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The 15th Anniversary of the Long Beach Jazz Festival once again proved to be one of the most long awaited and successful event of the year. Jazz enthusiasts attended the festival in record numbers over the three-day weekend of August 9th, 10th, and 11th at the Lagoon Park in Long Beach, California. Friday night’s performances belong Al Jarreau, Alphonse Mouzon and Eugene Groove. Drummer/keyboardist, Alphonse Mouzon multi-talented musician dazzled the audience with his great creativity and uncann
As part of the 2002 week-long jazz festival, the Sarasota Jazz Club presented Don Scaletta’s Jazz Orchestra in a tribute to Stan Kenton. The mostly gray-haired crowd filed into Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and hunkered down for the matinee of music.Before the Scaletta band appeared, vibraphonist Peter Appleyard performed with a quartet featuring Eddie Higgins on piano. Appleyard delighted the audience with his stories about Lionel Hampton and played some classic Hampton riffs, one with Appl
Touring in support of their new CD release, Show Em Where You Live, Vital Information tore it up in Milwaukee. Opening with the jazz/funk of Mr. T.C., the band set the tone for the evening. Featuring the "B3" organ sound of Tom Coster, the nimble guitar of Frank Gambale, the solid groove of bassist Baron Browne, and the driving drums of leader Steve Smith, the band plays a thoroughly modernized 60s/70s instrumental funk sound. If you can imagine Booker T & the MG's, Junior Walker,
The third of the 2002 revival of Eremite Records’ Meetinghouse Concerts featured Joe McPhee on saxophones and Paul Hession on drums. The miracle of spring opens the doors for enlivening insights and feelings that lay deep inside me waiting to come out while the clouds and low pressure still hover. Last night’s concert opened those doors. It presented to me the ways in which McPhee is bringing to his playing the foundations which laid the groundwork for his evolution (as is exemplified in
Critics and fans of mainstream jazz and more experimental improvised music rarely agree on much but both laud trumpeter Dave Douglas. In the nine years since his first release as a leader, Parallel Worlds on the Italian Soul Note label, the 39-year old Douglas has come to be widely regarded as one of the most gifted and accomplished musicians and composers of the current period. For several years I've been a fan of John Zorn's Masada, a quartet that specializes in combing free jazz an
A capacity crowd turned out on a stormy night to see Daryl Stuermer as he debuted a selection of new songs with his band. He explained that he had a streak where he wrote eight songs in three weeks. The results were heard right from the start of the tight show. Retrofit is a funky groove where the band dug in. Keyboardist Kostia played a B-3ish organ sound while Daryl’s guitar soared on top with a gritty solo. The powerful song was a great show opener. It’s Your Move settled int

East Coast Jazz 2002

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I walked in the front door of the DoubleTree Hotel Rockville and was greeted not by a member of the hotel, but by the sounds of music... sweet music - horns, piano, drums - and applause. Not every hotel greets its guest this way, except during the East Coast Jazz Festival. Musicians from around the globe are invited to showcase their talents. It's a warm, friendly and very inviting atmosphere. After getting my bearings, and there is a lot to see, everything from the vendors (clothing, paintings,
The Hal Leonard Jazz Series brings to Milwaukee one of the premier "Young Lions" of the jazz music industry. Imagine seeing the great Lionel Hampton or Milt Jackson when they had just began to crave out their many years of establishing the vibraphone as an accepted part of the jazz music scene. Well the 28-year old Stefon Harris is continuing that lineage today by exploring uncharted pathways of composition and jazz performance with the vibraphone. With a B.A. in classical music and a M.A. in ja
On April 5th, 2002 the Pat Metheny Group put on a show to remember at The Broward Center for the Performing Arts. This was a performance I couldn't wait to go to. I wish I had the money to travel to every city they perform in during 2002. The concert was everything I expected and much more. In addition, the Center has wonderful acoustics, so that contributed to the richness of the performance, sound and lighting. I don't think there's a bad seat in the house.In my opinion, there's no oth

