• On the Scene - Trio 3 and Geri Allen at Jazz Standard

    March 10, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Trio 3 and Geri Allen

    Despite the name, Trio 3 - saxophonist/flutist Oliver Lake, bassist Reggie Workman, and drummer Andrew Cyrille - are anything but redundant. All are stalwarts of improvised music, each a master on their respective instrument. They just finished a run at Jazz Standard with special guest, pianist Geri Allen.
    Saturday night, the quartet opened their second set with Oliver Lake's original, "Valley Sketches." Lake commanded the full range of his alto saxophone - from growling exhortations to charismatic high register shouts. Other highlights included Allen's "Thank You, Ma'am," and Reggie Workman's "November 1."

    As much I as concentrate on the music, I am equally fascinated with the audience that attends music shows. While there were definitely some fans of the cerebral architecture onstage, this music was an initiation ritual for others. After all, Saturday night is a date night. I watched a youngish couple before the set, eating and drinking, smiling and enjoying each other's company. The blissful oblivion ended minutes after the music began. The further the music went, the farther the couple's intimacy seemed to migrate.

    Don't get me wrong. I never blame the musicians. They do what they do. Trio 3 and Geri Allen may not be music to snuggle to, but it definitely feeds the brain. Music for a date night? Not really, unless your companion is an adventurous listener. Finding that special someone is never easy, but always worth the search. Same with the music.

  • Benefit for Dennis Irwin

    March 7, 2008. Posted by Simon Rentner.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive

    Bassist Dennis Irwin is in need of immediate financial and medical help. He was recently diagnosed with a tumor on his spinal chord. Jazz at Lincoln Center in partnership with the Jazz Foundation of America presents an extraordinary benefit concert in the Allen Room this Monday at 7:30. Joe Lovano, John Scofield invited some top names in jazz to participate. Here is a short list: The Bill Charlap Trio with Tony Bennett, Wynton Marsalis, Mose Allison, Jack DeJohnette, Bill Frisell, David Berger and Sultans of Swing, John Pattitucci, Jon Hendricks, Jim Hall, Paul Motian, Ron Carter. There will probably be others too. A quick observation: It is remarkable that Dennis Irwin touched and performed with such a diverse list of artists. This should definitely be one of the jazz musical events of the year in New York, and the world. Plus the $150.00 cover is certainly going to a just cause.Tickets: Jazz at Lincoln Center Box Office on Broadway at 60th Street in New York; by calling CenterCharge at (212) 721-6500; or through Jazz at Lincoln Center.

    To help Dennis with a contribution, please visit his website.

    This tribute to Dennis, created by Bret Primack, includes a performance clip from the Joe Lovano Nonet, "New Morning: The Paris Concert," as well as video Bret shot at Joe's "Streams of Expression" recording session in December of 2005.


  • Dr. Billy Taylor's Online Video Archive

    March 6, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Dr. Billy Taylor, at 86, is still a great broadcaster. The good doctor has been spreading the jazz message on multiple broadcast platforms for more than half a century. In the 1950s, he was one of the first jazz musicians to have a daily radio program. He also hosted a weekly television show, The Subject is Jazz. He was the jazz correspondent on CBS Sunday Morning. He hosted two NPR programs, Jazz Alive and Jazz at the Kennedy Center. He founded Jazzmobile. And he's had a web presence for the last seven years. Dr. Billy Taylor's website now includes many classic videos culled from an extraordinary life in jazz. Here's one of the many gems you'll discover - a performance with Billy Taylor, Duke Ellington and Willie "The Lion" Smith:


    While you're here, dig this interview with Dr. Taylor and WBGO's Gary Walker.