Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*The Kansas City Star reports that a coalition of non-profit organizations in the Jazz District are requesting $7 million in additional funding from the city.

*KC Jazz Lark looks back at 2015.

*Rich Wheeler is quoted in an article about the closing of the current incarnation of the RecordBar.

*Hermon Mehari will lead a band at Noce Jazz Cabaret, new jazz club in Des Moines, on January 7.

*Tweet o’ the Week: St. Louis Jazz Notes- Updated today w/ 18 more lists! - Rounding up the "Best Jazz of 2015" lists: (link)

*Comment o’ the Week: KC Jazz Lark- Wow. Sure didn't see this coming. Thank you. And let me note that putting Joe Lovano with her group was all Deborah's brilliance. The festival just gave her the opportunity to do so.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Larry Kopitnik: The Plastic Sax Person of the Year

Larry Kopitnik has been one of the best friends to the Kansas City jazz community for several years.  A tireless advocate of Kansas City jazz’s past, present and future, Larry is a selfless promoter of the scene.  He’s one of those indispensable people without whom the entire infrastructure might crumble.  That’s why Larry is Plastic Sax’s 2015 Person of the Year.

Here’s a partial list of Larry’s contributions:

Blogger. Larry was partly motivated to found his Kansas City jazz blog KC Jazz Lark in 2009 to offer a tempered counterpoint to Plastic Sax. While Larry’s measured tone is usually diplomatic, he’s not afraid to point out uncomfortable truths or to offer strong opinions. 

Journalist. The weekly Jazz Beat column and occasional features Larry writes for The Pitch are essential reading.  He also recently became the editor of JAM, the distinguished magazine of the booster organization the Jazz Ambassadors.

Festivities.  Larry’s savvy oversight has made The Prairie Village Jazz Festival one of the highlights of the area’s arts calendar.  The brilliant pairing of Deborah Brown with Joe Lovano in 2014 reflects Larry’s daring approach to booking.

Photography. Larry is a fine photographer.  Many of his images serve as the default publicity shots for musicians and bands.

Support.  A lot of people talk about supporting live jazz.  Larry actually does it.  He’s one of the most attentive members of audiences at performances throughout the area.

Institutional Memory.  In previous decades, Larry served as the president of the Kansas City Jazz Festival and was the chairman of the Kansas City Jazz Commission.  He’s also an amateur historian.  The breadth of his knowledge allows Larry to provide invaluable context to current developments.

Sage.  Larry acts as a trusted advisor to musicians and venue owners.  As with the rest of Kansas City’s jazz community, they’re lucky to have him.

The previous recipients of Plastic Sax's Person of the Year award are Deborah Brown (2014), Stan Kessler (2013), Doug and Lori Chandler (2012), Jeff Harshbarger (2011), Mark Lowrey (2010) and Hermon Mehari (2009).  Bobby Watson was named the Plastic Person Person of the Decade in 2009.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Now's the Time: BCR

Anyone who’s ever wanted to see Stan Kessler lip-sync is in for a treat.  Kessler and bandmates including Dwight Frizzell, Bill Dye and Randy Weinstein mug their way through a tune from a recently released BCR album in footage captured at the Grand Emporium in 1995.  BCR hosts an "ultra-flesh dance" party at Californos on Saturday, December 26.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*Eddie Moore reports that his group’s third album will be issued by Ropeadope.

*KC Jazz Lark has a fevered holiday vision.

*Songs by Eddie Moore and the Outer Circle and Chris Hazelton’s Boogaloo 7 were featured on an episode of KCUR’s Up To Date last week.  Here’s the podcast.

*The jazz writer for The Pitch selects a few highlights of 2015.

*A recent Plastic Sax post seems to have enlivened Inside Jazz KC. 

*Four albums by Kansas City-related artists were among the 461 releases acknowledged by at least one of the 147 critics who participated in the 10th Annual Jazz Critics Poll.  The rankings included Karrin Allyson (#144), Prism Quartet (#182), Eddie Moore and the Outer Circle (#296) and Pat Metheny (#452).

*Tweet o’ the Week: Karli Ritter- Green lady lounge never disappoints! (Vine)

*Comment o’ the Week: Dean Minderman- "Blogging is harder than it looks."  Heh. QFT!

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Monday, December 21, 2015

Concert Review: Brian Scarborough Quintet at Westport CoffeeHouse

I’ve been obsessed with Bob Brookmeyer’s Traditionalism Revisited since I purchased the CD at an estate sale for $1 in September.  The premise- a set of forward-thinking jazz musicians revisit the supposedly passé music of earlier decades- is made even more fascinating by the passage of time.  The music still sparkles 58 years after the 1957 session.

I felt as if I was listening to an updated version of Traditionalism Revisited at the Westport CoffeeHouse on Wednesday as the young trombonist Brian Scarborough led a band consisting of saxophonist Rich Wheeler, guitarist Danny Embrey, bassist Jeff Harshbarger and drummer Brandon Draper.

The willingness of four of the region’s elite musicians to back Scarborough reflects his substantial talent and enormous promise.  Like Brookmeyer, Scarborough is a scholarly trombonist with deep ties to Kansas City.

Just as Brookmeyer’s reverent approach to traditional jazz was invigorated by the work of cutting-edge musicians like Jimmy Giuffre on Traditionalism Revisited, Scarborough was provoked by the progressive playing of his more experienced colleagues on Wednesday.  The delectable tension between old and new impulses made the first half of Wednesday’s concert captivating.  A reading of Duke Ellington’s “The Petal of a Rose” was one of the most beautiful things I’ve heard in 2015, but the entire first set for an audience of two dozen was profound.

In his liner notes for Traditionalism Revisited, Nat Hentoff suggested that Brookmeyer wasn’t just another commonplace “parochial hipster.”  Neither is Scarborough.  The trombonist leads a similar band at Westport CoffeeHouse on Wednesday, January 20.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Now's the Time: Justin "Justefan" Thomas

Justin Thomas, the vibraphonist who works as Justefan, is participating in the Jazz Gospel Christmas Concert at Boone Tabernacle Church of God In Christ on Friday, December 18.  The rising star made significant contributions to the Chicago drummer Makaya McCraven’s In the Moment, one of the most interesting jazz albums of 2015.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*The People’s Liberation Big Band’s final show at the current incarnation of the RecordBar attracted the biggest crowd I’ve encountered for the ensemble at the venue.  KC Jazz Lark documented the show.

