Rafi Zabor’s Updoc, Fri Oct 16 & Tues Oct 20


Who’s old-fashioned? Hey, I tried to leverage a photo of Kamasi Washington into this shot but I couldn’t make it fit. At 89 years old, Tony Bennett’s voice sometimes sounds shot, but also sometimes pretty good and besides, tonal beauty was never his strong suit, and his heart and taste and time and wit are not only still intact but eloquent. On a new record of Jerome Kern songs he’s paired off with Bill Charlap and his superb rhythm team of founding fathers, and I hope you don’t have to be of a Certain Age to appreciate music-making of this order. Otherwise on this week’s Updoc—Friday at 8PM and noon next Tuesday, Roseland Ballroom time—contrast and occasionally even youth are provided by the likes of Jon Irabagon, Fred Hersch, Steve Kuhn, another strong installment of the Eduard Tubin symphonic cycle—his 7th, if you’re counting—new releases from Enrico Rava and Stephan Micus, and a solo piano stunner from Dave Bryant, who once had one of the toughest but most rewarding keyboard gigs in the galaxy with Ornette Coleman, who most often resided between the white keys and the black. Kamasi Washington? So what if he’s not the Messiah. He’s a blast of good news in a world overfull of people who are too cool to care. It’s as if, somehow, he didn’t get the message that music’s no longer able to open hearts and shake up people’s lives. I hope he keeps going and that telegram stays lost, you know?

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