Martin Z. Kasdan Jr.

Jazzin'
By Martin Z. Kasdan Jr.

PRELUDE:

Summer, at least the time between the end of school and its beginning, came and went far too fast for me. It's a month from autumn by the calendar as I write this, but here we jolly well are with new supplies, forms, and more. For those of you students, parents and teachers, best wishes for 2011-12.

LOUISVILLE JAZZ SOCIETY NEWS

As a longtime Board member, and current Vice-President of the Louisville Jazz Society, I am pleased to tell you we are undergoing a rebirth. We have recruited new Board members, and elected Harry Kron as President; we welcome Barbara Anderson back as Secretary, and Larry Cooper will be holding down the Treasurer's chair. We plan a series of monthly concerts at rotating venues, beginning with an October 14 concert at Coconut Beach with Phil DeGreg . The long-delayed Newsletter should be out soon as well. We are supporting events listed below, including Tyler Park and Big Rock, and we have long supported education and performances through donations for the Bellarmine Jazz Guitar series, University of Louisville's Jazz Week, and more. Check us out at www.louisvillejazz.org, and please consider joining us and volunteering to help on our committees.

ON THE HORIZON

WORLDFEST, LABOR DAY WEEKEND

Amidst the eclectic artists representing music from around the world, this year's WorldFest also features several acts of specific interest to the jazz community. Taking place on the Belvedere, Worldfest begins Friday, September 2 and runs through Sunday the 4th. There is no admission charge, but food, souvenirs, and such will be available for sale. On Friday, Swing 39 and Swing 39 and the Cincinnati Klezmer Project perform. Saturday brings Cosa Sera ; Sunday includes The Palma Project , Maestro J and Ut Gret . The full schedule, with everything from reggae to Indian to Sudanese music and more, is available at: www.louisvilleky.gov/MetroParks/specialevents/WorldFest/2011WorldFestPerformers.htm

" FALL FOR JAZZ IN TYLER PARK:" THE TYLER PARK JAZZ FESTIVAL

From the press release: The Tyler Park Neighborhood Association proudly presents its first annual Tyler Park Jazz Festival, dubbed "Fall for Jazz in Tyler Park." The festival will be held in Tyler Park on three consecutive Sundays from 4 PM to 6 PM: September 11, Diego Palma, The Palma Project ; September 18, The Carly Johnson Quintet; September 25: The University of Louisville Jazz Ensemble . The Louisville Jazz Society is one of several sponsors, and pizza will be offered for sale by Tony Boombozz. This will be a pet free event and please no outside alcohol. Bring your own lawn chairs.

JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER ORCHESTRA AT THE KENTUCKY CENTER

The Kentucky Center welcomes the return of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis on September 25, at the renovated Whitney Hall. To celebrate Marsalis' 50th birthday, the JLCO will showcase his compositions for big band. The Orchestra has remained together with few personnel changes over the years, assuring a topnotch performance. The members are Music Director and Trumpet: Wynton Marsalis; Trumpets: Ryan Kisor, Marcus Printup, Kenny Rampton; Trombones: Chris Crenshaw, Vincent Gardner, Elliot Mason; Reeds: Walter Blanding, Victor Goines, Sherman Irby, Ted Nash, Joe Temperley; Piano: Dan Nimmer; Bass: Carlos Henriquez; Drums: Ali Jackson . For ticket sales and other details, see www.kentuckycenter.org.

INDY JAZZ FEST

The main event of the annual Indy jazz Fest will be Saturday, September 17; see Main Stage headliners below. A week of evening events and other activities will precede this, with concerts at various venues by the current edition of the Headhunters (with Mike Clark and Bill Summers), singer Kevin Mahogany , an Indianapolis all-star "Indy Jazz Fest Band," and Freda Payne performing a tribute to the great jazz singers Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, Sarah Vaughan and Dinah Washington 2011. MAIN STAGE: Yellowjackets , Rufus Reid's "Out Front " Quintet , Spyro Gyra , George Benson , and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue . For the full schedule, ticket information, etc., go to: www.indyjazzfest.net

BIG ROCK JAZZ AND BLUES FESTIVAL

The Kentuckiana Blues Society and the Louisville Jazz Society are proud to be among the sponsors of the Highlands Neighborhood Association's Big Rock Jazz and Blues Festival, which takes place on Sunday, October 2. My blues colleague Keith Clements gives more detail about the opening band, the Stella Vees , who kick things off at 2:00 PM. Funky jazz follows from FattLabb at 3:45. The concert closes with a rare "Piano Summit," with two grand pianos and a rhythm section, from 5:00-7:00 PM. Led by Harry Pickens , the keyboard artists also include Phil DeGreg from Cincinnati, Luke Gillespie from Indiana University and Steve Allee from Indianapolis.

