Seattle Photographer Daniel Sheehan's Photo Blog

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EarshotJazz Festival Closes

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Evan Flory-Barnes conducts his ensemble in the premiere performance of his large chamber composition ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF A CELEBRATION at Town Hall in the final presentation of the 2009 Earshot Jazz Festival.

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What a great performance by the orchestra moving through a fusion of jazz, hip-hop, and classical music, complete with modern dancers and freestyle break dancers. The Seattle bassist and composer is excited premiering the large chamber work, a snapshot of the abundance of inspiration that can thread artistic mediums together in Seattle. The premiere of Acknowledgement of a Celebration features 35 musicians and ten dancers set to Flory-Barnes’s new compositions.
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Flory-Barnes performs with an inclusive passion and expressive intensity, as though he were completely immersed in music. He regularly brings his trio, The Teaching, to the Lucid jazz club in the University District for an open community jam and hang. The Teaching appeared in the 2008 Earshot Jazz Festival at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center. Photographs by Seattle photographer Daniel Sheehan, a photojournalist specializing in jazz photography and portrait photography for publications and corporations and a Seattle wedding photographer with a story-telling approach creating award winning wedding photography.

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Earshot Jazz Festival Week 2

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I have been on assignment for a week and a half now covering the Earshot Jazz Festival and we are about halfway through. I feel lucky to have been able to see so many great jazz performances and photograph them too. Shooting the CELEBRATION of HADLEY CALIMAN was a highlight. Wish I could have stayed for the whole show. Here is a sample from one night of the Festival. To see more complete coverage go to my jazz photography website EyeShotJazz.com

An all-star quintet featuring renowned saxophonist Hadley Caliman, the legendary Curtis Fuller (trombone), Larry Vukovich (piano), Jeff Chambers (bass), and Eddie Marshall (drums) concluded its Pacific Northwest tour in a special tribute concert to the Seattle-based tenor master. Photographs by Seattle photographer Daniel Sheehan, a photojournalist specializing in jazz photography and portrait photography for publications and corporations and a Seattle wedding photographer with a story-telling approach creating award winning wedding photography.

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The concert caps a six-city run of performances coordinated by Singer and Simpson Productions, celebrating Caliman’s lifetime contributions to American jazz music by featuring an outstanding ensemble of artists to perform with Caliman, who has played, recorded and toured with a list of luminaries, including Gerald Wilson, Dexter Gordon, Elvin Jones, Bobby Hutcherson, and Freddie Hubbard, among many others.

HAdley-Fuller

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Marco Benevento , piano, Matt Chamberlain, drums, and Reed Mathis, bass on stage at the Triple Door as Earshot Jazz hits midpoint in its second of the three week Jazz Festival.

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Thirty-one-year-old keyboardist Marco Benevento has made his name reimagining and reshaping the music of his youth. Benevento fluidly integrates the sounds he came of age with — rock, jazz, hip-hop, and music from more distant cultures — into an organic and far-reaching sort of improvisational music. As he told David Rubien of the San Francisco Chronicle, “It’s instrumental music but it has all these elements: rock, songs, jazz, free jazz. […] I feel like I’m happily in this place among other musicians I know in this thing that sounds new yet it’s totally vernacular. People understand what we’re doing.”

In addition to past projects, such as Quartet the Killer (a Neil Young tribute) and Bustle in Your Hedgerow (Led Zeppelin), this philosophy is well represented in his new album Me Not Me(recorded here at Chroma Sound in Seattle). Mixing originals with interpretations of works by such artists as My Morning Jacket, Deerhoof, Leonard Cohen, and Beck, Me Not Me presents Benevento with his trio of bassist Reed Mathis and drummers Matt Chamberlain and Andrew Barr. Valuing the strong melodies and harmonic structure of the borrowed source material, Benevento focused primarily on innovation in his arrangements and improvisations: “I got into sculpting the sound around the original piano parts by using some of my favorite keyboards and re-amping them in interesting ways.”

Combining Benevento’s characteristic whimsy, ear for melody, and sonic ingenuity with the frenetic energy of the trio produces unexpected and thrilling results. Benevento seems capable of exploring any musical ground that interests him; with results such as these, why not?

—Peter Walton in Earshot Jazz Festival program guide.

Hardcoretet

Art Brown (alto sax), Aaron Otheim (keyboards), Tim Carey (electric bass), and Tarik Abouzied (drums) of the group Hardcoretet play Weds night at Tula’s as part of the Earshot Jazz Festival.

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Hardcoretet infuses deep grooves with plenty of heat. They had a good thing happening at Tula’s.

Hardcoretet focuses on the groove. They play funky, driving tunes that are intensely precise and warm with electricity, both literally and figuratively (their use of effects pedals allows alto saxophonist Art Brown’s gleaming tone to morph into a wavering murmur, while Tarik Abouzied’s thriving acoustic drum beats simply buzz). There is no lead instrument; the band’s voices weave in and out of each other in a swirling mix that is balanced without sounding controlled.

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The Seattle-based group’s performance is a celebration of two major milestones: the release of their first full-length album,Experiments in Vibe, and their first performance at the Earshot Jazz Festival. The former represents a recorded declaration of the band’s tight, neon playing style, while the latter is a mark of the members’ continuing maturation into their hometown’s music scene (all four of them grew up in the greater Seattle area and attended Seattle universities). It’s an exciting time to be in Hardcoretet, because on top of those pieces of good news, the group is about to embark on a West Coast tour.

