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2014 NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS JAZZ MASTERS PRESENTATION

The 2014 NEA Jazz Masters Awards were presented at Jazz At Lincoln Center’s Allen Room in early January.  The awardees were Jamey Aebersold, Anthony Braxton, Richard Davis and Keith Jarrett.  Hosted by Wynton Marsalis and tv anchor Soledad O’Brien, it ran 90 minutes overtime half of which was takan up by a Braxton ramble on topics even the astute among us could not fathom.

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FRANK WESS: LOVE & “MAGIC” IN THE ROOM

Tenor and alto saxophonist, flautist, composer, selfless mentor.  Just some of the impressions you got at St. Peter’s Lutheran.  We were there for the appreciation of the late Frank Wess‘ contributions not only to jazz but to humanity; Frank left us late in 2013.  The date of the memorial was significant: it was on the celebration of  his 92nd birthday, January 4, 2014.

Organized for the family by his friends and colleagues Jimmy Owens and Jerry Dodgion, the parade of players and limited talking heads showered us with Wess’ love for the music he gave us along with his quietly ebullient personality.  The appreciative throng packed the church to SRO.

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DECEMBER WARMTH

DECEMBER WARMTH

Posted on January 12, 2014

December 2013 was a busy month. I was out selectively galavanting eschewing the club scene and proving once again that if it doesn’t happen in New York City it just doesn’t happen. herewith some highlights.

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DAVE BRUBECK: THE MAN WHO CHANGED TIME

DAVE BRUBECK, pianist, composer, educator, Jazz Grand Master, icon was feted in Manhattan’s Cathedral Chuch of St,. John the Divine May 11, 2013.  (Dave passed the preceding December.)  the echoey edifice, the largest Gothic structure in the world is in the never-ending process of being built the old-fashioned way, by hand hewn stone.  myriad artists –28 in all– crossed the nave to honor Maestro Brubeck, plus his four musician male offspring, Darius, piano, Chris, electric bass guitar and bass trombone, Dan, drums, and Matthew, cello.  speakers included widow and librettist Iola, daughter Cathy, producer George Wein and manager and conductor Russell Gloyd.  Mark Ruffin hosted.

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LATE STUFFING GIFT HITS

TED ROSENTHAL TRIO : “WONDERLAND” CD AND LIVE AT KITANO, NYC

this threesome –Rosenthal, piano, Noriko Ueda, bass; Tim Horner, drums– have been a working trio for sometime now.  the always innovative Rosenthal has reinterpreted pieces of Americana such as Gershwin and added his own touches to Europeans.  in “Wonderland” (Playscape Recordings) we find both.  they performed solid sets to sold out tables on a stormy night at the classy Kitano Room on Park Ave. in NYC.

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LICORICE CITY. CLARINETS RULE!

only in New York!  in the space of three days three major clarinetists were feted: Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman and Eddie Daniels.  Jack Kleinsinger’s Highllights In Jazz, celebrating year 40, presented the Peter and Will Anderson Orchestra in a program of the music of Shaw and Goodman at Tribeca Pac.  Earlier in the week in Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola in the Jazz at Lincoln Center complex the Eddie Daniels/Roger Kellaway Duo held forth for four sold-out sets.

PART I: EDDIE DANIELS/ROGER KELLAWAY 

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EARL McINTYRE: PREMIER CD AS LEADER A FAMILY AFFAIR

trombonist, tubaist, arranger, composer, educator EARL McINTYRE is above all a family man.  although we know each other longer than do his children, i am proud to be family; my wife, vocalist, percussionist Fran McIntyre, is Earl’s cousin.  Earl teaches at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music in Park Slope, Brooklyn.  it was there that he premiered his initial CD foray as leader.

the CD, entitled BRASS CARNIVAL & TRIBUTE!, features a brass band consisting of  tubas, trombones, trumpets, french horns and rhythm, also separates a small ensemble, TRIBUTE!, which plays original material by McIntyre in dedication to his multifarious musical and extended families.  McIntyre’s father, mother, uncles and aunts, Salvation Army Band Veterans all, played a variety of brass.  his wife, vocalist, educator Renée Manning, demonstrates her own brand of brassiness, the blues.

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JANUARY 2013: ACT TWO.

2013 NEA JAZZ MASTERS AWARDS PRESENTATION

while considered the most perstiguous awards in Jazz the NEA JAZZ MASTERS, now down to four, are complex and vexatious.  the 2013 presentation of the 2012 announced $25,000 awards are Mose Allison, Lou Donaldson, Eddie Palmieri, and –pause for reflection– Lorraine Gordon.  the awards were held at Jazz At Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola on the 14th.

all the presenters are Jazz Masters in their own right.  even the entre acts are Jazz Masters.

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JANUARY 2013: BAD WEATHER; GOOD JAZZ. ACT ONE.

the usual, only better.  sounds like a commercial for a cable compmay, but it’s what this past month has been like for jazz, with reservations.

WINTER JAZZFEST 2013 

Greenwich Village, NYC, hosted the annual celebraton of the multi-fariousness that is jazz.  six venues all within walkng distance of each other. a good thing that geography as it was raw outside.  no fewer than 70 groups were showcased on the 11th & 12th each night wafting into the following morning.

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A FEW MOMENTS WITH CLAUDE NOBS AND GEORGE GRUNTZ…

there are three great historical world-class jazz promoters whose paths i have been fortunate to have crossed: George Wein of the Newport Jazz Festivals, the late Norman Granz of Jazz At The Philharmonics, and the recently passed CLAUDE NOBS the founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival.

not too far from Montreux another Swiss musical giant, GEORGE GRUNTZ, left us.

Granz’s fame began in a big town, San Francisco.  but Wein & Nobs took their wares to swank sleepy villages and made them more famous than the towns themselves.

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