Friday, January 31, 2014

Channeling jazz counterpoint - a la Chet Baker and Gerry Mulligan

Greg Nielsen and Tom Ellison
Multi-instrumentalist Greg Nielsen and saxophonist Tom Ellison dug deeply into the Gerry Mulligan songbook Friday in a South County Jazz Club concert that focused primarily on the baritone saxophonist's classic collaborations with trumpeter Chet Baker and trombonist Bob Brookmeyer.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Looking Ahead: A Southwest Florida jazz preview

Here’s a preview of some of the more interesting jazz events in the Sarasota to Naples territory from now through March. There are also a couple of Tampa Bay-area listings for those of you who don’t mind driving a few miles more to hear great music.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Newport Jazz Festival lineup set

Whether you like your jazz to be traditional mainstream, big band, edgy, avant garde, Latin- or gospel-tinged, funky or had-bopping, it looks like there is something for everyone at next August's Newport Jazz Festival.

George Wein
Founding producer George Wein and his New York-based production team have expanded their programming for this 60th anniversary event. Yes, it is hard to believe it has been 60 years since the first festival back in July 1954. This actually will be the 50th Newport Jazz Festival held in Newport. The festival moved to New York City after riots in 1971... and didn't return to the city-by-the-sea until 1981.

The August 1-3 festival has an extra full day of programming tacked on, plus a symposium at Fort Adams State Park that will explore how jazz relates to popular culture in today's society, compared to when the festival began in 1954.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Chops + Chemistry = The Finest Jazz

Harry Allen
Drummer Eddie Metz Jr.'s international trio with bassist Nicki Parrott and pianist Rossano Sportiello brought tenor saxophonist Harry Allen with them for tonight's Charlotte County Jazz Society concert in Port Charlotte, FL. Together they displayed the finest qualities in making jazz.

Each has formidable chops and the chemistry they have developed as a trio - and working together in various other permutations - is a great strength. Allen, who has absorbed stylistic influences from many of the great mainstream tenorists in jazz but parrots none - was the icing on this splendid cake.

Friday, January 3, 2014

2013 - The Year In Jazz

The West Coast now has its a jazz edifice of its own with strong roots, International Jazz Day grew in scope during year two, jazz made its mark on Broadway, and the number of musicians lost during the year was large and painful. That’s the summary of my lengthy look back at significant happenings across the jazz world over the past 12 months. It was published today at

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Big Band Jazz - On A Misty Night

This week's mail brought a hot-from-the-production-plant copy of The Naples Jazz Orchestra's debut CD, On A Misty Night. It was recorded last February 18 at the Charlotte County Jazz Society's concert series.

I won't be reviewing it, that's for others to do this time out. I was honored to be asked to provide the concert photography and the liner notes for this excellent big band project.

On a Misty Night is now available through the orchestra’s website,, and several of the online music retailers including, CD Baby and iTunes.