Saturday, June 28, 2014

Looking Ahead: Southwest Florida jazz in the summer

The snowbird concert season for jazz may be over in the Sarasota to Naples territory, but there’s still jazz to be found. Most of it is in the form of regular gigs at restaurants that offer jazz multiple times a week.

 They include J.D.’s in Port Charlotte (after its vacation week hiatus ends July 8), The Orange House in Punta Gorda, The Roadhouse in Ft. Myers, The Haye Loft upstairs at Euphemia Hay on Longboat Key, and a most-welcome new kid on the block. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Jazz Profile: "The Nurturer"

Marcus Belgrave 

Hot House has just published my profile of Marcus Belgrave, the trumpet great who has called Detroit home for more than 50 years, and mentored an amazing array of jazz talents who have come out of the Motor City. 

In the July issue of the magazine, he also talks about the nurturing he received from Clifford Brown, when they were adolescents in a community band in Delaware, and his first road boss – Ray Charles, as well as his take on the fine art of jazz soloing. You can read it here. Belgrave and his band appear July 22-24 at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

We lost a jazz giant

The jazz world is mourning yesterday’s passing of composer, pianist and bandleader and NEA Jazz Master Horace Silver. He was truly one of the greats, helping create the hard bop genre in the 1960s and leaving as his legacy a wonderful trove of soulful, funky and catchy tunes. He was a Stan Getz sideman early in his career, co-founded  the Jazz Messengers with Art Blakey, and his own band was a wonderful talent springboard over the years.

His best-known composition, of course, was “Song For My Father,” which he penned in 1964 as a tribute to his dad. So it is rather ironic that Silver left us just a couple days after Father’s Day. But there were other great tunes as well – “The Preacher,” Tokyo Blues, “Filthy McNasty, “Doodlin’,” “Blowin’ The Blues Away” and “The Jody Grind.” The list goes on and on.

Monday, June 16, 2014

CDs of Note - Short Takes

Taking a closer look at CDs by five pianists: Francy Boland, George Cables, Ellen Rowe, Jamie Saft and Omar Sosa.…

Friday, June 13, 2014

And the winners are….

The Jazz Journalists’ Association presented the media portion of its 18th annual Jazz Awards this week at the Blue Note in New York. The full list of winners is detailed at (scroll down).
  • Three musicians won crossover honors. Pianist Ethan Iverson was honored for the year’s best blog for Do The Math. Vibes player Gary Burton won Best Book of the Year category for his autobiography, Learning To Listen: The Jazz Journey of Gary Burton (Berklee Press). Singer Dee Dee Bridgewater, the host of the NPR series Jazz Set, received the JJA's Willis Conover-Marian McPartland Award for Broadcasting. (Burton also won musical honors, announced in April, as Mallet Player of the Year).
  • Veteran author, editor, educator and radio show host W. Royal Stokes received JJA’s Lifetime Achievement in Jazz Journalism Award.
  • Freelance writer Nate Chinen won the Helen Oakley Dance-Robert Palmer Award for Writing in 2013.
    Benny Golson, by Antonio Porcar Cano
  • Spanish photographer Antonio Porcar Cano was honored for the competition’s Photo of the Year for his wonderful image of saxophonist Benny Golson, taken last July  26 at the  Festival Internacional de Jazz de Peñíscola.
  • Videographer John Moultrie won the Best Short Form Jazz News Video category for "Gary Bartz Talks About Drug Use Among Jazz Greats."
Two perennial winners, JazzTimes magazine and, won again in their respective categories, Best Print Periodical and Best Jazz Website.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A lively jazz afternoon captured for posterity [updated 10-7-2014]

Mike Markaverich
(Note: Ernie Williford, a fine bassist and singer beloved in SW Florida for his soulful  version of "Georgia on My Mind), passed away on October 6, 2014. RIP) 

What do you get when you record before a live audience? In the very best instances - spirited music with no false starts, no retakes and no clams (bad notes). 

Such was the case Tuesday afternoon, June 10 when pianist and singer Mike Markaverich recorded his trio with bassist Ernie Williford and drummer Johnny Moore in the presence of about 50 of their fans at the Venice Art Center.