with R.J. Bianchino
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August 7-13, 2006
The Jazz Calendar
Rick Arroyo and the Latin Percussion Ensemble
Rick Arroyo and the Latin Percussion Ensemble will be performing original music from Rick's new CD, Dr. Smooth: Afro-Cuban Jazz. Special guest appearance by Johnny "Dandy" Rodriguez. The Ensemble consists of Rick Arroyo- piano; Celio Gonzalez- bass; Johnny (Dandy) Rodriguez- bongos; Rusty Blevins- sax; Chandler Judkins - trumpet; Dwayne Matos- drums/timbal; Alex De Jesus- congas.
Johnny "Dandy" Rodriguez is the son of John "La Vaca" Rodriguez. Johnny Jr. was Ray Barretto's bongocero for many years (late 60's - 73). He was Tipica 73's co-leader and bongocero from early 1973 until the mid 80's. He also served as the Fania All-Stars' conguero during the 70's and 80's and was bongocero for Tito Puente for 35 years.
Photo of Johnny "Dandy" Rodriguez courtesy of Congahead.com
2006 Monterey Jazz Festival Day by Day
For the 49th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival (September 15-17, 2006) presented by Verizon, Grounds Weekend Passes offer a wealth of sparkling musical gems and riches for families and fans of all ages. Whether you're looking for jazz chanteuses, cutting-edge future jazz, hard-driving big bands, six-cylinder blues artists, world and contemporary fusion, funky soul-jazz or classic jazz combos--or just a great weekend cultural experience, surrounded by music and family fun--the 2006 Monterey Jazz Festival Grounds artists deliver a wide and far-reaching slice of the jazz world, and beyond.
Many of the Lyons Stage headlining artists are appearing in Grounds venues, including world-fusion bassist Richard Bona, sonic groundbreaker and trumpeter Roy Hargrove, contemporary jazz fusion masters the Yellowjackets, MJF's Artist-in-Residence extraordinaire, vocalist Kurt Elling, the hard-driving 14-piece brass band McCollough Sons of Thunder, and blues guitar master Robben Ford. In addition, members of Dave Brubeck's expanded ensemble performing the "Cannery Row Suite" will be performing on the Grounds and include Chris Brubeck's own group, Triple Play and vocalist Roberta Gambarini, who will be featured with the legendary 88-year old pianist, Hank Jones. Swinging drummer Jeff Hamilton, who co-leads the Clayton-Hamilton Big Band, will also perform on the Grounds with his trio.
Friday night's entertainment will highlight "New Grooves" across the Festival Fairgrounds. Dizzy's Den will reverberate with the soulful electronic-infused hard grooves of Roy Hargrove & RH Factor, as well as Uri Caine & Bedrock, combining a cutting-edge mix of old-style fusion on both Fender Rhodes and laptop computers.
Elsewhere on the Fairgrounds, Friday Grounds concertgoers can enjoy the electric bass and world-music flavored jazz of Richard Bona, the stunning young acoustic piano masters Robert Glasper, Eldar and Taylor Eigsti, each who have made quite an impression in the musical world in the last year, as well as the 2006 Clifford Brown-Stan Getz Fellows, presented by IAJE.
Vocalist Sasha Dobson, a Santa Cruz native, returns to the Monterey Bay area to perform her original take on Brazilian groove, pop and jazz. Percussionist Babatunde Lea completes the Friday night Grounds program with his spiritually infused African and Afro-Cuban twist on modern jazz.
