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Concert Reviews (849)

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This was the second year Russell Malone performed with his own band at the North Sea Jazz Festival. This was yet another mid-size concert hall that was standing room only, proving the ever-increasing popularity of these exceptionally talented jazz musicians of the younger generation. Russell has really come into his own after making a name for himself backing Diana Krall. Russell was with Jimmy Smith's band for two years in the late '80's and toured with and appeared on CDs with Harry Connick
FLEURINE AND BRAD MEHLDAU Fleurine and Brad Mehldau have recorded an intimate album entitled "Close Enough For Love" and why not? They certainly were close enough when the roller-skating Fleurine fell down the stairs at the Village Vanguard and crashed right on top of Mehldau. That was their first meeting. Performing at North Sea, Mehldau took his usual Bill Evans' hover over the piano and the lovely and beautiful Fleurine, dressed in a stunning black velvet and gold cocktail dress, stood
Percussionist Michael Zerang has made name for himself both for his musicianship and compositional skills and for helping to foster a community of improvisers in Chicago. His latest project in the latter area is running a performance and rehearsal space called the Candlestick Maker. The Candlestick Maker is located on the Northwest side of the City of Broad Shoulders in a neighborhood that doesn't lack for places to get falafel. Although there will be occasional concerts, the main intent is f
Drummer/bandleader Chico Hamilton has, like Ellington, Mingus and Blakey, a tradition of his bands being 'finishing schools' for jazz musicians: Larry Coryell, Eric Dolphy, Paul Horn, Arthur Blythe, Fred Katz and Gabor Szabo are among those passed through the ranks of his various organizations. Hamilton, unlike some jazz players, has not stood still in his career, style-wise: bop, cool, chamber jazz, fusion ' he's been-there, done-that and more.Hamilton has kept not-the-highest profile the pa
29.01.2011

Daryl Stuermer

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Daryl Stuermer cast a spell over a hometown crowd at the city's outdoor music festival. The band started with 'Icarus Banjo' off of his LIVE AND LEARN CD. The curiously named tune features a jangly guitar and piano that is reminiscent of early Bruce Hornsby. It took little time for Stuermer to show he is the master of lyrical guitar. With a crystal clear sound coming from the P.A. system, the band soared through this song, which could be best described as an 'American anthem.' Keyboardist Kostia
For the last 2 years the Mid-States Jazz Camp in Dayton, Ohio has hired 6 of the worlds finest jazz musicians to work with the young musicians who attend the camp. Each of these years these musicians have traveled 1 hour south to Cincinnati for a Wednesday night performance. Now Wednesday night is not the best night to draw a crowd for a jazz show here. But for the last 2 years "Cecil McBee and the NYC Jazz All-Stars" performed before a large, enthusiastic mid-week audience, with this year's sho
At a time of frayed nerves and weary hearts, Rosemary Clooney took a San Francisco audience under her care and provided solace. She made her entrance walking across a darkened stage on the arm of her husband. Seeing the shadowy figures, the audience surrounded them with applause. When the lights came on, Clooney was sitting in a chair at center stage, flashing her famous smile and easing into a fitting opening. "Gonna take a sentimental journey," she sang in a voice as warm and soothing as a ton
29.01.2011

