Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*Pete Weber has informed Plastic Sax of forthcoming live tapings of 12th Street Jump featuring prominent guest artists.  They include Karrin Allyson on September 16, Kevin Mahogany on November 27 and Bobby Watson on December 20.  Each event will be held at Unity on the Plaza.

*The Village Voice hails Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker, the first volume of Stanley Crouch's forthcoming biography of Bird.

*Stephen Butler created a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a Bobby Watson-related project.

*Poncho Sanchez will be featured in a "special artist talk" at the American Jazz Museum at 2 p.m. on Friday, September 6.  The event is "free and open to the public."  Sanchez performs at the Blue Room Friday evening.

*KC Jazz Lark shares a few general observations about the region's jazz scene.

*Greg Carroll of the American Jazz Museum was included in KCUR's panel discussion about "The Impact of Latin American Music".  The museum is currently hosting the American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music exhibit. 

*The Black House Collective is  preparing for its new music festival.

*Steve Paul captured a portion of the recent performance by Matt Otto's Shoe-Less Joe at the Blue Room.

*Today is the deadline for contributions to a Kickstarter campaign intended to raise funds for a theatrical production based on the life of Myra Taylor.  With 11 hours remaining, $1,157 of the $14,000 goal had been pledged.

*Russell Thorpe proposes a different sort of blindfold test.

*Ben Ratliff reviewed last weekend's Charlie Parker Jazz Festival for The New York Times. And here's a photo set documenting the event.

*Hermon Mehari demonstrates a trumpet for B.A.C. Horn Doctor.

*Tweet o' the Week: Troy Diggs- KC folks: I see that the former Outa Bounds is being flipped into a jazz club? I'm intrigued. Anybody know more?

*Comment o' the Week: Sam- thanks for Bobby blindfold test...great stuff.

*From a press release: Saxophonist-composer-producer-educator Bobby Watson is proud to release, Check Cashing Day, the second self-produced recording on Watson's label, Lafiya Music. The project, which honors the March on Washington's 50th anniversary and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s iconic "I Have A Dream" speech, is now available digitally (August 28, 2013) and will be released physically on November 12, 2013.  As Watson reflects, Check Cashing Day serves as "a commentary on where we've been, where we are, and where we need to go as a people, as a country, and as a global community." Instead of focusing on the iconic "I Have A Dream" aspect of Dr. King's speech, Watson chose to concentrate on another very significant part: the reason why over 300,000 people, black and white, gathered in Washington, D.C. on August 28, 1963. Dr. King spoke of coming to Washington to cash a 100 year old check, a moral check that the founding fathers wrote into the Declaration of Independence, but to this day, the check keeps coming back marked 'insufficient funds.' "This, being the year of my 60th birthday, I sadly understand that Dr. King's dream has not been fully realized and the struggle continues," says Watson.  Introducing poet and spoken word artist Glenn North from Kansas City, MO, Check Cashing Day is a concept recording with 15 tracks portrayed in the vein of musical theatre. "I asked Glenn to put some poetry, from his perspective, to several of my compositions, as well as one written by vocalist Pamela Baskin-Watson and two by bassist Curtis Lundy," comments Watson. "It was my desire with this project to produce poetry that would in some ways cleanse the soul," notes North. In addition, Watson's release features trumpeter Hermon Mehari, pianist Richard Johnson, drummer Eric Kennedy, flutist Horace Washington, and trombonist Karita Carter.  With Watson's commentary on the ongoing struggle of todays racial inequalities spotlighted on compositions such as the title track "Check Cashing Day (For Ms. Trudy)" and "MLK on Jazz (Love Transforms)," he offers a recording that provokes positive conversation and continued movement towards Dr. King's 'dream,' so that the 'dream' becomes a reality in today's world. "The result is something more powerful and thought provoking than I could have imagined," concludes Watson.

*From Ron Carlson: Enjoy the cool sounds of jazz vibraphone as New York City meets Kansas City!  New York City musicians Diana Herold and Grisha Alexiev team up with Kansas City musicians Ron Carlson and Greg Clinkingbeard for an evening of original material and classic jazz standards! Diana and Grisha are veterans of the New York music scene and have lots of music and stories to share.  Percussionist Diana Herold has received graduate degrees from the New England Conservatory and Rice University.  Adept at performing both improvised and non-improvised music, Diana has worked and traveled abroad with musicians such as Yo Yo Ma, Kenny Wheeler, Alex Rostotsky, Buddy DeFranco, Ray Brown, Wynton Marsalis, They Might Be Giants and the Joint Chiefs. She has performed in multiple Broadway shows including the Lion King, off-Broadway shows, several orchestras and leads her own latin and jazz groups featuring her original compositions.  Grisha Alexiev has been playing drums for over forty years and has written more than 400 compositions. He has performed with a variety of artists including Archie Bell, Ken Werner, Sinfonia of Auckland New Zealand, Sam Rivers, Sandy Weston, Marty Ehrlich, Julius Hemphill, John Cage, Arnett Cobb, Muhal Richard Abrams, Anthony Braxton and Richard Stoltzman.  Grisha has been commissioned by dance companies and is recorded on the Jazz Club, Rounder, Soul-note and Mapleshade labels.  Diana Herold / Grisha Alexiev Quartet --- Diana Herold (vibes), Grisha Alexiev (drums), Ron Carlson (flute, guitar) and Greg Clinkingbeard (bass).  Friday, Sept 6th, Lucky Brewgrille, 6-9 pm, No cover.  Saturday, Sept 14th, Take Five Coffee Bar, 8-10pm, $5 cover.

*From a press release: The American Jazz Museum received email notification last evening that The Blue Room has been named among Ingram's, "Best of Kansas City" winners again this year in the Jazz or Blues Club category.

*From Mike Pagan: Tickets for this Sunday's Dueling Piano Summit concert have been reduced to $25.00 each, effective immediately. Tickets at the door the day of the show will be $35.00. Individuals who purchased a ticket at the $50 price will receive a refund of $25.00 per ticket. Contact Michael Pagán at 816.589.9384 for further info.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

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