill tonight, April 14 which has both.

At 8 PM there’s Barbicide, a more punk-oriented spinoff of 90s legends Mephiskapheles. The 9 PM act is the Penniless Loafers, who are what No Doubt would have been if they’d been good. Third-wave ska trombone legend Buford O’Sullivan, who has played with everybody starting with the Skatalites, headlines with his band the Roosters. A show this good ten years ago would have set you back at least twenty bucks. Tonight, it’s a pass-the-hat situation. Make of that what you will.

The Penniless Loafers represent the future on this bill. They have horns, and keys, but as much of a classic powerpop influence as oldschool ska and punk. In a style almost completely dominated by dudes, their all-female frontline sets them apart. Their latest album Living the Plan B – streaming at Bandcamp – came out while this city was still under Cuomo’s nightmare lockdown and deserves to be better known.

The opening track, Milo, is probably the only ska song ever written about a cat: it’s got jangly guitars, and sleek roller-rink organ, and brass, and an unexpected, irresistible halfspeed reggae breakdown. It says a lot about the band’s sense of humor.

Track two, New Face is a rocksteady song, like a beefier version of the Big Takeover. The band’s frontline – Veronica Gonzalez, Lynsey Vanderberg and Casey Walker – join soul-infused harmonies in Moving Along, a catchy reggae-janglerock mashup with icy chorus-box guitar, bright horns and bandleader Tim Firth’s layers of organ.

The horns take centerstage in Sneaky Little Thoughts, a more brooding reggae tune, the band picking it up suddenly with a sizzling Noah Axelrod guitar solo. Hearts of Pyrite, a shimmery, upbeat but bittersweet tune with gospel-tinged call-and-response vocals, is one of the album’s strongest cuts.

They switch to a blazing mashup of dark fuzztone surf rock over a 60s go-go beat in M.I.A. and then go back to rocksteady with I Spy (a cynical original, not the Pulp anthem).

The band really take the songs to the next level as the album winds up. Day and Night is a smolderingly successful detour into towering, angst-fueled vintage noir soul territory. The band return to moody reggae in One for the Stars and then range from delicate Lynchian pop to a venomous kiss-off anthem in This is Getting Heavy. There’s also a gorgeous bonus track, Lost Love where they slowly make their way up from a wounded noir nocturne to rocksteady.

A Sweet Debut Album and a Williamsburg Gig From New York’s Best New Middle Eastern Band

It took three years, but we’re seeing new bands spring up around town and one of the most auspicious is Baklava Express, whose new album Dávka is streaming at Bandcamp. On one hand, they’re a throwback to the golden age of 50s Middle Eastern music, but they differentiate themselves with both their original instrumentals and the presence of an acoustic guitar for extra spiky textures. They’re ambitious and have a lot of nerve: you would never know that they’re a bunch of Americans They even have a signature song, included here on the record. They’re playing on April 19 at 9 PM at Radegast Hall, where the imported beers and brats are expensive (and huge), but the show is free.

They open the record sacrilegiously with Kosher Bacon. This is some sad forbidden food! Bassist James Robbins bows out a growly drone, violinist Daisy Castro carrying the rainy-day, midrangey waltz tune over the plucky interweave of oudist Josh Kaye and guitarist Max O’Rourke as percussionist Jeremy Smith builds an increasingly boomy beat with his goblet drum.

The album’s slinky, celebratory, chromatically delicious title track is a close approximation of a famous Egyptian bellydance theme, Castro and Kaye syncing up for the lead line, with a tantalizingly brief break for oud and hand drum. Then they go back to moody waltz territory for I’ll Figure It Out, which could just as easily be a starkly catchy Neapolitan lament.

The band work an anthemic, bouncy Gipsy Kings-style descending progression in Reunion, Castro multitracking herself into a bracing one-woman string section, Kaye adding edgy, spiraling leads. Up to Us has trickier syncopation and a biting Turkish flavor, with a spare, sinewy, subtly flamenco-tinged guitar solo.

Castro and Kaye take over a broodingly incisive melody line in a third waltz, The Same River Twice, O’Rourke weaving spiky multitracks with his National steel guitar. In an age of censorship and surveillance, it takes mega guts to release a song titled Turtles All the Way Down (a reference to the iconic, pseudonymous book debunking the myths behind vaccine “science”). This one’s as defiant and lush as you would want from a mashup of a classic levantine anthem and more Andalucian sounds.

