The planets in proper alignment

September 23, 2005

Oy va Voi and Balkan Beat Box @ Irving Plaza
Yesterday, I got tipped off to a klezmer show at Irving Plaza, and boy, a I glad I went. Oi Va Voi and Balkan Beat Box are two bands that take klezmer and other eastern european music and mix them with dance beats and other modern elements.

Oi Va Voi takes klezmer themes and pairs them with danceable beats. They will be playing again on Sunday in Riverside Park around 6 PM.

As good as Oi Va Voi were, Balkan Beat Box were even more engaging. Combining electronic beats with influences from jazz as well as eastern european, mediterranean and near eastern music, the songs are very unique. The set opened with the band parading through the crowd wearing masks and playing drums and horns. They even got a NYC crowd dancing. BBB's new album is out on JDub Records and is available on iTunes.

James Carter @ The Blue Note
On Sunday, I caught James Carter play the last night of his week at the Blue Note and came away less impressed than the previous times I've seen Carter. Even though the organ trio is a format that serves him well, the set lacked focus.

Carter is like a painter who has colors in his palette that other painters simply don't have access to. Other improvisers have fewer avenues of exploration, but can combine them in a more coherent manner. Chris Potter, for example, shapes his solos very well-- each time, he takes the audience somewhere with a specific destination in mind. Carter wanders aimlessly in various directions, which is enjoyable because of his skills, but less focused than other brilliant saxophone players.

This particular ensemble, with and guests James "Blood" Ullmer on guitar and Hamiet Bluiett on bari sax is ne of the best that Carter has led. A live CD recored at the Blue Note, Out of Nowhere, is available on Half Note records.

Other upcoming shows of interest
The Bad Plus, through Sunday @ Village Vanguard
The Walk Ons, tonight (Friday) @ Crash Mansion, 10:30
Sam Champion, CD release show, tonight (Friday) @ Mercury Lounge, 11:30
On Sunday, Magnetic Field is hosting Atlantic Antic on Sunday 9/25 with The Ponys, The Hong Kong, The Soul Shakers, Detachment Kit, The Dansettes playing outside on Atlantic Ave.
The Bosch, CD Release show, Tuesday, 9/27 @ Pianos, 9:30
Electric Six, Fri. 9/30 @ Bowery
Beck, Thu.-Fri. 10/6-7 at Hammerstein Ballroom. On Thursday, McRorie opens.

Posted by Andrew Raff at September 23, 2005 03:45 PM
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