*Joe Klopus previews the week’s events in his latest column.

*Jessie Riggins reviewed the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra’s most recent concert at Helzberg Hall.

*Eboni Fondren is among Joe Dimino recent interview subjects.

*Tweet o’ the Week: DalTee- Check Eddie Moore & the Outer Circle "@PLATINUMVOICEPR: What happened to jazz’s popularity in the black community?

*Comment o’ the Week: Anonymous- Congratulations to Tim Whitmer. His concert series Spirituality and all that Jazz has run the first Wednesday of the month since 1994. Several hundred people attend every month. The audience may be dying off but numbers have remained consistent for 21 plus years. His Jazz Carol Fest and July Jazz Jam concert productions are consistently well attended and feature many musicians.

*From Lisa Engelken: It's all sort of sudden, but I was delighted when I was requested to perform at MOODS- an art gallery and performance space that is brand spankin' new, and is the hottest new addition to Northern Topeka (NOTO)'s Art District! This will be my first concert in Topeka-- and it's so close to where I grew up!  The Lisa Engelken Quartet in concert featuring: Joe Schoonover (gtr), Kurt Morrow (bass) & David Liston (drums). Saturday, December 19th! Two Sets: 8pm & 9:15pm. $10 in advance (highly recommended) / $15 at door.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Top Jazz-Related Stories and Trends of 2015

1. It was fun while it lasted.
The quantity and quality of the jazz performances that transpire in the Kansas City area dropped precipitously in 2015.  The shuttering of Take Five Coffee + Bar- easily the region’s best listening room- was the biggest blow.  Broadway Jazz Club (later Broadway Kansas City)- one of the city’s most visible jazz supper clubs- also failed to survive the year.  EBT, a fine dining establishment that featured jazz in its lounge, will close at the end of the month.  The RecordBar, a rock club that offered jazz twice a month, lost its lease.  It’s unclear if the monthly residency of the People’s Liberation Big Band will resume when the RecordBar reopens at a different location.

2. The notable exception.
The Green Lady Lounge continues to win.  There’s never a cover charge for the swanky jazz club’s ambitious slate of performances.  On Friday and Saturday nights the Green Lady Lounge is often filled with a few dozen people born after 1965. 

3. Bad vibes.
Greg Carroll, the longtime CEO of the American Jazz Museum who’s also an accomplished vibraphonist, resigned from the position in July. 

4. Alive and well.
The jazz booster organization Kansas City Jazz Alive continued to lobby for greater awareness and an enhanced appreciation of the city’s jazz scene through a comprehensive multi-media campaign.  The annual celebration at Charlie Parker’s grave- the culmination of Kansas City Jazz Alive’s efforts- attracted almost 200 people to Lincoln Cemetery in August.

The lack of national attention for the efforts of Kansas City artists remains disappointing.  Aside from a set of Chris Robinson’s capsule reviews of locally released albums published by Downbeat in 2013, almost none of the musicians regularly featured at this site (Bobby Watson excepted) receive exposure from outlets other than Plastic Sax, KC Jazz Lark, KCUR, The Pitch and The Kansas City Star

6. Screened.
While representatives of the Mutual Musicians Foundation announced that they had successfully initiated the implementation of a low-wattage radio station that’s expected to become operational in 2016, the institution was also the driving force behind the new Kansas City & All That Jazz documentary.  The fine program should serve as a valuable resource in classrooms.

7. Dillatronic
Much of the most compelling jazz created and performed in Kansas City in 2015 continues to draw heavily on R&B and hip-hop.  Musicians including Dominique Sanders, Eddie Moore and the members of Shades of Jade are inspired by J Dilla as well as by Charlie Parker.  The downside to the trend is that unadulterated R&B bands are increasingly assigned slots that were previously occupied by jazz musicians at venues including the Blue Room.

8. Hawkeyes and Billikens.
Fans of left-of-center jazz had to travel to Iowa City or St. Louis to hear performances by many touring jazz musicians who opted to pass over Kansas City.  Examples include Rudresh Mahanthappa, Dave Douglas and Evan Parker.  Take Five Coffee + Bar’s bookings of luminaries like pianist Myra Melford and trumpeter Avishai Cohen are unlikely to be picked up by another venue.

9. Blogging is harder than it looks.
Featuring interesting content from locally based musicians, Inside Jazz Kansas City was rolled out to great fanfare in July.  The blog’s most recent post is dated August 31.  Founded in 2007, Plastic Sax is at 1,400 posts and counting.

10. Deaf ears.
The paltry audiences at far too many artistically robust performances were discouraging.  The praise heaped on Kansas City's jazz musicians at Plastic Sax seems to be falling on deaf ears.

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

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Friday, December 11, 2015

Now's the Time: Mark Tonelli

I recently learned that guitarist Mark Tonelli is based in Kansas City.  His gig with a band led by Ron Carlson at the Art Factory on Friday, December 11, is one of his most prominent area appearances.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*The Kansas City Star reports that EBT restaurant will close at the end of the month.  The establishment's lounge has long featured performances by many of Kansas City's most prominent jazz musicians.

*KC Jazz Lark assesses the “voids” in Kansas City's jazz scene.

*Bryan Hicks was the subject of a 50-minute interview on KCUR’s Central Standard program.

*Joe Klopus highlights a handful of forthcoming concerts.

*Julian Vaughn promoted his concert at the Gem Theater on a morning television program.  The Pitch recommends the show.

*Karrin Allyson was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of Best Jazz Vocal Album for Many A New Day: Karrin Allyson Sings Rodgers & Hammerstein.

(Original image of an autographed studio wall at 90.9 The Bridge by Plastic Sax.)

