All About Jazz: The web's most comprehensive jazz resource

Serving jazz worldwide since 1995
All About Jazz: The web's most comprehensive jazz resource

Big Band Report

The Albuquerque Jazz Orchestra Meets Fred Sturm

By Published: February 1, 2010
The Albuquerque Jazz Orchestra was onstage January 23, 2010 at the University of New Mexico's Woodward Hall for a concert featuring the compositions and arrangements of Fred Sturm, director of Jazz Studies at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. The concert was a part of the New Mexico All-State Band Competition, which was being held at the university that weekend. Preceding the AJO's performance was a brief set by UNM's Jazz Band One directed by Glenn Kostur. Its three numbers included, in order, Neal Hefti
Neal Hefti
Neal Hefti
1922 - 2008
trumpet
's "Fawncy Meeting You," Maria Schneider
Maria Schneider
Maria Schneider

band/orchestra
's "Greenpeace" and Matt Harris' laid-back samba, "Turnaround."

After opening with Belgian trumpeter Bert Joris' turbulent "Nuees D'Orage" (Storm Clouds), the AJO showcased baritone saxophonist Paul Blakey on Hank Levy

Hank Levy
1927 - 2001
sax, tenor
's "A Smith Named Greg" (written for Stan Kenton
Stan Kenton
Stan Kenton
1911 - 1979
piano
's baritone player of that name in the mid-1970s). As a special treat, director Bobby Shew
Bobby Shew
Bobby Shew
b.1941
trumpet
then introduced Pancho Romero, who founded the AJO almost 30 years ago and now teaches at New Mexico State University, for a sparkling flugel solo on Clifford Brown
Clifford Brown
Clifford Brown
1930 - 1956
trumpet
's sunny "Joy Spring."

The rest of the program was devoted to the music of Sturm who was present to introduce each of the half-dozen numbers, beginning with an off-center arrangement of Thelonious Monk

Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
1917 - 1982
piano
's "Straight, No Chaser" scored originally for trumpeter Clark Terry
Clark Terry
Clark Terry
b.1920
trumpet
. Shew was featured with pianist Chris Ishee and bassist Colin Deuble. "Do It Again," the first of two numbers by Steely Dan
Steely Dan
Steely Dan
b.1972
band/orchestra
, included solos by tenor Lee Taylor and trombonist Ben Finberg, while the second, "The Bluefly Look," encompassed a buoyant statement by trombonist John Sanks. Sturm's "A Hymn for Her" (Kent Erickson, trumpet) was marvelously played, as was the unconventional "Didgeridoo" whose droning sounds simulated those of the exotic Australian instrument. The AJO closed the concert with Sturm's arrangement of Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter
b.1933
saxophone
's strenuous "Yes and No," spotlighting Shew on trumpet and Aaron Lovato on tenor sax.

The orchestra was given a well-deserved standing ovation for a concert performance that pleased both heart and head as it deftly unscrambled Sturm's often elaborate charts.

On the Horizon...

The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, directed by trumpeter Orbert Davis

Orbert Davis
Orbert Davis
b.1960
trumpet
, is presenting "From Ella to Mandela: The Legacy of the African and American Spirit," at 7:30 p.m. March 11, 2010 in the Auditorium Theatre at Roosevelt University in Chicago. The musical exploration of the contributions of American jazz female vocalists, juxtaposed to the South African experience in a reprise of the Nelson Mandela-inspired suite, "Hope in Action," features vocalists Dee Alexander, Terisa Griffin and Maggie Brown with Ernest Dawkins
Ernest Dawkins
Ernest Dawkins
b.1953
saxophone
, Ari Brown
Ari Brown
Ari Brown
b.1944
sax, tenor
, the Soul Children of Chicago and a special appearance by T'Keyah Crystal Keymah. For more information, phone 800-982-2787.

