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R.I.P., HANK JONES (1918-2010)
Pianist Hank Jones, the eldest of the Detroit-born brothers Thad (trumpet) and Elvin (drums), passed away just days before deadline time. He remained active until the very end of his life, gracing recordings by others as well as leading his own dates. Among his recent releases werePleased to Meet You (Justin Time Records) with fellow pianist Oliver Jones, andHank and Frank II (www.lineagerecords.com), in collaboration with saxophonist/flutist Frank Wess. Both were recorded in 8 and released in 9, and both display the grace and warmth of this keyboard master quite effectively. I would also like to direct your attention to a particularly moving tribute by noted jazz writer Howard Mandel: www.artsjournal.com/jazzbeyondjazz/2010/05/hank_jones_reigning_jazz_piani.html.
R.I.P., HERB ELLIS (1921-2010)
Guitarist Herb Ellis passed away on March 28. His playing with the Oscar Peterson Trio in the 1950s brought him widespread attention, and he went on to record with many other artists in addition to leading his own sessions. He was a clinician and performer some years ago at Bellarmine. A fact-filled obituary from may be found at: www.guardian.co.uk/music/2010/apr/02/herb-ellis-obituary
ON THE HORIZON
BELLARMINE JAZZ GUITAR CLINIC AND CONCERT
It's always a sure sign that summer is on its way when Bellarmine presents its annual Jazz Guitar Clinic and concert. BothJohn Stowell andGene Bertoncini return as instructors this time. The dates are June 7-8 for the Clinic; the concert is Monday evening, June 7 at 7:30 in Amy Cralle Theatre. Tickets are $10 at the door and $7 in advance at Music-Go-Round. This, my friends, is a deal! For further information, e-mail Bellarmine Professor Jeff Sherman (firstname.lastname@example.org) and go to the site: http://home.insightbb.com/~rush/Bellarmine. Stowell is a reflective player who generally favors a quiet approach to the electric guitar. Bertoncini, at 77, is well-known by jazz enthusiasts for his nylon string guitar work. Stowell commented on his teaching goals in a recent e-mail interview: "My goals as a teacher are to communicate clearly, and reduce harmony and theory to simple and easy to grasp pieces of information. I also want to encourage and inspire students and communicate my love of the music." The Louisville Jazz Society, on whose Board I serve, is one of several proud co-sponsors of this event.
LEXINGTON JAZZ FESTIVAL
The First Annual Lexington Jazz Festival takes place on Sunday, June 6, at the Talon Winery and Vineyards. Featured performers include theJamey Aebersold Quartet, theSteve Snyder Trio, and more. For additional information: http://jazzartsfoundation.org/regional_jazz.html
JAMEY AEBERSOLD'S SUMMER JAZZ WORKSHOPS
For close to four decades, the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops have featured a world-class faculty and not only high quality instruction, but an amazing series of faculty concerts open to both participants and the public at large. Preliminary (as of deadline time) faculty members include luminaries such as Steve Allee, Jim Rotondi, Jim Snidero, Steve Davis (both trombone and drums), Ed Soph, Rufus Reid, Dan Haerle, Phil DeGreg, Jerry Coker, David Baker, Jennifer Barnes (vocals), Antonio Hart, Gene Walker, Bobby Floyd, Lynn Seaton, Corey Christiansen, Steve Erquiaga, Dave Stryker and many more. Other basic information: dates:
Session A - July 4 - 9; Session B - July 11 - 16. There are also several 2-day sessions. For more information: www.summerjazzworkshops.com, or call or write Jason Lindsey, Administrator,Summer Jazz Workshops, PO Box 1244, New Albany, IN 47151-1244, or call 1--456-1388 x 5.
