- Editorial Reviews
- Steve | 01-26-2010
- Alumni Publications
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It's as if every place, whether it's a counter service taqueria, a sit down joint, or a truck, gets all the same ingredients from all the same distributors. But unlike pizza and bagels, where the redundant offerings are at least of generally high quality, the average New York taco is just mostly fine I guess. This does bring us to the Tacos El Bronco truck, which you think might be a "but here's the exception! It's just as okay as every other one. But then it becomes even more disappointing because just a few hours before stumbling upon the truck in Sunset Park, I'd just read El Bronco mentioned on a short list of Best Tacos In Brooklyn.
So I had my hopes up, and it didn't happen for me. Employees: Extremely deep Brooklyn and kinda intimidating and probably named Vinny. View of bridge: Superb. It's a counter-service falafel and shawarma place for cripes sake! And yet, shit, it's not wrong? I had Bonchon once, and honestly wasn't terribly impressed.
Pelicana, meanwhile, seems to be a second fiddle of Korean fried chicken chains; the Qdoba to Bonchon's Chipotle. There's a couple of them around here, the first I saw in a three level food court in Koreatown, the other taking up a quaint corner bar space in Fort Greene. And I gotta say, based on just a single trip to each, I like Pelicana better than Bonchon. Juicier, spicier, just as crisp in very Korean chicken kind of way. It was extremely satisfying. Maybe a little overkill on the sauce, but that's a lousy complaint. Addendum: While I was writing this, I did some quick research and discovered there's a Bonchon location in Minneapolis??
And it's been there since ?? Why didn't I know this! Momofuku is for real and surprisingly affordable and accessible. Just maybe think real hard about going spicy. It was essentially happenstance that led me there, on only the 2nd day of their opening, even. So it was a little crowded. But I wanted a cheesesteak that day anyway thus the happenstance , so I persevered, stood in line, and holed up at the standing bar in a corner to eat it. I will say this: Tony Luke's makes a very good cheesesteak. Probably the best I've had in New York so far, though the one from Shorty's was damn close.
Easily better than the one I had at Geno's or was it Pat's? And the greasy Philly ambiance of the place is just weird enough—homemade ads for hilariously bad looking B-movies which Tony Luke Jr. So, come to think of it, you better go eat at Tony Luke's as soon as you can before all of the staff quits en masse.
This is a sandwich town, they say, and I'd like to think I'm a sandwich guy. I haven't posted about all of them on here, because basically they've all brought me to the same conclusion: pretty good I guess, but not amazing. I can't make any conclusions of why this is. Maybe it's that everyone gets the same ingredients from the same distributors.
Maybe they don't just make'em like they used to. Maybe they were never great to begin with? But even though I've gotten to visit some weird deep Brooklyn neighborhoods, heard some sweaty Brooklyn accents, and seen some fantastic old-school hand painted signage and menu boards hey Lioni's , this sandwich odyssey has left me where I was when I started: The greatest sandwich I've ever eaten is still the roast beef from Clancey's Meats, and the greatest Italian sandwich I've ever eaten is still from world's largest sigh Jersey Mike's.
Anyway, the Johnny roast beef from John's Deli is at least interesting enough to post here. Just look at that photo. We've got some fresh sliced roast beef although not as fresh as the aforementioned Clancey's , some caramelized onions, and a liberal helping of their "famous" beef gravy. It's simple, but it's not something you can find at the thousands of other delis around town.
And it's tasty! And rich! But man, if this is really one of the great New York Sandwiches, I don't know what to think of this place anymore. As one does. I'd been warned in advance that the Thai food "scene" in New York isn't as good as you might expect, and that most places in town with the exception of one particular restaurant in Queens, but we'll save that for another time serve basically the same decent generic American Thai food you can get anywhere between here and Des Moines. So with expectations low, I was caught off guard by how good, and how unique the food from this Thai Farm Kitchen was.
Nothing particular drew us to this place over the 3 or 4 other nearby options; it was just a new-ish, cute-ish little joint in the middle of our weird, not-quite-yet-gentrified Russian and Bangladeshi neighborhood. But the menu had some interesting options on it, and the food we got was all fantastic.
We lucked out. Fast forward, like, two months. I'm doing laundry across the street on a weekday night, and I notice there's a line out the door mid-winter, mind you at Thai Farm Kitchen. The next week it's the same. Then we try to go there to eat on a Saturday night—two hour wait. We try again a couple weeks later—hour and a half wait. The place is constantly packed.
The secret is out, not so lucky anymore. Turns out, as we guessed after the first couple attempts, that in fact the New York Times wrote a very positive review of the place, and that seems to be simultaneously a holy anointment and a kiss of death in this city. Great for them, because I'm sure they're suddenly making double the money the ever imagined making in their first year.
But damn, we found our little place, and now we're stuck out in the cold! Anyway, we finally got in the other night, and it was no fluke. The food is up there with the best Thai I've had anywhere, the menu is just left of standard they serve their pad thai with fried calamari, which doesn't sound exciting, but it adds a lot! By this time next year, we ought to be able to get a table there on a weekend again. Really, the cheesesteaks and scrapple are of secondary concern; the roast pork is right there in the title. Federoff's is doing everything right.
The sandwich looked delicious, the pork was clearly fresh and roasted in house, as was the broccoli rabe, the hoagie roll is satisfyingly chewy without being tough, and the vibe of the place is full-on effortless charm. So why didn't I like it? I didn't like it! Issue one is that the pork, for as fresh and juicy as it was, simply tasted like pork fat. Maybe this is how it's supposed to be; I've only had one legit Philly roast pork before see: Paesano's, which was amazing.
But it just lacked any sort of seasoning that you'd expect in an ostensibly Italian roast. The Paesano's pork I ate last year was something closer to porchetta—porky, yes, but balanced with garlic, oregano, salt, all the good stuff. This Federoff's pork was almost as if they threw the pork shoulder in the oven totally bare and called it done, which left it not exactly bland , but in fact overwhelmed with an off-putting flavor of cheap pork fat. The next issue was in the broccoli rabe.
It was bitter. Way too bitter.
Steve | 01-26-2010
That's what you get with rabe when you don't do it exactly right, and apparently they didn't do it right. The Philly sandwich rabe is also usually full of garlic and lemon—something you can actually get at Italian delis all over Philly and New York—but this was just lacking. Total bitterness. Top it off literally with some pickled cherry peppers that didn't help any of the issues, and you've got a real disappointing lunch.
I just sat there and ate in disbelief, because like I said earlier, it looked so good! It should've blew my mind. Maybe the scrapple will? Because there's so many levels to it that I'm just exhausted from it already, especially having just written a 30 page essay about black and white cookies. Here's what's up: Detroit-style pizza is a thing now. It's a thing. Do they really make pizza like this in Detroit? Because if you ask me, what's known as Detroit-style pizza is what Rocky Rococo has been making my entire life. Square pan, thick crust with butter-crispy edges, personal sized pizza.
You can even find versions of it in this city called something like "Sicilian style" or "grandma style. Are you from Detroit? Can you help me? That said: Detroit style pizza is delicious. Lions and Tigers and Squares, a new little shop that's decided to kickstart the trend in Chelsea, does a fine job of making it. It's probably an insult to them for me to say I like Rocky Rococo better though. But that's okay; Rocky Rococo is the best. Have you been there lately?
There's one left in Brooklyn Center. Check it out. And I have to admit, despite my annoyance at this whole "Detroit" thing, Lions and Tigers and Squares is an extremely clever name. Think about it. This post specifically says "Zabar's" on it, which is where I purchased and photographed this particular black and white cookie, but having eaten a handful of different cookies from various locations—from trashy deli to beloved contemporary bakery—I have thoughts on this style of cookie in a more general sense, and subsequently thoughts about New York City's cultivation of a unique and hyper-local cuisine.
If you would allow me to elucidate? Thank you. There are certain foods that have been used for decades as a shorthand for "New York. Pizza slices. Pastrami on rye. These are all still pretty apt choices, but it's also an old list. It's , times change, a whole new crop of people have been living here long enough to become a part of it. There's still a clear family of foods that are not necessarily unique to this city, but are so ubiquitous here while remaining somewhat niche in other places, that they feel truly like part of the makeup of New York's ecosystem.
The list as I see it: 1. Halal chicken on rice 2. Pizza slices going nowhere 3. Bacon egg and cheese sandwiches 4. Bagels going nowhere 5. Boar's Head deli meat sandwiches Boar's Head feels like a fancy good brand at stores in Minnesota. Here it is literally everywhere. You can't not buy it. Even the shittiest scariest lamest bodegas serve Boar's Head without fail.
Seltzer 7. Jamaican beef patties 8. Hot dogs going nowhere, but seemingly overtaken by halal chicken on rice carts 9. Pickles Black and white cookies The black and white cookie might be the least visible of the items on this list, yet it's still extremely New York.
It was even part of a Seinfeld gag! I don't think I ever saw one for sale anywhere in the Twin Cities. Maybe possibly once or twice in little bakeries, but not really. Here they're almost always right there in the pastry rack, next to the chocolate chip cookies and muffins and cakes, and just as often are up on or near the front counter of random crummy delis and bodegas, pre-packaged from whatever food distributers make them. What surprised me most about the black and white cookie, though, is that's it's barely even a cookie! I bit in, expecting sort of a standard sugar cookie, or perhaps something like a snickerdoodle, but really they're practically cake!
