We got our first snowstorm of the winter here in NYC this past weekend.  It was pretty brutal in Brooklyn on Saturday night, but it didn’t keep me from trudging through the snow to do some Christmas shopping going out with my girlfriend to see “The Princess and the Frog.”  I was surprised that I enjoyed this movie, by the way.  It was charming and had a score composed by Randy Newman that reflected elements of New Orleans culture – jazz, zydeco, etc.  Kind of a cookie cutter Disney plot, but that’s to be expected. 

Last night I dragged myself out of the apartment to check out my old friend Taylor Haskins with his band Recombination.  They were playing at Drom in Alphabet City as part of a concert event promoted by a great organization called Search and Restore. They assisted in promoting and organizing the Brooklyn Big Band Bonanza this past October, and it’s run by a couple of very ambitious young dudes that just got non-profit status.  They are putting together some really interesting programming and hopefully they will get me on one of their bills in the near future!

I had never been to Drom before, although I had walked by it a million times.  It’s a cool space, and I heard they have a lot of live music events there.  Drinks there are on the expensive side though, which is a turnoff for me.  I had a cranberry juice and seltzer and it was $5.  Sometimes I just love NYC. 

There were two shows on the bill – John Escreet and Taylor Haskins.  I got there late so I only heard Taylor’s group.  He had some excellent musicians playing with him: Henry Hey, Ben Monder, Nate Smith, and Todd Sickafoose, and the music wasn’t anything that I expected.  Taylor (who, by the way, is a friend of mine from my UNH days) was using a lot of Mac-powered effects on his trumpet, creating a very lush harmonized texture a lot of the time.  This music was very groove-oriented, and played extremely well.  I wish I had been able to hear them play a second set, because things didn’t really gel for me until the last couple of tunes, as can often be the case.  Regardless, I’m glad I went out to check this music out.  If anything, it gives me something to write about this morning!

Is everyone all set with their Christmas shopping? Get to it!!!