[JPL] Jazz in New York Is Like an 'All You Can Eat' Buffet

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Wed Sep 17 06:49:30 EDT 2008


A World of Jazz
Jazz in New York Is Like an 'All You Can Eat' Buffet
By WILL FRIEDWALD | September 17, 2008

The JVC Jazz Festival, held at the beginning of every summer, attempts to
represent the whole of the jazz world (and a lot of pop and world music
besides). But the two major festivals that have become institutions of the
fall are more specific in their scope: One addresses an instrument, the
other a gender.

The Festival of New Trumpet Music began, appropriately, with a three-horn
salute to the man who virtually invented the jazz trumpet, Louis Armstrong,
at the man's own house in Queens. That set the tone for what continues to be
an exciting series built around multi-trumpet combinations, and that
includes other tributes to past masters (notably Woody Shaw), taking place
at the Jazz Standard and other venues around town. I wouldn't have minded
hearing a few more swing-styled players, such as Randy Sandke or Byron
Stripling, but I'm eagerly anticipating the high-ticket climax of this
thoughtful festival, where mainstream and fusion brass giant Randy Brecker
locks horns with FONT avatar and alt-jazz superstar Dave Douglas at Jazz
Standard on September 28. Where are they going to go with this? We shall

Meanwhile, the Fourth Annual Women in Jazz Festival (sponsored by Diet Coke,
so don't order a Pepsi) concentrates, for the most part, on singers (Gloria
Lynne is the one to catch, on September 21) and pianists, including such
Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola regulars as Renee Rosnes (October 7-12) and the more
scarce Joanne Brackeen (October 2-5, with co-star Randy Brecker). Among the
other instrumentalists are two saxophonists, the veteran Jane Ira Bloom
(September 30) and the emerging Grace Kelly (October 1), in whose diminutive
hands the alto looks like a baritone.

The Village Vanguard is, in a sense, staging its own Women in Jazz festival
at the end of October, with the clarinetist Anat Cohen (October 21-26)
followed by the violinist Jennie Scheinman (October 26-November 2, with
Jason Moran).

In the bigger rooms at Jazz at Lincoln Center (which celebrates its fifth
season at Rose Hall, still the world's only jazz-only multiplex, as far as I
know), the most promising outing for Wynton Marsalis and his Jazz at Lincoln
Center Orchestra is a two-band "battle" with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz
Orchestra of Los Angeles (October 23-25). If only for the meeting of the two
piano prodigies associated with those ensembles ‹ the JaLCO's Dan Nimmer and
the C-HJO's Gerald Clayton ‹ this is a show not to be missed. Otherwise, the
Allen Room will host two African string jazz virtuosi, Richard Bona and
Lionel Loueke (September 26-27), plus an evening of Latin music (with
Paquito D'Rivera and the JaLCO on December 5), an evening of the music of
Thelonious Monk (with Marcus Roberts and the JaLCO, November 20-22) and,
splitting the difference, Danilo Perez playing his Latin interpretations of
Monk (November 21-22).

This season, Jack Kleinsinger's Highlights in Jazz series boasts two
especially promising concerts: "Generations of Jazz" (November 13) presents
an all-star band of old soldiers, including the sublime trumpeter Warren
Vache with pianist John Bunch and guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, among others,
as his partners in time. Mr. Vache will share the bill with an ensemble of
much-talked-about youngsters, among them the violinist Aaron Weinstein,
pianist Aaron Diehl, and the especially hot trumpeter Theo Croker. (Can I be
getting old? I remember when Mr. Vache was a young lion.) The series will
then move on to honor New York bass mainstay and singer-songwriter Jay
Leonhart (December 11), with a truly stellar band featuring Ken Peplowski,
Harry Allen, Ted Rosenthal, and Barbara Carroll ‹ any one of whom is worth
the schlep downtown. The event will be held in December, presumably to allow
Mr. Leonhart ample time to compose a new song about the election results.

Speaking of young and old, on October 9 and 11, the Kitchen (on extreme West
19th Street) will remember Chicago's crucial Association for the Advancement
of Creative Musicians, the organization that nurtured a hotbed of
avant-garde activity 40 years ago, with two concerts and a panel, featuring
AACM heavyweights Muhal Richard Abrams and George Lewis. A hundred blocks to
the north, where Mr. Lewis is ensconced at Columbia University, the Miller
Theatre will present two contemporary ensembles: pianist Robert Glasper's
trio (November 22) and drummer Lewis Nash's all-star quintet (October 18)
with Jeremy Pelt, Jimmy Greene, and Renee Rosnes.

Elsewhere, concerts continue to be produced by organizations cultural,
educational, and even spiritual: Merkin Concert Hall will present the Turtle
Island String Quartet and its transcription of John Coltrane's "A Love
Supreme" (November 9), while Symphony Space will offer two ethnically themed
jazz events, Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra on Halloween
(October 31) and trumpet maverick Steven Bernstein's Jewish Music Project,
with the inspired saxophonist Peter Apfelbaum (December 12). Downtown at the
Thalia Theatre, Vince Giordano and his traditional jazz Minihawks will
perform for the Sidney Bechet Society on October 15. Meanwhile, the New York
City Baha'i Center will continue to present worthy events on Tuesday nights
in their John Birks (Dizzy) Gillespie Auditorium, such as that by Dizzy
drummer Charli Persip's Superband (September 23), and a Gillespie salute
helmed by Dizzy pianist Mike Longo (December 21). Dizzy will also be honored
at the Blue Note (October 21-26) by alums Slide Hampton and James Moody.

We'll wrap up this round up with a few major club engagements. First, the
amazing Bill Charlap Trio will play two weeks at the Village Vanguard
(October 7-19), and the outstanding Italian pianist Enrico Pieranunzi will
play with two ensembles over four nights at Birdland (October 29-November
1). Elsewhere, the Cuban percussionist Francisco Mela's polystylistic group
will appear with Jason Moran and Mark Turner at the Blue Note (September
23-24); the remarkable Sonny Fortune will play two nights at Sweet Rhythm
(September 26-27); Dave Holland's hot new sextet gets together with Antonio
Hart at Birdland (October 8-11), and three solid players will take over
Iridium ‹ the guitarist Stanley Jordan (September 25-28), the hot alto
saxophonist Kenny Garrett (October 8-12), and the clarinetist Eddie Daniels
(October 16-19).

If you have any energy left, you can catch two weeks worth of all-star
salutes: The first is to Lionel Hampton (Iridium, October 29-November 1),
with Abbey Lincoln, and the other two are to Django Reinhardt at Birdland's
annual Django fest (November 4-9).

wfriedwald at nysun.com

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