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Big Band Report

Toshiko Akiyoshi: The Music Keeps Her Young

By Published: August 2, 2010
After this column had been written, news was received that the talented thirty-eight-year-old British drummer Chris Dagley had died in a motorcycle accident while returning home to Ruislip on July 28 from a gig in London with Ronnie Scott
Ronnie Scott
Ronnie Scott
1927 - 1996
sax, tenor
's house band. Chris was the drummer on the first album I ever reviewed, by Great Britain's superb National Youth Jazz Orchestra, and like other NYJO alumni had gone on to become one of the country's leading jazz musicians. "Bright, friendly and conscientious," wrote Jack Massarik at Jazzwisemagazine.com, "he was a crisp, hard-swinging drummer who took pride in his work and never gave it less than 100 percent." Dagley not only worked with such jazz greats as saxophonists Benny Golson
Benny Golson
Benny Golson
b.1929
sax, tenor
and Don Weller
Don Weller
Don Weller
b.1940
and trumpeter Randy Brecker
Randy Brecker
Randy Brecker
b.1945
trumpet
but with the BBC Big Band and pop stars including Liza Minnelli
Liza Minnelli
Liza Minnelli
b.1946
vocalist
, Bette Midler, Lionel Ritchie and the Osmonds. "One of the best drummers we've ever had," said Bill Ashton
Bill Ashton
Bill Ashton
b.1936
, NYJO's director-emeritus. And that about sums it up. Our sincere condolences to Chris Dagley's widow and their three young children.

Bits 'n Pieces

The world-class Brussels Jazz Orchestra is coming to America and will be in residence October 26-31 at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola in New York City with guest soloist Kenny Werner
Kenny Werner
Kenny Werner
b.1951
piano
. For information, contact Jazz@LincolnCenter.

Speaking of Jazz at Lincoln Center and its administrator, Wynton Marsalis
Wynton Marsalis
Wynton Marsalis
b.1961
trumpet
, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has announced that the Marsalis family (all of them) are among the recipients of the 2011 Jazz Masters Awards, the first time in its history that the NEA has presented a group award. The Marsalis family includes patriarch Ellis, a pianist and educator, and his four sons: trumpeter Wynton, saxophonist Branford, trombonist Delfeayo and drummer Jason. The other 2011 honorees are flutist Hubert Laws
Hubert Laws
Hubert Laws
b.1939
flute
, saxophonist David Liebman, composer / arranger Johnny Mandel
Johnny Mandel
Johnny Mandel
b.1925
arranger
and record producer / author Orrin Keepnews. The award ceremony will be held next January at Lincoln Center.

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

New and Noteworthy

1. Stan Kenton Alumni Band, Have Band, Will Travel (Summit)

2. Sheryl Bailey / 3 Rivers Jazz Orchestra A New Promise (MCG Jazz)

3. Phil Woods / DePaul University Jazz Ensemble, Solitude (Jazzed Media)

4. Des Moines Big Band, Landmark (No Label)

5. Mulligan Mosaics Big Band, Live at the Jazz Showcase (No Label)

6. Big Crazy Energy NY Big Band, Inspirations, Vol. 1 (Rosa Records)

7. Vince Norman / Joe McCarthy Big Band, Bright Future (OA2 Records)

8. Dave Lisik Orchestra, Coming Through Slaughter (Galloping Crow)

9. Roberto Magris / Europlane Orchestra, Current Views (Soul Note)

10. Toronto Jazz Orchestra, The Path (TJO)

11. David Berger Jazz Orchestra, Sing Me a Love Song (Such Sweet Thunder)

12. University of Northern Iowa, Strange Wonderful (UNI Jazz)

13. Stone Bratt Big Band, Untitled (No Label)

14. North Texas State College, The Road to Stan (90th Floor Records)

15. Northeastern State University, Portrait (NSU Jazz Lab)


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