And it's not too late to register for the Los Angeles Jazz Institute's Spring 2010 Jazz Festival May 27-30 at the Sheraton LAX Four Points Hotel. As always, there'll be concerts by well-known groups both large and small, complemented by films, panel discussions and other presentations. Among the highlights: the Gerry Mulligan

Gerry Mulligan
Gerry Mulligan
1927 - 1996
sax, baritone
Concert Band and Sextet, the Teddy Charles
Teddy Charles
Teddy Charles
1928 - 2012
vibraphone
Tentet, the Gil Evans
Gil Evans
Gil Evans
1912 - 1988
composer/conductor
Orchestra, Terry Gibbs
Terry Gibbs
Terry Gibbs
b.1924
vibraphone
playing the music of Tiny Kahn, a tribute to Stan Getz
Stan Getz
Stan Getz
1927 - 1991
sax, tenor
by Don Menza
Don Menza
Don Menza
b.1936
saxophone
, the Elliot Lawrence Big Band, a celebration of Al Cohn
Al Cohn
Al Cohn
1925 - 1988
sax, tenor
and Zoot Sims
Zoot Sims
Zoot Sims
1925 - 1985
sax, tenor
, and tributes to Bob Brookmeyer
Bob Brookmeyer
Bob Brookmeyer
1929 - 2011
trombone
, Quincy Jones
Quincy Jones
Quincy Jones
b.1933
producer
, George Russell
George Russell
George Russell
1923 - 2009
piano
, Manny Albam
Manny Albam
Manny Albam
1922 - 2001
arranger
, Johnny Carisi
Johnny Carisi
b.1922
and Alec Wilder. For more information, phone 562-985-7065 or go to www.lajazzinstitute.org

New Books

For someone who spends a sizable part of his time writing, I don't read much. Never have. For me, reading has always been a slow and tedious process, one that I usually find ways to set aside for "some other time." Which is a weak yet nonetheless honest reason why I won't be reviewing two books sent to me for that purpose from Hal Leonard Publications. They appear to be fine books, and may even be of great interest, but the best I can do is let the reader know they are available.

The first is The Pat Metheny

Pat Metheny
Pat Metheny
b.1954
guitar
Interviews: The Inner Workings of His Creativity Revealed, by Richard Niles. According to the jacket, "In 2007, composer, arranger [and all-around Renaissance man] Niles wrote, produced and hosted a three-part radio series for the BBC titled Pat Metheny—Bright Size Life." The book includes Niles' interviews with Metheny for those programs along with others he has held with the guitarist over a period of years. Also included are rare photos, music examples, a discography and comments from Lyle Mays
Lyle Mays
Lyle Mays
b.1953
keyboard
, Gary Burton
Gary Burton
Gary Burton
b.1943
vibraphone
, Jack DeJohnette
Jack DeJohnette
Jack DeJohnette
b.1942
drums
, John Patitucci
John Patitucci
John Patitucci
b.1959
bass
, Mike Metheny
Mike Metheny
Mike Metheny
b.1949
flugelhorn
and the late Michael Brecker
Michael Brecker
Michael Brecker
1949 - 2007
sax, tenor
. For Metheny fans, a sure winner.

