That's Ten Down, And...
Shew reappeared after intermission, this time as guest soloist with trumpeter Gabriel Alegria's sextet, which plays music described by the leader as Afro-Peruvian Jazz. Whatever it's called, it is high-energy, mind-blowing music, led by a pair of phenomenal percussionists, Freddy "Huevito" Lobaton and Hugo Alcazar, who dazzled the audience with near-supersonic exchanges that had everyone gasping and cheering for more. Alcazar played drums, Lobaton everything else. Rounding out the sextet were tenor saxophonist Laurandrea Leguia, guitarist Yuri Juarez and bassist Ramon Debruyin. While Shew was a guest on Alegria's first album, Nuevo Mundo (as were Bill Watrous, Tierney Sutton, Russell Ferrante and Lisa Harriton), this was the first time he'd played with the group in a concert setting, and was clearly enjoying himself. Mackrel, seated in the audience, was duly impressed by the ensemble and its percussionists, and hurried onstage afterward to shake their hands. The album, by the way, is available from Saponegro Records (www.saponegro.com). If that doesn't work, send an e-mail to Alegria (email@example.com)
Later this month, Shew and fellow trumpeter Wayne Bergeron (another former student, as is Alegria) will perform with the AJO in a fund-raising concert for the Manzano High School Jazz Band. We'll say more about that later.
A Photographic "Jam Session"
Meridian International Center, a Washington, DC-based non-profit organization that promotes international understanding through the exchange of people, ideas and the arts, is presenting Jam Session: America's Jazz Ambassadors Embrace The World, an exhibit that opens to the public April 4 in Meridian's Cafritz Gallery. Jam Session consists of more than eighty photographs of legendary jazz artists including Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Dave Brubeck, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Miles Davis and others as they traveled the world for the U.S. State Department during the Cold War (from the mid-50s until 1978).
Brubeck himself will be at Meridian on April 11, offering insights on his goodwill visits overseas and performing with the Dave Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet. In August, the exhibit will begin a two-year tour to venues around the country. Meridian is working with the Brubeck Institute at California's University of the Pacific to arrange an event marking the fiftieth anniversary of Brubeck's first State Department tour. The DC exhibit will remain open until July 13. Viewing hours are 2-5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, and admission is free. For information, phone 202-483-0429.
Teo Macero, a record producer, composer and saxophonist who was best known for his work with trumpeter Miles Davis in the late 1960s and early 1970s, died February 19 in Riverhead, NY. He was eighty-two years old.
Although Macero produced most of Davis' catalog for Columbia Records including the albums Kind Of Blue, Sketches Of Spain, Someday My Prince Will Come, Bitches Brew and In A Silent Way, that was only a part of his musical career, as he worked also with such luminaries as Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Thelonious Monk, Count Basie, Johnny Mathis, Dave Brubeck, J.J. Johnson, Tony Bennett, Charlie Byrd, Stan Getz and many others while at Columbia. He produced the first Columbia recordings by Monk (Monk's Dream) and Mingus (Mingus Ah Um), as well as Brubeck's most popular album, Time Out.
Macero worked as a tenor saxophonist with Mingus, Teddy Charles and others while composing modern classical music and Third Stream Jazz before joining Columbia Records as a music editor in 1957. He later produced a number of Broadway original cast recordings including A Chorus Line and Bye Bye Birdie, which introduced Dick Van Dyke to Broadway audiences. After leaving Columbia in 1975, Macero continued composing orchestral works and ballets for various symphony orchestras and ballet companies, and worked as a producer for Brubeck, Bennett, Herbie Hancock, Michel Legrand, Wallace Roney, Shirley Maclaine, Vernon Reid, Robert Palmer and others. He also released a handful of his own albums before founding his own label, Teorecords, in 1999. A documentary film, Play That, Teo, is currently being produced by Olana DiGirolamo, daughter of Macero's friend and collaborator, Orlando DiGirolamo.
One More Reminder
The Los Angeles Jazz Institute is presenting another four-day Jazz event, "The Stage Door Swings," May 22-25 at the LAX Four Points Sheraton Hotel in LA. The theme is Broadway musicals, and the performers include many of the West Coast's leading jazz musicians including Jack Sheldon, Marty Paich, Lennie Niehaus, Helen Merrill, Pinky Winters and Tierney Sutton, along with part-time West Coasters Bud Shank, Bobby Shew, Ken Peplowski and Joel Kaye. An early-bird concert on May 21 will feature music by the Dave Pell Octet. For information and reservations, phone 562-985-7065 or log on to lajazzinstitute.org.
And that's it for now. Until next time, keep swingin.'..!