Some things change, some things stay the same. After two successive recordings and tours with an identical lineup--a first in its now 10-year history--the SFJAZZ Collective once again undergoes some minor personnel shifts. More important, however, is that Live SFJAZZ Center 2013: The Music of Chick Corea & New Compositions comes a full two years after Live in New York Season 8--Music of Stevie Wonder (SFJAZZ, 2011), the first time that the collective has not devoted itself to the music of a different composer every year, instead, touring the Stevie Wonder music from 2011 into 2012. With each ...read more
SFJAZZ CollectiveMusical Instrument MuseumPhoenix, AZMarch 21, 2013The SFJAZZ Collective delivered an intense contemporary-jazz performance that showcased the playing and composing skills of this stellar octet, sponsored since 2004 by the non-profit SFJAZZ.The Collective's ninth annual tour is celebrating the genius of Chick Corea--the sixth keyboardist to be honored by the Collective--in new arrangements of the pianist's works, as well as original compositions, one each from the Collective's eight members. Previous tours have saluted saxophonists Ornette Coleman (2004), John Coltrane (2005) and Wayne Shorter )2008), and pianists Herbie Hancock (2006), Thelonious Monk (2007), McCoy ...read more
The SF Jazz CollectiveKoerner HallToronto, CanadaOctober 15, 2011 The eight-piece, all-star SFJAZZ Collective rolled into town with its current project, dedicated to the music of Stevie Wonder, its original arrangements reflecting the Collective's personality. Part of a successful group of this magnitude is the talent, respect, and chemistry that helps everyone contribute to the whole. They work as one with the different textures of the rich instrumentation at their disposal.Kendrick Scott's delicate drum intro quietly paved the way for trumpeter Avishai Cohen's rearrangement of Wonder's Sir Duke," featuring brief solos from tenor saxophonist ...read more
SFJAZZ Collective The Music of Stevie Wonder Centrepoint Theatre, Ottawa, Canada October 13, 2011 In its eight-year existence, the SFJAZZ Collective has gone from triumph to triumph, each year choosing a specific artist to honor--past years including pianist Herbie Hancock and saxophonists Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane and Wayne Shorter--and giving each of its eight members the mandate of coming up with a new arrangement and a new composition, making the Collective the best kind of jazz laboratory; one where the heroes of the past are celebrated alongside these relatively young icons in the ...read more
SFJAZZ Collective Live in New York Season 8: Music of Stevie Wonder SFJAZZ 2011 One old adage says, If it ain't broke, don't fix it." But another says, Change is good." For the first time in its eight touring seasons, the SFJAZZ Collective has found a way to manage both. This is the first time that the lineup has remained constant from one year to the next, with the 2011 incarnation identical to that which released Live 2010: 7th Annual Concert Tour (SFJAZZ, 2010). But while previous seasons have found ...read more
Despite a format that's become, by definition, formulaic, the SFJAZZ Collective has managed to defy weary predictability, releasing a new collection, each and every year, which pays a most modern tribute to another of jazz's most iconic figures. Every year since 2004, the Collective's members each select music from the chosen artist's discography, creating arrangements with both respect and a healthy dose of irreverence, in addition to contributing a new piece of original music intended to somehow fit within the broader contextual purview of the chosen artist's oeuvre. 2010's chosen artist was pianist/bandleader Horace Silver, and the three-disc, sixteen-track Live ...read more
SFJAZZ CollectiveNighttownCleveland Heights, OhioOctober 16, 2010 Since 2004, the SFJAZZ Collective, an octet of world-class musicians in the prime of their careers (no legends" meat wagon, this), has toured the world, spreading the jazz gospel. Two members remain from the initial group--vibes player Stefon Harris and alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón. And, while certainly a vehicle to promote its parent organization, SFJAZZ, the nonprofit jazz institution that, among other things, presents the annual San Francisco Jazz Festival, the Collective can also be seen as a dutiful, vital instrument in that mythically quixotic quest ...read more
From its formation in 2004, SFJAZZ Collective has demonstrated a unique ability to showcase individual talent while simultaneously maintaining a unified ensemble sound. Live 2009 is a magnificent representation of this delicate balance. The Collective's 2009 tour featured compositions by pianist McCoy Tyner arranged by members of the collective, and one original composition by each player.
