Martin Z. Kasdan Jr.

Jazzin'
By Martin Z. Kasdan Jr.

PRELUDE I : RIP DAVE BRUBECK

Since I began my work as jazz columnist for Louisville Music News, I have had the delightful task of writing about Dave Brubeck several times. His music was probably the first jazz to which I listened, and his albums have a prominent place in my collection. Best known for his work in time signatures other than standard 4/4 and waltz (3/4), he also was a prodigious composer. My review of his Louisville concerts from 2003 may be found at http://www.louisvillemusicnews.net/webmanager/index.php?WEB_CAT_ID=50&storyid=1637&headline=Dave_Brubeck%27s_Four_Hour_Concert&issueid=170. Thanks, Dave, for a lifetime of commitment to music and to human rights.

PRELUDE II : RIP RAVI SHANKAR

RIP Pandit Ravi Shankar. I only saw him once in person, but remain enraptured after 40+ years by his Monterey performance. I sat through the original theater showing of "Monterey Pop" twice, remember Mike Bloomfield's awe-struck reaction in the audience during the raga. Some time in the 1963-64 school year, my 7th grade "Core" (everything but math, art, Spanish and PE) teacher, Mr. Moise, played some Ravi Shankar in class and said it would be the pop music of the future (or words to that effect). Little did we know how soon his music would be a part of our lives.

PRELUDE III: RIP ED CASSIDY

Spirit was probably best known for its one hit, "I Got a Line on You," and its fourth album, Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus . But their first, self-titled album, to my ears, remains a masterpiece of jazz-influenced rock. Ed Cassidy was the drummer and he had an extensive jazz background.

RECENT CONCERTS AND EVENTS

Escalator Over the Hill: Film

The Louisville Film Society presented a rare showing of filmmaker Stephen Gebhardt's movie Escalator Over the Hill , about the making of the Carla Bley/Paul Haines "chronotransduction," originally issued as a 3-record set back in 1971. Musical styles ranged from theatrical to avant garde jazz to fusion, and the many musicians who played on the record were a diverse lot, from Jack Bruce and John McLaughlin to Charlie Haden, Don Cherry and Gato Barbieri. I had expected a documentary, with perhaps production and performance pieces interspersed with contemporary and "looking back" interviews. Gebhardt's work was of a different nature, what I would call a "documentation" of the rehearsals and performances, with a sort of "fly on the wall" perspective. It was intriguing, and sometimes humorous, to watch as Bley directed the musicians and the , coaxing from them different approaches to her conceptions. Thanks to the Louisville Film Society for presenting this.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band at the Brown Theatre

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band was joined by the Trey McIntyre Project, a modern dance troupe with which the musicians have previously collaborated, for a stunning concert at the Brown Theatre on . My review was posted on DownBeat 's site, and may be found at http://www.downbeat.com/default.asp?sect=news&subsect=news_detail&nid=2054.

ON THE HORIZON

LOUISVILLE JAZZ SOCIETY PRESENTS 502 VINTAGE KEYS WITH TYRONE WHEELER AT THE RUD

The Louisville Jazz Society kicks off its 2013 Concert Series on Sunday, January 13, with jazz fusion by 502 Vintage Keys, featuring Tyrone Wheeler on bass, Hunt Butler on sax, Scott Anthony on keyboard, and Theo Richardson on drums. I haven't heard then yet, but I understand their repertoire includes tunes by The Crusaders, Billy Cobham, Freddie Hubbard and similar composers. The show will be held at the Rudyard Kipling on Oak Street between 4th and Garvin in Old Louisville starting at 3 p.m.; doors open at 2 p.m. to give you time to enjoy something from the Rud's friendly bar and kitchen staff.

BOBBY FALK CD RELEASE PARTY AT MUSICIANS UNION DECEMBER 30

Although this show is December 30, the print edition of LMN hits the streets a few days before the end of the month, so hope you can make it out for this party. Louisville drummer Bobby Falk, has invited folks to come by for free show in honor of his brand new CD, Samuel Street Songs. This happens from 7 to 9 p.m. on Sunday, December 30, with a performance by the Bobby Falk Group. The Musicians Union Hall is located at 1436 Bardstown Rd. (rear entrance behind Tony BoomBozz Pizza), just toward town from Eastern Parkway. Samuel Street Songs features a mix of new compositions by Falk, as well as updated versions of two of his previously recorded songs.

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 is scheduled for January 21. Please contact the club for any post-deadline information.

