Monday, December 20, 2021

My take on the best jazz recordings of 2021

‘Tis the season for the outpouring of Top 10 lists, and their many variations, for jazz, world events, etc. The jazz lists tend to have a lot of variation depending on the each reviewer's personal tastes, as well as what he or she listened to during the year.* Bottom line, all are extremely subjective.

These choices below (aside from top 10 new songs of the year) were submitted to the Jazz Journalists Association and JazzCritics Poll 2021. The latter is the 16th annual Francis Davis and Tom Hull-produced poll that is being published this year by the Boston-based online arts journal The Arts Fuse. It previously was published by The Village Voice, and NPR Music).

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Kenny Washington delights - again

Kenny Washington
Oakland CA-based singer Kenny Washington is a marvel, plain and simple. And his return performance to Artis Naples' All That Jazz series on Wednesday, December 13 showcased  the diminutive singer's skills,tone and wide range, and his artful scatting on two of the evening's 10 tunes.

Washington was special guest with the Naples Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra, which on this evening was stretched from its usual sextet to a septet. The  mega-talented band this night included tenor saxophonist and artistic director Lew Del Gatto, trumpeter Dan Miller, trombonist Dante Luciani, guitarist John Hart, pianist Jerry Stawski, bassist Kevin Mauldin and drummer Mike Harvey.

The program did not include a single repeat of material from the singer's first appearance in the series in November 2015.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

New band, new venue, lots of smiles

One of the great joys in hearing live jazz is a night when talented players who've never performed together get on stage and find instant chemistry that makes it sound like they've been a working group for years.

Greg Abate
That was the case on Monday, December 13, when hard-bopping saxophonist Greg Abate returned for his sixth Charlotte County Jazz Society performance since 2008. And what a magical night it was, with a new band, a new venue and an enthusiastic audience. Abate was at the top of his game.

The band included Abate, pianist John O'Leary, bassist Doug Mathews and drummer Clyde Connor. Rhode Island-based Abate and Tampa-based O'Leary had never worked with any of the other players on stage. Gainesville-based Connor and Orlando-based Mathews had worked together only a couple of times. 

Abate is one of the few modern ambassadors of hard-bop, an intense style of playing that grew out of bebop in the 1950s, following in the musical footsteps of alto saxophonists Phil Woods and Richie Cole. He performed and recorded with both of them over the years. 

The leader dedicated this concert to longtime CCJS concert programmer and board member Mike Parmelee, who died last spring. The first set included a new composition, "Blues For Mike."

Friday, December 10, 2021

Jazz in the name of love - and loving it

With co-leader Dan Miller out of town, tenor saxophonist Lew Del Gatto brought in guitarist Frank Portolese to join the fun for the weekly quartet gig at The Barrel Room in downtown Fort Myers on Thursday, December 9. 

Lew Del Gatto
Trumpeter Miller was busy with jazz faculty duties at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. So the band this night included Saturday Night Live Band alumnus Del Gatto, Portolese, bassist Brandon Robertson and drummer Tony Vigilante.

Frank Portolese

The highlight of the first set was a Del Gatto-selected string of five tunes that explored many facets of love. "Alone Together" was followed by "I Love You" played in the key of F, which Del Gatto called "the key of love." Then came "Makin' Whoopie," and two relationship-is-over choices, "Gone With the Wind" and "You Don't Know What Love Is."
Tony Vigilante

Lou could have gone on and on with the seemingly endless choices, but didn't. This wasn't a medley of brief snippets. Each tune got an extended instrumental exploration that showcased the players' strong chops, soloing skills, and cohesiveness as a band. Chicago native Portolese fit well in the band, displaying a musical sensitivity that underscored his blistering bebop lines.

Monday, December 6, 2021

Acme Jazz Garage's special kind of musical romp

There is so much to admire at an Acme Jazz Garage concert. The Tampa-based band leaps with enthusiasm into a wide-ranging bag of influences to deliver music that is distinctly its own.

Matt Swenson, Philip Booth
The band's expanded sextet version performed Sunday, December 6 for the Tampa Jazz Club as part of the Hillsborough Community College Performing Arts Series at HCC's Mainstage Theatre in Ybor City. 

