Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*KCUR reviewed Echoes of Europe, the new album by the Dino Massa Kansas City Quintet.

*Ramsey Lewis' concert at the Gem Theater was reviewed by The Kansas City Star.

*Lisa Henry and Ryan Lee discussed the impact of the church on their music with Tim Finn of The Kansas City Star.

*The festival formerly known as Jazz in the Woods is returning to a smooth jazz format in 2017.  Organizers recently made an initial lineup announcement.

*Brian Ellison interviewed Ramsey Lewis for KCUR.

*Jessie Riggins examined the spring jazz calendar.

*Tweet o’ the Week: Moi- Last night I waited on Marilyn Maye and she ordered an apple martini with Citron and called me Honey all night

*From a press release: On Saturday, January 21, 2017, the David Basse-Joe Cartwright Septet, which includes musicians from the UMKC Jazz Studies Program, will present Step-Buddy-Be-Bop at 8:00 p.m. at the MTH Theater…  Originally from St. Louis, Bernard “Step Buddy” Anderson was a colorful jazz figure who helped to change the course of jazz. A multi-instrumentalist, Buddy introduced trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie to Charlie Parker… We celebrate the Kansas City jazz tradition with the music of the David Basse-Joe Cartwright Septet, and the photography and memorabilia of Bernard “Step Buddy” Anderson… Reserved ticket seats are $20.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Concert Review: Paula Saunders at First Baptist Church

I have an extremely low tolerance for nostalgia.  After Paula Saunders repeated an assertion that the music of earlier eras was superior to the music of today, I walked out on her appearance in the Jazz Vespers series at First Baptist Church last Sunday.  If she didn’t believe in the essential vitality of her renditions of standards, why should I?  Deborah Brown, Karrin Allyson and Marilyn Maye are among the vocalists with area ties who specialize in making decades-old songs seem crucial.  Saunders used her lovely voice to mimic her favorite interpretations of familiar songs including “All of Me,” “Fly Me To the Moon” and “Summertime” in the first 30 minutes of her outing.  Admirable support from keyboardist Desmond Mason, bassist Blair Bryant and drummer Justin McCoy couldn't convince me to stick around.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Friday, January 13, 2017

Now's the Time: The Sextet

There’s a new band in town.  The Sextet plays its first area show at the Tank Room on Friday, January 13, since bandleader Robert Castillo relocated the un-Googleable “groove jazz” ensemble from Portland to Kansas City.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*Joe Klopus scrutinized the week in jazz in his latest column.

*Monique Gabrielle Salazar reviewed Megan Birdsall's new Americana album.

*Tweet o’ the Week: Jack Shafer- From Nat Hentoff I learned Charlie Parker's love of country music. He loved the stories.

*Comment o’ the Week: Chris Burnett- Thanks for the note about the release of "Echoes of Europe"!

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Ready For Eddie

Jazz has returned to the heart of the Country Club Plaza.  The newly opened upscale restaurant Eddie V’s features jazz musicians in its cocktail lounge seven nights a week.

I recently monitored the scene while savoring a couple $11 mulled beverages.  The chatter of patrons who didn’t seem to know or care that a band was playing was disruptive, but the sound was excellent otherwise.  One graceful couple took advantage of the dance floor.  The trio of prominent musicians deviated from a pleasing selection of standards to accommodate a request for a Billy Joel song.

Aside from the incompatible blues-rock that was piped in during the band’s break, every element of the experience validated my investment in the pricey drinks.  I intend to made a beeline for Eddie V’s the next time expendable money is burning a hole in the pocket my dress slacks.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Friday, January 6, 2017

Now's the Time: Ramsey Lewis

Ramsey Lewis, the octogenarian who is one of the most notable crossover artists in the history of jazz, returns to the Gem Theater on Saturday, January 14.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

 *Mike Warren reviewed A La Mode’s new album C’est Si Bon for KCUR.

*Jeff Harshbarger, Hermon Mehari and Dominique Sanders contributed year-end top music lists to The Kansas City Star.

*The Dino Massa Kansas City Quintet’s Echoes of Europe was released on January 2.

*Bob Bowman now has a proper website. 

*Dean Minderman compiled a thorough collection of ”Best Jazz of 2016” lists.

*Tweet o’ the Week: Matt Hopper- My trio has moved to Monday's at @GreenLadyLounge 6-10pm. New year & new tunes!

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)