November 22nd, 2011

Stephen “Paul” Motian, one of the most influential modern jazz drummers and friend to many at Birdland, passed away November 22nd at the age of 80.

After distinguishing himself as the drummer in pianist Bill Evans’ groundbreaking trio in the 1950s, Motian went on to create an innovative style of jazz drumming emphasizing color and texture with minimalistic references to beat and groove. In addition to recording with pianist Keith Jarrett’s important “American Quartet” in the 1970s with bassist Charlie Haden and saxophonist Dewey Redman, Motian thrived as a band leader. His “Electric Bebop Band” introduced and/or nurtured important young jazz artists such Joshua Redman, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Ben Monder and Chris Potter. Motian’s most enduring project was a trio with guitarist Bill Frisell and saxophonist Joe Lovano that explored an innovative approach to jazz standards.
Motian’s recent CD release was an all-star quartet session for ECM Records, Live at Birdland (2011) with Lee Konitz, Brad Mehldau and Charlie Haden, which was recorded during Birdland’s 60th anniversary celebration in December, 2009. Motian was one of the few artists who performed regularly at both the original and current incarnations of Birdland and he will be deeply missed.

November 15th, 2011

Jim Hall Quartet
Greg Osby (alto sax) Joey Baron (drums) Steve Laspina (bass)
November 15-19 @ 8:30 & 11pm

80-year-old guitar legend Jim Hall has been a major figure in the jazz world since the 1950s. His signature hollow-body jazz guitar sound, rhythmic subtlety and empathetic accompaniment style have made instant classics of his recordings with fellow jazz legends Sonny Rollins, Chico Hamilton, Bill Evans, Jimmy Giuffre, Ron Carter and Paul Desmond. A perennial favorite among fellow guitarists Hall has had the dual distinction of strongly influencing as well as sometimes collaborating with the most recognizable guitarists in jazz including Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell, John Abercrombie, John Scofield and Mike Stern. The New Yorker has called Jim Hall, “the reigning master of the jazz guitar… a poetic player who says more with fewer notes than any living improviser.”

November 4th, 2011

Join us on 11/11, 11/18, 12/9 & 12/16 to celebrate the release of the new CD “Eleven” by Tommy Igoe and The Birdland Big Band. Featuring 11 signature arrangements!

Birdland Jazz Club
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