Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Jazz Central Jazz Jam does it again

Visited my usual Sunday night destination again this week and was treated to the talent of Archie McPheerson on the fluglebone. Yeah, that's right, I said the fluglebone. What in the world is a fluglebone you might ask? Well, as the name implies, it is a cross between a flugle horn and a trombone. I am so glad that I was at Gilly's recently to hear the Eddie Brookshire Quintet because that is where I ran into Archie. We talked about the last time he was at Jazz Central (way too long ago) and how he had played a bass trumpet and a fluglebone. I urged him to come down again in the near future and so he did. He was invited up to play with Eddie's Quintet along with two excellent sax players from Detroit (I apologize for not getting their names) and local trumpeter, Roderick Wilson [who has a new CD out by the way, a copy of which can be purchased in person at Jazz Central on most Sunday evenings] - Roderick is often at the Jazz Central Jam on Sunday nights but this particular night he was filling in for John Hampton Wagner and I might add that he did quite the credible job! Ron Applebury was there on bass guitar, Cliff Darrett was there on congas and Latin Percussion, Kenny Baccus on the B3, Greg Webster on drums (helped out by Henry Miles Preston) and "the fish boat man" also on congas. Roderick played some solos that would just knock you out and Archie helped keep things fired up on that fluglebone. You never know what you are going to get at Jazz Central on Sunday but some of those nights are pretty special.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

E-mail From Greg Turner:

Dear Ron:

In case you were wondering I did attend the Chicago Jazz Festival this Labor Day Weekend and I noticed a few changes.

In addition to the weekend concerts at the 3 Grant Park stages and the Friday afternoon Cultural Center concerts, Thursday and Friday featured evening concerts at nearby Milllennium Park. I missed Thursday and Friday afternoon, but was at the park all day Saturday and Sunday. .

Flautist and composer Nicole Mitchell, who has performed in Cincinnati several times for the Loft Society, was the festival artist-in-residence, performing with 5 groups in 3 days.. I saw her with her Black Earth Orchestra, premiering a composition written for the festival, and the smaller Black Earth Ensemble, with special guest harpist Edmar Castaneda.

Pianist Ramsey Lewis became very popular during the 60s thru hit records such as "The In Crowd" and his version of the spritual "Wade In The Water". Now 75 years young,, the Chicago native closed Friday evening Victor Lewis
at Millennium Park with a joyous birthday celebration featuring new versions of his hits, some swinging gospel songs, and some newer unmamed compositions, earning a rousing standing ovation.

While again I noticed less local or regional participation than in years past, I was treated to a great surprise. While catching the fire from drummer Dana Hall's killer quintet Saturday, with trumpeter Nicholas Payton, subbing for Terell Stafford(!), someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around and there was Anthony Lee. The former Cincinnati resident now lives in Brooklyn and was in the quartet of another former Cincinnatian, former CCM professor Brad Goode, whose quartet played Sunday afternoon. at Grant Park and Sunday morning at the Jazz Record Mart. Now teaching at the University of Colorado, Goode also sat in with another current Colorado resident, vocalist Rene Marie, who I recall performing a at a well attended outdoor concert at Central State Universsity several years ago.. By the way, Hall had a release party for his debut CD at the Blue Wisp in January of this year. (I think I saw you there) After Marie's excellent Saturday evening set came my favorite performance of this year's festival, the Lee Morgan tribute. Conceived by Trumpeter David Weiss and boasting a front line of Billy Harper, Eddie Henderson, and Bennie Maupin, and a rhythm section of George Cables, Dwayne Burno, and Victor Lewis, this is a true 'all-star" group .After the grand introduction to Harper's "Capra Black" I knew we were in for a memorable musical experience. They ended the set with Morgan's all time classic "The Sidewinder", which got some people dancing in the aisles

Sunday afternoon I had to deal with the dilemma of 2 groups I wanted to see on at the same time, Chicago vocalist Saalik Ziyad's 5 after 7 Project and drummer Brian Blade's Fellowship.. Ziyad played in Newport KY for the Loft Society a day earlier, so I wanted to see what I'd missed, since I usually MC the shows there, while Blade is simply one of the baddest drummers on the scene. So I caught the first half of Ziyad's set, really digging his version of Joe Henderson's "Black Narcissus", and the last half of the Fellowship, where Myron Walden's passionate alto and Blade's dynamic drumming brought the house down.. Speaking of drummers , Vocalist Kurt Elling's group ended the festival on a high note displaying his style and versatility on old standards and jazzy versions of recent pop songs. His group featured a killing young drummer who I had never heard of. His name is Ulysees Owens Jr. and I can't wait to hear him behind some horns. And as always, here are a few photos to share with my fellow Jazz Advocate readers. Till the next time...

Greg Turner

Friday, October 8, 2010

Spinoza's is a live jazz venue of note

Recently heard Greg Abate on alto sax with Lee McKinney (drums) & Randy Villars (keyboards) and as always, Greg put on an excellent performance. But just this past weekend I heard Time Berens on guitar and Frank Proto on bass. Both of these were at Spinoza's - hats off to Spinoza's for sponsoring live jazz and their food and drinks are noteworthy as well. Tim and Frank played a version of All Blues that I am quite certain was different from any version ever played before and Frank Proto played his 200 year old bass like I am pretty sure no one has ever played it before. If you weren't there then you really missed an unbelievable version of All Blues. I am still shaking my head in amazement.

Jazz Central Jazz Jam delivers

Here is another report from the jazz trenches - Sunday, 9-26-10, found the Jazz Central Jazz Jam with no saxophones, not one, instead there was John Hampton Wagner on trumpet (John being the usual M.C., vocalist, trumpet & flugle horn player), Rodderick Wilson on trumpet and flugle horn and Dale Carpenter on trumpet. Rodderick has been showing up more frequently to participate in the jams [and he has a new CD out] and we are always glad when Dale Carpenter stops in (which he has done a couple times recently) - these three trumpet players were in rare form in that they delivered six of the best consecutive solos that I (or WDPS Big Band host Conrad Jessee) have heard at Jazz Central since I started regularly attending in 2001. I always say the last hour is the best so even when you cannot get down until 11:00 p.m. on a Sunday, and sometimes I cannot, it is worth the trip. Wow!