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January 1, 2030

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“We appreciate the terrific performance!
Thanks again and look for our contact next year.”

—Duane Roggendorff, Director of External Affairs, Grand Central Partnership, August 27, 2014; Vibraphone Quartet

About Myself

I'm a jazz drummer and bandleader based in New York City for the past 30 years. During that time, my drumming and bandleading have developed together as two different aspects of the music I love to play. I love putting together my favorite musicians into ideal combinations, picking the most interesting music for each instrumentation, and then immersing myself in the music we make. This page features my four most important musical projects that I regard as my “core” bands. (I also lead many other kinds of jazz bands for commercial markets such as corporate events and weddings that you can find elsewhere on this site.)

“It was fabulous to have your group join us for the AMBLE event. What a really terrific day! Congrats to you and the band for a gorgeous afternoon of music!”

—Anita Jacobs, Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, June 2, 2012; Vibraphone Quartet

What are my bands?

Each of my bands represents a distinct musical project that I’ve developed over the course of my lifetime, based on a particular instrumentation, repertoire, stylistic concept, and core group of musicians.

 

The Trumpet-Saxophone Quintet is a quintet drawing inspiration primarily from the brilliantly inventive compositions of trumpeter Kenny Dorham, saxophonist Joe Henderson and others featured on classic Blue Note recordings of the 1960s.

  • Background

    The inception of the Quintet started with my desire to perform the mostly forgotten music written by trumpeter Kenny Dorham for the quintet he co-led with saxophonist Joe Henderson in the mid-1960s. These compositions, while within the hard bop genre, are not exactly of it. They are different—dark, soulful, sophisticated, highly arranged, and with ingenious motifs and rhythmic devices that make each one of them a distinctive roadmap for improvisation. (Our video of Dorham’s composition "São Paulo" is a good example of this.) Dorham’s neglected masterpieces form the core of the group’s repertoire and concept, complemented by additional compositions by Henderson, Thelonious Monk, Freddie Hubbard, Hank Mobley, Walter Bishop Jr., Billy Harper, and others.

    The members of the quintet love this music and this group as much as I do and are equally dedicated to it, often traveling long distances or turning down more lucrative gigs in order to play together.

     

  • Personnel

    Bill Mobley, trumpet

    Dave Riekenberg, tenor saxophone

    Cecilia Coleman, piano

    Matt Clohsey, bass

    Chuck Braman, drums

     

    Alternates:

    Richie Vitale, Don Sickler, David Smith, trumpet

    Tom Christensen, Rich Perry, saxophone

    Sarah Jane Cion, Gary Versace, piano

    Noriko Ueda, Paul Gill, Evan Gregor, Thomson Kneeland, bass

     

  • Repertoire

    Kenny Dorham:

    Back Road

    Brown’s Town

    Escapade

    La Mesha

    Night Watch

    An Oscar for Oscar

    Pedro’s Time

    Sao Paulo

    Short Story

    Sunrise In Mexico

    Sunset

    Una Mas

    Whistle Stop

     

    Joe Henderson:

    If

    In ‘N Out

    Jinriksha

    Mamacita

    Our Thing

    Punjab

    Serenity

    Step Lightly

    Teeter Tooter

     

    Thelonious Monk:

    Hornin’ In

    Locomotive

    Sixteen

     

    Woody Shaw:

    The Moontrane

    Theme For Maxine

     

    Coral Keys (Walter Bishop Jr.)

    Crocket Ballet (Billy Harper)

    Joshua (Victor Feldman)

    Lost (Wayne Shorter)

    Pat ‘n Chat (Hank Mobley)

    Rio (Wayne Shorter)

    Scene (Tom Harrell)

    Sky Dive (Freddie Hubbard)

    The Black Angel (Kenny Barron)

    Waiting For Chet (Hal Galper)

The Saxophone Quartet features a front-line with saxophone and guitar and explores some of the most challenging and rarely-performed compositions of the major jazz composers of the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s.

  • Background

    This is the instrumentation (saxophone, guitar, bass, drums) of the very first group I formed for my very first gig as a leader in 1978. From the beginning, my conception of the band was as a vehicle to explore the best non-avant-garde jazz of the 1960s, along with the best non-fusion jazz of the 70s.

    The music of the current version of the quartet represents three decades of the development of this idea. Of all my bands, this one has the most difficult repertoire, with compositions by Chick Corea (Song of the Wind), Steve Swallow (Portsmouth Figurations), and Bill Evans (Fun Ride, Twelve Tone Tune Two), and others. To do this music justice requires a saxophonist with an incredible level of musicianship, willing to take the time to learn it well, and who knows the genre well. Even in New York this can be challenging to find, but luckily for me I've been able to play with two of the most amazing saxophonists in town, Donny McCaslin, and our current saxophonist, Chris Bacas, who has been with our group for about ten years so far.

