March 21st, 2011
Chuck Deardorf is a regular performer in the Seattle area; a full-time professor of bass at the Cornish College of the Arts, where he’s also served as music faculty chair; and a member of Centrum’s 2011 Jazz Port Townsend faculty. His quintet warmed up the Tula’s stage at 7pm, ahead of the presentation of awards at 8pm. Celebrated jazz radio programmer Jim Wilke emceed the event. It was a wonderful laid back evening and I congratulate all of the nominees and winners.
Tom Marriott gathered the honors for NW Acoustic Jazz Ensemble of the Year for Thomas Marriott’s Flexicon
Alternative Jazz Group of the Year and NW Concert of the Year were both awarded to Speak with drummer Chris Icasiano accepting the award with Andrew Swanson
And NW Vocalist of the Year went to Gail Pettis
Chuck Deardorf was also surprised when he was inducted into the Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame
Wayne Horvitz was also Inducted into the Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame.
Another award announced but not in attendance was Paul Kikuchi for Emerging Artist of the Year
After all the awards were given out I got a photo of all of the nominees for NW Vocalist of the Year
Valerie Joyce, Gail Pettis, Kelley Johnson and Greta Mattassa 2010 NW Vocalist of the Year Nominees.
March 17th, 2011
Kenny Werner played with special guests David Sanchez, Randy Brecker, Scott Colley & Antonio Sanchez at The Triple Door March 6th as part of the Earshot Jazz Spring Series.
Kenny Werner is among the most gifted of pianists in jazz, possessed of a technique at once stunning in its range and sophistication and ear-opening in its aesthetic richness and depth. That reflects the scope of his experience in jazz. Early in Brooklyn-raised Werner’s career, he recorded early jazz, then played with Charles Mingus, and next toured and recorded extensively with Archie Shepp, and went on with stints with the likes of Mel Lewis and his orchestra, saxophonist Joe Lovano, and harmonica star Toots Thielemans.
A remarkable aspect of Werner’s career has been that he has developed his approach to playing into a pedagogy. He came by his approach through many years of thoughtfulness about music and life. In his 1996 book Effortless Mastery: Liberating the Master Musician Within, Werner, who teaches at New York University, explains how he has done just that in his own, séance-like playing. Werner’s All-Stars extend the lineup he featured on his 2006 recording Democracy Now (Half Note) with David Sanchez, one of the most sizzling of modern sax players.
From Puerto Rico, Sanchez has won the highest praise from the critics. Howard Reich said of him: “Technically, tonally, and creatively, he seems to have it all. His sound is never less than plush, his pitch is unerring, his rapid-fire playing is ravishing in its combination of speed, accuracy, and utter evenness of tone. What results is far closer to the more daring postbop tradition than to standard Latin music.”
As advanced a player as Sanchez is the seasoned trumpeter and flugelhorn player Randy Brecker, a veteran of a vast range of musical projects – not just the bands of jazz legends like Horace Silver and Jaco Pastorius, but also those of pop and rock stars of many kinds: James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, Parliament Funkadelic, Frank Sinatra, Steely Dan, Frank Zappa. Is there another musician alive who could boast a range of collaborations to match that?
Completing the lineup is bassist Scott Colley, a veteran of more than 200 recordings who has backed Herbie Hancock, Jim Hall, Andrew Hill, Pat Metheny, and many others, along with Mexican drummer Antonio Sanchez. A percussionist since age 5, Sanchez studied classical piano at the National Conservatory in Mexico before enrolling at Berklee and graduating with the highest honors. From there, he became a drummer of choice for many of the modern greats of jazz, including Pat Metheny, Chick Corea, Gary Burton, and Charlie Haden.
March 6th, 2011
McCoy Tyner brought his Quintet to Jazz Alley with Bill Frisell, Gary Bartz, John Patitucci and Herlin Riley
McCoy Tyner has always expanded his vision of the musical landscape and incorporated new elements, whether from distant continents or diverse musical influences. More recently he has arranged for big bands, employed string arrangements, and even reinterpreted popular music. Today, Tyner has released nearly 80 albums under his name; earned four Grammy’s and was awarded Jazz Master from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2002. He continues to leave his mark on generations of improvisers, and yet remains a disarmingly modest and spiritually directed man. Recently Tyner has been touring with Bill Frisell in the Wake of his 2008 recording “Guitars” on which he played with 5 different guitarists: Bill Frisell, Derek Trucks, Bela Fleck, Bill Frisell, John Scofield, Marc Ribot, with Tyner’s trio mates, Ron Carter and Jack DeJohnette.
I have been wanting to see him for years and I was not disappointed to see him at Jazz Alley Friday night for the second set. It was dynamite. Here are some pictures for the set.