Tag Archives: Bird’s Basement

Review: Mark Isaacs, solo piano extemporisations at Bird’s Basement

Upon first entering Bird’s Basement, I was immediately conscious of the crystalline sound of the piano, each unamplified note lingering in the space, untrammelled by its neighbours. The audience, in darkness, appeared hushed, as if intensely focused on the music: lyrical, melodic and restrained. As I was drawn into this music, I was conscious of its fragile delicacy, as Mark Isaacs mined the upper register, unafraid of summoning sheer beauty from his instrument.

Donald Harrison Jr: “I describe our sound as serious fun”

“I grew up thinking of jazz as dance music, just like the music you hear on the radio,” says Donald Harrison Jr. “This element was never taught in school or discussed by any of my music peers so that alone made me realize I had a different thought process then even the cats from New Orleans like the Marsalis brothers and my partner at the time, Terence Blanchard. They are all great players, but including a dance feeling did not seem to be high on their priority list in the early ’80s.”

David Weiss: “It’s the constant search to become better that keeps the Cookers fresh and growing.”

The Cookers is a learning experience for me. I will always learn and get my ass kicked by these guys. It might not always be a pleasant experience to get one’s ass kicked but it is an important part of one’s growth as a musician and I’m very lucky to be in this unique situation performing with and learning from some of the best and ones directly tied to when this music was at its apex.

Review: Albare & The Urbanity Project @ Bird’s Basement

Their music has a smooth feel, offering a downtempo version of soul jazz, often with a nod to bands like Earth, Wind and Fire. The rhythm section creates an elegant soundscape, a canvas for the playful interaction between the Turcio and Albare, who captured the audiences attention sending them off to a musical path sparked love and passion.