Bop, bossa nova, R&B, a bit of Cuban rumba, some soul jazz and a few jazz standards - filtered with Acme's high-energy jam-band enthusiasm - made for a powerful afternoon.

Rick Runion
Acme Jazz Garage has been on the scene for 10 years. The personnel for this concert included bassist Philip Booth, guitarist Matt Swenson, pianist Jody Marsh (who succeeded founding keyboardist Bryan Lewis after the latter's move back to upstate New York this year), saxophonist Rick Runion and drummer Jean Bolduc. Percussionist-singer Marshall Gillon was a special guest. 
Jean Bolduc

All of the players have worked with each other in various combinations and bands for many years. That familiarity enhances their group chemistry. 

The band is cohesive and their arrangements and soloing are adventurous, anchored with a solid jazz feeling. If you like Steely Dan, you'll like Acme Jazz Garage.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Latin jazz at its finest, drawing at times from bebop and Broadway

Conguero Sammy Figueroa brought a quintet version of His Latin Jazz Explosion band to Sarasota on Monday, November 22. As befits its name, the band and its leader were on musical fire all night for this Jazz Club of Sarasota concert.

Sammy Figueroa
Figueroa spent many years as a leading Latin percussionist in New York City, working with a wide variety of major musicians, including Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, David Bowie and Chaka Khan. This Bronx native who was raised in Puerto Rico has been based in Miami for the past 20 years.
Martin Bejerano
His group for this concert included pianist Martin Bejerano (a longtime member of drummer Roy Haynes' Fountain of Youth Band), bassist Carlo De Rosa, tenor saxophonist Troy Roberts (a frequent collaborator with B-3 player Joey DeFrancesco), and trumpeter Cisco Dimas.

Cisco Dimas
Figueroa's program stretched nearly two hours, not counting a brief intermission, and included extended explorations of nine tunes that showcased the cohesiveness of the band's groove and the improvisational skills of each player.

Pianist-composer Michel Camilo's fiery “And Sammy Walked In” quickly set the tone for the evening. Bejerano's “Origin Story” was wide-ranging in its moods, particularly during his piano solos. The first set highlight was the band's take on the ballad “If Ever I Would Leave You, from the Lerner & Lowe Broadway musical Camelot. They dug into a Horace Silver arrangement, adding a strong Latin jazz tinge that Figueroa aptly described as “rice and beans.”

Sunday, November 14, 2021

The joy of jazz guitar

Brazilian guitarist Diego Figueiredo considers Southwest Florida his home away from home when he's not touring the world. He was happy to be back on Sunday, November 14, after the pandemic lockdown stymied his touring for more than a year.

Figueriedo performed a matinee solo concert in Venice FL in the Jazz With Morrie performance series, in advance of his three nights of performances next weekend at the Suncoast Jazz Festival in Clearwater. 

"It's a pleasure to be back performing live after a long, long time," Figueiredo said. He did some online performances from his home in Franca, Brazil during the pandemic but noted: "I didn't feel the emotion, the connection with the audience."

That connection was back on Sunday as he shared the joy of jazz guitar, digging into the Brazilian jazz songbook, several original compositions, a bit of movie music, and jazz standards.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

This savvy arranger and his band keep things fresh

Pianist Jim Roberts is the Charlotte County Jazz Society's most frequent visitor as a bandleader. The CCJS concert in Port Charlotte FL on Monday, November 8 marked Roberts' 18th appearance dating to June 1991, when he was the organization's first concert performer. 

Jim Roberts

Roberts moved from New York City to Orlando shortly after his first CCJS gig. Through the years, he has brought trios, quartets, quintets and more. Since 2004, the sextet has been his steady band. He calls it his Saxtet because of its brass-rich front line, which features talented veterans Dan Jordan, Rex Wertz and David MacKenzie. Drummer Eddie Metz Jr. and bassist Doug Mathews were the band's rhythm aces. 

This time out, Roberts had another twist. The band expanded to a four-horn septet, with his wife, tenor saxophonist A.J. Roberts, joining the other reed players on three tunes.