Here is music that flies in many different directions, but constantly pulsates around the groove, which moves in a straight line. Tim Carey pours out strong, fluid bass lines that smoothly coast over Tarik Abouzied’s dense, ecstatic carpet of percussion. Aaron Otheim’s whirling keyboard dances its way into the rhythm sometimes as acutely placed block chords, other times in wandering single notes that fall like drops of water. Art Brown spins a smooth tone into commanding, varied phrases that gently float above his fellow band mates’ playing. The band plays as a true team; the only member who might be the leader is the fifth one, the nameless one. If there is a leader, the leader is the groove.

—Nathan Buford from Earshot Jazz Festival Program guide.


Travis Shook Comeback

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Travis Shook made his comeback to the Seattle jazz scene at Tula’s Jazz Club last Wednesday night, playing in town for the first time in about five years. His performance with the Travis Shook Trio was greeted warmly by a full house. The Seattle Times ran an article by Hugo Kugiya detailing his career’s ups and downs. “The jazz pianist Travis Shook, a curiosity to some who remember his name, a cautionary tale for others, lives in rural, upstate New York, far from the city and the place he first greeted fame. People don’t recognize him much these days, and for a long time he preferred it that way.

“I’m 40 and I feel a lot more comfortable with myself now,” said Shook, a fixture on the Seattle jazz scene in the early 1990s and once considered one of the greatest jazz musicians of his generation. “That’s all that matters to me. Musically, I’m a much better player than I was. But the main thing is that I’m comfortable with myself. That was my biggest hurdle.”

For most, that would seem a small accomplishment, but for Shook, who experienced meteoric success and sudden failure, who was addicted to alcohol and drugs, who was virtually unemployable for a number of years, this is not an insignificant step.
“Comeback,” is the word he settled on.”
Read the rest of the story at The Seattle Times See more photos at EyeShotJazz Photograph by Seattle Photographer Daniel Sheehan specializing in photojournalism, portraits and photography for publications and corporations, and photojournalistic Seattle wedding photography.


Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958–June 25, 2009)

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As Michael Jackson‘s memorial service is being held in L.A. as I write, I felt moved to go to the files and pull up an old negative from the time I got to see him perform and photograph him. We were all so much younger, and his music was a dominant note on the soundtrack of our lives. He was everywhere on the radio and MTV. It is almost incredible to remember how really big he was then. Seeing him and photographing him on assignment was a big deal. He was a major force and influence in popular music.

Michael Jackson performed at the Gator Bowl Stadium in Jacksonville Florida before 45,000 people for each night for three nights July 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 1984. I was there on July 23rd on assignment to photograph him for the Black Star Photo agency. It was a big news story everywhere Michael went.

He was on his Victory tour at the top of his game. He performed with his brothers Jackie, Jermaine, Tito, Marlon, and Randy. The tour reunited all Jackson brothers including Michael, who had just released the highly successful Thriller album in 1982, two years previous to the tour, and Jermaine, who had not recorded or toured with his brothers since they left Motown in 1975. The Jacksons’ Victory Tour was the group’s final concert tour of the United States and Canada.

The tour commenced on 6 July in Kansas City and concluded on 9 December in Los Angeles. The tour consisted of 55 concerts to approximately 2 million fans. It was named after the newly released Jacksons’ album Victory although none of the songs from that album were on the tour’s set list.
The set list consisted of songs from the Jacksons albums Destiny and Triumph, but not the Victory album. There were also songs on the list from Jermaine’s and Michael’s solo careers. Michael’s albums Off The Wall and Thriller were both represented.
Here is the set list.
“Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'”
“Things I Do for You”
“Off the Wall”
“Human Nature” (with “Ben” introduction)
“This Place Hotel”
“She’s out of My Life”
“Let’s Get Serious”
“You Like Me Don’t You”
“Tell Me I’m Not Dreamin’ (Too Good to Be True)” (duet with Michael Jackson)
Jackson 5 Medley: “I Want You Back” / “The Love You Save” / “I’ll Be There”
“Rock with You”
“Lovely One”
Interlude
“Workin’ Day and Night”
“Beat It”
“Billie Jean”
“Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)”

The tour reportedly grossed $75 million and set a new record for the then-largest grossing tour. Michael Jackson donated all of his proceeds ($5 million) from the tour to three charities, including the T.J. Martell Foundation for Leukemia and Cancer Research, The United Negro College Fund, and the Ronald McDonald Camp for Good Times.

There was one other reason for the concert to be memorable. They rounded up all of the photographers and video folks and put us in a fenced in area about 40-50 yards away from the stage.
Normally covering a concert the press would shoot from a spot just in front of the stage, so it was a little dismaying to find out how far way we were to be. A 600mm lens with an extender was kind of the only way to get a decent sized image at theses shows. We were all a little miffed. Dennis Hamilton of the Florida times Union newspaper brought along a bag of white gloves which we put on and posed for this photo below. Dennis is in the top row center and I am just to his right. Carol Guzy, three time Pulitzer prize winning photographer at the Washington Post, is third from left. Will Dickey of the Florida Times Union is to the right of her. And down in front is Tom Burton from the Orlando Sentinel. Just to the right of Tom is Don Dughi, of UPI. and with the gloved hand sticking out, is John Coffeen of the Tampa Tribune. Can not recall who every one else is. If you recognize them let me know in the comments. I was just reminded of the pyscho Public Relations woman who kept shouting at us to point our camera at the ground after we shot some photos. We were only allowed to shoot a couple of songs as I remember it.

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The Buckets at High Dive

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The Buckets performed at a rare appearance at High Dive in Seattle Friday night. Fantastic.