    As with most of my bands, the videos sound good, but the music on a typical gig is an order of magnitude higher, and the group keeps getting better as the years go by…

     

  • Personnel

    Chris Bacas, saxophones

    Tom Guarna, guitar

    Thomson Kneedland, bass

    Chuck Braman, drums

     

    Alternates:

    Donny McCaslin, saxophones

    Pete McCann, Nate Radley, guitar

    Noriko Ueda, Matt Clohsey, Evan Gregor

     

  • Repertoire

    Thelonious Monk:

    Brake’s Sake

    Brilliant Corners

    Coming On The Hudson

    Gallop’s Gallop

    Introspection

    Jackie-ing

    Played Twice

     

    Bill Evans:

    Fun Ride

    Loose Bloose

    Re: Person I Knew

    Twelve Tone Tune Two

     

    Keith Jarrett:

    Le Mistral

    Memories Of Tomorrow

     

    Chick Corea:

    Bleeding Orchid

    Song of the Wind

     

    Larry Young:

    Paris Eyes

    Ritha

     

    Agua & Viho (Egberto Gismonti)

    The Bat (Pat Metheny)

    Ballad For Billy (Leni Stern)

    Black Narcissus (Joe Henderson)

    Cyclic Episode (Sam Rivers)

    Dark Light (Mike Nock)

    De Pois Do Amor O Vazio (Wayne Shorter)

    Elm (Richie Beirach)

    Foolish Door (John Abercrombie)

    Moon Germs (Joe Farrell)

    Paul’s Pal (Sonny Rollins)

    Portsmouth Figurations (Steve Swallow)

The Vibraphone Quartet features a front-line with vibraphone and guitar, and explores some of the repertoire and concepts developed by Gary Burton in the 1960s and 1970s, along with other exceptional  and rarely-performed compositions that lend themselves to the sound of the vibraphone.

  • Background

    This band, developed over the last 15 years, is one of my most recent musical projects. Our repertoire is drawn from my favorite compositions, by Steve Swallow, Michael Gibbs, Carla Bley and others, that were originally performed by vibraphonist Gary Burton’s quartets during the 1960s and 70s, the music of Brazilian composer Caetano Veloso, and modern jazz composers such as Pat Metheny, Kenny Wheeler, Jim Hall, Joe Farrell. The common denominator between these compositions is that, to my ears, their melodies lend themselves to the sound of the vibraphone more so than any other instrument.

    The videos of the group, featuring vibraphonist Behn Gillece, were filmed shortly after our first gig together. They are a good representation of our music, but not of our present level; with several more years of playing together under his belt since then, Behn’s playing of this music now is nothing short of incredible…

     

  • Personnel

    Behn Gillece, vibraphone

    Nate Radley, guitar

    Matt Clohsey, bass

    Chuck Braman, drums

     

    Alternates:

    Paul Bollenback, Pete McCann, guitar

    Noriko Ueda, Paul Gill, Evan Gregor, Thomson Kneeland, bass

     

  • Repertoire

    Steve Swallow:

    Como En Vietnam

    General Mojo’s

        Well Laid Plan

    I’m Your Pal

    Peau Douce

     

    Horace Silver:

    Filthy McNasty

    Silver’s Serenade

    Strollin'

     

    Caetano Veloso:

    Dom De Illudir

    Luz Do Sol

    Nua Idéia

     

    Chick Corea:

    Litha

    The Loop

     

    Hoagy Carmichael:

    Rockin Chair

    Stardust

     

    The Beatles (John Scofield)

    The Blessing (Ornette Coleman)

    Careful (Jim Hall)

    Clockwise (Cedar Walton)

    Equipoise (Stanley Cowell)

    Fuschia Swing Song (Sam Rivers)

    The Good Life (Sacha Distel)

    Kids Are Pretty People (Thad Jones)

    Little B’s Poem (Bobby Hutcherson)

    Liturgy (Michael Gibbs)

    Midnight Mood (Joe Zawinul)

    Midnight Sun (Lionel Hampton)

    Molten Glass (Joe Farrell)

    Nacada (Pat Metheny)

    Outra Vez (Antonio Carlos Jobim)

    Picadilly Lilly (Dave Liebman)

    Say It Isn’t So (Irving Berlin)

    Sing Me Softly The Blues (Carla Bley)

    Skating in Central (John Lewis)

    Smatter (Kenny Wheeler)

    Straight Street (John Coltrane)

    Tangerine (Victor Schertzinger)

    Think On Me (George Cables)

    Walkin’ Shoes (Gerry Mulligan)

    Why Try to Change Me Now?

