Martin Z. Kasdan Jr.

Jazzin'
By Martin Z. Kasdan Jr.

PRELUDE:

The Louisville Jazz Society [LJS] is a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging, nourishing and promoting jazz in and around Louisville. I am proud to have been on the Board for several years, now. Among its many activities, the LJS has sponsored scholarships for the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Camps, has made contributions to Bellarmine for its annual Jazz Guitar Clinic and Concert, helps to fund the Adelante Latin Jazz Festival, supports the University of Louisville's Jazz Week, donates to the Big Rock Jazz Festival, publishes a quarterly newsletter, sponsors a weekly e-mail update of local jazz activities, maintains a website (www.louisvillejazz.org) and generally acts to advocate for jazz in the Louisville area. After serving well and faithfully as President for several years, Patty Bailey has stepped down and the Board has elected Nancy Grant as its new President. I invite you to find out more by going to the site and urge you to become a member.

RECENT CONCERTS

Given the for-all-practical-purposes loss of jazz on local radio, it is utterly amazing how much truly world-class jazz is performed live here in Louisville. The Jazz Factory alone has brought in national and international artists ranging from Larry Coryell to Brian Auger to Kurt Elling in the past month (as I write this). This does not even take into account the many local and regional players and singers there and elsewhere. Kudos, props and more to Ken Shapero at the Jazz Factory. Time and space limitations require me to temporarily forgo covering recent concerts by Bobby Broom, Joanne Brackeen and Phil DeGreg (all at the Jazz Factory, as well as the sterling guitar artistry of John Stowell, Jack Wilkins and Jeff Sherman at the 21st Annual Jazz Guitar Clinic and Concert.

Kate McGarry at the Jazz Factory

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Singer Kate McGarry brought her band to the Jazz Factory on Saturday, May 19, for a different take on jazz vocals. For one thing, what is immediately noticeable is that this is truly a band effort, not the more typical "singer with backup band" performance. Keyboard player Gary Versace was elegant on the organ, McGarry's husband Keith Ganz was understated on guitar and drummer Otis Brown III did not just keep time but added texture to the sets. McGarry has a new release, The Target (Palmetto p.m. 125) which features Versace, Ganz and others. However, she did not merely perform the album but rather incorporated songs from it (such as the Kern/Hammerstein "Nobody Else But Me" and "The Lamp Is Low") into two well-rounded and diverse sets which also included pieces from her 2005 recording, Mercy Streets (Palmetto p.m. 2109), such as Joni Mitchell's evergreen "Chelsea Morning" and the traditional Gospel number, "Trouble of the World." A particularly lovely rendition of the Brigadoon song "Heather on the Hill," from The Target was especially moving, with McGarry backed by Versace on piano. This singer is firmly grounded in the jazz word, yet is not held back by the stereotypes often accompanying "jazz singers." With any good fortune, she will return soon and will continue to record such stunning albums as her newest one.

ON THE HORIZON

Jamey Aebersold's Summer Jazz Workshops

Last month I previewed the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops. At this writing, to my knowledge, the student spots are full and so I will focus on the public performance aspects. Full information on this year's program may be found at: www.summerjazzworkshops.com. The Louisville Jazz Society (LJS) has granted scholarships to two students; details are available at the LJS website, www.louisvillejazz.org.

Every year, in addition to the learning opportunities offered, Aebersold presents for the public a series of evening concerts, with All-Star Faculty presentations at 7 p.m. on the Wednesday of each week, at Masterson's, 1830 S. 3rd Street, near the University of Louisville campus. At deadline time the faculty list was not complete and may be subject to change; with that caveat, a few of the likely faculty include saxophonists Antonio Hart, Eric Alexander, James Moody and Don Braden; trumpeters Jim Rotondi, Barry Ries and Bobby Shew; pianists David Hazeltine, Todd Hildreth, Andy Laverne, Harry Pickens; guitarists Dave Stryker and Steve Erquiaga; bassists Chris Fitzgerald, David Friesen, John Goldsby, Bill Moring, Rufus Reid, Lynn Seaton; trombonist/arranger John Fedchock; drummer Steve Davis and others. The format of these performances is a series of three ensembles, each playing approximately one-hour sets. Over the years, there have been many, many wonderful performances and I can only urge you to see and hear for yourself the high caliber of musicianship on display.

