Thursday, March 11, 2021

The worldly art of jazz

Pianist (and abstract painter) Bill Buchman brought his Art of Jazz Quintet to Venice FL on Wednesday, March 10 for a concert that touched on many of the global influences that have become central to jazz. From its inception, the genre has absorbed – and welcomed – elements of other styles, and turned that musical melting pot into a rich gumbo.

Bill Buchman
His band for this socially distanced, outdoor concert at Plantation Golf & Country Club included Rick Aaron on flute, Rob Fors on bass, Chuck Parr on drums and Gerardo Velez on congas. The event was sponsored by Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota as part of its 25th anniversary season.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

A hard-swinging reminder that Woody evolved with the times

The Stardust Memories Big Band paid tribute to the musical legacy of clarinetist and bandleader Woody Herman on Tuesday, March 2 at Riverside Park in Bonita Springs FL. For this evening, and the prior night at Cambier Park in neighboring Naples, bandleader Craig Christman turned the reins over to baritone saxophonist Mike Brignola, who joined the band this season.

Stardust Memories Big Band in Bonita Springs
The highly regarded bari player was an integral member of Woody's band from 1981 until the leader's death in 1987. Since then, Fort Lauderdale--based Brignola has served as road manager and personnel director for the Woody Herman Orchestra under the leadership of tenor saxophonist Frank Tiberi.

His concert mix resulted in a hard-swinging reminder that Woody Herman evolved with the times over his band's 50-year run. Brignola had a lot from which to choose.Herman and his outfit recorded about 875 tunes between the late 1930s and his death in 1987.