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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Inaugural Bali Jazz Festival overcomes terrorist bombing, plays as scheduled with a message of peace :: : The Number One Jazz News Resou

Inaugural Bali Jazz Festival overcomes terrorist bombing, plays as scheduled with a message of peace :: : The Number One Jazz News Resource On The Net :: Jazz News Daily Inaugural Bali Jazz Festival overcomes terrorist bombing, plays as scheduled with a message of peace
Posted by: editoron Monday, November 21, 2005 - 12:40 AM
Jazz News KUTA, Indonesia - The inaugural Bali Jazz Festival came close to “point zero” after terrorist bombings killed 20 people here seven weeks ago. Sponsors and performers cancelled, tourist numbers plummeted, and dogs and security guards became the new welcoming face of the tropical island.

But the three-day festival featuring performers from 10 countries debuted on schedule Nov. 18 - two days after police named three captured men as suspects in the attacks.

Festival organizers regrouped to focus on issues far exceeding typical first-time challenges. The actual location wasn't finalized until two weeks before the event, for instance, and many of the remaining bands didn't want to play opening night.

Total attendance for the 40 concerts on two stages at the Hard Rock Hotel was light, with officials lowering an initial goal of 15,000 down to 2,000. That may have been furthered dampened - literally - by heavy rain the final two days. But they also called their effort part of the healing process and hope positive reaction from participants serves as a foundation for future years.

“We kind of knew that this was not going to be a big knockout in terms of turnout and all that,” said Gita Wirjawan, chairman of the festival's advisory board. “But in terms of what we're doing for Bali and what we're doing for country we couldn't have asked for more.”

None of the dozens of performers and listeners interviewed expressed safety concerns, even as the U.S, Australia and the United Kingdom was issuing fresh travel warnings following the discovery of a Web site detailing tactics for killing foreigners in Indonesia. Canadian pianist Ron Davis said it's an honor playing somewhere with so many languages and cultures, much like his homeland.

“We will go back to Canada and tell people what a beautiful country this is,” he told fellow musicians, event organizers and dignitaries during a performance with his trio at a pre- festival gala dinner. “There is nothing to be afraid of.”

The words “bird flu,” incidentally, weren't mentioned by anyone despite a recent barrage of worldwide headlines due to recent deaths here and elsewhere in Asia.

Plans for a free, five-stage outdoor festival were scrapped after the bombings, with the Hard Rock Hotel accepting the event at the last minute. While a fitting setting for a tourist island venue, including a sand beach and pool in front of the main outdoor stage, it meant admission fees, limited capacity and struggling for advance publicity.

“Everybody was saying we are crazy because this is a very short time,” said Agus Basuni, the festival's artistic director. “Even the professionals were saying we cannot make it.”

Most listeners were locals, with few calling themselves hardcore jazz fans, but Paolo Precchia, on a business trip from his home of Napoli, Italy, was among those making an extra effort to hear what he called “very special music” by Indonesian performers.

“I was coming here anyhow, but when I learned about the festival I adjusted the days,” he said during an opening night concert at the Hard Rock Cafe stage. He said he was planning to return for at least one of the two remaining nights to hear the Indonesian world/fusion band Saharadja, a personal favorite.

The Oct. 1 suicide bombings occurring almost simultaneously at three restaurants revived fears sparked by a 2002 bombing in Bali that killed 202 people. Police captured suspects believed to be involved in planning the recent attack during a Nov. 9 raid in Batu, East Java, and are seeking further suspects.

Even before the attack there seemed to be skepticism among music association representatives about a festival in Bali, said Eric Bonhomme, Saharadja's band manager. The country already hosts two annual jazz festivals and there is little interest in the genre among the general population.

“The thought was there not much hope,” he said. “But if you just do what people say is possible then you never experiment and you never discover what is possible yourself.”

The festival lost sponsors and its biggest international names, including the James Taylor Quartet and Harvey Mason, after the bombings. Wirjawan, runs J.P. Morgan's operations in Indonesia, was brought in a few weeks before the festival for his organizational experience - and much-needed financial contacts.

“I called a lot of friends,” he said. “If you look in the festival book maybe 80 percent of those (sponsors) are my friends.”

Others also rallied to assist what officials were already calling the country's first music festival organized through community work.

“After the blasts all the restaurant and hotel associations in Bali pledged their support to us,” Basuni said.

Officials are already talking about next year's festival - and this time planning is scheduled to start within a couple of months. Reviving the multiple open-stage setting and bringing in well-known international performers are among the top priorities. Wirjawan, who lists luring pianist Bob James among his goals, said he hopes given Bali's popularity as a tourist destination that within five or 10 years a festival comparable to large-scale events such as the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands might be possible.

“If we do this well these people will go home and say good things about us, and we can only do better - unless have another bomb explosion,” Wirjawan said. - Reviews - Wynton With Strings - Reviews - Wynton With StringsWynton With Strings

(Frederick P. Rose Hall, Rose Theater, Lincoln Center; 1,231 capacity; $130 top)

A presentation of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Opened Nov. 17, 2005. Reviewed Nov. 18. Closed Nov. 19.

Wynton Marsalis Quintet with Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Robert Sadin.
Musicians: Marsalis, artistic director/trumpet; Walter Blanding, tenor sax; Dan Nimmer, piano; Carlos Henriques, bass; Ali Jackson, bass.


(Frederick P. Rose Hall, Rose Theater, Lincoln Center; 1,231 capacity; $130 top)

A presentation of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Wynton Marsalis Quintet with Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Robert Sadin. Musicians: Marsalis, artistic director/trumpet; Walter Blanding, tenor sax; Dan Nimmer, piano; Carlos Henriques, bass; Ali Jackson, bass. Opened Nov. 17, 2005. Reviewed Nov. 18. Closed Nov. 19.


