Archive for wynton marsalis

JAZZ LIVES!!! 10/20/16 – Trumpet Tribute (featuring Kenny Dorham)

Posted in Charlotte Community Rado, Jazz in Charlotte, Obscure Trumpet Masters, Who's New in Jazz with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2016 by curtjazz

JAZZ LIVES!!! with CurtJazz – Thursday, October 20: Trumpet Tribute – featuring Kenny Dorham

kennydorham_unamasOn this week’s edition of JAZZ LIVES!!! with CurtJazz, it will be all about the trumpets.

With the birthdays of Roy Hargrove, Wynton Marsalis and Dizzy Gillespie all taking place this week, plus the Grammy winning jazz trumpeter Ashlin Parker, paying tribute to the underappreciated trumpet master Kenny Dorham, in The Jazz Arts Initiative’s JAZZ ROOM this Friday and Saturday, it is a perfect time for a Trumpet Tribute, from 6 pm – 9 pm, Thursday on CharlotteCommunityRadio (CLTCRadio).

He was a trumpet player of exceptional gifts; a composer of jazz classics, such as “Blue Bossa” and a better than average vocalist. Nevertheless, McKinley Howard “Kenny” Dorham (1924-1972), often gets lost among the glut of trumpet stars of the 1950’s and 60’s. He was a member of Art Blakey’s original Jazz Messengers and he replaced Clifford Brown in Max Roach’s group after Brownie’s tragic death. Dorham’s recordings as a leader are some of the most enduring of the era, including Afro Cuban, Quiet Kenny, ‘Round About Midnight at the Café Bohemia and Una Mas. He also made memorable music as a sideman, especially with his frequent musical partner, tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson. Together, they made three classic Blue Note albums over a two year period, under Henderson’s name: Page One; Our Thing and In ‘n Out.

ashlin-parker

Ashlin Parker

Charlotte native Ashlin Parker plays with large and small ensembles nationally and internationally. His solos have been described at various times as being lyrical or fiery, with throaty growls or “brilliant vibrato,” and with lightning staccato runs or “superb legato” phrasing.  When part of a front-line, Ashlin can bring energy, bite, and zest to a performance through engaging in “fine counterpoint duets” or spirited trading with other horn players.  His newest ensemble, the Trumpet Mafia, is considered “an immensely talented band.”

Ashlin shared in the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble for the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra’s album, Book One.  Following Book One, Ashlin has recorded with numerous artists, including Ellis Marsalis, Harold Battiste, Dmitry Mospan, James Partridge, Terence Blanchard and Jason Marsalis. Ashlin has been teaching various aspects of jazz, including improvisation, theory, repertoire, arranging, and performance preparation in private lessons, courses, summer institutes, jazz camps, and master classes for more than ten years.  He has been leading the jazz trumpet studio in the Music Department at the University of New Orleans since January 2011.

Be sure to join me on JAZZ LIVES!!! with CurtJazz, as we honor the musical legacy of Kenny Dorham and play the music of Wynton Marsalis, Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Hargrove and  Ashlin Parker; Thursday, October 20; from 6 pm – 9 pm (EDT); on CLTCRadio.

Don’t miss Ashlin Parker as he pays tribute to Kenny Dorham, in the Jazz Arts Initiative’s THE JAZZ ROOM. Friday, October 21, at 6 pm & 8:15 pm and Saturday, October 22, at 7 pm and 9:15 pm. For ticket information, visit www.thejazzarts.org

JAZZ LIVES!!! with CurtJazz, airs LIVE every Thursday from 6:00pm to 9:00pm via CharlotteCommunityRadio.orgCLTCRadio.org OR use the Mixlr app where you can listen and chat with our hosts and guests alike.

Instagram: thejazzarts ashlinparker curtjazz

Twitter:  @thejazzarts  @curtjazz

Facebook: JazzArtsInitiative AshlinParker CurtJazzRadio

A New Gift from JLCO: “Big Band Holidays”

Posted in New on the Playlist, The Jazz Continues..., Video Vault with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2015 by curtjazz

Big Band HolidaysMy late father often said “The best thing to do in a hurry, is nothing.” As I’ve grown older, I’ve begun to truly appreciate the enduring wisdom in those words – for I’ve so often discovered that I make my biggest errors, when I do things for speed and not for pleasure. Such is the case with my post a couple of days ago about my favorite new Holiday Jazz Albums.

Since I decided last weekend that I was going to write something every day for the rest of the year to atone for my lack of activity over the last six months, I’d became totally focused on putting something out there, even if I hadn’t really thought it through. So when I completed the post on new Christmas Jazz, I dropped a few words and a couple of videos, and declared my mission accomplished, even though I felt as if I was missing something…it didn’t matter; at least I was making my self-imposed deadline.

I was missing something. Something that I had heard and enjoyed more, , than most of the albums in the original post – it was the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra’s Big Band Holidays; an album far richer and more complex than its simplistic title (and pedestrian cover art) would suggest.

Every December for over a decade, Wynton Marsalis, and the JLCO have come together with some of the great vocalists in jazz to perform their arrangements of some of the classic songs of the season. Thankfully many of these concerts were recorded. This year, Blue Engine Records, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s house label, assembled some of the choice selections from 2012 – 2014 concerts and released them as a compilation – featuring three of the best vocalists in jazz today, Rene Marie, Gregory Porter and Cecile McLorin Salvant and strong arrangements from some of the bands in house pros like Victor Goines, Sherman Irby and Ted Nash, plus a nod to the new testament Basie Band by including Ernie Wilkins classic arrangement of “Jingle Bells”. Big Band Holidays is a terrific jazz album first and a good Holiday album second, which is why I will probably be listening to it beyond next Friday night.

