Thursday, May 28, 2015

A key to success at Newport

The best businesses – and arts organizations – don’t stand still. They find ways to enhance what they do. They making the experience better for their customers and supporters while building on their success. Need a concrete example? Look no further than the many enhancements over the past decade that the owners made at Fenway Park in Boston, starting with the seats atop the Green Monster overlooking left field. 

Here's a jazz example. The Newport Jazz Festival for many years consisted of a succession of performance sets on one stage. That was the case in the 1950s and 1960s at its succession of homes at Newport Casino, Cardines Field, Freebody Park and Festival Field through 1971. With the festivals’ return to Newport in 1981 after a decade-long absence, it’s new more spacious home at Fort Adams State overlooking Newport Harbor provided the ideal space for a venue evolution.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Hitting the jazz highway

Salinger-Ridley, Ko, Jensen, Zamora, Barnick *

Building your jazz skills isn’t just about playing your instrument, singing your songs, developing your style and strengthening your improvisational skills. It’s also about dealing with challenges on the road, disruptive sleep patterns, and getting along with your band mates as you jump on the van and head to the next gig.

Four students from the Boston-based Berklee College of Music will absorb a lot of that experience starting Thursday when they join trumpeter Ingrid Jensen on a five-date concert tour winding through parts of New England and the Mid-Atlantic. They’ll perform five gigs in five nights.

Monday, May 4, 2015

CDs of Note - Short Takes

Guitars and saxes aplenty. Taking a closer look at CDs by Russell Malone, Hailey Niswanger, Bjørn Solli, Dave Stryker and Doug Webb….

Friday, May 1, 2015

Miles and Miles of Newport

Miles Davis
Last August, the storied Newport Jazz Festival, granddaddy of the outdoor music festival format, celebrated the 60th anniversary of its founding. This summer, producer George Wein will use the festival weekend to pay homage to the 60th anniversary of trumpeter Miles Davis’s breakthrough performance at Newport. 

That July 17, 1955 all-star jam-session teamed Davis with saxophonists Gerry Mulligan and Zoot Sims, pianist Thelonious Monk, bassist Percy Heath and drummer Connie Kay. Together, they explored “Hackensack,” “'Round Midnight” and “Now's The Time.” Columbia Records’ A&R man George Avakian signed the trumpeter to a recording contract shortly after that appearance.