Jazz Variations in Philly
The Kimmel Center brought in a trio of major jazz stars with a concert featuring Herbie Hancock, Roy Hargrove and Michael Brecker. Their Directions in Music program was first introduced in 2001-02 with a tribute to John Coltrane and Miles Davis that garnered two Grammy Awards and worldwide acclaim. This program was celebrating the music of such jazz icons as Wayne Shorter, McCoy Tyner, Chick Corea, and, appropriately, Hancock himself. Hancock's nearly half century of piano/composing, leading efforts have included early work with such giants as Coleman Hawkins , Donald Byrd and Phil Woods going on to Miles Davis and expanding into electronic pop. Hargrove is clearly one of the top-trumpeters working today with demonstrated versatility from jazz to soul and hip hop. His CD with D'Angelo, Voodoo , won a 2000 Grammy Award. Philadelphia native tenor sax star Brecker is also a composer and seven-time Grammy winner who worked extensively with Coltrane compositions and innovations. He had worked with McCoy Tyner, Horace Silver, Chet Baker, quincy Jones, and Dave Brubeck, among others. He has also worked with such pop stars as John Lennon and Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones and Frank Sinatra, among others.
Incredibly most of the concert with no intermission was an endless series of individual compositions that were great examples of technique, but not much in the way of music or listenable jazz.
Benny Golson by Mark Sheldon