Tim Roberts

Jazzin'
By Tim Roberts

LATE POST-DEADLINE BULLETIN: Louisville's Splatch has entered into an agreement with Eureka Records to distribute 1000 copies of Instrumental Peoples Music to stores nationwide. Five-hundred of those copies will be in music stores on the west coast. The remainder will be sent to other stores across the nation. Based in the Los Angeles area, Eureka Records is the home label for jazz performer Jimmy Cliff, bluesman Corey Stevens, and the rock band Big Bad Zero.

Until now, 1997 was the last good year for recorded jazz in Louisville. The year when the Ron Hayden Group got us In the Spirit in the spring with fusion guitar backed with impeccable talent. When our summer ended in a Void with help from the Java Men. When Jak Son Renfro’s astonishing, mythic jazz opera DisArmageddon (instrumentation also by the Ron Hayden Group) pulled a few gray clouds over autumn’s clean skies. Then the nasty funk-fusion from Splatch’s self-titled debut hammered the city. The three intervening years didn’t yield too much. I guess we had to wait until all this faux end-of-the-century millennial stuff worked out of our systems (if it was even there to begin with) before we got to hear any of it again. It was either that or else these people just wanted to take their sweet time, because this year’s releases rival 1997’s four-punch knockout.

The Java Men returned at the beginning of the year with Orbiturary, followed appropriately in the spring by Only Voice, Only Guitar, Only Love from Walker & Kays. Now our summer can finally cool down with Splatch’s Instrumental Peoples Music, the long-awaited follow up to their debut from three years ago (check the review of it later in this issue), and End of Time, the second recording from vibraphonist Dick Sisto.

Released by ear X-tacy Records (the label’s second jazz release, right behind Orbituary) and co-produced by Dick Sisto and ear X-tacy’s John Timmons, End of Time contains three originals by Dick himself, one from his trumpeter Barry Ries, and one co-written by Dick, Barry, and pianist Kenny Werner. Three more selections feature Dick’s take on some well-known standards.

Lightning is not supposed to strike twice in the same place. For Louisville Jazz fans, it has struck four times this year: twice gently, once forked into several different directions, and once very hard. I’ll leave it to you to find out which is which.

Dates, times, and acts have been announced for the Fall, 2000 Jazz Cabaret Series at the Kentucky Center for the Arts. These monthly Sunday evening concerts fill out the jazz year in Louisville.

On Sunday, September 17 you can catch the Jerry Tolson Quartet, while the Ron Hayden Group makes an appearance on October 15. Vocalist Everett Greene plays the cabaret on November 12, and Riley White, bringing back the old sounds of Joe’s Palm Room, wraps up the season on December 17.

Each show begins at 6:00 p.m. in the Clark-Todd Recital Hall at the KCA. Since it’s a cabaret (and life really isn’t), cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served (and stop calling me “old chum”). The four-concert subscription is $56.00. For individual concert prices, call the KCA box office at 584-7777 or visit www.kentuckycenter.org.

“Jazzin’” columnist Tim Roberts says, “Wilkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome” to the next banner year in Louisville Jazz. He invites you to send your jazz-related dispatches to tim@troberts.win.net, or to his attention to the editorial offices of Louisville Music News