TheLouisville Jazz Society sponsors ascholarship to the Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshop. For more information and a downloadable application: www.louisvillejazz.org/education.php
MARCO BENEVENTO AT THE HIDEAWAY
There was a full house and highly appreciative crowd at the small but congenial Hideaway (next to Leatherhead on Bardstown Road) for Marco Benevento's CD Release Party on Wednesday, May 12. Joined by bassist Dave Dreiwitz (from Ween) and drummer Andy Borger (from Ani DiFranco), Benevento's first set opened with the first three songs fromBetween The Needles & Nightfall (Royal Potato Family RPF-1535,www.marcobenevento.com): "Greenpoint," "Between the Needles" and "Two of You." In a nod to the hometown crowd, Benevento then played My Morning Jacket's "Golden," from his 2009 release,Me, Not Me. Benevento is fond of using electronic effects, including sampled sounds, loops, distortion devices, and so forth, which gave his keyboard work an unusually wide sonic range. Not exactly jazz, not really rock, it was a set full of dynamics and skillful band reciprocity. As the first set didn't begin until after 11 p.m., I said hello to Benevento at the break before leaving to crawl into bed.
SELECTED CLUB AND OTHER LISTINGS
The Comedy Caravan, 1250 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY 40204, 502-45922www.comedycaravan.com, has long been a venue for quality musical acts. TheDon Krekel Orchestra performs the second Monday of each month, which falls on June 14.Bobby Falk's "Night of Jazz,"will return on June 7, with, of course, theBobby Falk Group, and featuring theJerry Tolson Quartet. No other jazz bookings were planned as of deadline time, so please contact the club for any post-deadline shows.
TheSeelbach Jazz Bar, ( S. Fourth Street, 502-585-3), features vibraphonist and occasional pianistDick Sisto, who always provides excellent mainstream jazz, sometimes with guest artists joining him.
The Nachbar (969 Charles Street, 502-637-4377,www.myspace.com/thenachbar),features Vamp (saxophonist Jacob Duncan, drummer Jason Tiemann and a revolving crew of bassists) every Wednesday, and was featuring Squeeze-bot on Sundays; check the club for updates or changes.
Jockamo's Pizza Pub (corner of Goss Avenue and Krieger Street, 502-
637-5406) now has jazz every Thursday night with guitarist Craig Wagner, drummer Jason Tiemann, and others.
TheWest Market Street Stompers have announced that while they willno longer be playing a weekly gig atBearno's By The Bridge, they plan on performing there on a less frequent basis. Keep in touch with the Stompers by e-mailing: Musicmail97@bellsouth.net.
Jazzyblu is located in the basement of the Glassworks, 815 West Market St., the homepage is www.jazzyblu.com. Attempts to sign up for e-mail updates for their listings have thus far been unsuccessful, so you might try the site or you can call at 502-992-3243 for information.
The Jazz Kitchen (5377 N College Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46220; phone: 317-253-4; www.thejazzkitchen.com), presents nightly offerings of local and regional jazz; check the website for the full schedule and updates. Some road trip-worthy shows: May 29: guitaristJake Hertzog (see CD review below); June 4-5: TrumpeterPharez Whitted CD Release Party forTransient Journey (Owl Studios), with Bobby Broom - guitar; June 12:Stanley Clarke & Hiromi (they were amazing at Jazzfest); June 18: trumpeterMarcus Belgrave; June 19: drummerMike Clark (Headhunters drummer with great straightahead chops, too) for another Owl Studios CD Release Party.
The June schedule forThe Blue WispJazz Club in Cincinnati, 318 East Eighth St. (513-241-WISP), includes: June 3:Garaj Mahal whose latest releases were reviewed here last month); June 11: pianistLaszlo Gardony's Trio. Wednesdays remain the province of theBlue Wisp Big Band. For details and the full schedule, the website is: www.thebluewisp.com.
The Redmoor, Mt. Lookout Square, 3187 Linwood Avenue, in Cincinnati, 513-871-6789, www.jazzincincy.com. Two road trip-worthy shows coming up areThe Mike Clark Trio with Rob Dixon on June 17, and TrumpeterPharez Whitted CD Release Party forTransient Journey (Owl Studios), with Bobby Broom - guitar on July 1.
