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“Hot can be cool, and cool can be hot, and each can be both. But hot or cool, man, jazz is jazz.” - Louis Armstrong
 
 Thursday, 17 April 2014
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Moving "Counterclockwise" at Jazz Central: The Bridge Series, April 18th E-mail
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   

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Tanner TaylorİAndrea Canter
 

It's often said that creative musicians march to the beat of a different drummer. For the trio of Tanner Taylor, Zacc Harris and Jay Epstein, the beats move Counterclockwise -- their long-running organ trio that takes the spotlight in the Friday night Bridge Series at Jazz Central on April 18th. This is a not-too-often opportunity to hear piano master Taylor on his other instrument, the B-3 organ.

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Ginger Commodore Hosts Birthday Party for Dennis Spears, April 18th at the Dakota E-mail
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   

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Dennis SpearsİAndrea Canter
 

Dennis Spears and Ginger Commodore will be celebrating Dennis's birthday on April 18th at the Dakota Jazz Club, and want you to share in the fun. Two of the four members of Moore by Four and easily two of the most popular singers in the metro area, Ginger and Dennis have partnered at the Dakota more than a few times before, and each time out, it's an Earthquake of sound, energy and emotion. "Bring the deodorant cuz it's gonna get funky!!!" they warn us!

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Weekend of Song and Musical Magic at Orchestra Hall: Ramsey Lewis & John Pizzarelli / Bobby McFerrin E-mail
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   

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John PizzarelliİAndrea Canter
 

Back to back shows at Minnesota Orchestra Hall this weekend highlight two vastly different styles that fall within the genres of vocal jazz and improvised music. Although he died nearly 50 years ago, Nat King Cole remains a major influence in modern music. Both his smoky tenor voice and string of hit tunes made him, literally, "Unforgettable." Ramsey Lewis and John Pizzarelli, two giants of jazz, a generation apart, join together to salute Cole with a show named after his first hit album, Straighten Up and Fly Right, on Friday, April 18.  On Saturday, April 19, a very different, equally influential voice comes direct to the stage as vocal innovator Bobby McFerrin presents music from his latest project, spirityouall, an amalgam of jazz, bluegrass, progressive rock, baroque and world music.

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Kurt Rosenwinkel Trio at the Jazz Showcase 4/17-20 E-mail
Written by Ronaldo Oregano   
“Rosenwinkel’s music represents the sound of the future, just as bebop once did.”  -Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

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Kurt Rosenwinkel
A guitarist whose harmonic ideas and sinuous, legato approach make him readily identifiable, Rosenwinkel is perhaps the most beloved jazz guitarist of his generation. Here’s what guitar legend Bill Frisell said about Kurt Rosenwinkel: “There’s this kind of fluidity and architecture in the lines that he plays that I don’t think I’ve heard anybody else do. There’s a mystery in it to me. It’s not obviously derived from some other player. He’s really developed his own language with the musical information and physically the way he’s playing the instrument.”

The Kurt Rosenwinkel trio will apprear at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago on Tursday, April 17th through Sunday, April 20th with sets at 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. nightly plus an additional 4:30 p.m. show on Sunday.

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Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio + Lionel Loueke 4/17-18 and Octet 4/19-20 at the Jazz Standard E-mail
Written by Ronaldo Oregano   
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Dr. Lonnie Smith and Lionel Loueke