The arrangements portray the diverse styles and musical backgrounds of the Collective's members, while keeping the spirit of the original recordings. Pianist Renee Rosnes' Fly with the Wind" and trombonist Robin Eubanks' Indo-Serenade/Parody" are the strongest arrangements of Tyner's music, taking full advantage of ...read more
SFJAZZ CollectiveDominion-Chalmers United Church Ottawa, Canada March 1, 2009
It was a stellar weekend for jazz in Ottawa, Canada. First, on Saturday, February 26 fans were treated to an intimate but outstanding evening of music by local bassist John Geggie and his guests, guitarist Vic Juris and drummer John Fraboni. Then, the following evening, the SFJAZZ Collective made its first appearance in town (sponsored by the TD Canada Trust Ottawa International Jazz Festival), with one of its strongest line-ups ever--saxophonists Joe Lovano (tenor) and Miguel Zenón (alto); trumpeter Dave Douglas; trombonist Robin Eubanks; ...read more
SFJazz Collective is not unfamiliar with personnel turnover. Since the octet's debut in 2004, there has been at least one lineup change every year. This season, though, saw three new arrivals--the most notable being Joe Lovano, who succeeds Joshua Redman as Artistic Director. When you factor in Dave Douglas' addition in 2007, that means half the band (and most of the front line) was switched out in just over a year. As such, Live 2008 could be forgiven for being a transitional release. Fortunately, this date is anything but transitional, though upheaval is the order of the day. ...read more
SFJazz CollectiveLive at Jazz à VienneSFJazz2008 The SFJazz Collective is arguably the most perfectly conceived formation ever to deal with the seemingly contradictory forces in jazz of tradition versus innovation and composition versus improvisation. The DVD Live At Jazz à Vienne, recorded in France during the band's 2007 international tour, is a fine example of just how well it lives up to the imperatives of creative jazz.The genius of the concept behind the SF Jazz Collective is the balance struck between repertorial reconstruction and newly-commissioned compositions. Each year since its ...read more
SFJAZZ CollectiveLive at Jazz à VienneSFJAZZ2008While the repertory on Live at Jazz à Vienne comes from SFJazz Collective's then-unreleased CD Live 2007: 4th Annual Concert Tour (SFJAZZ), the unit that ambles onstage here and launches into the chaotic opening of Thelonious Monk's Brilliant Corners is very different from the lineup featured on the double-live disc. Gone are Joshua Redman and Bobby Hutcherson; they had been with the Collective from the beginning, with Redman doubling as artistic director. Losing one player of this caliber would put a hitch in any band's get-along; losing ...read more
After releasing the outstanding double-disc Live 2006: 3rd Annual Concert Tour (SFJazz Records, 2006), the SFJazz Collective could have pulled up their laurels and rested for a spell. Instead, the eight-piece super-band has punched out Live 2007: 4th Annual Concert Tour, another two-disc set that is a fine portrait of a group ably navigating transition.
Thelonious Monk gets the star treatment that Herbie Hancock received on 2006, with three significant differences.
First, while Hancock shared Miles Davis' exploratory nature, Monk preferred to make a statement and move on; although the Collective does expand on their choices from Monk's ...read more
The SF Jazz Collective's 2004 inaugural season resulted in an eponymous live recording of reworked Ornette Coleman tunes and originals, SF Jazz Collective (Nonesuch, 2005). The second disc in the series, also part of an independently released multidisc set, offers further evidence of the new mainstream's potential for modernity and innovation through a special focus on the music of John Coltrane. It also demonstrates the continued growth of saxophonist/artistic director Joshua Redman, who has only recently begun to deliver on earlier promises. Five of the eight original members returned for the second season, so there's enough continuity ...read more
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