Tim Roberts

Jazzin'
By Tim Roberts

Sorry to spring this on you. We need to make a trip into the cliché bag, dear friends. Get your rubber gloves and safety goggles. Spread some newspaper on the floor. Get a keg of disinfectant ready. No telling how rough this might be. Hope the one I want is somewhere close to the top.

Lessee . . . some really oozy stuff about no pain and no gain, some chains and their weakest links, knotty balls of things that are changing and staying the same, a handful of straighten up and fly right . . . ah! Here's something. Not exactly what I wanted, but it will be more than appropriate.

The more the merrier!

One of this city's venerable, staid jazz performers is taking her act on the road - at least five miles from where she normally performs. Vocalist Sandy Newmann, host of the Wednesday Night Jazz Jam at the Rudyard Kipling and the cover subject of LMN's August, 1998 issue (where she was photographed among the eleventy-billion charts she carries with her), has one more venue where you can see her perform her intimate style of jazz standards: Clifton's Pizza on Frankfort Avenue.

"It was time to do something else, so I did," Sandy said. She has so far booked two dates at Clifton's, but only one has been confirmed.

Backing her will be Scott Henderson on guitar, Darryel Cotton on drums, and Sonny Stephens on upright bass. This is a solid lineup for Sandy in the sense that it won't change during the course of the gig. During her jazz jams at the Rudyard, she starts with a basic quartet or quintet. Others join in, some leave; some musicians take a break and let others take their places. The sound and style change over three or four hours of playing. Plus, as Sandy always says, "You'll never know who will show up," referring to the time Wynton Marsallis stopped by after a performance at the Kentucky Center for the Arts.

Sandy's first confirmed gig at Clifton's will be Sunday, October 3 at 7 p.m. It will be, she puts it, "A great way to wind down after the St. James Court Art Fair" that same weekend.

And speaking of more and merrier, Sandy also told me that Downstairs at Actors is being renovated and, once open, will again feature live jazz on weekends. Jazz fans in this city remember Downstairs, a small club adjacent to and affiliated with Actors Theater of Louisville on Main Street, as one of our major jazz venues, along with Othello's and (reaching back even further) the Top Cheese Lounge. Check back here later for more about the return of Downstairs at Actors.

They can sing it all: blues, pop, big-band, doo-wop, and jazz, and they're returning to Louisville for the first time in almost five years. The Manhattan Transfer will be at the Palace Theatre on Saturday, October 16. The last time they were last here was December, 1994 during their holiday-season tour. The Palace had just undergone its most recent (and detailed) restoration. Early into the show, Tim Hauser scanned the entire theater's 1920s art nouveau trappings, and said, trying to be polite, "You've, uh, got an . . . interesting-looking place here." Apparently no one was offended because the audience brought them back for two encores.

Call the Palace box office at 583-4335 for ticket information.

This show will be pricey, but one worth seeing in terms of talent and cause. Saxophonist Kenny Garrett will join with pianist Danilo Perez for an "Evening of Jazz" at Marian Anderson Hall at the Kentucky Center for the Arts on Saturday, October 23 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 and $100, and the price includes a reception before the show at 7 p.m. Proceeds will benefit the Lincoln Foundation. Call the Center's box office at 584-7777 for more information.

The Jamey Aebersold Jazz Studies Program at the University of Louisville has announced the dates and acts slated for Jazz Week 2000. Scheduled for February 21 through 26, next year's guests will include Slide Hampton, Milt Jackson, and the Terence Blanchard Sextet. As always, Hal Miller will bring his exhaustive collection of rare jazz performances on video.

"Jazzin'" columnist Tim Roberts sometimes wonders why he spends the lonely nights dreaming of a song. The melody haunts his reverie and he is once again with you, when our love was new and each kiss an inspiration. Send your jazz-related dispatches to tim@troberts.win.net, or to his attention to the editorial offices of Louisville Music News. He also makes a sincere apology to the estate of Hoagy Carmichael.