Out Posts: San Francisco & Beyond

Hojman on Intern'l Jazz In & Around Barcelona


by Eduardo Hojman

The number of jazz festivals in Spain is astonishing, and it may endanger even the fullest pockets, since, mostly, they are not free. The one at San Sebastian may be the most famous abroad, but not the most important. Some people place this one in Tarrassa, a locality close to the city of Barcelona.

The city itself has a wide array of jazz offerings which, paradoxically, don't get much media attention. Dave Douglas, Danilo Perez and Kurt Elling, for instance, played in small venues and few media seemed interested. I am still to find out whether it is true that Barcelona is among the most alive cities in Europe jazz-wise. But it seems true so far.

The 34 Voll-Dam International Jazz Festival in Barcelona (Voll-Dam being a beer brand, sponsoring the whole thing) is a mixed blessing. It brought us the Dave Holland Big Band with a superb concert marking the end of their worlwide tour. Unluckily, the band played in a half-empty big, too impressive, too cold, too classical theater called L' Auditori.


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Moderator Hendrickson on his Crits Listening Test

Hello JJAers

Overall, I thought the panel (at the New School, Sept. 18) went pretty well. The things I thought were lacking were really my own fault as moderator. My biggest regret was that I wish we had gotten through more music, although I was assured by one audience member that the many of the brightest moments came when people were ranging off the topic and grappling with the bigger issues -- such as a writer's obligation to their readers, giving music a fair listen, and the biases that a writer has when they listen to something. Nate Chinen declared early on in the night that no one is objective, and while it's something all writers wrestle with to varying degrees, it was something that I wasn't so willing to admit in myself.

My favorite moment of the evening came when I was a bit flippant in my dismissal of the Rob Mazurek solo effort on Delmark. And to the audience's credit, they called me on it and forced me to explain myself logically and with some detail, thus preventing me from sounding like an ass. So thanks for that. The writer's job is often an isolated one (all panelists agreed on this) and to think about music, and work through it while facing a group of people is really a nice change of pace (not to mention keeping one on their toes!).

I thought the panelists did a good job of discussing the music, although I expected a little more fire out of Phil Freeman, if only based on some of the incendiary things he said in his book New York Is Now! But we kept it friendly and professional. So I guess that proves that journalists can play nice!

There was a lot of trepidation for some panelists (and from some who declined to be panelists). I'm happy to say that all four of my co-panelists came up afterwards and told me that they were quite happy that they made the time to do it. It was a lot of fun, and I encourage other JJA members to be open to participating in future events.

Tad Hendrickson

Note New Address and Phone Number! 275B Monmouth St. , Jersey City, NJ 07302 E: tad_hendrickson@hotmail.com

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"Chicago Pictures Jazz" -- Special Exhibit at HotHouse during Fest 02

One of my personal pleasures of the recent Chicago Jazz Fest was to view "Chicago Pictures Jazz," hung independently of the Fest proper in the spacious Hothouse Gallery adjacent to the culture club's bar, banquette and table seating and floor-sized performance space. The gathering of Chicago jazz photographers whose very diverse works reflected well on each other there, bespeaks not a school, but a stance, adapted individually, for looking on people in and with music.

I know several of the participating image makers well, and cannot pretend to anything like "objectivity," inevitably mixing my personal experience into the surface of their shots, among other critical sins. But I've long admired and enjoyed working with my pal Marc PoKempner's eye-range and sharpness of imagery, the way he packs information into frames, and also how he gets next to the blues; he's as sharp a pro photo journalist as I've encountered, and his mix of pix here included portraits he snaps of the subject's spontaneities, as well as some brand new Photoshop experiments. Lauren Deutsch, executive director of the Jazz Institute of Chicago, has in the past two years reached beyond her fine, empathetic black and white observational works (still carrying the promise of early "art" negative collages) to create cubist, abstract and surreal photo images, as confidently as an AACM player.

Clark Dean, perhaps best known in Chicago as the swingin' sweet and soulful soprano saxophonist of boogie pianist Yoko Noge's Yokohama Blues Band, is a portratist and bit of a formalist, who uses a heavy 2X4 still camera, for strong lighting and textural efforts. Clark has immortalized the elderly but fiesty Mama Stella Yancey, and he-man blues pianist Jimmy Walker in the basement of the apt. building where was the janitor, among others. His subjects seem to turn into real presences, beyond the frame.

JJA member Michael Jackson's b&w moments of players in paradise (gtrist Bobby Broom!, tenorist Ari Brown, Jeff Parker), which have been gracing Down Beat, the Reader and other publications, were good to see in a grouping (Michael must have been represented by 25 photos; Marc and Lauren's shows were equally big, though Clark Dean presented fewer, bigger pictures). Angeline Evans, Javet Kimball, and Joel Wanic, all new to me, exhibited some arresting images. But I was especially pleased to discover the work of Nami Ogati, a Japanese woman, post-graduate age, who studied psychology prior to coming to the States. Ogati's takes black and white photos with available light in dark jazz and blues clubs (South Side neighborhood joints such as Von Freeman's homestand, the Enterprise Lounge). Her work echoes elements of both PoKempner's and Deutsch's achievements: as Marc says, she "instinctively knows the right places to stand" to watch and hear and frame narratives, that may be visually complex but are the richer for it, of the communion of musician and listener. She gets close and is always warm towards her subjects. She loves the music, clearly, and is fascinated by the world it gives life to. Nami Ogati, who in person at the Jazz Journalists Association dim sum and in attendance of the Jazz Fest proved to be friendly and hopeful, can also be a bundle of energy. She had at least 50 images on display. I'd like to see them all again, and more.

However, "Chicago Pictures Jazz" was scheduled to close September 8, with another due in behind it. The Chicago JJA photographers can be reached via mail directed through their images elsewhere at Jazzhouse.

HotHouse, where a lot of cool things go on, is located at 31 East Balbo, corner of Wabash, second floor. phone 312-362-9707

-- Howard Mandel

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Enid Farber from Slovenia

The photo exhibitionof my work that brought me to Slovenia exceeded my expectations. As I was always told, the Europeans do take artists more seriously and it's obvious that the respect is so much higher than in our country. The publicity was tremendous for this exhibit, articles in magazines and newspapers. An absolutely beautiful printed handout and posters as well as an interview for the national television cultural program. After the reception of delicious Slovenian domestic wines and sweets, myself and [fellow JJA photographer] Ziga Koritnik with whom I shared the exhibition jumped on our bikes, attended and photographed the first night of the 3 night Ljubljana Jazz Festival which included The Charles Lloyd Quartet; Reggie Workman, Igor Lumpert, and Damion Reid; Myra Melford and Mark Taylor; Wayne Shorter, Brian Blade, John Pattitucci and Danilo Perez; Trevor Watts Celebration Band; Femi Kuti and Positive Force, Peter Brotzman and Chicago Tentet; and Keith and Julie Tippett. It was great to see some familiar faces!

After a week in Slovenia I traveled with Ziga and his girlfriend to the coast of Croatia, known as the Dalmatia coast on the Adriatic Sea. After a 13 hour drive throughout the raw landscape of a country that in parts is still rebounding from the brutal war it suffered more than 10 years ago, we ended up in the city of Dubrovnik on the southern end of Croatia's coast. This old city also was affected during the war but the evidence was no longer obvious and the city is charming, historic and has access to everything modern. After only one night there, we ferried to the island of Mjlet which is basically one large nature preserve where there are lovely but minimal rustic pensiones and a few modern hotels. The former offers the most ambience and of course a more authentic experience, the latter more options and conveniences for an American basically traveling solo. My travel companions opted for the rustic, I required more action and people (many of whom spoke English) offered by the modern. The message to these readers is get there before the masses discover it and look forward to the best of the Mediterranean in a landscape that still has room to breathe.

Enid Farber July 11th, 2002

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JJA in Vancouver; True Love Wedding; Interim Report

from Laurence Svirchev:

The panel discussion during the Vancouver festival was attended by 35 people. Bill Smith, editor emeritus of Coda, was a great host, there were really no sparks flying, a civilized dsicussion on the industry, corporate sponsorships, festival programming. Mark Miller of the Globe and Mail added sobriety and history to the event.

John Orysik, festival publicist, arranged for a mini-disc recording of the discussion, which I will transcribe for possible Jazzhouse posting, but not until September. Prior to that, I will work on a report during my travels here in China, and I have digital photography of the panel {also to come}.

Now for the BBQ news: We had about 40 people including musicians Gerry Hemingway, Marilyn Crispell, and Lotte Anker from Denmark. The regular Vancouver crop of journalists, Festival staff, and music lovers. Bill Smith gave the toast from a bottle of Highland Park single malt scotch. He Cheng Ying had originally wanted to get married in China, but for foreigner to get married there requires a month of paperwork. So we married at the JJA BBQ. Ken Pickering and Bill Shoemaker best-manned me and HCY asked two female friends to maid her. Kate Hammett-Vaughan (Canada's amazing singer, standards and avante-garde voice) sang "My Romace", Lennon-McCartney's "In My Life", and "When I Fall in Love" in between announcing Festival acts at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre. It was a great time!

Crispell had a TV interview the next day and she actually told the interviewer: "The marriage changed my life! I now believer that true love does exist in the world." Wow.

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Informative Ascona report from publicist Luca Martinelli

Ascona 2002, a Memorable Edition Ascona. July 7, 2002 - With the traditional Final Gala, held at Hotel Giardino, and with the last concerts on the lake shore, the 18th edition of the New Orleans Jazz Ascona festival closes its activities tonight. The event enjoyed a large success: in spite of the unstable weather, at times rainy and cold, the attendance reached the record numbers of last year. In total, an estimate of 80,000 people visited the 265 concerts offered by the festival, which consolidated its international fame as a major European event devoted to "hot" jazz, thanks to a program which reached a new artistic peak.

According to about one hundred of the journalists present, this has been the festival's best program ever. A program characterized by a variety of concerts, backed by a clearly-defined cultural project. Of particular relevance, in this respect, was the success obtained by the July 4th performance dedicated to Eddie Lang, featuring five leading guitarists: Bucky Pizzarelli, Frank Vignola, Howard Alden, Marty Grosz and Al Viola. These top five guitar players were united for the first time on stage thanks to the work of director Karl Heinz Ern and of jazz musician and musicologist Lino Patruno. The evening was a memorable one, and represents an outstanding achievement for the festival. These five great artists also joined other bands as "special guests", thus contributing to building the true spirit of Jazz, another achievement of the festival. This is indeed one of the most touching and appreciated characteristics of the Ascona Jazz festival: its ability to offer unusual combinations, favoring artistic exchanges between musicians, as well as contributing to their personal and professional growth.

As mentioned by Bruno Durring, responsible for Production at the French-speaking Swiss radio and a follower of the festival, Ascona reminds us today of what Montreux was at its beginning, when record companies had not imposed their views yet: namely, a meeting place where musicians are free to interact without any type of pressure, even outside of established concerts. This happened regularly in Ascona, not only on the numerous stages, but also during jam sessions, held nightly at Piano Bar Lago. According to the musicians themselves, the atmosphere of friendliness recalls somewhat the spirit of the origins of jazz, an atmosphere which is hard to find today even in the United States. The audience well perceived the enthusiasm of the protagonists, rewarding them with its own interest and enthusiastic response.

As for the music heard this year, in addition to the evening of July 4th, there have been several unforgettable moments. For example, the performances of historical figure Arvell Shaw, who was Louis Armstrong's bass player for twenty-five years, and who with his warm voice was able to convey the highlights of that period with Satchmo, supported by the magnificent orchestra of pianist Lars Edegran. Other examples are trumpet player Ed Polcer, of the New York All Stars, with his perfect and balanced style, and the refined orchestra of Dan Barrett, with Scott Robinson and young Italian pianist Rossano Sportiello. Standing ovations also greeted Emanuele Urso, whose clarinet echoes that of Benny Goodman and whose exuberant drumming is modeled after Gene Krupa's.

Among the principal protagonists of this 18th edition we would like to mention the ever-green saxophonist and singer Sam Butera, who brought with him a kind of Las Vegas-style show biz. Rhythm and Blues "Swing Machine" by Johnny Ferreira, "Supercharge" by Albie Donnelly, and blues singer Toni Lynn Washington all seemed to gain the favor of the younger audience. And, last but not least, we would like to mention the band led by Leroy Jones. The group is made up of New Orleans trumpet player Leroy Jones, trombone player Craig Klein, and rhythm section, and interprets the New Orleans traditional repertoire broadening it with a modern style interpretation and with original compositions.

In conclusion, as mentioned by President Bruno Nötzli and by the head of the Department of Tourism of the Municipality of Ascona Gianfrancesco Beltrami, the 2002 edition can be considered a full success, artistically as well as financially. The challenge of Ascona for the next years will be that of remaining a friendly festival, with its atmosphere of familiarity, while at the same time growing and improving its artistic offer.


The 19th edition of the Festival will take place from June 27th to July 6th, 2003, and will honor the centenary of the birth of legendary white cornet and piano player Bix Beiderbecke, active in the 1920's. The Festival will be called "Bixology", which is also the title of a piece recorded at the piano by Bix himself. Many of the musicians who have contributed to the sound score of Pupi Avati's movie "Bix" will perform at Ascona. The poster for Ascona 2003, created for the third year in a row by Rolf Ziegler, has already been officially presented to the press during the vernissage that took place on July 6th at the Meeting Point.

MORE INFO: www.jazzascona.ch (audio, video, comments, interviews)

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Brotzman 10 Review from Kalamazoo

Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet in Kalamazoo: a casual review from Lazaro Vega (radio@bluelake.org)

Not being a musician I can only surmise what musical challenges composing for and performing with a mid-sized jazz ensemble pose.

Everyone knows how Miles Davis dealt with some of those musical issues in the nonet as he, Gil Evans, John Lewis, Gerry Mulligan and the crew began tying together the Claude Thornhill band's static harmonies and mysterious sonorities with the quick moving flow of Bird's combo using highly prized improvisors familiar with the musical vocabulary and vision of the leader.

Not much has really changed today in terms of modus operandi, it's just the sounds went through the '60s social blender, starting a trajectory of improvisational language that is still developing in the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet.

I don't mean to jump directly from Miles Davis to the German saxophonist President Clinton told Oxford University he admired, Peter Brötzmann, without saying anything’s gone on between them: Sun Ra in various groups he led, or Cecil Taylor's Unit Structures Ensembles, Ornette Coleman's Prime Time, David Murray's Octet, Henry Threadgill's various ensembles, and Roscoe Mitchell's nine piece Note Factory.

For their own reasons these artists chose instrumentation somewhere between a combo and big band, and faced down how to arrange the voices and colors and rhythms into a individual style while finding their own answers to the necessary writing such a group of improvisational leaders needs to cohere.

But, as stated, I surmise. I don't play.

In any case add to your list of ensembles in this configuration the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet. They are full-throated musical terriers or little lost motes of sound floating apart in the cosmic dust. One moment they sound as if all the people of Berlin and Chicago are talking simultaneously right at you, and the the next are burning jazz musicians focused on sustaining velocity through time.

This concert underscored how much jazz is a performance art and that sound recordings only tell part of the story: watching them interact, how the front line and rhythm section cue in and out of musical events, how people read in groups, how saxophones play drums parts and pocket trumpet and trombone can walk a bass line makes for another level of understanding.

Which is not intended to undermine Bruno Johnson's two new releases by this amazing ensemble on his Okka Disk Records (www.okkadisk.com) "Short Visit To Nowhere" and "Broken English."

For the record: Peter Brötzmann -- tenor sax, tarogato, clarinet / Joe McPhee -- trumpet, valve trombone / Jeb Bishop -- trombone / Ken Vandermark -- tenor sax, baritone sax, clarinet, bass clarinet / Mats Gustafsson — alto sax, tenor sax, baritone sax, fluteophone / Mars Williams -- sopranino, soprano, alto, and tenor saxes / Fred Lonberg-Holm -- cello, as well as a type of hurdy gurdy instrument / Kent Kessler -- bass / Michael Zerang -- drums, conga / Hamid Drake drums, frame drum, hand drums.

