Martin Z. Kasdan Jr.

Jazzin'
By Martin Z. Kasdan Jr.

PRELUDE:

WELCOME SAMMY!

OK, this has nothing to do with any music, much less jazz, but I fulfilled a promise to my daughters, and we adopted a three-month-old hound/blend puppy from the Humane Society a few weeks ago. He is growing rapidly, very bright and inquisitive, and we love him. He WAS "Samuel," but didn't seem to mind when we re-named him Sammy. Welcome home, Sammy!

ON THE HORIZON

HERBIE HANCOCK AT THE BROWN THEATRE

Great News! Herbie Hancock: The Imagine Project comes to town in August. This concert will be on Sunday, August 15, at the Brown Theatre on Broadway. Ticket information at www.kentuckycenter.org. According to the Kentucky Center, there will be a first set of "greatest hits" and a second set of music from The Imagine Project, his new release on his own Hancock Records. In addition to Hancock, the touring band includes Vinnie Colaiuta, drums; Greg Phillinganes, second piano; Tal Wilkenfeld, bass (with a resume that includes Jeff Beck); Lionel Loueke, guitar (from the west African country of Benin, introduced to many Americans years ago by Hancock), and Kristina Train, vocals. Hancock is such a pivotal force in the world of jazz, that this should be a sell-out.

The new album features more guests than could be fit into this column (well, almost). For example, Hancock recorded John Lennon's title piece with Jeff Beck, India Arie, Pink and Seal. This CD is of the same lineage as his two most recent prior releases, River: The Joni Letters and Possibilities, which is to say that it is a mature pop album with jazz sensibilities, not a jazz album per se. A personal favorite is the appropriately psychedelic rendering of the Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" (Dave Matthews, vocal).

DR. MICHAEL WHITE LABOR DAY WEEKEND

New Orleans clarinetist Dr. Michael White returns with his ensemble to Louisville for performances Labor Day Weekend (venues not known at deadline time, except for Adath Jeshurun on Saturday, September 4). Dr. White will be here to help raise money for post-BP relief. His concert here not long after Katrina in 2005 was superb. He has the rare ability not only to play traditional New Orleans jazz superbly, but also to compose new music in the classic style without sounding like a mere copycat. Look for more details here next month.

PAT METHENY: THE ORCHESTRION PROJECT AT THE BROWN THEATRE

Pat Metheny continues to challenge himself and his audience with new projects. The Orchestrion Project finds Metheny fronting a band composed of himself and ... himself. "Orchestrion" refers to a collection of percussion instruments mechanically triggered by Metheny. The concert is Saturday, October 2, at the Brown Theatre. Ticket information at www.kentuckycenter.org, and more details here as the concert approaches.

RECENT CONCERTS

JACOB DUNCAN/JOHN GOLDSBY/JASON TIEMANN CD RELEASE PARTY

Saxophonist Jacob Duncan, bassist John Goldsby (formerly of Louisville, now living and working in Germany), and drummer Jason Tiemann celebrated the release of their new CD, The Innkeeper's Gun (Bass Lion BLM008, www.goldsby.de/john/webstore) on Saturday, July 10, at the Nachbar, where Duncan and Tiemann hold forth regularly. While some press kits hype the music, Goldsby's quote in this release's kit is right on: "We're carrying on the tradition of Ornette Coleman and Sonny Rollins, while expanding the trio style and adding our own voices to the music." All songs on the disc are by either Duncan or Goldsby, with the exception of their cover of Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi." The live set opened with the trio's take on the CD opener, "Jim Henson," and the energy level and musical interaction remained high for the rest of the night. Given the difficulty of maintaining structure without a chord instrument such as piano or guitar, Tiemann's drumming frequently held the pieces together with his rhythmic patterns. Duncan is adept at playing both "inside" and "outside," frequently moving from one style to the other in the same song. Goldsby, whose "day job" is playing with the Cologne Radio Big Band, seemed to relish the opportunity to play this challenging, more intimate music, aptly demonstrated during his arco solo on "Never Come Back to Me." The title track of the new CD was taken at breakneck speed, with hyperfast funkiness. Local musicians Chris Fitzgerald and Bobby Falk turned out to show their support, and were effusive in their praise after the concert. While fans of pure straightahead may wish to look elsewhere, jazz listeners who enjoy music which is simultaneously challenging yet accessible will find much to like on the disc.

JAMEY AEBERSOLD'S SUMMER JAZZ CONCERTS

In years past, I have commented here on the concerts performed by the amazing artists lined up by Jamey Aebersold for his annual workshops. This year, please look for this in the forthcoming Louisville Jazz Society Newsletter. For here and now, I will simply offer my thanks to Aebersold for his many contributions to the music we love.

SELECTED CLUB AND OTHER LISTINGS

The Comedy Caravan, 1250 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY 40204, 502-459-0022 www.comedycaravan.com, has long been a venue for quality musical acts. The Don Krekel Orchestra performs the second Monday of each month, which falls on July 12. Bobby Falk's "Night of Jazz," is on hiatus during July and August. No other jazz bookings were planned as of deadline time, so please contact the club for any post-deadline shows.