Please sign up for updated local jazz listings: The Louisville Jazz Society has revamped its website (www.louisvillejazz.org), and offers a new means to disseminate news of live performances locally: be sure to sign up for the e-mail "Louisville Jazz Society's Jazz Insider." It is both impossible for me to try to provide complete listings here, and it would be duplicative of the weekly listings in theCourier-Journal andLEO and theLouisville Music News' monthly music listings, in both the print and online editions (www.louisvillemusicnews.net).
JAZZFEST CD REVIEWS
Due to space limitations in the May print edition, the following recordings from New Orleans-based artists were reviewed online in May.
Stanton Moore: Groove Alchemy: www.louisvillemusicnews.net/webmanager/index.php?WEB_CAT_ID=50&storyid=6458&headline=Stanton_Moore_-_Groove_Alchemy&issueid=255
Ellis Marsalis with Eddie Harris: Homecoming andJason Marsalis:Music Update:www.louisvillemusicnews.net/webmanager/index.php?WEB_CAT_ID=50&storyid=6453&headline=New_Orleans_Jazz_Fest_Artist_Recordings&issueid=255
Preservation Hall Jazz Band: Preservation [note: an expanded edition with additional contributions from Yim Yames and others is now available, too]:www.louisvillemusicnews.net/webmanager/index.php?WEB_CAT_ID=50&storyid=6457&headline=Preservation_Hall_Jazz_Band&issueid=255
EIGHTH NOTES: GUITARS
In honor of Bellarmine's 24th Annual Jazz Guitar Clinic and Concert, here is a survey of some jazz guitar CDS which have come out recently. They are listed in alphabetical order.
Carlos Barbosa-Lima: Merengue (Zoho ZM 911, www.zohomusic.com) Brazilian guitarist Carlos Barbosa-Lima takes the listener on a journey through his native country and other South American nations on this late 9 release. His playing can be soft and gentle, as on Jobim's "Caminho de Pedra" (Rocky Road"), which features eloquent harmonica work by Hendrik Meurkens. It can also be more aggressive, as on the opening "Invocation to Xango" by Radamés Gnattali, a fellow Brazilian. With changes in both instrumentation, and songs ranging from classical to bossa nova, Barbosa-Lima displays both elegance and emotion. This album holds the listener's attention and avoids the clichés which can sometimes turn Brazilian guitar albums into pleasant background music.
Jake Hertzog: Patterns (Buckyball br022, www.buckyballmusic.com) Young electric guitarist Jake Hertzog just released this second trio date featuring the same stellar accompaniment by bassist Harvie S [Swartz] and drummer Victor Jones as on last year'sChromatosphere (That's Out Records, TO1, www.cdbaby.com). Hertzog, still in his early 20s, has played pop with the Naked Brothers Band (with Nat and Alex Wolff, sons of jazz pianist Michael Wolff), and is the youngest winner (at age 20) of the Montreux Jazz Festival's Jazz Guitar Competition's Grand Prize (in 6). Hertzog plays in a variety of styles onPatterns, ranging from the crunchy, edgy swing of the opening "McJazz" to the classic, straightforward rendition of "Georgia on My Mind." Eight of the 11 songs are originals, including the appropriately titled "Wistfully," the off-kilter blues of "Not Blues" and the melodic "Her," which evokes tropical images. In short, Hertzog is an up-and-coming guitarist to watch. He played the Jazz Factory in 7, and plays the Jazz Kitchen (see club listings) on May 29.
John McLaughlin and the Fourth Dimension: To the One (Abstract Logix ABLX 027, www.abstractlogix.com) John McLaughlin is an undisputed pioneer of fusion. His work on Miles Davis' seminal electric albums, with the Tony Williams Lifetime, his early solo recordingsDevotion andMy Goal's Beyond, and the original Mahavishnu Orchestra records remain classics.To the One is the first studio recording with his current band lineup of Gary Husband on keyboards (and sometimes drums), Mark Mondesir on drums and percussion, and Etienne M'Bappé on bass guitar. McLaughlin's own liner notes pay homage to the profound influence he felt from hearing John Coltrane'sA Love Supreme back in the 1960s. He has, indeed, played Trane's music on his 1972 collaboration with Carlos Santana,Love Devotion Surrender, and his own 1995 release,After the Rain. Here, the music is all original, inspired by Coltrane yet clearly McLaughlin's. The first song, "Discovery," sets the pace, with its fast, hyperfunky drumming pushing the guitarist ahead. "Special Beings," a waltz, slows the tempo a bit. Overall, McLaughlin plays with more restraint than back in the '70s, but shows he can still shred like nobody else in the cadenza to "The Fine Line." "Recovery," is another fast-paced tune. In addition to his work electric guitar, McLaughlin also demonstrates that in the right hands, a guitar-synthesizer can make a powerful musical statement, as shown on "Lost and Found" and the closing title track. After years of playing every style of music from neo-classical to Indian, McLaughlin successfully returns to an updated version of the electric jazz which made him a living legend.