Pianist, composer arranger and educator Roberts never lets his music sound stale or dated on the concert stage. Freshness and vitality abound, even on the staples you've heard at prior appearances. 

Friday, November 5, 2021

Finding some normalcy in mainstream swing

After a pandemic pause dating to late February 2020, producer Morrie Trumble's Jazz With Morrie concert series opened a new season on Friday, November 5 in Venice FL with music excellence and positive vibes in this "new normal" phase.

Tenor saxophonist Jim Wellen performed with three other Southwest Florida jazz notables: guitarist Dave Trefethen, bassist-singer Vince Evans and drummer Johnny Moore. All brought much to the table for this welcome musical feast.

Wellen is a master of the swing tenor, who is equally comfortable exploring ballads, sambas and occasional pieces with a bit more fire. The octogenarian does so with an ease that comes from decades of immersing himself in the jazz repertoire. The first time I heard him 10 years ago, I thought to myself "this guy sounds like he could be Scott Hamilton and Harry Allen's (musical) uncle." Friday's concert at the Emmanuel Lutheran Church, reinforced that notion.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

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 December. Keep in mind the reality of COVID-19 protocols, expect possible cancellations, and please mask up to keep yourself and others safe.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

La Lucha and friends shine in CCJS debut

Nineteen months after the pandemic brought the Charlotte County Jazz Society’s 2018-19 concert season to an abrupt and premature end, the nonprofit’s evening concerts resumed on Monday, October 11 with a musical treat from La Lucha.

John O'Leary
The Tampa Bay-area trio, consisting of pianist John O’Leary, bassist Alejandro Arenas and drummer Mark Feinman, brought along two guests: the Barcelona-born singer Ona Kirei and tenor saxophonist Trace Zacur. The latter was a last-minute sub for trumpeter James Suggs who was unable to make the gig.

Alejandro Arenas, Mark Feinman

La Lucha covered the musical gamut, putting it’s own creative spin on time-tested jazz standards, five original compositions and creative covers of more contemporary material from David Bowie, The Beatles and the English pop-rock band Tears for Fears. Half of the program came from La Lucha’s newest CD, Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Arbors Jazz, 2020). 

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Love - and Bossa Nova - were in the air

Eighteen months since its 2019-20 concert season was cut short by the pandemic, and its 2020-21 season canceled, the Charlotte County Jazz Society had music in the air again on Wednesday, September 22. A matinee “Love and Bossa Nova Live” performance by guitarist Nate Najar and Brazilian singer Daniela Soledade was a mighty welcome warm-up for the CCJS evening concert series, which resumes in October.

Nate Najar, Daniela Soledade
The St. Petersburg-based couple performed for CCJS at the Grill at 1951 in Port Charlotte, treating the crowd to the joyous, exotic intimacy of bossa nova and samba. Soledade, a third-generation member of a Rio de Janeiro family with strong ties to the roots of bossa nova, is blessed with a captivating, wide-ranging voice whether singing in her native Portuguese or English. Most of the lyrics this day were in Portuguese, a few blended both languages, and a few more were shared in English. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

CDs of Note – Short Takes

 Taking a closer look at CDs by Acme Jazz Garage, Lili Añel, Miles Donahue and Yoko Miwa ….

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

George Wein: A legacy of innovation without ego

A day after announcement of his departure from this vale, I’m still trying to wrap my head around the news that George Wein is gone. The music impresario died peacefully in his sleep on Monday at age 95 – just three weeks shy of his 96th birthday. 

My, what an imprint he left the world of music, jazz in particular, though there was so much more given his creation (with Pete Seeger) of the Newport Folk Festival, creating the more-global New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and much later, producing the Essence Music Festival in the Crescent City, which celebrated a much broader spectrum of Black music

Let me dig a bit into the essence of George Wein. Advancing the music and creating opportunities for musicians were the driving force in his life. He wasn’t in it for the money, although that came to him through his success in creating new performance formats, and adding innovations throughout his 70-year career.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Looking ahead: Southwest Florida jazz preview

Here is a rundown of noteworthy jazz events, principally in the Sarasota to Naples territory, from now through October. Keep in mind the reality of COVID-19 protocols, expect possible cancellations, and mask up to keep yourself and others safe.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

A trumpeter’s legacy of paying it forward

The fine trumpeter Bobby Shew, now one of the horn’s elder statesmen, gave Dan Miller an unforgettable present on his protégé’s 30th birthday.