The Seelbach Jazz Bar, (500 S. Fourth Street, 502-585-3200), features vibraphonist and occasional pianist Dick Sisto, who always provides excellent mainstream jazz, sometimes with guest artists joining him.

The Nachbar (969 Charles Street, 502-637-4377, www.myspace.com/thenachbar),

features Vamp (saxophonist Jacob Duncan, drummer Jason Tiemann and a revolving crew of bassists) every Wednesday, and was featuring Squeeze-bot on Sundays; check the club for updates or changes.

The Jazz Kitchen (5377 N College Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46220; phone: 317-253-4900; www.thejazzkitchen.com), presents nightly offerings of local and regional jazz; check the website for the full schedule and updates. Some road trip-worthy shows: trumpeter Derrick Gardner Quintet on Friday the Thirteenth; Deep Blue Organ Trio with guitarist Bobby Broom, organist Chris Foreman, and drummer Greg Rockingham on Friday, August 20; Brian Auger's Oblivion Express on the 27th; and vocalist Rene Marie on September 3.

The August schedule for The Blue Wisp Jazz Club in Cincinnati, 318 East Eighth St. (513-241-WISP), includes: Friday, August 20: Dan Faehnle Quartet; and Saturday, August 28:

Ernie Krivda/Tony Monaco Organ Trio For details and the full schedule, the website is: www.thebluewisp.com.

The Redmoor, Mt. Lookout Square, 3187 Linwood Avenue, in Cincinnati, 513-871-6789, www.jazzincincy.com. Some road trip-worthy shows include: August 12, Dan Faehnle Quartet; August 19, Deep Blue Organ Trio; August 25. Tony Monaco Trio, and pianist Bill Cunliffe on September 9th

Please sign up for updated local jazz listings: The Louisville Jazz Society has revamped its website (www.louisvillejazz.org), and offers a new means to disseminate news of live performances locally: be sure to sign up for the e-mail "Louisville Jazz Society's Jazz Insider." It is both impossible for me to try to provide complete listings here, and it would be duplicative of the weekly listings in the Courier-Journal and LEO and the Louisville Music News' monthly music listings, in both the print and online editions (www.louisvillemusicnews.net).

EIGHTH NOTES

John Fedchock NY Sextet: Live at the Red Sea Jazz Festival (Capri 74102, www.caprirecords.com)

Trombonist John Fedchock has been such a regular faculty member of the Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops for several years, so I was caught off guard when he was not among the artists this year. Not to worry, Fedchock's fiery performance in Israel in August of 2008 is well-captured on this new release. A solid hour of swinging hard bop is captured here, with the leader joined by Scott Wendholt (trumpet), Walt Weiskopf (tenor), Allen Farnham (piano), David Finck (bass), and Dave Ratajczak (drums). They take flight on four Fedchock originals, including the first, high spirited piece, "This Just In." Fedchock's tribute to Elvin Jones, "Elvin's Empire," captures much of the feel of the great drummer's work in a bluesy piece. The two pieces not by Fedchock are the lovely "Moon Alley" by Tom Harrell, and a stretched-out take on "Caravan." All in all, swinging, and fun.

Derek Trucks Band: Roadsongs (Sony Masterworks)

This new 2-CD set is culled from two nights of the DTB playing in Chicago last year. The band is augmented by a horn section, which adds flavor and texture to many of the pieces here, especially on the old school soul of "Days Is Almost Gone." Jazz fans should be drawn to Trucks' lengthy version of "Afro Blue" which showcases the gorgeous flutework of Kofi Burbridge. On the second disc, the New Orleans soul classic "Get Out My Life Woman" segues into a powerful rendition of Jimi Hendrix's "Machine Gun." In short, this set presents the young guitarist once again stretching his wings, with taste and a serious sense of adventure.

GRATEFUL DEAD: ROAD TRIPS Vol. 3, No. 3: Fillmore East 5-15-70 (GRA2-6016) (www.dead.net)

This stunning 3-disc set (plus bonus for early orders) captures the Dead at a unique time in their career. They would open with sets featuring acoustic guitars and a mix of originals (such as the then-new "Friend of the Devil") and covers (Lightnin' Hopkins' "The Rub," "Long Black Limousine"). After a set by the New Riders of the Purple Sage (not included), they would come out in full bore improvisational mode, stretching out on everything from "Good Lovin'" to their own spacey, exploratory "Dark Star" (here moving into "St. Stephen," into "Not Fade Away" into a 28-minute Pigpen showstopping "Turn on Your Lovelight"). Long before the hype, the camp followers and such, this recording shows just how versatile and unique the Grateful Dead really were. Anyone wanting to understand both the roots of the band as well as its sense of adventure and musical daring would do well to add this to their collection.

LOCAL JAZZ CONTACTS

With two eleven-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.

MIKE TRACY: www.michaeltracy.com, michael.tracy@insightbb.com, saxophonist and teacher Mike Tracy

UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE JAZZ PROGRAM: www.jazz.louisville.edu

BOBBY FALK: www.myspace.com/bobbyfalk, drummer and composer Bobby Falk;

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

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