They're extremely soft, like a very thin cake; or like a very wide muffin top. The icing, as you can see, is half chocolate and half plain or vanilla? And that's it. I've had 3 or 4 at this point, and while the quality of course varies on the quality of the bakery. I've had them pre-packaged from a deli, and I've had one from a artisanal bakery in Prospect Heights that was listed on one food blog as the best black and white cookie in Brooklyn. In general they're always tasty. But they're too big, the icing sometimes gets weirdly chemically and kinda gives me a headache.
But they're always satisfying. This specific cookie that's up there in the photograph and listed as the title of this post! All I can say is it was good. Maybe the best I've had? It was certainly better than the cheap deli ones, and I actually didn't like the aforementioned Prospect Heights one all that much. So I guess Zabar's is technically the best I've had. But mark my word I'm going to track down the true king of black and white cookies in this town. Oh, also Zabar's pastrami sandwich was incredibly mediocre.
Not worth a post. Oh, oh, and the new Vampire Weekend music video was filmed in Zabar's! And Jerry Seindfeld was in it! We've come full circle! Located way down in deep Brooklyn—we're talking old Italian families who still probably have mob ties, entire neighborhoods of Russians who probably also have mob ties, and actual grass yards—this place was supposedly built in the mids, and at the time was entirely surrounded by farm fields.
Which makes sense when you see it; it's built as a freestanding house-type structure, with a couple additions that have been built over the years. It feels old and almost Midwestern in a way that hardly anything else in this city does. And their specialty is equally old and Midwestern: roast beef sandwiches. They've got other stuff on their menu, notably clam chowder not so Midwestern , but it's the kind of place where if you order those other items, the waiter a scummy teenager in a white shirt and bowtie might honestly get confused for a second.
And the wood paneled walls and old cowboy paintings. The sandwich itself was, I guess, satisfying. It didn't stack up to some of the classic Minneapolis roast beef joints like Wally's and Maverick's, but it was doused in jus and generally tasted pretty good. It could've used some horseradish though. I want another one right now. I also won't do that here because it would make me a hypocrite. See, on our last night in town, we wanted to get a nice meal, and found this seemingly new boutique hotel restaurant called the Foxfire Mountain House, which was well reviewed, albeit by very few people.
In fact, when we showed up, there were only 3 other people eating there, and the staff seemed genuinely surprised to see us. But let me just say: this entire meal was a wonderful fucking experience. The place was super charming if a little interior-decorator-y , the cool guys running the place were extremely pleasant and decent, and the food was truly one of the best meals I've had in a while.
Erin's in particular was mind blowing; a slow roasted pork rubbed in some sort of garam marsala maybe it was slightly Moroccan, see also my Phoenicia Diner post below! It was out of this world. So, yeah. I can't hate on the Catskills. They treated us right. Holy cow the Catskills are close to New York City. And very pretty, to boot. For as much as you think of the city as this huge, gray, sweaty, uncaring block of concrete—which yes it is—you never really think of the fact that it's basically situated in a river valley at the foothills of mountains.
When you're in the city, nature as you know it is basically confined to a rectangle in the middle of Manhattan. But even getting towards the outskirts of the Bronx, you can start to make out real hills, actual topography. Then once you pass Yonkers, you're basically in the forest. Sure the forest is hiding any number of dead and dying industrial towns and suburbs, but gosh it's lovely.
And then in just about 2 or 3 hours, you're in the mountain wilderness. Or at least a relative wilderness, because: 2. Wow even the small towns are fairly dense. At least compared to my midwestern definition of a small town. Unless you're in the actual, government-protected wilderness, there isn't really any "free" space here. Not even the appearance of it. I figure people have been building and farming here since the fucking 17th century, so any bit of open space has generally been claimed and partitioned.
Plus the fact that you're just a short drive north of 20 million people. Which then leads to: 3. You can "get away", but you can't get away. People in New York have money. And they like to open bakeries and eat at farm-to-table restaurants and teach yoga and acting classes. And they like to drive up to the Catskills. So, of those 20 million people, of course there are any number of entrepreneurial souls with money to burn who want to open bakeries and teach yoga in the Catskills.
So in just about every town you drive through, you are never far away from the creature comforts of the city. Modernist AirBnbs, kombucha bars, pop-up fashion boutiques. And of course: 4. The Phoenicia Diner. It's basically an old 60's roadside diner that has been carefully retrofitted to the needs of the Millennial. Cool minimalist logo, alcoholic milkshakes, kale.
Think Hi Lo Diner but about two clicks cooler. But, hey, I like the Hi Lo Diner! A lot! And I like the Phoenicia Diner too! They do just enough to keep the real old diner charm to not turn it into some sort of bullshit faux-earnesty charade. I had a Moroccan-spiced chicken sandwich, and I have to say it was damn good.
Fries were a little greasy and limp, but whatever. The chicken itself was seasoned nicely, and cooked perfectly considering it was grilled, which is often a dry disaster in any setting. And I guarantee every person eating there was on a road trip from Brooklyn. So shit, I'm guilty as anyone I guess. It's totally acceptable, but disappointing for the price point. Which is a crazy thing to parse, because that means it's not the Upper West Side's only Chinese Cuban restaurant.
There are more. What happened is, back in the 50s and 60s, when the Castro regime took over Cuba and boatloads of defectors and asylum seekers fled to America, many of the ethnic Cubans ended in and around Miami. But Cuba also held a surprisingly large Chinese population, many of which came up to New York City, home to an already substantial Chinese community. These Chinese Cubans did what so many other new American transplants did, and started restaurants. But because they had a tradition of both Chinese and Cuban cooking, they just went ahead and opened restaurants that served both.
Why not, I guess? The excitement of learning of these places is tempered somewhat, when you learn that the Chinese side and Cuban sides of their menus are more or less independent of one another. There's no fusion here. No plantain dumplings, no szechuan cuban sandwiches. The closest you can do is to order a side of yellow rice and beans with your kung pao chicken instead of plain old white rice. It seems like a huge missed opportunity, but when you consider these places have been around for 60 years, I guess you can't complain.
Anyway, as I mentioned, there's nothing spectacular about the food. So yeah, it's charming and weird and maybe worth the trip if you're in the area and open to some novelty. But otherwise, just sate yourself on the knowledge that it exists at all. You didn't know that, right? I certainly didn't know this. But it does! Portuguese immigrants started coming to town in the 50s and 60s I guess, and took over a neighborhood adjacent to downtown Newark that's called—seriously—The Ironbound.
Which is the most Game of Thrones shit I've ever heard. Anyway, there's still a good amount of Portuguese people there, but in the last couple decades the Ironbound has also attracted a lot of Brazilians, which makes sense when you think about it and didn't fail 7th grade Western Civ class.
Seriously, you can't throw a rock without hitting one; I've seen Chinatowns and Little Italys like this before, the there's something very odd about being surrounded by red and green Portuguese flags while just a mile away from downtown Newark. Which, by the way, is a dump. So since we had about 20 places to choose from, we more or less threw that rock. And checked the online ratings. And what we chose is Sabor Unido, which was pretty well rated and not terribly fancy. The gist of the menu at this place—and most any other place like it—is a grilled or stewed meat, rice and beans, and some kind of veggie.
I went with the beef rib, with fried plantains and steamed spinach. Erin, meanwhile, got their special famous pork stew, which was basically jazzed up black beans with hunks of roasted pork and sausage. But either way, it all tasted great. The beef was maybe a bit fatty, and it was all on the slightly pricey side considering this wasn't exactly the fanciest place in town. But I cleaned my plate and was sad when I finished, so I guess that qualifies as a success. So, while I can't recommend you ever, ever go to Newark NJ for any reason, I do recommend that, if you do, you absolutely need to get to the Ironbound and eat some meat.
You don't necessarily have to go to Sabor Unido, but really you may as well. The city of Buffalo. We're talking wings, of course, and Bills helmets and Sabres jerseys. But they also serve a regional delicacy of upstate New York called the garbage plate. The dish was invented in a bar Rochester, apparently, as an efficient way to feed drunk college students, and can vary from bar to bar. But the basic makeup of the garbage plate is as follows: French fries as a base, a big scoop of macaroni salad or beans , a hamburger patty or hot dogs, topped with a coney-style chili sauce either cheese or mustard.
This was my first garbage plate experience—sadly in a NYC restaurant rather than actually up in Rochester or Buffalo—but I have to say, it was incredibly satisfying. I can't say that the ingredients all come together in some magical more-than-their-parts kind of way like the garbage plate's cousin the Hawaiian plate lunch , but as long as you've got good fries and good chili and good everything else, hell yeah you've got a good garbage plate. Also Buffalo's Famous has buffalo wings. There's nothing wrong with them, but whatever. Eater even had it on its list of 37 ish "essential" NY restaurants.
So it's kind of a bummer that we went there on a whim—a very fast whim before grocery shopping right next door on some random Wednesday night—rather than really planning out and luxuriating in its barbecueness. What did I get? I got the pulled pork and baked beans. How was it? It was quite good, although maybe a little too wet, with all the cole slaw slopped on the top. And the beans had been seemingly been sitting in the bottom of their pot for too long, and just had that "thrice cooked" kind of taste.
I couldn've lived without the beans. But, yeah, the sandwich was good from what I remember of it. But also nothing terribly remarkable. Really what it reminded me of was Green Street Meats in Chicago. Almost like the owners visited Green Street during the planning stages and said, "This is the barbecue place we want to be! So for further detail, scroll back to, say, , and read my Green Street Meats write-up. I'm sure it'll apply here. Paul Vietnamese places is pretty noticeable. The Twin Cities are known as a pretty good area for Vietnamese food, and that's true, but that seems to come mostly in the form of mom-n-pop, hole in the wall joints.
