Wednesday, January 31, 2018

CDs of Note – Short Takes

Taking a look at new CDs by Eric Alexander, George Cotsirilos, Roberto Magris, David K. Mathews, Hristo Vitchev, and the trio Hart, Scone & Albin…..

Sunday, January 28, 2018

California-based jazz singer builds his fan base one gig at a time

Kenny Washington
Jazz singer Kenny Washington has it all, musically. The diminutive vocalist, based for more than two decades in Oakland, California, has range, fluidity and a natural sense of swing. He grew up singing gospel music as a child in New Orleans - and that music's passion fuels his soulful artistry.

His creativity - singing, scatting and even whistling - was on full display on Saturday, January 27 when he was the featured guest with the Dan Miller-Lew DelGatto quintet at the Sidney and Berne Davis Art Center in downtown Fort Myers.The band includes Miller on trumpet, Del Gatto on tenor sax, Joe Delaney on piano, Don Mopsick on bass and Tony Vigilante on drums.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

An all-star evening of exuberant swing

Tenor saxophonist Harry Allen and trombonist Wycliffe Gordon headlined an evening of exuberant swing Wednesday night, January 24 at the Venice FL Performing Arts Center and their all-star band delivered the goods.
Gordon, Allen

The horn players were joined by the terrific rhythm section of Eddie Metz Jr. (drums), Nicki Parrott (bass and vocals) and Rosanno Sportiello (piano), plus special guest Stephanie Nakasian on vocals.
Gordon, Parrott, Allen

Gordon shifted with ease between trombone, gritty vocals and slide trumpet throughout the night in this, his first appearance at a concert by the South County Jazz Club, which co-produced the event with the Venice Institute for Performing Arts. 

Allen is a premiere ambassador of mainstream swing tenor sax. His finest moment was sharing a beautiful original ballad," Old Joe," which he later said was inspired by reading a short story. Allen has evolved into a fine composer as well as interpreter of jazz standards and Brazilian jazz.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Looking ahead: Southwest Florida jazz preview (updated)

Here is a rundown of noteworthy jazz events, principally in the Sarasota to Naples territory, from now through March.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The global language of jazz

The 38th annual Sarasota Jazz Festival is fast approaching. This year's concerts are scheduled Thursday, March 8 through Saturday March 10 - with a matinee jam-style session scheduled on Saturday before the evening's finale.This year's event has an ambitious and interesting theme. It's called  A World of Jazz. The festival will present a wide array of domestic and global jazz talent, with many first-time performers on the bill. This is a good thing.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Celebrating Latin jazz with some clever twists

Pianist Joe Delaney spent most of his twenties living and working in the the U.S. Virgin Islands. During those eight years on St. Thomas back in the 1980s, he was also able to gig throughout the Caribbean and in South America, particularly Brazil. He soaked up the varied rhythms and flavors of Latin jazz.
Joe Delaney

While best known for playing straight-ahead swing and the twists and turns of bebop, we can credit those formative years in the Caribbean for the Massachusetts native's mastery of Latin jazz. That side of his musical palette was on vibrant display on Monday, January 8, in Port Charlotte, Florida, when Delaney performed with his Latin Caribbean All-Stars for the Charlotte County Jazz Society.

Friday, January 5, 2018

2017: The Year in Jazz has published my look back at the past year in the jazz world at-large.In brief summation, 2017 was a year of great achievements, challenges to gender inequality, scandal and losses.

In wading through the many occurrences,  there was much to consider, enjoy and recall. Dig in as you wish - and take it a section or two at a time, if needed. 

This edition tops out at more than 8,000 words. Whew.