JAZZ AND MORE AT IUS

" The Miles Davis Experience ," a live multi-media concert, takes place at Indiana University Southeast at Ogle Hall on October 4. According to the press release, this "presents the historical and cultural context of the most noted and accessible Miles Davis tracks from 1949 and continuing through his Blue Note years, culminating in his masterpiece and commercial breakout, Kind of Blue ." The tribute features the celebrated trumpet player Ambrose Akinmusire , winner of the 2007 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition and the 2011 DownBeat Critics' Poll Rising Star Jazz Artist Of The Year and trumpet player. For more information on this, IUS's new Just Jazz Series and other concert presentations this season, go to www.ius.edu/oglecenter/pdf/SeasonBrochure.pdf.

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 September 12. The Palma Project performs a matinee on Sunday, September 18. Please contact the club for any post-deadline information.

The Ron Jones Quartet will give a free concert Sunday September 4th at Turtle Run Winery in Lanesville, Indiana. Bring your family and picnic basket over and swing with Jones on Saxophone, Keith McCutchen on Piano, Sonny Stephens on Bass, and Bruce Morrow on Drums. For more information go to www.turtlerunwinery.com or call 812-952-2650. The evening before, Saturday September 3rd, the Ron Jones Duo will be at Goose Creek Diner, on the corner of Westport and Goose Creek Roads (phone 339-8070).

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. The September schedule should be great, with Indy Jazz Fest (see above) coming up, but was unavailable at deadline time.

The Blue Wisp Jazz Club in Cincinnati, 318 East Eighth St. (513-241-WISP), in August features lots of local and regional talent, plus the phenomenal pianist Robert Glasper on Saturday, October 1. 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. September 21: Jeremy Pelt Quintet; September 22: Mandy Gaines with the Phil DeGreg Trio .

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

Assaf Kehati

Flowers and Other Stories (www.assafkehati.com)

This may be the first time you have seen the name of guitarist Assaf Kehati, but I am confident it won't be the last. He has played with the legendary drummer Billy Hart on numerous occasions, as well as with younger generation master saxophonist Donny McCaslin. Flowers and Other Stories is his second, self-released CD, and features seven original compositions deftly played by the leader with drummer Udi Shlomo, bassist Daniel Sapir, and saxophonist Alon Farber. The overall sound is modern, progressive, yet not "outside." "Calling Me Home" opens the album, its interweaving guitar and saxophone lines setting a template for the close interaction among the musicians throughout this recording. I hear intimations of the jazz side of Pat Metheny on this and other cuts, but I say this as a point of reference, not to imply that Kehati is anything other than a musician in his own right. The short but sweet "Tali" leads into the delicate "The Most Beautiful Flower," a lengthy piece which moves from quiet beauty to climaxes and back again, flowing seamlessly into the contemplative "The Snow and the Sun." This recording has really captured my imagination, and I hope you will find it as intriguing and enjoyable as I do.

Deep Blue Organ Trio

Wonderful (Origin Records, http://www.originarts.com; band info at http://deepblueorgantrio.com)

The Deep Blue Organ Trio from Chicago, introduced to many here in Louisville at the Jazz Factory, consists of guitarist Bobby Broom, organist Chris Foreman, and drummer Greg Rockingham. Their new release pays tribute to the songs of Stevie Wonder, with the focus on his work in the 1970s. As a jazz trio, these guys simultaneously pay homage while adding their own unique touches. They start with Stevie's song which was such a hit for Rufus, "Tell Me Something Good," with more of a swing feel than the original heavy funk. "Jesus Children of America" takes off in high tempo, with lengthy solos by Foreman and Broom. The trio stays closer to the original with their ballad rendition of "My Cheri Amour;" you can almost visualize couples in a little bar dancing to this version back in the day. Deep Blue is soulful and rootsy on "You Haven't Done Nothin'," and turns "It Ain't No Use" into a loping groove. The album's closing tunes, "As" and "You've Got It Bad, Girl," show the collective imagination of the band, as they turn the former into a straightahead swinger, while stretching out on the latter. In short, this CD is one that should not only please seasoned jazz fans, but be accessible to newbies.

Average White Band

Live At Montreux (Eagle Records, www.eagle-rock.com)

I remember the first time I heard AWB's breakthrough hit on the radio, "Pick Up the Pieces." I thought it was a new single by the JB's. Of course, I soon found out that this funky stew was concocted by, of all things, a Scottish band. This disc is an aural companion to the DVD release of a few years ago, and comes from the 1977 Montreux Jazz Festival. AWB starts the set with "Pick Up the Pieces" and keeps getting hotter and hotter, with amazing, stretched-out versions of "Cut the Cake" and "I Heard It Through the Grapevine." This disc doesn't need a blow-by-blow description; if you like righteous old school R & amp;B/soul, this belongs in your collection.

LOCAL JAZZ CONTACTS

With two twelve-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.