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Big Band Report

Moody's Mood Was Always Happy

By Published: January 7, 2011
About playing jazz, Taylor once said, "Just because you make it look easy doesn't mean you didn't spend eight hours a day practicing the piano." Billy Taylor paid his dues but always made it look easy, as he did everything else in life.

Out and About

Although the jazz scene in Albuquerque has been as cold as the weather recently, I did manage to attend one concert, a tribute to Clifford Brown
Clifford Brown
Clifford Brown
1930 - 1956
trumpet
by trumpeter Bobby Shew
Bobby Shew
Bobby Shew
b.1941
trumpet
's quintet, at Vernon's Steakhouse on December 10. Sharing the front line with Shew was Glenn Kostur, normally an alto player who moved to tenor to more closely epitomize the Clifford Brown-Max Roach
Max Roach
Max Roach
1925 - 2007
drums
, which employed such prominent tenors as Sonny Rollins
Sonny Rollins
Sonny Rollins
b.1930
saxophone
, Harold Land
Harold Land
Harold Land
1928 - 2001
sax, tenor
and Teddy Edwards
Teddy Edwards
Teddy Edwards
1924 - 2003
sax, tenor
. Veteran drummer Cal Haines was joined in the rhythm section by a pair of newcomers: pianist Jim Ahrends (Los Angeles) and bassist Michael Glynn (Portland, OR). Betty was unable to come with me, and I stayed for only the first set, which included "Blues Walk," "Gertrude's Bounce" (by pianist Richie Powell
Richie Powell
b.1931
who was killed with Clifford in that horrendous auto accident in June 1956), "Delilah," "Sweet Clifford," Brown's arrangement of "Stompin' at the Savoy," "Brownie Speaks" and Benny Golson
Benny Golson
Benny Golson
b.1929
sax, tenor
's memorable tribute, "I Remember Clifford." The quintet re-created Brown's blazing solo on the rapid-fire "Brownie Speaks," which Shew had adapted for a concert in Europe some years ago. I hope the second set was as pleasing as the first, and that the group played such classics by Brownie as "Daahoud" and "Joy Spring." I'm sorry I couldn't stay but it was past my bedtime.

No News Is Good News?

I've not learned anything more since the initial announcement a few months back about the next Ken Poston-L.A. Jazz Institute event, the "Big Band Olympics," set for May 26-29 at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott Hotel. Last we heard, groups set to take part included bands led by Bill Holman
Bill Holman
Bill Holman
b.1927
band/orchestra
, Michel Legrand
Michel Legrand
Michel Legrand
b.1932
piano
, Rob Pronk, Chris Walden
Chris Walden
Chris Walden

arranger
and John Altman
John Altman

saxophone
; a Toshiko Akiyoshi
Toshiko Akiyoshi
Toshiko Akiyoshi
b.1929
piano
-Lew Tabackin
Lew Tabackin
Lew Tabackin
b.1940
sax, tenor
West Coast Reunion featuring Bobby Shew, Gary Foster
Gary Foster
Gary Foster
b.1936
reeds
and Steve Huffsteter; and tributes to the legendary Clarke-Boland Big Band and Rob McConnell
Rob McConnell
Rob McConnell
1935 - 2010
trombone
and the Boss Brass (with appearances by Boss Brass alumni, and we hope that includes Guido Basso
Guido Basso
Guido Basso
b.1937
). For information, phone 562-200-5477 or go online to www.lajazzinstitute.org

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

New and Noteworthy

1. Ray Brown's Great Big Band, Kayak (Brown Cats Productions)

2. Marcus Shelby Orchestra, Soul of the Movement (Porto Franco Records)

3. Dan Gailey Jazz Orchestra, What Did You Dream? (OA2)

4. Dani Felber Big Band, More Than Just Friends (No Label)

5. Navy Commodores, Directions (Commodores Jazz)

6. Bobby Watson / UMKC Jazz Orchestra, Gates BBQ Suite (Lafiya Music)

7. Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra, Mezzanine (Owl Studios)

8. Kurt Rosenwinkel and OJM, Our Secret World (Word of Mouth Music)

9. Mike Barone Big Band, Live 2005! Redux (Rhubarb Records)

10. Paquito D'Rivera / WDR Big Band, Improvise—One (Connector Records)

11. University of North Texas One O'Clock Lab Band, Lab 2010 (UNT Jazz)

12. Stephen Guerra Big Band, Namesake (Bada Beep Music)

13. Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, The Endless Search (Origin)

14. Western Australia Youth Jazz Orchestra, Road to Red Hill (WAYJO)

15. Capital University Big Band, Swingin' Our Way Through Europe (CU Jazz)

Photo Credit

Kay-Christian Heine


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