Saturday's Grounds entertainment will also include an eclectic mix of jazz, blues, top-shelf instrumental artists and award-winning vocal talent. Saturday Grounds vocalists include the Kurt Elling Quartet, Tierney Sutton, contemporary jazz favorites the Yellowjackets celebrating their 25th anniversary, the piano sensation Hiromi, cutting edge multi-instrumentalist Peter Apfelbaum & the New York Hieroglyphics featuring Abdoulaye Diabate, world-fusion guitarist Lionel Loueke, the lightning-struck blues of the Robben Ford Group, the Duke Robillard Band featuring Hubert Sumlin, and The Fins. Classic, modern and international jazz fans will be able to hear the swinging drummer Jeff Hamilton and his trio, the Afro-Cuban sounds of John Worley & Worlview, the Rodger Fox Big Band from New Zealand, the dramatic tango and samba of Trio Paradiso, the Russian Open World Octet, the Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet and the University of North Florida Jazz Ensemble "1" as well as the traditional down-home blues of Robert Lowery & Virgil Thrasher, the joyful noise of the McCollough Sons of Thunder and the young ebullience of the 2006 Clifford Brown-Stan Getz Fellows in a clinic for musicians of all ages.
Sunday marks "Family Day" at the Monterey Jazz Festival, with activities and more for the whole family to enjoy, sponsored by Macy's West. Patrons will be treated to a variety of music perfect for families and fans of all ages--including Baby Loves Jazz, an entertaining, funky and fun group featuring singer Sharon Jones, slide trumpeter Steven Bernstein, and pianist Aaron Goldberg, interpreting favorite classic children's songs. Family activities on the Grounds also include Sunday's Percussion Playshop for kids of all ages, and a "Jazzy Jumper" for the young ones, providing terrific entertainment for families while enjoying the festivities of the Fairgrounds' grassy picnic areas, international food, shopping, and more.
Highlighting up-and-coming youth in jazz, Family Day Grounds Artists will feature the winners from the Festival's 36th annual MJF National High School Jazz Competition - part of the Next Generation Festival - including the Folsom High School Vocal Jazz Choir "A", the Lexington High School Jazz Ensemble, the Davis Senior High School Big Band, the Berkeley High School Sextet, the Berklee-Monterey Jazz Quartet and IAJE's Clifford Brown-Stan Getz All-Stars.
Other artists for Sunday's line-up offers hard-bop from the Roy Hargrove Quintet, the elegant piano of the Hank Jones Trio featuring vocalist Roberta Gambarini, and the original singer-songwriter stylings from vocalist Christine Tobin. Modern jazz can be heard from the trios of guitarist Ben Monder and pianist Aaron Goldberg, as well as an ultra-funky "Hammond B3 Blowout" from organists Dr. Lonnie Smith and his trio and the David K. Mathews Quartet.
Also included in the weekend are 4 freewheeling discussions on topics in jazz, and include Saturday afternoon's Blindfold Test with the Yellowjackets, presented by DownBeat and a conversation with Kurt Elling about "Jazz & the Creative Muse", hosted by Andrew Gilbert. Sunday's conversations include the panel discussion "Whatz Jazz & Whatz Not", presented by the Jazz Journalists Association and hosted by Dan Ouellette, and features KCSM's Alisa Clancy and renowned jazz critics Paul DeBarros, Willard Jenkins and Scott Yanow. Also on Sunday is "John Steinbeck & Cannery Row", moderated by Susan Shillinglaw, the director of the Center for Steinbeck Studies at San Jose State University and includes Steinbeck and Monterey historians and scholars Herb Behrens, Katie Rodger, Tim Thomas, and Frank Wright. A special exhibit, curated by the National Steinbeck Center, will also be on display throughout the weekend at the Starbucks Coffeehouse Gallery.