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Plastic Sax's Favorite Albums and Performances of 2015

Favorite Albums by Locally Based Musicians
1. Eddie Moore and the Outer Circle- Live In Kansas City (Plastic Sax review)
2. Matt Kane & the Kansas City Generations Sextet- Acknowledgement (Plastic Sax review)
3. Dominique Sanders- A True Story Based On… (Plastic Sax review)
4. Matt Villinger- All Night (Plastic Sax review)
5. Mike Metheny- Twelve For the Road (Plastic Sax review)
6. Julian Vaughn- Limitless (Plastic Sax review)
7. Paul Shinn Trio- Easy Now (Plastic Sax review)
8. Michael Pagan, Bob Bowman and Brian Steever- The Ottawa Sessions (Plastic Sax review)
9. Ron Carlson- Kind Folk (Plastic Sax review)
10. OJT- New Standards for the Green Lady (Plastic Sax review)

Favorite Albums by Musicians From Elsewhere
1. Rudresh Mahanthappa- Bird Calls (Plastic Sax review)
2. Marc Cary- Rhodes Ahead, Vol. 2
3. Matthew Shipp Trio- The Conduct of Jazz
4. Charles Gayle Trio- Christ Everlasting
5. Donny McCaslin- Fast Future
6. Charlie Hunter Trio- Let the Bells Ring On
7. Myra Melford- Snowy Egret
8. Kamasi Washington- The Epic
9. John Scofield- Past Present
10. Orrin Evans- The Evolution of Oneself

Favorite Performances by Locally Based Musicians
1. Bobby Watson Quartet- Folly Theater (Plastic Sax review)
2. Peter Schlamb’s Electric Tinks- RecordBar
3. Lauren Krum with the Project H- Westport CoffeeHouse (Plastic Sax review)
4. Eddie Moore and the Outer Circle- Take Five Coffee + Bar (Plastic Sax review)
5. Jorge Arana Trio- Riot Room patio
6. James Isaac Quartet- Take Five Coffee + Bar (Plastic Sax review)
7. Chris Hazelton’s Boogaloo 7- Green Lady Lounge
8. Jeff Harshbarger Quartet- RecordBar
9. Dojo- Green Lady Lounge (Plastic Sax review)
10. Shades of Jade- Coda (Plastic Sax review)

Favorite Performances by Musicians From Elsewhere
1. Mark Dresser, Myra Melford and Matt Wilson- Take Five Coffee + Bar (Plastic Sax review)
2. Avishai Cohen, Tal Mashiach and Nasheet Waits- Take Five Coffee + Bar (Plastic Sax review)
3. Diana Krall- Midland theater
4. Bill Frisell- White Theatre
5. Max Raabe & Palast Orchester- Helzberg Hall
6. Conrad Herwig’s Latin Jazz All-Stars- 18th & Vine Jazz and Blues Festival (Plastic Sax review)
7. Hot Sardines- Folly Theater
8. John Blevins and Drew Williams- Westport Coffeehouse (Plastic Sax review)
9. Trio Red- Blue Room (Plastic Sax review)
10. Earl Klugh- Folly Theater

Similar year-end listings were published at Plastic Sax in 2014 (albums and performances), 2013 (albums and performances), 2012, 2011 and 2010.

(Original image of Shades of Jade by Plastic Sax.)

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Now's the Time: Jessy J

Filled with gratitude for Plastic Sax’s efforts, appreciative members of Kansas City’s jazz community attempt to outdo one another every December by presenting the author of this site with lavish gifts.  Here’s a tip- all I want this year is Jessy J’s 2016 wall calendar.  The “limited edition” item is just $20 at the contemporary jazz saxophonist’s online store.  Better yet, you can have Jessy J sign it for me after her performance at the Gem Theater on Friday, December 4.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*KCUR published a lengthy review of the Count Basie Orchestra’s new Christmas album.

*A television station reports that Chris Hazelton’s gear was stolen.

*KC Jazz Lark notes the release of new albums by Ron Carlson, Mike Metheny and Michael Pagán.

*The Pitch recommends Ann Hampton Callaway’s appearance with the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra.

*Tweet o’ the Week: Dee Dee Bridgewater- How much do I love this poster?!?Thank you @TheFollyTheater Looking forward to next year!

*Comment o’ the Week: Anonymous- Audience size is something worth talking about. Pretending it doesn't matter won't help anything. If the music isn't connecting with people we should acknoledge that and, as culture-makers, adapt. And by adapt I dont mean more Radiohead tributes and hip hop fusion. I think that people really want to believe that jazz hasn't become an academic music. But it has. We can argue about why (the Marsalis museum perspective, or the jock culture of college big band competitions, trotting out the race card, etc...) but the artists have ultimately let the music fade out of relevance. Instead of dealing with this issue, most jazz musicians chose to double down on fanaticism and view themselves as enlightened martyrs.

*From a press release: The People's Liberation Big Band of Greater Kansas City will end its seven and a half year run of monthly performances at the RecordBar on Sunday, December 6. The ensemble will document this final RecordBar performance with a live recording featuring compositions by band members Patrick Alonzo Conway, Brad Cox, Forest Stewart, Nick Howell, Matt Otto and Mark Southerland. Cover price at the door is $5. During the performance The People’s Liberation Big Band will also hold a fundraiser for the newly established New and Improvised Music Foundation of Kansas City. The New and Improvised Music Foundation of Kansas City is a non-profit corporation created for the purpose of helping musicians secure funding for creative music projects. As a result of its monthly RecordBar engagement, The People's Liberation Big Band has created more than sixty new original large ensemble jazz pieces over the past seven years, including large-scale work such as the ensemble's original film score for Battleship Potemkin, music for the one-act play Voyeur, and music for three short animated films by Vladislav Starevich. The group's December 6 RecordBar performance will feature such fixtures of the Kansas City jazz community as Roger Wilder, Matt Otto, Jeff Harshbarger and Rich Wheeler, as well as vocalist Shay Estes.