Waltz for Omer is a similarly brisk, beefy Spanish Romany-flavored number. They close with their signature tune, which turns out to be part whimsical and part whiplash, with the album’s most adrenalizing oud and violin solos. This is easily one of the best two or three albums released this year so far.

Smart, Catchy, Provocative Freedom Anthems From Alicen Grey a.k.a. When Humans Had Wings

Alicen Grey is an intuitive. She works at what some might call the intersection of energetic healing, spirituality and the paranormal. She’s down-to-earth, and entertaining, and also one of the growing legions of freedom fighters who have emerged since the 2020 global coup. She shares her insights into the ongoing Great Awakening – including a wild experience with mysterious, symbolic wreckage in the Arizona desert – via her Substack and youtube channel.

And she’s a musician as well, recording catchy keyboard-based songs under the name When Humans Had Wings. She released her most recent album Run Rabbit Run – streaming at Bandcamp – in 2022. After a provocative bit of an intro, she launches into I’d Rather Be High, a swaying, hypnotic trip-hop anthem: “I dare you to seek until you find the power that sleeps in your spine,” she challenges. The instrumentation is simple, just Grey’s echoey, layered keys plus occasional guitar and drums from Sean Seybold.

Track three, Ears to Hear is a resolute protest anthem:

They got you wearing a mask
Got you wanting the past
Got you nervous to ask any questions
Got you looking at me
Like I’m your enemy
Got you turning your words to weapons

The synths get more fuzzy and the lyrics get more cynical in the album’s title track: “I wonder what you wanted to show me back when I gave a fuck,” she tells her antagonist. The fifth cut, a pulsing escape anthem, is titled Pray, Animal: it’s an intriguing mashup of vintage krautrock and Bjork with hints of psychedelic late Beatles.

The most minimalist anthem here is The Madness of the Saints, Grey shifting between suspenseful electric piano, rapturous pipe organ and rainy-day piano textures over Seybold’s tumbling drums. The final cut is Alternate Universe, a big, delicious kiss-off to a narcissist bandmate.

Grey has a couple of singles up at Bandcamp as well. Earthquake, featuring Dosyble Sane, is super catchy, goes back a couple years and also deals with treachery. And Smoke and Mirrors, from 2022, is her most mysterious, cinematic track so far.

And if you’re interested in how she defines evil – and how to get it out of your life – check out her appearance earlier this week on Mickey Z’s Post-Woke podcast.

Colorful, Relentlessly Entertaining, Linguistically-Inspired New Compositions by Eric Nathan

One of the most deviously entertaining recent projects in new classical music is Eric Nathan‘s epic double album Missing Words, streaming at New Focus Recordings. The composer takes inspiration for this colorful collection of vignettes and longer pieces from Ben Schott‘s Schottenfreude, a philosophical satire of the German propensity for interminable compound nouns. In turn, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, American Brass Quintet, cellist Parry Karp and pianist Christopher Karp, the International Contemporary Ensemble, the Neave Trio and finally, Hub New Music have as much fun playing this stuff as the composer obviously did writing it.

It’s a series of tableaux and character studies which range from the vividly cinematic to occasionally cartoonish. Sirens are a recurrent trope, as are pregnant pauses and trick endings. Some of the more otherworldly harmonies look back to Messiaen; the more circular passages echo Philip Glass. The series of miniatures at the end are more acerbic and somewhat less comedic – other than the obvious but irresistibly mangled Beethoven quotes.

The opening number, Eisenbahnscheinbewegung (Railway-Illusion-Motion) makes colorful use of dopplers and train-whistle sonics. Herbstlaubtrittvergnügen (Autumn-Foliage-Strike-Fun) has jaunty trombone flourishes echoed by violins. There’s balletesque bustle and a surprise ending in Fingerspitzentanz (Fingertips-Dance) and mini-fanfares grounded by diesel-engine low brass in Missing Words – what’s missing is the operative question.