A Wave Of Peace

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The huge peace event went off fantastically thanks to the strong leadership of KTWV's Morning Show team; saxophonist and radio personality Dave Koz, Jazz Personality Pat Prescott, Director Greg Schoenbaum and Producer Rosemary Jimenez of southern California's powerful smooth jazz station WAVE 94.7. September 11th National Disaster of the attack by the terrorists on the Big Apple and the Pentagon in Washington D.C. were mega-nightmares for ordinary folks who feel that inner peace is an importa
Dianne Reeves is a vocalist with much more than just a great voice - she is an instrumentalist bearing the torch of her idols and keeping jazz vocal music alive and well. Reeves along with her seasoned band, performed a diverse set of material throughout the evening- featuring selections from the Grammy-winner’s latest Blue Note release, "The Calling"(a tribute to Sarah Vaughan), while including a song she penned at age nine. The audience was simply mesmerized as Dianne Reeves performed beautifu
Pianist/composer Burton Greene was/is one of the First Wave of Downtown NYC's avant garde/free jazz scene in the 1960s. He has played/recorded with Marion Brown, Alan Silva, Patty Waters and Pharoah Sanders, and was recorded on the legendary ESP Disk label (and a really rare one for Columbia!). For the past several years has been living and working in Amsterdam, both solo and with Klezmokum. Klezmokum is an ensemble - ranging from four to seven players - that combines loose-limbed, creative jazz
There's a promotional sticker on the Dave Holland Quintet's new release ("Not for Nothin'") that says something to the effect of "the best working band in jazz today." A consumer can usually throw such a statement into the waste pile of glib marketing hyperbole. However, after having heard the band at the Regattabar in Harvard Square on Saturday, September 29, I cannot think of too many jazz units more deserving of that title. The group led off the first set of the last night of their th
The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis will embark on a 46-city U.S. United in Swing Tour beginning September 13, 2001, drawing on a vast repertoire from the history of jazz to the delight of audiences around the country, with an emphasis on Coltrane and Mingus, and original works. Speaking as a designated UN Messenger of Peace, Mr. Marsalis said, "Wherever the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra plays throughout the world, audiences have the same joyous reaction to the pulse
The 2001 version of this event just ended and in this writers opinion it was a huge success. This is based primarily on the very positive fan reaction, enthusiasm generated by the performers, and my own humble opinion based on the mission of the founders of this event, more information on these views are explained at http://kmjazz.com/bg.htm. I have been to the Jazz Trax Catalina festival eight times and would recommend it to anyone, but considering that Kettle Moraine is a benefit and wa
Saturday night, in Rosendale, NY, that wisp of a town near the Hudson, three members of Joe McPhee's Bluette, Joe Giardullo, Michael Bisio, and Joe, himself, continued no doubt in the same musical vein as they had been while at the Guelph Jazz Festival just a day before. It does not take much on the part of the listener except the willingness to listen in order to hear the breadth , sincerity, commitment and beauty in the music that these three musicians played. Described as an
Composer/pianist Satoko Fujii makes it to NYC about once a year or so, so this show was indeed An Event. Though she lives in Japan (and she studied music at Berklee, incidentally), she's maintained a semi-regular American trio with Mark Dresser (bass) and Jim Black (bass), with who she's recorded several CDs on the Tzadik, Enja and Ewe labels. It was this trio that blew the roof off the mothersucka NYC jazz/etc. club Tonic on one otherwise calm 'n' cozy September night. Fujii has a nift
Mid-August is always a predictable time in Chicago. The days get shorter; the wind whips around a little bit harder; each day gets a little bit cooler as autumn rears its ugly head. We Chicagoans are notorious for milking summer for all it's worth, which might be the real reason that the Chicago Jazz Festival is held on Labor Day weekend every year like clockwork. To this writer, there is something magical about sitting by the lake, taking in memorable melodies as the breeze from the lake keeps
Sandip Burman's all-star ensemble blew a cross-cultural wind into Milwaukee's Shank Hall on a hot August night. Sandip (pronounced San-deep) is a master tabla drummer from Calcutta, India. He used his energy and charm to convince some of fusion's biggest names to take a chance on playing his Indian music. The band's line up is: drummer Steve Smith (Journey/Vital Information), violinist Jerry Goodman (Mahavishnu Orchestra), harmonica and keyboardist Howard Levy (Bela Fleck & the Flecktones), bass
On a rainy Chicago night, Gregg Bendian brought his Interzone ensemble into the historic Schuba’s Tavern in the city’s Wicker Park area. The small hall was perfect for the mostly acoustic band. The sound was crisp and clear, and full of details. The band was touring in support of its recently released third CD, Requiem For Jack Kirby. Kirby was the famed comic book artist who redefined the art form with his work on the X-Men, Spider Man, The Fantastic Four, and many others. Bendian's comp
On Saturday night, August 11, there was a concert at the Flywheel Arts Center in Easthampton, MA that made perfect sense as an entire unit of performances. The performance coordinator, whom I believe is Matt Weston, combined successfully disparate elements in his choices for performers: the first set I understood in a classical context; the second set was totally different from the former, i.e. improvised rock (hey!); and the last set calmed and coagulated the sense of all the music in the form
Gospel Jazz is fast gaining credibility as a musical genre to be reckoned with, and saxophonist Ron Brown's "Jazz In The Spirit" concert this past July helped to certify its musical strength. Over 1400 people filled Greater Bethany Community Church in Los Angeles as Ron Brown, Kirk Whalum and guitarist Doc Powell brought their powerful musicianship and even more moving testimony. All three performers have recorded together over the past decade, and the crowd was treated to classic duets; Brown a