Tim Roberts

Jazzin'
By Tim Roberts

Get your calendars out or down, or dig through that pile of unused Christmas gifts to find them. Mark 'em and post 'em, gang, for the last week of this month when we'll have the chance to see the best in local and national jazz:Jazz Week '98 at the University of Louisville, February 23rd through 28th at the School of Music on the Belknap Campus. The jazz faculty at the music is pleased to present you a week of world-renown talent, varying styles, a live recording session, and several hours of rare jazz videos.

The schedule follows, in almost exhaustive detail:

Monday, February 23: The Michael Brecker Quintet - A blend of contemporary and standard jazz, this half of the famed Brecker Brothers has performed with a number of jazz and non-jazz artists. This should be a cannon blast of a show to inaugurate Jazz Week '98.

Tuesday, February 24: U of L Jazz Ensemble II and Jazz Vocal Ensemble - The music school gets its turn on Tuesday night. TrumpeterVince DiMartino will add his talents to the Jazz Vocal Ensemble.

Wednesday, February 25: Hal Miller's Jazz Videos - It will be an evening of history and memories as Mr. Hal Miller brings his collection of jazz performances caught on video and film. Many of the performances are rare, and sometimes Mr. Miller dredges up some previously-unseen footage, such as the arm-wrestling match betweenJohn Coltrane and a teenagedJimi Hendrix.

Thursday, February 26: Pianist Harry Pickens, Live Solo Recording - This special performance features the extraordinary pianist Harry Pickens, who held us spellbound last year at one of the Jazz Cabaret shows. This performances will be recorded by Double-Time Records. Seating is limited to 200 people.

Friday, February 27: Tenor Saxophonist Stanley Turrentine - One of two jazz legends to take part in Jazz Week, Mr. Turrentine will be joined byJazz Ensemble I, along withPhil DeGregg on piano,Tyrone Wheeler on bass, andJonathan Higgins on drums.

Saturday, February 28: Dr. Billy Taylor - Who better to close out Jazz Week in grand style than pianist, composer, CBS "Sunday Morning" music correspondent, preeminent jazz educator, and once the host of National Public Radio's long-lamented series "Jazz Alive." Dr. Taylor will be joined byJazz Ensemble I.

Whew! While you catch your breath, here is the rundown on prices, tickets, and location:

All performances - including the video show - will be in the recital hall of the U of L School of Music.

Tickets for the Monday, Friday, and Saturday performances (Brecker, Turrentine, and Taylor) are $10.00 for students, $15.00 for everyone else. A package deal for those three shows is $25.00 for students, $40.00 general admission.

Tickets are $5.00 for the Harry Pickens solo performance on Thursday,but seating is limited to 200 people. Again, this performance will be recorded live for Double-Time records.

The Tuesday Jazz Ensemble II and Jazz Vocal Ensemble performance, and Wednesday's Hall Miller jazz video presentation are both free of charge.

Tickets and more information are available at the U of L School of Music. Call 852-6907.

Oops! I owe a major apology toBen Andrews, founder of Ramcat Sound Productions, Inc. In my article onSplatch last month, I erroneously stated that Sam Gray started, ran, and brewed coffee for Ramcat all by himself. Ben told me he started the studio in 1989 in Boston while he attended the Berklee College of Music, then he transplanted it to his hometown after graduating. In 1994, he became partners with George Street and moved the facility to its current location on Barrett Avenue.

Besides Splatch, other local jazzists have created magic within Ramcat's walls.Jak Son Renfro recordedDisArmageddon there, with theRon Hayden Group, who used that same facility for last year'sIn The Spirit.

I'm sorry about the misunderstanding, Ben. As punishment, my staff of fact-checkers is now allowed only grapes and water for lunch.

Other jazz for February: If you get this early enough, say by the first day of the month, be sure to catch vocalistKarrin Allyson at a Louisville Jazz Society First Monday concert on February 2, 7:30 PM at the Comedy Club in the Mid-City Mall, 1250 Bardstown Road. Admission is $10.00 for jazz society members, $15.00 general admission. TheJerry Tolson Band will be the next First Monday show on Monday, March 2.

Louisville'sSoundchaser wraps up the 1997-98 Bank One Jazz Cabaret series on Sunday, February 22 in the Clark-Todd Hall of the Kentucky Center for the Arts. Tickets available at the KCA for $13.50, and the price includes your coffee and hors d'ouvers. Cash bar is also available.

A Jazz-Related Note: Word from Web and the alt.music.steelydan newsgroup on the Internet is thatDonald Fagen andWalter Becker are back in the studio, not to produce each other's solo projects, but to work on a new recording asSteely Dan. Keep in mind that many jazz performers have worked with the Dan:Joe Sample,Bernard Purdie,Wayne Shorter, Jazz Week guestMichael Brecker, and countless others. Plus there's no denying the jazz influences woven throughout their work. More info: www.steelydan.com.

Live Jazz in Louisville: Crazy, baby. Crazy.