The exceptions are few—Ngon Bistro is maybe the only fine-dining Vietnamese spot, and only in the last couple years are places like Lu's trying fast-casual-ify the pho space. I can't believe I just typed that. But all in all, Twin Cities Vietnamese feels very much like an immigrant group simply wanting to feed themselves and have a taste of home, and if curious Minnesotans want to get some lemongrass chicken, great. In New York, meanwhile, Vietnamese feels much more like a trend. The restaurants are younger, cooler, expensiver. I've seen very few 'hole in the wall' banh mi joints, relative to NY's uber density of course, compared to MSP.
And the cheaper, counter service ones are often more like the subject of this food post, Joju. Located in a very heavily Asian neighborhood in Queens and I mean "Asian" non-accidentally; we're talking Korean restaurants next to Thai grocery stores next to specifically Taiwanese restaurants. American melting pot, etc. But not in a Williamsburg pink neon sense, more in an "anime sandwich mascots and K-pop record cover" sense. It also, like many of these places, touts itself almost as much as a bubble tea shop than it does a restaurant. Joju doesn't even have Coke!
But what they do have is delicious banh mi. We ordered two kinds, caramel pork and beef bulgogi. Oh, that's another thing—there seems to be some very blurred lines at NY banh mi shops in terms of which nation's cuisine is represented on this ostensibly Vietnamese sandwich. You're just as likely to see Korean bulgogi or Thai basil pork on the menu as the standard Vietnamese chicken or pork with pate. Which is fine by me.
Anyway, the sandwiches were delicious. Maybe a little heavy on carrot, and the actual construction of the veggies and meat made for a slightly awkward eating experience, but they tasted great. They also represented one more difference that seems to separate NY banh mi from MSP banh mi: the bun was refreshingly soft. So many hole in the wall banh mi I'm used to seem to lean towards using chewy, crispy baguettes. But these NY versions are soft, and much easier to bite into. A much more satisfying experience in my opinion, and one that comes in to play with a lot of New York dough-based food, from pizza dough to bagels, simply to bread you're served at restaurants or find at bakeries.
Whether it's the water or the high turnover or simply the quality of local bakeries, bread truly is better here than in the rest of the country. Crazy as it sounds. So anyway, Joju. It's good. It's pretty deep into parts of Queens you might never go to, so maybe don't worry too much about it.
There's probably others like it. The examples are so plentiful that I can barely even think of one right now. They're ubiquitous and almost entirely forgettable—forged so carefully by marketers and designers and focus groupers to create fast casual fried chicken sandwiches and vaguely ethnic salad bowls that appeal with a laser focus to newly moneyed 20 and 30 somethings, that they become invisible in their omnipresence.
Hell, I posted about a fried chicken place just a month or two ago, my very first living-in-NY food post, and I don't even remember what it was called. Anyway, Schnipper's isn't exactly that. Sorry, I don't know why I started with that whole paragraph rant. But it's at least something like it. It's a chain restaurant that exists solely within the island of Manhattan, as desperate as it seems to stretch beyond. Basically it's a fast-casual diner. We're talking classic, Mickey's-level burgers and fries and shakes, even served on those plain white diner plates.
I had a cheeseburger there, and it was good. Why are there so many Schnipper's'es? I don't know. Why is it so popular? Is it? And other cities! Anyway here's the list: 1. Hai Hai Minneapolis - Balinese chicken 2. Berber and Q London - Lamb shawarma 3. Nandos Manchester - Piri Piri Chicken 4. Thai Cafe St. Paul - Sour pork ribs 6. Porchetteria Minneapolis - Porchetta 7. Werkstatt Brooklyn - Wienerschnitzel 8. The Naughty Greek St. Paul - Lamb 9. Camping North shore - Grilled bbq chicken Crepe and Spoon Minneapolis - Peanut butter and jelly vegan ice cream Mission Chinese Manhattan - Kung pao pastrami Tavial St.
Paul - Al pastor tacos I don't think they have a name, and they don't sell anything else. But I promise you, if you go to the Malaysian jerky shop and buy some Malaysian jerky, you will not be disappointed. And yet somehow the most surprising ethnic food I've found here in this beautiful melting pot of Kensington Brooklyn is an Austrian bar called Werkstatt. It's kind of like when you see Ingbertsen's Swedish store in the middle of Lake Street; something as seemingly dull and master-racey as that in the middle of all these seemingly endless spicy global options makes it stand out in a way that it might not otherwise.
More exciting still is that Werkstatt is delicious! We split a plate of wienerschnitzel and spaetzle, of course , and some paprika chicken, as well as a big fat fresh pretzel, and honestly I think it was my favorite meal in New York so far. Nothing was super unique or foodie about any of it, but it was just perfectly prepared and balanced, and whatever I was hoping for that night, they delivered.
Plus the space is a pretty chill neighborhood bar, no hip European irony, no obnoxious minimalist modern touches. The pale yellow Dempewolf chose for the typeface for this segment, alas, was nearly impossible to read over the imagery flowing beneath it. The colors chosen to spell out the audio that went with the other pieces were more visible. A good thing, too, since it helped make the illuminating and often humorous dialogue between Monk and arranger Hall Overton more intelligible. Then there were the two marches. Moran, Mateen and Waits gently rang bells as they led the horns offstage and through the audience, Moran pausing as they passed the first row to smile and greet fellow NEC professor Ran Blake, then turning and leading the ensemble up the aisle and out the door, the horns still joyously sounding, onto Gainsborough Street and into the night.
In , the trumpeter launched his Greenleaf Music label to keep pace with his huge compositional output and to get his music to listeners more efficiently. This summer came the cloud-based Greenleaf Portable Series, the first three volumes of which—each featuring Douglas with a wildly different ensemble—have now been released as a limited-edition three-CD box set titled Three Views. It is all Douglas and his trumpet afloat sophisticated, polyrhythmic accompaniment from pipe organ, steel drums, glockenspiel, marimba, musical saw and assorted other percussion. The result is uniquely charged and beautiful.
Mahanthappa is joined by David Gilmore on electric guitar, Rich Brown on electric bass, Damion Reid on drums and Anantha Krishnan on South Indian percussion; these players, solo or in duet, provide introductory tracks that precede the ensemble cuts. As in years past, though, the live nationwide radio broadcast meant some priming of the audience was in order. Harland switched to brushes here, and Lage introduced the theme and, after Blake joined him on it, took the first solo.
Blake, who had played a pair of small Boston clubs earlier in the month promoting his own excellent The Aquarian Suite, had a little more room to stretch out when his turn came here and made the most of it. The sax solo that followed was bluesier still in places, and masterfully inventive throughout, and when Lage took his turn he made it clear he can stick close to the jazz tradition when the mood strikes him.
Blake did likewise when it came time for them to restate the theme, but first Grenadier got his chance to shine. Lage then grabbed a microphone to introduce another of his compositions that he would perform alone. That last bit may not have made the live broadcast, as the set ran a little longer than its scheduled hour. Pianist Luis Perdomo followed with something more straightforwardly lyrical, and bassist Hans Glawischnig and drummer Henry Cole kept the complex rhythms churning in precision throughout.
There was a certain genius, one might say, to how the musicians kept chopping up that hypnotic melody together on their last few passes through it, the seeming randomness of the interruptions to the oft-repeated line executed casually and cleanly. At its most intense, it seemed almost as if Charlie Parker himself had been set loose on Puerto Rican pop music. It opened with a mood-setting bass intro, and throughout it seemed freer than the album version.
It had been a highly enjoyable homecoming, for them and the audience as well. Iyer noted that bassist Stephan Crump has been with him since , and is also a composer and bandleader in his own right. Those long ties showed in their cohesiveness. The trio worked very much as a unit. Crump made more frequent use of his bow than most bassists do, and even when playing pizzicato avoided routine walking, preferring judicious accenting of whatever Iyer and Gilmore were up to. Iyer himself displayed his formidable chops, which can range from pyrotechnic flurries of notes to lovely little single-note lines handled entirely by his right hand.
Crump took a dark, bluesy solo early on, and Gilmore got one later on as well. A pair of pop covers from Accelerando was similarly sophisticated and pleasing. Also his apparent affection for the music of Michael Jackson. The jazz spheres that influenced Lynch most heavily—straight-ahead hard bop and Latin—are personified in two heroes who employed him early on, Art Blakey and Eddie Palmieri.
Lynch and his sometime collaborator, trombonist Conrad Herwig, were among the first crop of musicians to come up planting themselves in both traditions so thoroughly, but now such grounding is becoming common. You want straight-ahead? But Yahel is no mere mimic. His playing, improvising and composing are all quietly brilliant.
Best known for his high-octane drumming with the Bad Plus, King also belongs to eight other bands, according to his website. The idea, Metheny explained during a pause to announce tune titles, was for him and Grenadier to more fully explore the deep rapport they discovered on those earlier outings. Putting together a tour of duo performances in Europe would have been a breeze, Metheny noted, but the two of them had also managed to line up roughly 20 concerts in the U. By this point the audience had already seen ample evidence of said rapport.
The opening chords of the latter drew an appreciative wave of recognition, and Metheny later noted that he had written that breakthrough song of his while living in Boston. Now it was time to go more experimental. Grenadier exited the stage so that Metheny could improvise a piece on his custom string Pikasso guitar. What he came up with seemed downright orchestral, Metheny layering chord upon chord as the piece built in intensity, somehow keeping all those strummed notes up in the air and sensibly balanced.
