on friday, i went to steamers (fullerton, ca) to see houston person, jeff hamilton, and atsuko hashimoto play in a rarely seen organ-drums-sax trio.  i already and well familiar with houston and jeff, being the best in the business.  i didn't know what to expect from this japanese lady, but she brought the house down.  it was something to see.  i was half-expecting to see a virtuoso organist flying around the keyboard without much soul, but i was dead wrong.  she greased that organ up like the best of the best.  i should have known, because i know for a fact that houston person will not tolerate anything that is not bluesy ands soulful.

it was amazing.  have any of you heard of atsuko before?  i can't wait until their album comes out in '08.  what a great show.
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we just heard them at the jazz port townsend in wa (centrum workshop).  they brought down the house there, too.  incredible.  for me, it was the highlight of the entire festival.
atsuko is incredible, and the trio is incredible together.  like they were made for each other.  
people were practically dancing in their seats.
the group the followed them, the banda brothers (latin) -- well, i had to feel sorry for them.
sorry for the typos...
no, i had never heard of atsuko before, either
she had an assistant that brought her stuff out on stage -- that was funny.  did she still have an assistant when you saw her?
was she in the style of joey defrancesco, or more like booker t?
was she in and out of the leslie a lot, or mostly chorale?
i think carla bley is the only other woman organist that i can
think of.
i would love to hear her.  maybe her upcoming appearances are on the web.
there are lots of woman organists -- maybe not in jazz, though...
i don't know enough about jazz organ to comment on her style...
but she was swingin'!!!
they opened with "sunny" and it blew me away.  i had the biggest smile on my face.
i don't remember seeing any assistants.  everything was already set up when i got there (double-leslie power!).
her style was the ideal gritty, soulful jazz organ.  joey defrancesco can play very soulful at times and other times he can all out of whack with the double-time bebop stuff.  atsuko was more like the very young joey defrancesco (who coincidentally debuted on to the jazz scene on houston person's records...17 years old!).  she was using all the organ tricks and the audience was eating it up!  i would say that her style resembled tony monaco's "fiery blues" album, and also the energy of joey defrancesco's performance on the big band "city rhythm orchestra" album (minus the big band of course).  it was sheer grease and grit.

one thing i've noticed about houston person is that whoever plays with him plays extra soulful and bluesy.  i really don't think he would tolerate anything else.  he recorded on a couple of our group's tracks a few months ago, and he's just all blues.  so, i don't know how atsuko normally plays, but with houston, she was very much bluesed out.  i'm guessing that's her preferred style.  i wish i could have spoken to her a little more, but it didn't seem like she understood much english.  i just said thank you, and i meant it.
yeah, i remember them playing sunny also!  it was great.
she's been around for a while and like most good japanese players she plays perfect. you can listen to her here:

she sounds more like smith and mcgriff. i don't think she's as hot stuff as joey.
yeah, jazz+, that's the "gig" i was at.  it's not the most recent.  the one superboy went to was more recent.
and, you have to hear this trio live before you will know what we're talking about.
i can't wait till their cd comes out...
yeah, i'm excited also.  i'm hoping they'll do another tour through los angeles for the cd once it gets released.  even though i keep close tabs on whenever houston comes to town, i almost missed this one if my friend didn't remind me of it the night before.
well, cyn, the trio with john clayton, bruce foreman and benny green was the peak of centrum for me (nice to meet you by the way!) but this person trio was hot stuff to be sure -- a solid second and best of all the main stage stuff by far.  

someone asked if she went in and out of the leslie and i did notice that she had that thing coming and going like another set of peddles.  very cool.  great set!
i've known her for several years.  i met her in japan with a guitarist friend of mine. she and her husband (a rippin guitarist, as good as she is on organ easily) set us up with a bunch of gigs and let us stay at their place.  she's just about one of the funniest people i've ever met.  sits down at her little casio "toy" keyboard, puts the metronome on at about 1000, and then runs through blues riffs in all keys, and at the same time, she's laughing like a little girl.

i don't know if i've ever met anyone who enjoys playing music more than she does.  i only got to say hello at the port townsend thing (missed the show, unfortunately, but for a good reason as i had a gig of my own to show up at :) but i heard from a lot of people, including just now in the forum, that she completely brought the house down.

i'd say without doubt, check her out!
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that is so cool that you know her, scot!

sdm, actually, my other highlight of the festival was roy hargrove's group.  i just loved that.
i missed the percussion ensemble because i left mainstage early to get into the clubs.  i regret missing it, because i heard it was incredible.  i should have just stayed there, i was toast by saturday night.
yeah, scot, that's great that you know her.  what a small world!
cynbad, we did the same thing and also missed the percussion group (although maybe somewhat less toasted since you spent the week there).  there's just too much to take in.  i was a bit ambivalent about mr. hargrove.  i think i understand what he's doing and there's no doubt about the level of skill and talent.  iím just not sure itís for me.  sort of how i felt about dave hollandís group when i saw them at pdx.  iíd still like to have some tools for talking about that kind of music although hargrove and holland werenít doing exactly the same thing.  on the other hand, hargroveís ballad was absolutely beautiful.  no second thoughts there!
yeah, it is too much to take in everything.  i left early so i could get a seat to hear dave peck.  i got to meet scot in person for the first time over there.  the music was great, but i was so tired by then i was about to doze off at the table.  then i went over to hear tamir hendelman at fins for a bit, but it just wasn't all that interesting to me.  then i went back to my cell and crashed.

yeah, i love the kind of music hargrove's group does.  i just love the energy, i think.  i really enjoyed gerald clayton on piano, too.  i was sitting in that student section behind the piano, and i had a great view of the keyboard.  i was sitting in a sea of teenagers that were hargrove fanatics, so it was actually kinda fun.

i got a lot out of auditing -- you can do just about everything except play in a combo.  and that fact allows you to go around and observe all the combo rehearsals you want to.  you get a broader view of things and can learn from a lot more people.  if you decide to audit next year, i'm sure you would enjoy it.  one warning, though...  you might not want to stay in the dorms.  they are cheap, but the beds (at least in my particular adult dorm) were in a little niche and they were just barely long enough for me (5'5").  no way would a tall guy like you be comfortable...
the fort worden campground is a great place to stay if you have an rv or camper of some sort.  the hotels/motels have gotten outrageous expensive up there, and there's practically no availability that week unless you book well in advance... but you knew that already...
i do understand the high energy of the music and i have liked the young clayton each time i've seen him.  and, of course, being part of a fan section does add to the enjoyment.

i meant to see dave peck -- i like has work -- and was also at fin's for tamir who was new to me this year.  didn't stay to the end but did enjoy it.

yes, the problem is accommodations for sure.  affording a week in the hotels may just be out of the question and the cells, while the monastic setting might be good for the artistic side, donít sound all that appealing, particularly given the short beds (6í7Ē myself).  

i too got to finally meet scot in person.  i would have enjoyed talking with each of you more but as has been said, it was a busy time.  next yearÖ

all, any that can get to port townsand but haven't -- this is a great festival.  highly recommended.
the campground is the ticket as far as accommodations go.
i've stayed on the beach before and it's marvelous.  we just don't have our camper trailer anymore :-(  
but it's affordable, nice, and close!  you have to make your reservations as early as possible...
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