Yes, hearing The Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet with about 150 folks at the Kraftbrau Brewery in Kalamazoo on Thursday May 13, 2002 was a special musical event, their last concert in a three-week tour. The next day they’d pull their funky purple retro bus out of the Kraftbrau’s gravel lot and return to Chicago for a weekend of concerts, two days of recording and then a week in Europe.

Kalamazoo was an entirely acoustic concert, 10 musicians on a 14'X 14' stage giving it the appearance of the display window in a used Selmer store. The group delivered five unrecorded compositions alive after three weeks on the road, music that’s becoming highly attuned, shaped and impassioned.

Moreover, after three weeks of concert and recital halls, excepting an appearance at New York's Tonic, the ensemble seemed ready to pull back a few pints and relax into a last club date, a return to their spiritual roots, the tavern.

The casual atmosphere and suitable acoustics of the Kraftbrau excited them, it had what they needed. And the audience egged them on – it was a good crowd for listening. The talkers and smokers were outside on the patio, barely audible.

In other words, the band let it out, exploring confidently an incredible breadth of ensemble dynamics, textures, rhythmic compositional elements that encouraged creative and weird riffs, music built on individual improvising solo voices that begin with and embrace the on-going development in improvised music that is labeled the avant-garde. Yet post 1965 John Coltrane, the European scene since the 1960s, and Chicago's continuing commentary on the whole trip is only a part of what they're doing now.

Perhaps most impressive was the Tentet's ensemble directive. In a band of leaders to have everyone working towards the same ensemble vision was deliriously musical. It gave the performance a range of sounds approaching Sun Ra.

It’s hard to believe they played, in this order, Atlanta, Louisville, and now Kalamazoo in just three days because they produce such a supercharged music, overwhelming energy, egos focused on a total ensemble sound, and wild back grounds for each highly individualized improvisation, backgrounds full of empathetic vocabularies raising the bar for diversity in music.

Brötzmann in rehearsal advised the band, "We have to make our cuts more precise." Their musical transitions came with speed and breadth: shifting in textures from whispering mists through mouthpieces to the full Brötzmann.

After rehearsal as the band lounged under patio umbrellas sitting on what was once an elevated railroad siding attached to the old building, eating, smoking cigars, comparing food and beer from across the world, signing autographs, talking about jazz, Ken Vandermark suggested to the band they compress the length of a certain composition. Someone asked now that that they'd figured out the form, and rehearsed the ensemble concept to satisfaction, who was it going to feature?

A while later, seemingly out of the blue, Brötzmann decided and Joe McPhee's pocket trumpet feature on that number included a circular breathing solo that spit and whispered molecule sized notes, quieting the crowd to silence, completely. I believe that solo occurred during the Mars Williams composition "Ultra Man Vs. Alien Neutron" which was otherwise highlighted by a round robin section of raging saxophone solos and quirky, irregular unison saxophone section sounds. I believe that ended with a Hendrix-like break for the cello.

Of course there’s a caveat here: I wasn’t on the job, it was a night off and the Hefe Weizen with lemon washed away the dust of everyday life all night long. McPhee's bit may have fit into the second number. So take this with a grain of whatever you need.

Lonberg-Holm scratched away with his bow at a zillion stringed lap instrument, improvising an introduction to the second piece, Mats Gustafsson's "Bird Notes." He just began when a freight train lumbered up to within a few feet of the building and blasted its triple air horn. Blasting the air horn again as it crawled through the street intersection outside, the sound of the slow train was deafening in the room. The squeaking of the train wheels matched frequencies with Lonberg-Holm's uninterrupted weirdness and people laughed.

The first set ended with Peter Brötzmann's "Signs," conducted by Jeb Bishop who made hand signs for certain unison sounds the composition called for, then indicated when to begin by raising his trombone, cutting them off with a loop of his slide, all the while playing along. This went on during a blistering sopranino solo from Mars Williams. Most of that was all in time, just burning – Elvin Jones tempo.

At first I thought Williams played a soprano solo, he corrected me. "Ah, e-flat," I said. He laughed, said, "I wish I could do this everynight," and recalled a point on tour where they featured Mats and Ken on baritone saxophones, Peter on alto and Mars on sopranino: all e-flat.

The second set began with a lengthy group improv, chattering, murmuring, breathy mouth piece sounds as the drummers waived brushes in the air, sudden outbursts of muted brass slowly developing into a kind of driving modern concerto for Ken Vandermark on clarinet. Peter Brötzmann’s "Images." The place went crazy.

The concert ended with Ken Vandermark’s "All Things Being Equal" which included a section for Mats Gustafsson's baritone saxophone-as-drum concept -- all that reed popping, slap tonguing, and those unpredictable glisses -- a point in the music where the saxophone and two drummer's interacted at length, coming out of it in a racing tempo. Jeb Bishop's riveting trombone solo and finally Brötzmann’s hard charging, Post-Albert Ayler tenor saxophone solo brought a sustained roar from the crowd. Hearing 150 people yell at the top of their lungs in a small space qualifies as a roar.

Brötzmann introduced the band, said, "Kalamazoo. I like the sound of that. I maybe should write a piece with that name." Everyone cheered.

Unlike waitresses at the Village Vanguard in the 1960s, who quit rather than work while the John Coltrane Quartet played, the waitresses at the Kraftbrau copped autographs from Brötzmann, telling him that in all of the shows they’d heard there this was the best. He smiled.

Hours before, warming up, Brötzmann’s air column through the tenor is voluminous, full and loud as hell. His sound reflects off the 25-foot high wood ceilings of this yellow brick most likely former agricultural building and buzzes my ears into ringing.

After the concert, when I mentioned his sound, Brötzmann says, "Well I told you about Coleman Hawkins." Earlier, talking casually on the deck, he admitted the American influence in his music began early, that as a boy he’d sneak downstairs at night to eavesdrop on his father enjoying the Voice of America radio broadcasts. Even before playing as a young man in Europe with visiting Americans Anthony Braxton, Roscoe Mitchell and Albert Ayler he had come upon his own special, individual aspect. But I didn’t recall the Coleman Hawkins allusion.

"I saw him, when I was much younger, in Germany with Bud Powell," said Brötzmann.

"In Essen? 1960?"

"Yes, that was one of the last times for Oscar Pettiford, too. They had to wheel Bud Powell out on stage in a chair. But hearing Coleman Hawkins that night changed my life."

Listen to him, that huge sound, and it makes complete sense. He said back in the sixties they would call it, Free Jazz, and then said the music was never free, and was never so modern as to loose touch with jazz roots. During the tour while on the bus Brötzmann and Mars Williams agreed that Louis Armstrong's "Hot Five" recordings contain the germ of many ideas used in this Chicago Tentet. Talking to this amazing musician I felt I was hearing the grail of jazz: a unified theory. It’s not all splintered styles. At its best jazz comes from the same creative impulses and is carried down through generations, despite what the monopoly builders would have us believe.

Again, in the end this needs to be a casual review because I enjoyed the hell out of the Kraftbrau’s Hefe Weizen with lemon and didn’t write anything down. There may be errors, and certainly not enough about each musician or various solos played that night. Thanks to Ken Vandermark for leaving the composition titles on the answering machine. Congratulations to concert producer Matt Dorbin of Black Jack Productions for hosting an intoxicating night of music.

* * *

When not taking a night off, Lazaro Vega is the sober host of Jazz From Blue Lake over Blue Lake Public Radio.


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Life in Louisville


Louisville: Danny "Yardhog" Porker, also known as "Gorilla Man" announced today that he will not be reading poetry and playing his saxophone inside the new Louisville Zoo Gorilla Exhibit, as announced earlier this year.

"Inside sources informed me that a small band of guerilla gorillas were planning to target me and that my appearance at the exhibit might put me and the entire gorilla population at risk," Yardhog said.

Yardhog has said earlier he thought that gorillas needed poetry in their lives and he was willing to provide it along with a few nice tunes on his saxophone.

"What I learned was that gorillas are basically dumb beasts that would never understand poetry to begin with. And as far as music goes, they hate jazz, except for some early Kenny G recordings," Yardhog said.

So what is Yardhog going to do with all his new found time?

"Actually I plan to finish a book that I've been working on for a life time. Fifty-four years to be exact. Actually a bit longer than that since I begin transcribing notes for it while still in my mother's womb," Yardhog says. The book "Womb with a View" by Danny "Yardhog" Porker, is set for a December publication.

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Yerevan and Kyiv, US State Dept. tour: the Pres reports

Hi folks, from very Eastern Europe -- I'm traveling at the behest of the US State Dept., celebrating Jazz Appreciation Month (see schedule of Washington D.C. activities in the Lobby). Despite New York Times reportage last weekend (4/14) decrying lack of American cultural missionary work, apparently there are several "jazz speakers and specialists" such as myself out around the world this April, lecturing students, faculty, jazz fans and the general public in places where there is little of our culture except that disseminated by global commercial firms or found by the exceptionally hunger local intellectual class, of whom I've met several charming members.

In Yerevan, Armenia I was befriended by jazz radio broadcaster and member of the Moscow JJA Armen Manukyan, as well as a fine jazz drummer, Armen "Chico" Tutunjyan, pianist Levon Malkhasian, and Armen Donelian, the pianist and New School NYC prof who's teaching at the Conservatory here on a Fulbright fellowship. I heard Donelian, who is of mixed Turkish/Armenian/Syrian ancestry, perform both in trio and solo -- outstanding, elegant presentations. Also heard Chico and friends (including the superior vibist Tigran Peshtmayjan),three local piano trios working essentially Oscar Peterson-Bill Evans repertoire, and showed performance clips from the JVC Jazz Festival Newport video tapes (George Benson, Manhattan Transfer, Rachelle Ferrell, Medeski Martin & Wood were especially big hits). I played the Conservatory students music by Ornette's Prime Time (private recording from outdoor concert in Hartford, CT in '88) and Cecil Taylor, solo -- this was a bit beyond most of the students, but they were willing to give it a listen.

At Donelian's Ensemble class, the students learned "Maiden Voyage" quickly, with vocalists, trumpeter, 2 tenor saxists, and rhythm section getting the vamp, the three modal scales fairly quickly, then soloing with mixed but promising results. There is a burgeoning movement of progressive young Armenian musicians incorporating their indigenous music, both folk and composed works by Khatchaturian and Comitas, into jazz structures; the best known of these is percussionist Arto Tumcboyaciyan's Armenia Navy Band (the name's a joke, of course; this country is landlocked in more ways than one). Their cd is available in the States, and quite a good fusion of influences into a finished sound. I also heard an independently produced CD by a group called "Into," which I think of as the Art Ensemble of Armenia.

At the request of the US Embassy staff in Armenia, I also tried to use excerpts from Ken Burns' Jazz, but became infuriated by the editing of great performances (Bird, Trane, Cecil Taylor) and constant critical/explanatory comment by experts that didn't translate well for my audiences. I lectured in Armenia's two other larger cities, too -- Vanazor, a place still recovering from the devastation of an earthquake in '88, and Gimry, where the faculty of the Conservatory was quite eager for whatever I could tell them. I showed clips of Louis Armstrong (from KB's Jazz) and Billie Holiday w/Ben Webster and Lester Young. As usual, the feelings come through even when the lyrics are not immediately understood. I had a good translator, though, and that helped considerably.

The Jazz Ambassadors Trio -- tenor saxophonist Virginia Mayhew, drummer Alison Miller, bassist Gary Wang -- arrived in Yerevan the day before I left, and their concert for at the American Ambassador's residence foretold the success of their upcoming stay. Mayhew's a strong player, concentrated and with a muscular tone that reminded me of Sonny Rollins, though she claimed Lester Young as her first strong influence; Miller said Ed Blackwell was her hero, and she has the strong, loose, splashy sound that recalled to me Blackwell's friend Eddie Marshall (Alison said Virginia has urged her to seek out Marshall's recordings, too). Wang played a slender upright bass, quite fluidly, and said his main influences were peers on the New York scene he's worked out with. Their concert repertoire is focused on Louis Armstrong -- they played "Rockin' Chair," "What a Wonderful World," and something else, I forget what, but not in a slavishly traditional manner, rather up-to-now. It was fun to hear them.

This trio was in Kyiv before Armenia (and Khazakstan before that), and I'm sure I'll be hearing about them from the Ukranian cognescenti. Just last night I met Alexey Kogan, who broadcasts jazz radio every day here, and has presented concerts, too (though he despairs that there is no established jazz club). Kogan has worked extremely hard to make contacts with American jazz players and record labels, and as a result is very well informed. I'm looking forward to hanging out with him and the spirited discussions that I'm sure are going to come about this week as I present talks on "Jazz Today."

More upon my return to the US -- swing freely -- Howard Mandel

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Women in Jazz at SFJazz

by James Hale

Is sexism jazz's dirty secret, or simply a reflection of societal values and gender-specific imprinting? Those issues were examined and re-examined, in a panel discussion, through archival films and a handful of first-rate concerts, in a weeklong celebration of Jazz Women to kick off SFJazz's Spring Season.

Beginning the event was a panel moderated by Dr. Angela Davis and featuring composer Maria Schneider, pianist Mary Watkins, drummer Susie Ibarra and professor Sherrie Tucker. They discussed issues ranging from early adolescent gender-typing to the outlook for the next generation of female jazz musicians. While Davis and Watkins maintained that sweeping, international societal change is needed before women can take a seat at the jazz table, Schneider and Ibarra gave personal testimony about the advantages of parental support and strong role models.

The following night, four "sets" of archival films -- extending from the '30s to the '90s -- displayed the abundance and depth of talent among women in jazz. Included was rare footage of Mary Osborne, Vi Redd and a very young Toshiko Akiyoshi.

The live concerts began on night three, kicking off with a double bill of Marilyn Crispell's trio (with Mark Helias subbing for an ailing Gary Peacock) and Susie Ibarra's quartet with Greg Tardy, Angie Sanchez and Trevor Dunn. Helias' presence seemed to heighten the concentration Crispell and Paul Motian brought to the compositions from the trio's excellent Amaryllis CD; Motian was in superb form, a model of minimalist drumming.

The Bay Area orchestra Maria Schneider fronted the following night immediately put to rest any notion that this was a mere pickup band; they rendered Gil Evans' charts of "Porgy And Bess" with care and verve and soared through a second set of Schneider's compositions. Throughout, Ingrid Jensen showed that she's one of the most lyrical trumpeters working today.

The opening night of Cassandra Wilson's national tour in support of Belly Of The Sun was much anticipated, and the low, semi-circular stage at the Masonic Auditorium atop Nob Hill was an ideal setting for her barefoot diva performance. With her backing group pared down to a quartet (Kevin Breit, Marvin Sewell, Mark Peterson and Jeffrey Haynes) Wilson was at once earthy and regal, gently chiding the numerous late-comers between acrobatic performances of her new material.

Unfortunately, it was back to the late season snows in the northeast for me, away from the dungeness crabs and sunshine, before closing performances by Jane Bunnett and Jane Ira Bloom on Sunday.

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JJA @ IAJE -- the VP's report

I'm happy to report that of the three JJA sessions I was able to attend at the 29th annual IAJE convention in Long Beach, each was quite successful. One element which lent itself well to the success of our JJA sessions was our room assignment. As opposed to the usual dark, windowless conference rooms generally prevelant at such events, we were blessed with a corner room with plenty of window space, a view of the hotel grounds, and abundant sunshine.