As Miller recalls 22 years later, those sage words of wisdom went like this: “You don’t want to be a sideman all your life. You’re going to turn 50 years old and the phone is going to stop ringing. It is not because you can’t play well, it’s because there are two younger generations of players who are working with all the big acts. You have to become your own boss. You have to book your own gigs. You have to teach. You have to do clinics. You have to travel. You have to lead your own bands. You have to diversify how you work in music.” 

Dan Miller
Miller has done all that with an energy that seems tireless. While he keeps busy as a player, bandleader and trumpet ambassador, the jazz education side of his career seems most satisfying. More so lately in the pandemic environment and being sidelined for the past two months after surgery on a broken foot.

He grew up in Chicago, immersing himself in the Windy City’s jazz scene as a listener and student player. Then he headed to the University of North Texas in 1987, where he found even more mentors, including brass instructor Don Jacoby, before going on the road with the Woody Herman Orchestra two years later.

In 1991, Miller moved to New York City with his brother, trombonist David Miller. Whenever Dan was in town, he made sure to go to pianist Barry Harris’ Tuesday night jazz workshops to soak up more ideas on the art of improvisation. Harris, at 91, still runs his workshops. 

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Another postcard from Newport

Terri Lyne Carrington

Sharing more images from my 2021 Newport Jazz Festival assignments, July 30-August 1.

Gerald Clayton

Charles Lloyd, Harish Raghavan, Marvin Sewell

Joel Ross

Sasha Berliner
The Vibes Summit

Sunday, August 29, 2021

CDs of Note – Short Takes

Taking a closer look at CDs by Gerry Gibbs’ Thrasher Dream Trios, Paxton/Spangler Septet, John Pizzarelli, Juan Carlos Quintero and Dave Stryker…

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Postcard from Newport

Now that another Newport Jazz Festival is in the books, the 67th anniversary edition and 57th actual festival to be precise, I wanted to share more imagery from the July 30-August 1 weekend. Here are some favorite images. More to follow.

Bam Bam Rodriguez

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah
Kamasi Washington
Kamasi Washington
Robert Glasper

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Random thoughts on Newport’s return to the festival scene

Last weekend’s Newport Jazz Festival, after a one-year absence due to the COVID-19 shutdowns, was mighty welcome for music fans and performers alike.

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah
The July 30-August 1 event at Fort Adams State Park overlooking Newport Harbor for many musicians was either the first or first significant performance opportunity since we began emerging from the long pandemic winter.

“It’s been an interesting year-and-a-half to two years. The ability to play for you is such a pleasure,” trumpeter Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah told the crowd before his Saturday set on the main stage.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

1960s anger and disillusionment fuel hope

Singer Synia Carroll celebrated the life and music of the late, great Nina Simone on Monday, July 26 in Sarasota FL with a concert fueled by the High Priestess of Soul’s blend of anger, disillusionment and passion – and Carroll’s optimism for a better day.

Synia Carroll
The Nina on my Mind … and I’m Feelin’ Good! show at Florida Studio Theatre’s cozy Court Cabaret in downtown Sarasota teamed Carroll with five of the region’s ace jazz musicians: trumpeter James Suggs, pianist John O’Leary, bassist Brandon Robertson, percussionist Patrick Hernly and drummer/musical director Paul Gavin. They also backed her at St. Petersburg’s Palladium Theater three nights earlier.

Carroll & Co. dug deep into the Simone repertoire for the full house crowd in attendance. As Simone’s artful and activist legacies inspired and required, the night’s music ranged from angry and passionate to teasing and joyful. The lyrics, coupled with Carroll’s powerful delivery and stories, underscored that the pain and frustration of the civil rights movement that Nina Simone sang about in the 1960s remain today.

