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PDX Jazz Photo Wrap-up

2nd Mar 10 (Tue) Leave a comment

As mentioned earlier, there is a Flickr stream for all official Portland Jazz Festival 2010 photos by Fran Kaufman.  Check them out, they capture various aspects of the fest from shows, jam sessions, interviews, et cetera…

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pdxjazz/
(click link for larger photos)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pdxjazz/
(photos by Fran Kaufman)

And if you missed it, check out my reviews for Dave Holland Quintet (2/27), Pharoah Sanders (2/28), and Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy (2/28).  It was a truly fantastic weekend.  Also check out Oregon Music News’ complete coverage

Stay tuned to http://www.pdxjazz.com/.  Sign up for their mailing list and be there for next year’s fest!

~Dan – np: First Meeting (Satoko Fujii, Natsuki Tamura, etc) – Cut the Rope 

REVIEW: Pharoah Sanders @ PDX Jazz Fest (Portland, OR – 2/28/10)

1st Mar 10 (Mon) 4 comments

So, Pharoah Sanders is a legend.  He’s played with jazz great John Coltrane, and his tenor sax work has eclipsed those around him.  Free-jazzmaster Ornette Coleman referred to Pharoah as “probably the best tenor player in the world.”  He has a large swath of albums over the past 5 decades.  Passing up an afternoon concert at this year’s Portland Jazz Fest wasn’t an option. :)

I was just at the Newmark Theatre the night prior for the smokin’ Dave Holland Quintet show.  My seat for Pharoah was is almost the exact same spot (L12 versus L11).  I got a good spot right in the middle to check out Pharoah’s band: William Henderson on piano, Hans Glawischnig on bass, and Justin Faulkner on drums.  After a short introduction, the band hit the stage – Pharoah in a bright purple shirt…

The feel of the show was all over the place.  When Pharoah first started, it was quite remarkable.  He doesn’t play in straight lines, but your mind tends to connect those lines right as his sax is connecting them for you.  He seemed very much like a songbird who was free to sing what he wanted – but still very melodic.  He was very much like a bridge between John Coltrane and the more free-jazz Ornette Coleman.

They started off the show with a 25+ minute “My Favorite Things.”  Most of the rest of the 2+ hour show was the power trio of piano/bass/drums playing with Pharoah walking on and off stage and jumping in where he saw fit.  His long disappearances were interesting, but a 70 year old jazz legend can do whatever he wants. :)  On three of the songs, Portland (now New Orleans) saxophonist Devon Phillips came up and joined the band.

They played 6 or 7 tunes, and ended the show with an encore of “Save Our Children,” sung by Pharoah.  2 hours in total… utterly brilliant work from this master and his great band.

For photos from this and other PDX Jazz shows, check out PDX Jazz’s flickr stream:

(photos by Fran Kaufman)

The Appropriate Linkage:

~Dan – np: David Bazan – Curse Your Branches

PDX Jazz Fest :: Pharoah Sanders

9th Feb 10 (Tue) 3 comments

Well, the PDX Jazzfest in Portland, Oregon, is about 2 weeks away. You won’t want to miss it. There are many fantastic local and national acts, including these great headliners:

Thursday, February 25 – Luciana Souza
Friday, February 26 – Mingus Big Band
Saturday, February 27 (3pm) – Trygve Seim & Frode Haltli
Saturday, February 27 (7:30) – Dave Holland Quintet
Sunday, February 28 (3pm) – Pharoah Sanders
Sunday, February 28 (7:30) – Dave Douglas Brass Ecstasy

As we lead up to the event, I’ll focus on one of the headliners a week… next up Pharoah Sanders.

Pharoah Sanders is a most distinctive tenor saxophone player and a legend, he’s one of the last living members of John Coltrane’s late ensembles of the mid-’60s.  Pharoah Sanders possesses one of the most distinctive tenor saxophone sounds in jazz. Harmonically rich and heavy with overtones, Sanders’ sound can be as raw and abrasive as it is possible for a saxophonist to produce, and although he made his name with expressionistic, nearly anarchic free jazz in John Coltrane’s late ensembles of the mid-’60s, Sanders’ later music is guided by more graceful concerns.

Pharoah Sanders (his given name, Ferrell Sanders) formed his first group in 1963, with pianist John Hicks (with whom he would continue to play off-and-on into the ’90s), bassist Wilbur Ware, and drummer Billy Higgins. His first record as a leader was in 1964 for the ESP label. The group played an engagement at New York’s Village Gate, where John Coltrane heard him and by 1965, Sanders was playing regularly with the Coltrane group. Strength was a necessity in that band, and as Coltrane realized, Sanders had it in abundance.