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Jazz Birthdays This week's jazz artists birthdays include:
Aug 07 Freddie Slack (piano, leader), 1910-1965
Pat Metheny - Cantaloupe Island (1990)
Greg Osby CD and artist biography brief: Symbols of Light (A Solution) (2001)
The strings and sax format has been utilized by a number of jazz greats, from Charlie Parker to Stan Getz and now alto and soprano saxophonist Greg Osby. He's working with a combo featuring the young piano whiz Jason Moran, augmented by a string quartet, which complements the leader's atmospheric and snaky sax lines. The compositions exhibit a beautiful blend of the compositional and improvisational genius of Eric Dolphy, Andrew Hill, Henry Threadgill, Wayne Shorter, and Muhal Richard Abrams. That blend is heard on the evocative, impressionistic expressions of "M" and the anthemic "Repay in Kind." The standard "Wild Is the Wind" is reborn with a darker harmonic hue. The strings supply Osby's songs with ethereal, classically tinged textured expressions. Osby plays, arranges, and composes with imagination and ingenuity--and the best is yet to come. -- Eugene Holley Jr. :: amazon.com :: editorial review
This week's new jazz releases: Click on any album cover to purchase CDs
Aug 07 Amalia Rodrigues - Coimbra (Sound of W)
Jazz 'Round Las Vegas
M o n d a y, August 7
Caesars Palcce (Galleria Bar)
Dehner Franks (piano)
T u e s d a y, August 8
Artisan Hotel 8-11pm Jerry Brookings Jazz Showcase (rotating jazz musicians)
W e d n e s d a y, August 9
Capo's Italian Restaurant 7-11pm Peppe Merolla (drums, vocals)
T h u r s d a y, August 10
Bootlegger Bistro 9:30-11pm Ruth Brown
F r i d a y, August 11
Artisan Hotel 6-9pm Martin Mancuso (sax)
S a t u r d a y, August 12
Artisan Hotel 6-9pm Martin Mancuso (sax)
S u n d a y, August 13
Capozzoli's 9pm Lou Martinez
'Nuff Said Now it's your turn. If you have any information you would like to see in this JazzBeat column send an e-mail to email@example.com. We especially welcome club listings. Telephone numbers are supplied for all venues. Please Call to verify events.
Keep on jazzin' in Las Vegas and beyond. -- Bion
Jazz Beyond the Neon
Poncho Sanchez Dance Party
Poncho Sanchez has long qualified as one of the hardest-working men in Latin jazz. Born in Laredo, Texas as the youngest of 11 children, he grew up in Norwalk, California (where he still lives) and remembers hearing Afro-Cuban music while growing up. "As a kid in third or fourth grade, I would hear my sisters dancing while listening to Machito, Tito Puente, Cal Tjader and various bands from Cuba while my brothers listened to doo-wop music and early rhythm and blues."
Poncho Sanchez first formed his own group in 1980, leading his ensemble during [Cal] Tjader's vacation periods and recording two albums for Discovery. Shortly before his death, Tjader recommended to Concord founder Carl Jefferson that he sign Sanchez to his Concord Picante label (a subsidiary originally started to document Tjader's music). 18 recordings, a Grammy Award (for 1999's Latin Soul) and a countless number of performances around the world (at venues ranging from concert halls and nightclubs to free festivals) have resulted in the years since. "My band and I really do love Latin jazz. We played this music before it was popular and I think we've played a part in helping it to become popular again. Our main goal is always to keep Latin jazz alive, growing and moving, while being authentic to the music that we love. I'm proud to say that we have stuck to the basic fundamentals and the roots which are very important to us. And, as I always say in clinics, this music is not just for Latino people. It was born in the United States and it is American music. -- ponchosanchez.com
Monterey Jazz Festival
MJF's Latin Jazz Program augments our Traveling Clinicians Program utilizing percussion instruments and focusing on rhythm, a key foundation in the study of music and development of musical skills. Established in 2001, this Program has grown each year and is especially welcomed in schools with little or no music program. Latin Jazz artists/clinicians provide performances and workshops in visits to elementary, middle school, high school, and college music programs.
After participating the MJF Latin Jazz Program, Washington Middle School Principal Gary Williams wrote to our Latin Jazz Artists/Clinicians, "Thank you for the time and energy you bring to teaching music to young people. You shared your obvious love for music with our students. I saw them improve and grow in enthusiasm almost minute-by-minute. . . The excitement level was high and we were all impressed with the level of musicianship. I look forward to your next visit."
