A star-studded collection of jazz greats came together June 13th at the Ethical Culture Society in a Concert for John Kerry. Joshua Redman and Christian McBride opened the show with a duo “On The Sunny Side Of The Street”. Nicholas Payton, Aaron Goldberg, Rueben Rogers and Greg Hutchinson then joined Redman for a burning performance of Freddie Hubbard’s “Byrdlike”. Dee Dee Bridgewater replaced Redman for a soaring version of “How High The Moon” and then settled things down dueting with Brad Meldhau on “My Funny Valentine”. Larry Grenadier and Jeff Watts then joined Meldhau for a rollicking “It’s All Right With Me”. Dancer Savion Glover closed the first half stomping out a percussive dialogue with Watts.
Charlie Hunter’s exciting trio featuring John Ellis and Derek Phillips started the second half off with a soulful original recalling electric Miles. Redman and Michael Brecker then replaced Ellis for a two tenor “Green Chimneys” followed by a beautiful Brecker quartet reading of Jobim’s “Modinha” featuring concert-organizer Goldberg. Bridgewater returned scatting “All Blues”, followed by Glover’s melodic tapping of Clare Fischer’s “Morning” and stomping accompaniment of the singer on “Stormy Monday” before being joined on stage by the entire aggregation and vocalist Melissa Walker in a rousing grand finale that brought the crowd to its feet.
The music of Charles Mingus continues to live at Fez (Under Time Café) every Thursday night. On June 24 the Mingus Orchestra performed some of the master composer’s grand works employing unusual instrumentation for a “jazz group.” Joining Craig Handy, Seamus Blake, Kenny Rampton, Luis Bonilla, habitual horn men of the Mingus Big Band, and Orran Evans, Boris Kozlov and Donald Edwards, its regular rhythm section, Douglas Yates’ bass clarinet, Janet Grice’s bassoon, Vincent Chancey’s French horn and Jack Wilkins’ guitar added unique colors to the multifaceted music. Kozlov started the tour de force Haitian Fight Song solo, before Handy and Rampton took their turns, leading up to an exciting horn shouting climax. Wilkins gently opened the Latin-tinged Eclipse, which featured Handy’s airy flute and Grice’s bassoon.
Bonilla’s raucous plunger-muted trombone set the tone for Mr. Jelly Roll with Handy following suit with a Bechet-inspired soprano solo and Yates pushing the bass clarinet to its outer limits. Seamus Blake exposed his tenor’s tender side on the ballad Self Portrait In Three Colors that also included a stirring Evans piano solo with Kozlov walking and Edwards on brushes. Kaslov’s ambitious arrangement of East Coasting employed dissonant harmonies, giving Grice and Chancey chances to step out front. A wild Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting ended the Thursday set.
~ Russ Musto
– Kenny Barron - Quintet Images (Sunnyside)
– Uri Caine - Live at the Village Vanguard (Winter & Winter)
– Satoko Fujii - Sketches (NATSAT)
– Jerry Gonzalez - Y Los Piratas de Flamenco (Sunnyside)
– Mulgrew Miller - Live at Yoshi’s, Vol. 1 (MAXJAZZ)
– McCoy Tyner - Illuminations (Telarc)
~ David Adler (NY@Night Columnist, AllAboutJazz.com)
– Peter Brotzmann Chicago Tentet - Signs/Images (Okkadisk)
– Candido Camero/Graciela (Perez) - Candido & Graciela (Chesky)
– Dill Jones - Davenport Blues: Plays Bix, Jones and a Few Others (Chiaroscuro)
– Bud Powell - Bebop (Pablo/Mythic Sound-Fantasy)
– Wadada Leo Smith - Kabell Years: 1971-1979 (Kabell-Tzadik)
– Barry Wedgle/Barry Altschul/Kim Stone - BBK (Exit)
~ Laurence Donohue-Greene (Managing Editor, AllAboutJazz-New York)
– Dave Burrell Full Blown Trio - Expansion (High Two)
– Steve Coleman and Five Elements - Lucidarium (Label Bleu)
– Michael Moore - Floater: Jewels and Binoculars Play the Music of Bob Dylan (Ramboy)
– Dennis Gonzalez NY Quartet - Midnight Suite (Clean Feed)
– Ned Rothenberg Double Band - Parting (Moers Music)
– Chris Speed/Yeah NO - Swell Henry (Squealer Music)
~ Bruce Gallanter (Proprietor, Downtown Music Gallery)