As a compliment to the success which Naxos Jazz is experiencing at radio, retail and with the critical media, the label showcased many of its artists at Caviarteria in New York on Saturday, September 16. The event--which kicked off with a private pre-party in honor of the performers--took place over four and a half hours, and culminated with a highly anticipated set by label director Mike Nock alongside fellow jazz great Marty Ehrlich. Other performers included Martin Krusche, David Phillips & Freedance, Sarah Jane Cion, members of Lan Xang, Barbara Sfraga, Gordon Brisker with Ron McClure and Gail Wynters. It was the first event of its kind for Naxos Jazz, and as was evident by the capacity room a great 'official' introduction to the New York scene.
The evening's music began with Martin Krusche performing songs off of his debut Naxos Jazz release, Friendship Pagoda. Featuring New Orleans icon Nicholas Payton amongst others, the debut live recording for the label is currently climbing the Gavin Radio charts. Bassist David Phillips his band Freedance followed, displaying their passion for collective--and addictive--improvisation. Sarah Jane Cion (Moon Song) and her trio previewed material from her forthcoming Naxos Jazz release for a very enthusiastic audience. Though without Hidden Gardens drummer Kenny Wollesen, NYC-underground favorites Lan Xang delivered a spectacular double-saxophone harmonic duel, courtesy of David Binney and Donny McCaslin. Vocalist Barbara Sfraga shifted gears afterwards, proving without a doubt why her release Oh! What A Thrill is so heralded by critics. Straight from the studio, where he was recording alongside Tim Hagans and others for his new release, Gordon Brisker got together with Ron McClure to host vocalist Gail Wynters, as well as show off their own tunes as Sarah Jane Cion sat in on piano. Finally, Mike Nock took the New York stage for the first time in 15 years. Joined by Marty Ehrlich, the duo energized the room with fresh performances from their recent Naxos Jazz release The Waiting Game.
Also in attendance were roster artists Lars Moller, as well as members of Flipside and the Trio Friedrich Hebert Moreno. If this first showcase was any indication, Naxos Jazz can look forward to continued support from the Big Apple jazz community.