Grenadier rejoined him onstage as Metheny set into motion a bank of eight or more computerized speakers lined up across the stage behind the two of them. The piece soon began building in power, Grenadier digging into a groove as Metheny kept everything in motion via his guitar and an array of foot pedals. Soon it sounded as if a drummer had joined them, and as the piece climaxed it seemed the two of them had been transformed into a full-fledged band.
This was the only piece throughout the set to make use of all that electronic equipment, so Metheny would have been excused had he spared himself the extra trouble and expense by leaving it at home. A pair of standing ovations earned the audience a pair of encores. But no one seemed to mind much. The result: a sizzling nine-track CD of clave-accented modern jazz packaged with a DVD preview of a documentary of the same name, including video performances of two tunes from the album.
Each has a distinctive style, and each contributed two compositions to the project. You hear the Cuban influences in his music, and perhaps more of the European classical piano. The title tune kicks things off in a hard-bop vein, with bouncy interplay from the horns on the head and deft soloing all around. But listeners looking for new music set solidly in the postbop tradition would be hard-pressed to do better than this.
Most singers and songwriters today are marketed as being somehow jazz-influenced or jazz-based. Zappa Plays Zappa - Dweezil Zappa leading a crackerjack young band through similarly challenging repertoire from his late father, Frank Zappa - was the opening act. And man, can these men play their instruments. Clarke alternated between keeping everything anchored and, when soloing, bringing jaw-dropping flamboyance on both electric and acoustic bass.
Corea, meanwhile, demonstrated why Clarke calls him maestro. But he was obviously inspired by his old friends onstage as well. His stylistic range, as usual, is impressive. Hiatt sings of having been there that day and not knowing what to say, but he makes a somber, dignified attempt at it. James Carter, on the other hand, claims he had to be talked into it. A second Sierra composition for Carter gives the album its title.
This one finds the saxophonist backed by the Akua Dixon String Quintet the customary string-quartet configuration plus bass , with Carter joined on the frontline by his cousin, the comparably formidable violinist Regina Carter. Carter alternates between his tenor and soprano saxophones on the two Sierra compositions, and he fills out the album with a solo improvisation on each of the two horns, inspired by the Sonny Rollins improvisational masterpiece The Solo Album. By Bill Beuttler JazzTimes , June An early favorite for best live release of , Live at Birdland documents extended improvisations on a half-dozen jazz and pop standards over two nights in December Lee Konitz, Charlie Haden and Brad Mehldau had done something similar in Los Angeles more than a decade ago, resulting in a pair of albums.
Konitz and his breathy, cerebral alto sax were there at the birth of the cool with Miles Davis and Gerry Mulligan, and for the contemporaneous birth of free jazz with Lennie Tristano. Haden helped Ornette Coleman make free jazz famous, but his Quartet West is latter-day cool at its best. And pretty. They worked sans set lists. These days, though, musicians are casting wider nets in their search for new combinations of sounds. The prodigy is all grown up now at 23, more dazzling than ever on guitar, and fronting a tight, unorthodoxly instrumented ensemble of cellist Aristides Rivas, percussionist Tupac Mantilla, bassist Jorge Roeder and saxophonist Dan Blake.
Three of those five are multitracked efforts on which Lage accompanies himself in evoking specific moods. Earle, one of our better singer-songwriters, never bothered to finish high school. The novel takes its title, as does a CD of new songs Earle released in last month, from the final single released in the short life of country great Hank Williams.
The notes Earle included with the CD suggest he has been pondering mortality lately, as might be expected of a man who has lost his father and gained a newborn son in the past few years. Such thoughts also permeate his novel, which at one level is an allegorical tale of sin, grace, and redemption. The other lowlifes populating the novel as minor characters have good in them, too, and include a lesbian boardinghouse owner, a fat cop on the take, a tough, brainy barmaid, and a handful of hookers, one of them a cross-dressing former football player.
When Graciela leads a contingent to see President and Mrs. Kennedy at the San Antonio airport a stop on their way to the tragedy in Dallas , she cuts her wrist on a chain link fence waving to Jackie. The wound never heals, and what seem like miracles begin happening. One of them is Doc kicking his drug habit, after an equally miraculous recovery from a near-fatal Christmas Eve overdose. Earle famously kicked heroin himself, and offers informed glimpses of the seamier side of life throughout his novel.
Pain the likes of which he had imagined in only the most twisted of his medical-school horror fantasies assailed him, as if his spinal cord had been neatly but not necessarily painlessly removed, leaving him raw and empty for an instant before the hollow was filled with alternating layers of fire and ice that froze him and burned him, and he writhed and thrashed until the sheets hung damp and twisted from the bedposts.
Bill Beuttler, publisher-writer in residence at Emerson College, can be reached at bill billbeuttler. The autobiographical title tune is all that remains from the doomed sessions. Occasionally, he takes the party to larger venues, as evidenced by this fabulous live CD also available on DVD. A third of the 15 tunes here were written by his onetime Band-mate Robbie Robertson.
Meaning the two-time Grammy-finalist jazz singer whose two sets at Scullers tonight will see her backed by Cyrus Chestnut on piano, Dwayne Burno on bass, and Victor Lewis on drums learned her craft entirely from records, from performing every chance she got, and from tapping the knowledge of accomplished elders outside of classrooms. I came to the States with the idea that I wanted to get in touch with some of the masters and try to learn by osmosis, so to speak. That was as close as she ever came to academic jazz studies. Her success at the Monk competition led quickly to gigs and other masters.
Lionel Hampton showed up at her first headliner date in New York, and booked her for his namesake festival in Idaho, where she met piano great Hank Jones. She bumped into Billy Higgins and Harold Land in the halls at work and later worked with them on bandstands , and also met her manager, Larry Clothier, whose previous clients had included her idols Sarah Vaughan and Carmen McRae.
Dave Brubeck she met at a festival at Saratoga, N. Gambarini identifies two common points shared by her mentors when asked what she learned from them. On and on and on forever, up until the very end of their days. But what Wainwright ought to be famous for is his excellence as a singer-songwriter.
It is usually funny, or poignant, and often some combination of the two.
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The New Jersey native let us pay a visit to his studio one recent evening, fielding questions for an hour or so with breaks to do his job and announce selections from some of the dozens of CDs he had wheeled in from home that afternoon. Jackson wore a dark red cardigan over a black JazzBoston T-shirt and gray slacks, and appeared in good health after having been on medical leave for a month last summer.
I had come to Boston wanting to go to med school. It was something that I thought would be fun to do while I was in school. There was an ad in the campus paper. If I can do this, why not do this? I also, at that point, knew I wanted to work around music. That was definitely clear, that med school was gone. Music was definitely the occupation of choice. Those early years of yours were lean times for jazz. Did that make you wonder is jazz solid enough to make a career out of? Dizzy Gillespie was a great one, and his was almost funny.
Somebody this day decided that they were going to do me a favor, and they brought Dizzy in 15 minutes early. Dizzy looked like he was high as a kite. I mean, he looked like he could barely talk. He saw exactly what I was doing, and he picked it up and went through the whole lineage of the jazz trumpet. Just amazing. Are you glad that you junked med school and this is where you wound up? Oh, extremely happy. Those kinds of things are the spinoffs that keep this job exciting and fresh.
I still love it, and I think I probably would have gone crazy myself had I gone into psychiatry. At: Scullers, tomorrow, p. At: Regent Theatre, Arlington, Friday, p. Delfeayo follows with a nod to Dickie Wells, and Miller offers elegantly bluesy piano. It fits the theme Earle, who lost his father three years ago, says ties together the 11 tracks on the CD, all self-penned. All five musicians did their jobs well. Percussionist Tupac Mantilla was phenomenal, working primarily with his hands the index and middle fingers of both of them taped , so precise he seemed in telepathic contact with Lage.
He also drew a laugh on the same cover by massaging the still hunched over Roeder for a couple of beats after a finely crafted bass solo. Lage wore his guitar genius lightly, augmenting it occasionally with casually flashy tricks. That he seemed as surprised and delighted by what he was doing as the audience was kept it from seeming showoff-y, even on the untitled solo piece he said began as his attempt to write a jazz standard. Then came the masters. All performed masterfully, of course.
The blues-based title cut is the most easily recognizable of the 10 Coleman compositions to turn up here. Liebman alternates tenor and soprano saxophones, arranges nine of the Coleman pieces and contributes a set-ending composition of his own—all masterfully. Much of the fun for those familiar with the earlier collection will involve comparing and arguing about how the committee-chosen selections here stack up against those of Williams. Miles Davis gets a track apiece as an exemplar of cool, modal, and fusion plus two more as a leader besides, and another as a teenaged sideman to Parker.
John Coltrane above left, with Davis is scaled up to two selections from one, Sonny Rollins reduced to one from two. The tunes chosen to represent the artists often change as well. There were brief separate sets as well. But the show primarily featured the two distinct dialects of indigenous American instrumental music genially feeling each other out on jazz, country, and gospel chestnuts. And a core finding of their work is that we are not primarily the products of our conscious thinking. We are primarily the products of thinking that happens below the level of awareness.
The outward mind, according to Brooks, focuses on the power of the individual; the inner mind highlights the bonds among people. Those bonds have become frayed in recent decades, he argues, and need rebuilding if we are to thrive as individuals and as a society. It needs supervision. But it can be brilliant. Most of all, it is also wonderfully gregarious. Your unconscious, that inner extrovert, wants you to reach outward and connect.