The second book, larger in size and scope, is titled DownBeat: The Great Interviews, a 75th Anniversary Anthology. The book is a compendium of "historic and groundbreaking" interviews printed in the magazine since DownBeat was introduced in July 1934. Also included are classic photos and covers including many shots that have remained unseen since their original publication. As for the interviewees, they range from Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
1899 - 1974
piano
, Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
1920 - 1955
sax, alto
, Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
, Charles Mingus
Charles Mingus
Charles Mingus
1922 - 1979
bass, acoustic
, Lester Young
Lester Young
Lester Young
1909 - 1959
saxophone
and Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
1915 - 1959
vocalist
to such modernists as Ornette Coleman
Ornette Coleman
Ornette Coleman
b.1930
sax, alto
, Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix
1942 - 1970
guitar, electric
, Van Morrison
Van Morrison
Van Morrison
b.1945
vocalist
, Carlos Santana
Carlos Santana
Carlos Santana
b.1947
guitar
, Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa
1940 - 1993
guitar, electric
, Tom Waits
Tom Waits
Tom Waits
b.1949
vocalist
, Captain Beefheart and dozens more. In addition, there are features written by Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong
1901 - 1971
trumpet
, Julian "Cannonball" Adderley
Julian
Julian "Cannonball" Adderley
1928 - 1975
saxophone
, Chet Baker
Chet Baker
Chet Baker
1929 - 1988
trumpet
, Benny Goodman
Benny Goodman
Benny Goodman
1909 - 1986
clarinet
, Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter
b.1933
saxophone
and others, not to mention the notorious article by Jelly Roll Morton
Jelly Roll Morton
Jelly Roll Morton
1890 - 1941
piano
in which he confronts W.C. Handy
W.C. Handy
W.C. Handy
1873 - 1958
arranger
about who really "invented" Jazz, and articles by such noted writers as Studs Terkel, Nat Hentoff
Nat Hentoff
Nat Hentoff
b.1925
, Ira Gitler
Ira Gitler
b.1928
, Leonard Feather and more. The anthology was compiled and edited by DownBeat's Frank Alkyer and Ed Enright. It is conveniently divided into decades, from the 1930s through the 2000s, and closes with an interview of Dave Brubeck
Dave Brubeck
Dave Brubeck
1920 - 2012
piano
by David French. I looked for an index but couldn't find one. The hefty and attractive softcover edition runs for 352 pages and looks so inviting that I may even read some of it.

Rusty Dedrick

Trumpeter / composer Lyle "Rusty" Dedrick, who played with a number of big bands including those led by Red Norvo

Red Norvo
Red Norvo
1908 - 1999
vibraphone
/ Mildred Bailey
Mildred Bailey
Mildred Bailey
1907 - 1951
vocalist
, Ray McKinley
Ray McKinley
Ray McKinley
1910 - 1995
drums
and Claude Thornhill
Claude Thornhill
Claude Thornhill
1909 - 1965
vocalist
, died on Christmas day 2010 at his home in Summitville, NY. He was 91 years old. Dedrick's other credits include writing and / or playing with Don Elliott, Urbie Green
Urbie Green
Urbie Green
b.1926
trombone
, Maxine Sullivan
Maxine Sullivan
Maxine Sullivan
1911 - 1987
vocalist
, Lee Wiley
Lee Wiley
Lee Wiley
1915 - 1975
vocalist
and Lionel Hampton
Lionel Hampton
Lionel Hampton
1908 - 2002
vibraphone
, as well as television work with Arthur Godfrey, Ed Sullivan and Sid Caesar, among others. A pioneer in jazz education, Dedrick joined the faculty at Manhattan University in 1971 as director of Jazz Studies. In 1996, he was music director of the Smithsonian Institution's American Songbook series devoted to Fats Waller
Fats Waller
Fats Waller
1904 - 1943
piano
and Andy Razaf.

And that's it for now. Until next time, keep swingin'!


New and Noteworthy



1. Mike Barone Big Band, Flight of the Bumblebee (Rhubarb Records)
2. Peter Hand Big Band, The Wizard of Jazz (Savant)
3. Roy Hargrove Big Band, Emergence (Emarcy)
4. New York Jazz Repertory Orchestra, Le Jazz Hot (Planet Arts)
5. Chuck Owen and the Jazz Surge, The Comet's Tail (MAMA)
6. Lasse Lindgren Big Constellation, Spirits (Imogena)
7. Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, Collective Creativity (3Sixteen Records)
8. Charles Tolliver Big Band, Emperor March (HalfNote)
9. Altsys Jazz Orchestra, Watercolours (Swingin' in Time)
10. Richard Galliano / Brussels Jazz Orchestra, Ten Years Ago (Milan)
11. St. Johns River City Band, Silver Threads (no label)
12. Mike Irwin Johnson, 8 Legged Monster, Vol. 2 (Pursuance Records)
13. Mt. Hood Jazz Band / Combos, 2nd Time Around (Sea Breeze Vista)
14. Swiss Jazz Orchestra / Michael Zisman, Close Encounter (SJO)
15. The Aggregation, Groove's Mood (Edjalen Music)



comments powered by Disqus