Saturday, March 31, 2012
The apple didn't fall far from the tree
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
SCJC's Tuesday jam session settles in at Allegro Bistro
Saturday, March 24, 2012
At last - a real gig together
|Dick Reynolds and Ira Sullivan|
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
CDs of Note - Short Takes [updated]
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Jake Pinto in Sarasota
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Swinging with silk
Newport Jazz Festival lineup is set
Wein also announced that Natixis Global Asset Management, which sponsored the 2011 Newport Jazz Festival, will return as presenting sponsor for three additional years.
Veterans Pat Metheny, Jack DeJohnette, Bill Frisell and others share the billing with Miguel Zenón (pictured), Jason Moran, Ambrose Akinmusire, Darcy James Argue, Dafnis Prieto, John Hollenbeck and others. In addition, award-winning artists Dianne Reeves and the Tedeschi Trucks Band will be a major part of the festival, along with Maria Schneider, Kurt Elling and Joe Lovano.
Friday, March 9, 2012
Ron Drischel at the Venice Art Center
It was an afternoon for covering more than a dozen pages of the American Songbook and for digging into several jazz instrumental chestnuts. The latter category included Lee Morgan's "Sidewinder," Paul Desmond's "Take Five" and Earl Hagen's "Harlem Nocturne," which has become an R&B staple.
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Snook Haven's final jam session
Beginning March 13, the jazz club's jams are moving about four miles west to Valenti's Allegro Bistro, 1740 E. Venice Ave. in Venice FL. An overwhelming majority of club members voted for the change. It may be a great step in the jams' evolution.
Still, as a Florida newcomer, I'll miss the "Old Florida" rustic charm of Snook Haven, mere steps from the scenic and wild Myakka River. I know of no other place offering jazz on a regular basis that has taxidermist-prepared critters (a bear, two skunks, a coyote) on or alongside the stage - and a skinned alligator on the ceiling.
Valenti's seems to have a bit more seating, which should be a great enhancement going forward. Snook Haven's jams were packed to the gills most Tuesday nights.
Pictured: drummer Dane Hassan, clarinetist Dr. Bob Felman, bassist Dominic Mancini, pianist Tommy Goodman and valve trombonist Jim Fitzpatrick.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
CDs of Note – Short Takes
I’m a big fan of jazz CDs that have the Hammond B3 at the heart of the action. The leader doesn’t have to be the organist for the recording to stand out. The sound enhances the music regardless. Here are a few gems.
Gary Smulyan,Smul’s Paradise (Capri)
Gary Smulyan’s brings his baritone sax to the world of the jazz organ combo here. In part, it is a tribute to late organist Don Patterson. It includes the Patterson compositions “Aries” and “Up in Betty’s Room,” as well as Smulyan’s “Blues for DP.” The band, with B3 player Mike LeDonne, guitarist Peter Bernstein and drummer Kenny Washington, also tackles “Pistaccio," the Pee Wee Ellis tune that organist Rhoda Scott liked to play; George Coleman’s “Little Miss Half Steps” and Bobby Hebb’s 1960s pop hit “Sunny,” as well as two more Smulyan originals. Smulyan is best known for his extensive big band work. It is a treat to hear him in the organ combo context.
James Carter Organ Trio, At The Crossroads (EmArcy)
The gregarious saxophonist James Carter seems to get most earthy and exuberant with his organ trio, which he formed more than 10 years ago. The core band, with B3 player Gerard Gibbs and drummer Leonard King Jr., is augmented by guitar, vocals and/or horn section on five tracks. Among the many treats: the way Carter cuts loose on “My Whole Life Through,” which was written by veteran B3 player Sarah McLahler and guitarist Eddie Durham, as well as Julius Hemphill’s “The Hard Blues” and Big Maybelle’s “Ramblin’ Blues.”
This quintet, anchored by B3 player Joey DeFrancesco, includes drummer Steve Gadd and three fine Canadian players - bassist Peter Cardinali, pianist Robi Batos and saxophonist John Johnson. The band collaborated in writing six of the eight tracks, adding Cedar Walton’s classic “Bolivia” and Paul Simon’s “Still Crazy After All These Years” to close things out. It’s soulful and impressive. At varying points, it’s bluesy, gritty, warm, subtle and soulful. There’s a lot to love.
Brian Charette, Music for Organ Sextette (SteepleChase)
There’s a modernist/ classical music approach here, with Charette’s B3 holding its own amid a bright and ambitious horn section and added propulsion from drummer Jochen Rueckert. The horn choir is solid, with Jay Collins on flute, Mike DiRubbo on alto sax, Joel Frahm on tenor sax and John Ellis on bass clarinet. Charette’s writing is clever and whimsical. Dig, for example, “Fugue for Kathleen Anne/Ex-Girlfriend Variations” and “The Elvira Pacifier.” “Prayer for an Agnostic” ironically is one of the most soulful tracks. “Late Night TV” and “Tambourine” are the most robust.
Bob Sheppard, Close Your Eyes (BFM Jazz)
Keyboard players Alan Pasqua and John Beasley use the B3 to great effect on one track apiece on reed player Bob Sheppard’s latest project. Paasqua’s organ work helps set the agenda on the the title track opener, while Beasley cuts loose on Joe Henderson’s “Gazelle.” The CD is a terrific showcase for Sheppard’s instrumental versatility and solid sound. Other key players include trumpeter Alex Sipiagin, guitarist Larry Koonse and drummer Antonio Sanchez.