Thursday, December 13, 2018

Now's the Time: Julian Vaughn

The Kansas City bassist Julian Vaughn headlines the Gift of Christmas concert at the Gem Theater on Saturday, December 15.  The show is one of 25 of the date’s gigs listed on The Kansas City Jazz Calendar.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*Logan Richardson’s Blues People is selected as the third best jazz album of 2018 by The New York Times’ Giovanni Russonello.

*Violinist Regina Carter is nominated for a Grammy Award for a solo on Karrin Allyson’s new album.  The Count Basie Orchestra’s All About That Basie is nominated for the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album.  The complete list of nominations is here.

*Molly Hammer appeared on a television morning show.

*David Basse hails the Jazz Studies program at UMKC for the institution’s student newspaper.

*A press release touts Anita Dixon’s efforts as a cultural heritage strategist.

*The Marcus Lewis Big Band, the Project H and Chris Hazelton’s Boogaloo 7 are among the best music of 2018 selections made by the staff of radio station 90.9 The Bridge.

*Chris Burnett lists his favorite albums of 2018.

*Marc Myers takes note of World Gardens, the latest album by the Italian pianist Roberto Magris that features Dominique Sanders, Brian Steever and Pablo Sanhueza.

*Tweet o’ the Week: Lee Rice Epstein- Yesterday, I was going to make an ironic joke about how outré a Count Basie album would be in 2018, and today I saw the Grammy noms, so that's a wrap, folks.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Album Review: Michael Pagán and Greg Carroll- 2+2

The collaboration between vibraphonist Gary Burton and pianist Chick Corea is one of the most spellbinding partnerships in jazz.  Greg Carroll and Michael Pagán conjure similarly appealing- albeit considerably less adventurous- magic on their new album 2+2.

Pagán, one of Kansas City’s most formidable pianists, teaches at Ottawa University.  The fine vibraphonist Carroll is the former CEO of the American Jazz Museum.  Carroll adds marimba, drums and percussion accents to 2+2.  Bass and additional keyboards are provided by Pagán.

The formalists play with assured elegance on graceful tracks like “Hawk Watcher” and “Oak Tree.”  The enchanting spell is broken only on the cringeworthy closing selection “Now’s the Time: To Pay For Jazz.”  Assuming jive voices, the men demand that the people of Kansas City “stop forgetting about the jazz.”  It’s a grating conclusion to an otherwise stately recording.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Now's the Time: The Joe Locke Trio

The ensemble performing at the Blue Room on Saturday, December 8, may be named the Joe Locke Trio, but a fair number of the people in the club will be most excited to catch Marvin “Smitty” Smith.  The venerable drummer will demonstrate his mastery of his instrument with the noted vibraphonist Locke and organist Pat Bianchi.  The Kansas City Jazz Calendar lists all of December’s gigs.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*The Kansas City jazz historian Larry Kopitnik and The Kansas City Star’s Mark Davis discussed the travails of the Mutual Musicians Foundation with KCUR’s Steve Kraske.

*Ernest Melton was interviewed by Joe Dimino.  Dimino also shared footage of the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra’s holiday concert.

*Snarky Puppy will perform at Muriel Kauffman Theatre on June 11, 2019.

*A Bay Area musician is seeking funding for a project titled Visions of Kansas City.

*Tweet o’ the Week: KPGZ-lp 102.7FM- More variety on the radio starts this weekend! If you like good jazz, you'll want to check out Neon Jazz with Joe Dimino. Sundays at 7pm on 102.7FM #CommunityRadio #KearneyMO #ClayCountyMO #KPGZ #Jazz #SmallTownBigSound

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Zero Tolerance for Silence

My feelings are hurt.  Pat Metheny, the Lee’s Summit native who created the intoxicating music that served as a primary gateway drug into my unhealthy obsession with jazz, hasn’t performed inside the city limits of Kansas City in more than six years.  Although he tours relentlessly in a variety of configurations, Metheny repeatedly snubs Kansas City.  I blame Topeka.  Less than 400 people attended a 2014 concert by the Pat Metheny Unity Group at the 2,400-capacity Topeka Performing Arts Center.  (By point of comparison, I reviewed a sold-out Metheny concert at a 2,800-capacity Italian venue in 2010.)  He hasn’t been back since.  Not only does Metheny’s prolonged absence since the Topeka debacle reflect poorly on the greater Kansas City area, it’s compelled me to consider a trek to the comparatively cosmopolitan metropolis of Savannah, Georgia, in March.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Friday, November 30, 2018

Now's the Time: Adam Larson

The New York based saxophonist Adam Larson will perform at Green Lady Lounge on Sunday, December 2, and at Black Dolphin on Monday, December 3.  Larson’s fourth album Second City was released by Greg Osby’s Inner Circle Music label last year.  All of December’s bookings are compiled at The Kansas City Jazz Calendar.