Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Jazzy numbers

Much focus will be given this summer to this August’s arrival of the 60th anniversary edition of the Newport Jazz Festival (not the 60th festival mind you, just the fact that it’s been 60 years since the very first festival was held in Newport back in 1954). As mentioned in prior postings, this will be the 50th edition of the George Wein-produced festival to be held in Newport.

But there is another very admirable anniversary taking place 12 days earlier on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Jazz in July opens its 30th anniversary run (July 21-31) at the 92nd Street Y. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Mingus, Mingus and more Mingus

Kevin Mauldin
The Naples Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra  dug deeply into the music of bassist and composer Charles Mingus in a concert Wednesday night at Artis Naples' Daniels Pavilion. It underscored his imprint on jazz as a bassist, composer and social commentator.

The concert included a wide range of ambitious Mingus works, even touching on his early days as an emerging jazz figure in Los Angeles in the late 1940s. The NPJO, actually a sextet, featured bassist Kevin Mauldin for this evening. The band also includes tenor saxophonist Lew Del Gatto, trumpeter Dan Miller, pianist Jerry Stawski, drummer Mike Harvey and violinist Glenn Basham.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

CDs of Note - Short Takes

Taking a closer look at new CDs by Eric Alexander, Lori Carsillo, Mike Longo, and Gene Ludwig and Pat Martino.…

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A solid night of jazz, enhanced by two Bostonians

Dean, Bowlby, Evans, Delaney
Pianist Joe Delaney's Wednesday night trio gig at Brew Babies in Cape Coral FL had some added firepower on May 7 when two very fine Boston-area musicians sat in. Delaney invited saxophonist Bob Bowlby to join the merriment, since he was in the Tampa area to visit his daughter. And trumpeter Trent Austin was in town visiting family. Fortunately, he brought his horn when dining at the restaurant with his parents.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Once again, the jazz is at the Sunday brunch

The Punta Gorda (FL) Chamber of Commerce has announced the dates and the lineup for the10th annual Punta Gorda Wine & Jazz Festival at Laishley Park, on the shore of the picturesque Peace River where it flows into Charlotte Harbor.

Sad to say, there is no jazz on the main stage for the main event on Saturday, February 21, 2015. The three acts are all from the smooth jazz (instrumental pop) genre.) They are saxophonists Mindi Abair (back for the seventh consecutive year) and Dave Koz, and guitarist-singer Nick Colionne, who sounds to me like a young, smooth George Benson without the latter's strong jazz chops.

For true jazz at the festival, we must once again turn to the Jazz Brunch at the nearby Isles Yacht Club on Sunday, February 22. Brunch producer Brian Presley has not yet announced the lineup of local mainstream jazz talent, but it is always a fine mix of Southwest Florida musicians. Presley's firm, Presley Beane Financial Services, sponsors the brunch. Presley has had minimal success through the years in getting jazz onto the main stage. I have no doubt he'll keep trying.

Aside from 2013, which included Sergio Mendes' band and a local mainstream jazz quintet, this festival keeps missing opportunities to share with its devoted main stage audience a richer, deeper, broader musical palette encompassing a variety of jazz genres. And that is a pity. It could be so much more.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Local jazz gets a mighty fine bonus

Jazz fans at JD's Bistro & Grill in Port Charlotte expecting to hear drummer Patricia Dean's fine trio got an added bonus Thursday night. Jacksonville-based singer Lisa Kelly and trumpeter J.B. Scott sat in during the second and third sets.

Dean, Kelly, Trefethen, Scott, Phillips
The husband-and-wife educators at the University of North Florida  were in the area for two days of guest teaching at the Harrison School of the Arts in Lakeland. Jeff Phillips, a versatile and highly talented pianist who teaches jazz at the magnet high school, is Dean's regular pianist for her weekly JD's gig. He brought Kelly and Scott with him since they had a free evening.