Martin Z. Kasdan Jr.

Jazzin'
By Martin Z. Kasdan Jr.

PRELUDE:

Well, October is here, and that means it's time for me to wish my daughters, Lauren and Leah, a happy 14th birthday.

RECENT CONCERTS

São Paulo Underground at The Kentucky Museum Of Art And Craft

On Thursday, September 13, the Kentucky Museum Of Art And Craft took a bold step by programming the São Paulo Underground. Led by trumpeter Rob Mazurek, the trio presented a program mixing electronics with simple acoustic instruments for a stunning sound collage. While the band's name may evoke samba, the music was more akin to the diverse work of artists such as Sun Ra, early 1970's Miles Davis, and Soft Machine. Song titles weren't announced, but much of the music came from the band's most recent release, the 2011 album Tres Cabeças Loucuras (www.cuneiformrecords.com). This was an evening of adventurous music

ON THE HORIZON

ANTIBALAS AT THE KENTUCKY CENTER

Antibalas is an Afrobeat ensemble with a political edge which seems to channel the late Fela Kuti. Jazz meets funk meets soul meets polyrhythms. Antibalas hits the Bomhard Theater in the Kentucky Center on Wednesday, October 3, at 8:00 p.m. A free pre-show concert by Louisville's own Coco Yam starts at 7:00 p.m. More information at www.kentuckycenter.org.

BIG ROCK JAZZ & BLUES FEST

The Louisville Jazz Society and the Kentuckiana Blues Society join the Douglass Boulevard Highlands Neighborhood Association for this FREE outdoor concert at beautiful Big Rock in Cherokee Park by Beargrass Creek. This year features Miss Lissa & Company , Dick Sisto & Steve Allee , and native son Don Braden with Todd Hildreth, Jonathan Higgins and Tyrone Wheeler. It takes place on Sunday, October 7, from 2 7 p.m. Parking at Adath Jeshurun Temple, Douglass at Ellerbe, with free TARC Trolley and shuttle service.

ZAKIR HUSSAIN WITH RAKESH CHAURASIA AT THE KENTUCKY CENTER

Tabla master Zakir Hussain, whose credits range from performing with Ravi Shankar to Mickey Hart to Charles Lloyd to Bela Fleck, to name but four, returns to Louisville for a performance at the Bomhard Theater in the Kentucky Center on Friday, October 12 at 8:00 p.m. He will perform both traditional and modern Indian music with bamboo flutist Rakesh Chaurasia, nephew and student of the great bansuri master Hariprasad Chaurasia. While not jazz, the improvisation and superlative musicianship should appeal to jazz lovers. More information at www.kentuckycenter.org.

CRAIG TWEDDELL'S ART BLAKEY PROJECT AT THE RUD

Trumpeter Craig Tweddell brings his sextet to the Rudyard Kipling, 422 W. Oak St,. on Sunday, October 14 to perform a special anthology of Art Blakey tunes. This is another in the series of monthly concerts presented by the Louisville Jazz Society, www.louisvillejazz.org. Doors open at 5:30 PM, with music at 6:30.

BIRDLAND BIG BAND AT IUS

Drummer Tommy Igoe leads a large ensemble of jazz musicians from New York known as the Birdland Big Band. The band released a solid and swinging CD, Eleven (www.tommyigoe.com) early in 2012, which features a more modern repertoire than might be expected, including original arrangements of Herbie Hancock's "Butterfly" and Michael Brecker's "Spherical," as well as Bobby Timmons' classic "Moanin'." They perform as part of Indiana University Southeast's "Different Drummer" Series, on Friday, October 19, 7:30 PM, at the Ogle Center on campus. Ticket information, as well as information about many interesting non-jazz concerts, may be found at www.ius.edu/oglecenter.

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 has been performing the third Monday of each month, and which falls on October 22, although as of deadline time this is unconfirmed on the website. Please contact the club for any post-deadline information.

Decca Restaurant , (812 East Market Street, 502-749-8128, http://deccarestaurant.com) is now featuring jazz and other music. October listings were unavailable as of deadline time, so check the site or call for updates.

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. The club also has a Facebook page with occasional updates.

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. National acts include 10/5: Mike Stern ; 10/6: Tessa Souter with Steve Allee ; 10/10: Negroni's Trio ; 10/13: Dominick Farinacci .