There comes a time in the career of every jazz musician when he wants to explore the romanticism of playing to the lush accompaniment of a string section. Celebrating 25 years as a premier soloist, Wynton Marsalis embraced the luxurious cushion of strings for a three-night stand at the home of Jazz at Lincoln Center. The result found a jazz giant nestled in a comfort zone.

Marsalis first traversed the terrain with his own "Hot House Flowers" and "The Midnight Blues," but there was a new maturity and a weathered sense of emotional candor in his playing here. His phrasing and rhythmic structure is always changing. He explores the color patterns of a ballad with a knowing sense of insight and grace. He must hear the lyrics in his head, enabling him to reveal the deep hurt of a torch song with knowing insight.

The repertoire leaned toward the big hurt, beginning with Richard Rodgers' "It Never Entered My Mind." With a tone that was crystal clear and luxuriously bright, plus poised phrasing, Marsalis quickly set the pace for a sweet evening of melancholia. With "Baby, Won't You Please Come Home," his muted wah-wahs recalled legendary Ellington trumpeter Bubber Miley.

Walter Blanding, whose sweeping tenor added a velvety carpet for Hoagy Carmichael's "Stardust," provided seductive counterbalance. Blanding also played "Just Friends" as a gentle jump tune, accenting the dry austerity of a crisply muted Marsalis.

The string section, under the dancing direction of conductor Robert Sadin, provided a cushiony blanket for the ballads and the exotic arrangement of Juan Tizol's "Caravan." Bolstered by a well-tailored rhythm section, Marsalis took a wistful desert journey.

Jule Styne's "Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out to Dry" best summed up the concert's mood. Punctuated with brittle, high-register short takes, the Marsalis horn proved one could be both wry and puckish when telling a sad tale.

Carlos "Patato" Valdes' Birthday Tribute featuring Candido & Nicky Marrero at Satalla November 25 :: : The Number One Jazz News Resource

Carlos "Patato" Valdes' Birthday Tribute featuring Candido & Nicky Marrero at Satalla November 25 :: : The Number One Jazz News Resource On The Net :: Jazz News Daily Carlos "Patato" Valdes' Birthday Tribute featuring Candido & Nicky Marrero at Satalla November 25
Posted by: editoron Monday, November 21, 2005 - 08:02 AM
Jazz News ”Carlos Patato Valdes is arguably the most melodic of all congueros. The inventor of the tuned conga drum, he sings on his instrument like no other percussionist” ~All About Jazz
New York, NY - November 2005 - Cuban percussion pioneer Carlos “Patato” Valdes celebrates his birthday with a little help from his friends on Friday, November 25 at Satalla World Music Club, 37 West 26th Street, NYC at 7:30 pm and 10 pm. Special guests include Candido Camero, Nicky Marrero and Sonny Bravo. Tickets for this 7:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. event, produced by Charles Carlini of the Carlini Group, are $22.50 in advance or $25 at the door. Purchase your tickets online today at

A true Cuban legend who has lived in New York since 1954, Patato is considered by many to be the greatest living Cuban conga player and a man who has influenced an entire generation of percussionists. Patato is a master conguero who has played with every giant in the history of salsa and jazz including Machito, Cachao, Mario Bauza, Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Tito Puente and Quincy Jones.

For over 60 years Carlos “Patato” Valds has demonstrated how a musician can combine technical skill with superb showmanship. His conga playing demonstrates the fusing of melody and rhythm, and his understanding of rhythm is rooted in dance. His use of melodic percussion was well ahead of his time, and required advances in drum technology; during the late 1940's he helped develop the first tunable congas. Now in his 70's, and still going strong, Valds is considered one of the greatest conga players ever to tap the skins. He has played with most of the great figures in the Latin Jazz movement of the 1950s, including a lengthy stint with Herbie Mann's groundbreaking septet and multiple recordings with Tito Puente. He is also the man who gave Brigitte Bardot a mambo lesson in “And God Created Woman.”

Come celebrate with this living legend in an intimate birthday celebration at Satalla, the day after Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 18, 2005

James Blood Ulmer's Birthright Wins Blues Album of the Year in DownBeat 2005 Readers' Poll :: : The Number One Jazz News Resource On The

James Blood Ulmer's Birthright Wins Blues Album of the Year in DownBeat 2005 Readers' Poll :: : The Number One Jazz News Resource On The Net :: Jazz News Daily James Blood Ulmer's Birthright Wins Blues Album of the Year in DownBeat 2005 Readers' Poll
Posted by: editoron Thursday, November 17, 2005 - 10:28 PM
Jazz News New York, NY -- Earlier this year, the legendary American music iconoclast, James Blood Ulmer, released his first ever solo recording, Birthright. The album, which features Ulmer alone on vocals and guitar, quickly drew critical acclaim, garnering praise from the likes of national publications such as DownBeat, Guitar Player, Jazz Times, Jazziz, Living Blues, No Depression and Rolling Stone, while newspapers including the Chicago Sun Times, Minneapolis City Pages, Seattle Post Intelligencer and The Washington Post declared it one of this year's most important blues records. Now, James Blood Ulmer's Birthright has been voted “Blues Album of the Year” in DownBeat Magazine's 70th Annual Readers Poll. The poll, based solely on votes by DownBeat's readers, validates the critical praise Birthright has received by reflecting the opinion of the fans. It's a well-deserved honor for an artist whose music has undergone a creative renaissance and commercial rediscovery in recent years. Long regarded as one of the most inventive guitarists of his generation, Ulmer's reputation has slowly morphed from avant-garde jazz visionary to an elder statesman of the blues. In fact, Ulmer covers all this ground and more.