*The Kansas City Jazz Calendar has bee updated for December.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Ain't Misbehavin'

Michael Shults made a reasonable request in his thoughtful response to a recent Plastic Sax post that linked to Natalie Gallagher’s story about Eddie Moore.
Great article on Eddie and I have really liked Natalie's writing on jazz for the Pitch! What's with every single music critic's obligatory preamble about how nobody's actually listening/the crowds are sparse at jazz-oriented gigs, though? Can we put a moratorium on this angle for awhile? Lookin' at you too, Bill.
Shullts isn’t the only person who objects to this recurring story line.  The appeal merits a detailed response.

The official narrative constructed by the staffs of tourism bureaus and public officials- most of whom I've never encountered at a jazz performance- is that Kansas City’s populace is obsessed with jazz.  The fallacy is perpetuated by jazz educators (lookin’ at you too, Michael) and enthusiasts wearing rose-colored glasses.

Regularly attending attend rock, hip-hop, pop, classical and R&B shows provides “music critics” with the benefit of context.  Natalie and I mention the poor attendance and audience indifference at jazz gigs because it's shocking.  We generally don’t encounter empty rooms and disinterested listeners elsewhere.

Jazz isn’t being singled out.  My review of Kanye West's 2013 concert at the Sprint Center was a lead item at aggregators like the Huffington Post, Reddit and the Drudge Report because I observed that the arena was only a quarter full. 

It was a tantalizing story when less than 5,000 people purchased $44.50-$125 tickets to see Yeezy.  It's also a story when less than 200 people paid $10-$50 to attend a well-promoted concert by the leading jazz luminary Julian Lage at the 1,050-seat Folly Theater last weekend. 

I’ve attended several jazz gigs by Kansas City musicians in 2015 at which the audience numbered less than ten.  It breaks my heart.  And for the hundredth time- these observations aren’t a reflection of the quality of the music.

I have no intention of glossing over the discouraging reality that so few people in Kansas City currently share our passion for this music.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Now's the Time: Ann Hampton Callaway

Ann Hampton Callaway will join the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra at Helzberg Hall for the big band’s annual holiday concert on Tuesday, December 8.  The diva demonstrates her cabaret side in the embedded video.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*Eddie Moore is the subject of a lengthy profile in The Pitch.

*KC Jazz Lark touts the new issue of JAM magazine.

*The Kansas City Star reviewed Diana Krall’s return to the Midland theater.

*Libby Hanssen reviewed Julian Lage’s concert at the Folly Theater.

*The Pitch recommends New Jazz Order’s weekly gig at the Green Lady Lounge.

*Joe Dimino’s recent interview subjects include Michael Carvin.

*Tweet o’ the Week: Brett Jackson- Recording today at the immaculate @strangelandhq for @krizzkaliko. Keep your ears and eyes peeled…(image)

*Comment o’ the Week: Anonymous- My favorite part of her last KC appearance was getting to see Anthony Wilson join Matt Otto for a killer show at the Westport Coffee House. It would be nice to hear that again.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Monday, November 23, 2015

Video Review: Kansas City & All That Jazz

As “Kansas City & All That Jazz” aired on KSHB on September, a friend who listens primarily to punk rock sent me an enthusiastic series of  texts about the broadcast.  He loved the documentary and admitted that most of the information it imparted was new to him. 

The 55-minute program has been sitting on my DVR since the initial broadcast but I only recently got around to watching it.  “Kansas City & All That Jazz” is a slick if somewhat dry effort that tracks the development of Kansas City jazz.  A heavy emphasis is placed on the role played by the Mutual Musicians Foundation.  The production values are first-rate and the pacing is commendable.

Ken Burns-style pans over sepia-toned photos are interspersed with interviews with Bobby Watson, Chuck Haddix, Sonny Gibson, Anita Dixon, Jamey Aebersold, Dr. Larry Ridley and James Hathaway.  Musicians featured in a jam session at the Foundation include Ryan Thielman, Ernest Melton, DeAndre Manning, Chris Clarke and Lonnie McFadden.

Devoted readers of Plastic Sax are unlikely to learn anything new, but “Kansas City & All That Jazz” is essential viewing for anyone with even a passing interest in the history in jazz or in the cultural significance of Kansas City.

The production doesn’t appear to be available for purchase (it would have made a great holiday gift), but the documentary certainly merits more than 600 views at YouTube.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Now's the Time: Diana Krall

I adored Diana Krall’s concert at the Midland theater in 2013.  Her roots in jazz were implied rather demonstrated.  The interpretation of her husband’s exquisite ballad “Almost Blue” in the embedded video is indicative of Krall's sophisticated adult pop.  She returns to the Midland on Saturday, November 21.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*Joe Klopus’ latest column for The Kansas City Star focuses on Julian Lage’s upcoming concert at the Folly Theater.  The Pitch also recommends the show.

*Shades of Jade created a video for “That One.”

*Steve Waugh of the Topeka Jazz Workshop was featured on Talk About Topeka.

*Pat Metheny trainspotters are excited about the possibility of a new band lineup.

*Scott Yanow is among Joe Dimino’s most recent interview subjects.

*St. Louis Jazz Notes reports that Stanley Clarke and Eliane Elias will perform separate concerts in the Lou on Saturday.

*Tweet o’ the Week: Jack Childress- The Green Lady Lounge is playing jazz tonight.

*Comment o’ the Week: Anonymous- Glad to see Drew bringing some interesting stuff to KC. The local guys are too busy keeping their stuff boring so they can play at the Green Lady.

From a press release: To celebrate what would have been the 100th birthday of Frank Sinatra, the Kansas City Jazz Ambassadors (KCJA) is sponsoring a gala at the Uptown Theatre on December 12. The Dave Stephens Band is the music headliner. The Jazz Ambassadors will honor Mayor Sly James as the 2015 Kansas City Jazz Ambassador of the Year… Mayor Sly James was chosen the Kansas City Jazz Ambassador of the Year for his unequaled Ambassadorship to jazz and Kansas City… Many have heard the mayor’s “jazz chops” as he’s taken the mic around town… This event will raise funds to support the Kansas City jazz community. The mission of the 31-year-old nonprofit Kansas City Jazz Ambassadors is to promote Kansas City jazz, and raise funds to support Kansas City jazz musicians, jazz initiatives, and jazz education.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Concert Review: John Blevins and Drew Williams at the Westport CoffeeHouse Theater

Drew Williams offered heartfelt thanks to the family and friends who attended his showcase at Westport CoffeeHouse Theater last Wednesday. 

