Sunday, October 23, 2016

Hey Arnold!

A new video profile tells me (almost) everything I wanted to know about Arnold Young but was afraid to ask.  Partly because he favors adventurous sounds, the Kansas City drummer performs infrequently in conventional jazz venues.  As Young suggests in the video: “I’m not trying to recreate what happened in 1965.”

Friday, October 21, 2016

Now's the Time: Denise Donatelli

The notable saxophonist Don Braden is ostensibly performing with the Los Angeles based vocalist Denise Donatelli at the Blue Room on Saturday, Oct. 22, but the gig isn’t listed at his site and he doesn’t seem to have any social media presence.  I trust Donatelli will forgive me for suggesting that I would have preferred to embed this excellent Braden performance in this space.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*Joe Klopus interviewed organist Chris Hazelton.

*A weekly jazz jam in Lee’s Summit is recognized by The Pitch.

*Bob James’ concert at the Folly Theater was reviewed by The Kansas City StarKC Metropolis also documented the performance.

*Concert of the Century- A Tribute to Charlie Parker, a recording of a 1960 concert by a band led by Dizzy Gillespie, will be reissued on November 11.

*Rashida K. Braggs, the author of Jazz Diasporas: Race, Music and Migration in Post-World War II Paris, will give a free presentation at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, October 20, as part of the American Jazz Museum's Riffing on the Repertoire speaker series.  Braggs asserts "that African American musicians adopted a variety of strategies to cope with the cultural and social assumptions that confronted them throughout their careers in Paris."

*Jessie Riggins attended a performance by Will Matthews’ B-3 Organ Project.

*Terri Gibbs shares stories about Charlie Parker in his interview with Joe Dimino.

*Tweet o’ the Week: Folly Theater- Did you know box seats to see @KarrinAllyson are as low as $45 and tickets start as low as $25?! Get them today for Nov. 18th!

*Comment o’ the Week: Anonymous- Polsky is a great place to hear a show - much better than a noisy club. Let's turn out and support jazz in JOCO. I got my tickets!

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Monday, October 17, 2016

Concert Review: Eddie Moore and the Outer Circle at Polsky Theatre

Polsky Theatre momentarily resembled the world’s funkiest nursing home last Tuesday.  As bassist DeAndre Manning channeled Stanley Clarke on a gospel-infused reading of “God Bless the Child” for an appreciative audience of about 75 senior citizens and 25 younger music lovers at Johnson County Community College, the free lunchtime concert by Eddie Moore and the Outer Circle could have been mistaken for an exceptionally soulful enrichment activity.

The reassuring ambience created by the quartet of Moore, Manning, guitarist Adam Schlozman and drummer Zach Morrow was worlds removed from the raucous atmosphere at the album release party for Kings & Queens at the Tank Room ten days earlier. 

The solid display of jazz fundamentals on “God Bless the Child” and a sublime interpretation of “Caravan” prepared the audience for a faithful recreation of the exploratory title track of Kings & Queens.  Only two listeners defected during the 25-minute suite, an achievement that reflects the inclusive appeal of the adventurous band.

Setlist: Caravan, God Bless the Child, Kings & Queens suite

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Now’s the Time: Will Matthews with Bobby Floyd

The overhauled version of Jazz Winterlude at Johnson County Community College opens Sunday, October 16, with the Will Matthews B-3 Organ Trio featuring Bobby Floyd and Marty Morrison.  The trio also performs at the Blue Room on Saturday, October 15.  Matthews appears at the Green Lady Lounge on Monday, October 17, in what I'm told is a different configuration.  Matthews and Floyd are featured in the Count Basie Orchestra's rendition of "In a Sentimental Mood" in the embedded video.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*Mark Lowrey (best jazz artist), the Green Lady Lounge (best jazz venue) and the 18th & Vine Jazz and Blues Festival (best jazz event) are among the winners of the 2016 edition of The Pitch’s Best of Kansas City awards.

*The Kansas City Star and The Pitch previewed Bob James’ appearance at the Folly Theater.

*Steve Kraske endorses the Blue Room.

*Tweet o’ the Week: Bob McWilliams- Did not realize my seat for KC Jazz Orchestra would be this close to stage tonight! (photo)

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Concert Review: The Hermon Mehari Quartet at Polsky Theatre

Your gray-haired correspondent was one of the youngest members of the audience of about 125 at Polsky Theatre last Tuesday for a free lunch hour concert by a quartet led by Hermon Mehari (Plastic Sax’s 2009 Person of the Year).

A friend suggested that the trumpeter and his band mates- pianist Peter Schlamb, bassist Karl McComas-Reichl and drummer John Kizilarmut- deliberately played conservatively to avoid offending their elders.  I’m not so sure.  I think Mehari’s default jazz mode is based on the sound Miles Davis established in the 1950s in his landmark recordings for Prestige Records. 

I understand why my pal was disappointed by the polite bop recital, but I found plenty to appreciate.  Mehari’s feathery tone was in fine form and McComas-Reichl and Kizilarmut were impeccable, but Schlamb’s playing was absolutely mesmerizing.  I was repeatedly floored by Schlamb’s next-level concepts.

Primarily known as a vibraphonist, Schlamb’s ideas may be even better conveyed via piano.  His subtly subversive contributions to otherwise conventional interpretations of “These Foolish Things” and “As Time Goes By” thrilled me.  A rendition of Schlamb's “Tatra”- a composition Mehari said would be included on his forthcoming solo album- was the most dynamic of the eight selections.

Setlist: If I Were a Bell, September in the Rain, Chi Chi, As Time Goes By, The Lamp is Low, Tatra, These Foolish Things, Stomping at the Savoy

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)