Produced by Vernon Reid, the 12-track Birthright is far and away the most stark and deeply personal work of Ulmer's career. Based primarily on original material, songs like “Geechee Joe,” “Take My Music Back To The Church,” “Where Did All the Girls Come From” “The Evil One” and “White Man's Jail” deal directly with Ulmer's upbringing in segregated South Carolina and his migration North as a working musician. Ulmer continually confronts the church, trying to make amends with his past. Raised a strict Baptist, his career in secular music was long viewed by his parents as the devil's work. It's fascinating to watch Ulmer's public struggle unfold through these songs. On Birthright, Ulmer also tackles two classics of the blues' idiom, “Sittin' On Top of the World” and “I Ain't Superstitious,” and completely reinvents them with his idiosyncratic guitar tuning and guttural vocal moan that harkens back to the blues most primitive origins in Africa, yet simultaneously sounding amongst the most modern blues of the day. The album is rounded out by two instrumental pieces, “Love Dance Rag” and “High Yellow,” which are gloriously free and abstract guitar meditations.

Birthright was released on the heels of two full-blown James Blood Ulmer blues albums: Memphis Blood: The Sun Sessions & No Escape From the Blues: The Electric Lady Sessions. Ulmer was joined on these dates by a seven piece band, including producer and guitarist Vernon Reid. They found Ulmer interpreting some of the genre's most classic material. It was Reid's assertion that Ulmer wasn't merely playing the blues, but that he'd actually lived the life of the characters in those very songs. Despite the success of those two albums, when it came time for a follow up, Ulmer insisted that the music be stripped bare and that he deliver his own personal revelations and stories through original songs. Thus Birthright was born.

2005 was one of the busiest years in recent time for Ulmer. It saw him perform numerous dates around the world, including a string of blues festivals this past summer. He'll finish the year with a solo performance at The Ark in Ann Arbor, Michigan on November 30th, while laying low for the majority of December to work on new material. Plans are already underway for the follow up to Birthright, however, tour dates are stacking up for 2006, including extended tours of Europe and a seven night stand at New York City's Jazz Standard in March. This special hometown run will feature a different side of Ulmer's music each night, ranging from his solo blues to the Odyssey Blues Band (with Charlie Burnham & Warren Benbow) to his power trio Man Vs. Machine (with Calvin G. Weston & Jamaladeen Tacuma) to the Memphis Blood band. With the recent DownBeat “Blues Album of the Year” honors, Ulmer is sure to find a growing audience for Birthright's powerful and riveting songs. And word is sure to spread further and wider about James Blood Ulmer, an artist who nearly 50 years into his career is creating his most vital and important music yet.

“The blues - ancient and modern, from Blind Willie McTell to Ornette Coleman - have always run deep in this South Carolinian's black rock and future jazz. But on Birthright, there is nothing but blues: just Ulmer's subterranean rock-slide moan and spider dance guitar improvisations, in stark, original memoirs...Ulmer has taken the long road home...But he sounds like he never left” - David Fricke, Rolling Stone

“The most authentic and important blues preacher since the Rev. Gary Davis. This album is a modern milestone in the story of the blues.” - Bill White, Seattle Post Intelligencer

“Ulmer's new CD, 'Birthright,' cements his standing as a leading interpreter of the blues. Reminiscent in spirit of blues legend Robert Johnson's seminal 1930s recordings, 'Birthright' offers a transcendent and edgy performance by the guitarist.” -- Andrew Schwartz, Washington Post

“The number of bonafide original contributions to the musical language of the blues in the last 30 years are as scarce as hair on a Mississippi bullfrog. Junior Kimbrough's All Night Long and Otis Taylor's Respect the Dead come immediately to mind. One must now add James Blood Ulmer's Birthright to this short list and it may be the most groundbreaking of all.” - Dave Rubin, Guitar Player Magazine

“James Blood Ulmer returns to the music of his forebears with a stunning testimonial to the spiritual, psychic, social and existential intensity that's been at the heart of the blues expression since the beginning and continues to inform the true living blues tradition. - David Whiteis, Living Blues

“...a solo delta blues disc that is both intimate and epic in scope, with 10 frequently extraordinary original compositions among its dozen songs. Ulmer's acoustic guitar playing is jagged, subtle, multi-textural, and unpredictable. His vocals are tremulous, conversationally grave, and emotionally forthright. Dovetailed together--song, guitar, voice--it was a resonant and arresting thing to listen to even before New Orleans was laid to waste.” - Britt Robson, Minneapolis City Pages

“Whether Ulmer has been reinvented or merely unmasked as a blues artist is immaterial. The genre has its most original voice since the rediscovery of R.L. Burnside. Let's pay attention.” - Lee Mergner, Harp Magazine

For more information on James Blood Ulmer, contact Kevin Calabro at HYENA Records: 718.369.6567 or

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Jazz: World Saxophone Quartet/McCoy Tyner - First night reviews - Times Online

Jazz: World Saxophone Quartet/McCoy Tyner - First night reviews - Times OnlineJazz: World Saxophone Quartet/McCoy Tyner
Alyn Shipton at Barbican

Since his death in 1970 Jimi Hendrix has been fair game for jazz musicians to turn his music into the basis for something new. The legendary arranger Gil Evans was one high-profile example, and our own Brit-jazz group Acoustic Ladyland is another.

Yet in comparison with them, the high-energy, utterly committed tribute from the World Saxophone Quartet was the real deal. Hendrix pushed outrageous stagecraft farther than any other musician of his generation, and in the wild alto saxophone solos of Oliver Lake and Bruce Williams, constantly alternating between freedom and control, the Hendrix spirit was alive and kicking.

Opening with the four saxophones of Lake, Williams, Hamiet Bluiett and David Murray, the band showed how to create powerful excitement without a rhythm section. The music ebbed and flowed, Bluiett’s chunky baritone holding everything steady as the four horns mixed free solos and arranged passages of harmonic ingenuity with brilliant control.

Then they were joined by Jamaaladeen Tacuma on bass and Lee Pearson on drums, plus the trombonist Craig Harris. On a searching exploration of Wind Cries Mary, Harris held in check his usual penchant for overlong solos, turning in some fine playing, and a beautiful recitation of the lyric, while Murray’s tenor gusted breathily through the ensemble. On Machine Gun, bass and drums came into their own, with Pearson’s show-stopping routine including playing with his arms crossed behind his back, balancing his sticks on his head, and thrumming out rhythms on the stage. Hendrix would have loved it.