On Thursday, January 10 I chaired a JJA information session to a full capacity (approximately 30 chairs and several standees) room. We were scheduled to have the room each day from 10am - Noon, and the information session lasted until approximately 11:30. I gave a presentation on the history of JJA, our activities to date, our website, relationships with various festivals to host meetings and symposia, our quarterly Jazz Notes, our Jazz Awards process, and our health benefits opportunity through the writers union. There were a number of inquiries from interested audience members as to categories of membership, including a publicist who wanted to know if a membership purchase in the professional organization category ($100) might entitle her to access the JJA membership list. In fact there were several questions related to how one might access our member list, either via email or names & addresses list. I passed around a name & email sign-up sheet which I'll send to Howard straight away via fax.

On Friday, January 11 Paul de Barros hosted a lively discussion on the role of race in jazz journalism that touched on several aspects of a sensitive subject. At one point panelist Allen Lowe and audience member Madlyn Evans had a fairly heated exchange on points of disagreement. It was generally agreed that this is such a loaded subject that it is well worth re-visiting at future IAJE/JJA sessions. Paul did a fine job of keeping the discussion on the "high road" and not veering off into finger pointing and name calling. It was a frank, open, and dignified discussion, with good input from each of the panelists, a few humorous anecdotes that lightened a heavy subject a bit, and a great deal of interest from the audience. Again, the room was full.

On Saturday, January 12 (afternoon) Dan Ouellette conducted a JJA business meeting that was rather sparsely attended (about 10). I was there long enough to provide some history and context on several matters, prior to leaving to moderate a panel discussion on Jazz In The Urban Marketplace. I was unable to attend the AM mentoring session.

We owe Don Lucoff and IAJE our thanks for giving us an agreeable facility and good time slots to host our sessions. Obviously we are establishing a good presence at IAJE. As always, more than a few eyebrows were raised at the notion that we still haven't solidified to the point of incorporating not-for-profit. We really must take that step in order to be taken seriously.

Peace, Willard Jenkins

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JJA@IAJE, Our Biz Meeting scrutiny by Dan Ouellette

Howard (and JJA members),

Really sorry, but I'm still swamped and can't seem to come up for air long enough to email a full report of the mtg. Willard gave a pretty good intro & we didn't stay around much longer after he left.

It was frankly a disappointing showing and we had no brochures/Jazz Notes as those all were handed out on Thursday. Also the IAJE info in their book and daily guides did not note this was a business mtg and in fact was listed as exactly the same as Larry's session earlier that day. At any rate, many JJAers that went to mtgs. earlier in the week didn't bother showing up Sat. for the biz mtg.

At any rate, the most important thing is that the following expressed interest in working up bylaws: Paul de Barros, Yoshi Kato, Willard and Carla Rupp. There was also some talk about having a 3-tiered membership level--with a more expensive support membership that would give access to the JJA mailing list. I know there has been problems with that before re: mass emailing, but this one woman from a small record label (she left before the mtg. ended so I didn't any other info on her) said it would be worth it to her to join for that PR access. We also really pushed people there from LA to organize a local/regional group and center it on some event (Playboy Jazz, a club, etc.). Nothing was officially set up, but we did offer some goodreasons why they should. Up to them I guess from here...

It for now, Dan

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JJA @ IAJE Race and Jazz Journalism Forum by moderator Paul de Barros

from the moderator, Paul de Barros:

The panel Race and Jazz Journalism went very well, I thought, thanks in large part to panelists recommended by Howard and Willard. The panelists were Anthony Brown (director of the Asian American Jazz Orchestra) , Allen Lowe (saxophonist, jazz historian, That Devilin' Tune), John Murph (editor, NPR.org) Chris Walker (critic, L.A. Jazz Scene) and Kirk Silsbee (critic, New Times L.A., formerly L.A. Reader).

Anthony, with his academic background, offered a useful historical persective at the start, by pointing out that America had only just emerged in the last 40 years from what had been essentially an apartheid separation between black and white, so that it was no surprise journalists were having trouble finding a common language in which to speak about jazz. Kirk Silsbee bravely offered as an example of a critical statement which had unintentionally pushed racial hot button, his obituary of Ella Fitzgerald, in which he had pointed out that Ella was not a blues-based singer and had been influenced by white singer Connie Boswell. This led to an interesting segment by Allen Lowe, in which he argued that the role of blues had been overstated in jazz history in order to make a racially based analysis of the music. This, of course, generated lots of heat, which I, as moderator, had to put the lid on.(Overall, however, this was a civilized session.)

Once we were back on the subject of journalism, Chris Walker offered some humorous and interesting insights into how he gets stereotyped as a black journalist, both by editors and musicians, who think he may be only interested in jazz (he writes about alternative rock, too) or that he may be more interested in a subject's cultural background than his or her music. John Murph encouraged writers, if they are going to ID racial/cultural backgrounds in their reviews, to be open and straightforward: call a singer black, don't say "caramel-voiced whatever." Don't beat around the bush.

We had some excellent contribution from the audience. Down Beat editor Jason Koransky spoke to the issues of racial balance on the cover ("it's not at the top of the list; music is") and writer-stereotyping ("I sometimes do it, too; I'll try to do better"). Record producer Orrin Keepnews said he'd rarely had any use for jazz critics for precisely the reasons we were talking about, that it was usually white guys who didn't know enough about black culture, but that our panel "gave him hope for the future." An African American woman who identified herself as Madyln didn't like what Allen Lowe or Kirk had to say at all, and wanted to get into it one-on-one with them, which she possibly did, somewhere else.

From my own perspective, I thought we touched on a lot of important issues, but I'd still like to hear more personal stories from writers of all races about how race has affects their day-to-day work. I think there's a lot more information out there, some of it difficult to share in a public place, but worth investigating.

I hope I haven't misrepresented anyone else too sorely in this account. Thanks to the JJA for the opportunity to have a forum like this.

Paul de Barros

The JJA hopes to post the transcription of this forum soon, elsewhere on Jazzhouse.

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JJA@IAJE -- Aspiring and working journalists meeting

On Saturday, January 12, the JJA hosted a session at IAJE in Long Beach CA for aspiring journalists as well as working pros with questions or concerns. There was a suprising turnout of musicians, some who were interested in writing about music themselves, some who simply wanted more insight into the critic's job. JJA members Willard Jenkins, Yvonne Ervin, Mitchell Seidel, and others attended and follow-ups were encouraged. There seemed to be a good deal of interest into copyrights in general, as well as rules governing on-line use. These might be good subjects for the newsletter Jazz Notes.

Although the discussion among our small (20 or so) group was lively, if these "hands-on" sessions are going to serve their intended purpose, we should make an earlier and more serious effort to promote them, especially to school groups.

Laughing Boy

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IAJE's official post-convention release

January 22, 2002

Global Jazz Community Convenes at IAJE Annual Conference Toronto, Canada Will Host in 2003

The International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) held its 29th Annual Conference in Long Beach, California, USA, from January 9 -12, 2002 at the Long Beach Convention Center and Hyatt Regency Hotel. Recognized as the world's largest jazz gathering, upwards of 7,000 educators, musicians, industry executives, exhibitors, media and jazz enthusiasts attended the conference. The IAJE Conference in Long Beach offered a record number of concerts, seminars, showcases, and exhibits. In 2003, the conference will be held outside of the United States for the first time in Toronto, Ontario, Canada from January 8-11.

"The success of the 2002 IAJE Conference was remarkable in light of recent world events. We look forward to building on this momentum as we move the conference outside of the United States to Toronto, Canada, for the first time in our 30 year history"

This year's theme, Uniting The Global Jazz Community, was reinforced with conference attendance representing more than 30 countries, including performance groups from Kazakhstan, Europe, Canada, Peru, and Israel.

Also worth noting was the inauguration of the European Jazz Festivals Organization International Jazz Award, presented on Saturday, January 12 to Austrian keyboardist, bandleader, and composer Joe Zawinul. The ceremony took place during a special tribute concert by the WDR German Radio Big Band under the direction of multiple GRAMMY-winner Vince Mendoza featuring Weather Report alumni Peter Erskine, Alex Acuna and Victor Bailey. The concert also featured guest artists who had played with Joe during his extensive career. The European Jazz Festival Organization (EJFO) and the IAJE partnered to create this new award, which includes a $20,000 honorarium, that recognizes international artists who have contributed significantly to the evolution of jazz.

National Public Radio (NPR) constructed a command broadcast booth in the lobby of the Long Beach Convention Center with daily live bi-coastal feeds to the conference host station KLON-FM (Long Beach, CA) and WBGO-FM (Newark, NJ). Additionally, NPR produced a full-day radio jazz symposium on Wednesday January 9, with panels on issues of interest to jazz radio professionals.

On Friday, January 11, tenor saxophonist/arranger/composer Frank Foster, bassist Percy Heath and pianist/composer McCoy Tyner each were granted Jazz Masters Awards (worth $20,000 each) from the National Endowment for the Arts. Past NEA Jazz master and IAJE President-elect David Baker served as the Master of Ceremonies. The evening's musical performances were by the Dave Brubeck Quartet and the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra with special guest vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater.

IAJE recognized the achievements of leading industry figures and presented various awards throughout the conference. The IAJE President's Award is presented to individuals whose contributions have made an extraordinary impact on the goals and mission of the IAJE. This year, the recipient was Quincy Jones, whose impassioned speech cited the need for the U.S. Congress to appoint a cultural ambassador to address issues pertaining to the expansion of America1s richly indigenous art form. The United States is the only western country that does not have a cultural ambassador to promote its achievements globally.

The IAJE Hall of Fame Award honors individuals whose musical contributions and dedication to jazz education over the past 25 years have created new directions and curricular innovations for jazz education worldwide. This year's recipient, pianist/composer Dave Brubeck, was recognized for his accomplishments in jazz education.

The IAJE Humanitarian Award, activated in 1982, honors members whose love for teaching transcends the usual academic environment. This year's award was presented to Ed Thigpen, considered by musicians and critics alike to be one of the finest drummer/percussionists in jazz.

The Clifford Brown/Stan Getz Fellowships, co-sponsored by IAJE and the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, and funded by the Herb Alpert Jazz Endowment, seeks annually to identify young adults demonstrating the highest level of achievement in their pursuit of this art form. 2002 recipients include: trumpeter, William Artope, Jr. (Evanston, IL); guitarist, Brian Green (North Hollywood, CA); pianist, Gerald Clayton (Los Angeles, CA); bassist, Andrew Peate (Bellevue, WA) and drummer, Jason Nazary (Snellville, GA).

Commissioned works recognizing the achievements of esteemed composers are at the heart of the conference. John Hollenbeck is this year's Gil Evans Fellowship winner. Commissioned for his work, "A Blessing" the piece was performed by the USAF Band of the Rockies "Falconaires" with Theo Bleckman as guest vocalist during the Conference General Session. The ASCAP/IAJE Commission sponsored by the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers and the IAJE celebrated the 80th birthday Dr. Billy Taylor. The award recipients (Jovino Santos Neto in the "Established Jazz Composer" category and Jason Goldman in the "Emerging Jazz Composer" category) were commissioned to compose a work in the jazz idiom. Neto's "Billyssimo" was performed by the USAF Band of the Rockies "Falconaires" and Goldman's "Catch Me If You Can" was performed by the Jason Goldman Nonet during the Conference Opening General Session.

The Sisters in Jazz Collegiate Competition is designed to support and promote more female involvement in jazz education. Sponsored by the BET on Jazz Education Grant and Jamey Aebersold Inc., this years' selected quintet included: alto saxophonist Tineke Postma (Conservatorium von Amsterdam), alto saxophonist Becky Noble (McGill University), pianist Daniela Schachter (Berklee College of Music), bassist Renee Marie Cruz (New School University) and drummer Alyssa Falk (Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam).

Over 150 artists and clinicians participated in a variety of performances and seminar programs, which included: Dave Brubeck, Gary Burton and Makoto Ozone, Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra with Dee Dee Bridgewater, Diane Schuur, Tiger Okoshi Quartet, Tower of Power, Greg Osby, Jason Moran, Al Dimeola, Billy Childs Chamber Sextet, Masters of Groove, Winard Harper Sextet, Don Braden, Steve Wilson Quartet, Bob Florence Limited Edition Big Band, Joey DeFrancesco Trio, JoAnn Brackeen, Richie Cole Alto Madness Orchestra, Charlie Haden, Carmen Lundy, Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band, Steve Houghton, the Ruben Alvarez, Poncho Sanchez, Marc Cary, Alex Acuna and Justo Almario, Kim Richmond Concert Jazz Orchestra, Shelly Berg/Frank Potenza Duo, The Either/Orchestra, Rodney Jones, Pete Escovedo Band with Sheila E, Joe Chambers, Ann Collins, Peter Erskine, Alan Pasqua, Dave Carpenter, Gregg Field, Victor Mendoza, Bob Mintzer, Airto Moreira, Lewis Nash, Ed Neumeister, Ellen Rowe, Randy Sabien, Bob Sheppard, Bobby Shew, Tierney Sutton, and Mike Tomaro.

With over 8,000 members in 40 countries, the IAJE is the leading authority and primary voice for the promotion of jazz through education and outreach. To obtain information on IAJE programs or membership, call (785) 776-8744, fax (785) 776-6190, Email: info@iaje.org or log onto IAJE's website at www.iaje.org.

For more information please contact Don Lucoff or Brad Riesau @ DL Media.


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Rahsaan Clark Morris, Onnedaruth is the One -- SFJazz Opening Night

Wednesday, Oct.24

As my cab pulled up in front of a busy, beacon-lit Masonic Auditorium, I could hear a band performing along with the usual crowd buzz and traffic noise on this opening night of the 19th SF Jazz Festival. Ascending the stairs in front of the Auditorium, I could see, off to my left, the SF Jazz All-Star High School Ensemble, who had just broken into their percussion-heavy, big band arrangement of John Coltrane's "Giant Steps." Arranged and conducted by SF Jazz Director of Education Dr. Dee Spencer, the band reminded one of the theme for this opening, namely "A Love Supreme: John Coltrane 75th Anniversary Celebration." What a way to build up excitement for the talent-laden evening to follow: promising performances by Tommy Flanagan, McCoy Tyner, and one of Coltrane's last important collaborators, Pharoah Sanders.

KRON TV newsanchor Pam Moore, after being introduced by SF Jazz Director Randall Kline, acted as Mistress of Ceremonies for the first half of the evening, bringing on stage the venerable pianist Tommy Flanagan and his trio, which consisted of two veterans of the music, Peter Washington on bass and Al ěTootieî Heath on drums. This night Mr. Flanagan was in fine form, energetic, witty, and ready to play the music with only a few asides. Playing all tunes written by Ohnedaruth - the devotional name adopted by John Coltrane in the last years of his life - the set the trio performed was compact and yet had an organic wholeness, the opening of "Cousin Mary" and the bop-ish "Minor Mishap" interspersed with the beautiful ballad "Naima," and the energetic tribute to Trane's bass player Paul Chambers, "Mr. P.C."

And even though Mr. Flanagan quipped that the trio would "struggle" with the changes, their version of "Giant Steps" was masterful. I don't think you can hear that tune too many times. The opening vamp was from another ballad, "Central Park West," which beautifully introduced the famous opening bars of 'Steps," Peter Washington taking just one chorus for his solo, and "Tootie" Heath trading measures with Flanagan for his, a pattern both musicians stuck to most of the evening.

It turns out we saw Tommy Flanagan's last performance that night, and let me tell you, he did not look or act like a man making some of his last moves. What a beautifullly tight performance, professional to the point of sublimating his pain, for the audience to enjoy his masterful work. Thank you Tommy, for the years.

That band literally set the stage for what was to follow, a solo performance by pianist Saud McCoy Tyner. He began by playing the opening vamp from the tune "Mr. Night" from Coltrane's early Atlantic label years, the piece picking up energetically where Flanagan's group left off. Saud followed that up with a beautifully rhapsodic "I Want To Talk About You"; the changes of the tune were there alright, but, oh...the lushness and the sweep! The one blemish, if you will, was the percussive left-hand comping that seemed to be too much for the house sound system, the intensity of it causing the system to distort during the first piece and especially "Promise," later on. But Tyner's version of Mongo Santamaria's "Afro-Blue," popularized back in the day by Coltrane's album Africa Brass, was a miracle of invention. Moved with Tyner's trademark linear progression and power, the tension never let up in release until the very last.

