Martin Z. Kasdan Jr.

Jazzin'
By Martin Z. Kasdan Jr.

PRELUDE:

RIP, GARRY "STARCHILD" SHIDER

"Make my funk the P-Funk, I wants to get funked up." George Clinton's Parliament/Funkadelic, lost its rhythm guitarist Garry Shider to cancer just days before deadline time. Known for wicked grooves and outlandish costumes (including an over-sized diaper), Shider will be missed. But as the lyrics say, "Somebody say, ‘Is there funk after death?' I say, ‘Is Seven Up?' Yeah, P-Funk!"

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. More info here next month. Also, be on the lookout for an announcement of a show featuring Pat Metheny in the 2010-11 season of the Kentucky Center.

JAMEY AEBERSOLD'S SUMMER JAZZ WORKSHOPS

For close to four decades, the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops have featured a world-class faculty and not only high quality instruction, but an amazing series of faculty concerts open to both participants and the public at large. Preliminary (as of deadline time) faculty members include luminaries such as Steve Allee, Jim Rotondi, Jim Snidero, Steve Davis (both trombone and drums), Ed Soph, Rufus Reid, Dan Haerle, Phil DeGreg, Jerry Coker, David Baker, Jennifer Barnes (vocals), Antonio Hart, Gene Walker, Bobby Floyd, Lynn Seaton, Corey Christiansen, Steve Erquiaga, Dave Stryker and many more. Other basic information: dates:

Session A - July 4 - 9; Session B - July 11 - 16. There are also several 2-day sessions. For more information: www.summerjazzworkshops.com, or call or write Jason Lindsey, Administrator,

Summer Jazz Workshops, PO Box 1244, New Albany, IN 47151-1244, or call 1-800-456-1388 x 5.

JAMEY AEBERSOLD'S SUMMER JAZZ CONCERTS

The amazing artists lined up by Jamey Aebersold as faculty will perform nightly at the School of Music from 7:30 - 10 p.m. each night, with major concert presentations each Wednesday at Masterson's (1830 South 3rd Street, near campus) from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. The campus presentations are free, and there is a small charge for the Masterson's events. Many of these musicians command top dollar at clubs from New York to California, so don't pass on this opportunity.

RECENT CONCERTS

VICTOR WOOTEN AT HEADLINERS

Bassist extraordinaire Victor Wooten brought his ever-so-funky band to a crowded house at Headliners for a non-stop 2-hour tour-de-force on Sunday, May 30. Brother Regi Wooten played guitar, Derico Watson was all over the drums, and Steve Weingarten added textures on keyboards. Victor's work with Béla Fleck and the Flecktones brought him to the attention of many fans and has allowed him to spread his wings as a leader in his own right. He continues the virtuoso electric bass tradition of Jaco Pastorius and Stanley while adding his own touches. He slowed the pace a bit for "I Saw God," from his 2008 Palmystery recording, reflecting on the spiritual nature of us all. He broke out James Brown's "Sex Machine" with help from his and Watson's children. Miles Davis' "Jean Pierre" was a delight, and led to a rap by Victor. Near the end of the concert, he played a lovely ballad, "Ari's Eyes," for his daughter Arianna." He spoke of his book, The Music Lesson, adding that it had been translated into eight languages and was being released on audiobook. While his playing throughout was phenomenal, his warmth and engagement with the audience made the night more than just a display of technically advanced playing.