The body language of at least a couple members of the audience indicated they’d didn't care for egghead jazz.  Seated between the only two of 30 people that didn’t seem to have a personal connection to the former Kansas City resident, I adored the nerdy sounds.

The ambitious concert began with a 40-minute set of Williams’ compositions.  Many of the arrangements performed by an octet resembled Sun Ra-penned pep band fight songs for a mathlete team. 

Williams occasionally looped his bass clarinet.  The contributions of guitarist Jeff McLaughlin and drummer Nathan Ellman-Bell were also intriguing.  Although the musicians’ intense concentration on sheet music detracted from the presentation, Williams’ bold experimentation resulted in one the most exciting jazz-based performances I’ve heard in Kansas City in 2015.

A subsequent quintet interpretation of material from the New York based trumpeter John BlevinsMatterhorn album was almost as engaging.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Now's the Time: Julian Lage

Julian Lage, 27, one of the most important musicians of his generation, will return to Kansas City for a concert on Saturday, November 21.  He’ll be joined at the Folly Theater by bassist Orlando Flemming and Kenny Wollesen, a drummer best known for his work with Bill Frisell and John Zorn.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*Gerald Spaits was interviewed by Natalie Gallagher in advance of his Sax and Violins show at the Westport Coffeehouse.

*Joe Dimino’s recent interviews include chats with Matt Villinger and Chris Hazelton.

*Hermon Mehari was featured by a design studio.

*The Pitch notes that Kevin Mahogany will be in town this week. 

*Will Matthews was highlighted on KCUR’s Local Listen. 

*The Kansas City Star reports that a memorial to Rowena Stewart, the founding executive director of the American Jazz Museum, will be held at the Blue Room on Thursday, November 12.

*Tweet o’ the Week: Dominique Sanders- In January of this year i dropped my debut album!!! Haven't heard it yet check it out! Music with no boundaries. (link)

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Album Review: Mike Metheny- Twelve For the Road

Mike Metheny is very smart.  He’s also extremely funny.  It’s difficult to discern, consequently, if the press release that accompanies his new album Twelve For the Road is meant to be taken seriously.
My checkered career as a jazz soloist can be seen in two parts.  Part one: I’m getting away with this mostly because of my Pat connection- along with the support of some very talented colleagues and equally generous listeners- and part two: because the vote is in on part one, it seems like a good time to try something different.
With all but one of the ten selections consisting only of Metheny on keyboards, Twelve For the Road is not a “jazz” album.  Instead, much of the project resembles electronic space music in the vein of Steve Roach and Tangerine Dream.  Almost all of it is closer in spirit to the classical composer Erik Satie than to the jazz trumpet star Clifford Brown.

Is Metheny trolling?  I don’t think so.

As someone who occasionally enjoys listening to the syndicated radio program “Hearts of Space” and who frequently uses Satie’s “Gymnopédies” to calm himself, I’m not unaccustomed to the approaches Metheny employs on the album.

Much of Twelve For the Road possesses an ominous edge.  Guitar-like wailing makes “Catharsis” the album’s most conspicuously aggressive selection.  “Ostinato,” a comparatively conventional track, contains intriguing pairings of textures.  The odd lilt of “Carousel” evokes Antonio Carlos Jobim.

Metheny breaks out his signature flugelhorn only on the lush “Home.”  The closing selection “Amen” seems to allude to Bill Evans “Peace Piece.”

The unconventional approach of Twelve For the Road is decidedly offbeat, but it results in one of Metheny’s most artistically and emotionally compelling albums.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Friday, November 6, 2015

Now's the Time: John Blevins

John Blevins is touring in support of his new album Matterhorn.  The New York based trumpeter will lead a band at the Westport Coffeehouse on Wednesday, November 11.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*Chris Robinson reviewed Eddie Moore and the Outer Circle’s Live in Kansas City.

*Danny Alexander wrote a thoughtful review of a new album by Johnny Hammil’s Gav7d.

*Natalie Gallagher dares to dig into the BCR archives.

*The Jorge Arana Trio created a video for “Crime of Passion Fruit.”

*The Ptich recommends a Megan Birdsall gig.

*A writer for The New York Times ponders the baseball and jazz connections between New York and Kansas City.

*Chris Burnett elucidates a friendly World Series wager made by the American Jazz Museum and the Louis Armstrong House Museum.

*Tweet o’ the Week: Darcy James Argue- Congratulations to Kansas City for recapturing the coveted Jazz Capital of the World title for the first time since 1936.

*I apologize for not updating the Kansas City Jazz Calendar for November.  I’ll get to it this weekend. 

*From Gerald Spaits: Sax and Violins, A Double Quartet… featuring: Gerald Spaits on Bass, Charles Perkins: alto sax, Bass Clarinet, Rich Wheeler: Soprano sax, Tenor sax, Brian Steever: drums and percussion (and) Strings: Adam Galblum : violin, Matthew Bennett: violin, Chisitine Grossman: viola, Justin Cowart: cello. This concert features original music of Gerald Spaits as well arrangements of Thelonious  Monk, Duke Ellington, the Beatles and more… I've brought this particular group together to explore new possibilities in combining different genres of music in an improvising setting… The strings are not just added to the jazz quartet for background but are interactive within the ensemble… 7 p.m. Wednesday, November 18, 2015, Westport CoffeeHouse Theater. $10.00.

(Original image of Ron Carlson's band by Plastic Sax.)

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Sheet Music

You can take the boy out of Kansas City, but you can’t take Kansas City out of the boy.  A recent visit to Powell’s Books in Portland allowed me to acquire a few out-of-print books related to Kansas City jazz at reasonable prices. I regret not adding the pictured tome to my collection.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Now's the Time: Euge Groove

“Chillaxin’” is the quintessential smooth jazz song title.  The saxophonist and bandleader Euge Groove will likely perform the selection during his appearance at the Gem Theater on Thursday, November 5.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*The Pitch reports on the shuttering of Broadway Kansas City.  KC Jazz Lark ponders the closing.

