February 24th, 2020 11pm Stage 2
Celebrating Rockwood Music Hall’s 15-Year Anniversary!
On latest release, Chronology of a Dream: Live at the Village Vanguard, the musician, singer, composer, bandleader and Late Show With Stephen Colbert musical director Jon Batiste takes his concept of “celestial jazz”, and his masterful compositional prowess to the world’s most iconic jazz club. It’s a follow-up to the acclaimed Anatomy of Angels: Live at the Village Vanguard, released in August, which found Batiste and company immersed in his concepts of “celestial jazz” and “melodious atonality”, fluidly navigating demanding shifts in form, time and harmony while channeling the divine. “Chronology contrasts Angels, but both albums are steeped in the same musical and spiritual concepts. They are two sides of the same coin. In fact, they were recorded at the same time and arranged into separate albums after the fact so that listeners would have two contrasting experiences within the same musical landscape” Batiste explains. “My compositions on Chronology focus on thematic development within short form structures with memorable melodic themes, while Angels focuses on thematic development within longer form structures that are built for deconstruction, never to be played the same way twice.”
But just as Angels balanced its intellectual depth with plenty of emotional depth—see Lake Street Dive singer Rachael Price’s guest vocal on “The Very Thought of You”—Chronology features healthy doses of poignancy, zeal and exaltation, including a heartrending performance of “SOULFUL,” a little-known composition by Batiste’s late musical hero Roy Hargrove.
Coming full circle, Batiste found himself at the helm of a band of the young lions last November, coming together to document his own masterful compositions, contribute to the lineage of black music and pay homage his late hero. Both Angels and Chronology are timely recordings that showcase his eminence as a composer, bandleader, and pianist, while also giving the listener an invitation to deepen their divine humanity. Batiste concept of “celestial jazz” is incredibly deep, provocative, and even borders on the prophetic, giving us a window into the future of where the music is going, and more importantly, where it could go.