After the audience caught its collective breath during the intermission, Randall Kline came on to introduce Le Grand Rogers from the Governor's Arts Council who presented awards to both Kline and Pharoah Sanders for their work in advancing the music in the Bay area. Pharoah commenced his set with a tune reminiscent of "Summun Bukmun Umyu," with its extended piano arpeggios, bassist Robert Leslie Hurst playing a sonorous bowed bass line under all. Pharoah's playing has always reminded me of a brother greeting you after a long time apart with open arms and a huge hug, as if to say he's glad you've returned home.

And as part of his own return to the music of Coltrane, Sanders and the group played "My Favorite Things," giving the tune a slightly different emphasis. Pharoah's version, far from being the spiritual exploration that Coltrane had finally made it, was more concerned with the celebratory nature of the tune. The difficulty inherent in playing this tune, for the other three soloists, is having to come up with something inventive while not copying but paying homage to the work of original bassist Jimmy Garrison, drummer Elvin Jones, and pianist Tyner (and, later, Alice Coltrane, who replaced Tyner in the band while Sanders was there). I have to say that bassist Hurst, pianist William Henderson, and drummer Ralph Penland more than met the challenge.

The second extended foray into the Coltrane songbook was a beautiful, dramatically Spanish version of "Olé." After that McCoy Tyner came on to replace Henderson for the finale, a tune that appeared to be totally improvised, bringing two old comrades-in-arms back together one more time. Ohnedaruth would have been proud of such a tribute.

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Rahsaan Clark Morris, the Sacred and the Salsa

Rahsaan at SFJazz -- Day 9 Friday, November 2

by Rahsaan Clark Morris

I got a ticket to attend this year's "Sacred Space" concert, a concert held annually during the Fest at Grace Cathedral, a large church similar in construction to our Rockefellar Chapel at the University of Chicago.

This year's event featured the duet of reedman Charles Lloyd and Indian percussionist Zakir Hussain performing, among other things, a piece specially commissioned for the Fest by Charles Lloyd, dedicated to the late percussionist Billy Higgins. As I took my seat (I was fortunate enough to be seated in the front row press section), I noticed that, as in the past, the two men were set up on a four-foot riser at the front of the sanctuary, with Hussain's tablas, berimbau, variously-sized Bata boxes and frame drums to the left. Lloyd, who would be playing tenor and alto sax, C-flute, musette and a clarinet-looking instrument, was on the right. As a prerequisite to my listening, I decided I would take minimal notes during the set and just remain in a meditative posture, taking in what I knew would be music dedicated to that attitude (though images did flit through my mind, like dreams, and you know what happens to dreams; so I did open my eyes a couple of times to record the thought so as not to lose it).

It seemed as if the plaintive tenor saxophone voice that began the concert was coming from the rear of the hall, but I did not turn around to see; a few minutes later, from another side of the hall, that voice was joined by a human one, Zakir Hussain chanting in collusion with Lloyd's heralding sax. My eyes still shut, I heard the two approaching the front of the sanctuary from different directions. After climbing the stairs to the risers, Hussain, arriving first, picked up the berimbau with coin and gourd and began to percussively join in when the chanting had ceased. Lloyd continued to play as he climbed the stairs and Hussain joined in on Bata boxes.

Hussain segued from the slapping hollow sounds of the boxes to resonant taps on tablas coinciding with the trills and flourishes Lloyd was now producing on flute. During a pause in the music, Lloyd began to reminisce about the spiritual life/actual life of "Master" Billy Higgins, relating how they would make it a point to really be with the people by walking through the streets playing their instruments, Master Higgins on marching band snare and Charles Lloyd on sax. On this night, though, Lloyd said he and Hussain would be re-joining the audience, not just retracing their steps to where they came from but circulating the entire inside of the cathedral -- not an easy thing to do, considering the size of the place. And instead of the sax, Lloyd was going to play that odd-shaped teak wood clarinet because he wanted "to hear the fefarons and the habanaches" that it would most certainly produce.

The first thought that came to my mind ? A Hip Parade. I wanted to join in their circuitous route, but at the same time I wanted to continue to sit still and take in whatever came my way. What beautiful music ensued!

At the conclusion of their walk, the two friends re-ascended the stairs to warm applause, bowing in the Oriental fashion, with hands in a prayer position to their foreheads. Throughout their concert, I noticed both men would smile more than they would express seriousness, reflecting the same joy in performance that was the trademark , if you ever saw him play, of Mr. Billy Higgins. All in all, a fitting tribute.

I left the solemnity of Grace Cathedral and took a quick cab ride to Bimbo's 365 Club in North Beach, where I walked into the funk and fine women of the 2001 version of SFJazz's Salsa Dance Party, with Manolo "El Medico De La Salsa" and his band, who had already hit the stage. Manolo -- real name, Manuel Hernandez -- ended up replacing, at the last minute, Issac Delgado, who seemed to be having visa problems, probably another outgrowth of 9-11. I began to see a disturbing pattern as far as musicians coming to the U.S. to perform from South American, Middle Eastern, Caribbean and African countries. At least three of the major acts from this year's SFJazz Fest would not be coming, and then I remembered how both Chicago's Celtic Fest and the World Music Fest, both including artists from around the world with most (at least as far as the World Music Fest was concerned) coming from those regions just mentioned, were severely curtailed because of the situation.

In most cases, I for one had purchased tickets to events based on the strength of those particular artists appearing. But Manolo did not disappoint. Bringing his to Bimbo's stage, played by his hot horn section, timbale and conga players and his guitarist, the crowd was both appreciative of his roots-like brand of salsa, "salsa callejera,"and into, with different couples exhibiting fabulous moves on the floor to rival the gyrations of Manolo and his two front-line singers. The set was still going when I split out two hours later. The party was repeated the next night, opened by Jesus Diaz y Su QBA, which I am sad to report I had to miss.

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Rahsaan Clark Morris, Don Byron + 5

San Francisco Jazz Festival Day 4 -- Saturday, Oct. 27

by Rahsaan Clark

I returned to the Herbst Theatre for the first time since last year's wonderful concert with Oliver Lake and Trio 3. The day before yesterday, in this same elegant theater, saw the duet of pianist Kenny Barron and violinist Regina Carter. Because I was upstairs in another part of this performance center listening to Odean Pope and David Murray, I was only able to catch the last tune of the Barron-Carter set, a hip version of "Blue Monk," where they were joined by the two men who had opened for them, Bay Area musicians Harvey Wainapel on sax and John Wiitala on bass.

This evening, I am here to check out clarinetist and composer Don Byron and his Music for Six Musicians, a return to his Afro-Caribbean musings of a few years back. The last time I had seen Byron, he played a musician in the Paul Auster film Lulu on The Bridge with Harvey Keitel, where he apparently had composed some of the music as well. When I asked him what had attracted him to that project at a small informal gathering after the performance, he said he knew the director personally and "The guy asked me if I would like to be in it. I liked the story and I also wrote the piece ('Izzey's Last Jam') that we are playing when Izzey gets shot." Sort of a straight ahead blowing piece in the film, that music was nothing like the street salsa and post-bop compositions he and the six musicians performed this night.

Taken from his new CD You Are #6, this music was much hipper and savvy in its way, with its heavily politicized song titles, such as the opening number "Rosenberg Adoption Piece," which musically imagines the story of the famous 1950's spies' kids, or the title piece "You Are #6," which is based on, of all things, the '60's TV show with Patrick McGoohann as a James Bond-like character being held prisoner by some totalitarian entity. On "Rosenberg" Byron built the groove from a solo turn on clarinet to an accompanying piano duet with George Colligan during which, in his homage to the ongoing Coltrane tribute, included some thematic bars from "My Favorite Things."

Then, with a 3/2 clave beat tapped out by drummer Ben Wittman and Byron imploring the audience to clap along, the band broke into a badd Latin jam replete with quotes from Tadd Dameron, as identified later by Byron. (In fact, the whole set was liberally sprinkled with quotes from different sources: during one of the vamps before a jam, Byron quoted a hip-hop riff; then, before a tune dedicated to the great Cubano bandleader Mario Bauza, I heard a phrase from Sergio Mendes' "Mas Que Nada"; later on one detected part of Bud Powell's "Parisian Thoroughfare" during a Byron solo.)

Going back to his first album of music for six musicians, Byron pulled out "Shelby Steele Would Be Mowing Your Lawn." (If I'm not mistaken, Shelby Steele was one of the black men, though he might not prefer to be called that, who stood firm against the notion of affirmative action.) During this tune and others (like "The Importance of Being Sharpton"), as the music moved from bluesy interludes to full-blown Latin street parties, Byron led the band from every part of the stage, one time whirling his hand, another time conducting with a glance or a nod of his head (much the same casual way that percussionist Kahil El Zabar led his Experimental Band at Steppenwolf's Traffic Series in Chicago some years back), moving in and out of the sections of the band at will.

When Byron described one of the last pieces as using a "Wagnerian leitmotiv" on top of some Latin percussion, and the band kicked off the amalgam this time with a 2/3 clave, I had to laugh to myself about the way I had been entertained, not by some all-over-the-place showman trying to please everybody, but by an interesting, eclectic brother trying to teach. Go 'head brother, Teach!

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Rahsaan Clark Morris, Odean Pope 3 + David Murray

San Francisco Jazz Festival -- Day 2 -- Thursday, Oct. 25

Thursday evening two modern tenorists took the stage in the Green Room of the San Francisco War Memorial building when David Murray, a renowned leader and prime avant gardist in his own right, joined the Odean Pope Trio for a different approach to jazz ensemble playing. Far from being some sort of battle of the tenor saxophonists, this coming together was more like two co-conspirators facing the challenge of making dauntingly new music. With the help of veteran bass player Tyrone Brown and drummer Craig McIver, Pope (usually associated with the great percussionist Max Roach's Quartet) and Murray worked their horns the entire two hours, realizing their goal in some marvelous playing.

The opening vamp was a quartet construct, with both leaders playing tenor, that segued into free-form succeeded by Pope's solo, a circular-breathing affair done in duet with drummer McIver, finally becoming a percussive tone poem. Murray's sputtering, angular solo proved stimulating, along with his facile upper-register play. More than any tenor player working these days, Murray talks through his horn much the same way as his idol Eric Dolphy did occasionally on alto and bass clarinet.

The opening excited tempo changed in the second piece to one of mysteriousness, the quartet relaxing into the languid fold of "Please Don't Take Your Love From Me." This was followed by a tune that was created within a swing context, "The Frigid Love Theme," both men using the piece as a vehicle for blowing.

After the break, the composition "Nodded Off" was highlighted by the duet between Murray on bass clarinet and Tyrone Brown on bass, Murray's reed work becoming literally hypnotic. "Goin' Now," a composition by bassist Brown, ended up being a funk groove percolating within a complex time signature. Odean Pope was particularly soulful here, and David Murray sputtered and popped through his tenor as he had done on clarinet. Pope then graciously bathed the audience in his smooth sheets-of-tenor sound; in fact, Pope was the picture of graciousness the entire evening, referring to Murray and his band-mates in always a complimentary manner.

I began to appreciate the fact that Pope, in this trio format without two of his usual collaborators, Max Roach and Cecil Bridgewater, still managed to set up a format in which experimentation from all sides could thrive. A perfect example was "Coltrane Time," the final piece for the set, with a nod toward the man whose 75th birthday is being celebrated at this Fest. The composition had another time signature to take you to another place. Murray's solo, with its many choruses delineated by that time signature, was a model of both efficiency and logic.

These four men had been collaborating for only a few days so far, as Pope pointed out in his introduction of the group, but judging by the results of this night, I would love to be around for the final days of their tour, just to experience the music that might come out of them playing not only their own fine compositions , but the music of Ellington, Billy Strayhorn and Charlie Parker that I know both Odean Pope and David Murray are fond of experimenting with.

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Rahsaan Clark Morris, here (Chgo), there (SFJazzFest), more tk

[addressed to the pres of the JJA]

Howard, Hope everything is fine for you since I saw you last at the Chicago JazzFest. I had told you that I would be able to get you some pics from the last day of the African-American Festival of the Arts with James Brown and the Tribute to Miles w. Bobby Irving,III, Bobby Broom, and Bartz, Buster Williams, and Eddie Henderson. I got the pictures alright but my wife had also used that same roll of film and never labeled it, so I've got a lot of domestic shots with jazz over-lay, interesting from an abstract point of view , but totally useless from an ethnographic one.

Anyway, I'm back out here at the SF Jazz Fest and I've been submitting pieces to the Jazz Institute and the Center for Black Music Research back in Chicago. Thought you might be interested in them for posting. By the way, Dirk Richardson did a great piece on David Murray for the Bay Guardian, the issue of Oct.24-30. Maybe you will get a chance to read it. I also did a review of his [David's] concert the next night of the fest, guesting with Odean Pope and his trio, which I've attached as well. My e-mail: ankhlra@earthlink.net Rahsaan

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James Hale: Last Weekend in San Francisco

The closing weekend of the San Francisco Jazz Festival offered an impressive menu of established players and attracted capacity crowds at all venues (large enough to draw a crew from ABC's "Nightline" to report on how people are coming out to public places in spite of terrorist threats).

Just in from Europe, Brad Mehldau and his trio performed a handful of new tunes, along with the usual array of "standards" from both the rock and pop worlds, at the cavernous North Beach nightclub Bimbo's. Bassist Larry Grenadier was grooving hard throughout the first set, and reports were that the second was even hotter.

As large as Bimbo's is, it could easily fit into the front section of the vaulted sanctuary of Grace Cathedral, the massive structure that dominates the plateau of Nob Hill. Charles Lloyd and Zakir Hussein used the space to good effect, beginning with a call-and-response fanfare from opposite ends of the church, and ending by parading through the crowd in honor of fallen comrade Billy Higgins. Lloyd was feeling particularly spiritual (even by his standards), speaking at length about "Master Higgins" and playing meditative pieces that drew heavily on Indian scales.

As noted by Natasha Nargis, Rahsaan Roland Kirk's spirit seemed to possess Steve Turre's all-star assemblage at the Herbst Theatre on Saturday night. James Carter seemed particularly focused, especially on clarinet, and Mulgrew Miller played a number of muscular, gospel-inflected solos.

Way out near Land's End (a $20 cab ride from downtown) a pair of local favorites -- Joanne Brackeen and Dr. Denny Zeitlin -- performed matinee recitals; Brackeen solo and Zeitlin with his new trio of Buster Williams and Matt Wilson. Few people seemed familiar with Wilson and the lobby chatter at intermission seemed split between loving and hating his distinctively busy style. A couple of effective performances in the second half of the concert probably won some converts.

The closing concert by Keith Jarrett's trio had all the highbrow trappings you might expect from its setting at the War Veterans Opera House, including a celebrity introduction by current Hollywood star Delroy Lindo, and Jarrett did his diva impression, stopping one number to complain about the piano and making several more comments about it between songs. To most ears, the Steinway probably sounded good enough, but the large gap of the empty orchestra pit created an uncomfortable distance between performers and audience, and the sound seemed distant, too. By the second half, Jack DeJohnette began to compensate by hitting hard, concentrating more on his drums than his cymbals.

The SF Fest lived up to its billing as one of the best organized in the world, with PR wizard Laura Giannatempo and co. from SFJazz seeming to anticipate everything possible.

