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Zorn’s Prickly Harmony

Erik Friedlander

After a prolonged absence, jazz returned to the Knitting Factory in full force with the NYC Winter Jazzfest, a seven-hour Sunday marathon in which 19 bands were paraded across the Knit’s three stages in a remarkably efficient and punctual production pulled together by the club’s new talent booker Brice Rosenbloom (formerly of Makor and more recently late of Jazz at Lincoln Center). As trumpeter Dave Douglas announced to an enthusiastic audience before his set in the Main Space, “I haven’t played this room in half a decade. It’s good to see they’ve got music back in here again.” (A not-so-subtle dig at the preponderance of alternative rock which had inhabited the Knit in recent years.)

For the artists, this jazz bash was an opportunity to showcase in front of presenters, promoters and talent buyers from around the country (over 3,500 arts professionals were in town for the annual Association of Performing Arts Presenters conference from January 8 – 11). For the audience, it was an opportunity to hear a dizzying array of top shelf bands and feel their energy up close in intimate spaces like the Tap Bar or the Old Office.

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