BELLARMINE JAZZ GUITAR CLINIC AND CONCERT

Bellarmine presented its annual Jazz Guitar Clinic and concert on a warm Monday evening, June 7. Bellarmine Professor Jeff Sherman and his guest instructors, John Stowell and Gene Bertoncini, played for an appreciative audience of students and community members, demonstrating good taste and understated swing. The guitarists began by playing together with bassist Tyrone Wheeler and drummer Terry O'Mahoney. Running a few minutes late, I missed the first number but slid in for a fun romp through "Besame Mucho." Sherman then led Wheeler and O'Mahoney into a George Cables composition, "Think on Me" during which Wheeler's arco solo virtually stole the show. A sly rendition of "The Mickey Mouse Show Theme," introduced as a ballad, took much (if not all) of the audience by surprise. After one uptempo song, with Sherman's fretwork precise and fast, Stowell and Bertoncini came out for some duets. Visually, they looked a bit like the odd couple, with Bertoncini looking like your rumpled uncle, while Stowell took the part of the sophisticated cousin. Bertoncini's nylon-string guitar and Stowell's electric guitar wove beautiful threads together for the standard "Indian Summer." The remainder of the first set featured Stowell, performing elegant renditions of Bill Evans' "Funny Man" and Jerome Kern's "Nobody Else But Me," closing with Wheeler and O'Mahoney on Billy Strayhorn's classic "Isfahan." Although Stowell favors the electric guitar, he sits and holds it in the manner of a classical guitarist, demonstrating his eloquent technique.

After a brief intermission, Bertoncini played what he correctly introduced as "a complicated arrangement of ‘Body and Soul,'" followed by a tribute to Django Reinhardt which included John Lewis' "Django" and Reinhardt's own "Nuages." Wheeler and O'Mahoney came back to back him on a medley including "The More I See You," before a three-song finale with all the musicians. Bertoncini picked up an electric guitar for the first two songs of this segment, rocking out on "The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea." He returned to acoustic for his arrangement of Dizzy Gillespie's "Con Alma," with the three guitarists nimbly playing together, swapping lead and comp lines, and generally having too much fun for jazz musicians. The ovation was well-deserved.

SELECTED CLUB AND OTHER LISTINGS

The Comedy Caravan, 1250 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY 40204, 502-459-0022www.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. Look for special guests from the Aebersold Workshops, as follows: July 2 Phil Degreg, piano; Lynn Seaton, bass; Dick Sisto, vibes; Colby Inzer, drums; July 3 Dave Stryker, guitar; Dick Sisto, Lynn Seaton, and Colby Inzer; July 9 Rufus Reid, bass; Steve Allee, piano; Dick Sisto, vibes; Ed Soph, drums; July 10 Antonio Hart sax. Dick Sisto; Fred Hamilton, bass; and Ed Soph, drums; July 16 Steve Davis, trombone; John Goldsby, bass; Dick Sisto and Ed Soph; July 17 Rob Dixon, sax; Tyrone Wheeler, bass; Dick Sisto and Colby Inzer.

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.

Jockamo's Pizza Pub (corner of Goss Avenue and Krieger Street, 502- 637-5406) now has jazz every Thursday night with guitarist Craig Wagner, drummer Jason Tiemann, and others.

The West Market Street Stompers have announced that while they will no longer be playing a weekly gig at Bearno's By The Bridge, they will return to Bearno's to kick off Independence Day Weekend on Friday, July 2. Keep in touch with the Stompers by e-mailing: Musicmail97@bellsouth.net.

Jazzyblu is located in the basement of the Glassworks, 815 West Market St., the homepage is www.jazzyblu.com. Attempts to sign up for e-mail updates for their listings have thus far been unsuccessful, so you might try the site or you can call at502-992-3243 for information.

The Hideaway Saloon, 1607 Bardstown Road (near Bonnycastle), will host the Bobby Falk Group with special guest Descendre (from Ohio) on Saturday, July 3rd

The Jazz Kitchen (5377 N College Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46220; phone: 317-253-4900; www.thejazzkitchen.com), presentsnightly offerings of local and regional jazz; check the website for the full schedule and updates. Some road trip-worthy shows: Friday, July 9: All for One: Jim Rotondi - Trumpet, Steve Davis - Trombone, Jim Snidero - Saxophone, David Hazeltine - Piano, Frank Smith - Bass, Joe Farnsworth - Drums; Friday, July 16: Steve Allee Quartet featuring saxophonist Gary Campbell.

The July schedule for The Blue Wisp Jazz Club in Cincinnati, 318 East Eighth St. (513-241-WISP), includes: Friday-Saturday, July 2-3, Jim Rotondi Quintet with Dave Hazeltine, Eric Alexander, Steve Davis, Jason Tiemann, and Frank Smith. Wednesdays remain the province of the Blue Wisp Big Band. 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. One road trip-worthy show coming up is trumpeter Pharez Whitted's CD Release Party for Transient Journey (Owl Studios), with Bobby Broom - guitar on July 1.