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Natasha Nargis at SFJazzFest, Stylin' and Imagin' (not so bad)

...About Manolin, "el Medico de la Salsa" and his Cuban band: they replaced the Issac Delgado Orchestra at the San Francisco Jazz Festival. I really wanted to see Delgado, but the show was fun. It was at Bimbo's 365 Club on Colombus Avenue in North Beach. The band was the quintessential dance band, as only Cuban bands can be. Some of the boys in the band wore black leather, and gyrated frantically on the stage as they sang, banged and blew.

Unfortunately I was wearing the most uncomfortable shoes you can possily imagine - though they looked great - eventually I took them off, and was careful not to get stomped on - plus as we were walking from the car to the club I dropped my camera. Although it was in the case, either the lens or the UV filter is cracked. I can't tell which since I can't get the filter off. I'll check it out this weekend.

Of course the only other photographer was some hot shot guy who said he was shooting for Latin Beat Magazine. A friend told me to shoot anyhow - I might get some interesting effects through the cracked lens. So I did - if I didn't feel important I certainly looked important. Fortunately it isn't, or wasn't, my favorite lens - but it did put a damper on what would have been a great evening.

Natasha Nargis

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Natasha Nargis: Rahsaan Kirk moments at SFJazz

"Bright Moments," a tribute to Rahsaan Roland Kirk led by trombonist Steve Turre, was filled with some powerfully bright jazz moments...actually, more than moments...there was not one moment that didn't sparkle and dazzle...I've long been a fan of Turre...as usual he was brilliant...but I was totally blown away by James Carter...mostly on tenor sax...plus a few flute and clarinet numbers...he produced some amazing sounds....singing, blowing and creating weird noises with both tenor and clarinet...besides being a great player he was a plate of fashion...an audio-visual treat...I just loved watching and listening...also on the bill were jazz greats Mulgrew Miller on piano, Vincent Herring on alto sax, Buster Williams on bass, Lewis Nash on drums and of course Turre on trombone...the grand finale was spirited...for the first time that evening Turre blew into an assortment of conch shells...a show Roland Kirk would have loved...Natasha Nargis

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Natasha Nargis at the SFJazz Fest -- Don Byron


Hi JJA...Saw Don Byron today...he's one of my favorites...so it was a treat ...he played last night too...but I missed that one...Willard [Jenkins] said it was a great show...I don't know how the afternoon show compared...all I can say is that I enjoyed it...it was presented as a family day performance...2 p.m....lots of people with their kids...and lots without...looked like a full house...I own almost every one of Don's CDs...each is different, and I love them all...back to today and the kids...they were a great addition to the festival...Don explained the different instruments...drums (Ben Wittman)...trumpet (Ron Miles)...piano (George Colligen)...congas (Milton Cardona)...bass (Leo Traversa) and his own clarinet...he had each musician demonstrate...it was so cool Milton Cardona was there...I never know what to expect from Don, but the Latin/Caribbean slant was fab...at the end of the show he opened it to questions from the kids...the questions were spontaneous and funny, and he answered them with his very special brand of humor...especially when asked about the difference between the clarinet and the saxophone...an adult in the audience said something about getting more girls with the saxophone than the clarinet...without missing a beat Don said he played the clarinet and he got more girls...when asked if he sang he said we didn't want to hear him sing...when asked if he played the flute he said we would rather hear him sing than play the flute, but encouraged any of the young people in the audience who were learning the flute to stick with it if they liked it...two of my friends who had never heard him before said they loved the music, and especially loved all the kids in the audience with their quirky questions and Don's quirky answers...I took some photos of Don, but will have to see how they turned out . . .Natasha Nargis

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SFJazz JJA meeting, by VP Willard Jenkins

SF Jazz hosted a nice wine reception for JJA Saturday evening in a cozy room at the hotel. We all left with free bottles from the host vintner, so that was good. On Sunday 11am-1pm they hosted a continental breakfast meeting for us. In attendance were the following: Beth Peerless Derk Richardson Melanie Berzon (KCSM PD) Yoshi Kato Lee Tanner Rochelle Metcalfe Natasha Nargris Stu Brinin Wayne Saroyan

I updated them on the whys/wherefores of JJA. There were questions as to what's the hold-up on our seeking 501(c)(3) status, etc. I explained that due to Jazz Notes publication, and the Jazz Awards, we weren't exactly flush financially and would have difficulty meeting the necessary legal fees until we beef up our coffers through receipt of new memberships. On that note several folks expressed questions as to their respective membership renewal necessities, dates, etc. I explained that there's about to be a general announcement sent out via e-mail to that effect. Rochelle Metcalfe spoke on the wisdom of JJA adopting a regional aproach to membership development.

Yoshi has had discussions regarding quarterly JJA/Bay Area meetings and activities with Marshall Lamm at Yoshii's, which seems receptive. Wayne recommended starting such quarterly confabs after IAJE, in late January/early February. Beth offered to host a regional JJA meeting during the time of her February press lineup party for her Big Sur Jazz Festival. There was some discussion of this new member Phil Freeman's childish, ill-considered tirade against HM in his new book. That strikes me as fodder for JJA conversation on professional ethics and how if we have disagreements with fellow writers those would best be handled in person rather than in print. Has this cat been confronted on his bad manners?

We discussed JJA activities at IAJE and I took a head count of who will be attending from this group. The following will be in attendance: Beth, Stuart, Wayne, and a crew from KCSM, including Alisa Clancy, Chuy Varella, Clifford Brown Jr., John Rogers, Jane Sanchez. Rochelle Metcalfe and Derk Richardson are strongly considering attending IAJE.

That was followed by a brief discussion on the problems at Pacifica, including KPFA, where Derk has a weekly jazz+ show as do several others of these folks acquaintance. Curiously WPFW, which for years was the weak sister in the Pacifica chain, is now the strongest, healthiest station on Pacifica! On that note, were you aware that Bob Daughtry, former jazz host and Operations Manager at WPFW, is the new GM at WBAI in New York?

We had a discussion on how we might do our part to heal "our" collective psyches post-9/11, the healing power of the music, etc. Melanie talked at length about the extraordinary listener response to KCSM's decision to keep the music running 24/7 during 9/11 week. It proved to be a real boost to the station and its stature. All in all it was a very positive meeting and I was happy to host.

Peace, Willard Jenkins

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Argentina fights grimness with Thelonious

Making the best in a bad situation

by Eduardo Hojman

While the economic situation in Argentina seems caught in an endless downward spiral, and the reality looks more and more grim -- a feeling augmented by the terrorist attacks in the U.S. and the equally dreadful war in Afghanistan -- Buenos Aires experienced a sort of small, cozy miracle with the opening of a new jazz bar in the heart of the very intellectual, very fashionable Palermo neighborhood.

Close to what once was called Villa Freud for its high rate of psychonalists per capita, this new bar, called Thelonius, offers great live jazz music on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with remarkable musicians such as bass player Hernán Merlo, pianist Ernesto Jodós, horn players like Juan Cruz Urquiza and guitarist Guillermo Bazzola.

Thelonius Bar is hosted by Ezequiel Cutaia, son of Carlos Cutaia, keyboard player in legendary Argentine rock bands such as Pescado Rabioso and La Máquina de Hacer Pajaros. Ezequiel is also a jazz bass player on his own right. Cover is merely seven dollars (5 for students), on Wednesdays, it turns into a dancing place with funk, acid jazz and groove sounds and there is no cover charge that day of the week. If you come to Buenos Aires and are interested in hearing good Argentine jazz, Thelonious surely seems a sure bet. It is located on Salguero 1884 (and Guemes).

Eduardo Hojman is a writer, editor, translater and jazz journalist eduhojman@yahoo.com

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Westchester's Caramoor Spectrum

Caramoor Jazz Festival, Westchester, NY

Despite pre-show showers and a couple of noteworthy no-shows, Day Two of the July 28 -- August 4 Caramoor Jazz Festival 2001 was a success, with an impressively diverse lineup of musicians interpreting the work of bygone eras and paying homage to fallen masters as well as indicating bold new directions for the post-bop scene.


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note from Hale, post San Jose, California Jazz Festival

Hey, thanks again for that contact at the San Jose festival. Great time... FABULOUS hotel room, overlooking the mainstage site. I could've reviewed the shows from my room, which was nice enough to never leave, believe me.

If you ever want to do the West Coast again, I'd recommend it. Although the jazz headliners are few, the Cuban stuff was great and the atmosphere is like a big block party, drawing the typical Northern California mix of cultures, races and ages.... everything from aging bikers to preppy, young code writers.

Our panel Sunday had a hard act to follow... Dee Dee Bridgewater and Madeline Eastman on singing, which drew an overflow crowd to the large room. We drew about 20 at the peak and it ebbed and flowed (mostly ebbed) from there. Yoshi Kato [who chaired the panel] was very well prepared, and gave a little spiel on the JJA to introduce the session. I don't know if we solved any of the issues in front of us (how to get jazz out to a general audience)but had a lot of fun. It was also nice to get to finally meet [Wayne] Saroyan and his wife... we hung a bit afterwards. Also spent some time on Saturday and Sunday with Mark Holston and his wife from Montana.

Hope you are doing well now that the (slightly) cooler weather has come... It was way over 90 for four days before I left [Ottawa] last week.

James Hale

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Louisville's Aebersold Session

for the next few weeks we've got a lot of New York jazz in Louisville. Jamey Aebersold's Jazz Camp at the University of Louisvillle is in session and all the cats are jamin'. Saw Pat Labarbra, Steve Davis, Lynn Seaton and Andy Lavern sit in with the Dick Sisto Quartet at the Seelbach Hotel bar Saturday night. Two amazing sets for the price of a couple of glasses of wine. They will be back for the next two weekends.

Vibraphonist Sisto is one wild dude. He's had the longest jazz gig in the city. Saw him in a live, recorded concert a couple of weeks ago with Fred Hersh. When any jazz act of any import comes to Derby City they always wind up sitting in with Sisto. And the Seelbach, it's an old beautiful bar. The last time Duke Ellington was in town in 1973, PaulGonsalves invited me to have a drink with him there. I was sitting in the crowd with my mother at the time and the band was packing up, and Gonsalves was already drunk. I didn't take up his invitation and I've always regretted.

Danny O'Bryan Frankfort KY 40601 obryandp@BNGC.dma.state.ky.us yardhog@aol.com

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Real Jazz in Mexico

He could have stayed to celebrate his 52nd . . . After two hours of playing, the Mexican audience gathered in the Metropolitan Theater clapped and yelled for more music: In a sonorous way, Michael Brecker -- for the first time as a leader -- was in town.

Good news for jazz aficionados in the Mexican capital city: first Bela Fleck and the Flecktones came and played with not a very big audience but yet a big success; now, a month later, on the same stage downtown D.F, Brecker on tenor, Jeff 'Tain' Watts on drums, Joey Calderazzo on piano and Chris Minh Doky on bass, starting the concert Thursday 15th of March with "Arc of the Pendulum." This first composition from Brecker´s cd Time is of the Essence (1999) began his revision (revisitation?) of some repertoire he first recorded in 1987, with people like Jack De Johnnette, Charlie Haden, Kenny Kirkland and Pat Metheny.

Who is Michael Brecker, the guy who came south of the border some years ago to play in the Auditorio Nacional with Paul Simon and a year ago to play mainly for American tourists in a jazz festival in Cancún? Is there anybody in the 2500 convening as the audience (a lot of big Mexican jazz musicians included) who doesn't know?

Let us listen to him displaying his mastery in "The Cost of Living," an intense, concentrated remembrance of the late Don Grolnick. The song is introduced with a warm solo by Minh Doky. For the first time, his bass defeats the sound problems in the theater and is clearly heard . . . Calderazzo's piano will have the same common enemy almost all night long, for the sound system this concert mainly favors Brecker and, of course, Jeff 'Tain' Watts' strength. It is on one of this great drummer's compositions (recorded on Citizen Tain) that the concert, to the audience's delight, rises to its highest level of freedom and collective expressivity. "From now on," the members of the quartet might have said to themselves, "nothing but pleasure on the railroad tracks."

In spite of the sound problems, the Mexican witnesses had the opportunity of seeing and hearing Joey Calderazo's now effusive, now ensitive command of his instrument with Minh Doky's bass (he's Danish, right?*) sustaining everything for Brecker's gusts and Watts' thumping and swinging.

Michael Brecker, to be 52 in a week (March 29) could have stayed in Mexico until his birthday. The thirsty Mexican jazz audience wanted him to go on playing after two hours of regular concert and his encore (a funky version of "Autumn Leaves").

In September when he and Herbie Hancock have been scheduled to come to the Auditorio Nacional to pay their respects to Miles Davis and John Coltrane, September 28th and 29th, I'm sure nobody here will want to miss that. Jazz in Mexico is for real.

* Alain Derbez is a poet, author, jazz historian of Mexico, newspaper columnist, radio broadcaster (with two weekly national shows, covering literature and music, both), a producer of CDs of contemporary Mexican artists, a saxophonist and ensemble improviser, who lives in Vera Cruz and commutes to Mexico City. He further writes, "In Xalapa I just started playing with my quintet (sax, trombone, bass, drums and guitar). The name is Jazz Mirón. It´s a game. There was a very famous national poet in the XIXth Century: Salvador Díaz Mirón. He was from Xalapa. You can pronounce it Jazz Mirón. And Mirón is also a gazer. So Jazz Mirón could be understood as the guy who looks at jazz."

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Hot in Buenos Aires

By Eduardo Hojman Buenos Aires is suffering the hottest summer in 30 years, with temperatures rising up to almost 40 centigrades (you do the conversion). It is also suffering a very long economic drought, affecting mainly the middle classes and therefore most of jazz fans. On the fans side, there is a small but very active community of jazz adicts who attend religiously to every important concert that comes to town. And, since the days of Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie (who once dressed as a gaucho to play with a tango orchestra), there seems to be no real shortage of important visitors. Usually, when those visitors come, they play at big theaters, so the impresarios can make a profit out of it. There are exceptions, we´ll come to that shortly.

One of the most important jazz impresarios and the pioneer of them all is Roberto Menéndez. First he had a very nice, cozy place named Oliverio Mate Bar, near the Congress, a neighborhood once filled with movie theaters and a great night life. A lot of important visitors played there, e.g. Joe Pass, Michel Petrucciani, and Scott Henderson. This was during the early '90s. At Oliverio, Scott Henderson met a great Argentine guitar player, Luis Salinas, who eventually recorded an album produced or sponsored by George Benson. Salinas, a self-taught, very shy genius, has two sides for his playing: the latin-folklorical-bolero side, and the jazz & blues side. He is a fairly good singer, too. The Benson album is forgettable: smooth jazz tunes with a Latin flavor that seems to be made to please U.S. citizens (forgive me if I don´t use the word 'Americans' to talk about U.S. people). Salinas is great live. At Oliverio, Wynton Marsalis used to come down to jam with Argentine musicians, and there he met trumpeter Roberto 'Fats' Fernández, whom he gave a gold-coated trumpet and made him a sort of protegé.

Later, Menéndez moved Oliverio to a complex located at the Bauen Hotel (now called 'Oliverio Allways') which has one theater and one bar with a stage. Betty Carter, Dave Holland and others played at the theater. The Bauen Hotel is on Callao Avenue, a few blocks from the earlier Oliverio. (By the way, the name is a hommage to the great Argentine writer, Oliverio Girondo).

Nowadays, regarding venues, Callao, a 25-block avenue that runs roughly from South-East to North-West, starting on the Congress building, is a sort of axis for a jazz venues circuit. In Buenos Aires, every block is about 100 meters and every house number corresponds to the meter where it is. That is: Callao 892 is supposed to be at 892 meters from the beginning. And if there are 10 meters between one building and the other, then there will be 10 numbers. Easy, isn´t it.

