Farewell, Sir John
After an intermission, the AJO delved into a pair of tantalizing charts by Sturm, "The Goodbye Look" and Australian-inspired "Didgeridoo," before Wendholt and the ensemble wrapped things up with the trumpeter's "Her Allure," the well-named "Abstraktes Bild," Johnny Green's classic "Body and Soul" and Wayne Shorter's free-flowing "Black Nile." Besides Wendholt and Shew, the evening's admirable soloists included tenor saxophonist Lee Taylor, trombonist Ben Finberg and pianist Chris Ishee. Bassist Maren Hatch and drummer Chase Ellison provided a durable foundation for their improvisations. A delightful concert from beginning to end.
Remembering Stacy Rowles
A day-long memorial service and celebration of the life of trumpeter Stacy Rowles, who died October 27 2009 at age 54 from injuries sustained in an auto accident a month earlier, was held January 10 in the recently remodeled auditorium at the Musicians Union in Hollywood, California. A number of groups and musicians performed including several with whom Rowles had played including The Peak Experience, led by bassist Mike Peak; the Jazz Birds, a quintet formed by Rowles and the late multi-instrumentalist Betty O'Hara in the 1980s; and saxophonist Ann Patterson's superb big band, Maiden Voyage. The attendance was large, the sentiments heartfelt, the result a wonderful tribute to a brilliant and well-loved musician.
New Jazz Film to Probe Early Deaths
Howard Fischer, an attorney who founded the New York Jazz Museum in 1972, is producing and directing a new film, They Died Before 40, designed to examine and shed light on the early deaths of such jazz luminaries as Charlie Parker, Herschel Evans, Charlie Christian, Fats Waller, Jimmy Blanton, Bunny Berigan, Clifford Brown, Chick Webb, Chu Berry and more. "Through archival film footage, photographs, reminiscences and expert discourse," Fischer writes, the film will delve into the lives of these musicians, "develop an appreciation of their artistry and reveal how and why their careers were cut short." Dan Morgenstern, director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University and a renowned jazz historian, author, editor and archivist, is to serve as a consultant for the film that will also examine the lives and careers of Bix Beiderbecke, Fats Navarro, Oscar Pettiford, Eric Dolphy, Paul Chambers, Serge Chaloff, Sonny Berman, Frank Teschemacher, Lee Morgan and about a dozen others. Film footage, photographs and documents are being sought along with reminiscences from friends, family members, musicians and others who knew any of those to be profiled. Contact Howard Fischer by phone at 212-579-0689 or by e-mail, email@example.com
On the Calendar
New York City's Vanguard Jazz Orchestra is setting up camp in Assisi, Italy, this summer, offering an intensive week-long workshop / performance program July 10-15 2010 for students, musicians and educators from around the world. The agenda includes big band master classes, small group workshops, a composers forum, music industry seminars, student ensemble performances, band director workshops and advanced classes for professional musicians. For information, contact Thomas Bellino, Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, 917-699-5339, or via e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org