All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

3

Jon Faddis at The Wheel

Mark Sullivan By

Sign in to view read count
Jon Faddis
The Wheel
Greenville, SC
March 8, 2018

"The Wheel Sessions" have been taking place in the funky performance space called The Wheel in Greenville, South Carolina since August, 2016. Ten bucks gets you two sets of music with many of the best jazz players in Upstate South Carolina and the Asheville, North Carolina area, plus your choice of beer or wine. There is a deep bench of excellent local performers who have graced the series, but getting famous trumpeter Jon Faddis to headline a show has to be considered a coup.

The rhythm section included several regulars in the series: veteran guitarist Jorge Garcia (a Cuban native, Garcia now lives near Greenville, but is still active in the Miami, Florida area); double bassist Mike Holstein; and drummer Kevin Korschgen (also the founder of The Wheel Sessions). They opened with the Charlie Parker classic ""Confirmation," with hot solos all around. Prompted by the jazz musician portraits that line the walls of the space, Faddis told a story about legendary drummer/bandleader Art Blakey. It seems Blakey arrived at a band meeting. The band members were expecting to get paid, and he said "I've got some bad news. I got mugged and they took all your money." After the laughter subsided Faddis noticed the Duke Ellington portrait, and called up a woman from the audience to demonstrate Ellington's European greeting technique. Kissing the woman four times, he explained "one for each cheek."

After calling Miles Davis' "All Blues" the trumpeter called two young trumpet playing proteges to the stage. Caleb Pitman lives in Greenville; Alan Blanchard made the trip from Tallahassee, Florida. They both played very well, and also got lessons on the protocol of sitting in—basics like when to come on stage and where to stand while others are soloing—firmly but humorously. The set continued with a classic bossa nova, Luiz Bonfá's "Manhã de Carnaval" from the movie Black Orpheus, followed by "A Night in Tunisia," the most well-known tune from Faddis' mentor, legendary bebop trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie.

Something reminded Faddis of a James Moody story, about the Pope calling for a late night pizza delivery. In a rush, the delivery man parked in a restricted zone. When he got back from the delivery, he found a policeman giving him a parking ticket. Protesting "I was delivering a pizza to the Pope," the cop replied "I'll tear up the ticket if you give me half of what the Pope gave you for the pizza." Faddis mimed the down-stroke of the sign of the cross.

The performance demonstrated that Faddis still has his high screech trumpet range. And the three trumpeters traded eights, then fours. An unaccompanied trumpet solo incorporated a humorous quote of "Hernando's Hideaway." Bringing the trumpeters up front for bows, Faddis joked that they made a "reverse Oreo" (white on the outside, black on the inside).

The second set began with an even younger trumpeter called to the stage (playing a borrowed trumpet, so definitely unplanned): Bobby Metaliano, who called Horace Silver's "Song For My Father." For "Mood Indigo" trombonist Brad Jepson joined in, first with a cup mute, then open. He stuck around for "Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise," joined by another Wheel regular, Tom Wright on alto sax. The horns all traded eights with the drums. The entire band then sight-read an original by drummer Kevin Korschgen titled "Blakey." This kind of surprise is typical of the entire series: an opportunity for experimentation in front of an accepting audience. During the following tune "Caravan" Faddis made a different kind of musical joke by briefly turning on the distortion pedal on Garcia's pedal board. The band then played Miles Davis' traditional rhythm changes tune "The Theme" to close.

It's a rare thing to experience jazz played largely acoustically (the only amplification was used by the guitar and bass—there were no microphones or public address system) in an intimate space, let alone jazz played on such a high professional level. The experience was bittersweet, as Korschgen announced that there would be only two more Wheel Sessions in this venue. It will become a storefront, so the series will have to find a new home. Jon Faddis generously played a second benefit show on Saturday night.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Teranga

Teranga

KOCH International Jazz
2006

buy
 

Remembrances

Chesky Records
1998

buy
 

Jon & Billy

Shanachie
1987

buy
 

Legacy

Shanachie
1985

buy

Related Articles

Read European Jazz Conference 2018 Live Reviews
European Jazz Conference 2018
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 25, 2018
Read The Magpie Salute At The Grand Point North Festival 2018 Live Reviews
The Magpie Salute At The Grand Point North Festival 2018
by Doug Collette
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Chris Isaak at The Paramount in Huntington, NY Live Reviews
Chris Isaak at The Paramount in Huntington, NY
by Christine Connallon
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Detroit Jazz Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Detroit Jazz Festival 2018
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Beethoven, Barber and Vivaldi at The Jazz Corner Live Reviews
Beethoven, Barber and Vivaldi at The Jazz Corner
by Martin McFie
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Bryan Ferry at the Macedonian Philharmonic Hall, Macedonia 2018 Live Reviews
Bryan Ferry at the Macedonian Philharmonic Hall, Macedonia...
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 16, 2018
Read "King Crimson at Lisner Auditorium" Live Reviews King Crimson at Lisner Auditorium
by Eric Thiessen
Published: November 1, 2017
Read "Damo Suzuki & Electric Octopus at The Menagerie" Live Reviews Damo Suzuki & Electric Octopus at The Menagerie
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 26, 2018
Read "Lionel Loueke Trio at A-Trane" Live Reviews Lionel Loueke Trio at A-Trane
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: February 26, 2018
Read "Mark Hagan's Jazz Salon At The Old 76 House" Live Reviews Mark Hagan's Jazz Salon At The Old 76 House
by David A. Orthmann
Published: January 31, 2018
Read "Dixie Dregs at the Boulder Theater" Live Reviews Dixie Dregs at the Boulder Theater
by Geoff Anderson
Published: April 28, 2018
Read "Crosscurrents at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor" Live Reviews Crosscurrents at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: November 15, 2017