*Natalie Gallagher documents a memorable night at the Mutual Musicians Foundation.

*Joe Klopus decodes the “JazzAlice” project.

*KCUR featured a track from Ron Carlson’s new album in a Local Listen segment.

*The New York townhouse that was once Charlie Parker’s home is on the market for $9,250,000.  I wrote about visiting the site earlier this year.

*Hmph was interviewed on KCUR’s Up to Date program.

*Pat Metheny took the honors at the top guitarist in the Downbeat Reader’s Poll.

*Tweet o’ the Week: Brett Jackson- Live recording with the #boogaloo7 at the #greenladylounge tonight. Come lay down your best tracks with us!!

*Comment o’ the Week: Anonymous- Maybe more people would come to these gigs if even the least little attempt was made to promote the show. Your review was the first I'd heard of it.

*From Michael Pagán: I am pleased to announce the residency of Thomas Knific in Kansas City next weekend. Tom is a seasoned  bassist who has performed with a long list of music luminaries. He is Director of Jazz Studies at Western Michigan University (in Kalamazoo)… He is an accomplished composer, performer, and master teacher… Knific will work with students in the jazz program of Ottawa university on Friday October 30 and perform at the Blue Room in Kansas City that night (8:30 PM) in a quartet led by Michael Pagán with clarinetist John Blegen and guitarist Rod Fleeman. On Saturday Oct. 31st, he will present a duo masterclass/concert with fellow bassist Bob Bowman (KC location TBA).

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Concert Review: John Gross at the Westport Coffeehouse

A Lee Konitz performance provided me with a transformative experience in March.  I hoped to bookend that highlight of 2015 with John Gross’ appearance at Westport Coffeehouse last week.

Gross, 71, is another saxophonist who communed with jazz giants as a young man.  The native Californian was once embedded in the West Coast cool jazz scene.  He later toured with several prominent big bands.  Gross is now based in Portland.

I hoped to hear Gross play like this.  Instead, Gross and saxophonist Matt Otto, a trombonist from Stevie Wonder’s touring band, guitarist Danny Embrey, bassist Ben Leifer and drummer Brian Steever played sleek post-bop.

Wednesday's elite lineup was virtually incapable of playing anything less than stellar.  Even so, the uncomfortably low turnout became an oppressive burden for both me and for the band .  I bailed after about 40 minutes of exquisite music.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Friday, October 23, 2015

Now's the Time: Tim Cunningham

The St. Louis based saxophonist Tim Cunningham performs at the Blue Room on Saturday, October 24.  Fans of Grover Washington, Jr. are in for a good time.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*Feast reports that the jazz venue Broadway Kansas City may soon become a Scandinavian restaurant.

*Chris Hazelton’s Boogaloo 7 and Molly Hammer are among the critic’s picks in The Pitch’s Best of Kansas City awards.  The Green Lady Lounge, Mark Lowrey and the 18th & Vine Jazz and Blues Festival are among the reader’s picks.

*Mike Metheny created a video preview for his forthcoming album Twelve For the Road.

*The Count Basie Orchestra will release its first Christmas album on November 6.  Here’s a video trailer for A Very Swingin’ Basie Christmas.

*Christ Community is hosting the 2nd Annual Brookside Jazz Festival on November 7. 

*The Pitch recommends Ron Carlson’s series of gigs at the Art Factory.

*A critic for KCUR reviewed Hmph’s Headrush.

*Joe Dimino interviewed Leo Wadada Smith and Charles Tolliver.

*Tweet o’ the Week: Beth Hanson- Classy jazz joint with all the ambiance. #kansascity #vacation @ Green Lady Lounge (photo)

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Monday, October 19, 2015

Album Review: Ron Carlson- Kind Folk

Ron Carlson’s new album Kind Folk is dedicated to Charlie Haden and Kenny Wheeler. 

The title track of the project would almost certainly have pleased both jazz legends.  The core band of saxophonists Rob Scheps and Roger Rosenberg, guitarist Carlson, bassist Bob Bowman and drummer Brian Steever interpret Wheeler’s composition with the elegant finesse associated with the late bassist and trumpeter.

Scheps and Rosenberg shine on John Abercrombie’s “Soundtrack” and Haden’s exquisite ballad “First Song.”  Rosenberg’s bass clarinet gives the latter selection an old world feel.

Kind Folk provides valuable documentation of the New York based Scheps’ annual collaborations with Kansas City jazz musicians.  The pairing of Bowman, a Kansas City institution in the midst of a late career renaissance, and the energetic young Steever, reflects Carlson’s savvy as a bandleader.

Three prominent Kansas City jazz vocalists- Shay Estes (“A Felicidade”), Angela Hagenbach (“Bye Bye Country Boy”) and Kathleen Holeman (“A Beautiful Friendship”)- are also featured on Kind Folk.

Carlson is content to let his consistently tasteful Kenny Burrell-style playing augment the contributions of his bandmates.  His thoughtful statement on “J.S.”, the album’s gorgeous closing track, lasts less than a minute.

In electing to act in a complementary role, Carlson has overseen the creation of a solid album of  mainstream jazz.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Now's the Time: Ryan Thielman

Kansas City has more excellent trumpeters than stages to properly accommodate them.  Ryan Thielman has a rare headlining gig at the Blue Room on Monday, October 19.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*KC Jazz Lark suggests that the audience at last month’s Prairie Village Jazz Festival numbered 5,000 in the text accompanying a second photo set documenting the event,

*Michael Pagán is among Joe Dimino’s recent interview subjects.

*Ryan Heinlein was interviewed by Wichita’s NPR station.

*A blogger shares his notes about his favorite R&B and blues performances at the 18th & Vine Jazz and Blues Festival.  A commenter disagreed with the plea for more jazz: "To much Jazz outside stage, needed more up beat music… Seemed like to much music for such a small attendance."

*A video for “Slow” provides another preview of Logan Richardson’s forthcoming album Shift.