After John Coltrane’s death in 1967, Sanders worked briefly with his widow, Alice Coltrane, and then primarily as a leader of his own ensembles. From 1966-1971, Sanders released several albums on Impulse, including Tauhid (1966), Karma (1969), Black Unity (1971), and Thembi (1971). In the mid-’70s, Sanders recorded his most commercial effort, Love Will Find a Way (Arista, 1977); it turned out to be a brief detour. From the late ’70s until 1987, he recorded for the small independent label Theresa. From 1987, Sanders recorded for the Evidence and Timeless labels. The former bought Theresa records in 1991 and subsequently re-released Sanders’ output for that company. In 1995, Sanders made his first major-label album in many years, Message From Home (produced by Bill Laswell for Verve). The two followed that one up in 1999 with Save Our Children. In 2000, Sanders released Spirits — a multi-ethnic live suite with Hamid Drake and Adam Rudolph. In the decades after his first recordings with Coltrane, Sanders developed the capability of playing convincingly in a variety of contexts, from free to mainstream, and as a mature artist he has discovered a hard-edged lyricism that has served him well.

Webpage: http://www.pharoahsanders.net/

FOR INFO & TICKETS: http://pdxjazz.com/tickets/

~Dan – np: Clare & The ReasonsThe Movie

PDX Jazz Fest // Nellie McKay

8th Jan 10 (Fri) Leave a comment

Two unrelated news items…

PDX Jazz Fest is just over 6 weeks away… if you like live music and live anywhere near Portland, Oregon, you need to check this out.  It’s a great festival.  This year’s line-up is pretty darn excellent, if you ask me.  I’m hitting three of them (Holland, Sanders & Douglas)…

Headliners

Thursday, February 25 – Luciana Souza
Friday, February 26 – Mingus Big Band
Saturday, February 27 (3pm) – Trygve Seim & Frode Haltli
Saturday, February 27 (7:30) – Dave Holland Quintet *
Sunday, February 28 (3pm) – Pharoah Sanders
*
Sunday, February 28 (7:30) – Dave Douglas Brass Ecstasy
*

The whole week of Feb 21-28 (2010) is full of other great local and national jazz artists as well… all over town.  For tickets and more information: http://www.pdxjazz.com/

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Nellie McKay has released a few 2010 tour dates on her webpage (very scattered so far).  The Seattle date is with Garrison Keillor‘s A Prairie Home Companion… fuuuun.  I’m planning to make the trek up to that show.

  • 1/7/2010 Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant
  • 2/18/2010 New York, NY The Allen Room at Lincoln Center
  • 4/3/2010 Seattle, WA Paramount Theater – A Prairie Home Companion
  • 4/10/2010 Delaware Water Gap, PA Deerhead Inn
  • 6/1/2010 New York, NY Feinstein’s at The Regency
  • 9/17/2010 Monterey, California, United States Monterey Jazz Festival

I’m sure more dates will trickle in throughout the year.  Go to her tour page for more info.

~Dan – np: Miles DavisPorgy & Bess

Portland Jazz Fest 2010 – huzzah!!!

14th Oct 09 (Wed) Leave a comment

OYG!  The headlining line-up for this coming year’s Portland Jazz Festival is rad.

Thursday, February 25, 7:30pm, Hilton Pavilion Ballroom, Luciana Souza
Friday, February 26, 7:30pm, Newmark Theater, Mingus Big Band
Friday, February 26, 9:30 pm, Norse Hall, In The Country
Saturday, February 27, 3:00pm, Norse Hall, Trygve Seim & Frode Haltli
Saturday, February 27, 7:30pm, Newmark Theater, Dave Holland Quintet
Saturday, February 27, 9:30 pm, Norse Hall, Christian Wallumrød Ensemble
Sunday, February 28, 3:00pm, Newmark Theater, Pharoah Sanders
Sunday, February 28, 7:30pm, Crystal Ballroom, Dave Douglas Brass Ecstasy

I’m definitely going to the Dave Douglas show… and the other bold shows are definitely good possibilities.  More acts to follow in the coming months.  The festival runs February 22-28, 2010.

Tickets go on-sale October 27th at TicketMaster (or October 14th – 10am if you are a PDX Jazz member).

Find out more at:

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A totally unrelated sidenote… Texas band of rock siblings Eisley just released a new EP called Fire Kite (digital only, out Oct 9th).  Album cover looks Jebus-y (or at least it’s geometrically-inclined with potentially religious ambivalence)… DL’ing now… we shall see…

~Dan – np: MegadethEndgame

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