Sunday, August 19, 2018

Album Review: Nate Nall Quintet- Places to Go

Nate Nall travels directly to the hard bop territory currently occupied by the likes of his fellow trumpeters Sean Jones and Terell Stafford on the opening track of Places to Go, his debut album as a leader.  For the next 50 minutes, Nall, a product of Bobby Watson’s jazz program at UMKC, confidently plants a flag in a destination that almost certainly meets with Watson’s approval.  Even though they only venture beyond the familiar terrain to take in the rugged vistas of “Destination Unknown” and the craggy canyons of “Starry Night,” Nall and saxophonist Matt Baldwin, guitarist Adam Schlozman, bassist Sam Copeland and drummer Zach Morrow capture plenty of dazzling auditory snapshots.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Now's the Time: The Charlie Hunter Trio

A trio led by Charlie Hunter will perform at the Bottleneck on Tuesday, August 21.  The guitarist isn’t as esteemed in the jazz community as the so-called “big three” of Bill Frisell, Pat Metheny and John Scofield, but his playing may be no less influential.  Hunter’s appearance is one of countless gigs listed at The Kansas City Jazz Calendar.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*Karrin Allyson’s new album Some of That Sunshine was released last week.

*Lonnie McFadden was interviewed by Joe Dimino.

*“Herman Mahari” and “Mark Lowery” are among the musicians nominated in The Pitch’s “The Best of Kansas City 2018” poll.

*The playlist Nate Chinen created to promote his new book Playing Changes: Jazz for the New Century includes two tracks by artists with Kansas City roots.  Logan Richardson’s “Anthem (To Human Justice)” and the Pat Metheny Group’s “The Way Up: Part Two” are represented.

*Tweet o’ the Week: Julia Mann- @RyanTedder I thought you might like this. I remember you visited Green Lady Lounge when you were here in Kansas City. Kansas City's #1 jazz bar, The Green Lady Lounge, now has it's own radio station streaming live jazz played exclusively by KC musicians!

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Sunday, August 12, 2018

All the Things You Are: A Selective Guide to the 2018 Charlie Parker Celebration

The annual Charlie Parker Celebration begins this week.  The initiative of a handful of altruistic civic boosters may lack the star power and crowd sizes associated with New York City’s Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, but the ambitious endeavor merits the support of anyone with even a passing interest in one of Kansas City’s most important sons.  I’ve highlighted five particularly promising Charlie Parker Celebration events to provide a sense of the scope of the offerings.

1. Chasing Bird: The Impact of Kansas City Music Genius Charles “Yardbird” Parker
Thursday, August 16, at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
People who enjoy talking about Parker more than actually listening to his music will be at home at this forum.

2. Sunday in the Park
Sunday, August 19, at Ironwoods Park
David Basse will be joined by musicians including artists-in-residence Lonnie McFadden and Tivon Pennicott at a lovely picnic-oriented setting deep in the heart of suburban Johnson County.

3. Dominique Sanders, Ernest Melton, Ryan Lee and Tivon Pennicott
Thursday, August 23, at the Ship
The West Bottoms setting is ideal for anyone seeking an ostensibly “authentic” evocation of the atmosphere at a Kansas City jazz club 70 years ago.

4. Kansas City Jazz History Tour
Saturday, August 25, at the American Jazz Museum
Anyone with an ounce of civic pride should take this tour at least once.  Plastic Sax documented the trek in 2014.

5. Lonnie McFadden presents Charlie Parker: Past, Present & Future
Saturday, August 25, at the Gem Theater
Bobby Watson and Pennicott are among the musicians featured in the signature concert of the Charlie Parker Celebration.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Now's the Time: Tivon Pennicott

The annual Charlie Parker Celebration begins in the Kansas City area next week.  As in past years, the bold New York based saxophonist Tivon Pennicott is an artist-in-residence.  Details are available at the event’s site.  All of the area’s jazz performances are listed at The Kansas City Jazz Calendar.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*A blogger reports that more than 5,000 people attended a R&B oldies concert in the Jazz District on Saturday on the same site that struggled to draw 500 people for jazz notables like Chick Corea at the American Jazz Museum’s ill-fated Kansas City Jazz & Heritage Festival last year.

*One of Pat Metheny’s appearances at the Newport Jazz Festival elicited an ecstatic review from a critic for Rolling Stone.

*Tweet o’ the Week: Fox 4 News- Six hurt in Jazz District shooting (story)

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Album Review: The Myers Swingset- The Instrumental One

Ahmad Jamal’s 1968 album Tranquility is loaded with nebulous soul-jazz grooves.  The Myers Swingset’s congruent The Instrumental One could be have been titled Wooziness.  The subdued set recorded at Green Lady Lounge resembles the soundtrack of an alcohol-abetted dream about an unhinged evening of bar-hopping at area jazz clubs.  The playing of Jackie Myers, the keyboardist who leads the hazy session that features guitarist Danny Embrey, bassist Eddie Criswell and drummer Daniel Hogans, often sounds as if Jamal had been consigned to a permanent residency in an opium den.  The Instrumental One isn’t the year’s best Kansas City jazz album, but it’s likely to be the strangest.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)