It wants you to achieve communion with work, friend, family, nation and cause. Your unconscious wants to entangle you in the thick web of relations that are the essence of human flourishing. This approach may sound unbearably didactic, but it works. Erica is half-Chinese and half-Mexican. Raised by a single mother, she blusters her way into a charter school that provides cultural advantages missing in her lower-class home. She graduates college, launches a consulting business, and, after its demise, joins a large cable conglomerate whose mismanagement she helps to correct on her rise to CEO.
She then serves in the Cabinet of a charismatic two-term US president, before finally slowing down and devoting her twilight years to more soul-enriching activities. Harold is Caucasian and has upper-middle-class roots. Harold is smart but less career-driven than Erica, with an interest in history implanted by a favorite high school teacher.
When Erica enters politics, Harold joins a Washington think tank. Though they are largely stick figures created to help Brooks illustrate points, the scene in which Harold slips out of consciousness for the last time is surprisingly moving. To protect social mobility, Harold and his creator advocate reviving the Hamiltonian tradition of limited but energetic government for modern times.
Among other things, this would require tightening those human bonds Brooks believes have unraveled. The moral and social capital present during those years had eroded, and it needed to be rebuilt. At times Brooks works too hard to be funny. The numerous sources he cites, while nearly always intriguing, fly past too quickly to stick long. The lessons Brooks takes from them occasionally sound platitudinous. But none of that should matter much to readers. He can be reached at bill billbeuttler.
The title composition is a piece in five movements. Deeper-toned horns enter and build ominously to booming percussion and yet more horns, symbolizing the crash. Palmieri and the interplay of the horns on this adventurous new arrangement make it—and this album—another keeper. By Bill Beuttler Boston Phoenix , August 4, George Wein's 51st Newport Folk Festival offered a wealth of riches, weather included, with a well-chosen mix of young and old talent performing on three stages, topped off each day by a revered throat-cancer survivor: John Prine Saturday and Levon Helm Sunday.
The definition of "folk" for the weekend was generous too. On Saturday you had teenage bluegrass multi-instrumentalist Sarah Jarosz who had performed with Steve Martin at the festival-opening concert the night before leading off at the Harbor Stage opposite singer-songwriter Nneka's Fort Stage mix of soul and hip-hop. Later on, singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile would be covering "Folsom Prison Blues" on the Fort Stage while on the Quad Stage inside the Fort the heavily tattoo'd bassist Jesse Newman hopped like a madman as he contributed to the tight, frenzied musicianship of the punk-folk group O'Death.
Three simultaneously operating stages — not to mention the engagingly edgy Providence brass band What Cheer? Brigade, which marched through the festival grounds at random intervals and on Sunday led Elvis Perkins in Dearland off the stage and on a raucous parade across the grounds — sometimes meant hard choices. Bird was backed for part of his set by Calexico, the group who'd preceded him.
But for much of his performance, it was just Bird and his violin loops — which included "bits and pieces" of new compositions-in-progress. Watson, meanwhile, was performing some very old songs, joined mostly by fellow pickers David Holt and Doc's grandson, Richard Watson. Some of the set, though, was just Doc and his guitar, a highlight of which was his cover of Merle Travis's "I Am a Pilgrim. Yames, who had played a quiet, primarily solo set earlier in the day, traded verses with the headliner on Prine's "All the Best.
First came his band's up-tempo cover of "Bring 'Em Home. Helm handed off a lot of the vocal duties on his festival-closing set to others: Larry Campbell, Brian Mitchell, Teresa Williams, and his daughter, Amy Helm. They covered a mix of tunes associated with the Band and others, among the latter Lead Belly's "The Bourgeois Blues," which was propelled by Helm's high-octane drumming and a raucous horn section.
But as he nears the end of that life - in his early 70s, having just buried his father and met the long-thought-dead father of his Swiss ex-wife - Alec finds himself developing unfamiliar unease regarding at least one road not taken. The author had been a respected war correspondent for Newsweek and The Washington Post in Cyprus and Vietnam, respectively, before transforming himself into one of our most keenly observant novelists.
Lucia is in town because it turns out her father, Andre, whom she believed had been killed in World War II, had in fact survived Nazi and Soviet prison camps and was living nearby in a sort of retirement home for political exiles, Goya House. Alec returns home that night and finds himself searching for a theme among the photographs he had taken through the years and liked enough to display on his walls. Alec stood staring at the wall of images for many minutes and realized finally with the most open dismay that the common theme was the absence of conflict.
Against that was the thought that life was not a competitive race. In life, as in golf, you played against the course, not your opponent. It was probably only a matter of time, then, until Cohen, a contributing editor for Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair magazines, tackled Israel. One is that the rise of Israel transformed Jews physically and psychologically.
Israeli soldiers, in particular, were strong, tanned, and tough - much unlike the stereotypes Cohen describes having become associated with the Jews of the European ghettos. That meant Israeli Jews could and would defend themselves. But it also brought power that could be abused. The Temple and the sacrifices and practices associated with it were replaced by prayer.
The capital, Jerusalem, was replaced by the image of an ideal or heavenly city, where people would gather at the end of time. Turn the book back into a temple and your enemies have a new fixed target to attack. The past few years have been a time to celebrate Pete Seeger, the great American folk singer and social activist, who will turn 90 on May 3. Springsteen had already put out a splendid album of his interpretations of traditional tunes associated with Seeger, "We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions.
Most of Wilkinson's unusually concise biography - which includes a page transcription of Seeger dodging and weaving through his testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee - appeared previously in Wilkinson's New Yorker profile of Seeger. But concision was what Wilkinson had in mind when he approached Seeger about writing a "factual novella" about him. Wilkinson also finds room to bring us on visits to Seeger's Beacon, N. Born to musician parents, Seeger became immersed in the music of rural America during a boyhood trip to North Carolina with his musicologist father, Charles Seeger, and, after dropping out of Harvard several years later, while transcribing songs for folklorist John Lomax at the Library of Congress.
The same year he began working for Lomax, , Seeger met both his bride to be and his mentor for making music and exploring the American West by hopping trains, Guthrie. Seeger and Guthrie sang union songs together in a group called the Almanac Singers, until they were drafted for service in World War II. Returning home, Seeger and three friends formed the Weavers, which scored a huge hit with their recording of the folk standard "Goodnight, Irene.
Seeger never served his one-year prison sentence for refusing to name names during his congressional testimony - an appeals court ruled the indictment faulty and dismissed the case. But his performing for several years was limited to college campuses and other places less susceptible to boycotts than big-city concert stages and radio stations.
He also began singing for causes besides workers' rights. His new verses and substitution of the word "shall" for "will" helped make "We Shall Overcome" a staple of the civil rights movement. When you sing, you feel a kind of strength; you think, I'm not alone, there's a whole batch of us who feel this way.
I'm just one person, but it's almost my religion now to persuade people that even if it's only you and three others, do something. You and one other, do something. The 'Clearwater' was the exception that proved the rule. Back when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
It opens with Cliff, 60, preparing to depart from the Northern Michigan farm he has worked since giving up teaching high-school English more than 25 years earlier. His beloved bird dog, Lola, has just died. He brings it along and begins discarding the corresponding puzzle pieces for the states he passes through en route. In Morris, Minnesota, Cliff is joined by a favorite former student, Marybelle, now 43, who wears him out with frequent acrobatic sex over the next few days but does little to set his soul right.
When Sylvia finally disrobes, Cliff nearly passes out from forgetting to breathe. Female butts come up a lot. Cliff is told twice that male monkeys will give up lunch to view photos of female monkey butts. Robert, Marybelle, and Vivian pester him so incessantly via one foisted on him by Robert that he flushes it down a toilet. Cellphones, it turns out, had been another source of friction between Cliff and his ex. It doesn't do their employers any good, after all, for moviegoers to be conscious of who that is doubling for Harrison Ford when Indiana Jones slides under that cargo truck he's just leapt onto from a horse in "Raiders of the Lost Ark," or who is threading that motorcycle through oncoming freeway traffic in place of Carrie-Anne Moss in "The Matrix Reloaded.
For most in the trade, anonymity is part of the professional code. His briskly entertaining and informative new book grew out of a feature in The New Yorker. In it, Conley visits the St. Petersburg, Fla. The New Yorker piece doubles as the vivid opening chapter of Conley's book, from which he moves on to profile several top stuntmen, sketch some history of the profession, and observe other eye-popping stunts being executed. We meet Terry Leonard, the battle-scarred stunt legend who performed the Indiana Jones truck scene and now works behind the camera as a second-unit director.
The prominent computer-generated imagery in that film led many viewers, including some professionals, to assume the motorcycle scene wasn't real. Family ties aren't unusual in the stunt business. When Conley tells Gary Hymes, second-unit director of "The Punisher," how much he'd liked a scene in another film Hymes had worked on, "The Untouchables," in which a baby in a carriage rolls down train-station steps, Hymes turns proud papa.
The others are athleticism, an ability to ignore pain, and an intense attentiveness to timing and physics. If the book has a weak spot, it's the next-to-last chapter, in which Conley sheds his reportorial remove to sample firsthand the stunt that provides the book's title and author photo.
The gag involves him being doused with gasoline and lamp oil and set on fire, and Conley acknowledges choosing it because "it required a high degree of professionalism but none of it on my part. For a full burn, it was okay that I had about as much talent as a candle. Grant that Conley's first-person perspective on experiencing a full burn adds something to readers' understanding of what stuntmen go through. But after seven previous chapters focused on skilled stuntmen, the exercise comes off feeling self-absorbed and anticlimactic.
