Deidre Rodman, the pianist-composer about whom I’ve recently written on this blog and in the Washington Post, is appearing with her quintet on Monday at the Jazz Gallery. The gig is in celebration of the release of her second CD, Simple Stories, about which I had this to say in the Post:
If you liked the Bad Plus’ “These Are the Vistas,” an all-acoustic piano-trio album with a strong pop flavor, your next stop should be Deidre Rodman’s “Simple Stories” (Sunnyside), the second CD by an up-and-coming young pianist-composer from New York City. Rodman has put a similarly fresh spin on the time-honored trumpet-sax quintet lineup, with results as crisp and sweet as a bite out of a Fuji apple.
Like so many other twentysomething players, Rodman has performed all sorts of music. She’s worked with Elvis Costello, played in a circus band and now doubles as a member of the Lascivious Biddies, a witty girl group. Not surprisingly, her idiosyncratic approach to jazz is colored by this wide-ranging experience. For one thing, her compositions are far more than just props for aimless blowing. Some are songs (Rodman is also a talented lyricist), others large-scale compositions notable for their high melodic profiles. The influence of rock on pieces like “Sleeping Ground” (sung to perfection by Luciana Souza, who sits in on three cuts) is unmistakable, yet you don’t doubt for a moment that you’re listening to jazz….
Two sets, at nine and 10:30. For more information, go here.
While you’re at the record store, check out Acoustic Romance (Sons of Sound), a gorgeous guitar-bass-drums CD by Gene Bertoncini originally recorded in 1992 for a Japanese label and now being released stateside for the first time. Bertoncini’s gently elegant finger-style acoustic jazz guitar and classically flavored arrangements of such blue-chip standards as “The Shadow of Your Smile” and “Two for the Road” have rarely been captured in such warm yet transparent recorded sound, and Akira Tana and Rufus Reid provide impeccable support.
You can order Acoustic Romance by going here, or you can take matters into your own hands by dining at Le Madeleine, the theater-district bistro (it’s on 43rd Street just east of Ninth Avenue) where Bertoncini plays solo guitar on Sunday and Monday nights whenever he’s in New York. It happens that he’s in town for the next few weeks, so I dropped in this evening to eat the excellent food and savor the music. Both were up to par (they always are), and copies of Acoustic Romance were available for purchase and signing (ditto). Nightclubs are all very well and good, but there’s nothing like listening to great jazz while eating a good meal in pleasant surroundings, and we all know that some of New York’s most admired jazz clubs aren’t exactly, ahem, comfy.
Anyway, go see Deidre Rodman at the Jazz Gallery on Monday and Gene Bertoncini at Le Madeleine next Sunday. Buy their albums–and tell ’em I sent you.