It was a shame that this was the warm-up to a perfunctory set by a grand master in decline. McCoy Tyner is one of the great jazz pianists, with a technique to match Oscar Peterson’s and an inventiveness that made him John Coltrane’s quartet partner for several years. Here, in a bombastic set with the thudding drums of Eric Gravatt drowning out his occasional moments of inspiration, McCoy was a shadow of his former self, and an anticlimax after the WSQ’s coruscating showmanship.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Jazz HQ: Trumpeter and Jazz at Lincoln Center artistic director Wynton Marsalis marks a quarter century at the vanguard.

Jazz HQ: Trumpeter and Jazz at Lincoln Center artistic director Wynton Marsalis marks a quarter century at the vanguard. Trumpeter and Jazz at Lincoln Center artistic director Wynton Marsalis marks a quarter century at the vanguard.

Wynton Marsalis (right) at the Higher Ground benefit concert in SeptemberFor 25 years, Wynton Marsalis has made his presence known in the world of jazz. As he has matured as a musician, he has also taken on more responsibilities. As an artist, Marsalis has honed his chops to a razor's edge. His dedication to America's original art form of jazz speaks volumes. Marsalis's commitment to improving people's lives through music and his contributions to the arts paint a portrait of his character and humanity. He is internationally respected as a teacher and as a spokesman for music education.

Last year's Grand Opening of Jazz at Lincoln Center's new home on Broadway at 60th Street, was a highlight in his career. The creation of Frederick P. Rose Hall has solidified a permanent performance facility for jazz music, and Marsalis tied it all together.

As a jazz musician, composer, bandleader, advocate for the arts, and educator, Marsalis has helped propel jazz music to the forefront of American culture. In April 1997, he became the first jazz artist ever to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize in music for his work Blood on the Fields, which was commissioned by Jazz at Lincoln Center. His work with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, as both music director and trumpeter, has included collaborations with the London Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Russian National Orchestra, and the Orchestre Nacional de France.

As the Artistic Director for Jazz at Lincoln Center, he's worked with everyone from the Library of Congress and the Apollo Theater to the New York City Ballet and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. An artist of great strength and fortitude, Marsalis's schedule has been magnified to include more ventures at Frederick P. Rose Hall, in addition to his international and national tours with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

Born on October 18, 1961 in New Orleans, Wynton Marsalis is the second of six sons to Ellis and Dolores Marsalis. At six years of age, he was bitten by the stage bug when he performed traditional New Orleans music in the Fairview Baptist Church band. Marsalis began studying the trumpet seriously at age 12 and played with local marching bands, jazz and funk bands, and classical youth orchestras.

In 1979 Marsalis entered The Juilliard School in New York City to study classical trumpet, but later that same year, he had the opportunity to sit in with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. The rest is history. In 1980, he joined Blakey's legendary band and hit the road. In the years to follow, Marsalis was invited to play with Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie, Gerry Mulligan, John Lewis, Harry Sweets Edison, Clark Terry, Sonny Rollins, and many more jazz legends.

Marsalis made his recording debut as a leader in 1982. Over the years, he has produced a catalogue of more than 40 jazz and classical recordings for Columbia Jazz and Sony Classical, which have won him nine Grammy Awards. In 1983, he became the first and only artist to win both classical and jazz Grammy Awards in one year, and repeated this feat in 1984. In 1999, he released eight new recordings in his unprecedented Swinging into the 21st series, which included a seven-CD boxed set of live performances from the Village Vanguard. Also in 1999, Marsalis presented All Rise, an epic composition for big band, gospel choir, and symphony orchestra, performed by the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Kurt Masur along with the Morgan State University Choir and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. In 2003 Marsalis signed to Blue Note Records, and his debut CD, a quartet recording entitled The Magic Hour, hit the stores in March 2004.

This year alone, Marsalis has released the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra's A Love Supreme (Palmetto Records), as well as Wynton Marsalis--Amongst the People--Live at the House of Tribes (Blue Note Records). This recording features him in an octet setting, allowing him the freedom to step out of the unified orchestra arrangements. Critics have praised this release, recorded December 15, 2002.

For his many achievements, Time magazine selected Marsalis as one of America's most promising leaders under age 40 in 1995 and, in 1996, as one of America's 25 most influential people. He was also named one of "The Most Influential Boomers" by Life magazine.

But perhaps his greatest achievement was recently realized. As a native son of New Orleans, Marsalis was instrumental in organizing Jazz at Lincoln Center's September 17, 2005, Higher Ground Hurricane Relief Benefit Concert and Auction, which featured an array of legendary jazz artists and renowned actors. Hosted by Laurence Fishburne, the multi-hour program was televised nationally on PBS and BET Jazz, and broadcast on National Public Radio and XM Satellite Radio. Overall, the event raised more than $2 million which will help those individuals and families evacuated from the greater New Orleans area as they address immediate concerns related to housing, food, education, health care, and basic survival necessities

Marsalis continues to tour the world with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. He continues to raise the roof at Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center. And he continues to raise the spirits of fellow Americans with his music and his words.