Traveling Clinicians Program:
"Direct contact with professional artists provides aspiring young musicians with inspirational models of focus and dedication, risk-taking, and success. Students are engaged, challenged, and motivated by performing alongside such talented mentors."- Robbie Stange, former Monterey High School music teacher.
The 2006 MJF Latin Jazz Artists/Clinicians include:
Friday, August 4th at the Thunderbird Lounge
Aruba Hotel and Thunderbird Lounge have an illustrious history dating back to 1948 when it opened as the fourth major resort on the Las Vegas Strip. With it's world famous neon Thunderbird sign, the hotel quickly became the center of fun, glamour and excitement for both tourists and local residents.
Relive the Legend of the Thunderbird Lounge where many famous celebrities have performed. Feel the energy of Bob Hope, George Burns, Tony Martin, Ronald Reagan and many others.
What better place for BluesStorm, one Las Vegas' finest blues rock bands, to celebrate the release of their debut CD "Live In Las Vegas." Meet and greet the band from 7-9pm at the historic Thunderbird Lounce. Conveniently located on the fabulous strip at 1215 Las Vegas Boulevard South, just four blocks north of Stratosphere. Go to this week's Bluesin' Las Vegas to check out more club events.
For in depth coverage of the Las Vegas Blues scene, visit BluesBeat Nevada, your weekly guide to "all things blues."
Pat Metheny Biography
Jazz guitar innovator Pat Metheny first appeared in the mid-'70s as a prodigy in Gary Burton's band, and soon thereafter he was leading his own group. He is among the few jazz artists who've become household names--his music has appeal well beyond the typical jazz audience, yet his artistic integrity is unquestionable, and he has used his success to pursue many less-commercial side projects. Ever the explorer, Metheny has been a pioneer of the guitar synthesizer, a champion of the avant garde, and a unifier of musical styles, incorporating rock, folk, world music, and even country influences into his unique musical paradigm.
b. 12 August 1954, Kansas City, Missouri, USA. Although classed as a jazz guitarist, Metheny has bridged the gap between jazz and rock music in the same way that Miles Davis did in the late 60s and early 70s. Additionally, he played a major part in the growth of jazz's popularity among the younger generation of the 80s. Throughout his career, his extraordinary sense of melody has prevented his work from becoming rambling or self-indulgent.
His first musical instrument was a French horn, and surprisingly he did not begin with the guitar until he was a teenager. His outstanding virtuosity soon had him teaching the instrument at the University Of Miami and the Berklee College Of Music in Boston. He joined Gary Burton in 1974, and throughout his three-album stay, he contributed some fluid Wes Montgomery-influenced guitar patterns. Manfred Eicher of ECM Records saw the potential and initiated a partnership that lasted for 10 superlative albums. He became, along with Keith Jarrett, ECM's biggest-selling artist, and his albums regularly topped the jazz record charts. Metheny has also been one of the few jazz artists to make regular appearances in the pop album charts, such is the accessibility of his music.
His early albums, Bright Size Life (featuring the late Jaco Pastorius), and Watercolors showed a man who was still feeling his way. His own individual style matured with Pat Metheny Group in 1978. Together with his musical partner (and arguably, his right arm), the brilliant keyboard player Lyle Mays, whose quiet presence at the side of the stage provided the backbone for much of Metheny's work, he initiated a rock band format that produced album after album of melodious jazz rock. Following a major tour with Joni Mitchell and Pastorius (Shadows And Light), Metheny released New Chautauqua, on which he demonstrated an amazing dexterity on the 12-string guitar. The album made the US Top 50. He returned to the electric band format for American Garage, which contained the country-influenced "(Cross The) Heartland". The double set 80/81 featured Michael Brecker, Jack DeJohnette, Charlie Haden and Dewey Redman, and was more of a typical jazz album, featuring in particular the moderately avant garde "Two Folk Songs'. Nevertheless, the record still climbed the popular charts. During this time, Metheny constantly won jazz and guitarist polls. Mays" keyboards featured prominently in the band structure, and he received co-authorship credit for the suite As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls.
