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Jazz Appreciation Month 2014 in Philadelphia: A Recap

Jason Fifield By

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A little birthday celebration for "jazz wife" Dawn Evans with several members of the Philadelphia jazz community at my neighbor Orrin Evans' house in Mt. Airy punctuated another fantastic musical weekend. A sip of good old-fashioned corn and I was on my way to the next gig...

Which was that Sunday night recording vocalist Jill Salkin at the aforementioned New Leaf Club, with her band including Frank Strauss and Chico Huff, among others—inspirational cats all. A wonderful feeling was in the air at her CD release, with singers in the crowd joining Jill on an original sing-along. Looking forward to next season's Jazz Bridge series at the New Leaf, with hostess Denise Montana at the helm.

As if all that wasn't enough, twin big bands capped this year's jazz month of April. Shooting another video at UArts with the Paul Jost Trio being joined by the UArts student "Z" Big band, most of whom were seniors, and all of whom have bright futures in the music industry.

We wrapped up jazz month with the inimitable Orrin Evans "Captaining" his big, bad band. I have been fortunate to see this band grow from its inception as a workshop at Chris' Jazz Cafe to where it is now as a full blown gale force to be reckoned with, a band of urgency, intense arranging and raw power.

With new release video projects for Joanna Pascale, Paul Jost and the Captain Black Big Band means that April showers should bear several beautiful May flowers. Those of us who take part in the Philly scene know that jazz, or whatever you care to call this many petaled creative improvised music, is here year round.

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