Scott H. Thompson is Assistant Director-Public Relations for Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Jazz News: Marcus Roberts Trio at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola

Jazz News: Marcus Roberts Trio at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola Marcus Roberts Trio at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
Posted: 2005-11-15

Jazz at Lincoln Center's Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola Performance Schedule for November 14-20

November 15-20: The Marcus Roberts Trio

AFTER HOURS With Pianist Dan Nimmer

Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola at Jazz At Lincoln Center is proud to present the Winners of The ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Awards in “ASCAP Month of Mondays,” on five consecutive Mondays: Featured Artists are: Manuel Valera-November 28, Sherisse Rogers-December 5, Jason Goldman- December 12, David Guidi-December 19, and Maurice Brown-December 26 (New York, NY) November 14, 2005 - Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola -- located in The House of Swing, Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall - presents pianist Marcus Roberts with bassist Roland Guerin and drummer Jason Marsalis, with whom Roberts carries on and expands on the great lineage of the piano trio. The trio has been an inventive entity since 1995. Holding down the After Hours spot is the great up and coming pianist Dan Nimmer. On November 19 Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola hosts a Jazz Battle featuring trombonists Andre Hayward and Steve Davis and baritone saxophonists Joe Temperley and Gary Smulyan. November 14: Closed for Jazz at Lincoln Center's Annual Fall Gala

November 15-20 7:30pm & 9:30pm w/additional 11:30pm set on Fri-Sat The Marcus Roberts Trio Marcus Roberts (piano), Roland Guerin (bass), Jason Marsalis (drums)

The Marcus Roberts Trio was founded in 1993 when Roberts began to study the lineage of great jazz trios, including those of Nat “King” Cole, Oscar Peterson, Errol Garner, and Ahmad Jamal. Roberts first met young drummer Jason Marsalis in the mid-to-late 1980s, during his days in the Wynton Marsalis Septet. Jason was just 10 years old at that time. With the founding of the Marcus Roberts Trio, Roberts had the goal of creating a whole new style of jazz trio playing. After trying a series of drummers and bassists over a two-year period, in 1994 Roberts asked the 17-year-old Jason Marsalis to join his band. In early 1995, Roland Guerin played with Roberts for the first time and from the beginning, he made the trio sound complete. The philosophy and style of Marcus Roberts Trio has steadily evolved from that point.

November 15-19 11pm Tuesday-Thursday, 12:30am Friday-Saturday After Hours: Dan Nimmer Trio

Pianist Dan Nimmer is an old soul in a very young body. Just in his early twenties, he plays with the spirit, the passion and the soul of someone who has been on the planet much longer. Indeed, with his prodigious technique and his innate sense of swing, his playing often recalls that of his own heroes, specifically Oscar Peterson, Errol Garner and Art Tatum.

What is unusual in this world of ever-younger piano prodigies is that Nimmer is not really a product of the jazz academy, and his heroes are not the typical ones most fashionable with young players today. He is that rare combination of an innate musical gift with a deep sense and intuitive understanding of the jazz tradition. The only way it can be described is that when you hear him, it feels like your listening to an older player back in the halcyon days of jazz.

JAZZ BATTLE - November 19 FREE AFTERNOON OF JAZZ AT DIZZY'S CLUB COCA-COLA WHO: Some of the hottest acts on the New York jazz scene including: Andre Hayward (trombone), Steve Davis (trombone), Joe Temperley (baritone saxophone) and Gary Smulyan (baritone saxophone); each accompanied by the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra rhythm section of Dan Nimmer (piano), Carlos Henriquez (bass) and Ali Jackson (drums).

WHAT: Jazz Battles at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola are quickly emerging as one of the best ways to hear New York's most innovative jazz artists duke it out on stage. In addition to the free performances, there will be prizes and giveaways for audience members, as well as soda and snacks for sale.

WHEN: Saturday, November 19, 2005 Sets are at 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm, doors open at 12:45pm, 1:45pm and 2:45pm. As space for this event tends to fill up quickly, all are encouraged to come early for each of the three rounds. Audiences must clear the club after each round in order for the next audience to be seated.

1pm - Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra Rhythm Section gets things warmed-up. 2pm - Andre Hayward (trombone) vs. Steve Davis (trombone) 3pm - Joe Temperley (baritone saxophone) vs. Gary Smulyan (baritone saxophone)


November 21 - UPSTARTS! 7:30 & 9:30pm Manhattan School of Music Jazz Orchestra

November 22-27 7:30pm & 9:30pm w/additional 11:30pm set on Fri-Sat ”Blowin' In From Chicago” featuring The Eric Alexander Quintet with Special Guest Von Freeman Boasting a warm, finely burnished tone and a robust melodic and harmonic imagination, tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander brings a seasoned veteran's proficiency and poise to his latest recording, Nightlife in Tokyo. As on his four previous Milestone albums as a leader, the 34-year-old colossus-on-the-rise approached this new project with an assured and mature musical vision, gracefully sidestepping the novelties and trends that have come to the fore in so much contemporary jazz marketing. ”I'm not consciously trying to do things differently from record date to record date,” explains the Galesburg, Illinois native. “I'm just really adhering to formula of assembling good musicians that I'm comfortable playing with, getting quality material--a combination of originals and standards and perhaps some new arrangements on standard tunes--and trying to make the kind of recording that a jazz fan or musician can put on and enjoy listening to from start to finish.”

At age 16, Von Freeman played tenor in Horace Henderson's big band for a year. He was drafted into the Navy during WWII, and after his return to Chicago he played with his brothers George on guitar and Bruz (Eldrige) on drums at the Pershing Hotel Ballroom. Various leading jazzmen such as Charlie Parker, Roy Eldridge and Dizzy Gillespie played there with the Freemans as the backing band. In the early '50s, Von played in Sun Ra's band. Von's first venture into the recording studio was for Andrew Hill's second single on the Ping label. He did some recording for Vee Jay with Jimmy Witherspoon and Al Smith in the late '50s and appeared and was recorded at a Charlie Parker tribute concert in 1970. It was not until 1972 that Von first recorded under his own name with the support of Roland Kirk. His next effort was a marathon session in 1975 that was released on 2 albums by Nessa. Since then his recordings have included 3 albums with his son, tenor saxophonist Chico Freeman. Von Freeman is considered a founder of the Chicago school of tenor saxophonists along with Gene Ammons, Johnny Griffin and Clifford Jordan. November 22-26 11pm Tuesday-Thursday, 12:30am Friday-Saturday After Hours: Bill Ware's Vibes Bill Ware (vibes), Brad Jones (bass), Jamie Aff (drums) ***Note: No After Hours Thanksgiving evening, November 24***

