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The jazz pot is still perking in Philadelphia over the next two weeks with some of the finest musicians and singers working anywhere today.
KIMMEL CENTER, Broad and Chestnut Streets, (215. 893.1900) showcases the Marcus Roberts Trio and the San Francisco Jazz Collective Swing at Verizon Hall, March 24, 8 p.m. with tickets $71-30. Roberts piano work has been hailed nationwide The S.F. group features such all stars as Joshua Redman, Bobby Hutcherson, Nicholas Payton, Miguel Zenon, Roland Guerin and Jason Morales, drums. Morales, youngest brother in that famed musical family, has built his own rep. This promises to be a swinging night.
The Roy Haynes Quartet joined by Danilo Perez bring a touch of Boston jazz in the Mellon/Up Close Series on April 1 at 7:30 p.m. for tickets $41-36. Haynes, a top Boston area drummer, reportedly a favorite of Charlie Parker was declared a living national treasure in 1988. Pianist Perez from Panama, worked with Dizzy Gillespie, earned several Gammy nominations and one award, and is a master of the post bop Latin style.
LA ROSE JAZZ SUPPER CLUB, 5531 Germantown Avenue (215.248.4415) that brings the joy of the Tony Williams Quartet every weekend has the added treat of powerhouse, local jazz tenor sax legend, Bootsie Barnes with his quartet on March 31 and the marvelous vocalist Barbara Montgomery on April 1. Bootsie always excites audiences with his superb blasts and ballads. His fine group will include Duane Eubanks, Sid Simmons, Chris Beck and Rashan Carter.
On March 25, Barbara Montgomery will join sax star, Tony Williams, who always plays one of the most distinctive jazz horns working today.. Montgomery is unquestionably, the loveliest, most varied jazz stylist in town. She can sing powerful blues and haunting ballads and bring pop classics back to life with her distinctive. passionate voice. She has several CDs out, but it is always a pleasure to see her sing. With looks such as hers she could just stand in front of the mike and people (or at least many men) would go home happy.
ZANZIBAR BLUE, the most sophisticated jazz club in town, Broad and Walnut Streets, (215.732.4500) has the reported queen of Brazilian jazz, vocalist, Flora Furim with Airto Moreira on traps on March 24- 26. Shows at 7:45/10 p.m. except for Sunday at 7&9 p.m. for $30 cover. Purim and Airto have worked together for some 30 years. She has been nominated for two Gammy awards and has won two for best CD with Dizzy Gillespie and the Grateful Dead. Purim's six octave voice has given her a four-time recipient of Downbeat for best female jazz singer and Moreira has been called the best percussionist by Jazz Times and Modern Drummer with 20 Downbeat awards.
Hiromi comes in March 31-April 1 for shows at 7:45/10 p.m. at $30.
THE PAINTED BRIDE ART CENTER, 230 Vine Street (215.925.9914) goes on with its weekly varied jazz shows, bringing in Amir ElSaffar and his ensemble on March 25,7/9 p.m. for tickets $25/$12. ElSaffar has worked from Baghdad to New York and performed with the likes of Cecil Taylor, Billy Hart and Randy Brecker. He moved through Europe and brings together an ensemble to integrate maqam and jazz. His trumpet and vocals are haunting.
CHRIS' JAZZ CAFE, 1421 SANSOM STREET (215.568.3131) has a steady flow of varied jazz over the next few weeks. March 24 has Brian Betz with his CD release party for Dichotomy, at 9p.m.-1a.m; March 25 with John Patitucci Trio and Ed Simon and Artor Sanchez for $25; March 31, Grant Stewart and John Swana Quartet for $15 with a late night of Ken Fowser and the Gig Shane Quartet for $8. This little club continues to provide the most varied jazz in town.
HINGE CAFE AND ART HOUSE, 2652 E. Somerset Street, (215.425.6614) features a Lou Lanza CD release party for $15. Lanza, a singer with a text book knowledge of varied musical styles will undoubtedly be singing several selections from his new CD called Blue. They include such standards as "Black Coffee and "Why Shouldn't I along with probably lesser known numbers such as "Help and "Two Voices .
Jazz is a creative explosion of individual freedom and communication.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was a kid. My father had a music store.
The best live performance I ever attended was Kenny Garrett in Harlem, New York.
The first jazz record I bought was Saxophone Colossus by Sonny Rollins.
My advice to new listeners is keep listening!