*Angela Hagenbach is participating in the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition.

*Dominique Sanders has released X-Life, a collaboration with Leonard Dstroy that’s billed as “an amazing journey between Hip-Hop, Jazz, Soul, and R&B."

*Tweet o’ the Week: John Hilderbrand- A belated RIP to Larry Rosen. I was such a huge fan of GRP Records.

*Comment o’ the Week: Anonymous: I don't get it. Conrad Herwig is one heck of a trombonist but he is not going to sell a single ticket to the 18th and Vine Festival. Well, maybe one or two and thats a big maybe.

*From Ron Carlson: The new seven part Fall Jazz Series starts this week at The Art Factory!  The Art Factory is located at 5621 W 135th St in Overland Park, KS (at the SouthWest corner of 135th and Nall Ave).  Bob Bowman is featured on four of the seven events, each time with different groups.  The full calendar is available at The Art Factory.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Review: The 18th & Vine Jazz and Blues Festival

I had low expectations for the 2015 edition of the 18th & Vine Jazz and Blues Festival.  None of the headliners initially excited me and I was disappointed in the reduced number of stages.  Sometimes it feels good to be wrong.  Here’s a recap of three performances.

Conrad Herwig’s Latin Jazz All-Stars
Conrad Herwig represented the nicest surprise.  Until I saw the musicians climb the steps to the main stage I didn’t realize that the trombonist would bring almost his entire New York based band to Kansas City.  Only pianist Bill O’Connell didn’t make the trip.  Jo Ann Daugherty sat in with trumpeter Alex Sipiagin, saxophonist Craig Handy, bassist Luques Curtis, drummer Robby Ameen and percussionist Richie Flores.  The band previewed three selections from its forthcoming “The Latin Side of Horace Silver” album in a 90-minute set that made the $15 I paid at the gate seem like a steal.  Complete setlist: “Cousin Mary,” “Lonnie’s Lament,” “The Cape Verdean Blues,” “Naima,” “Song For My Father,” “Nutville.”

Dennis Winslett with Kahil El'Zabar
The only significant delay of the festival prevented me from seeing much of Kahil El’Zabar in the Blue Room.  I loved the mystical music I heard by the Chicago based percussionist and vocalist. 

Shades of Jade
The R&B crooner Dwele seemed more interested in talking than singing during his appearance on the main stage in front of the festival’s largest audience of more than 1,200.  Shades of Jade was far more compelling in an overlapping set for a few dozen people in the Gem Theater.  The Kansas City group appears to be fully committed to neo-soul, although Josh Williams J-Will played a few intriguing effects-laden trumpet solos.  Derek Cunigan’s vocals on “That One” were exquisite.

(Original image of Robby Ameen, Conrad Herwig, Alex Sipiagin, Craig Handy and Richie Flores by Plastic Sax.)

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Now's the Time: Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey

Aficionados of loud and adventurous jazz will be hopped up in midtown as Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey performs at Oddly Correct
on Friday, October 9, and Saturday, October 10.  Saxophonist Mark Southerland will join the Oklahoma based band at the intimate coffee house.  Plastic Sax interviewed JFJO’s Brian Haas in 2009.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*The 18th & Vine Jazz and Blues Festival was previewed by Joe Klopus.  The Pitch’s Jazz Beat writer focused on Conrad Herwig’s appearance at the annual event.

*Jessie Riggins reviewed the opening concert of the Kansas Jazz Orchestra’s new season.

*Logan Richardson introduced his new album Shift in a four-minute EPK.

*KC Jazz Lark shared photos of last month’s Prairie Village Jazz Festival.

*Mark Lowrey was featured on KCUR’s weekly Local Listen segment.

*The Kansas City Star highlighted Vewiser Dixon’s plans for the area to the south of the Jazz District.

*A blogger recalled two Phil Woods concerts in Kansas City in a remembrence of the late saxophonist.

*A barbecue restaurant named 18th & Vine opened in Dallas this week.

*Tweet o’ the Week: Oddly Correct- 2 evenings with @jacobfredjazzodyssey coming up this weekend at our shop. Taste & see…

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Album Review: Matt Villinger- All Night

Peter Schlamb’s electrifying Tinks was Plastic Sax’s top album of 2014 by a Kansas City musician. 

The sonic innovation, emphasis on memorable compositions and an absence of prolonged solos made Tinks entirely refreshing.

All Night, the solo debut of keyboardist Matt Villinger, features Schlamb on vibraphone.  Recorded in the same Edwardsville, Illinois, studio as Tinks, All Night sounds like Tinks’ funkier sequel. 

Villinger evokes a young Bob James on the soulful opening track “Chillinger.”  “You’re the One for Me” is like an update of James’ “Angela,” the theme song for television’s “Taxi.”  Villinger also uses a vocoder on the title track, a midtempo song capable of resonating with Daft Punk fans.

Trumpeter Hermon Mehari is excellent throughout.  Hiis heavily processed solo on “Dart Bomb” is particularly thrilling.  Bassist Nick Jost and drummer Sean Mullins round out the band.

Following in Schlamb’s footsteps, Villinger recently moved from St. Louis to Kansas City.  All Night indicates that he promises to be a similarly constructive presence on the scene. 

(Original image of Louise Bourgeois' "Spider" by Plastic Sax.)

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Now's the Time: Kahil El'Zabar

Jazz purists might initially be alarmed when they first glance at the lineup of the American Jazz Museum’s 18th & Vine Jazz and Blues Festival.  Blues and R&B acts make up a significant portion of the offerings.  A closer inspection reveals a handful of jazz-oriented gems.  I’m most enthused by the presence of Kahil El’Zabar.  The Chicago based percussionist is closely associated with his city’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians.  El’Zabar is slated to perform with an ensemble led by Dennis Winslett.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*Hermon Mehari spoke to Tim Finn about his victory at a trumpet competition in Texas.

*A large swathe of Kansas City’s jazz community will receive new grants from ArtsKC.

*Sam Mellinger comments on the Kansas City Royals’ new baseball youth academy in the Jazz District.  KC Jazz Lark speculates that the project could lead to a brighter future for the area.

