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Travel guides and travel resources for San Francisco: For jazz calendar listings, Jazz Police recommends the KCSM Jazz91 Jazz Datebook, click here to view it within Jazz Police , and click here to open KCSM Jazz91 Jazz Datebook in a new window .

Guides to live music (musicians, jazz clubs, etc.) in the San Francisco Bay Area:

 Saturday, 18 April 2015
SF Bay Area
Tammy Hall Scores the Perfect Set at SFJAZZ Print
Written by Ken Vermes   
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Tammy Hall

There is the no-hitter, the perfect game, the hole-in-one, and my favorite, the golden set in tennis. All these “perfects” occur in music as well. Yet to our knowledge, no one has named this phenomena. How about just stealing that tennis accolade, the “golden set," the achievement of a musical “set” that starts and finishes in the special dimension of life that few people on the planet ever occupy: absolute perfection.

Tammy Lynne Hall is a pianist who spends most of her time playing behind Bay Area singers and others. In this role, she is often in the background, while the lead performer gets all of the notice. Of course this has begun to change as performers such as Pamela Rose, for example, have made a special point of emphasizing that Tammy plays an essential role in many of these gigs. She is not just playing the chords and soloing, but also running the band, adjusting the music, and analyzing the arrangements for possible improvements among many other chores. This is the role so many pianists play, especially for singers. In a recent performance by Cecil McLorin Salvant streamed live from Lincoln Center, it was the pianist Aaron Diehl watching and listening to every note of the tribute to Billie Holiday.

 

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Chris Potter Takes Charge at SFJAZZ Print
Written by Ken Vermes   
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Chris Potter Andrea Canter

There is a reason that the saxophone has been one of the most dominant instruments in the history of jazz. Its range, timbre, flexibility, and long history in the music gives it a dynamic hard to match. It isn’t that there have not been great pianists, trumpeters, bass players, and the rest. But when sax players take charge, master the instrument, and propel themselves to the head of the class, it can be said that there is cause for a major celebration. Such moments are rare in any art. In music they happen when one player, or an entire band, creates a sense of peak effort that is sustained and memorable beyond any others like it. There are many fans of this music who never see any moments like these. And they were a lot more frequent when the great masters were on the planet, such as August 12, 1958 when the “Great Day in Harlem” photo was created, for example. Or in the time when one could walk the jazz listeners' paradise on 52nd Street in New York City.

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Buika and Rene Marie: Mysterious Outstanding Singers Receive Rapturous Receptions in San Francisco Print
Written by Ken Vermes   
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Rene Marie at SFJAZZ Ken Vernes

The art of song often has a special sense of mystery around it. Unlike purely instrumental musicians, singers often live and perform in a special world, one that they do not often reveal. It is almost as if they fear that too much information is neither in their interest nor likely to add anything to what they are presenting. Great examples of this “mystery” were on display recently in two performances in San Francisco.

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SFJazz presents Tomasz Stanko New York Quartet Print
Written by Ronaldo Oregano   
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Tomasz Stanko


Polish trumpet legend Tomasz Stanko always keeps company with the most formidable young players on the scene. Dividing his time between Warsaw and New York City, he’s recorded a series of taut, lyrically expansive sessions for ECM, alternating between emerging European stars and heavyweight Gotham improvisers. Stanko’s current ECM recording Wislawa is inspired by the poetry of Wisława Symborska, the Polish poet, essayist and Nobel Laureate. The all-star New York Quartet he brings to SFJazz ECM Jazz Fest includes pianist David Virelles, drummer Gerald Cleaver and bassist Reuben Rogers. They appear on Sunday, March 29th at 7:00 p.m. at SF Jazz Center. This is almost sold-out, to get your tickets now.
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