Besides Oliverio Allways, on Callao 892 there is a classic bookstore now turned into a fancy bar-restaurant-bookstore. Small jazz groups play there (such as Fats Fernández with a piano accompanist) as well as bolero and pop singers. One block to the North you can find Notorious, one of the best jazz venues. A combination of record store (the CD's are very expensive, but they have some hard-to-get jewels), bar, restaurant and jazz venue, it offers shows almost every day of the week. The groups and players are very well chosen (kudos to Clea Torales, a sax player herself) and they are more on the experimental, avant-garde side. Among the noteworthy household names you shouldn´t miss pianist Ernesto Jodos, singer Graciela Cosceri and, another great, Swedish-born Argentine singer, (and a personal friend of mine) Barbara Togander. If you ever happen to be in Buenos Aires, Notorious (Callao 966) is most certainly a guarantee of good jazz.

More to come on further articles.

Eduardo Hojman

NOTA: Por favor enviar respuesta con copia a eduhojman@yahoo.com

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Advance news of Romanian Mihaiu's U.S. visit

W. Royal Stokes notes: "The JJA's lone member in Romania, Virgil Mihaiu, will visit the U.S. from March to early May, delivering lectures on poetry and jazz and speaking to jazz and English classes at Kean University, Hofstra University, Penn State, Queensborough College of the City University of New York, and other institutions on the East Coast and in California. Virgil wears a number of hats, e.g., as jazz and cultural critic and jazz historian, poet and performance poet, and scholar of literature, one of his areas of specialization being the work of F. Scott Fitzerald, who was the subject of his doctoral dissertation. He writes that he recently finished writing a 55-page essay on "Fitzgerald as Clairvoyant of Postmodernist Sensibility" and that his book Jazz Connections in Portugal was published last month." To contact Virgil while he's in the U.S., go through wrswing@aol.com; 301/588-7498.

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Yokohama's Japanese -- and International-- jazz on parade

Yokohama Jazz Promenade

Yokohama is Japan's second largest city located on a peninsula facing the western coast of Tokyo Bay and lies a mere 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) from Tokyo. Since the opening of its port to foreign trade in 1859, Yokohama has played a major role a window to the world. Various kinds of culture landed from abroad and spread to the whole country. Yokohama was also the landing point of jazz in Japan.

"Yokohama Jazz Promenade" has been held since 1993. The story was started a day in 1992, members of Yokohama Jazz Association that was established in 1991 were drinking and talking this and that, then they somehow started talking about launching a new event. They decided to start a new jazz festival that is totally different from ones which had ever been held in Japan, and so all the people like an editor of a jazz magazine Swing Journal and a manager of Sadao Watanabe's office whom they consulted with showed negative responses.

However, they did it. City of Yokohama accepted to support them. It was a remarkable thing because that was probably the first case in Japan that an administrative organ hosts a jazz festival. Yokohama Culture Foundation became the office of "Yokohama Jazz Promenade." They found many sponsors, even though Japan's bubble economic had already been busted. They got over many difficulties, and finally their dream came true. They invited Toshiko Akiyoshi from New York and many Japanese jazz musicians joined. The first "Yokohama Jazz Promenade" began in October 9th, 1993. Yokohama Jazz Promenade has been expanding year by year. This year of 2000, it took place at approximately 70 venues (concert halls, jazz clubs, etc.) in October 7th and 8th. One of concepts of this festival is filling Yokohama with jazz day and night during two festival days. There were many different styles of jazz, Dixieland jazz to improvised music. Approximately 1000 of professional and amateur musicians joined, and approximately 67,000 people came over the two days. There were some pre-events such as a special concert titled "Symphonic in Jazz," a competition, exhibitions of a poster contest and a photo contest, and a movie Blue Note, Heart of Modern Jazz was also screened. Now Yokohama Jazz Promenade is a comprehensive jazz event as well as the biggest and the most important jazz festival in Japan.

When I went out Kan-nai station in Yokohama on the first day of Yokohama Jazz Promenade, an amateur band welcomed people who came there. The festival had already started, and the town had begun swinging. I saw some more amateur groups were playing on streets during the festival days, these were also part of the festival. This year they staged two tribute programs of the 100th birthday of Louis Armstrong and Kurt Weill. Yoshio Toyama, the most famous Dixieland jazz player in Japan, and his band "Dixie Saints" showed their deep respect to Armstrong, while on Kurt Weill programs musicians of three different projects took up his music from three different angles. The first one was a duo by a classical vocalist Yumiko Oshima and a classical pianist Etsuko Okazaki, the second was also a duo by a jazz vocalist Yuki Maeda and a distinguish jazz pianist Masahiko Sato, and the third was a theatrical project "A Road of Kurt Weill" by jazz pianist Kyoko Kuroda's "Ortpera Ensemble."

Other festival highlights onstage were two of Japanese leading pianists, Fumio Itabashi and Takeshi Shibuya, each organized programs of one day at different halls.

These are only some instances among many. Perhaps over 50% of Japanese professional jazz musicians were in Yokohama, they played their music what they wanted to do. There was Japanese jazz scene itself. In the beginning Yokohama Jazz Promenade was a jazz festival of Japanese musicians, but soon, foreign musicians joined them. Now the festival also has an international aspect. This year approximately 50 musicians came to Yokohama Jazz Promenade from ten different countries, among them Steve Lacy trio, Lauren Newton's "Timbre," Peter Brotzmann, and Carlo Actis Dato Quartet. There were also some collaborative projects with Japanese musicians, like a duo by a Korean percussionist Park Je Chum and Yoshihide Otomo, and "October Bass Tri-Logue" which was for the special project for this festival by Barre Phillips and Japan's two excellent bassists Nobuyoshi Ino and Tetsu Saito. They want to continue collaborations with musicians in foreign countries, and as next year is "Italia in Giappone 2001" (the year of Italy in Japan), they are planning to invite Italy's Instabile Orchestra with some guests and to make an "Instabile Festival" at one hall one of Yokohama Jazz Promenade's special programs. Yokohama Jazz Promenade is now huge jazz festival. But no one can visit all venues and see all programs: that is problem for jazz fans and some of them complain it. On the other hand, it is very hard to organize so many stages and to direct a thousand volunteers who support the festival, so some problems of management were left to be solved. It may be about time to review the festival itself from all angles. Anyway I expect that the Yokohama Jazz Promenade will make progressive changes into next century.

Kazue Yokoi

Autumn, especially October is the best season in Yokohama. Wandering the city from a venue to a venue on glorious autumn days and enjoying music gave us lots of fun.

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Russian Jazz Roulette: Anything Goes

Where's Brother Ray? and Brits Play Glenn Miller At Kremlin, Claim 'The Best Jazz Show Of All Times'

By Alexey Batashev President, Russian Jazz Critics Guild

Do you still hum Cole Porter?s "Anything Goes"? Now anything goes on the Russian jazz scene.

Ray Charles in the Kremlin! $600 a ticket! And what happens? Ray doesn't appear at the press conference (most probably it was not in the contract), the first sound from the stage comes an hour later than the announced start of the show and Ray plays and sings for 59 minutes. Then the curtain's closed. Game's over. It's cool, guys. It was one set show 'cause the tickets were cheap.

I was among the audience and people looked at me with unspoken questions. The next day brought new surprises. Have you ever seen a world-famous full symphony orchestra and an ad hoc jazz 'n' blues big band -- 120 musicians onstage simultaneously -- sitting paralyzed, unable to play a lick during quarter of an hour waiting for 'the Man and the Soul'? You should be there to see it, at a 600-green-per-seat.

Who was the producer of such fraudulent affair? Rosinterfest Company, Russia.

A year ago another company did a sold out "Tribute to Glenn Miller" concert at the Moscow Philharmonic Tchaikovski Hall (one of the best and most respected in the world). It garnered a full 2000-patron house, dozens of reviews in the press, on radio and national TV. The world's oldest living jazz orchestra (founded in 1934) led by Oleg Lundstrem (Americans called him 'The Man of the Year') was superb. Real smash and big success. Tickets? Five dollars for the best seats. And what's now?

Imagine the posters all over Moscow that yell: "Glenn Miller Orchestra in the Kremlin!!! The best jazz show of all times!!" All that is soundly written on a waving U.S. flag.

No bandleader's name, no names at all, no information at all. The Web release is incompetent and slipshodly wishy-washy. I felt myself cheated and insulted. Producer - Millenium Company, Russia. Mark it and don't forget.

I called to my friend Howard Mandel, the President of the Jazz Journalist Association, to try to track down the Phoenix Talent Agency that runs the band. I reached other of my colleagues in the U.S. professional jazz community and now have got a full picture.

It?s not an American Glenn Miller unit at all! They are British! I don't know about their playing, but they're crossing La Manche much better that Mr Miller himself.

Those Brits are smart guys. They (or that strange Millenium Company) introduce themselves as the Glenn Miller Orchestra instead of Glenn Miller Orchestra UK.

On the contrary, unauthorized exploitation of American flag doesn't signal "UK" but does "U.S."

And finally, they have no slightest right to pretend to be the best jazz show of all times - visit their site glennmillerorchestra.co.uk, it's modest and unpretentious enough!

But that Millenium Company shamelessly sells $200 tickets! That how it goes in Russia. Anything goes.

Happily, you can find a fair and competent impresario here, and we have a number of jazz clubs, night places and other swinging points in Moscow where great bits of really good and solid jazz are played by Russians of world acclaim, to meet your fantasies.

Alexey Batashev, President, Russian Jazz Critics Guild

www.jazz.ru/pages/batashev/ mail to: alexeybatashev@jazz.ru

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Mandel's Parting Glimpse of Bay

Last music I heard at the SFJazz fest was strains of Andrew Hill's Dusk sextet, to which I've committed myself in print several times this year and which continues to move me on each hearing. Both on record (Palmetto) and in performances, the haunting music Hill's written has the deep and wide range of hues of the sky at twilight, with stellar interpretations by Marty Ehrlich, passionate and careful on alto sax and bass clarinet, Ron Horton on probing trumpet, Aaron Stewart unleashing tenor sax vigor (following the album's Greg Tardy), very solid and deep-pulsing bassist Scott Coley, most interesting young drummer Nasheet Waits (in the chair established by Billy Drummond). Hill's own pianism is understated yet provocative, dryly witty and curious, unafraid of complexity, complications or contrariness but unaffectedly direct; he works in parrallel to his ensemble, drawing one'se ears (when we can hear him -- at Yerba Buena theater he might have been set up so his keyboard could be seen and the piano well open towards the audience) through the layers and folds of the arrangements. Beautiful and original sounds, a gift to the listener.

Jason Moran's Bandwagon trio (also with Waits on drums) opened for Hill, and they've done at several gigs across the country, pianist Moran said, and he seems to have become Andrew's protege by association. Moran, too, is an original, though his style may be in evolution. It's not that he imitates Hill, or Jaki Byard, his former teacher to whom he played a fluid, sweetly melodic tribute. Moran is a large man, with big hands, and tended to play close intervals routinely centered middle of the '88s. The band was interactive, and seemed to want to have fun -- those are good things. I'll go hear them again, check out his Blue Note album again, see what else sticks.

I'd originally planned my SF trip to take in the Bobby McFerrin-Freddie Hubbard-Bobby Hutcherson-Eddie Marshall-4th Way reunion, most SF show offered by the fest. Then Oxford U Press hooked up a reading for me at Black Oak Books in Berkeley, same night same time. So Thursday was an HM/Future Jazz day, wherein I rented a car to shoot south to San Mateo and sit in with Clifford Brown Jr. on KCSM-FM (a 24-hour jazz-playing, web-streaming radio station), then headed back north through the Bay Bridge to the otherside of SF. Situated a Berkley neighborhood I heard described as "Gourmet Gulch" (Chez Panisse is down the block -- this is supposed to be a very important restaurant), Black Oak is one of those rare, effective independent bookstores that seem to stay alive by dogged excellence, breadth of inventory and knowing its customers. The staff had things and people prepared for me and Future Jazz, and I talked to people, read snatches of my book, actually sold a dozen copies and signed maybe two dozen more, before taking a second-printing of the seminal jazz history Jazzmen as a gift and heading on -- to Yoshi's in Oakland.

I'd never been there before, it was late now and I knew they had food, this would probably be my last chance. Did you know Amtrak trains run right by it (you don't hear them, but feel the ground tremors). I heard a solo oudist, appropriately mournful, on the broad stage of the nicely turned-out major West Coast jazz room. I sat down and actually ordered Japanese food (not my favorite, and when yr eating alone, it goes really fast). I got in my rent-a-car and drove back to SF, to the Maxwell Hotel, where I'd stayed in 12th floor luxury for a week. Next morning it was last e-mails and packing up and off to the airport.

Word to wise: if you go to SFIntrn'l with a rent-a-car, leave yrself an extra half-hour to return it, the drop off is a piece down the road from the terminals. Hope for a nice clear day as you lift off out over the Bay and past that gem of classy urbanity and the university towns and new highrises of Silicon Valley, then the mountains, the plains and as it darkens the fields and towns of the midwest, highways and industrial developments and population densities visible from 30,000 feet, leading to New York, New York, at another ocean entirely.

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Saroyan votes: The Keith Jarrett Trio in Performance

REVIEW: by Wayne Saroyan, Correspondent

It was a tough decision for any jazz fan in the Bay Area Saturday night: saxophone colossus Sonny Rollins, or piano virtuoso Keith Jarrett?

Rollins, the greatest living jazz improviser on tenor saxophone, returned to Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall and the Cal Performances jazz series for the first time since 1994, fresh on the heels of his latest release, "This Is What I Do."

Jarrett, likewise off the local radar for the past few years, has been laid up with chronic fatigue syndrome. His last scheduled Bay Area appearance dated back to the opening weekend festivities for Yoshi's at Jack London Square three years ago; at the last minute, his formidable trio -- bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette -- was replaced by the equally talented Herbie Hancock.

(Also appearing in concert around the Bay Area this past week was the astonishing duo of Hancock and saxophonist Wayne Shorter, who performed in Marin, San Jose and Santa Cruz.)

In the end, though, the supreme artistry of the Jarrett Trio prevailed, and the evening more than lived up to any -- and all -- expectations.

For more than two hours across two sets at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland Saturday night, Jarrett led his sublime trio through an elegant and remarkable evening of jazz standards, filtered through the unique prism of the pianist's sensitive, lyrical interpretations and melodic deconstructions.

(And humor. Jarrett, long known for his temperamental onstage behavior -- where as little as a cough from the audience would send him into fits of anger -- rambled through several humorous musings on the nation's recent presidential election woes, and even patiently indulged a few uninitiated audience members in the balcony who were shouting out comments and song suggestions throughout the performance.)

For more than 20 years, this acoustic trio has set the standard for jazz performance, combining an exquisite selection of music with a near-telepathic level of communication amongst its three members. Though Jarrett clearly sets the tone and musical direction, the sympathetic work of Peacock and DeJohnette combine for an ultimately transcendent experience.

Jarrett's approach to melody is one of gradually revealing fragments -- a cluster of notes here, a tightly-executed flurry there, the slightest hint of a melody emerging from a swirling fog -- that evolve from impressionistic textures of sound into definable compositions. Listening to Jarrett perform is akin to playing "Name That Tune" (which several critics and fans in the audience found themselves playing); the trio's repertoire comes straight from the heart of the familiar Great American Songbook, yet each selection becomes a new experience and a journey of discovery (and re-discovery) that resonates with extraordinary creativity and musical insight.

Jarrett revels in the canon of popular music, and finds new melodic connections between songs from different composers and different eras. A brisk take on "Autumn Leaves," which led the trio's second set, included a brief passage from the popular theme to Francis Coppola's "The Godfather," and concluded in an extended coda on Miles Davis' modal masterpiece, "So What," led by Peacock's emotive bass. Monk's classic "Straight No Chaser," delivered at a dizzying, breakneck tempo, was interpolated with another classic: the definitive four-note passage from Beethoven's Fifth Symphony (dah-dah-dah-dum).