Coming Up At Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola:

Thanksgiving At Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola: A special la carte menu will supplement the usual offerings at this Jazz at Lincoln Center club, which will showcase a performance by the Eric Alexander Quintet. The Southern fare will include dishes such as deep-fried turkey with cornbread-andouille stuffing or grits, plus candied yams, collard greens, cranberries and gravy (seatings from 6 PM on; $30 cover charge, plus $17-$24 la carte entrees) - Zagat

November 22-26: After Hours: Bill Ware's Vibes

November 28 Upstarts! Manuel Valera -ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Award winner November 29-December 4: David “Fathead” Newman and Cynthia Scott with the John DiMartino Trio

November 29-December 3: After Hours: Akiko Tsuruga Trio

Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola at Jazz At Lincoln Center is proud to present the Winners of The ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Awards in “ASCAP Month of Mondays,” on five consecutive Mondays: Featured Artists are: November 28: Manuel Valera December 5: Sherisse Rogers December 12: Jason Goldman December 19: David Guidi December 26: Maurice Brown

December 6-11: Donal Fox: Monk and Bach Project Featuring Lewis Nash and George Mraz

December 13-18: Donald Harrison/Patrice Rushen Quintet featuring Christian Scott (trumpet), Vicente Archer (bass) and Carl Allen (drums)

High-resolution, downloadable photos available at:

About Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, one of the three main performance venues located in Jazz at Lincoln Center's new home, Frederick P. Rose Hall. The intimate 140-seat jazz club is set against a glittering backdrop with spectacular views of Central Park that provides a hip environment for performance, education and other special events. The club also includes fine dinner, dessert and late night menus by New York culinary creators Great Performances and Spoonbread Inc. Jazz at Lincoln Center is a not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to jazz and advances a unique vision for the continued development of the art of jazz by producing a year-round schedule of performance, education, and broadcast events for audiences of all ages.

Jazz at Lincoln Center is a not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to jazz. With the world-renowned Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, and a comprehensive array of guest artists, Jazz at Lincoln Center advances a unique vision for the continued development of the art of jazz by producing a year-round schedule of performance, education, and broadcast events for audiences of all ages. These productions include concerts, national and international tours, residencies, weekly national radio and television programs, recordings, publications, an annual high school jazz band competition and festival, a band director academy, a jazz appreciation curriculum for children, advanced training through the Juilliard Institute for Jazz Studies, music publishing, children's concerts, lectures, adult education courses, film programs, and student and educator workshops. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis, Chairman of the Board Lisa Schiff, President & CEO Derek E. Gordon, Executive Director Katherine E. Brown and Jazz at Lincoln Center board and staff, Jazz at Lincoln Center will produce hundreds of events during its 2005-06 season. In October 2004, Jazz at Lincoln Center opened Frederick P. Rose Hall - the first-ever performance, education, and broadcast facility devoted to jazz.

For more information, please visit

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Kenny Barron Trio | The Perfect Set: Live At Bradley’s II

Kenny Barron Trio | The Perfect Set: Live At Bradley’s IIThe Perfect Set: Live At Bradley’s II
Kenny Barron Trio | Sunnyside Records
By Michael McCaw

This music is immaculate. From the onset of “You Don’t Know What Love Is” and the suspended feel pianist Kenny Barron generates in his unaccompanied opening statement, entrancing listeners with his eventual development of the chorus, you know you are hearing a modern master of the piano. Bassist Ray Drummond and drummer Ben Riley are not too shabby either. Performing and recording off and on since 1984, this trio creates music that is pure, honest, and forthright. Not to mention swinging, invigorating, and full of excitement and tenderness.

As Drummond and Riley join Barron a minute and a half into the fifteen-minute opener, they build momentum quickly, with Riley providing subtle yet driving support with brushwork that is recorded beautifully. Drummond walks up and down and provides a low-end counterpoint for Barron’s musings, and near the end he trades phrases with Riley that demonstrate their own simpatico. The beauty of Live At Bradley’s II, just like the first volume, is that while the material is worked at length and sometimes consists of standards that have been played and recorded countless times, each performance is immediate and original. As a listener, you don’t realize you are eight minutes in—you are amazed at the performance itself.

Since Kenny Barron’s first recording in 1974, he has continually refined his approach to the piano. Now as precise and elegant as ever, Barron plays and projects a sense of confidence and warmth that only a handful of today's musicians can communicate. And although he has long established his own singular voice, here Barron liberally applies his knowledge and love of Thelonious Monk that he has integrated over the years. From Monk’s own “Well you Needn’t” to his retooling of “Hackensack,” entitled “The Only One,” Barron shows off his admiration with flawless intonation and grace, never sounding like a copy, but a pianist who is indebted to an icon.

His solo feature, “Shuffle Boil,” seems to call back to James P. Johnson in a modern context, with some Monk thrown in as well. With both hands interlocking and separating into two different rhythms which sometimes form their own call and response figures, Barron demonstrates his vast abilities without sounding overly gregarious or showy.

It’s a shame that the club which produced this 1996 recording is now gone. Long a haven for intimacy, with a Baldwin piano bequeathed by Paul Desmond in his will, Bradley's required a quiet policy from patrons that would serve well in clubs everywhere. Nonetheless, here is another snapshot of another inspired performance. Dubbed “the perfect set” by engineer Jim Anderson, who has been recording jazz for over 25 years, this hour-long midnight set is well worth the nearly decade-long wait for its release. Hopefully the 2 am set Barron asks his listeners to stick around for after an inspired rendition of “Well You Needn’t” will be heard by the general public in a more timely manner.

