Bryan Zoran

Bryan Zoran

A night of outstanding music began with the Henry Grimes Quartet. His beautiful green bass caught my eye from the moment I walked in. His playing caught my ear from the moment he picked it up until he stopped playing. The quartet started out the set with more experimental compositions and moved to less dissonant material, closing with the familiar Sonny Rollins set finale Oleo. More often than not, sets of music usually flow in the opposite direction, becoming more experimental as the night goes
On a typical night, jazz masters Jack DeJohnette and Dave Holland are leading their own groups in any number of theatres and clubs around the globe. On this particular night, they were part of another jazz master’s trio, the venerable Herbie Hancock. Including the encore, an inspired version of Maiden Voyage that began with a brief bluesy run that transformed into an extended introduction by Hancock, the trio delivered a 105-minute set covering six selections.

The evening started with Herbie

Cassandra Wilson graced the Pabst Theatre stage on Sunday evening, March 21. The most inspiring vocalist over the last decade, she has a brilliance no one can deny. The latest group she has assembled is a wonderful collection of musicians who create a full, almost orchestral, sound that is the perfect complement to her voice.

Her set began with a song from her 1993 release Blue Light Til Dawn, entitled Children of the Night, a stirring, almost haunting number that set the tone for the evening


Roy Haynes Day

Published in Concert Reviews
The President of Milwaukee’s Common Council, Marvin Pratt and a jazz drummer from Milwaukee, Victor Campbell presented legendary bebop artist Roy Haynes with a Proclamation, making May 31 Roy Haynes Day. Graciously accepting the award, Roy seemed a bit surprised to receive a Proclamation from the city of Milwaukee. When he recently told a friend he had a gig in Wisconsin they asked "Do people like jazz in Wisconsin?" Nonetheless, Roy seemed impressed with the Proclamation and with the enthusiasm
When the spotlight shines on Dianne Reeves, she shines right back. In her element, she draws in the audience from the moment she walks on stage and keeps their attention until the moment she walks off. Her voice is mesmerizing and she showcased it starting with the introduction, singing "Welcome, I am so happy to be here tonight and I hope you are too. The band has been working on some special music to play tonight just for you "

The thing that amazed me about Dianne Reeves’ voice is h

When Poncho Sanchez walked off the plane in Milwaukee on Saturday morning he had over half a dozen voice mail messages. Mongo Santamaria had passed away only hours ago in Miami. In honor of the major contributions he made to the music, Poncho’s entire first set that evening consisted of selections either written or performed by the master. Riveting bass lines, hot trumpet solos and aggressive saxophone work marked the early part of the set, which began with Black Stockings. Poncho really let loo
Taj Mahal spoke of Americana and how folks in this country are now just beginning to appreciate the beautiful diversity and amazing history of something people in other parts of the world have enjoyed for many years. He then proceeded to cut a slice. An amazing musician and songwriter, Taj Mahal is one of those rare talents who encompass a plethora of styles but yet has a style all his own.

Because of his vast library of tunes, fans wonder in anticipation of what gem they might hear next. Fis


A True Gem

Published in Concert Reviews
As the inventor of the solid-body electric guitar and multi-track recording, Les Paul’s role in shaping the sound of modern music cannot be overstated. From his string of hit records with Bing Crosby and Mary Ford in the 1940s and 1950s and his innovative studio in Hollywood of the same era to the greatest rock guitarists using his signature Les Paul Model Guitar and his Grammy-winning recording with Chet Atkins in 1976, Les Paul’s stamp is evident over the changing sound of popular music throug
The second week of Elvin Jones’ two-week 75th Birthday Festival paid homage to his late, great friend and musical soulmate John Coltrane. Together they expanded the jazz canon. Gathered for the honor of playing tenor saxophone this evening were Ravi Coltrane, John’s son, and Mark Shim, two fresh, inventive soloists. The spotlight was on Shim early. One of Elvin’s originals, E.J. Blues, started off the night. The band came out roarin’. Mark really stretched out on this composition. Solos followed
Much anticipation preceded the show. Getting an opportunity to celebrate the final night of Elvin Jones’ weeklong Birthday Engagement at the Blue Note is a blessing for any jazz fanatic. He has blazed a path over the last half century that has redefined the most essential aspect of the art form: rhythm.

The evening started with a rendition of Hello Brother. Trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis’ New Orleans heritage was evident on this Louis Armstrong classic. He took the first solo and his eloquent p

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