Back To The Bridge

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Featuring Joshua Redman (tenor saxophone) Bill Frisell (guitar) Brian Blade (drums) Larry Grenadier (standup bass) I’m a guy who makes things up as I go along so nothing is ever going to be finished There are so many different ways to approach a piece of music in my mind That’s why you always have to practice. If you’re not practicing, you’re not going to be there when the revelation comes. - Sonny Rollins Back to ‘The Bridge’ at the Herbst Theater was an all-sta
Despite being in his 80s, master jazz pianist Hank Jones displayed the endurance of a young lion. Two sets of music amounted to roughly three hours of the straight-ahead jazz for which Hank Jones has come to be known. I have attended other jazz shows at this venue that offered only half as much music. The length of the sets, with so many different tunes, made one realize the wealth of knowledge and library of music someone with Jones’ experience and stature has to draw on. To set the tone, he be
The second in the Magic Triangle Concert Series out of UMass/Amherst brought to the stage the group BREW, featuring Miya Masaoka on Japanese koto and electronics, Reggie Workman on bass, and Gerry Hemingway on percussion. Ms. Masaoka definitely acted as the controlling mechanism for these two sets of music. Her selection of musicians to join her trio was in some ways academically arrogant. She represented contemporary creative improvised music; Workman was hand-picked to represent the ep
Often the best moments of a concert are the unexpected ones. So it was with the Pat Metheny Group’s concert in Milwaukee. Touring behind the band’s latest release, SPEAKING OF NOW (Warner brothers), the concert opened up in an inconspicuous manner, with guitarist/leader Metheny walking out on stage with the house lights still on. He picked up an acoustic guitar, sat on a speaker cabinet and played a solo rendition of Last Train Home, one of the bands best loved songs. Metheny’s gui
During the National Smooth Jazz Awards show in San Diego, co-host Dave Koz said that there is "a brotherhood and sisterhood in smooth jazz that is not found in other genres of music." The performances at the show showed just how true that statement is. From Joyce Cooling and Al Jarreau doing their hit Mmm, Mmm Good to a finale that is just too hard to match, the National Smooth Jazz Awards show showed the reason why packaged concerts featuring a number of smooth jazz headlin
The Magic Triangle Concerts, sponsored by UMass Residential Arts and WMUA Student Radio, began its 13th series with an interpretation of Bach¹s Goldberg Variations by the Uri Caine Ensemble. The ensemble was made up of Cornell Rochester, drums, Barbara Walker, vocals, Ralph Alessi, trumpet, Dave Binney, sax, DJ Olive, turntables, Drew Gress, bass, Joyce Hamman, violin, and Uri Caine, piano. For the last week, I have thought long and hard about how to approach writing this article. In fac
As the songwriter, visionary force, and de facto leader of the Chicago octet 8 Bold Souls for over fifteen years, Edward Wilkerson, Jr. has earned a place among the great tenor saxophonists of that city's tenor royalty- Von Freeman, Ari Brown, and Fred Anderson. Although a member in good standing of the south side collective Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), Wilkerson's talent for improvising gets lost in the shuffle of the compositions of the Souls and his larger big
Now in its tenth year, The Hal Leonard Jazz Series continues to astonish jazz fans in Milwaukee by bringing in the best and biggest names in the world of jazz. This year’s four performance series includes, Stefon Harris Quartet (March 9th), Dr. Billy Taylor Trio (April 13th), Benny Green Trio (May 18th) and starting it all off is The Ray Brown Trio. The name Ray Brown is synonymous with much of jazz history, as we know it today. Ray Brown "The World’s Greatest Bass Player" as he is often call
In (early) observance of Martin Luther King Day, New York City was treated to a concert by two of the most joyfully fieriest jazz players the 60s and 70s produced, respectively: Andrew Cyrille and Oliver Lake. This took place in the performance space of Manhattan’s Museum For African Art, a small but impressive museum and store. Both fellows have played together off and on for years, most notably in the group Trio3 with bassist Reggie Workman, but tonight was devoted to the concept of the duo. T
After a long absence, the Amherst Meetinghouse Music Series, put on by Michael Ehlers, resumed with a startling performance by The Clarinet Trio with Walter Perkins on drums & vocals, Perry Robinson on clarinets and William Parker on bass, flutes, vocals & reed instruments. This group is not at all presumptuous. I could tell that they came together because they are dedicated to their music, they love making the music, their music is the extension of their inner selves to the outside worl
First off: electronics are not The Devil’s Toenails there’s precious little difference between a flute made from a hunk of wood and a digital sampler. Both are designed to help us humans make sounds that we otherwise could not. But then: some of us have from heard from seers, egotistical performers and critics, hypeheads and trendy jackasses that the nebulous genre known as "Electronica" music/sound/noises produced via electronic media was going to supplant rock and/or jazz and/or whatever as TH