The influx of so many musicians also leads to opportunities for the players to perform at the Jazz Factory and the Seelbach Jazz Bar; see club listings below.

Galactic Returns To Headliners Saturday July 21

The New Orleans funk/improvisational band Galactic returns to Louisville for a show at Headliners on Saturday, July 21. At this writing, their new CD is about to be unleashed, featuring their trademark instrumentals and guest appearances by several DJs. Fan reports from Bonnaroo, where much of the new release was previewed with guest DJs, were totally enthusiastic and indicated a post-midnight, three-hour-forty-five-minute set! That might be too much to expect from "one more Saturday night" on the road, but a January live show which just arrived through trading circles indicates that this band just keeps getting better and better. I missed their only New Orleans Jazzfest club appearances, a short set at Tipitina's for a fundraiser, sandwiched between many other acts and a late-late night set at Tipitina's later in the week. Galactic drummer Stanton Moore is sometimes dubbed "the hardest working man at Jazzfest," and he popped up in many different all-star lineups, about which more to come. Bottom line, check this band out if you haven't already. Not jazz, but some jazz influence and lots of the trademark improvisation which epitomizes jazz.

Selected Club Listings

Following is a virtually complete schedule for July at The Jazz Factory, (815 W. Market St. in The Glassworks, 502-992‑3242). With the exception of the Late Night Salon Anniversary Party, the primary omissions have been the Late Night Salon listings. A complete and updated schedule, with more details, may be found at the website: www.jazzfactory.us. Todd Hildreth plays piano jazz 5-7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, for free; the West Market Street Stompers perform Fridays, 5-6:30 p.m., also for free. The Late Night Salon takes place Fridays and Saturdays at 11 p.m. Unless otherwise noted, all shows are 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.

Tuesday 7/3: The Don Krekel Orchestra; closed for Independence Day; Thursday 7/5: Bruce Lewis, blues and slide guitar; Friday 7/6: The Aebersold All Stars with trumpeter Jim Rotondi, saxophonist Tim Armacost and bassist Rufus Reid; pianist Phil DeGreg and drummer Ed Soph; Saturday 7/7: The Aebersold All Stars with guitarist Dave Stryker and trumpeter Barry Ries, saxophonist Antonio Hart; bassist John Goldsby and drummer Jason Tiemann; Tuesday 7/10: pianist Chuck Marohnic and saxophonist Jacob Duncan (Liberation Prophecy), as a duo;

Wednesday 7/11 Bassist Doug "Swing Daddy" Elmore's Quartet; Thursday 7/12 Saxophonist David Clark Quartet; Friday 7/13: The Aebersold All Stars withsaxophonist Tim Armacost and bassist Dave Friesen, with guitarist Fred Hamilton, saxophonist Gary Campbell (a member of Miroslav Vitous' band) and drummer Colby Inzer; Saturday 7/14 The Aebersold All Stars with Jamey Aebersold, bassist Bill Moring, drummer Colby Inzer and more; Tuesday 7/17 Tim Whalen Trio with saxophonist Whalen joined by Scott Henderson on guitar and Mike Hyman on drums; Wednesday 7/18 The Jerry Tolson Quartet; Thursday 7/19 Singer Gail Wynters with Chuck Marohnic, Chris Fitzgerald and Jason Tiemann; Friday 7/20 The Late Night Salon Anniversary Party at 7, The Late Night Salon is celebrating its one‑year‑anniversary with performances by: Liberation Prophecy, Ut Gret, Commonwealth, Squeeze‑bot and Jamie Barnes and other special attractions, starting at 7:30; Saturday 7/21: The Chuck Marohnic Quartet with alto‑saxist Jacob Duncan, bassist Chris Fitzgerald and drummer Jason Tiemann; Tuesday 7/24: guitarist Ron Hayden; Wednesday 7/25 Jazz and The Spoken Word; Saturday 7/28 Urban Jazz Coalition from Columbus, described by JAZZIZ Magazine as "a blend of smooth jazz textures and fiery funk;" Tuesday 7/31: drummer Bobby Falk's group. Some Jazz Factory dates were still TBA at deadline time.