Nathan spaciously and rather cautiously approaches the strangely intimate acrylic smell of a new car interior, i.e. Kraftfahrzeugsinnenausstattungsneugeruchsgenuss. Rollschleppe (Escalator-Schlep) is as persistently troubled as you would expect from a portrait of somebody who can’t take the stairs – and yet, the piece has a persistent determination. Life in the slow lane really is where all the action is!

Mundphantom (Mouth-Phantom) is a Scooby Doo conversation. Speaking of ghosts, the Straußmanöver (Ostrich-Maneuver) is performed by a seriously phantasmic bird. Schubladenbrief ((Desk-Drawer-Letter) seems to depict a letter stubbornly resisting an opener, but when the envelope finally get slit, its contents suggest its sender is recounting a wild ride.

Dreiecksumgleichung (Triangle-Reorganization) is built around a flashy violin solo and concludes with a lively flute-driven jig. By contrast, the wry, bracing dawn interlude Tageslichtspielschock (Daylight-Show-Shock) will resonate with any musician dreading a gig at an early hour.

Arguably the funniest piece here, Ludwigssyndrom (Ludwig’s-Syndrome) is a tongue-in-cheek, brief piano concerto with rapidfire, ostentatious cascades and a ridiculously good riff joke that’s too good to give away. The steady upward stride of the piano in Watzmannwahn (Watzmann-Delusion) is also pretty priceless.

The only one of the ensembles on the record who have a New York concert coming up are the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, who are Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall on April 15 at 8 PM, playing works by Andrew Norman, Lei Lang and Lisa Bielawa, the latter with the composer on vocals. The venue says you can get in for $21.

Ageless Jazz Vocal Icon Sheila Jordan Makes an Auspicious, Intimate Brooklyn Appearance

That singer Sheila Jordan is still active, and undiminished at 93 years old, is impressive enough. That she has the guts to release a live album is even more so. And she doesn’t restrict herself to Manhattan gigs. She’s playing the album release show for her new one Live at Mezzrow – streaming at Bandcamp – at Bar Bayeux in Crown Heights on April 12, with sets at 8 and 9:30 PM. Not only is she fronting a first- class, similarly lyrical band – Jacob Sacks on piano, David Ambrosio on bass and Vinnie Sperrazza on drums – but this is also a chance for you to see a legend for the price of, say, ten bucks in the tip bucket. Get there early if you’re going.

Jordan’s supporting cast on the live album is also simpatico: Alan Broadbent, with his signature low-key High Romantic style, proves to be an ideal choice of pianist, while her longtime collaborator, bassist Harvie S takes charge of the swing. And Jordan’s banter with the crowd and her bandmates is priceless. They open with a wintry take of Bird Alone: Jordan’s interpretation of the line about “flying over troubled ground” has depth beyond words. Just listen for enlightenment.

She has expert fun with her steady horn voicings as she scats her way through a couple of verses of The Touch of Your Lips Broadbent goes walking through the stygian lows to hold down the fort during a mutedly dancing bass solo.

The two instrumentalists scamper through a precise take of What Is This Thing Called Love until the bass takes the song unexpectedly into the shadows. Jordan then returns to stage for The Bird and Confirmation. The bass-and-vocal duet midway through the Charlie Parker tune, and the way the bandleader holds fast, just a hair behind the beat, gives new meaning to the world “timeless.”

She slows down with Look For the Silver Lining, working a vibrato wide enough to drive a truck through – and those overtones when she goes up the scale will give you chills. There’s another bass-and-vocal duet to open Falling in Love With Love, along with some classic Jordan messing with the beat and a spiraling, lyrical Broadbent solo.

The trio give Baltimore Oriole a shadowy Brecht/Weill swing, then hit a slinky bossa groove for I Concentrate on You: Jordan can still stretch out those melismas like few others. Then the band take Blue and Green by themselves, from a languid, summery atmosphere to an unexpectedly Twin Peaks crescendo to set up Autumn in New York. Which is the high point of the show, Jordan’s shivery, bittersweet delivery and Broadbent’s occasional noir bolero accent giving way to a genuine hope-against-hope and an ending that’s the most unexpected moment of many.

They close the show with an understatedly triumphant take of Lucky to Be Me – the moment where Jordan calls out the guy who’s on his phone is worth the price of the whole record. And if you want to watch the show, there’s a video of the whole thing up at youtube.