Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes
*The outstanding lineup for the Prairie Village Jazz Festival- the Karrin Allyson Quintet, the Bobby Watson Quartet, the Megan Birdsall Quartet, the Mike Metheny Quartet, the Rich Wheeler Quartet and Diverse- is revealed by KCJazzLark.
*A collection of Ahmad Alaadeen's "arrangements, manuscripts and recordings" has been donated to UMKC. A related press release is posted below.
*The Financial Times calls Logan Richardson a "cerebral improviser with a tough-toned veneer" in a review of a gig in London. Richardson appears understandably displeased at the 1:59 mark in a brief appearance with Tony Tixier on French television.
*KCTV5 "investigates" an alleged lack of progress in the Jazz District. Mike Hendrick's piece on Ephren Taylor Jr. offers insights into stalled plans for one high-profile development.
*Hermon Mehari promoted last Friday's concert at Crossroads KC on a television station's morning show. Over 1,000 people attended the event that featured Diverse, Making Movies and Hearts of Darkness.
*Jeneé Osterheldt suggests that Hearts of Darkness offers a "true taste of Kansas City."
*A story about preparations for the All-Star Game includes references to the American Jazz Museum.
*The New Music Summer Festival takes place July 23-28 in Columbia. Stephanie Berg, a graduate of Park Hill South High School, is among this year's resident composers.
*Bobby Watson will perform in Europe later this month. The Star offers a photo of Watson playing with his big band Monday at the Blue Room.
*The saga of the namesake of this site is revisited at the American Jazz Museum's Tumblr account.
*Marc Myers' interview with Ed Shaughnessy contains several Charlie Parker-related insights.
*A couple years ago I proposed an initiative to have locally-based artists perform on the national broadcast of last night's MLB All-Star game. I failed. The broadcast featured performances by Tennessee-based bluesman Arthur Adams, current American Idol winner Phillip Phillips (the Georgian played a rootsy pop song), country's "platinum-selling superstar" Luke Bryan (another Georgia native) and country vocalist and Georgia native Kellie Pickler. Alas- no Bobby Watson, Pat Metheny or Tech N9ne.
*Tweet o' the Week: Clint Ashlock- You could be hearing Bobby Watson for $5 right now. #KCJAZZ
*Comment o' the Week: Matt Leifer- Voyager!!! This show would make the season worthwhile even if every other act was terrible. 2:00 of a quiet buildup on youtube doesn't do it justice. Buy the album: Voyager, Live by Night and get excited. Walter Smith III makes me giddy.
*From Michael Pagan: The Jazz in the Weeds Festival. A $10 donation gets you 4 hours of live jazz, food, beverages and ice cream. An indoor facility provided in case of rain. 7607 E. 65th St., Kansas City, MO 64133. July 21: Monte Musa Duo, Bill Crain Quartet, James Ward Band, Sons of Brazil. July 28: Ken Loverns Organ Jazz Trio, Moon City Big Band, Killer Strayhorn, Michael Pagan Quartet.
*From UMKC: The collection of saxophonist, composer, and educator Ahmad Alaadeen has been donated to the LaBudde Special Collections and Marr Sound Archives in the Miller Nichols Library at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Fanny Dunfee, widow of the acclaimed Kansas City jazz icon, donated the collection, which includes arrangements, music manuscripts, photos, memorabilia, performance videos and audio tapes along with other material related to Alaadeen's life and career.
Renowned musician and producer Najee applauded the gift. "This is a wonderful effort to preserve the legacy of one of our jazz legends," Najee said. "I am pleased that the Marr Sound Archives will safeguard this legacy of one of the profound influences on the history of Kansas City jazz."
A 2010 recipient of the American Jazz Museum's Lifetime Achievement Award, Alaadeen was born and came of age musically in Kansas City. He first picked up the saxophone when he was in sixth grade, and later studied with Leo H. Davis, a revered music teacher at R.T. Coles High School.
Alaadeen's professional debut was with Davis' concert band when he was 14, playing E-flat horn. His first major job was playing baritone sax with the great pianist-bandleader Jay McShann.
Alaadeen attended the Kansas City Conservatory of Music, now the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance, and continued his education at St. Mary's College and DePaul University. He served in the military during 1957-59, taking on the job of jazz saxophonist and principal oboist with the 4th Army Band.
Over the course of his performing career, he worked with such jazz luminaries as Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, the Count Basie Orchestra, Della Reese, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, T-Bone Walker, Claude "Fiddler" Williams, and also alongside noted R&B stars, including Rufus Thomas, Carla Thomas, Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson, the Temptations, Four Tops and Sam Cooke.
After returning to Kansas City, Alaadeen became a well-respected educator, teaching jazz in both the school system and privately. In 2009, Alaadeen authored The Rest of the Story: Jazz Improvisation and History, a method manual in which he shares the secrets of how he learned music, passed down to him by the masters.
Alaadeen was the recipient of the Jazz Heritage Award, the Missouri Humanities Council's Community Heritage Award, and the Missouri Arts Award. In 2004 he was presented Kansas City's Lifetime Achievement Award.
Alaadeen passed away from cancer on August 15, 2010 at the age of 76.
(Original All-Star image by Plastic Sax.)