Friday, November 11, 2005

OUPblog: What We Owe New Orleans

OUPblog: What We Owe New OrleansWhat We Owe New Orleans

by Gary Giddins, author of Weather Bird: Jazz at the Dawn of Its Second Century and the forthcoming Intelligent Design

The waters that in the first days of September drowned New Orleans are the waters that established the incomparable city as a key port before the railroad replaced shipping as the primary vehicle of trade. They gave New Orleans a unique cultural character, blending elements of the continental United States with those of a Caribbean island. Cradled between the big dipper of the Mississippi and huge Lake Pontchartrain, New Orleans was a locus for the slave trade and also known for cotton, sugar cane, and fishing. Yet to most of the world, New Orleans is chiefly associated with one export that it largely abandoned decades ago: a way of playing music called jazz.

You can still hear jazz, but aside from Preservation Hall, it had pretty much disappeared from the French Quarter, finding more hospitable bars and restaurants on the other side of Canal Street. There is an airport and a park named after Louis Armstrong, and an invaluable archive at Tulane, and Herman Leonard’s photographs are everywhere, but jazz always had an uneasy life there. They tore down Basin Street after the war and refused to preserve Armstrong’s home.

So, humanity aside, what do we jazz lovers specifically owe to New Orleans? Only everything.

It wasn’t the only place of genesis. The mobility of freed slaves after the Civil War guaranteed the spread of musical practices honed in the south. Ragtime prospered in St. Louis and the blues in Memphis. The journalist Lafcadio Hearn described syncopated black bands on the Cincinnati levees in 1876. Two decades later, W. C. Handy took his brass band on tour and recruited musicians in Philadelphia as well as in Southern cities. Handy insisted that some Negro songs “drifted down the river” from Ohio to Louisiana.

Still, the first true jazz ensembles emerged in New Orleans. From this bustling, highly musical, culturally manifold, multilingual port came the first important jazz band-leaders, composers, and soloists. They made their way to stations along the river and to nightclubs and recording studios, relaying their music across the nation and beyond its borders: Buddy Bolden, Freddie Keppard, King Oliver, Johnny and Baby Dodds, Sidney Bechet, Jelly Roll Morton, Lonnie Johnson, Armstrong, and other illustrious names, not least the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, the jokey white band that was the first to record and popularize jazz as the soundtrack for an era that took its name from the new music.

It had to be New Orleans. Jazz is city music, born of saloons, dance halls, street parades, picnics, advertising wagons, funerals, and parties. In an era when the South was almost entirely agricultural, New Orleans expanded as a lively metropolis with a distinctive architectural look, discrete neighborhoods, a level of sophistication associated with European capitols, and a taste for pleasure. Many citizens spoke French and Spanish, and infused the city with the culture of European Catholicism. While grand opera struggled to gain a foothold in New York and Boston, it thrived in New Orleans. Yet the same citizens who sponsored North American premieres of Rossini and Donizetti also celebrated Lent with the bacchanalian Mardi Gras.

Its attitudes toward race also differed with general practices in Protestant North America. Elsewhere in the United States, slaves were forced to accept most aspects of Western society, other than democracy and related constitutional rights. Slaves were required to learn English and become Christian, while overlooking fundamental ideas of Christianity that prohibit slavery in the first place. The goal was efficient interaction between slaves and masters. New Orleans, however, maintained a close connection to the busy and brutal slave trade in the Caribbean and South America, where the traffic in human beings was unrelenting, resulting in the retention of African languages, beliefs, music, and customs. These carried into New Orleans, where nearly half the population was black—enslaved or free.

By 1860, free blacks and Creoles of Color had acquired civic power; some even participated in the slave trade. That changed abruptly with the rancor of Reconstruction: the imposition of Jim Crow laws; the Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court decision that essentially legalized segregation; the outbreak of lynching that so bloodied the soil not a thousand Katrinas could wash it clean. Even so, a despised minority, shunted aside into pockets of unimaginable poverty, created a cultural landscape made emblematic in music so vital that white newspapers editorialized against it (“The Mascot” raged in protest as early as 1890) even as white citizen rushed to hear and play it and be reborn in it.

New Orleans changed my life, in 1963, when I visited as a boy and heard a band led by Emanuel Sayles with George Lewis. It wasn’t just the music. The hotel had segregated toilets. The shop windows offered pickininny dolls and slave-trade souvenirs. But the ballroom where this concert took place was integrated, welcoming, enlightened—an oasis of sanity and decency. Years later, when I visited for research I went to interview a member of the Zulu Crewe, which hosted a neighborhood barbecue that evening and insisted I eat, drink, and meet practically everyone in the neighborhood, assuring me I was family. These are some of the people who didn’t have means to evacuate, people vilified by newscasters who condemned looting, but failed to ask why hospitals failed to clear out patients and newborns. This is the city that the president associated with his boozing days and the speaker of the house didn’t think needed to be rebuilt.

We are at war with terrorists, Iraqis, world opinion, nature, and ourselves, and losing on every front. If you want to know what it means to miss New Orleans, play “Potato Head Blues.” And shed another tear.

(Adapted from a piece that originally appeared in Jazz Times.)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Duvall, Marsalis Among Arts MedalistsDuvall, Marsalis Among Arts Medalists

Duvall, Marsalis Among Arts MedalistsDuvall, Marsalis Among Arts Medalists

By Jacqueline Trescott
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 9, 2005; Page C02

Actor Robert Duvall, jazz musician Wynton Marsalis and country singer Dolly Parton are among the 10 recipients of the 2005 National Medal of Arts, President Bush announced yesterday.

Twelve National Humanities Medal honorees were named at the same time, including political scientist Walter Berns, professor emeritus at Georgetown University and a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute; Eva Brann, a classics professor at St. John's College in Annapolis; and etiquette columnist Judith Martin, also known as Miss Manners.

Actor Robert Duvall, one of 10 National Medal of Arts recipients. (Rebecca D'angelo)

The president is scheduled to present the awards in an Oval Office ceremony tomorrow morning, with a formal dinner that evening.

The arts and humanities medals are a coveted acknowledgment of groundbreaking work in arts and scholarship. The nominations are forwarded to the White House by the advisory councils of the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities.

