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PDX Jazz Fest :: Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy

16th Feb 10 (Tue) Leave a comment

Well, the PDX Jazzfest in Portland, Oregon, is only 1 week 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… last up Dave Douglas and his horny band Brass Ecstasy.  I’ll be going to this show, which caps the PDX Jazz Fest.  I got into Dave Douglas via John Zorn’s Masada.  I’ve since gotten into Dave’s other bands: Tiny Bell Trio, Keystone, DD Quartet, DD Quintet, SF Jazz Collective, Second Sight, New & Used, Mosiac Sextet, Orange Then Blue, A Single Sky… tons of releases over 20+ years.

His Brass Ecstasy band released their debut recording, Spirit Moves, in 2009 – which features Dave joined by Vincent Chancey on french horn, Luis Bonilla on trombone, Marcus Rojas on tuba, and Nasheet Waits on drums and releases on Greenleaf Music.

Two-time Grammy-nominated jazz musician Dave Douglas is arguably the most prolific and original trumpeter & composer of his generation. From his New York base, where he’s lived since the mid 1980s, Douglas has continued to earn lavish national and international acclaim including trumpeter, composer, and jazz “Artist of the Year” by such organizations as the New York Jazz Awards, Down Beat, Jazz Times, Jazziz, and the Italian Jazz Critics’ Society. His solo recording career began in 1993 with Parallel Worlds on Soul Note and he has since released over twenty-eight recordings. In 2005, after seven critically-acclaimed albums for Bluebird/RCA, Douglas launched his own record label, Greenleaf Music. The same year, he was honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship. On Greenleaf, Douglas has released albums with his long standing Quintet, the electronic sextet Keystone, and the mixed chamber ensemble Nomad. His latest project, Brass Ecstasy, features a brass quintet of trumpet, french horn, trombone, tuba and drums and will release Spring 2009.

Douglas is currently the artistic director of the Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music at the Banff Center and the co-founder and director of the Festival of New Trumpet Music, which will celebrate its 7th year in 2009.

In addition to leading his own groups, Douglas has an important ongoing musical relationship as a member of John Zorn’s Masada and with artists such as Anthony Braxton, Don Byron, Joe Lovano, Miguel Zenon, Uri Caine, Bill Frisell, Cibo Matto, Mark Dresser, Han Bennink and Misha Mengelberg. As a composer, Douglas has been commissioned by the Trisha Brown Dance Company, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Norddeutscher Rundfunk, Essen Philharmonie, Library of Congress and Stanford University. Recent large scale works have included Blue Latitudes, for chamber orchestra and 3 improvisers, and Delighted States, for big band with soloists (both unreleased as of press date).

Webpage: http://www.davedouglas.com/

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

~Dan – np: Hotel LightsHotel Lights

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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 :: Dave Holland Quintet

2nd Feb 10 (Tue) Leave a comment

Well, the PDX Jazzfest in Portland, Oregon, is about 3 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 the Dave Holland Quintet.

At the pinnacle of his career, Dave Holland has settled into the unassuming role of jazz master. The multi-award and poll-winning bassist, composer, arranger and bandleader leads two of the most vibrant groups in jazz: the Dave Holland Quintet and the Dave Holland Big Band. He has collaborated in two of the top jazz collectives of the decade: the ScoLoHoFo quartet comprised of Holland, John Scofield, Joe Lovano and Al Foster and the Herbie Hancock-piloted all-star quartet including Wayne Shorter and Brian Blade.

Though he’s too busy to be fully engaged in outside projects, Holland has played on recent Roy Haynes albums and recorded trio dates with such leaders as Geri Allen and Kenny Wheeler-all outings that he says he could not pass up. He even has taken his recording career into his own hands, launching his own label imprint, Dare2 Records in 2005.

A onetime sideman with two titans of jazz, Thelonious Monk (a short tenure) and Miles Davis (a seminal experience during the trumpeter’s Bitches Brew era), Holland made his debut as a leader in the early 1970s. He broke in as a leader with Music for Two Basses (1971) with Barre Phillips and Conference of the Birds (1972) with a band featuring Sam Rivers and Anthony Braxton. Holland also expanded his work as a side musician to include recording with a diversity of artists such as Bonnie Raitt (Give It Up, 1972), John Hartford (Morning Bugle, 1972) and Lee Konitz (Satori, 1974).

