Saturday, May 26, 2012

CDs of Note - Short Takes

Taking a closer look at new CDs from Louise Van Aarsen, Lisa Hilton, Hailey Niswanger and Jared Gold....

Friday, May 25, 2012

Renee Rosnes on jazz, family

Renee Rosnes
Pianist Renee Rosnes has developed quite a musical family since arriving on the New York jazz scene from Canada 25 years ago. My profile of Renee is published in the June issue of Hot House. As usually happens with these conversations, not everything fits in the magazine article.

Rosnes also told me how thrilled she was that drummer Lewis Nash was honored in April by having a building named in his honor in his native Phoenix AZ. She and Nash have been working together for almost 20 years and are sidemen in each other’s bands. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Keeping the beat in southwest Florida’s extended summer

The formal concert scene pretty much dries up in southwest Florida once most of the snowbirds have begun their return to northern climates. But the music certainly isn’t gone ‘til autumn. Here are just two examples of things to check out.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Jazz and crime fiction mix well

I’m a sucker for a good mystery. I’ve pretty much devoured the outpouring of crime-related  fictional works by Sue Grafton, J. A. Jance, and Tony Hillerman, as well as Nora Roberts’ J.D. Robb series about homicide detective Eve Dallas, who solves crimes set about 40 years in the future and is married to the richest man on the planet. Once I get my hands on a new one, it’s pretty much uninterrupted read time. That goes for the jazz-related mysteries as well, which got me to thinking this week about why jazz and fictional crime blend so well together.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Honors set for Montreal

The Montreal International Jazz Festival  has announced the award winners that it will honor this summer for their exceptional contributions to music. The awards will be presented during the 33rd edition of the festival, which runs June 28 to July 8.

Monday, May 14, 2012

CDs of Note - Short Takes

Taking a closer look at new CDs from Kat Edmonson, Louis Armstrong, Shawnn Monteiro and Tony Monaco...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

One step at a time

Sérgio Mendes
The Punta Gorda Wine & Jazz Festival, a local Chamber of Commerce production with a loyal following from near and far, continues to evolve. This is a good thing.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A wonderful tradition - 22 years and counting

Frank Ascone
Drummer Al Hixon wound up the 22nd season of his Monday night jazz jams last night at 15 South  on Sarasota's St. Armand's Circle.
Hixon and bassist Mark Neuenschwander were joined by a special guest on keyboards: Boston's Chris Neville, whose hefty jazz credentials include working with the late Benny Carter on the alto saxophonist/composer's last seven albums.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Labor Day Weekend will feel different

Tanglewood is celebrating its 75th season as summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. But the summer season just won’t be the same for jazz fans in western Massachusetts.

Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood
There will be no silver anniversary for Tanglewood’s  long-running Labor Day Weekend jazz festival.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Special moments

The South County Jazz Club's jam session on Tueday nights at Valenti's Allegro Bistro in Venice FL is always a treat, and the reasons vary week to week. It's always packed. And it goes on year-round despite the snowbirds' return to points north this time of year.

Sometimes the musicians seem to be lined up out the door hoping to get a moment on stage. The Tuesday, May 1 edition had fewer sitters-in, which meant more playing opportunities for all participants.