Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*An amazing turn of events in the life of the Basie band's Frank Foster is recounted at A Blog Supreme. (Initial tip via KCJazzLark.)

*A cover story on filmmaker Sue Vicory begins on page 42 of KC Studio magazine.

*Fascinating "final thoughts" conclude KCJazzLark's series on the formation of the American Jazz Museum.

*The Pitch revealed the nominees for its annual music awards. Nominees in the category of "Jazz: Ensemble" are The People's Liberation Big Band, The Jazz Disciples, Snuff Jazz, Organic Proof, The McFadden Brothers and Trio ALL. Nominees in the category of "Jazz: Solo Artist" are Mark Lowrey, Megan Birdsall, Bobby Watson, Everette DeVan, Horace Washington and Gerald Dunn. Diverse is an "Emerging Act" nominee. Mouth is an "Experimental" nominee.

*The Mutual Musicians Foundation is hosting a "Piano-Thon fundraiser" July 15-16. Chris Clarke, Roger Wilder, Charles Williams, Everette Freeman, Rich Hill, Luqman Hamza, Murray Fields, Don Cox, James Hathaway, Karriem Sayles, TJ Martley and Michael Pagan are among the participants.

*Eldar performs at a fundraiser for the Prairie Village Jazz Festival at Indian Hills Country Club on August 7. From the festival's site: Ticket reservations are $50 for individuals and only $85 for couples. VIP reservations are also available which include premium seating, dinner with wine, and a cocktail hour. VIP reservations are $125 for indviduals and $225 for couples.

*An artist reveals his work for this year's Rhythm & Ribs festival.

*The Hannibal Courier-Post profiled saxophonist Michael Schults.

*An 11-year-old traveled from Italy to Kansas City to study with pianist Charles Williams. (Initial tip via Tony's Kansas City.)

*Mark Edelman recommends several jazz gigs.

*Marc Meyers and Ira Gitler provide valuable insights into the titles of a few Charlie Parker compositions.

*Bobby Watson appears on the new album by Tobias Gebb.

*A blogger and photographer had a good time at the Mutual Musicians Foundation.

*Tony's Kansas City continues an enthusiastic series of items about Dave Stephens.

*The debut CD release of Alaturka's Tamam Abi is July 25 at Jardine's.

*The acclaimed Howard Johnson performed in Kansas City on Monday as a member of Levon Helm's band.

*From Mark Lowrey: I want to tell you about what will be my first solo piano CD. I've decided to record it live at Jardines and I want you to come... The date of the live recording is August 1st with two performances, at 6 and 8:30pm. All that attend this recording session will become "Co-Executive Producers" and will be named in the liner notes of the CD. Cool, huh? Tickets are $20 and can be bought at Jardines (4536 Main st. 816.561.6480) or from me at any of my gigs. There are 100 seats for each show, and I'm really trying for a sell out.

*Big news from JCCC- here's an abbreviated press release: Winter may be howling at the door, but Johnson County Community College will be hosting four days of hot jazz during its second annual Jazz Winterlude Jan. 20-23, 2011, in Polsky Theater and Yardley Hall of the Carlsen Center. This year’s festival features an all-new lineup of performers, including the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Ensemble and former Kansas drummer Todd Strait; jazz clinics for middle and high school students; and a free kick-off performance... Performing groups, all new except the Sunday brunch Dan DeLuca Trio, are mostly local, although some have asked Strait, now of Portland, to join them.

Performers include New Order Jazz Band featuring Megan Birdsall, Dan Thomas Quartet, Kerry Strayer Dixieland Band, Bram Wijnands Trio, Angela Hagenbach Quartet, Westport Jazz Ensemble including Todd Strait, Joe Cartwright Quartet featuring Kim Park, Diverse Trio, Julie Turner/Tommy Ruskin Group, Dwight Foster Quartet, Millie Edwards Quartet, Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Ensemble, PBT featuring Todd Strait and Carol Comer and the Dan DeLuca Trio.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)


Happy In Bag said...

Note to readers- I publish almost every comment left at Plastic Sax, but I decided to reject a libelous assertion someone just made about two people mentioned in this post. Sorry.

the unthinking lemming said...

Howard Johnson is my hero.

Happy In Bag said...

That makes sense, UL.

Allow me ask you a provocative question:

The music was magnificent during Levon Helm's concert. And while Johnson has an extensive resume that includes previous work with The Band, do you find it just a little sad that a great 68-year-old jazz musician finds himself touring with a 15-piece rock band?

bgo said...

The estate of Milton Morris probably owes Frank a couple grand for repeated plays of "Shiny Stocking" in the tap room through the years. I heard scores of times during my lost years holding up the end of the bar closet to Main Street.

bgo said...

When Howard Johnson led the 'tuba section' in Taj Mahal's band years ago I thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Happy In Bag said...

Oh man, BGO. You're a goldmine. My first blues/folk show was a Taj Mahal concert in the late '70s at UMKC. I remember walking to the concert and sitting on the floor with a bunch of hippies. My mind was blown.

bgo said...

Perhaps my favorite Taj record and here is a sample along with some wild blowing from Mr. Johnson and the other tubanaires.

Dean Minderman said...

Nthing the approval of Howard Johnson with Taj Mahal and the Band. He also sounded great with Gil Evans, and anchoring the horn section on the first Paul Butterfield Better Days album.

Is it a known thing that he doesn't like/want to tour? Absent any information that he's doing it solely because he has to, in order to make the rent, I don't find it sad at all that he's out with Levon Helm.

Musicians naturally want to play music, and will take what work is available to them at any given time. Johnson is a an excellent and versatile player, but never really developed a solo career as such.

Therefore, if he wants to play, he's gotta find a gig. This seems like it would be a good one, though perhaps not particularly glamorous or big-budget lucrative.

Johnson and Helm have a previous musical relationship dating back 35+ years, and it sounds like Levon's band is sounding really good these days. As long as Johnson is there voluntarily, the music is happening, and he's getting paid the agreed-upon wages, I don't see the problem.

the unthinking lemming said...

Tuba players got bills to pay just like everybody else. OTOH, I would much rather see Mr. Johnson playing with his 6 tuba jazz ensemble, Gravity!

Mike Stover said...

Hi all,

Apologies for not giving notice in a timely fashion, but I'd like to point out that the People's Liberation Big Band will celebrate the two-year anniversary of Jeff Harshbarger's jazz & experimental music series at the Record Bar this Sunday. To celebrate we'll be dipping into the book for a 'retrospective' of sorts, revisiting a couple of one-off pieces (including our reimagining of the Who's Super Bowl halftime show and our score for the classic PSA film VD Is For Everybody), and (as ever) debuting some new works. This Sunday at the Record Bar, 8pm hit.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps KC Jazz Lark could shed some light on how the tenor sax was put on Bird's grave stone.

Anonymous said...

The Kansas City Jazz Commission...another reason why government needs to govern and stay out of our lives.

kcjazzlark said...

I just saw mention of the tenor sax on Bird's tombstone.

That was handled by the Kansas City Jazz Commission long after I left it. There had been an insignificant marker at the grave site. To the Commission's credit, they were the only group to raise the money for a new stone. But somehow, they missed that it pictured a tenor and not an alto sax. I wasn't involved, and I've never asked the people who were, so I don't know how something so important was overlooked.

Their intentions were good. But it is a major embarrassment.