Fabrizio Sotti: Inner Dance (E1 Music E1E-CD-2080, www.e1ent.com) Fabrizio Sotti enlists our old friend Sam Barsh to play some of the most straightahead organ he has performed in a long time on this mostly trio outing, also featuring drummer Victor Jones. The result is a recording which evokes the spirit of the classic "organ trio sound," while sounding modern. All the tunes are originals, and Sotti shows he can swing hard on the opening "Blue Whisper," play a gentle acoustic guitar on "Kindness in Your Eyes," and put a progressive edge to"Inner Dance," with guest harmonica player Gregoire Maret. "Last Chance" is proof that music which is fast can still be soulful. The closing "We Are What We Are" is a solo showcase for Sotti's acoustic work, rounding out an album which covers more bases than might be expected from the trio premise.
Yotam: Resonance (Jazz Legacy Productions, JLP 8, www.jazzlegacyproductions.com) Yotam Silberstein is a young (28), Israeli-born guitarist whose musical focus is straightahead. Here he is joined by the all-star lineup of pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Christian McBride, drummer Gregory Hutchinson, and, on two tracks, trumpeter Roy Hargrove. John Lewis' classic "Two Bass Hit" opens the CD, and Yotam wastes no time in showing his clean, modern mainstream stylings. Hargrove is utilized to great effect on Clifford Brown's "Daahoud" and the bluesy Joe Henderson composition, "Mamacita." "Fresh Love Song," with the leader's wordless vocals, shimmers like many of the Pat Metheny group pieces. Yotam closes with "Kineret," a ballad featuring his close interplay with Goldberg's piano. The producer's liner notes discuss James Moody's persistence in recommending Yotam, and the resulting album shows that in addition to his playing skills, Moody is also a great talent scout.
LOCAL JAZZ CONTACTS
With two eleven-year-olds, it's hard to get out as much as I would like to hear music. As a result, picking and choosing which performances to catch sometimes require that I postpone seeing some of the local musicians and singers in order to not miss the one-night-stands from out-of-town artists. Invariably, I feel guilty, so in an effort to assuage my guilt and, more positively, to provide more exposure to our community of great local jazz performers, I am initiating this feature containing website and e-mail contact information. I am only including those artists who have given their permission to me; some have indicated a preference for website listing only; others have only e-mail addresses. If you wish to be included, drop a line to me with your permission and preferences, at email@example.com. I reserve the right to edit and to exclude those whose connection to jazz is, in my opinion, tenuous; and this feature may end up online if it begins to take up too much space in print.
MIKE TRACY: www.michaeltracy.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, saxophonist and teacher Mike Tracy
UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE JAZZ PROGRAM: www.jazz.louisville.edu
BOBBY FALK: www.myspace.com/bobbyfalk, drummer and composer Bobby Falk;
WALKER & KAYS: www.walkerandkays.com, singer Jeanette Kays and guitarist Greg Walker;
JENNIFER LAULETTA: www.jenniferlauletta.com, singer Jennifer Lauletta;
JEFF SHERMAN: email@example.com, guitarist Jeff Sherman;
RON JONES: www.ronjonesquartet.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, saxophonist Ron Jones;
STEVE CREWS: www.jazzcrews.com, email@example.com, pianist Steve Crews.
I am always interested in your comments. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.