As you can see, these performances were also caught on video, so we can share a few of them with you. May these performances prove to be as timeless as my dad’s words.

Merry Christmas, everybody.

 

Birthday Video Tribute – Wynton Marsalis

Posted in The Jazz Continues..., Video Vault with tags , , on October 18, 2011 by curtjazz

He’s arguably the most well-known and controversial jazz musician to come on the scene since 1980. He’s revered by many and reviled by almost as many.

He’s Wynton Marsalis – prodigiously gifted, passionate about the music and never at a loss for words. Today he is 50 years old.

Say what you want about him, but I can remember a time when some of the greatest jazz musicians ever to walk the earth were making disco records in order make a payday.

A lot of that changed when Wynton came on the scene  (with the full faith and credit of the Columbia Records publicity machine behind him). Suddenly, “real” jazz was cool and marketable again. Was it retro? Yeah; but it had heart and soul. And someone of my age was out there standing up for the jazz tradition.

Within a few short years, those who had loved Wynton passionately in 1982, had turned on him with a vengeance, but he has kept going, in spite of the haters.

He helped make straight ahead jazz relevant again, at a time when it was in danger of disappearing completely and we’re born on the same day, one year apart. Those are two reasons why I dig Wynton.

Here are a few performances from over the years, in tribute to “E. Skain Dankworth”.

Where Are They Now? – The Tough Young Tenors

Posted in The Jazz Continues... with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 5, 2011 by curtjazz

1991 was a relatively heady time for the jazz business. In addition to all of the reissues of classics on the still ascendant CD technology, record labels were rushing to sign promising young musicians, in their search for another Wynton.

Among them were five tenor saxophonists, brought together for a one-off album by Antilles Records. None of them were well-known at the time, but they were unquestionably gifted. Their names were Walter Blanding, Jr., James Carter, Herb Harris, Tim Warfield, Jr. and Todd Williams. They were called “The Tough Young Tenors”. The title of the album: Alone Together.

Backed by an all-star rhythm section of Marcus Roberts on piano, Reginald Veal on bass and Ben Riley on drums; these brash youngsters showed that they had the goods. In solos, duos and finally in a five sax free-for-all on Sonny Stitt’s classic “The Eternal Triangle”, this album proved to be more than a blowing session – it was one of the best jazz albums of the year. At the time we knew that these cats were all destined for jazz stardom.

It did not turn out that way.

Though they were all on equal footing fame-wise at the time of the recording, they have met with varying degrees of success in the ensuing 20 years. Here, in alphabetical order, is a look at the fortunes of “The Tough Young Tenors”:

Walter Blanding, Jr.

Though he has only one album to his credit (2000’s The Olive Tree), Blanding has been quite active. He has been a member of Wynton Marsalis’ septet and his other recording credits include Marcus Printup and Eric Reed. He’s currently a member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. The great Jimmy Heath said about Blanding in the May 2011 issue of JazzTimes, “I call him ‘Walter Spicy’, ’cause there’s nothing bland about him”.

James Carter

(http://jamescarterlive.com/)

Carter is without question, the most commercially successful of the Tough Young Tenors and one of the most well-known jazz musicians of his generation. New York Magazine called him “Jazz’s first rock star” (though I still believe that title belongs to Miles Davis). His debut album JC on the Set took the jazz scene by storm in the year after Alone Together. Carter was just getting started. His 14 albums under his own name between 1992 and 2011, have fearlessly covered the jazz spectrum, from standards, to funk, to avant-garde. He has also made guest appearances with many of jazz’s legends, from Hancock to Golson to Wynton. Already this year, James Carter has released a new album, Caribbean Rhapsody and appeared on his first disc as the newest member of the venerable World Saxophone Quartet, Yes We Can.

What was predicted for all members of the group, Carter has achieved.

Herb Harris

(http://www.herbharrismusicco.com/index.html)

Like many most of the members of the group, Harris logged some time with Wynton, highlighted by his appearance on the Tune in Tomorrow soundtrack. He also appeared on Marcus Roberts’ dynamite Deep in the Shed.  However, he has undeservedly languished in obscurity for most of the last 20 years.  He has released two competent, if unspectacular albums as a leader: NY Daze & Knight, from 2001 and the contemporary flavored Some Many Second Chances in 2009. 

Tim Warfield, Jr.

(http://www.messiah.edu/departments/music/tim_warfield/)

Mr. Warfield has been the most prolific of the TYTs, next to Carter. In addition to releasing six critically acclaimed albums on Criss Cross Records, (his latest is A Sentimental Journey) he has worked with a veritable who’s who of jazz, including Stefon Harris, Christian McBride, Nicholas Payton, Shirley Scott, Jimmy Smith and Terell Stafford. He is currently an artist in residence at Messiah College in Grantham, PA. He also recently accepted an adjunct professor position on Temple University’s music department faculty.

Todd Williams

(http://twilliamsmusic.com/)

Todd Williams spent over a decade with Wynton Marsalis following TYT. He appeared on some of Wynton’s classics, such as the Soul Gestures in Southern Blue series and In This House on This MorningWilliams was also a long time member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.  The quintessential sideman, Williams has yet to release a jazz album as a leader.  Always a man of great faith, Todd decided a few years ago to leave Wynton and the LCJO to concentrate on his duties as minister of music at NYC’s Times Square Church.  At the church, he has produced an album of gospel music and spirituals, called Beautiful Things from AboveWithin the last 18 months, Todd has been quietly making appearances again on the jazz scene, leading a group in the Hudson Valley area and making a notable appearance with pianist Eli Yamin, at a White House gala.

So we find that 20 years later, these tenors are still on the scene and still pretty “tough”. If you haven’t checked any of them out in a while, now is a good time to get reacquainted.