Monday, July 26, 2021

2021b - Jazz musicians felled by coronavirus -- Chapter 5 (updated 12-30-21)

Here is part five of our chronological listing of jazz-related COVID-19 deaths from the novel coronavirus, updated as we receive them. This segment begins with deaths in July 2021. Chapter 4 lists deaths in the first half of the year.  Parts one, two and three contain 2020's 63 known losses.Our profound sympathies to their families, friends and fans as we remember their musical legacies.
  • South African singer-songwriter Steve Kekana died July 1 in a Johannesburg hospital. He was 62. After losing his eyesight at age 5, Kekana developed his love for singing while attending a school for the blind. He recorded more than 40 albums in Mbaqanga, jazz and R&B styles between 1977 and 2018.
  • Indonesian jazz guitarist and educator Beben Jazz died July 5 in Bekasi, West Java. He was 54. Beben Supendi Mulyana, aka Beben Jazz, also sang and played trumpet. He was a founder of Jakarta’s Kemayoran Jazz Community.
  • Singer and songwriter Tsepo Tshola died July 15 at a hospital in Teyateyaneng in his native Lesotho, a mountain kingdom that is surrounded by South Africa. He was 67. Also known as the “Village Pope,” Tshola came to prominence with the jazz group Sankomota, which he co-founded and co-led with the late Frank Leepa in the late 1970s. He launched his solo career in 2002. He performed for more than 40 years, primarily in Lesotho, South Africa and Europe.
  • South African pianist and educator Andre Petersen died July 22 age 43. He was the only African musician out of 68 pianists to compete in 2011's Concours de Piano-Jazz Martial Solal Competition in Paris. Johannesburg-based Petersen’s international recording and performance credits include working with Stefon Harris, Reggie Washington, Dave Liebman, Marcus Strickland, the Stockholm Jazz Orchestra and Norwegian avant-garde band Soyr. 
  • Paris-born guitarist, singer and producer Jacob Desvarieux died July 30 in Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadaloupe. He was 66. Desvarieux co-founded the  zouk band Kassav’, which played a mix of jazz, Caribbean folk, rumba, soukous, discos and funk that was popular in the 1980s in the Caribbean, Europe and Africa. The band performed at several international jazz festivals. 
  • Polynesian-born jazz guitarist Daniel Temaeva Benoit died August 9 at age 69 in Tahiti. Starting in the 1980s, self-taught musician Benoit and his lifelong friend Michel Poroi performed frequently in island venues.
  • Washington DC-based drummer and bandleader Howard “KingFish” Franklin Jr., died August 18. He was 51. The hard-swinging drummer was given the nickname “KingFish” by his late mentor, Calvin Jones. Singer-pianist Shirley Horn’s drummer, Steve Williams, called him “Fishstix.” Over the years, he worked with a wide variety of jazz greats. 
  • Multi-instrumentalist Isaac Mkukupa, considered to be the father of jazz in Malawi, died August 22 in Nottingham, England. He was 78. He moved from Africa to the UK in 2009. In a career stretching back to at least the early 1970s, Mkukupa played bass, guitar, trombone and trumpet. 
  • Nashville session drummer and educator Kenny Malone died August 26 at age 83. While best known for his extensive work with top country and folk artists since the 1970s, Malone’s work brought him into every acoustic genre. He recorded with Ray Charles and Bela Fleck, among others. He was an instructor at the Nashville Jazz Workshop. During his 14 years in the US Navy, he played in the Navy Band in Washington DC and headed the percussion department at the School of Music for the Navy, Army and Marines. 
  • Cuban pianist, composer, singer and bandleader Adalberto Álvarez died September 1 at age 72 at the Pedro Kourí Institute of Tropical Medicine in Havana. Nicknamed “El Caballero del Son,” Álvarez was one of the most important figures in Cuban music in recent decades. He led the “Son 14” orchestra for five years before founding “Adalberto Álvarez y su son,” a group with which he made his mark on Cuban and Latin music, in 1984 He recorded about 20 albums. 
  • Sousaphonist Bennie Pete, leader and founding member of the Hot 8 Brass Band, died September 6 in New Orleans. He was 42. 