The Blue Wisp Jazz Club in Cincinnati, is now at 700 Race St. (513-241-WISP). September concerts worthy of a possible road trip: 10/11-12: Howard Alden ; 10/14: Jeff Coffin & the Mu'tet (see below); 10/27: Alejandro Ziegler Quartet from Argentina plays Authentic Music of the Tango; all in addition to local and regional talent. Wednesdays remain the province of The Blue Wisp Big Band. For details and the full schedule, the website is: www.thebluewisp.com.

Please sign up for updated local jazz listings : The Louisville Jazz Society provides weekly e-mail updates for local jazz happenings. Be sure to sign up for the e-mail "Louisville Jazz Society's Jazz Insider" at www.louisvillejazz.org. 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 print and online, www.louisvillemusicnews.net.

EIGHTH NOTES

Joey DeFrancesco (with Larry Coryell and Jimmy Cobb)

Wonderful! Wonderful! (HighNote HCD 7241 www.jazzdepot.com)

Girls and boys, can you say "swing?" How about "soulful" and "straightahead?" Well, this new CD by three generations of jazz masters is aptly described by these three adjectives, and needs no lengthy blow-by-blow description. Led by the young (41-year-old) organist, with tasty guitar by 69-year -old Coryell and in the pocket drumming by elder statesman Cobb (83), the trio tears through burners such as the title track, while slowing the pace for the occasional ballad (Duke Ellington's immortal "Solitude"). They close, appropriately enough, with the blues, "JLJ Blues," to be precise. To quote the seemingly immortal Stan Lee, "'nuff said."

Branford Marsalis

Four MFs Playin' Tunes (Marsalis Music MARS 0018, http://marsalismusic.com)

Saxophonist Branford Marsalis, eldest of the musician sons of pianist Ellis Marsalis, has maintained a band consisting of pianist Joey Calderazzo and bassist Eric Revis, for many years now. On this new release, young drummer Justin Faulkner, with Marsalis for some three years, makes his first recording as part of the quartet. Faulkner had big shoes to fill following the departure of longtime drummer Jeff "Tain"Watts, and proves throughout that he is up to the task. With the exception of "Teo" (by Thelonious Monk) and the standard "My Ideal," all the tunes are composed by Marsalis, Revis, or Calderazzo. The music is varied, from the "Spanish Tinge" of the opening "The Mighty Sword, "which turns fast and furious, to the hard swinging take of "Teo,." The softer side of jazz balladry is well represented, as well, with Marsalis playing beautiful soprano on "Maestra" and "As Summer Into Autumn Slips." A "bonus track," "Treat It Gentle," is sweet and old-fashioned. Four MFs Playin' Tunes is yet another triumph for Marsalis and company

John Abercrombie Quartet

Within A Song (ECM 2254, www.ecmrecords.com)

Guitarist John Abercrombie is joined by fellow veterans Joe Lovano on tenor, Drew Gress on bass, and Joey Baron on drums. They can play with heat and ferocity but here choose to play with more subtlety, in tribute to the jazz which first captured Abercrombie's fancy as a youth. Opening with the sweet ballad "Where Are You," the musicians clearly establish their collective quiet authority. Their arrangement of Miles Davis' "Flamenco Sketches" unfolds gently, while their take on Ornette Coleman's "Blues Connotation" eschews the composer's harmolodic approach for a series of well-played solos. They close with the lovely and lilting "Sometime Ago." A live recording would be a wonderful followup to this engaging collection.

Christian Scott

Christian aTunde Adjuah (Concord Jazz CJA-33237, www.concordmusicgroup.com)

Trumpeter Christian Scott, nephew of saxophonist Donald Harrison, Jr., has released a powerful 2-CD set which incorporates both jazz and hip hop beats to great effect. Scott's guitarist, Matthew Stevens, deftly utilizes rock and jazz techniques throughout, while keyboard player Lawrence Fields, bassist Kristopher Keith Funn and drummer Jamire Williams demonstrate creativity and flexibility. Opening Disc I is "Fatima Aisha Rokero Roo," which comes across as a strong wake-up call. For the next two hours, Scott takes his listeners on a journey which is varied enough to maintain interest, while keeping true to his own vision, as exemplified in the first sentence of his self-penned liner notes: "As an artist, I am always attempting to do things that haven't been done." Here one hears the influence of 1970's Miles Davis, there the second-line Mardi Gras Indian beat, and elsewhere the eclecticism of current keyboard techniques. This is an album to which I have returned several times in the short period I have had it, and one which I highly recommend. While some bemoan the impending (if not historical) death of jazz, Scott clearly ignores the naysayers and creates a vision of what the future of the artform holds.

LOCAL JAZZ CONTACTS

With two thirteen-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.