Thursday, January 21, 2021

Vincent Herring sears and swings in Naples

The Naples Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra's socially distanced concert series at Artis-Naples didn't miss a beat on Wednesday, January 20 when the sextet was joined by special guest Vincent Herring. The alto saxophonist replaced tenor player Billy Harper, who had been scheduled until pandemic concerns scuttled his travel plans.

Vincent Herring
Herring has been based in New York since 1982.  His soulful, swinging style was heavily influenced by the late Cannonball Adderley. Herring worked for nine years with trumpeter Nat Adderley. After Nat's death, he formed the Cannonball Adderley Legacy Band with drummer Louis Hayes. He last played with the Naples sextet in 2018.

For this concert,  the material pretty much alternated between four jazz covers and three of Herring's varied originals. Artistic director and tenor saxophonist Lew Del Gatto penned arrangements for the sextet. The band also included trumpeter Dan Miller, violinist Glenn Basham, pianist Jerry Stawski, bassist Kevin Mauldin and drummer Mike Harvey. 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

The consensus on 2020's jazz releases

The results are posted from the 2020 edition of NPR Music's Jazz Critics Poll. This  annual undertaking, was compiled from ballots by 148 jazz critics and jazz journalists, including yours truly. Composer-bandleader Maria Schneider's Data Lords (ArtistShare) was the clear winner in the new issues category.

There is much to savor in the package, which includes the top results, pollster Francis Davis' personal thoughts on this most unusual year, and the rundown of individual contributors' ballots.

The Davis poll began 15 years ago in The Village Voice. NPR Music has been its home for eight years.

At the very least, there are lots of listening recommendations from which recordings most impressed various responders. 

Check it out.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

2020: The Year in Jazz

All About Jazz has just posted my comprehensive annual look back at the past year in the jazz world.  

In short: The COVID-19 pandemic put the jazz world in a tailspin, just like the world at large, in 2020. And there is plenty of uncertainty going into the new year about what “new normal: might emerge from the darkness. International Jazz Day, like so many other things, became a online virtual event this time around.

Pianist Keith Jarrett disclosed that he might never perform in public again because of lingering health issues. The National Endowment for the Arts welcomed four new NEA Jazz Masters and said farewell to nine others who were among the many industry-associated musicians and figures passing away during the year.

But there was much, much more, in a year like we've never seen before. 

With some 20/20 hindsight, there's a lot more to learn about or refresh your memory right here.