     

The Guitar Quartet features a front-line with two guitarists and performs the music of my favorite jazz composers of the 1940s through the 1970s, including many lesser-known compositions of Thelonious Monk.

  • Background

    The repertoire of this band is a mixture of the lesser-known compositions of Thelonious Monk, along with modern jazz compositions that are particularly suited to the guitar that I’ve chosen over the course of the last 35 years.

    The lead instrumentalists in this group are the very best jazz guitarists that I know of in New York City, including Paul Bollenback, Pete McCann, Nate Radley and Tom Guarna, all of whom I’ve been lucky to make music with many years.

    An interesting experiment of mine in recent years has been to combine my favorite guitar trios into quartets featuring two guitarists in the front line. As it turns out, this is not merely a novelty; as each is able to create chordal accompaniments while the other improvises mainly single note lines, the group sound fills out harmonically, with the combinations of guitars almost sounding at times like a single instrument. It’s also a lot of fun to hear two great guitarists reacting to and interacting with each other, and working to compliment each other’s style.

     

  • Personnel

    Paul Bollenback and/or Nate Radley and/or

    Pete McCann and/or Tom Guarna, guitar

    Matt Clohsey, bass

    Chuck Braman, drums

     

    Alternates:

    Noriko Ueda, Evan Gregor, Thomson Kneeland, bass

     

  • Repertoire

    Thelonious Monk:

    A Merrier Christmas

    Ask Me Now

    Ba-lue Boliver Ba-lues-are

    Bemsha Swing

    Blue Hawk

    Boo Boo’s Birthday

    Brake’s Sake

    Coming On The Hudson

    Criss Cross

    Friday The 13th

    Gallop’s Gallop

    Introspection

    Let’s Call This

    Light Blue

    Misterioso

    Monk’s Dream

    Monk’s Mood

    Played Twice

    Reflections

    Ruby, My Dear

    San Francisco Holiday

    Skippy

    Thelonious

    Think Of One

    Ugly Beauty

    Who Knows?

    Work

     

    John Abercrombie:

    Foolish Door

    John’s Waltz

    Paramour

    Ralph’s Piano Waltz

     

    Pat Metheny:

    Bright Size Life

    Change of Heart

    H&H

    James

    Never Too Far Away

    Sirabhorn

    Unity Village

     

    Richie Beirach:

    Broken Wing

    Nightlake

    Stray

    Veils

    Zol

     

    Leni Stern:

    Fortunate Fall

    Monica

    Promise

     

    Agua Vihno (Egberto Gismonti)

    Chance (Kenny Kirkland)

    Four Winds (Dave Holland)

    Lonely Woman (Horace Silver)

    Summer Band Camp (Mick Goodrick)

    Toy Tune (Wayne Shorter)

     

“As usual, the performance by this wonderful Jazz Quintet was enjoyed by our many concert-goers and we look forward to having you join us at other Borough President events.”

—Joanne Nuzzo, Middle Beach Sea Turtle Circle, June 16, 2011; Trumpet-Saxophone Quintet

Where have we performed?

My groups have performed at jazz clubs like Birdland, The Cornelia Street Cafe, and the 55 Bar, and for virtually every summer concert organization in New York City, including the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, Sunset On The Hudson, The Jazz Forum, Summer in the Square, Brooklyn Arts Council, Grand Central Partnership, Woodside On The Move, Staten Island Family Events , Vornado Realty, Dag Hammersjold Plaza, Rudin Management (Cool Music for Warm Summer Days), Music On Chelsea Piers, Harlem Meer Performance Festival, Kupferberg Center for the Arts, and Music on the Stuyvesant Town Oval.

“You guys were excellent. Not only did I have people come up to me during the concert to let me know how much they enjoyed your concert, I’ve had people calling me the past two days to ask that we bring you guys back next year. I think it is safe to say you guys will be one of the first calls we make when planning next summer’s concert series. Thank you so much for such a great concert.”

—Brian Hetey, Village of Great Neck Plaza, July 1, 2014; Vocal Trio

A Few Of Our Previous Performances

New York Jazz Bands

76 Carmine St Apt 3D

New York, NY 10014-4392

(212) 989-5281

           

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