Dateline New York – Notes from El Barrio: 1

13. Oktober 2013

Upon arriving at my apartment on E 111th Street, the neighborhood which used to be called Spanish Harlem, I was greeted with lots of Salsa music from my neighbors’ backyard, writes Matthias Kirsch.

I guess that’s what you get when you stay one block north of Tito Puente way.Trying to stay awake was relatively easy because I was about to visit Karrin Allyson’s late show at Birdland. It is good to hear that she has two new, independent releases coming up – the first one a holiday album in early November. Her set consisted of a varied repertoire encompassing Blossom Dearie (“Bye Bye Country Boy”), Donny Hathaway (“Everything Must Change”) and a beautiful original. Karrin was in fine form, her typical charming raspy voice setting attractive accents. Thanks to her manager Cynthia Herbst, we were joined at our table by Todd Barkan and Wolf Mueller, jazz consultant for Sony Music.

Day 2:
I headed across town to the Upper West Side to meet Travis Sullivan at a cafe in his neighborhood. Travis is fronting the Bjorkestra which, you guessed it, plays the music of Björk within a totally imaginative context. Becca Stevens, who happens to live in this neighborhood as well, is the singer with the band. They play one night only at the Jazz Standard next Tuesday. Travis was all excited about this band now going on since around 2004.
Just ten blocks south, I visited some old friends: Joe and Barney Fields from HighNote and Savant Records welcomed me at their sympathetic 71st Street office. We were talking about the industry in general and about some exciting upcoming projects. Please listen to my afternoon show for the newest releases when i’m back! But that’s what you do anyway!
Tonight, it’s time to go to Dizzy’s, the beautiful club on Columbus Circle. Kenny Barron is playing with his Platinum Band. While I finish writing this, the Salsa is back from the speakers in the neighborhood.

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