Elsewhere, chestnuts such as "Green Dolphin Street" and the hauntingly beautiful ballad "Whisper Not" (highlighted by DeJohnette's dramatic cymbal washes accenting Jarrett's moody, solemn piano) reaffirmed the trio's utter mastery of the jazz standard. The trio's second encore, "When I Fall In Love," capped the evening with an indelible mark of musical genius: the undisputed legacy of the Keith Jarrett Trio at play.

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Saroyan: Who Needs New York? SF Jazz Fetes Eddie Marshall

by Wayne Saroyan, Correspondent

Despite the rich talent pool of jazz musicians in the Bay Area, precious few who call this place home have earned the kind of national and international recognition that would fall their way if they were living and working in New York.

That the Big Apple is the center of the jazz universe has never really been in dispute; if you can make it there, blah blah blah...

But for the brave jazz musicians who prefer the left side of the continent, earning major-player props among the larger jazz audience remains an ongoing challenge. A handful of musicians have been able to escape the regional stigma and maintain their global status, among them Joe Henderson and Bobby Hutcherson, both of whom made their marks in the jazz world early on in -- you guessed it -- New York.

All the more reason to celebrate our own. Thursday night, the hometown spotlight turned to Bay Area drummer Eddie Marshall, who found himself standing gracefully in the center of an all-star tribute at the Masonic Auditorium.

The 62-year-old jazz veteran was joined by a small army of local and once-local musicians who returned to the Bay Area to give the drummer some. Among the celebrants: vocalist and conductor Bobby McFerrin (who shares a 20-year relationship with Marshall that hearkens back to the singer's formative SF-based quartet, and who now makes his home in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area), and Pacifica vibraphonist Hutcherson, leading a quartet enhanced by the presence of the great Freddie Hubbard on flugelhorn.

Marshall, considered one of the prime architects of the contemporary San Francisco jazz sound over the last quarter-century -- dating back to his early days as the "house drummer" for the old Keystone Korner in the city -- is the recipient of the SF Jazz Organization's first-ever Beacon Award (he was also in the spotlight last year, along with fellow Bay Area trapsmen Vince Lateano and Donald "Duck" Bailey, at the Monterey Jazz Festival).

After receiving the award, and engaging in a delightful alto recorder duet with McFerrin's creative, witty vocalizing, Marshall took his familiar seat behind the drums for the majority of the night, rising only to exit the stage between sets or enthrall the audience (and his fellow musicians) with his superb skills on the wooden wind instrument. Still considered a first-call drummer's drummer, Marshall picked up the recorder more than 10 years ago, following a heart attack that temporarily sidelined his drumming career.

Holy Mischief, Marshall's current ensemble featuring saxophonist Dave Ellis (subbing for regular tenor player Kenny Brooks), trombonist Jeff Cressman, bassist Jeff Chambers, and another recent Bay Area émigré, pianist Paul Nagel, led the evening with a comfortable mainstream trio of tunes from the group's eponymously-titled recent release (and Marshall's second as a bandleader in three decades).

Settling in behind vibes virtuoso Hutcherson (with Chambers still on bass, the phenomenal Smith Dobson at the piano, and a mercurial Hubbard joining on horn for the perennial "So What"), Marshall rode another trio of songs toward the intermission, and returned in the first of two quartet reunion groups, the first fronted by the always-enthralling McFerrin, with pianist Nagel back from his new digs in Rhode Island and the masterful Jeff Carney (now a New Yorker) on acoustic bass.

The foursome's eloquent three-song set -- capped by a sublime rendition of "Selim," also culled from the great Miles Davis canon -- segued quickly into the night's second reunion, this time showcasing the late 1960's era fusion pioneer quartet, Fourth Way, with Michael White (violin), Mike Nock (piano), and Bob McClure (bass) winding its way eventually towards the evening's all-star finale.

With jazz this fine in our own neighborhood, who needs New York?

originally published Nov. 3 2000 in the Oakland Tribune, © Wayne Saroyan, Editor & Publisher, JazzWest.com, the Bay Area's Online Jazz Network

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Saroyan Report: SFJazz Kicks Of 18th Season With Abbey Lincoln, Jimmy Scott

It was an intimate little birthday party, attended by about 1500 Bay Area jazz fans.

Wednesday's opening night performance for the 18th annual San Francisco Jazz Festival was billed as a "70th Birthday Celebration," honoring the musical legacy and creative spirit of jazz singer Abbey Lincoln.

And even though it wasn't Lincoln's real birthday (her actual birth date is August 6), the opening night audience nonetheless shouted out birthday salutations and presented the singer with a standing ovation as she took the stage following an hour-long set from the inimitable jazz singer "Little" Jimmy Scott.

Lincoln, who last performed at the San Francisco Jazz Festival in the mid-1990s on a double-bill with the late Dr. Betty Carter, has evolved over a half-century career from supper-club chanteuse-slash-sex kitten to civil rights activist and film actress. After a period of scant public work, she's now considered (and deservedly so) one of the world's reigning jazz singers... "the last of the great jazz divas."

Unlike most of today's popular jazz singers, Lincoln doesn't scat, and tends to stay far away from the Great American Songbook. She prefers, more often than not, to compose her own lyrics and music, or draw from a contemporary songbook that included as part of her Wednesday night performance a tumbling, intuitive interpretation of Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man."

Her voice isn't considered "pretty" in the conventional sense, but is shaped and guided by the same experience, passion and sensibilities that imbue her music. She tosses convention aside easily and takes risks that most singers half her age would never dare to try. And every now and again, a surprising, elegant beauty creeps in to her voice.

The emotional commitment that Lincoln brings to her music is her greatest gift: remarkable for its unflinching honesty, its adult-themed storytelling, and its sheer courage, drawing on equal parts of melancholy and joy. As a songwriter, she's become a modern-day griot, offering a depth of emotional experience that's rare in a superficially-driven world of popped (and canned) corn.

Supported by a magnificently-talented trio of musicians - pianist Brandon McCune, bassist John Ormond, and drummer Jaz Sawyer, each looking barely into his 20s - Lincoln took the stage at the Masonic Auditorium well after 10 pm Wednesday.

Tapping into the rich vein of music she's created over the past decade, Lincoln delivered a strong, if uninspired, selection of ballads and originals. Lincoln tends to push the lyrics ahead of the music, reminiscent of Scott, and the pairing showcased the remarkable similarities between the two singers and their own unique, individualized interpretive style.

Scott, at 75 perhaps the greatest living ballad interpreter, packs intense, spellbinding emotion into every syllable he breathes. The sheer intensity of his stylized, staccato delivery has waned in recent years, but he's still a delight to watch in his live performances: arms stretching out in wrenching, plaintive movements from his spindly frame, twisting, clutching and grasping at the air around him to convey the passion of the moment.

The San Francisco Jazz Festival continues through November 5 at various venues around San Francisco, and resumes again for two shows in mid-November at Oakland's Paramount Theatre.

First published 10/27 by the Oakland Tribute © 2000 Wayne Saroyan Editor & Publisher JazzWest.com, the Bay Area's Online Jazz Network

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Another county heard from: Ishmael Reed on arts healing communities

On Saturday October 28 the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center hosted a dialogue night on Healing Communities through the Arts. Panel participants were Lewis Nash and David O'Rourke, co-leaders of the Celtic Jazz Collective, and author Ishmael Reed.

Reed presented video clips from his recent "gospera," a contemporary spin on the message of Jesus as applied to homelessness, classism, and addiction. Following the clip Reed pontificated on matters of race and class.

Drawing from his considerable storehouse of information, he referred to the age-old black/white split as a construct created by the ruling class in England to keep poor folks of all shades fighting among themselves, meanwhile keeping the focus off their high level shenanigans. Sound familiar? It was especially poignant to hear this in a Boston forum, given the city's history of troubled race relations and the large number of Irish-Americans working in the criminal justice system.

Reed drove his point home when he said of the Irish in America that "they were led to believe that they were white." He cited lack of knowledge of their own history as the dilemma of the Irish and other poor and working class whites in the U.S.

Reed's presentation was compelling, but it was Nash and O'Rourke who exemplified the humility and clarity that builds community. Nash talked about the formation of the collective as being rooted in purely musical aspirations, and of a belief in the power of the music to operate on a deeper level than might be obvious to anyone looking for quick solutions.

O'Rourke shared a story about his positive experiences working in "minority" neighborhoods in a day job as a census worker, being accepted into people's homes when they found out he was a struggling musician rather than a career G-man.

As one of the "so-called" whites in attendance I was saddened by some comments made by a man in the audience who saw fit to diminish Nash and O'Rourke's hopeful message by denying that any progress had been made in race relations since the 1960's. His remarks were directed toward the ruling class, of which I am not a member by any stretch, but his choice of words such as "honky" and "cracker" were hurtful, and for me cast a pall on the otherwise positive dialogue.

Let their be peace on Earth and let it begin with me. I believe that's what Lewis Nash and David O'Rourke are saying with their music.

-- Richard Mayer


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A Fifth of Reading and Listening

Authors' panel: from left, Mike Zwerin, Bill Moody, Floyd Levin

Readings are always improvisations, and I'd say the combo of Floyd Levin (just getting a first glance at his handsome book Classic Jazz: A Personal View of the Music and Musicians from UofCal press), Bill Moody (reading the discovery of a murder victim in his hardboiled smooth jazz comedy Bird Lives!), and Mike Zwerin (intoning the opening anecdote that encapsulizes the ironies and anguish of his Swing Under the Nazis, aka La Tristesse de Saint Louis) played it right at Virgin Megastore on bustling Market Street at 6 p.m. Monday night (10/30).

A knowledgable jazz dept. clerk named Frank helped arrange table & chairs, water and podium and microphone for those three and me (brandishing my paperback Future Jazz), further assisted by Laura G (whose name should always and probably isn't in this notes always spelled with one "n") and Joe from SFJazz -- there were about a dozen strangers and friends of some of the authors there, and I launched right in with three imaginary scenarios, stories we told of jazz in the '90s.

Willard helped introduce this entire set up, and after each of the 4 read, we sat together and he offered up a question to Floyd: "Tell me your favorite Louis Armstrong story, of which I'm sure there are several in the book." Floyd detailed his first interview approach to Armstrong, which brought him into the presence of the great man backstage, "stark naked." They sat around for a lengthy chat, and Pops apparently invited our fellow member back to interview the band after their final set (read this in FL's words in Classic Jazz, natch).

Zwerin responded to a query that he'd blown it by getting his book in on time -- it meant he'd snubbed a chance to interview the surviving "Swing Kids" of recent bad movie fame. Moody talked about how he's always felt he could keep the milieu and talk of jazz around his series sleuth/pianist Evan Horne real, and also mentioned that the new novel he's finished will have a sampler cd of music he's mentioned packaged with the first edition.

There were a couple more questions -- Ron Wilson, in a motorized wheelchair, wanted to know if any of us had heard of Sun Ra, or written about him; seems Wilson, who was on his way to his nearby piano bar gig, had played in the Arkestra a while back. I told about watching Ra orchestrate the perfect finale for a mid '80s WTTW/PBS live broadcast of the Chicago Jazz Festival, having the assembled thousands chanting "We Are The Children Of The Sun" and sending his dancers swirling across the broadstage, all with a serene wave of his hand, nod of his head, sweep of his electric keyboards, as the credits rolled.

Anyway, we sold a few books, then WJ, Zwerin and I (w/SFJazz education and outreach officer Dee) caught chicken sandwhiches in the snazzy Metroneon food court so we wouldn't be growling through the two sets coming at Yerba Buena Arts Center theater (advice to about-to-be-reviewers: if yr hungry, angry, lonely or tired, don't take it out on the musicians). I'd only heard Brit saxophonist Trevor Watts Moire Music ensemble on record, and it'd been a while since I'd caught trumpeter Russell Gunn.

Watts is an unassuming-looking man, if even the most mild-mannered fellow hoisting a sax in front of voracious electric bass and three drummers (one hard-hitting trappist, one steady Latin and coloristic-detail percussionist, and an exuberant, gutsy West African singer/perc. deploying talking drum, beaded calabash, etc. Their rhythms locked and rocked, though the bassist was too loud for my taste, easily as loud as the sax, rendering him the least link onstage. Didn't have to be that way: why didn't these musicians try dynamics? After TW warmed up with relatively tepid soprano licks, he began to modulate out of the modes interestingly, and insert irregular phrases, shards of lines and their resolutions into the grooves. He had something to say, it's his band, and I'd like to have felt his force more (maybe even in less of an onstage crowd).

Too bad you couldn't dance, weave, bob or stomp at the theater, 'cause Russell Gunn's Ethnomusicology band could definitely have had the audience on their feet and Watts might have, too. RG's big band -- pianists Marc Cary and James Hurt (yes, both at once!, switching off on grand and Fender Rhodes, tenorist Greg Tardy, trombonist Andrew Heyward is it? (I'm gonna run a corrections box when I get home, one of these days. Anyway he's in Lincoln Center Jazz Orch, and trombonist/basstrumpeter Zwerin was raving about the guy's adoption of J.J. Johnson chops.) An upright bassist, a slammin' drummer (who broke out into ching-chingaling but not til the very end of the set), a percussionist too, a baaad DJ Apollo, and Gunn, looking game for anything and playing some fat low-mid-register, choice notes (but not *too* many of them), uptempo (mostly) lead and solo lines, having crafted Caravan, for starters, to a hip hop groove.

That, and the rest of his set, was all very groovy. The charts were sharp, with plenty of interesting harmonies for the riffs and hard-stops maintaining the edge. Not an overload of attitude from this band, which has adopted upswept dreads in lieu of funny hats. Hell, it was fun but not to be laughed at. Gunn's horn playing was attractive, down-to-earth perhaps compared to some of his current colleagues, but I dig how he's honed his tendency to explode like the early Freddie Hubbard into a finer instrument of provocation. Sometimes he used his horn bluntly, but his encore, band stripped down to essential quartet, was a Bird classic, and even if he muffed a couple notes, he aced it.

The audience left the hall, overall happy.

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At SFJazz Festival: Sacred or Spiritual? Does Zwerin Quibble?

San Francisco Jazz Festival Note --

Zwerin on Sacred Music

Some thoughts about a spiritual concert in a church. As satisfying and beautiful as their concert was in the Grace Cathedral last night, Oct 29, Greg Osby and Joe Lovano's interpretation of the evening's passwords "sacred space" left me wondering. Left me wanting.

Does "sacred" necessarily mean whole notes? Don't serious players *always* play spiritually, or try to? Even in a saloon? Why then did Osby and Lovano change their styles and slow down so drastically in the church in order to play "sacred?" Doesn't spirituality have something to do with energy as well as contemplation?

It was like they were thinking something like "Okay, it's Sunday and I'm in church, I better get sacred." Don't get anybody angry - certainly not The Preacher, to say nothing of The Lord. It was a sort of limited Sunday spirituality. On Monday night I guess they go back to playing "profane" music. Of course not. Being "sacred" does not necessarily mean being different from what you usually are.

You can enjoy listening to a musician contemplate his or her navel only so long. At some point even God must wish for some action. Seems to me that any basic definition of spirituality must include a dance on some level or other, at some time or other, long before the encore.

But I repeat: it was a beautiful concert, all concerts should all be so beautiful. Possibly I am confusing "sacred" with "spiritual" and perhaps I quibble.