Metheny had by now become fascinated by the musical possibilities of the guitar synthesizer or synclavier. He used this to startling effect on Offramp, notably on the wonderfully contagious and sexual "Are You Going With Me?". The double set Travels showed a band at the peak of its powers, playing some familiar titles with a new freshness. The short piece "Travels" stands as one of his finest compositions; the low-level recording offers such subtle emotion that it becomes joyously funereal. Rejoicing was a modern jazz album demonstrating his sensitive interpretations of music by Horace Silver and Ornette Coleman. First Circle maintained the standard and showed a greater leaning towards Latin-based music, though still retaining Metheny's brilliant ear for melody. In 1985, he composed the score for the movie The Falcon And The Snowman, which led to him recording "This Is Not America" with David Bowie. The resulting UK Top 20/US Top 40 hit brought Metheny many new young admirers.
The concert halls found audiences bedecked in striped rugby shirts, in the style of their new hero. Ironically, at the same time, following a break with ECM, Metheny turned his back on possible rock stardom and produced his most perplexing work, Song X, with free-jazz exponent Ornette Coleman. Reactions were mixed in reviews of this difficult album - ultimately the general consensus was that it was brilliantly unlistenable. He returned to more familiar ground with Still Life (Talking) and Letter From Home, although both experimented further with Latin melody and rhythm. Metheny enjoyed a particularly creative and productive time from 1989-90. Reunion was a superb meeting with his former boss Gary Burton. A few months later he recorded Question And Answer with Dave Holland and Roy Haynes. Additionally he was heavily featured, along with Herbie Hancock, on the excellent DeJohnette album, Parallel Realities.
Metheny continued into the 90s with Secret Story, an album of breathtaking beauty featuring gems such as "Above The Treetops" and the poignant "The Truth Will Always Be". Although the album may have made jazz purists cringe, it was a realization of all Metheny's musical influences. His second live album, The Road To You, did not have the emotion of Travels. It was something to keep the fans quiet before he unleashed an exciting recording with John Scofield, the guitarist who most regularly shared the honours with Metheny at the top of the jazz polls. The follow-up, Zero Tolerance For Silence, could only be described as astonishing. For many the wall-of-sound guitar was a self-indulgent mess, and after repeated plays the music did not get any easier, but it needed to be appreciated what a bold move this thrash metal outing was. Metheny also found himself reviewed in the Heavy Metal press for the first (and last) time. We Live Here was a return to more traditional ground, and restored Metheny to his familiar position at the top of the jazz charts. It won a Grammy in 1996 for the best contemporary jazz album.
In the late 90s, Metheny recorded acclaimed duet albums with Haden and Jim Hall. His 1999 offering A Map Of The World was a set piece of evocative beauty. The album, a series of 28 pieces inspired by the motion picture A Map Of The World, was misunderstood as being merely a movie soundtrack. It ranks as one of his finest works; delicate in parts, emotional in places, especially where the music is enriched by a full orchestra. On this album Metheny's dexterity as a guitarist takes second place to his brilliance as a composer. The subsequent trio album with Larry Grenadier (bass) and Bill Stewart (drums) was of an equally high standard. The attendant Trio - Live compiled the results of Metheny's first live trio work since the early 90s. The solo acoustic album One Quiet Night featured, in addition to some beautiful new material, cover versions of "Ferry Cross The Mersey" (Gerry And The Pacemakers), "My Song" (Keith Jarrett), and "Don't Know Why" (Norah Jones). Metheny is able to comfortably move between pure jazz and the pop jazz that made his name. He is one of the very few artists who can do this with such success and modesty.
Copyright Muze UK Ltd. 1989-2004
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