Sunday, September 28, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

Grand Avenue Festival

This Sunday, downtown Los Angeles will host the annual Grand Avenue Festival. It's all about the arts- it will feature dance, flutes, guitars, and saxophones, etc.

At 3:15, the sax ensemble will be presenting what is called an "open rehearsal." We will be performing a variety of musical styles. (Yours truly did a basic arrangement of "In the Mood" for the group.) Look for me; I'll be the guy with the semi-curved soprano sax.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Monterey Jazz Festival

The 51st annual Monterey Jazz Festival was held this past weekend. Once again, I was unable to attend. The last time I went was documented by the souvenir on the left. Time flies! The only acts I can recall right now are Billy Eckstine and Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, but even that might not be correct.

At least recordings from the past few decades are being released. The latest batch showcases:

The Giants of Jazz, 1972 (Roy Eldridge(!), Clark Terry, Thelonious Monk, Al McKibbon & Art Blakey)

Jimmy Witherspoon, 1972, backed by the Robben Ford band

Cal Tjader, (The Best of, various years)

Tito Puente, 1977

Dave Brubeck, 1958-2007

Shirley Horn, 1994

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Where in the world is....

......Eddie Henderson? England!

At least he was at the time of this recording. One of the banes of a musician's existence is the constant travel necessary to make a living. But it does give their fans in far away places a chance to see their favorite artists. I recently got a CD by a UK quintet called Ambulance (it's led by bassist Arnie Somogyi.) It was a pleasant surprise to see that California musician Eddie Henderson was a special guest, augmenting them into a sextet. I don't have as much Eddie Henderson as I should, so this was a pleasant surprise. [If you haven't had a chance, check out his work with Pharoah Sanders (Journey to the One) and Billy Hart (Enchance).] The Ambulance CD is entitled Accident and Insurgency (Linn Records ). The program is all original material and the group is tight. The two front line reedists double extensively, so there are a lot of variety in the textures. One of the things I like about the group is that they bring something back to jazz that isn't present too much anymore - a sense of humor!