In recent years, his recording career has continued to flourish, recording such milestone albums as his quintet CD, Extended Play: Live at Birdland (2003) and two Grammy-winning big band discs, What Goes Around (2002) and the potent follow-up Overtime (2005). Continuing this impressive creative streak into 2006, Holland released a new quintet album, entitled Critical Mass. The album is the first new studio recording by the Dave Holland Quintet to be released in over five years and marks drummer Nate Smith’s debut recording with the band.

In regards to his quintet, Holland sees his band as representing the evolution of different types of rhythmic structures and forms that has been transforming the face of jazz in the last two decades. In his search to keep the music vital, Holland says the band has delved into the rhythmic traditions of Africa, India, South America and the Caribbean, as well as the innovations in contemporary music in the hip-hop and R&B worlds.

Webpage: http://www.daveholland.com/

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

~Dan – np: Yuka HondaHeart Chamber Phantoms

PDX Jazz Fest :: Trygve Seim & Frode Haltli

26th Jan 10 (Tue) Leave a comment

Well, the PDX Jazzfest in Portland, Oregon, is about 4 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… this week is all about Norwegian jazz masters Trygve Seim & Frode Haltli.

A unique saxophone/accordion duo and key figures in the new Norwegian music, Trygve Seim and Frode Haltli have played together in many contexts. The accordionist joined Seim’s large ensemble for live performances after the release of Different Rivers in 2000, and participated in the recording of The Source and Different Cikadas later that year, as well as Sangam (recorded 2002-2004). He continues to tour regularly with Seim’s large ensemble. Trygve and Frode have been playing in duo since 2001: Yeraz is the first documentation of their work in this format.

The two musicians share an interest in the expressive potential of acoustic music across all stylistic boundaries, from world folk traditions to contemporary composition. Accordionist Frode Haltli came to contemporary music early, but simultaneously began playing folk music in his local village community, and at 13 was the youngest member of a traditional dance band. Folk has remained a thread in a musical life that embraces improvisation as well as performance of composed music with a special focus on modern composers. His prize winning debut album Looking on Darkness (ECM New Series, 2002) including the title piece written by Bent Sørensen, was a powerful summing up of new directions in Nordic composition. Passing Images (recorded 2004) made connections between folk and improvisation and pooled a team of maverick talents including classical violist Garth Knox, jazz trumpeter Arve Henriksen and singer/composer Maja Ratkje.

Inspired early in his creative life by Jan Garbarek and by Edward Vesala, Seim has worked in many modern jazz contexts, and continues to tour with Manu Katché’s group. In his own music, however, distance from conventional definitions of jazz becomes ever more marked. Investigation of Asian, Middle Eastern and East European music – and especially the sounds of the Armenian duduk, the Japanese shakuhachi, and the Indian bansuri flute – have had their impact on Seim’s music and brought about a redefining of the nature of dynamics. Subtle shadings and textures are part of his palette, and microtonal phrasing characteristic of his melodic approach.

Webpage: http://www.trygveseim.no/

Webpage: http://www.haltli.com/

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

~Dan – np: Mycale play John Zorn’s Masada Book Two: Book of Angels, Vol. 13 – Mycale

PDX Jazz Fest :: Mingus Big Band

19th Jan 10 (Tue) Leave a comment

Well, the PDX Jazzfest in Portland, Oregon, is about 5 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 the Mingus Big Band.

For those jazz fans who don’t know the music of Charles Mingus, go back to school.  He was a monumental force on bass and a great composer in his own right.  He had a firey-oft-angry personality, a strong conviction against racism, and a great sense for melody.  He was one of my first forays into jazz… I had Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus and Mingus Ah Um long before I had any other jazz in my collection.