The Seelbach Jazz Bar

(500 S. Fourth Street, 502-585‑3200), features vibraphonist and occasional pianist Dick Sisto, who always provides excellent mainstream jazz, frequently with guest artists joining him. At deadline time, the announced guests were as follows: June 29: Chuck Marohnic; June 30: David Friesen, Chuck Marohnic, & Barry Ries; July 6: Dave Stryker; July 7: Andy LaVerne; July 13-14: Barry Ries.

The Jazz Kitchen

(5377 N College Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46220; phone: 317‑253‑4900; www.thejazzkitchen.com), presents: Bobby Broom, June 30; NILS, July 6; Frank Smith, July 13; Leisure Kings, July 14; Goldie, July 20; Pharez Whitted, July 27; Tim Warfield (Nicholas Payton's longtime saxophonist) with Brandon Meeks, Aug 3; Acoustic Alchemy, Aug 4. These are in addition to the nightly offerings of local and regional jazz; check the website for the full schedule.

The July schedule for The Blue Wisp Jazz Club in Cincinnati, 318 East Eighth St. (513-241‑WISP), includes Wednesday night performances by the Blue Wisp Big Band, piano trios on Thursday nights and weekend visitors: Friday-Saturday 7/6-7: Vintage Keys, with Jim Connerley; Friday-Saturday 7/13-14: Al Nori / Joe Gaudio Quartet; Friday-Saturday 7/20-21: Ian Ross Band; Friday-Saturday 7/27-28: closed. For additional information, go to www.bluewisp.net. Note: this is a new site, with a different url than I have posted up until last month.

As always, I urge you to subscribe to sign up for "The Jazz E‑News," by e-mailing Jenjenjazz@insightbb.com. There are so many opportunities to hear live jazz that it is both impossible for me to try to provide a complete listing here and it would be duplicative in any event. Also, Louisville Music News' monthly music listings are carrying more jazz events than ever, in both the print and online editions (www.louisvillemusicnews.net).

New Feature: Local Jazz Contacts

With two eight‑year‑olds, it's hard to get out as much as I would like to hear music. As a result, picking and choosing which performances to catch sometimes require that I postpone seeing some of the local musicians and singers in order to not miss the one-night-stands from out-of-town artists. Invariably, I feel guilty, so in an effort to assuage my guilt and, more positively, to provide more exposure to our community of great local jazz performers, I am initiating this feature containing website and e-mail contact information. I am only including those artists who have given their permission to me; some have indicated a preference for website listing only; others have only e-mail addresses. If you wish to be included, drop a line to me with your permission and preferences, at mzkjr@yahoo.com. I reserve the right to edit and to exclude those whose connection to jazz is, in my opinion, tenuous; and this feature may end up online if it begins to take up too much space in print.

WALKER & KAYS: www.walkerandkays.com, singer Jeanette Kays and guitarist Greg Walker;

JENNIFER LAULETTA: www.jenniferlauletta.com, singer Jennifer Lauletta;

JEFF SHERMAN: jeff.sherman@insightbb.com, guitarist Jeff Sherman;

RON JONES: www.ronjonesquartet.com, rjmusic@ronjonesquartet.com, saxophonist Ron Jones;

STEVE CREWS: www.jazzcrews.com, jazzcat@iglou.com, pianist Steve Crews.

CODA

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I am always interested in your comments. Contact me at mzkjr@yahoo.com.