Conley is back on track for his final chapter, which focuses on Bradley shooting the climactic chase scene in "The Bourne Ultimatum" and on Bradley's role in developing cutting-edge equipment keeping real stunts competitive with computer-generated imagery. The rise of CGI, Conley notes, threatens to render stuntmen obsolete. The portraits he draws so deftly throughout "The Full Burn" make clear what a loss that would be. The opening-night concert at Berklee Performance Center featuring McCoy Tyner and an advertised septet celebration of the Impulse record label started off well enough. Next came a long love fest in which Berklee and BeanTown officials commandeered the stage to pat one another's backs and accept oversize checks from the event's leading sponsors.
That commercial interruption lasted nearly as long as the headliner performed. Tyner — far and away the biggest name to play the festival to date — was clearly upset about something, most likely the inaudible stage monitor that caused him to leave his piano bench during his first tune and gesticulate toward someone offstage. Tyner wound up snipping off his planned 90 minutes in about half that time, much to the consternation of the WGBH-FM Tyner was coaxed back onstage for a pair of what passed for encores, but his set wound up lasting less than an hour.
That wasn't the only problem with it, either. Donald Harrison missed a flight and didn't show up, and the band's other three all-star horn players — Dave Liebman, Wallace Roney, and Steve Turre — might as well not have. They played well when they made it onstage, but Tyner only let them play on one tune. The rest of the time he either played solo or with his trio, the very same trio that Tyner's relentless touring brings to the Regattabar every few months.
It's a terrific group, to be sure, but the promise of the horns adding something special for BeanTown was mostly broken. Saturday, though, the hope of a first-rate jazz festival for Boston took a huge step toward fulfillment. Bona fide jazz is finally taking over, and for the first time festival goers had the sort of hard choices people have to make at Newport and other top multi-stage festivals. Do you watch all Lionel Loueke's set at the Global Stage or scurry off to see Delfeayo Marsalis and the Berklee student group back at the Marsalis stage?
Reluctantly, I did, and so did McBride.
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Boston police estimated that somewhere between 40, and 50, people showed up throughout the day to make those choices, sample the similarly wide offering of food, and let their kids play on the children's attractions. This part of the festival wasn't disappointing in the least, and the BeanTown organizers are promising bigger things in the future. The latter group, formed in tribute to the legendary bandleaders Machito, Tito Puente and Tito Rodriguez, was co-led by the sons of two of them—Machito Jr. John accounted for the drop in attendance from last year, 13, total this year versus 17, in But it was bad weather that was the problem, not bad music.
Marsalis and the rest of his quintet—Walter Blanding Jr. The man is from New Orleans, after all, and set his jazz purism aside long enough to indulge in a bit of New Orleans-style dancing as Dr. Grace Kelly, a prodigiously talented teenaged alto saxophonist and singer, performed at an opening press reception as well. All rights reserved. The fall jazz season got underway with the Branford Marsalis Quartet celebrating the release that day of its newest album, "Braggtown," with a concert at the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, whose Wimberly Theatre was in turn making its debut as a music venue.
Marsalis, who'd been awarded an honorary doctorate recently by the Berklee College of Music, began by announcing that the band would play the seven compositions on "Braggtown," in order, with a minimum of his own "jibber jabber" in between. He did pause while introducing his longtime bandmates pianist Joey Calderazzo, bassist Eric Revis, and drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts to note that he and Watts first met in , when they were newly arrived Berklee undergraduates, and have been playing together ever since.
It was easy enough to see why. Watts's playing throughout the set was the glue holding this extraordinarily cohesive group together, even as its ferociousness propelled the others to greater and greater heights of derring-do. The quartet began with Marsalis's "Jack Baker," a burner with an addictive theme stated repeatedly by Marsalis on tenor sax. Watts got a solo on the piece himself, but he'd already been improvising just as furiously while pushing Marsalis and Calderazzo through theirs. Next came two lovely ballads, for which Marsalis switched to soprano.
Calderazzo's piece, titled "Hope," had a classical-sounding purity to it, with Watts wielding mallets for most of it. The Marsalis tune "Fate" was equally beautiful, but bluesier and more obviously rooted in jazz. Other highlights included Watts's "Blakzilla," which Marsalis noted was loosely based on a snippet of music from the movie "Godzilla" that Watts had annoyed fellow musicians with on a tour of Japan, and Revis's "Black Elk Speaks," which featured a frenzied solo by the bassist that climaxed with his quoting the book of that name's famous line "Today is a good day to die.
The band played its parts as Purcell wrote them, explained Marsalis, "except for Tain's part he didn't envision Tain. One final debut wrapped up the evening as an encore: Berklee undergrad Lawrence Fields deftly filling in for Calderazzo on piano on a reading of Watts's "The Impaler. By Bill Beuttler, Globe Correspondent September 10, Establishing one's own sound is often thought to be the final hurdle separating the great jazz musicians from the merely good ones.
By that standard, year-old guitarist Lionel Loueke has already achieved greatness. Loueke, who brings his trio to the BeanTown Jazz Festival this month, grew up in the West African nation of Benin, where at age 17 he began teaching himself to play guitar. Guitar strings were hard to come by in his village, so he made do as best he could. Once a week he'd soak his strings in vinegar, which he says didn't do much to maintain their sound but at least made them look better. He also once tried using a bicycle brake cable as a replacement string, with disastrous consequences.
He moved to Ivory Coast and studied classical music for three years. Then came three more at Berklee College of Music. The downside to Berklee, however, was that Loueke's attempt to fit in with the school's modernist aesthetic sometimes kept him from finding his own sound. My study at Berklee was great in the sense [that] I learned a lot about harmony and melody. But it wasn't a school for me where they had me doing my own thing. The institute's artistic director, Terrence Blanchard, told the story at Scullers last winter of how Loueke wowed him and fellow judges Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock at his audition.
Loueke remembers surprising them by asking if he could play an intro to the tune he'd been told to open with, the John Coltrane classic "Moment's Notice. I just wanna be myself. Either they like it or they don't. Herbie was saying, 'Man, what about we forget about the Monk Institute and we go on the road? He made the switch because Hancock spends less of the year touring than Blanchard does, and Loueke wanted time to concentrate on his trio, which includes Swedish-Italian bassist Massimo Biolcati and Hungarian drummer Ferenc Nemeth.
There are also snippets of traditional drumming and singing that Loueke recorded in Benin, which he used as intros to most of his new pieces on the album and reproduces in performance using a loop machine. Such rhythms, and Loueke's singing, which bears some resemblance to Milton Nascimento's, contribute heavily to the guitarist's unique sound. But so do such innovations as stuffing paper between his guitar strings and fret board to mimic an African thumb piano, or slapping his instrument's hollow body with his hand and bending the resultant pitches with a Whammy Pedal to approximate talking drums.
That sort of stuff they don't teach in music schools. And Loueke isn't finished seeking it on his own. Luckily, most of them — in particular the surprise guest appearance of Diana Krall at her husband's taping of "Piano Jazz" — only made for a better show. The weather, alas, wasn't as near-perfect as it's been in previous years, driving attendance down to 13, from last year's peak of 17,, with Saturday night's chilly, rain-threatened double bill of Wynton Marsalis and Dr.
John by far the hardest hit. The weather wasn't responsible, but Marsalis showed up with a quintet instead of his advertised septet, and Dr. John was missing his promised all-star horn trio as well. Some things went off as planned, however. It's become a tradition for the festival to open Friday night with hot Latin jazz, and this year it was provided by two terrific orchestras: the Spanish Harlem Orchestra led by Oscar Hernandez and the Big 3 Palladium Orchestra , the latter roaring through the music of Machito, Tito Puente, and Tito Rodriguez under the direction of co-leaders Machito Jr.
Saturday afternoon was, for the fifth year in a row, given over to a live taping of Marian McPartland's "Piano Jazz. Saturday night's big concert had a couple of happy surprises, too. Marsalis was in strong form as his quintet made its way through material drawn mostly from his recent album, "The Magic Hour. John for a couple of tunes apiece, many of them coming from his new album, "Mercernary.
The surprise here was vocalist Roberta Gambarini getting Hargrove to join her for scatted vocals on "Blue 'N' Boogie," and Hargrove pulling off his side of the exchange with aplomb. The festival concluded Sunday night with Dave Brubeck's quartet being augmented after intermission by a symphonette for rarely heard reads of Brubeck compositions for strings. But the symphonette also joined in on a set-ender that was no surprise at all: the Brubeck classic "Take Five. John has a dual mission for his Tanglewood Jazz Festival performance tomorrow night: He'll introduce the audience to his new album, "Mercernary," and he'll pay tribute to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Tanglewood is the latest stop on Dr. Callaway will join Dr. John's recorded version of the latter with Rickie Lee Jones won a Grammy. We just sort of listened to each other and made music. There's such a sense of freedom and fun. John and Thomas, the Soul Queen of New Orleans, for a tribute honoring their devastated hometown during this first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. John says his next album, for which he is now assembling demos from collaborators, will be made up of new songs focused on New Orleans and Katrina.
Expect an angry record. John is furious at the government for what happened to his city. John, who uses his real name, Mac Rebennack , in conversation. John is not a naturally angry man, however. I got this email 8 november My name is Potter Dennis from SC. Yes, I got the same one today too — pottertaylor gmail. I just received this same scam. I googled his name, which is too common for much info, and his mailing address, which is a low-cost apartment complex — hardly the place where an art collector lives. Them googling both his name and address, I found this site.
