Lee Prosser

Lee Prosser

Returning from a drizzly, sometimes sunny, but absolutely wonderful weekend of jazz, my head still echoes with the 27 (out of 200+) performances I saw during the 3-day event. It was impossible to see everyone on my list, but what I saw was memorable at this 25th anniversary year of North Sea Jazz in beautiful Holland.

A Brief Founding History

The Founding Father, Pilgrim and Godfather of the North Sea Jazz Festival was Paul Acket. He was an important figure in presenting the American jazz

ARCHIE SHEPP QUARTET

Striding coolly onto stage where Tom McClung, piano, Wayne Dockery, bass and Steve McCraven, drums lies in wait, Archie Shepp steps up to the microphone. Reminiscent of NY nights, Archie is sharp in his black suit, black hat and light blue, polka dot silk tie. The lights are low, but the overhead spotlight shines down to capture the character of that great looking jazz face. At 63, Archie is still a great musician, pulling harmonic structures, swing, tonal passages, a

MICHAEL BRECKER & PAT METHENY SPECIAL QUARTET

Performing in the large Staten Hall, the special quartet of Michael Brecker-tenor sax, Pat Metheny-guitar, Larry Goldings-keyboards and Bill Stewart-drums bent the airwaves to a large crowd of cheering fans. The dream team quartet gave the crowd a nice blend from scorching too-hot-to-handle riffs to the dreamy smooth jazz styling with Brecker taking the lead.

Brecker surprised me, however, with some funky stuff and simply went off on the openin

SANBORN, SAMPLE, BONA & BLADE

This performance was another great edition of "the legends" band of Marcus Miller, Eric Clapton, Steve Gadd, Joe Sample and David Sanborn. SSBB is a great band and Sanborn always surrounds himself with the best musicians around. This band was no exception with Joe Sample-piano, David Sanborn-sax, Richard Bona-bass, guitar, vocals and Brian Blade-drums.

Feeling a bit achy and wanting still another long night's sleep, Joe Sample looked none-the-worse for wear a

Last night, at a community supported performance space, FLYWHEEL, in Easthampton, Ma., two local musicians, Ben Karetnick on drums and Phloyd Starpoli on trombone were complemented in a trio by Joe McPhee on reeds and brass.

The first set began as Ben rolled to snap the snare. His sticks were light on the drum heads and cymbals, moving into a rhythm which was intercepted by Phloyd. Phloyd played in a pattern of slow to fast notes, trying to find his groove. Ben continued to maintain the rhyth

According to Don Byron, clarinetist par excellence, the title of this article is how he proposed that the audience listen to the music created by his group at the Iron Horse in Northampton, last Friday night. The group consisted of Byron on clarinet, James Zollar, trumpet, Edsel Gomez, piano, Ben Whitman, drums, Leo Traversa, bass and Milton Cardona, congas. There were only three numbers in one set lasting two hours.

Byron dominated this gig. His playing is complex: he doubles and triple pla

Medeski, Martin and Wood (MM&W) first came to my attention about two years ago, the bush telegraph had indicated new and bright stars in the West. A trio, like no other, who had origins in the mainstream of jazz but had found their way to the fore by a long and winding road, that of the US collegiate circuit, normally a path trodden by aspiring rock outfits. Indeed they played support originally, to one of the growing "Jam Bands" A Tribe called West, and others such as Phish, Dave Matthews, Aqua
Last night at the Knitting Factory, the Old Office was jammed with people to see OTHER DIMENSIONS IN MUSIC with guest, Joe McPhee on soprano sax & pocket trumpet. The group is made up of William Parker, bass, Roy Campbell, trumpet, flugelhorn & pocket trumpet, Daniel Carter, tenor, and Rashid Bakr, drums.

Seeing this group surprisingly closed a cycle that unknowingly started three years ago when I first heard it at a concert in Amherst, Ma. OTHER DIMENSIONS offered me the first music of its

I recently moved to Chicago to further my career in journalism -that is, I have an internship at a magazine called the Chicago Reporter (http://www.chicagoreporter.com) and figured (grin) that as long as I am here I might as well as enjoy the great music that this city has been producing for so many years (grin). Nobody personifies Chicago jazz better than Fred Anderson. Now 73, Anderson has been playing music for sixty years during the tenure 12 presidents -only two of which have blood relative
Saxophonist/composer Edward Wilkerson, Jr. is one of the most prolific members of Chicago's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). His work touches upon styles as diverse as Ellington's "jungle music" of the twenties, hard bop, New Orleans ragtime, sixties avant-garde, orchestral composition, and an optimistic view toward the future of jazz. All of this is infused with a wonderful sense of humor and joy that even first-time listeners of his music can notice. Like Ellington