The turban-clad master of the hammond B3 organ, Dr. Lonnie Smith who “remains remarkably cliché–free, even after five decades in the game….” (John Fordham, The Guardian) will be performing in the same operating room with two different groups. Hailed as a “gentle virtuoso” by Jon Pareles of The New York Times, guitarist/vocalist Lionel Loueke will join the doctor's trio for two nights - this colaboration is a not-to-be-missed event. Dr. Lonnie Smith's "In The Beginning" Octet combines veteran play­ers like guitarist Ed Cherry with fiery younger musicians such as trumpeter Andy Gravish and saxopho­nists John Ellis and Ian  Hendrickson–Smith. In the fall of 2013, the group released a superb two–CD set, In The Beginning, Volumes 1 & 2, on the artist’s own Pilgrimage Recordings. Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio includes Jonathan Kreisberg on guitar and  Johnathan Blake on drums perform with  special guest  Lionel Loueke on guitar on Thursday and Friday, April 17th and 18th and his Octet performs on Friday and Saturday, April 19th and 20th at the Jazz Standard.
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LA Beat: Avery Burdette and Ron Levy Trio at the Tee Room, Newport Beach E-mail
Written by Glenn A. Mitchell, LA Jazz Scene   

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Avery Burdette with the Ron Levy Trio, L-R: Merola, Burdette, May and Levy. (Photo: Carolyn Yarnell)
 

Some of the best jazz in Orange County can be found at several venues there.  The Tee Room in Newport Beach, located on Newport Beach Golf Course,  is one of these beautiful venues, offering jazz on Monday evenings.  Vocalist Avery Burdette and the Ron Levy Trio perform on the second Monday of every month.   Our visit Monday, March 10, 2014, was productive and included dinner and a show for $20.00 per person – a very reasonable bargain!

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A Drummer's Vision: Matt Slocum and "Black Elk's Dream" (2014, Chandra Records) E-mail
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   

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Black Elk's Dream
 

Twin Cities native and alum of the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, drummer Matt Slocum has established himself as one of his generation's most effective composers and bandleaders.  With composition grants from the American Music Center, the Puffin Foundation, Meet the Composer Foundation and more, Slocum gained high praise for his first two recordings as leader, Portraits (2009) and After the Storm (2011), both on the Chandra Records label. Where Portraits featured a trio of rotating horns to augment the rhythm section, the second release focused on the core trio, both boasting long-time collaborators Gerald Clayton (piano) and Massimo Biolcati (bass). Yet central to both recordings were Slocum's magical compositions - lyrical voicings, assertive rhythms, subtle shadings and bold statements, reflecting not only the drummer's talents as a drummer, but the skills as writer and arranger that set him apart from most of his peers, regardless of instrument. Returning to the quartet and quintet format, with frequent collaborators Walter Smith III and Dayna Stephens rotating on saxophones, Slocum brings us a new project inspired by the visionary Native American leader Black Elk and the book Black Elk Speaks, appropriately titled Black Elk's Dream (Chandra Records, 2014).

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Kendra Shank and John Stowell 's Musical Experiments and "New York Conversations" (2014, TCB) E-mail
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   

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New York Conversations
 

Acclaim for Kendra Shank’s unique approach vocal jazz has grown steadily over the past decade, including the designation “Talent Deserving Wider Recognition” in the Downbeat International Critics Poll. Initially working as a folksinger, the California native studied with muse Jay Clayton in Seattle, gigged with Bob Dorough, and caught the ear of the late Shirley Horn, who co-produced Shank's debut recording, Afterglow (1994). Two recordings followed her move to New York, Wish (1998) and Reflections (2000), the latter with pianist Frank Kimbrough, bassist Dean Johnson, and drummer Tony Moreno, who have been regular bandmates ever since. Her more recent releases have taken her music in almost opposite directions: A Spirit Free (2007) revealed her sharp edges in reinterpreting the music of Abbey Lincoln, while Mosaic (2009) revealed the softer contours of a more personal, perhaps freer spirit. Her latest projects have brought more accolades to the elastic improviser, who has been described as a performer with a “unique and immediately identifiable sound and style” (Don Heckman, LA Times), as “a singer with a sound” (Abbey Lincoln) who “phrases inventively, whether crisp and sizzling or sensuously smoky” (Patricia Meyers, Jazz Times). No doubt New York Conversations (TCB), Kendra's new recording with long-time cohort, guitarist John Stowell, will further cement her standing as one of the true innovators in modern vocal jazz.

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