-- Mike Zwerin

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HM #4

Nice luncheon at the Mission district jazz club/restaurant Bruno's, a longtime neighbood Italian restaurant that's polished its presentation (to keep pace with the neighborhood's demands of survival, evidently), lighter yet still very flavorful fare (squash soup, lovingly roasted chicken). The cocktail lounge/music room is long and seductively dark -- no band was playing this sunny Sunday afternoon, but otherwise yd think it was 3 am at place, with all these jazz journalists broadcasters and simply avid listeners bellied up to the bar: me and Mssrs. Jenkins, Zwerin, Ouellette, Minor, Saroyan, Orr, Levin, Richardson, Brinnin, Ms.s Laura G, Melanie Berzon and Alicia Clancy of KSCM-FM, Beth Peerless, also Rochelle Metcalfe, a reporter for the San Francisco Sun and KCSM reviewer who joined up on the spot (Welcome, Rochelle -- more to come!) and Marcus Crowder, (lately appointed theater critic of the Sacramento Bee [having moved over from the free weekly arts editor spot now filled by Jackson Griffin, former snr editor of Tower Pulse!] Marcus is moving into his beloved jazz writing at the Bee soon, and intends to join up). . .Some good talk, Don Heckman and John Thurber came in after a bit, too, and there were three local guys there I hope to meet again -- maybe some details will follow --

Essentially what happened next though was the Russell Malone quartet at Yerba Buena Art center (which I'm told by Randall Kline holds 400; the Herbst Theater holds 920, and Grace Cathedral, scene of the night's solo sax offerings, 1000). Russell is a masterful guitarists, broadly accomplished, and his quartet is a popping if conventional lineup, piano bass and drums. He opened up with a late '60s Benson-style funk original Mug Shot, proceeded to a melodically-inclined piece dedicated to Benny Golson, included a smoothly tailored mid-tempo ballad "Soulful Kisses," and extended himself through a gorgeous solo introduction on "Heather on the Hill," followed by an aching "Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out to Dry." Nothing showy about Russell, but he really delivers his musical intention, knowing what he's doing and how to do it. Sorry to have missed the names of his bandmembers: they have, together, a new Blue Note album I'll dig out of the pile waiting when I get home. To finish up, Malone invited his opening act, 12 year old Julian Lage back onstage, for a duo on a blues -- Straight no Chaser. The kid was cool, bright, promising, seemed solid, with good time and some nice ideas -- if he wants it, he oughta keep goin'. Kudos all around.

Walk back to nearby hotel, through some of the most high-spiff shopping districts I've been in all year (and I've been (*traveling*), through Union Square, and a rest interlude, cocktails with Willard and Mike Z, and up Nob hill to Grace Cathedral. Remember Paul Horn, or ever check him out? -- going to the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China, for all I know the Grand Canyon or Carlsbad Caverns to play the spaces? Then he'd blow one long, low note? Pre-New Age (though the first such thing I heard was Tony Scott's Music for Zen Meditation, which really turned me on and around at age 13). That's how the Grace Cathedral solo sax sets were presented -- another more recent example being Jan Gabarek's performances in churches '99 with the early vocal music Hilliard Ensemble.

In that case, Gabarek was ultra conscious of each projection of his saxes (soprano and tenor), almost as if he were probing tender corners of the ediface (in the NYC concert I caught) anxious to keep from touching on some inflamed nerve. Osby and Lovano were not quite that sensitive to Grace's unique and complex reverberances, at least not to my ears -- this could have been much different actually sending the sounds up from the stage, being aware of, nay, responsible for, each tone's generation.

But so many tones, so close together, with each one producing different overtones that hung in the air, did indeed threaten to mush. At certain frequencies, lower midrange and midhigh register, consecutive tones became virutually indistinct. Osby did indeed create some beautiful long phrases, articulating as carefully as possible, laying one long not exactly modal but not commonly chordal phrase next to another, rather as Cecil Taylor had the night before (without the forward-rushing energy and counter-movements), but often complicating the line as he normally would, but oughtn't to have here, so closely than they tumbled in front of, rather than follwed from, each other. His tone generally abjurs vocalisms for purities, but here he sometimes indulged deep pitches that stirred up the room right. Fine effort, and some noble results.

Lovano played some gongs, besides his soprano and alto clarinet and tenor sax, to break his performance into pieces, unlike Osby's almost uninterrupted 40 - 50 minute stretch (by the way, I was told Cecil's first set wa 1 hour 15, flying). Joe brought more variety of sound sources than Osby used, and secularized things to the point of playing Bird's "52nd Street Theme." As the estimable Mr. Zwerin broods, he was also reverent in approach. I think that worked best -- as in Joe's soprano rendition of his original "Worship." But I do like my jazz hot, too, and I coulda looked for a later party somewhere after we ate Chinese (more expensive and not as good at Nanking's at Kan's), but instead tuned in Wes Craven's New Nightmare, did my e-mail, read some Westlake, fell out happy.

Both Os

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Third note from SF

Discussing "Reaching the Greater Jazz Audience." From left: Dan Ouellette, Beth Peerless, Stu Brinin, Bill Moody, Mike Zwerin, Howard Mandel, Don Heckman, Willard Jenkins. Audience includes Bill Minor (glasses, white hair, far right), Alisa Clancy (red dress, right), Bob Karcy (dark jacket, lower right corner).

Bill Minor and Floyd Levin and I had a JJA membership meeting at the SFJazz conference room -- in our bylaws it's explained that any 2 JJA members constitute a meeting, as long as they report it to the membership as a whole -- and talked about several issues, organizational and professional. In the latter case, we concentrated on some things about recent experiences with book publishing, with reference to proposals (and how to cope to an editor's reactions, which may be lengthily delayed), working with unavailable or unsympathetic editors, maintaining decisive influence if not control over packaging, and the necessity of self-promotion, given the limited resources of the university presses which have issued books by Floyd (U Of California, for his just-about to be released Classic Jazz), Bill (Temple, for his book on Soviet jazz at the end of the cold war, Unzipped Souls) and me (Oxford, for Future Jazz). Organizationally, Floyd had several sensible suggestions about the JJA's dues collections, and Bill agreed to create a Jazzhouse column titled something like "Ask the Contract Doctor," as a knowledgeable contract advisor trained by and active with the National Writers Union. I'm gonna hold him to it, too -- but right now he's doing final work on a fiction manuscript it seems he's sold to a well-reputed is small independent publisher. More on both these guys' projects as the week goes on.

Then the panel discussion on "Reaching the Greater Jazz Audience," with an esteemed (really!) group on the podium -- Willard Jenkins, Don Heckman, Michael Zwerin, Stu Brinnin, Beth Peerless and Dan Oullette, representing each a diverse perspective and experience in jazz journalism, including international, national, metropolitan and music speciality publication, photography, radio and web broadcast, a&r and recording producing, concert and festival production, education. The audience was no less stellar: I recognized Alicia Clancy and Melanie Berzon of 24-hour jazz station KCSM-FM, Bob Karcy and Tim Orr (both JJA members) of Arkadia Jazz, Yoshi Kato (Bay Area JJA chairman), a local songstress who's name I'll have to get from someone else, Floyd and Bill of course, Isabel Yrogen (former pr director of SF Jazz Festival, responsible for the initial nat'l meeting we had here in 1998, wasn't it?) . . .

anyway, I taped this panel, which ended with some to-and-fro re the efficacy and impact of Ken Burns' upcoming Jazz. This could turn into the trend topic of the next 6 months, if we're not careful. Let' talk about it, yeah, but get busy and send in our proposals where they ought to go, now! I'm not taking time this minute to transcribe the tape of the panel talk, but will try to get it done and posted right away (watch this space).

Ok, then: dinner with Willard at the fine, inexpensive, satisfying House of Nanking, Kearny at Columbus, and wouldn't you like to know what we talk about? No. I'd rather say that Cecil Taylor's performance at the Herbst Theater last night was another of the magnificent, inspired, open, discursive, powerful, beautifully lyric hours (two sets, about 45 minutes each I guess (how time changes when Cecil's playing!) plus three brief sit-down encores) this man has given to his committed listeners. He approached the piano simply at first, with some instruments for plucking or pounding its insides, and staff paper for to the piano. Then a theme, and of he goes in absolutely innimitable (can we imagine Cecil in repertory orchestra treatment?) narrative expansion/contraction taffy-pulling sculpture with the grace of architecture and inevitability of nature, full of rhythm and resolution, but reversals of tonality and directionality (is that run, 2 hands simultaneously in contrary motion-unison? going higher or lower?) and shuffling of structure so that I wondered if I should listen for where he was going, where he'd just been, or try to listen to the music he was making at the very moment, rather than miss the now.

Well, Cecil Taylor deserves every jazz enthusiast's respect, if not their listening. He is a quirky, complicated person, as "My Dinner with Cecil," an article by yours truly in the September Down Beat, begins to suggest. I find his music fascinating, so multi-faceted that it refracts CT's undeniable brilliance on many rather far flung ideas and divergent directions. It is simply a thrill to be at a demonstration of such human accomplishment -- and one of the reasons that live performance live performance live performance is an essential of the jazz experience, and can be especially effective in ambitious concerts in festival settings such as SFJazz has so smoothly, so far, put on (I'll hear today, I expect -- in 20 minutes!-- at the JJA/SFJazz luncheon at Bruno's, about the Celia Cruz/Oscar DeLeon salsa extravaganza. But Cecil Taylor! Cecil Taylor!)

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Second note from SF

The Masonic Auditorium is directly up SF's central high hill from the luxurious and roomy accomodations of the Maxwell Hotel, (where JJArs Derk Richardson, Willard Jenkins, Dan Ouellette, Duck Baker, Floyd Levin and his wife, Don Heckman, John Thurber, Patricia Myers and her frequent escort Victor, Wayne Saroyan, Michael Zwerin, ex-Sonicnet editor David Rubien, a couple other newly met colleagues, SFJazz pr goddess Laura Giannatempo and I clinked wine glasses, on a terrace overlooking bay and bridge.. .

After the hill winded me: Etta James put it right, catching her hugeness up in the dramatic, insistent phrasing of "Blind Girl," stretching out on a slower-groovin' version the Stones' "Miss You," very bluesy and bawdy, hitting all her notes solidly, nothing but outright blues and soul. Her backing band comprised three horns, impressive pianist and (equally so) organist engaging in keyboard interplay, besides gtr-bs-drms, capable of the appropriate arrangements, but Etta is the real thing, and she felt like singing, dedicating "I Want to Ta-Ta You" to its composer, Johnny Guitar Watson, growling a la Dinah Washington that song I always think is "Since I Fell For You," but it's not. . .

I raced out before "Tell Mama," which I very much longed to hear, missing the Masonic headliner Lou Rawls, aiming for the Herbst theater and luckily quick to catch one of the rare cabs running around here. Set had just broke, but I'd missed Lee Konitz and Paul Bley. Ok, I'd hear Trio 3 then -- Oliver Lake, Reggie Workman and Andrew Cyrille, musicians I frequently and gladly hear in New York -- Andrew recently leading is own ensemble at the World Music Institute/Interpretations series at Merkin Concert Hall, Reggie at the Jazz Standard with Archie Shepp and Roswell Rudd . . In this equilateral triangle, though, the three star members truly arrived at a unity beyond their sum of parts. Balanced, listening to each other, mutally contributive, credible chamber group identity.

I especially thought about Oliver's reeds virtuosity (he played soprano and alto), his mastery of phrase and articulation, his imagination re variations and the underlying references to Dolphy. I liked Reggie's energetic pulse, his looseness bowing and momentum plucking. And especially Andrew's constant engagement and contrast when the three played together, his distinctive touch (seems he's recently added a small splash cymbal and medium flat cymbal? to his kit). Cyrille is exacting, his strokes clear, his accents definitive, following one from another -- but he makes it look easy, generation of rhythm and synchronization of movement, alike. He performed a solo, For Bu (Blakey) as the set's climax, rolling powerful patterns across his all his drums, as if they were bowling balls that he was flipping casually from skillet to skillet. Or something like that.

Nice coffees so far with Zwerin, who's thinking of trying to spend more time in New York City to visit three or four times a year, quick tete a tete with Willard, and this a.m. Starbucks w/Heckman and Thurber, wherein we discussed everything from why there are few male jazz singers now to the importance of maintaining sources, drawing on other's information, being "informed" as a reviewer/writer/journalist/critic as opposed to taking a stance of intention reserve, distance from the scene, presumably for personal objectivity and uncomplicated perspective. Other issues, too. I'll report when they come back to me.

Now I'm on my way to membership meeting and public panel discussion at Embarcadero center. See you there?


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San Francisco, a note from Mandel

Well it's been a gradual start here musicwise, after the Chicago and probably Monterey too-doos, but I'll eke out some fun anyway. Fresh surroundings for a few days. . . Chinatown and City Lights irresistible, though I didn't check out Abbey Lincoln's b-day celebration with Jimmy Scott opening. . .

Last night's Will Bernard wasn't bad, was good in fact, in guitar-organ space quartet way, like an alt-grunge Santana a la Caravanserai, although it was disappointing the Mets couldn't stretch out their series a bit, no climax seeing the Yanks spear it that way (the music phrased well with it, though, unexpected synchronicity). Then the Jazz Mandolin Project, a trio from Vermont, via Blue Note Records, came on, played with lots of focus and intent, very well and closely together. The material has drive, perhaps even swing, but isn't my particular cup of tea -- or is it the mandolin I'm objecting to? I was trying to think, what if that line was played on tenor, or trumpet -- but none of them were, or could be.

More soon -- HM

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SFJAZZ - JJA National Meeting

The San Francisco Jazz Festival is again this year generously hosting a national Jazz Journalists Association meeting, with activities you've heard about before this notice, perhaps,

(the fest itself is a promising one, starting with Abbey Lincoln's 70th birtday celebration, Jimmy Scott & Hank Crawford, ending with Keith Jarrett's trio (Peacock and DeJohnette, John McLaughlin and Zakir Hussain. In the midst: Cecil Taylor solo, Lovano and Osby solo, Herb Ellis with Duke Robillard, McFerrin/Hutcherson/Hubbard and 4th Way Reunion, Andrew Hill, Russell Gunn, etc


-- officially the JJA hang begins Friday Oct. 27, when La Crema wines hosts a JJA reception in The Maxwell Hotel Penthouse (386 Geary Street).

We'll have something like a business meeting on Saturday, Oct 28, 1 - 3 pm -- of interest primarily to JJA members and wannabes, brownbragging it in the SFJazz Org conference room, 3 Embarcadero Center,

followed at 3 p.m. by the panel discussion "Reaching The Greater Jazz Audience." With Don Heckman (Los Angeles Times), Peter Levinson author, veteran publicist), Yoshi Kato (The Mercury News, Contra Costa Time), Bill Moody (author, teacher), Dan Ouellette (Down Beat, Schwaan Insider), Beth Peerless (Monterey County Herald), Mike Zwerin (International Herald Tribune, author of Swing Under the Nazis); Willard Jenkins (JazzTimes, BETonJazz, Open Sky); I moderate. Stu Brinin is excepted there, too.

SFJazz (through the especially good offices of Laura Giannatempo) and Bruno's Restaurant and Jazz Club (2389 Mission St.) host the JJA's Sunday luncheon at Bruno's -- If you haven't RSVP'd, do so NOWWWW! to laurag@sfjazz.org

On Monday Oct. 30 JJA authors Floyd Levin (Classic Jazz), Peter Levinson (Life and Times of Harry James), Bill Moody (Bird Lives!), Mike Zwerin (Swing Under the Nazis) and me (Future Jazz) will speak, spar, read and sign at Virgin Megastore, Stockton & Market Sts., Union Square.

and Tuesday, October 31, 3-5pm a panel discussion on "Jazz Adventures in New Media," will feature NWU contract advisor and author Bill Minor, SFGate/Guardian writer-online columnist Derk Richardson, writer-editor David Rubien (late of SonicNet), and JazzWest.com chief Wayne Saroyan (at Embarcadero Conference Center Stanford Room.

Laura Giannatempo (Laurag@sfjazz.org) deserves lion share of kudos for setting up all this, and Randall Kline for his ongoing interests --

(the next national meeting of the JJA will be in NYC in January, 2001 as part of programming at the International Association of Jazz Educators convention, see www.iaje.com)

I personally am reading signing Future Jazz at Black Oak Bookstore in Berkeley on eve of Nov. 2, but Bobby Hutcherson is playing with Freddie Hubbard and others at the same

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