Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Mardi Gras and the Burning River Jazz Band!

Mardi Gras is here! Today my Burning River Jazz Band will be playing the Fatima Family Center between 1 and 2pm, sponsored by Roots Of American Music ...
Then, we'll be swinging hard, leading our 5th Annual Mardi Gras Party at Akron's DownBeat rated nightclub, BLU Jazz+
Hope to see you there!
Eric Seddon - clarinet & soprano sax
George Foley - piano
Kevin T Richards - guitar (BLU only)
Gene Epstein - upright bass
Bill Fuller - drums & musical conscience of the band













Wednesday, February 19, 2020

100 Jazz Tunes Everyone Should Hear (#32) Paul Desmond with Dave Brubeck - Audrey


#32 - Paul Desmond with Dave Brubeck - Audrey - 1955

The opening number of the Dave Brubeck Quartet's first album - Brubeck Time - is immediately gripping in its understated beauty, inspired by actress Audrey Hepburn. Extra points for anyone who can catch the Mahler quote in Brubeck's intro.



This is not a comprehensive list, nor is it representative of the "most important" or "best." Instead, following Duke Ellington's adage that the greatest music and musicians are "beyond category", I'm starting 2020 by sharing 100 jazz tunes I feel everyone should have the chance to hear--really just tunes and performances that I love. ]




Tuesday, February 18, 2020

100 Jazz Tunes Everyone Should Hear (#31) Peggy Lee

#31 - Peggy Lee - My Heart Belongs to Daddy

I've always loved the way Peggy Lee got a band to eat out of her hand...how she holds them back till they burst...how they jump when she whispers...no whispering here, but you get the idea.



This is not a comprehensive list, nor is it representative of the "most important" or "best." Instead, following Duke Ellington's adage that the greatest music and musicians are "beyond category", I'm starting 2020 by sharing 100 jazz tunes I feel everyone should have the chance to hear--really just tunes and performances that I love. ]


Some Upcoming Dates

For those of you around the Cleveland/Akron area, here are some upcoming dates where you can catch me in various groups.









Friday, February 14, 2020

100 Jazz Tunes Everyone Should Hear (#30) Artie Shaw - My Funny Valentine


#30 - Artie Shaw - My Funny Valentine

Hey, it's February 14th, so why not? This version also happens to be one of the great, final recording of Artie Shaw and his Gramercy 5



This is not a comprehensive list, nor is it representative of the "most important" or "best." Instead, following Duke Ellington's adage that the greatest music and musicians are "beyond category", I'm starting 2020 by sharing 100 jazz tunes I feel everyone should have the chance to hear--really just tunes and performances that I love. ]


Thursday, February 13, 2020

100 Jazz Tunes Everyone Should Hear (#29) Jelly Roll Morton * The Chant


#29 - Jelly Roll Morton - The Chant (1926)

This band, people...this band...listen to how organically and easily they hit everything together, and the perfect delineations of the colors of the instruments...it's beautiful...no sacrifice of soul for balance, or balance for soul...incredible...




This is not a comprehensive list, nor is it representative of the "most important" or "best." Instead, following Duke Ellington's adage that the greatest music and musicians are "beyond category", I'm starting 2020 by sharing 100 jazz tunes I feel everyone should have the chance to hear--really just tunes and performances that I love. ]


Tuesday, February 11, 2020

100 Jazz Tunes Everyone Should Hear (#28) Lyle Mays with Pat Metheny

#28 - When We Were Free - Pat Metheny - 1996

The Pat Metheny Group played a inordinately large role in my life as a listening musician from the time I was in High School onward. In 1996, they released an album called Quartet which still stands as a beautiful anomaly in their output, being largely unplugged. The music is intimate, relaxed, often whimsical, always highly imaginative.

"When We Were Free" is a gem: a beautiful, simple jazz waltz with a melody you somehow feel you've always known. For me, it's also one of the defining moments in Lyle Mays's career; at least it's a gift that I've mulled over since first hearing it. His chorus begins at around the  3:14 mark. His basic idea for the solo seems so simple, but so original. By the 4:25 mark the whole solo comes to fruition beautifully. Mays's whole approach here made me rethink the idea of a solo, and what one could do with patience and careful discernment.

R.I.P. Lyle Mays (1953-2020). Thank you for all the beautiful music. And thank you for what it taught those of us blessed to listen.



This is not a comprehensive list, nor is it representative of the "most important" or "best." Instead, following Duke Ellington's adage that the greatest music and musicians are "beyond category", I'm starting 2020 by sharing 100 jazz tunes I feel everyone should have the chance to hear--really just tunes and performances that I love. ]