Oh- and check out his final response to our emails, below!!!! David Martinez dmarinetech gmail. Also, let me know if you accept check as method of payment. Thanks, David Martinez. ME giving him the benefit of the doubt even though I was suspicious : Thank you for your inquiry. We can accept credit cards or a direct bank transfer through our secure invoicing software Quickbooks.
This is a beautiful piece, but it is also quite large. HIM: Thanks for getting back to me, I really appreciate it, sorry for the late response I am an ocean engineer and have been working offshore for the past couple days with limited internet connection, am still interested in getting the piece and I want you to know that I understand the problems with check, but have been working as an ocean engineer for years and my wife manages our finances including the credit cards and checking account. I can hardly surprise with a gift once its placed on our credit card or bank account.
I am sending a Bank certified check to ensure the surprise stays a surprise, I also know that the check needs to clear before the piece is mailed out no problems with that. I would appreciate your help with this little surprise. We have different types of art collection and it would be nice to add this to it, so kindly send the quote for the piece here is my mailing address : Cougar Dr , Austin Texas Kindly send me your mailing address and phone number so I can have the payment processed out to you ASAP.
Have you tried to obtain a loan from your local bank and have you been rejected? Have you tried with several loan lenders and have you been Deceived? Do not bother anymore because we are here to offer you a stress-free loan to all reliable clients who are willing to repay the loan. We offer all types of loans to individuals or companies with a fast transfer, and without any disappointment, Leave your financial situation stagnant and live a better life, Interested persons should contact for more information via E-mail: welfarecorporation gmail.
Interested persons should please kindly contact via E-mail: welfarecorporation gmail. Pat, thanks for telling us about Art Magazine being a scam. I received an email from them today about doing what you said. I will just ignore them. This is what I was searching for, thank you for the information, I also have just received an email. They commented on one of my pieces on Instagram asking me to submit my work so they could choose one from many artists to put I. I petition to. E printed in their magazine which is mainly advertising, but requesting payment to do so which instantly rang alarm bells.
The comment on my Instagram post had been removed. When I looked for it yesterday. I hope folk have as much sense or more than I have and ensure they check these idiots before sending anything. Thanks so much for posting this Agora, I also received an email from Potter Dennis today, I daresay he was directed to my work having browsed Instagram.
Googling him and finding reference to his escapades here saved me precious energy! Thank you so much for this article. One of my clients received the same time of email from a Potter Dennis. When I googled his name your article came up and we were able to avoid the scam. Name: potter taylor Email: pottertaylor gmail. Just wanted to share, so others are in the know as well! Name: potter dennis Email Address: PotterDennis gmail. I got the almost exact same email wording from Potter Taylor — but he was from NC.
Came through my contact form from my website, then another one same email — different email address directly to my gmail. Thank god I research this. Got the exact same email November 14 from potterdennis gmail. Do not ever accept checks from this email. I got an email from Dennis Potter from South Carolina and was suspicious because he did not include the name of the art that His wife was in love with!
I see others have also heard from him! Thank you to all who posted here; I googled his name and your posts helped me immediately identify this scam. Anyone know how we can report this fraud? I want to see this stopped. I have been approached by Jackson howard. Ignoring him now. Cheque is apparently on its way. Bad english and fake address. Thanks for this helpful article as I just received an inquiry from Potter Dennis myself…. I appreciate the information and tips to protect our work.
Thank you to all our readers for sharing these scam attempts with us here! Your help has prevented other fellow artists from being tricked. It was brought to our attention that an art commissioning contract is being sent to artists. Should you receive anything similar, kindly contact us as soon as possible.
His wechat ID is T The scammer pretended to be a Korean artist based in the UK, who just moved to Singapore, and recently went to New York to participate in an art contest organized by Agora Gallery. I, too, just received an email from pottertaylor I assumed it was a scam but decided to search the name to see what comes up. Your article appeared at the top of my search. Thank you for a great informative article. Stay strong, Simon! Potter Dennis seems to have several aliases. As far as I can tell, he is in Nigeria and is perhaps Nigerian.
Certainly, his grasp of the English language is poor. Thank you very much for this helpful information! New name to add: Potter Taylor who reached us via email from Pottertaylor gmail. Same story as the below. Sounded fishy but still gave him the benefit of the doubt. When we received the checks we called the bank they were issued at to make sure and they confirmed our suspicions that they were fraudulent.
Fortunately we did this before any final transaction so we did not lose the piece nor any money. Hi all, I have a new name to add to the list. It is John James, and he has a wife who likes my work, etc. I was afraid that this was a scam, and after reading all the comments, I am sure of it. Watch out for this one, too.
I always hope. Beverly Adams. I just discovered that I was about to be the victim of Potter Dennis, who has been sweet-talking me with much the same story as other artists on your site. The check duly arrived, but for a much bigger sum than the price of the paintings. I am so grateful to that young woman. The guy at the bank suggested I call him this morning, since the check should be cleared or not by then.
Thank you for enabling me to share this with other artists. I just received the typical Jackson Banks scam. He wanted his own shipper anyway at his cost, which he would include in my check. Then I would pay his shipper. He is now on my spam alert email list. Zev Rubin or Rubin Zev is still at it. None of the correspondence ever added up. The check looks completely fake and it was then I realized it was a scam and felt like an idiot for not seeing it before when I reviewed the correspondence.
Anyone else have luck with law enforcement? I was looking for a gift item online and i found your contact while searching. I will like to purchase a surprise gift for our 20th anniversary. So happy to have found this article! My Email that was received earlier today. Name: richard stankov Email Address: r. I want to report pottertaylor gmail. He has contacted me over the last 2 days to buy art for his wife. I sent images and prices and also my address and cell for his check to be sent. I got an odd feeling after the emails seemed to repeat themselves and emailed him saying I could not do business with him.
Any suggestions welcome. I have been getting emails from a Potter Taylor just as you have described. I am so pleased I read your web site before being too gullible. So have I … Im pleased I checked it out. It didnt feel right when I received the first email ….. Avoid that idiot!!! Misha, I think we had the same guy he goes now under the name Andrew Jeffrey, almost exact same message.
I had a strange odd feeling about his first email. Still replied to check and after that a very odd email back, my intuition was correct, it is a scam. Thank you for the article, it helped to uncover the guy. And hopefully, it can help other artists out there to. I would like to receive further information about your piece of work and what inspires you..
Kindly confirm the availability for immediate sales.. Your observation was a great help, just so you know! I had an inquiry this eve. Anyway, thank you for noting that — helping another painter avoid the trouble! Comment: Hello, How are you doing? Guess you business is going smoothly? Well, my name is Potter. Me and my wife were going through some artwork pictures and somehow reached your page, after seeing your various works, i give you accolades!!!
Quite an insane level of creativity you got. Thank you and my best regards. Potter Carlos. Thanks for your reply, regarding the prices I have seen it with your reply. Yes I am truly interested in purchasing. I want you to know that I am purchasing the paintings for a Wedding Anniversary and it really need to get to my destination because the date of the Anniversary is around the corner.
Cheers, Jon Jurick jonjurick aol. We received the same email from Mark Bruce, mbruce gmail. Something seemed fishy so we googled his email and found this article. He is still scamming so be careful out there! This info was very helpful; thank you! First…Thank you so much Agora Gallery for the article and the comments below… you rock!!!!! It seems Potter likes glass, sculpture and art…an equal opportunity scammer!!!! Here is my email from the rotten chump… Greetings!
Thanks again Agora Gallery, I truly appreciate you!!!!!!! Thanks, I should have looked at your site before diddling around with this scammer. I kept pushing him for more info and did not reveal mine. Hello I was checking on goggle post and I came across your contact, I need some art work,paints,prints,drawings, sculptures for my new home. I am an oceanographer and I work mostly on sea kindly get back to me with your or an art portfolio station which i can view your works and i might have interest.
Thank you, this article and all the comments have been very useful! My name is Jackson Howard from United Kingdom. I actually observed my wife has been viewing your website on my laptop and i guess she likes your piece of work. And also,Payment method is through Bank Cheque. I got this too. Going to do further checks. Does anyone know what the correct form is now? I have alerted my bank etc but should I reply to the email saying that I know it is a scam or just stop contact? Is there any other authority that we should all be alerting? Thanks so much for your assistance M-L.
I received this email from David Martinez of Austin Texas. Claimed his wife had favorited a painting on his laptop and he wants to buy it as a surprise for their Anniversary. I am sending a cashiers check to ensure the surprise stays a surprise, I am okay with the price for the piece and shipping. I also know that the check needs to clear before the piece is mailed out no problems with that. We have different types of art collection and it would be nice to add this to it, so kindly send the quote for the piece and shipping.
I received your mailing address and contact number and will have the payment processed out to you,the check would be a cashiers check so it okay you will have nothing to worry about or certified bank check,. I received this from a supposed Martin Lucas this week, so you can already see some similarities in the name of the sender, here is the message. I heard nothing more. I recieved this today, via my website. I am not answering it: I googled the name and came up short. Use your free GoDaddy Email Marketing Starter account to follow up with contacts who agreed to receive email campaigns!
Click here to get started. Apparently Potter Taylor and his wife are also fans of my glass…lol… Exactly the same email with glass instead of sculpture and email address. Me too, about my glasswork- today! At least it got me motivated to update my works for sale page lol! I read your article and I was very glad to see the same email I got.