"These individuals and organizations have all made significant and enduring contributions to the artistic life of our nation," said Dana Gioia, chairman of the NEA.

This year's arts medal recipients also include Louis Auchincloss, who has written nearly 60 books and is a former editor of the Yale Literary Review; and James DePreist, a former associate director of the National Symphony Orchestra. Also on the list are jazz musician Paquito D'Rivera, animator and artist Ollie Johnston, choreographer and dancer Tina Ramirez, and Leonard Garment, a Nixon White House counsel and saxophone player who has written and spoken eloquently on the role of arts in society. The arts medal also goes to a group or organization that has set standards in its field; the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the oldest school of fine arts in the country, is being saluted in its bicentennial year.

The humanities honorees include Col. Matthew Bogdanos, who led the investigation into the 2003 destruction of the Iraq Museum, an effort that has led to the recovery of 5,000 artifacts. Historian John Lewis Gaddis, legal scholar Mary Ann Glendon, historian Alan Kors, art historians and appraisers Leigh and Leslie Keno -- familiar to a broader public from "Antiques Roadshow" -- and history and museum patrons Richard Gilder and Lewis Lehrman are also being recognized. The editorial team that is working on George Washington's papers at the University of Virginia and has completed 52 volumes also will be cited.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Taichung Jazz Festival to end on a high note :: : The Number One Jazz News Resource On The Net :: Jazz News Daily

Taichung Jazz Festival to end on a high note :: : The Number One Jazz News Resource On The Net :: Jazz News Daily Taichung Jazz Festival to end on a high note
Posted by: editoron Friday, November 04, 2005 - 10:12 AM
Jazz News By David Momphard
Sheila Jordan will play th eTaichung Jazz Festival on Sunday.

The last notes of the Taichung Jazz Festival will sound over the weekend and given the acts scheduled to perform, they're going to sound great. In addition to the "future jazz" of Norwegian pianist, composer and producer Bugge Wesseltoft, visitors to this final weekend of the annual festival will be treated to "one of the jazz world's best-kept secrets," Sheila Jordan.

Already the festival has had the likes of Lou Rainone and his band take the stage, as well as other international acts like the Lewis Nash Trio out of New York and the Yoshiko Kishino Trio and Hip Swing out of Tokyo. They've been joined on stage by local outfits such as Metamorphosis Jazztet, Onyx and the Overtone Jazz Group.

Attendance at each of the festival's several stages has been enormous, according to the organizers.

Sheila Jordan is often referred to as one of the few true jazz singers alive who deserves the moniker. She can confound audiences with her unique style, which combines an emotional connection to the music with frequent and unexpected fluctuations in pitch.

Jazz Notes
WHAT: Taichung Jazz Festival
WHERE: Taichung Square, in front of Taichung City Hall (¥x¤¤¥«¥Á¼s³õ)

WHEN: Sheila Jordan, Sunday, Nov. 6 at 7pm
Bugge Wesseltoft, Sunday, Nov. 6 at 8:30pm

TICKETS: Admission to the festival is free of charge.
Audiences are encouraged to arrive early to get good seats.

She was born in Pennsylvania's coal-mining district in 1928 and raised in

poverty. By the time she was a teenager she was singing in clubs in Detroit and chasing a dream inspired by Charlie Parker.

But real fame has eluded Jordan. Although she has been listed in Down Beat magazine critics' poll as one of the top-five established artists every year since 1980, she has also been listed some nine times as a "talent deserving wider recognition."

Bugge Wesseltoft is the weekend's other headliner. A native of Norway,

Wesseltoft has earned a reputation as a left-of-center pianist, producer and composer. His "future jazz" sound was developed in the early 1990s and he's been likened to Miles Davis and Chick Corea.

Other acts to plug and play this

weekend include the Serge Forte Trio, Rhythm Clown, Steps Ahead and Jazzaholix. Visit for times and locations of all acts as well as additional information about this year's jazz festival.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

New Pittsburgh Courier

New Pittsburgh CourierMellon Jazz presents Billie & Me

Tue Nov 1, 2005

PITTSBURGH – Mellon Jazz, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Three Rivers Arts Festival proudly present Billie & Me, an extraordinary tribute to the spirit and musical genius of legendary artist Billie Holiday.

On Thursday, Nov. 17, at 8 p.m., the Byham Theater stage will be graced with a truly phenomenal line-up of some of the most inspirational women of our times: Rita Coolidge, Niki Haris, Joan Osborne, Dianne Reeves, Rokia Traoré, and Terri Lyne Carrington.

Tickets ($20, $34 and $42) are available at the Box Office at Theater Square, online at and by calling (412) 456-6666. WDUQ is the proud media sponsor of The Mellon Jazz Series.

The production, which debuted in front of sell-out audiences in London, combines live performances, readings and reinterpretations of Lady Day's repertoire with film and audio footage. Audiences will be taken on a journey from Billie’s beginnings growing up in the brothels of Baltimore, her early years performing for tips in the nightclubs of swinging Harlem, to the life of a hard-traveling musician with The Count Basie Orchestra and as a solo artist.

Billie & Me sets out to shine a positive light on one of the most influential figures in music and an icon of the 20th Century. While acknowledging the difficult life of a Black female artist making her way in the segregated, male-dominated world of the 1930s and ‘40s, the resulting concert reveals a far fuller profile of a complicated and fascinating woman. In short, an incredibly talented artist, band leader and composer -- a strong but flawed woman who lived the hard-working, hard-touring life of many jazz artists of the era (male and female). The result is a tribute to the single most important presence that haunts jazz singing even 45 years after her death, and a source of inspiration to generations of women since. Billie & Me makes a case for Holiday as a spokesperson for womankind and celebrates the legacy of a woman who lived the life she chose in a style she invented with a voice like no other.

“A reappraisal of Billie Holiday as a positive, complex, life-embracing genius rather than the usual tragic victim … a tour de force” (The Guardian, UK).