We had another rehearsal today.  Much of the time is spent running heads and making sure we know the basic road map of the tunes, but on a few we were able to open up and just play.  On the one hand, perhaps improvised music is better after noon…on the other hand I am reminded of what great vehicles these tunes and melodies are for us.  Tristano’s aesthetic is so rich with rhythmic and melodic launching pads it’s hard not to be affected positively by it.

morning rehearsal

morning rehearsal

We were joined by vocalist and snappy dresser Dave Rizer for a run through of Marionette.  As I knew he would, Dave took on the challenge of learning a very very difficult melody and is grooving hard in his typically swinging style.  In addition to being a totally individual artist and guy, he has become a ubiquitous figure, camera in hand, on the KC jazz scene.  There are a wealth of clips from many KC artists on his youtube page and on facebook.  Many thanks to Mr. Rizer.

Also, I am very happy to report that Matt Otto is feeling better and we will be joining us for much of the night on Thursday.  See you at the Blue Room January 23rd 7-11pm!

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I think it’s important to acknowledge the skill and dedication of the members of Crosscurrent.  There are so many notes to learn and potential pot holes to avoid when playing Tristano’s music or music in his style.  It’s this challenge that makes it fun I hope, but I can’t say enough about the guys in the band.  These are inspiring, hard working, talented, committed musicians that are into it for all the right reasons.  It’s like some cruel joke that a drummer would found a Lennie Tristano band…I don’t have to learn these melodies.  I really can’t take credit for anything other than surrounding myself with amazing musicians.  We’ll see you at The Blue Room January 23rd 7-11pm.  -Sam

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Crosscurrent @ The Blue Room Jan. 23rd

After a nice warm hibernation, Crosscurrent is ready to return to action this winter beginning with a show at the Blue Room January 23rd 7-11pm.  We will have the full line up with Matt, Steve, TJ, Ben and Sam plus special guests Michael Shults and Dave Rizer.  We’ll be playing the Lennie Tristano hits you love plus some new stuff, including this from our friend (and fellow Tristano fan) Agnar from Iceland:

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Wednesday Night!

We are excited to play at the very cool Kill Devil Club Wednesday night at 9pm.  Come check us out and have a delicious cocktail.  In the meantime, check this out….

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Blue Room Thursday!

Looking forward to our show on Thursday, November 8th 7-11 at the Blue Room.  Come check us out!  We’ll be playing some new stuff including a new tune from Matt Otto and “Eiderdown” by Steve Swallow.  Here is a Bill Evans recording with Tristano disciples Warne Marsh and Lee Konitz that inspired us to play the tune:


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Very excited to help kick off the Rhythm & Ribs Festival in style tonight at The Blue Room from 8-10pm.  There are great local and national groups all weekend down at 18th & Vine.  The show is sponsored by North Coast Brewing…maker of Brother Thelonious and Blue Room Pale Ale.  In honor of Brother Thelonious, we’ll be playing Monk’s “Four in One.”

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KC’s Jazz Lark

Wonderful post from KCJazzLark about a great singer and friend of the band Megan Birdsall.  It’s important to keep this whole music thing in perspective.  Once again…we love the KC music community.  Please buy all of Megan’s CD’s and go see her live!

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Crosscurrent named one of the Top 5 KC jazz Acts by KJHK 90.7.  Very happy to be in such good company…we love our fellow KC musicians.

Thanks to KJHK for the mention and Lennie for the inspiration!

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Upcoming Shows

Worked on this nice line today at rehearsal. Written by Tristano disciple Ted Brown, we’ll be playing it at our upcoming performances…check out the updated gig calendar!

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Lennie Tristano Live @ the Half Note

Rare CBS footage of Lennie and Quintet playing at the Half Note. Crosscurrent is looking forward to a great year starting with three awesome gigs in January 2012!


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