*The Kansas City Star reports that four people were shot in the Jazz District early Sunday morning.

*The Kansas City Star reviewed Zappa Plays Zappa’s concert at Crossroads KC.

*Joe Dimino’s recent interview subjects include Ron Miles.

*Phil Woods, one of Charlie Parker’s most devoted acolytes, has died.

*Tweet o’ the Week: Tony Tixier- Playing a house concert with #Diverse on a beautiful lawn under the #lunareclipse @kctrumpeter (photo)

*Comment o’ the Week: Anonymous- Glad to have you back. Thrash metal and hip hop ain't got nothing on melodic bop!

*From a press release: The vivacious vocals of Lori Tucker performing with Tim Whitmer & The Consort Band, Wednesday, October 7, 2015, at Unity Temple on the Plaza.  Tickets at the door only $7.00.  The Pitch recommended the concert.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Monday, September 28, 2015

Album Review- Many a New Day: Karrin Allyson Sings Rodgers and Hammerstein

Karrin Allyson performed a concert of adult pop at the Folly Theater ten months ago.  I expected her next release to sound like James Taylor.  Instead, she resembles Marilyn Maye on the sophisticated cabaret album Many a New Day: Karrin Allyson Sings Rodgers and Hammerstein.

Backed by pianist Kenny Barron and bassist John Patitucci, Allyson sings material from The King and I, Oklahoma, The Sound of Music and South Pacific.

Allyson makes it clear that she has no intention of playing it straight on the seemingly unpromising album opener “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’”.  Her blues reading of the composition that’s often subject to cornball interpretations demonstrates Allyson’s aversion to cliches.  All 14 tracks contain similarly unconventional twists. 

Effortlessly sensuous and wise without seeming sanctimonious, Allyson is never overshadowed by the impeccable work of Barron and Patitucci.  Many a New Day: Karrin Allyson Sings Rodgers and Hammerstein is an entirely welcome surprise.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Friday, September 25, 2015

Now's the Time: Larry Carlton

It must not be the hair.  The awe-inspiring coiffure Larry Carlton sports in the embedded clip is long gone, but the guitarist is still capable of playing like a man possessed.  Best known for his session work for artists including Michael Jackson and Steely Dan, Carlton appears at the Gem Theater on Thursday, October 1.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*Hermon Mehari won the 2015 Carmine Caruso International Trumpet Solo Competition in Huntsville, Texas.

*Bobby Watson was interviewed on a morning television program.

*The Pitch recommends a gig led by Will Matthews.

*The complete schedule of the 18th & Vine Jazz & Blues Festival has been posted.

*A new documentary about Mary Lou Williams inspires an extensive essay about the artist in The New Yorker.

*Tweet o’ the Week: Brian Scarborough- Always love rehearsing and playing with the People's Liberation Big Band of Greater KC. Happy to be playing with them moving forward #kcjazz

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Concert Review: The Bobby Watson Quartet at the Folly Theater

I didn’t know what I’d been missing.

Even though I hear Bobby Watson perform a few times every year, I was stunned by what transpired at the Folly Theater on Friday.

The heights that Watson is capable of reaching when he’s backed by his touring band in a proper listening environment exceeded my abundant expectations.  An audience of more than 350 witnessed the musically exuberant and profoundly spiritual outing by the man that was named the Plastic Sax Person of the Decade in 2009.

Joe Klopus got it right in his preview of the concert.  The vast majority of Watson’s appearances in Kansas City aren’t on his terms.

Watson frequently sits in on other musicians’ sets.  In recent years he’s been featured at the Prairie Village Jazz Festival, the Jazz in the Woods festival and in a concert with the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra.  He also occasionally headlines at the Blue Room. 

Until Saturday, however, I failed to grasp the degree to which those performances were compromised.  With his band of pianist Richard Johnson, bassist Curtis Lundy and drummer Eric Kennedy, Watson was able to properly display the breadth of his vision in his hometown for the first time in years.

Watson clearly savored his role as the featured attraction at the Folly Theater.  He noted that until Friday that he hadn’t headlined a show at the historic venue since he returned to Kansas City approximately 15 years ago.  He made the most of it. 

The set list of Watson’s best known material ranged from “Appointment In Milano” to material from the 2013 album Check Cashing Day.  The set list was loaded with Watson classics including “Wheel Within a Wheel,” “Karita,” “Love Remains,” “Lemoncello” and “In Case You Missed It.”  The band’s interplay was faultless.

A couple minor blemishes precluded perfection.  Watson rightfully cringed when many in the audience tittered at the album title of Check Cashing Day.  There’s nothing funny about it.  The concept album is a lamentation of the unfulfilled promise of the civil rights movement.  And a slight bass boom occasionally marred the otherwise excellent sound.

The concert revived my lagging interest in mainstream jazz.  During the past several months I’d begun to think that contemporary renditions of the form may never again excite me.  Watson and his bandmates proved that melodic bop performed at a high level remains capable of sending me over the moon.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Now's the Time: Mark Lowrey

Mark Lowrey has a way with pop, rock and folk material.  He interprets Leonard Cohen’s “One of Us Cannot Be Wrong” in the embedded video.  The pianist performs with a trio at Broadway Kansas City on Saturday, September 19 and at the Majestic on Thursday, September 24.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*KC Jazz Lark reports on the ongoing struggles of Broadway Kansas City.

*Bobby Watson’s concert at the Folly Theater was previewed by The Kansas City Star and The Pitch.

*The Prairie Village Post documented the Prairie Village Jazz Festival.

*Shades of Jade was interviewed by a representative of the Johnson County Library.

*The Pitch reports that Major League Baseball may invest in the Jazz District.

*Karrin Allyson was a guest on KCUR’s Up To Date program.

*Hommage a Eberhard Weber was released last week.  Pat Metheny’s contribution to the project has received a great deal of attention.

*Tweet o’ the Week: Jerry Wilkinson- Digging on how I can sit in my back yard in front of a fire and hear the Prairie Village Jazz Fest in the distance…….

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)