Sunday, December 4, 2016

Plastic Sax's Favorite Performances of 2016

Favorite Performances by Kansas City Artists
1. Marilyn Maye- Quality Hill Playhouse
2. Eddie Moore and the Outer Circle- Tank Room
3. Logan Richardson- Blue Room (Plastic Sax review)
4. Matt Otto Septet- Blue Room (Plastic Sax review)
5. Matt Villinger- Orion Room at the Green Lady Lounge
6. Karrin Allyson- Folly Theater
7. Gerald Spaits’ Sax & Violins- Westport CoffeeHouse (Plastic Sax review)
8. Jorge Arana Trio- Mills Record Company
9. Hermon Mehari Quartet- Polsky Theatre (Plastic Sax review)
10. Mark Southerland, Annie Ellicott, Jeff Harshbarger and John Kizilarmut- Californos

Favorite Performances by Artists From Elsewhere
1. Tortoise- Granada
2. Christian McBride Trio- Folly Theater
3. Pablo Ziegler’s Quartet for New Tango- Polsky Theatre (Plastic Sax review)
4. Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom- Blue Room
5. Roy Ayers- Blue Room
6. Candido- American Jazz Museum (Plastic Sax review)
7. Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra- Midland theater
8. The Bad Plus with Joshua Redman- Gem Theater
9. Bill Frisell- Atkins Auditorium
10. Béla Fleck & the Flecktones- Muriel Kauffman Theatre

Plastic Sax conducted similar surveys in 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Friday, December 2, 2016

Now's the Time: Tim Warfield's All-Star Jazzy Christmas

I’ve invested a considerable amount of time and money on tickets and recordings by a few of the seven musicians who will be featured at a concert at the Gem Theater on Friday, December 9.  I’m less enthused about hearing them play seasonal music with Tim Warfield’s All-Star Jazzy Christmas ensemble.  The group includes Nicholas Payton, Stefon Harris, Cyrus Chestnut, Rodney Whitaker, Clarence Penn and Joanna Pascale.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*Joe Klopus runs down the week in jazz for The Kansas City Star.

*Marilyn Maye reveals new aspects of her career in an interview with a California-based reporter.

*Tweet o’ the Week: Green Lady Lounge- NewYear'sEve @ GreenLadyLounge Strait, DeVan & Gatschet 5-9pm Boogaloo7 9pm-1am OrionRoom OJT 10pm-2am Never a cover charge Kansas City Jazz

*From a press release: Pianist Joe Cartwright has lived, performed and taught in the Kansas City area for over thirty years.  He is a graduate of the UMKC Conservatory of Music and is currently the musical director for the critically acclaimed NPR radio show “12th Street Jump.”… (With) Tim Whitmer & the Consort Band. Wednesday, December 7, 2016 (at) Unity Temple on the Plaza. $7.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Plastic Sax’s Favorite Albums of 2016

Favorite Kansas City Albums
1. Charlie Parker- Unheard Bird: The Unissued Takes, (Plastic Sax review at KCUR)
2. Logan Richardson- Shift, (Plastic Sax review at KCUR)
3. Pat Metheny Unity Group- The Unity Sessions, (Plastic Sax review)
4. Eddie Moore and the Outer Circle- Kings & Queens, (Plastic Sax review at KCUR)
5. Chris Hazelton's Boogaloo Seven- Soul Jazz Fridays, (Plastic Sax review at KCUR)
6. Matt Otto- Soliloquy, (Plastic Sax review at KCUR)
7. Mike Dillon- Functioning Broke
8. Paul Shinn Trio- Into That Good Night, (Plastic Sax review)
9. Jorge Arana Trio- Mammoth, (Plastic Sax review)
10. Matt Hopper- First Love, (Plastic Sax review)

Favorite Albums From Elsewhere
1. David Murray, Geri Allen, and Terri Lyne Carrington- Perfection
2. Nels Cline- Lovers
3. Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom- Otis Was a Polar Bear
4. Amina Claudine Myers- Sama Rou
5. Elliot Galvin Trio- Punch
6. Charlie Hunter- Everybody Has a Plan Until They Get Punched In the Mouth
7. Charles Lloyd & the Marvels- I Long To See You
8. Laura Jurd’s Dinosaur- Together, As One
9. John Scofield- Country For Old Men
10. Marcus Strickland’s Twi-Life- Nihil Novi

Plastic Sax conducted similar exercises in 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Friday, November 25, 2016

Now's the Time: Catherine Russell

It’s a foregone conclusion that Catherine Russell will steal the show when she performs with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at the Midland theater on Thursday, December 1.  Bandleader Wynton Marsalis may be a bigger star, but the veteran vocalist is likely to have the audience in the palms of her hands by the end of the concert.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*Soul Jazz Fridays, the new album by Chris Hazelton’s Boogaloo 7, was reviewed by KCUR.

*Kemet “The Phantom” Coleman wrote an appreciation of the young saxophonist Ernest Melton.

*The Kansas City sound engineer Ron Ubel has died.

*Karrin Allyson’s concert was reviewed by The Kansas City Star.  The concert was previewed by KCUR.

*Bobby Watson was interviewed by Jon Hart in a 36-minute Local 909 session.

*Ted Gioia, the author of the new book How To Listen to Jazz, chatted with Steve Kraske on KCUR’s Up to Date.

*James Conqueror, the man in charge of the Mutual Musician Foundation’s radio initiative, discussed his aspirations with Joe Dimino.

*Marc Myers lauds the digital reissue of the Count Basie Orchestra’s High Voltage.

*The documentary Kansas City Dreamin’ (Music In Shadows) features Diallo Javonne French’s photographs.  (Via Tony’s Kansas City.)

*Tweet o’ the Week: My New Band- Absorbed Lasagna is the name of my new Kansas City jazz quintet

*From a press release: Jazz luminaries David Basse and Joe Cartwright will bring a septet to Polsky Theatre in the Johnson County Community College Carlsen Center at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, as part of JCCC’s Winterlude concerts... Tickets, which are $20, are available online at… Other members of the septet are Seth Lee, bass; Taylor Babb, drums; Jason Goudeau, trombone; Stephen Martin, saxophone, and Nate Nall, trumpet.

*From a press release: Community Christian Church presents Jazz Carolfest 2016! Join Tim Whitmer and his all star cast of friends on Sunday, December 4 at 4pm for a swinging start to the Christmas season. The line-up features artists of from several generations including the talents of Kelley Hunt, Millie Edwards, Diane "Mama" Ray, Molly Hammer, Greg Meise, Tevin Williams, Scotty Dennis, John Stafford, the Kansas City Bass Quartet (James Albright, Gerald Spaits, Ben Leifer, & Tim Brewer), and The Wild Women (Geneva Price, Lori Tucker, & Millie Edwards) along with pianist Tim Whitmer and the award-winning house band (Jurgen Welge, James Albright, Rod Fleeman, Everette Devan, Todd Wilkinson, & Stan Kessler)... Tickets are $25 at the door or $20 in advance and can be purchased in person or online at Community Christian Church.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Album Review: A La Mode- C'est Si Bon

The pre-war recordings of Django Reinhardt are among the greatest musical achievements of the 20th century.  I swear by this bargain-priced box set released by the JSP label.  The members of the Kansas City group A La Mode almost certainly share my admiration for the legacy of the legendary guitarist.  A La Mode’s new album C’est Si Bon recasts Parisian hot jazz for contemporary audiences.  Jesica Poell is a charismatic vocalist, but the ensemble is best when guitarist Clayton DeLong is kicking up dust with violinists Marvin Gruenbaum and Adam Galblum. 

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)