The Mingus Big Band celebrates the music of the composer and bassist, Charles Mingus, who died in 1979. Under the artistic direction of (Charles’ wife) Sue Mingus, this 14-piece band performed Thursday nights from 1991 to 2004 at the Fez under Time Cafe in New York City, occasionally alternating with the Charles Mingus Orchestra. From November 2004 to September 2008, the big band had a residency at Iridium Jazz Club and in October 2008 moved to Monday residency at Jazz Standard. The Mingus Big Band tours extensively in the United States and abroad, and has eight recordings to its credit, six of which have been nominated for Grammys.

Regulars currently appearing in the 14-piece band:

  • 3 Trumpets: Randy Brecker, Earl Gardner, Alex Sipiagin, Lew Soloff, Tatum Greenblatt, Ryan Kisor, Kenny Rampton, Jack Walrath, Sean Jones
  • 3 Trombones: Conrad Herwig, Andy Hunter, Ku-umba Frank Lacy, Earl McIntyre, Dave Taylor, Robin Eubanks, Joe Fiedler, Clark Gayton
  • 5 Saxophones: Vincent Herring, Seamus Blake, Abraham Burton, Wayne Escoffery, Donny McCaslin, Mark Gross, Craig Handy, Jason Marshall, Lauren Sevian, Jaleel Shaw, Steve Slagle, Ronnie Cuber, David Lee Jones
  • Piano: Orrin Evans, David Kikoski, Helen Sung, George Colligan, Kenny Drew Jr.
  • Bass: Boris Kozlov, Hans Glawischnig, Andy McKee, Joe Martin, Ugonna Okegwo, Dwayne Burno
  • Drums: Donald Edwards, Gene Jackson, Victor Lewis, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Adam Cruz

Webpage: http://www.mingusmingusmingus.com/

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

~Dan – np: John ZornCobra

PDX Jazz Fest :: Luciana Souza

12th Jan 10 (Tue) Leave a comment

Well, the PDX Jazzfest in Portland, Oregon, is about 6 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… first up Luciana Souza.

Luciana Souza is a Grammy winning jazz vocalist from São Paulo, Brazil.  Her first solo album was An Answer to Your Silence (1999). The Poems of Elizabeth Bishop and Other Songs (2000) was fifth place in the New York Times‘ 2000 The Year in Pop and Jazz: The Critics’ Choice list. In 1991, she was elected Discovery of the Year by APCA for her work with Hermeto Pascoal. In the next year, she toured with the Zimbo Trio. In 1995, she was nominated for Outstanding Latin Act and, in the next year, Outstanding Jazz Vocalist at the Boston Music Awards. Among the artists she has been performing and recording with are her godfather, Hermeto Pascoal; Danilo Perez; Zimbo Trio; David Kikoski; Joey Calderazzo; Romero Lubambo; Guillermo Klein; Oscar Castro-Neves; Cyro Baptista; the Paul Winter Consort; Ben Sher Group; Steve Lacy; Kenny Wheeler; Donald Brown; John Patitucci; Kenny Werner; Osvaldo Golijov; Bob Moses; and George Garzone. From a musical family (her parents are Walter Santos and Tereza Souza), Souza has been involved with music since her childhood, when she worked with jingles. After four years at Unicamp University in Brazil, she went to the Berklee College of Music, where she received a bachelor’s degree in jazz composition. She received a master’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music. In 2009, Souza released Tide her first album for Verve and her second collaboration with husband and producer Larry Klein.

Webpage: http://www.lucianasouza.com/

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

~Dan – np: dredgWaterborne (soundtrack)

PDX Jazz is back…

1st Oct 08 (Wed) 1 comment

As previously reported, PDZ Jazz (a not-for-profit responsible for bringing in a great Jazz Festival in the winter) was in a serious bleeding budget situation and shut down operations a little bit ago.  Thanks to Alaska Airlines, the City of Portland, and others… well, here’s what JazzPDX said about it…

Today, the Portland Jazz Festival announced that it will return this February, despite recent concerns about sponsorship and funding.  As of a couple of weeks ago, the festival was around $100,000 short of their required budget, but with help from Alaska Airlines, the City of Portland, and others, the festival will be able to return in full capacity on February 13th, 2009.

Luciana Lopez at the Oregonian offers more detailed coverage of the announcement.  Click here for her article.

Yay!

~Dan – np: Damien JuradoCaught in the Trees

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