Chris Lightcap's 'Lost And Found New York' On JazzSet From Little Italy in the Bronx to the Village Vanguard in Greenwich Village to the gardens in Fort Tryon Park, the rhythm of the city drives a suite by Chris Lightcap and his band Bigmouth.

JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater

Chris Lightcap's 'Lost And Found New York' On JazzSet

Chris Lightcap's 'Lost And Found New York' On JazzSet

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/174937757/174820130" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

When Chris Lightcap was a student in the Berkshires, he'd put his bass in his car and drive down the river to New York City, south on the Taconic to the Sawmill, over the Henry Hudson Bridge, up on a soaring bluff with a great view to the right of the New Jersey Palisades and George Washington Bridge and New York City coming up on the left. Right about there, Lightcap would ask himself, "What would it be like to live here?"

Lost and Found New York is Lightcap's suite for the vistas and feelings, smells and sounds of his adopted city. "Nine South" is the first movement, for the highway he used to drive into Manhattan from the north. "Arthur Avenue" is for a leisurely lunch in the so-called Little Italy of the Bronx. "Epicenter" connotes the Village Vanguard in Greenwich Village, where Lightcap has experienced "life-changing moments" listening to music. Is it the spirits of the musicians who have played there, or the shape of the room itself? "Epicenter" is the most arranged of the movements in Lost and Found New York.

"Fort Tryon" becomes more meditative, for The Cloisters — inspired by the castles of Europe — and gardens in Fort Tryon Park. In the Gilded Age, John D. Rockefeller funded the area's development. From the stage, Lightcap tells his version of the story, but The Cloisters' website is more authoritative:

The modern museum building is not a copy of any specific medieval structure but an ensemble of spaces, rooms, and gardens that suggest a variety of artistic aspects of medieval Europe.

Last, Stillwell Avenue is the subway stop for Coney Island on the south shore of Brooklyn, where Chris Lightcap, his wife Victoria and sons Sebastian and Theo love the Wonder Wheel and the Cyclone ride (you can feel their rhythm driving the music), Nathan's Hot Dogs, and the zany people who relax there. The city is cleaning Coney Island up, though Lightcap hopes not too much.

In The New York Times, Nate Chinen tracked a performance of "Lost and Found" from beginning to end, from "... springy syncopations for bass and piano, hard-skittering drumming, a declaratory line played by the horns, first in octaves and then in splintered harmony" to the last stop. "Barreling ahead, straining at the curves, the group sounded wild but focused, down to the end of the line."

Personnel

  • Chris Lightcap, composer and bass
  • Andrew Bishop and Tony Malaby, tenor saxophones
  • Matt Mitchell, keyboards
  • Ches Smith, drums

Set List

  • "The Clutch" (opening theme)

Lost and Found New York

  • "Nine South"
  • "Arthur Avenue"
  • "Epicenter"
  • "Fort Tryon"
  • "Stillwell Avenue"

Credits

JazzSet captured Lost and Found New York at the end of a short and successful West Coast tour from Earshot Jazz in Seattle to the Redwood Jazz Alliance in Arcata, Calif., and then on to Santa Cruz's Kuumbwa Jazz Center, a nonprofit space for music since 1975; thanks to artistic director and co-founder Tim Jackson with Bobbi Todaro and Jeff Sloan. Recording by Michael Romanowski of Coast Recorders; Surround Sound mix by Duke Markos.

Lost and Found New York by Chris Lightcap is made possible with support from the Chamber Music America's 2011 New Jazz Works: Commissioning and Ensemble Development program, funded through the generosity of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Jazz

Grover Washington Jr. performs on stage during the "One Night With Blue Note" concert in New York on Feb. 22, 1985. Anthony Barboza/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Anthony Barboza/Getty Images

How Grover Washington Jr. Defined And Transcended 'Smooth Jazz'

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

In this radio episode, Jazz Night in America takes you to a tribute concert honoring the late musician, whose soulful sound was more than just "smooth."

How Grover Washington Jr. Defined And Transcended 'Smooth Jazz'

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/564442111/564555947" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Gurtman and Murtha Artist Management

Ruth Laredo On Piano Jazz

Hear "America's First Lady of the Piano" explore the boundaries between classical music and jazz with host Marian McPartland in this 2004 episode.

Ruth Laredo On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/562620476/562624249" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Jimmy Greene. Jimmy Katz/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Jimmy Katz/Courtesy of the artist

Jimmy Greene Remembers A 'Beautiful Life'

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

The saxophonist's 2014 album was dedicated to the memory of his 6-year-old daughter, killed in the 2012 mass shooting in Newtown, Conn. Hear his quartet perform the genre-spanning music in concert.

Jimmy Greene's 'Beautiful Life'

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/418925379/418929187" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Teri Thornton, photographed on Jan. 1, 1990. Andrew Lepley/Redferns/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Andrew Lepley/Redferns/Getty Images

Teri Thornton On Piano Jazz

Revisit this 1999 episode of Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz, featuring the late vocalist and pianist a year before she lost her battle with cancer.

Teri Thornton On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/561711244/561802316" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Frank Stewart

Louis Hayes Celebrates His 80th Birthday In A Packed Jazz Club

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Jazz Night in America takes you to Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, where the hard-bop drummer celebrated his debut as a band leader and talked about fond memories and favorite sessions.

Louis Hayes Celebrates His 80th Birthday In A Packed Jazz Club

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/561069637/561555776" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The Nate Smith Band performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Sept. 14, 2017. (Christina Ascani/NPR) Christina Ascani/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Christina Ascani/NPR

Review

Tiny Desk

Nate Smith + KINFOLK

The drums take center stage at this Tiny Desk. Watch veteran jazz percussionist Nate Smith dazzle the NPR audience in a transfixing performance.

Japanese jazz pianist Makoto Ozone at an album photo shoot on February 1, 1986 in New York City. Waring Abbott/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Waring Abbott/Getty Images

Makoto Ozone On Piano Jazz

Revisit the pianist's first appearance on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz, back when he was still a rising star in 1984.

Makoto Ozone On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/560367691/560368003" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top