Thursday, April 25, 2019

Now's the Time: Arturo Sandoval


Arturo Sandoval regularly rubs shoulders with other legends.  The trumpeter collaborated with icons including Pl├ícido Domingo and Ariana Grande on his 2018 album Ultimate Duets.  He works with the pop star Prince Royce in the embedded video.  Sandoval will focus on Latin jazz at the Folly Theater on Saturday, April 27.  Every area gig is listed on The Kansas City Jazz Calendar.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes


*Rod Fleeman, Gerald Spaits and Todd Strait are praised in a letter to the editor published by The Kansas City Star.

*Joe Dimino shares footage of a performance by the River Cow Orchestra.

*The Bad Plus, Danilo Perez, Chris Potter and Craig Taborn are among the musicians performing at the Iowa City Jazz Festival in July.

*Tweet o’ the Week: Melissa Bower- Great music this weekend at the @424Lounge - quickly becoming an African-American-owned, veteran-owned #BlackBusiness icon in #leavenworth #kansas - check out their website for a schedule of musicians. #kcjazz #KCMO http://424lounge.com

*From a press release: The teen Olathe saxophonist Evan Kappelman “has earned the honor of being selected as one of 22 of the brightest young jazz musicians from across the U.S. for the 2019 roster of Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Jazz Orchestra... this summer he’ll be training with world-class jazz musicians and performing at Carnegie Hall before embarking on NYO Jazz’s debut tour to Asia.

*From a press release: KU Jazz Ensemble I, under the direction of Dan Gailey, was named the best graduate college large jazz ensemble in the country in the 42 Annual Downbeat Student Music Awards. DownBeat also recognized Alex Annan, a master’s student in jazz composition from Omaha, Nebraska… Under Gailey’s leadership, the KU Jazz Studies Program has received 27 DownBeat Student Music Awards since 1992.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Monday, April 22, 2019

Concert Review: The Joshua Redman Quartet at the Folly Theater


Joshua Redman is one of the elite jazz musicians of his generation partly because of his versatility and range.  He showcased the conventional side of his talent at the Folly Theater on Thursday, April 11.  The celebrated saxophonist, 50, and his longtime touring band of pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Gregory Hutchinson, played more than 90 minutes of mainstream jazz for an audience of more than 600.  Five of the nine songs on the setlist were drawn from the group’s strait-laced new album Come What May.  Rather than offering the thrill of the new, the quartet demonstrated that mainstream jazz needn’t sound routine.  Even at his dullest, Redman is one of the most exciting men in jazz.

Setlist: Circle of Life, How We Do, Come What May, Shed, I’ll Go Mine, Bloomdido, Stardust, DGAF, Yesterdays

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Now's the Time: The Chicago Plan


Trombonist Steve Swell and saxophonist Gebhard Ullmann will perform at the Blue Room on Friday, April 26, under the auspices of The Chicago Plan.  The extremely rare avant-garde booking at the Blue Room is part of the ongoing Goethe Pop Up festival in Kansas City.  Swell and Ullman will be joined by cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm and drummer Michael Zerang.  Every area gig is listed at The Kansas City Jazz Calendar.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes


*The editorial board of The Kansas City Star chastises the city for spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on last year’s Open Spaces festival.  A recap of the artistically audacious but woefully attended festival is included in Plastic Sax’s end-of-the year survey of Kansas City’s jazz scene.

*Not a single Kansas City musician or institution is among the dozens of nominees in the Jazz Journalists Association’s JJA Jazz Awards 2019.

*Logan Richardson’s return to the Blue Room is previewed by The Kansas City Star.

*Tweet o’ the Week: Charlie Parker- Charlie Parker with Strings: Alternate Takes comes 70 years since the initial recordings & the Record Store Day LP set comes in a blue vinyl matching the updated original David Stone Martin cover. Exclusively available 4/13 at participating record stores. http://RecordStoreDay.com

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Concert Review: Assif Tsahar and Tatsuya Nakatani at the 1900 Building


An Israeli saxophonist and a Japanese percussionist walk into an office building in Kansas…  It’s not the opening line of an offensive joke.  Instead, the unlikely scenario resulted in a bracing avant-garde recital at the 1900 Building on Wednesday, April 10.  Longtime friends and collaborators Assif Tsahar and Tatsuya Nakatani played two brief but incendiary sets.  I paid $21 to join three dozen people at the improvisatory freakout. 

Tsahar wailed like a free jazz superhero on tenor saxophone as Nakatani banged on drums, sawed on gongs and did untoward things to cymbals.  I’ll admit to later goofing on Nakatani’s manic style with pots, pans and utensils in my kitchen, but I can’t come close to replicating his expert form of mayhem.  Even when pieces of Nakatani’s kit accidentally fell to the floor, the timing of each crash was perfect.

I understand why skeptics doubt the sanity of audiences who intentionally subject themselves to free jazz.  “Is it even music?”  Yet the question answers itself.  I may not encounter more vital music in 2019 than the cacophonous commotion created by Tasahar and Nakatani in Mission Woods, Kansas.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Now's the Time: Logan Richardson

Logan Richardson is one of a handful of musicians from the Kansas City area who have been featured on an episode of NPR’s illustrious Tiny Desk Concert series.  The saxophonist’s 2018 contribution to the showcase is embedded here.  Richardson performs at Blue Room on Thursday, April 18.  The concert is one of the day’s 18 gigs listed on The Kansas City Jazz Calendar.