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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 .

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 Tuesday, 01 December 2015
SF Bay Area
Alonzo King Lines Ballet Fuses Two Art Worlds Print
Written by Ken Vermes   
The Propelled Heart Quinn B. Wharton

The boundaries in the arts have been blurring for some time. But it is rare when an art form embraces a separate discipline as completely as we have seen recently with the Alonzo King Lines Ballet. Performing November 7th at the Yerba Buena Theater in San Francisco, King’s dance company performed, "The Propelled Heart,” a collaboration with Grammy Award-winning vocalist Lisa Fischer.

SFJAZZ Presents "Sacred Space: Celebrating the Clarinet" at Grace Cathedral Print
Written by Ken Vermes   
David Murray, Anat Cohen, Todd Marcus and Don Byron Ken Vermes

On November 12, SFJAZZ presented a performance as a part of its long-standing series at Grace Cathedral, on top of Nob Hill in San Francisco.  This series of performances, in co-operation with the cathedral staff, offers musicians a unique opportunity to present music of an especially creative kind. The music is linked to the Cathedral, which is a gigantic building with terrifically high ceilings. It is a giant stone chamber with deep and unpredictable resonance. Not even the latest recording technology could possibly recreate sounds like this, changing as the musicians change their own positions. Yet many recordings have been done inside the structure, listed on the cathedral web site. The most famous jazz concert in the cathedral was by Duke Ellington, who performed his “Sacred Concert” on September 16, 1965. There is a recording of this event, still available. More recently, in September 2015, SFJAZZ celebrated the 50th anniversary of the original Ellington concert with a new version scored and directed by alto saxophonist Miguel Zenon (see review here). SFJAZZ had previously celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Ellington show as well.

The Rebirth of Bands: Three Jazz Revivals in San Francisco Print
Written by Ken Vermes   

Miguel Zenon Andrea Canter

For any music to remain vibrant, it needs a certain amount of ongoing reinvention. This seems like a simple idea on the face of it. But in reality, there are many hurdles ahead. Recently, several ensembles gave concerts in the Bay Area that demonstrated the idea of a “rebirth” of jazz. Each of these performances involved months, if not years, of efforts to produce. There was a spectacular re-creation of a Duke Ellington show by SFJAZZ. There was also am SFJAZZ concert featuring a reformed “Irakere” led by the brilliant Cuban pianist, Chucho Valdés. And most recently, Yoshi’s Oakland hosted a show with the revived Lionel Hampton Big Band.

Larry Coryell Runs the Indo Fusion Style Like No Other Print
Written by Ken Vermes   
Larry Coryell Ken Vermes

In two back-to-back concerts, guitarist Larry Coryell reminded Californians why he has always been a favorite, and why as a guitarist he is still capable of holding the flame of improvisational power that he demonstrated at the very beginning of his career. It was back in 1967, nearly fifty years ago, when an album by Gary Burton with Steve Swallow, Roy Haynes and Larry was purchased by both rock and jazz fans who settled back to listen to what was jazz of a very different variety. It featured a guitar player who had the chops and personality to include rock phrases in his playing in a seemingly sweeping style that announced that there were no holds barred. The melodies could be abstract, but the musical flow was enchanting, mystical and haunting. The vibes and guitar were bell-like, with a very open style that belied the driving blues-based playing that has dominated the jazz guitar vocabulary for years, both then and now. Right from the start, Larry Coryell was determined to put a stamp of originality on his playing. That drive, for the new and fresh sounds, is still very much with him, and his Duster is still a very beautiful and even hypnotic album, filled with songs that in many ways perfectly capture an era full of freedom and powerful musical impulses.

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