We've had a busy jazz summer in Louisville: Jeff Sherman's nationally renowned Jazz Guitar Clinic at Bellarmine in June; Jamey Aebersold's Jazz Workshops at U of L in July; Jazz in Central Park in late August; the numerous Louisville Jazz Society concerts at the Silo Brew Pub; and Senegalese jazz guitarist Pascal Bocar at Rockin' at Riverpoints. This was all in addition to the booked calendars many of our local jazz performers have.
So let's take a few lines of text to catch up with what some of Louisville's fine jazz folks have been up to:
The Java Men, Louisville's coffehouse-and-bookstore wonders, have released Void, recorded in the studio and in live performances at the Twice-Told Coffee House and Wyatt Hall at Bellarmine. Keyboardist Todd Hildreth (my predecessor in this column), guitarist Craig Wagner, and drummer Ray Rizzo give us nine tracks of fusion and be-bop spiked with hundred-proof avant-garde. Get it and treat yourself.
Ron Jones says work on his debut CD is going very well. He's shooting for a November release for Vision of Beauty. The title track is a song Ron wrote for his wife, Sharon. Catch him at Garrett's on Shelbyville Road every Sunday from 11:00 to 2:00.
Louisville's other jazz Ron, guitarist Ron Hayden, has written the music to a jazz opera called Disarmageddon, conceived by and with lyrics from "asphalt shaman" Jak Son Renfro. Ron has also finished work with a local musician named Yorubai and is now scoring a film entitled Manson. And, yes, the movie is about the most famous person with that name (and it's not Marilyn). Those who know Ron's personality — shy, soft-spoken, as laid-back as a cat sunning itself in a window — might wonder how he could be hooked into such a project. The results will be worth awaiting.
Ron also has a busy performance schedule, with private gigs and an appearance at the Iroquois Amphitheater on September 19. Call 367-9493 for more information on that show.
Vibemaster Dick Sisto says he's shopping around for a label to release his next CD. It was recorded live last year at the Seelbach Hotel with the Fred Hersch Trio. Dick says it's still in the can, but you don't have to wait for its release to hear him. He and Tyrone Wheeler still have their regular 10 p.m. gig on Friday and Saturday nights at the Old Seelbach Bar in the Seelbach Hotel. Sisto reports that Hugh Petersen, a three-year touring veteran with Weather Report, is the trio's new drummer, replacing Gary Claude.
* * * Jazz in Central Park had a successful two days in terms of attendance and talent presented. The weather was made-to-order perfect on Saturday, August 23 for The Ron Hayden Group, the Sherry Winston Quartet, and Roy Haynes Quartet. But on Sunday the weather turned a touch cooler and wetter for For-U (their slow fusion-funk containing some wild solo work), Regina Carter (whose set was cut short because of a mild thunderstorm), and the David "Fathead" Newman Quintet.
The lineup on both five-hour shows combined vibrant youth and deeply established tradition and ranged from fusion, to Latin, to be-bop.
Congratulations and thanks go to Ken Clay and the Kentucky Center for the Arts, and the numerous sponsors, for bringing our city a fine, successful jazz event.
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Even though it is two months away, you may want to know the lineup for this year's edition of the Bank One Jazz Cabaret Series, held one Sunday each month, from November through February, in the Clark-Todd Recital Hall at the Kentucky Center for the Arts. On November 16, catch the Everett Green Quartet from Indianapolis. December 14 brings Louisville's For-U to the cabaret. For the first of the series' shows of 1998, you can see Cincinnati's Standard Time on January 25. And the series closes out with Louisville's Soundchaser on February 22, 1998.
Each show begins at 6:00 p.m. You can enjoy hors-d'oeuvres, coffee, and drinks from the cash bar before the performances start.
So why mention these dates now? Because each show last year was SOLD OUT! Get your tickets early. Call the Kentucky Center's box office at 584-7777.
There are no more free tickets for the Louisville Jazz Society's presentation of The Falconaires of the U. S. Air Force Band of the Rockies at the Youth Performing Arts School on September 8 at 7:30 p.m. Events like this are hot and free tickets go fast. Perhaps the Society can bring The Falconaires back for us.
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For its First Monday series, the LJS is bringing Marcus Printup to town on October 6 and the Jerry Tolson Quintet on November 3. Both shows are at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $8.00 for LJS members, $12.00 for non-members. Sites for both are yet to be announced. Check back here next month.
Live Louisville Jazz: Our Last Line of Defense from the Forces of the Ordinary.