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 - not sure if this is still right, hard to find updated information, if any of you know how to get better info, drop me a line, please; check the club for updates or changes. 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. A road trip might be advised for Tony Monaco/Fareed Haque Organ Trio , January 11-12; January 18, Latin Jazz All Stars Steve Turre, Nestor Torres, Pete Escovedo ; January 25, Chuchito Valdes Quartet .

The Blue Wisp Jazz Club in Cincinnati, is now at 700 Race St. (513-241-WISP). January 19, French Guitarist Stephane Wrembel ; January 20, Delfeayo Marsalis Quintet ; January 27, Arturo O'Farrill Trio ; February 1-2, Tony Monaco/Fareed Haque Organ Trio featuring Ted Sirota ; February 5, Donny McCaslin Quartet . 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

Houston Person

Naturally (HighNote, www. Jazzdepot.com)

The album title is fitting, as tenor saxophonist plays a program of jazz classics in his commanding yet relaxed style. Joined by veterans Cedar Walton on piano, Ray Drummond on bass, and Lewis Nash on drums, Person virtually turns Milt Jackson's "Bag's Groove" into "Houston's Groove." His warm ballad style is well-captured on "That's All," and he imbues "Namely You" with a happy feeling. Mainstream modern sax just doesn't get much better than this.

War

The World Is a Ghetto (40th Anniversary Expanded Edition) (Avenue/Hip-o, www.hip-oselect.com)

I first saw War co-billed with Herbie Hancock's Head Hunters in Lexington, around 1975, and the funky jazz of Hancock was an apt complement to the jazzy funk of War. This newly remastered edition of the classic War album brings out the instruments with great clarity, and adds over 25 minutes of bonus material, emphasizing the lesser known bluesy side of the band. The title track and the opener, "The Cisco Kid," are both firmly implanted in the DNA of those of us of a certain age. It's great to hear the "album cuts" such as "Where Was You At" and "Four Cornered Room" again. This was a band who blended soulful grooves with a strong jazz side and this author hopes that the first major post-Eric Burdon War album, All Day Music, in a similarly expanded edition soon.

Charles Mingus:

The Jazz Workshop Concerts, 1964-65 (Mosaic, http://www.mosaicrecords.com) © 2012 Martin Kasdan Jr.

Thanks to the hardworking folks at the well-respected Mosaic reissue label, I finally have a listenable copy of the Charles Mingus concert from the 1964 Monterey Jazz Festival. I bought the 2-LP set, and bought a Japanese import CD early in the digital era, and the sound quality on both ranged from mediocre to wretched. I am pleased that the engineers have been able to clean up the sound, and present the 25-minute Duke Ellington medley, the 15-minute swirling "Orange Was the Color of Her Dress, Then Blue Silk," and the 25:41 take of "Meditations on Integration" without the interruptions of the 2-LP set, nor the squall of the earlier CD. And this is just one disc of the seven in this LP-size box of mostly previously-unreleased-on-CD material, including a great deal of music not previously available at all. During the period covered here, the Mingus ensembles ranged from the May 13, 1965 Minneapolis recording of "My Favorite Quintet" (with pianist Jaki Byard, Dannie Richmond, trumpeter Lonnie Hillyer and saxophonist Charles McPherson) to the piano-less octet performing a short but powerful set at the 1965 Monterey festival. There is an unexpected surprise at the end of this set, as the band marches offstage (per the liner notes, by noted author Brian Priestley) performing "When the Saints Go Marching In," sounding like a brass band from the New Orleans streets.

The earliest two concerts are from April of 1964, with a sextet featuring Eric Dolphy. The first, from New York's Town Hall (partially previously released), opens with Byard's romping tribute to Art Tatum and Fats Waller, "A.T.F.W.," and closes with a ferocious "Fables of Faubus" an hour and a half later. Throughout the other concerts, one can hear Mingus not only exhorting his musicians, but sometimes even calling for specific soloists. Some of the compositions appear on several concerts, such as the leader's farewell to Dolphy, "So Long Eric." However, between the changing personnel and the always-challenging leader, these "duplications" are anything but redundant, and engage the listener in a powerful musical experience. Separate from the rarity of some of the concerts themselves, there are some rarely recorded compositions played here, including political statements such as "They Trespass the Land of the Sacred Sioux" and "Don't Let It Happen Here," during which Mingus intones the lines attributed to Martin Niemöller, beginning with "First they came for the communists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist." The large booklet includes numerous photos, the essay by Priestley, and additional comments by Sue Mingus, who has devoted much of her life to preserving and presenting the music of her late husband. For anyone interested in Mingus, and who perhaps already has some of the seminal recordings, this is a great addition to the canon.

LOCAL JAZZ CONTACTS

With two fourteen-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

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