I replied and got this answer:. Other artists have told me the same thing. Going to block him. What comes around, goes around I guess. I have also received the same mail from a Potter Tailor yesterday! Thank you all for sharing this information. He writes that he is a ocean engineer will soon move to Philippines! He wants to surprise his wife who loves my glass sculptures!!! Unfortunately I had already sent him a couple of photos but no more…. Potter Taylor likes and his wife are fans of my wood sculpture…. Thank you for posting this blog, I was uneasy with the email but confirmed scammer from your article and comments.
Finally please do let me know if i am eligible for any discounts but if not,then no problem,i hope to hear from you soonest so that we can make the necessary arrangements and proceed from there,thank you very much for your time and i really look forward to hearing from you soonest. Regards Peter. I also felt uneasy about it and was very glad to find this article. Continue to be careful. I know we all want our dreams to come true, but any signs of desperation become a weakness.
I just received an email from Mark Thompson on Dec 7, I have not confirmed it is a scam but if I do I will update here with the full email. Same email from Potter Dennis. Was able to find this post after searching the name so many thanks! Checked the website stats and located him in Nigeria not US as his email suggested. I was suspicious as there was no subject line on the contact form but he referred to it in email.
Thanks again for this post. Comment: Greetings! I got this same exact email. It was worded just oddly enough that I decided to google his email address and it came up with about a dozen website listing him as a scammer. Glad I checked. Art sales are always nice…. Got the same one from Potter Dennis too! This time the name is Mark Thompson —email: tmark gmail. Received this email today from an unverified visitor to my website: Email: pasmith gmail.
I also received the same email from this same address a few days ago, and then received a follow up today confirming the sale, with a long story. Thanks for the heads up. This one is still live nearly two years later…same name and exact text. Our online art gallery got an email from Karen Kuhr at karen. I will take care of the charges. Beware of Karen Kuhr at karen. Hello all! It was clearly a scam and that person is not even an employee of the gallery.
Watch out and never share your personal info with strangers! We confirm that Agora Gallery does not have an employee named Anthony Bruce nor that it has sent any inquiries like the one mentioned here! In the future, if you want to check the authenticity of any request, please contact us at info agora-gallery. If you happen to receive an email like the one below, from seitelbaum gmail. We are working now on reporting it to the government authorities. Thanks Anderson B.
Working for 3 hours in a week at convenient time, depends on your time schedule. Sure enough, this person just tried the same shipping overpayment scam with our gallery. However, this time they are actually trying to get me to charge a credit card for a large shipping charge, which they expect me to then pay out to their shippers. Name Given: Karen Kuhr Email used: juliet johnson — johnsonjuliet gmail.
I am not sure if the contact details we saw online are accurate, in particular if you are based in xxxxxx. Amazingly my wife worked as teacher there so it would be quite easy for us to call round and see some of your work when she is next down your way. Thank you for this post. Hi — we just got this email today, purporting to be from a Jackson W Howard phoenixttm outlook. And also,Payment method is through Bank Check. So this scammer and his email address have been added to the junk mail black list!
Oh no! My email sounds very similar to this. Same person? Add: Annabelbrooks24 gmail. Below is the received. I have been on the lookout for some artworks lately in regards to my wife and I anniversary which is just around the corner. Thanks and Best Regards. My husband received an email from Potter Dennis the other day, which is similar in content to the ones that others have posted below. Since we have been the targets of scams before, I always look up whatever info is provided to us on the internet to see what scams are currently active.
However, this time I decided to search for this guy on Facebook and found a posting about an Art Scam with Potter Dennis. Then I found this website, and sure enough, Potter Dennis has a long history of trying to scam artists. Below is how you can recognize this guy:. Which piece are you interested in purchasing? So when the check clears, you will remove your money for the Artworks and you will help me to send the additional funds to my movers that will be picking it up at your end.
I am hoping with the exact words and name out there that someone searching will find this helpful article. Thank you this is very helpful the same person contacted our gallery and was trying to scam us too! I have a feeling it was not right and looked her name up! Thanks for posting I am sure she is doing this to other galleries as well.
The email is manojs yahoo. Got as far as him sending me a large cheque. Have notified the police. I just got the same like information from a guy name Tanksley Anglin. He said his brother was sending a check to arrive this past monday. It didnt. Then he said Wed. As soon as his check comes if it does I am sending it back. Did not like the sound of this and so thankful I found your web site on scams for artists.
Hi I got this email from Lisa. Hi Leonardo, I was just reviewing the Instagram submission you did recently. Based on the quality of your artwork I would like to invite you to enter our magazine competition! This means you will be entered into the next and final selection-round of our competition to be featured in the printed version of the October edition of the magazine. You can view our last 4 editions by clicking here. Please send me more samples of your work as soon as possible using the form in the link below. Also no one outside of New York would be able to varify the magazine actually gets printed.
And his approach is exactly the same as so many below contacted my company through website on July :. Hi, Mark Thompson tried to take me for a few thousand dollars as well! Watch out with this guy! If you get an email from him, avoid it like the plague! Here are the original emails:. My name is Mark Thompson from Jacksonville, Florida. The images on your website are so fascinating and so vivacious, looking at each piece of work i can easily see that you added so much dedication in making each work come out to life, I will like to purchase some of your works for my wife as a surprise gift for our 20th anniversary.
Hello Al, How are you doing today, My shipping agent is due in the U. S sometime this week. So i have contacted a client of mine to issue out a check which will include my shipping agent fees to you right away. This is done to avoid delay or any inconvenience that may arise from his part and to allow check to clear before pick up. However, courtesy demand i must first appeal to your self interest and ask for your help in remitting the overage after deducting your fee for the piece to the shipping agent as soon as the check clears. As i do not want you to involve any of your personal funds in this transaction, that is why all funds are made available to you.
As an aside, they are not sending any bill or hold you responsible for the payment of my shipping contract with them. I am really sorry for the mix up and will appreciate if you get back to me asap to know if i can entrust you with this transaction. I will be waiting to read from you soon. I I just heard from this guy. I was suspicious immediately because a similar person tried this a few years ago.
I googled his name and an article came up immediately posted by another artist. I was looking for some artwork online and I found your contact and works while searching and I must tell you, You are doing a great job, I would really love to purchase some of your works for my wife as a surprise present regarding our forthcoming 20th anniversary, I would like to receive further information about your piece of work and what inspires you..
Hope to hear from you soon.. Hello there, My name is Andrew from Miami FL and was looking for some artworks online and i found your contact while searching. I may not be specific as to what kind of painting but i saw that my wife was checking your work on my PC and i can tell you must be of Interest to her and that is why i decided to message. However,it could be any color but medium size or large is preferred..
I would greatly appreciate if you could possibly recommend a few completed piece within my budget ready for immediate sale… Just need something within that price range for a surprise to my wife can tell she likes your work. So i would authorize a check to you for the payment as soon as i have your full name and contact address preferably for FedEx delivery no P. O box. You both have to sign a proof of pick up at the most. I have been told by my account officer that it may take up to 3weeks for the check to clear.
Unlike having to send it to within the US. Please try to make contact and see if you have someone in the US who can receive the check on your behalf. Good Day,I Am Thomas wayne from north carolina,i actually observed my wife viewing your work on my computer i must confess your work is absolutely beautiful and i love it all my wife is an artwork lover in all it divine colorful,life and beauty of nature and it seems she has interest in your work. I recently received an email from Kevin Spiker matching the text in several of the comments listed below: Dear Duffy,.
Full name you want the check payable to : Contact address preferably for fedEx not P. O box where a check can be mailed to: Cell phone number: So I can get the check prepared and have it mailed out to you right away. I read your article thoroughly and absolutely loved it. It is very sad too see that even Art is not free of scams and the fraudulent have put their dirty hands in here as well. It is very good for me to know this, as I also own a blog where I talk solely on scams, as I really want to help people to avoid them in their life.
Thank you for this amazing article, and I will surely come back again here. I am an artist in South Korea. It is planning an exhibition for a young and brilliant artist. Also, we would like to buy your picture. Our support for new artists like you is generous. Is it possible to visit us? I sent an email to the Hammer Museum, but they have not given me an answer yet. Do you think this is a new type of an art scam?
I sent this context to the Hammer Museum, but they have not given me an answer, yet. Yesterday, I received an email disposable email address, ds3hu….. Hi and thank you for this article. His email contact is bobryan gmail. The name corresponds to what he uses, but everything else looks fishy. He also makes alot of spelling mistakes…..
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If you have heard of him, pls let me know! Thanks and best regards.. Came through a contact form. Yup, nickdoug7 gmail. And it says the caller is not available but to leave meaaage. He continued to text me and even sent an address in my city. When I looked it up it showed for sale. Getting suspicious now! Wants to pay ASAP for a service not even rendered. Blocked him! So he wants me to handle everything. He has a budget of 30, dollars to spend. His colors for the event are white and navy blue.
Also, he wants to assure me all the payment will be paid. I could tell it was a scam by the text and items he stated he wanted at the event. So bizarre!!! Recently, I got an email that raised a few red flags. I played along and she requested that I use a courier of her choice to ship to Hungary. Thank you for the message yes i want black sheep but how much is the total of the arts and i do not know the courier or shipping method you are planning to use but i must be honest with you it is a different ball game with delivery here which i think could be the same in most places due to the deteriorating economy all over the world.
We pay additional fee at the delivery point here in Hungary because the couriers will never bring the package to ones house. I hope you get the shipping cost as soon as you can and total it up with the cost of the artwork so that you can send me PayPal invoice to do the PayPal payment before the shipment is sent out.