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“Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn. They teach you there’s a boundary line to music. But, man, there’s no boundary line to art.” - Charlie Parker
 
 Saturday, 20 September 2014
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The World of Steven Hobert: Improvising Through "Ocean Eyes" E-mail
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
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Ocean Eyes

"My vision is to create an authentic expression of my passion & play through music and let it sing out into the world." --Steven Hobert

Steven Hobert is one of those musicians that tends to stun you when you hear him because he typically flies under the radar. We hear him on piano with the Adam Meckler Orchestra, on accordion with Lulu's Playground, but rarely as leader or interpreter of his own creations. He played a solo set during the 2014 Twin Cities Jazz Festival, which provided a preview of some of the bold original works and spontaneous improvisations that form the bulk of the material on his new recording, Ocean Eyes. It's a release that should open eyes, and ears, to one of the more creative minds in the region. And the release will be celebrated this weekend, in Eau Claire (September 19) and St Paul (September 20).

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The 2014 Montreal Jazz Liturgy and Dialogic Sessions E-mail
Written by Sheila Horne Mason; Photographs by Kevin R. Mason   

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Rev. Peter Woods
 

Each year, the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal presents an abundance of musical offerings, and inspires several of jazz-related events in the city. (See general review of the 2014 festival.)

The Fourth Annual Jamming at St. James—A Jazz Liturgy

Jamming at St. James, the jazz liturgy held on Sunday, June 29 at Montréal’s historic St. James United Church, was started by respected Canadian educator Professor Norman Cornett. Professor Cornett’s numerous activities kept him from hosting this year, although he was in attendance.  The service started with “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore,” which initially seemed like a surprising choice for a liturgy. This year’s host, Reverend Peter Woods (who did double duty on the saxophone), explained that he had once played it at a funeral, because the deceased had wanted that song. The congregation got a good laugh, realizing just how appropriate the song was for the occasion! During the liturgy, Cantor Stephanie Hradsky added her beautiful voice to the proceedings.

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Monterey must-sees: our Top Six picks for the 57th annual Monterey Jazz Festival and why E-mail
Written by Pamela Espeland   
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Cecile McLorin Salvant by John Abbott
 
 
Deciding to attend the Monterey Jazz Festival is easy, especially once you’ve been there. It only takes one time to fall in love with the music, the ambience, and the setting, a WPA-era fairgrounds with winding paths and mature trees and a mixture of buildings that three weeks ago hosted the Monterey County Fair, complete with pig races. This will be our 10th consecutive year at the longest continuously running jazz festival in the world, co-founded in 1958 by Jimmy Lyons and Ralph J. Gleason with a big helping hand from Dave Brubeck, who paved the way by performing for the Monterey City Council in 1957 with his quartet. He charmed them, then graced the festival 15 times in 55 years.

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New York Guitarist Joel Harrison at Jazz Central, September 20 E-mail
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   

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Joel Harrison
 

"A guitar genius." -- Chris Waddington, New Orleans Times Picayune

"Best unknown guitarist in America" --Brent Black, www.criticaljazz.com

A veteran of the New York jazz scene, guitarist/composer Joel Harrison makes a rare visit to the Twin Cities this week, appearing on the program for the Arts Midwest Conference. On Saturday, September 20,  he joins bassist Chris Bates and drummer Pete Hennig at Jazz Central Studios at 8 pm, performing music from Harrison's latest recording, Mother Stump.

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Monk in Motian Returns, September 19 at Jazz Central Studios E-mail
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   

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Zacc Harris©Andrea Canter
 

“You know, anybody can play a composition and use far-out chords and make it sound wrong. It’s making it sound right that’s not easy." -- Thelonious Monk, 1961

For many years, only the most sophisticated jazz musicians, including Coleman Hawkins and John Coltrane, appreciated the genius of Thelonious Monk. One of the greatest (and most prolific) composers of the 20th century, today Monk is celebrated for his many compositions that are part of the standard repertoire of jazz, from straight ahead to avant garde. Not only did Monk write hundreds of tunes, his off-kilter structures and rhythms offer endless avenues for interpretation regardless of stylistic leanings.  One such group of interpreters is the local ensemble, Monk in Motian, founded about five years ago by guitarist Zacc Harris and on hiatus for the past two years. Now the sextet returns in its unique 2-sax, 2-guitar format, performing on the Bridge Series at Jazz Central this Friday, September 19th at 7:30 pm. The line-up for this gig includes Harris and Park Evans on guitars, Brandon Wozniak and Scott Fultz on saxophones, Matt Peterson on bass and Cory Healey on drums.

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"Live and Natural" Over Twenty-Five Years With Bruce Henry E-mail
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   

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Bruce Henry©Andrea Canter
 

"His voice is his horn, and he can swing like Goodman, spin and spiral like Parker, or levitate like Coltrane."  -- JazzINK

Perhaps the most easily identified male voice in Twin Cities Jazz, Bruce Henry relocated to his adopted home town of Chicago in 2008. But he left not only a raft of friends and fans, but some unfinished business, including an album's worth of live tracks recorded at the Dakota Jazz Club in 2005 as well as a couple tracks going back to Ruby's Cabaret in 1990 and a couple studio tracks recorded at McNally Smith College of Music shortly before his move to Chicago. Finally, this music is assembled into Bruce's third and arguably best album yet, Live and Natural.


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Roy Hargrove Quintet at the Blue Note, NY 9/20-21 E-mail
Written by Ronaldo Oregano   

“…with a straight-ahead group, everyone has to contribute, (both) opening things up compositionally (and) keeping the program well-rounded.” -Roy Hargrove

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Roy Hargrove © Andrea Canter

One of the finest trumpeters in the world, Multiple Grammy-Award winning jazz trumpeter/composer Roy Hargrove has always explored diverse music, from Afro-Cuban to funk, even venturing into pop mainstream. A major force on the jazz scene since his teens, Hargrove continues to stretch his musical boundaries. A collaborator in recent years with Herbie Hancock, Michael Brecker, and McCoy Tyner, Hargrove plays hard-swinging trumpet and lush flugelhorn. He leads his straight-ahead quintet in further explorations of post-bop modern jazz.  Hargrove performs with his quintet atthe Blue Note in New York on Saturday, September 20th and Sunday, September 21st

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Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio at the SFJazz Center, 9/20-21 E-mail
Written by Ronaldo Oregano   
Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio at the SFJazz Center, 9/20-21
Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio © Andrea Canter


Chilean-born tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana who seemed to come out of nowhere to win the prestigious 2013 Thelonious Monk Competition. Melissa when she became the first female instrumentalist and first South American to win any of the Monk top honors in the 26-year history of the competition. She  released the album Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio this summer. It is the first recording featuring the three band mates together - Aldana, bassist Pablo Menares and drummer Francisco Mela (click here for a Jazz Police review). SFJazz presents Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio at the  SFJazz Center, Joe Henderson Lab on Saturday and Sunday, September 20th and 21st.
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