[JPL] Music for Many Moods FNYC all Jazz Jazz Preview BY WILL FRIEDWALD

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Thu Sep 20 10:43:46 EDT 2007


Music for Many Moods

Jazz

BY WILL FRIEDWALD
September 19, 2007
URL: http://www.nysun.com/article/62980


Here's a new look for the fall: The most ambitious jazz event of the fall
isn't being presented in a concert or jazz club ‹ it's the first (and
hopefully annual) Jazz Improv convention, to be held at the New Yorker Hotel
from October 25 to 27. The overall experience is patterned after the
International Association of Jazz Educators conference (which is being held
in Toronto in January), though with less of a focus on education and more on
the business of jazz in New York. Friday and Saturday nights will bring a
series of all-star concerts (including McCoy Tyner, Jack De-Johnette,
Wallace Roney, Sonny Fortune, Roy Haynes, Jimmy Heath, and Pat Martino),
while the days will include performances by nearly every notable musician in
the city and, simultaneously, panels on jazz for fun and profit by everyone
else (including even your humble servant). The admission fee is a bit dear
for the casual fan, but you'll certainly get a lot of music for your buck.

Not counting the four big John Coltrane events commemorating what would have
been his 81st birthday, the jazz legends being celebrated the most this
season are the fabulous composer-arrangers Benny Carter and Gil Evans. Jazz
at Lincoln Center will honor the Carter centennial with a week of events at
JaLC, starting with a Monday night presentation of Carter's small group
music, played by protégée Mel Martin, and a gala show of his orchestral
works by Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra (as well as a
lecture by Benny's biographer and Boswell, Ed Berger). Although apparently a
coincidence, the next week will bring concurrent events spotlighting the
modernistic orchestrations of Gil Evans: a long-awaited full-dress
retrospective by Mr. Marsalis and the JaLC Orchestra (October 25-27) and, on
October 26, a performance of Evans's masterful makeover of "Porgy and Bess"
by Dave Liebman and the Manhattan School of Music Jazz Orchestra. That
weekend, we'll be up to our Gils in Evans.

In the meantime, two jazz festivals are worth your while: The Festival of
New Trumpet Music (FONT) continues through the end of the month at various
venues all over the city, including two three-trumpet nights at Jazz
Standard. First, festival founder Dave Douglas, Jeremy Pelt, and special
guest Eddie Henderson will perform tomorrow night (September 20). Then on
Friday (September 21), it's the trumpet triumvirate of Cecil Bridgewater,
Eddie Allen, and Rod McGaha. On an unrelated but similar note, next week,
Slide Hampton is leading a four-trombone band at the Vanguard.

While the emphasis of FONT is decidedly downtown (there are two worthy
events featuring avant-gardists Leo Smith and composer Anthony Braxton), the
focus of Columbia University's Harlem Festival of Global Jazz is both uptown
and international. Among the events most worth catching are the combination
of David Murray and New Orleans free-jazzer Kidd Jordan at Creole; Jamaican
jazz giant Monty Alexander at Lenox Lounge, and a really interesting
alfresco Sunday afternoon concert in Riverbank State Park on 145th Street
with Arturo O'Farrill's Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, George Gee's
retroswingers, and a hot brass band from New Orleans. Next Sunday, alto
saxophonist and conceptualist Steve Coleman will give a rare New York
concert at El Museo del Barrio on 104th Street.

The busiest artists this fall would appear to be the guitarist Bucky
Pizzarelli and the pianist Cyrus Chestnut. On October 19, the former will
headline a Highlights in Jazz concert titled "FUN With JAZZ," co-starring
fellow funsters Jay Leonhart, Wycliffe Gordon, and John Pizzarelli Jr. Mr.
Chestnut also co-leads a quintet with the distinctive clarinetist Ken
Peplowski at Dizzy's (starting November 20). The outstanding pianist will
also be premiering his new CD, "Cyrus Plays Elvis" (which promises to join
Herbie Hancock's new Joni Mitchell album as the major rock-goes-jazz project
of the year), at the Miller Theatre on October 13 before playing with his
Manhattan Trinity trio, behind the fine Muscovite tenor saxophonist Igor
Butman at Dizzy's (starting November 27). He'll then star in a bop-centric
Highlights in Jazz show on January 4.

Both of those concert series are worthy of more attention: Jack
Kleinsinger's long-running Highlights series is also presenting Mose
Allison, ornithologist Charles McPherson, and the wacky Ken Peplowski-Marty
Grosz duo on November 9; on December 7, Highlights (at the Tribeca
Performing Arts Center) will present the all-star, hardswinging Statesmen of
Jazz, starring Buddy DeFranco and Randy Sandke. (Another great clarinetist,
Eddie Daniels is doing Iridium starting October 19.) The Miller Theatre jazz
subscription series features cutting-edge pianist Matthew Shipp ‹ who has
already given a number of big solo concerts this year ‹with his Nu-Bop
Quartet (October 27) and virtuoso bassist Christian McBride's band (December
1).

Piano fans won't be disappointed this fall: Jacky Terrasson will introduce
his new solo album at Symphony Space on October 11, and the Vanguard is
importing the great Euro-jazzer Martial Solal starting October 9 ‹ not to
mention Geri Allen (starting October 2) and two weeks of Bill Charlap
(starting October 23). Likewise, Afrocentric keyboard colossus Randy Weston
will star at the Marian Anderson Theater (September 22) and Birdland
(starting October 3). Next week, the Iridium is mounting an ambitious
three-night salute to bop pioneer Bud Powell starring Cedar Walton, Steve
Kuhn, and Vijay Iyer.

In other news, the season's most eagerly anticipated comeback is the tiny
tenor giant Johnny Griffin, who hasn't played New York in longer than I can
remember, playing Saturday and Sunday at the Blue Note. And in the case of
singers, the worthiest belters in the mainstream jazz clubs are the Claire
Martin­Ian Shaw combination at Dizzy's, followed by Carol Sloane this
weekend in the ongoing Diet Coke Women in Jazz Festival. Then, as Otcober
arrives, Dee Dee Bridgewater will sing with her new African project at the
Blue Note, though she'll be competing with Mark Murphy at Iridium. The
following week, the now-venerable Karrin Allyson-Nancy King combination will
return to Dizzy's.

And that's just the tip of the jazz iceberg; there are many more must-catch
events at Lincoln Center, such as Branford Marsalis at the Allen Room
(October 26-27) and evenings of Latin jazz (November 30) and big band swing
(November 15-17).

You'll be fine, as long as the cabs don't go on strike again.





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