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).

BELLARMINE AND AEBERSOLD CAMP CD REVIEWS

As I have previously noted, both the Bellarmine Jazz Guitar Workshop and the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops feature world class musicians. Here are my observations about some of their recent releases.

Gene Bertoncini: Quiet Now (Ambient Records www.ambientrecords.com), and 2+2 = 1 (Blueport Jazz, www.eastwindimport.com/default.asp?categoryname=BluePort+Jazz) Look up "tasteful" and you will find Gene Bertoncini's portrait. This 73-year-young guitarist has just released 2+2 = 1, which finds him soloing on four songs and medleys, playing with guitar elder statesman Mundell Lowe on four, and with bassist Bob Magnusson on the final four selections. The offerings include the leader's solo Jobim medley "Zingaro/Luiza," his work with Lowe (on electric guitar) on the beautiful Claude Thornhill composition "Snowfall," and his exchanges with Magnusson on classics such as "Laura" and "The Shadow of Your Smile." The sound quality is superb; the only drawback to this CD is that it may be a bit hard to find (even the CD cover and liner notes lack information as to website and ordering information). But don't let that deter you.

Bertoncini himself insisted that I "must have" Quiet Now, a sentiment echoed by Louisville guitarists Pat Lentz and Rick Edwards. Who am I to argue with three musicians? This CD is also very well-recorded (SACD), and features the warm playing of Bertoncini on several medleys, including Strayhorn's "Lush Life/Isfahan" and Bill Evans' "Waltz for Debbie/Very Early." Curiously, the title track, by pianist Denny Zeitlin, is the shortest song on the album, yet the title captures the mood of the disc. Both these recordings show how a lifetime of honing one's skills pays off.

Rufus Reid: Out Front and Live at the Kennedy Center (both on Motéma, www.motema.com) Bassist Rufus Reid has graced the recordings of so many other artists over the years that it seems his outings as leader do not always receive the recognition they deserve. Out Front, released just a few months ago, features Reid with Indianapolis-based pianist Steve Allee and drummer Duduka Da Fonseca. Most of the compositions are originals, including the swinging midtempo blues of the opening "Glory" (by Reid) and the Tyner-esque "Doña Maria" (by Da Fonseca). Reid may be the leader, but he offers his bandmates lots of opportunities to showcase their talents. Live at the Kennedy Center, recorded in October 2006 and released in 2007, is a combination CD-DVD set, with Reid leading a quintet including pianist Sumi Tonooka, trumpeter Freddie Hendrix, saxophonist Rich Perry, and drummer Tim Horner. Most of the compositions here are also by Reid. "Come Out and Play," the leadoff piece, sounds like a long-lost hard bop classic, while the next piece, Harold Land's "Ode to Angela," is warm and mellow. The DVD allows one to witness Reid's genuine warmth and his obvious pleasure in the performances of his bandmates.

Eric Alexander: Revival of the Fittest (HighNote, www.jazzdepot.com) and One for All: Incorrigible (Jazz Legacy Productions, www.jazzlegacyproductions.com) Tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander has been leading his own quartet as well as being a member of One for All for several years, now. Revival finds Alexander with pianist Harold Mabern, bassist Nat Reeves, and drummer Joe Farnsworth. On Incorrigible, Alexander and Farnsworth are joined by pianist David Hazeltine, trombonist Steve Davis, trumpeter Jim Rotondi, and bassist John Webber. Both recordings would have found a captive audience had they been released on Blue Note in the 1960s, as they are both excellent examples of the hard bop championed by that label. The great thing is, these new releases pay homage to the sound without sounding forced or nostalgic. Alexander, of course, is featured on Revival, showing his prowess on the barn-burning title track, the mellow ballad "My Grown-Up Christmas List," and the midtempo Latin "The Island." With Incorrigible, the expanded ensemble gives a nod to Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, as reflected in the music and liner notes. Except for the opening "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered," performed with a classic "little big band" sound, all the tunes are by band members. Ballads, Latin rhythms, blues and bop compositions are played with equal aplomb. In short, after you catch these guys playing here, be sure to take these recordings home with you to savor.

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 include 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.