  • Cuban singer Ela Calvo died September 7 at age 89. She was known as “The Lady of the Cuban song.” She was a star of Havana’s Tropicana cabaret, where she shared the stage with Luis Carbonell, Elena Burke and the Los Meme Quartet. Her career, which began in the late 1950s, included work on radio, television and nightclubs. She recorded with Andrés Echevarría’s jazz orchestra. 
  • Banjoist, guitarist and bandleader Ken Salvo died September 15 in Venice FL at age 74. A Dixieland jazz specialist, Salvo was a member of Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks for more than a decade. The band won a Grammy for their work on the soundtrack of the hit HBO show Boardwalk Empire. After moving to Florida several years ago, he formed his own trad outfit, Ken Salvo’s N’awlins Jazz Band, and played in other ensembles.  
  • Singer and actress Julia Nixon died September 29 in a Raleigh NC hospital. She was 66. She performed at Washington DC-area clubs and in musical theater for 40 years, blending jazz, gospel and R&B with ease at Mr. Henry’s Supper Club, Blues Alley and other venues.  In 1983, Nixon succeeded Jennifer Holliday in the lead role in the Broadway musical “Dreamgirls." 
  • Conguero Tony Menjivar died October 5 in San Francisco. He was 62. He was a fixture in the band MALO, which blended Latino, rock, jazz and blues into its sound. Menjivar also worked in other jazz and Latin jazz contexts over the years, including appearances with the Latin Kings All-Stars and singer Jamie Davis. He also co-founded a Christian Latin rock band named Bueno! 
  • French bassist Claude Mouton died October 9 in Ile de France. He was 66. After studying with Jean-François Jenny Clarke, he worked with Jackie McLean, Mal Waldron, Michel Grallier and René Urtreger. He was a sideman on several manouche (gypsy jazz) albums, including Raphaël Faÿs' Swing Guitar tribute to Django Reinhardt. 
  • Tony Falco, proprietor of the Hudson Valley NY jazz club The Falcon, died October 28 after a six-month battle with COVID-19 complications. He was 65. At Falco's insistence, the club never charged a cover. In the early 2000s, Falco presented salon-like concerts in a space behind his home in Marlboro, 70 miles north of New York City. In 2005, he bought a 19th century former button factory, transforming it into a two-stage venue with rotating art exhibits, the Avalon Archives Museum of Rock & Roll, two restaurants, and a network of trails and decks overlooking Marlboro Falls.   
  • Singer Kurt Reichenbach died November 4 in Los Angeles. He was 68. He also was an actor and graphic designer. He was the son of jazz drummer Bill Reichenbach Sr. He was the brother of trombonist Bill Reichenbach Jr., who often accompanied him in concert and on recordings.
  • Barry Harris, 2001
    Broadcaster, photographer and jazz historian Dennis Owsley died November 26. He was 78. Owsley hosted a weekly jazz show on St. Louis Public Radio for more than three decades, retiring in 2019. A 1986 radio documentary led to his book “City of Gabriels — The Jazz History of St. Louis 1895-1973.” He died at Banner Boswell Medical Center in Sun City AZ.
  • Pianist, composer and educator Barry Harris died December 8 at Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, N.J. He was 91. Harris' codification of the fundamentals of bebop in the 1950s were the backbone of his teaching. His weekly jazz workshops were a fixture in New York City beginning in the 1970s, including a five-year run from 1982-87 at the Jazz Cultural Theater, which he co-founded. The Detroit native was named an NEA Jazz Master in 1989. 
  • Steel pans innovator, drummer and composer Anthony “Muff-Man” Williams died December 21 in Port-au-Prince, Trinidad. He was 90. He was the bandleader, pan-tuner and arranger of the Pan Am North Stars, and was considered one of the most important figures in the development of the modern steel orchestra. He also toured with boogie-woogie and ragtime pianist Winifred Atwell. 
  • Italian acoustic guitarist and educator Paolo Giordano died December 29 in Pescara, his hometown. He was 59.The innovative player was the first musician in ltaly to experiment with tapping and advanced percussive techniques on the acoustic guitar. He performed and/or recorded with a variety of players over the years, including singer Patti Cathcart of Tuck and Patti, bassist Michael Manring, percussionists Alex Acuña and Michael Spiro, and guitarists Frank Gambale and Ralph Towner.
Here are links to the chronology: Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3 and Chapter 4.