As the summer gets ready to kick in, I will be very busy covering lots of great music around the area. First, it is going to be my honor to be the official journalist covering the memorial concert for my dearest friend Skip Morris this coming Friday, June 9th in Detroit. With a great line-up including Branford Marsalis, Joe Locke, Ralph Peterson, The Baylors, and many more, it promises to be a wonderful event. Then it will be off to Pittsburgh for the Jazz Live Festival featuring a stellar line-up of which two offerings are really special to me- Hudson and Roy Ayers! Cleveland's Tri-C Jazzfest then kicks off the following weekend before I take some time off for my annual vacation to the Smoky Mountains. Keep posted for my coverage of all these great happenings!
It was a great evening of jazz as organists Brian Charette and Jim Alfredson took to the stage at Nighttown last Thursday evening. I wish there had been a bigger crowd, but the music was fantastic. Drummer Jordan Young and tenor saxophonist Benny Sharoni rounded out a most simpatico unit. I was humbled to be asked to sit in. I had a blast jamming with Brian and Jim on "Footprints". I am hoping these two get together soon for another tour of organ madness!
It has been a great September. It all started with time spent in Detroit at the jazz festival Labor Day weekend. An already great weekend was capped off by the opportunity to do an interview with Ron Carter that might also be part of a documentary on the festival's artist-in-residence this year. Then, it was off to Holland, Michigan for the Hope College Jazz Organ Summit. Brian Coyle and Tony Monaco put together an event that was off the hook. Next weekend I am headed to Ann Arbor to see Kamasi Washington for the first time. Stay tuned...
Wow, just got this new set of Coltrane vinyl releases in mono. So far, I have to say they have hit this one out of the ballpark. I am working on a review that should post soon over at AAJ. Stay tuned...
Within the past week, I had the pleasure of taking in two fantastic shows within the span of two days. Brad Mehldau and his trio with Larry Grenadier and Jeff Ballard took the stage at Finney Chapel in Oberlin for a rare and deeply satisfying set. Touching on material from their upcoming release Ballads and Blues, the generous performance was something to behold. Then, it was off to Ann Arbor for a performance of The Bad Plus and Joshua Redman. I haven't really followed The Plus, but was amazed at how good the show turned out to be. Deep and emotionally charged, despite it also being very cerebral. What a great way to kick off spring!
Sorry to say that personal problems have kept me away from major site revisions and blog entries for quite some time. God willing, things have settled down and I hope to keep more up to date with things. In the meantime, don't forget to check out my column, The Vinyl Post over at All About Jazz!
Wow, I'm still trying to recover from the Labor Day festivities in Detroit. As par for the course, I headed to Detroit to cover the festival. Talk about diversity. From Shiela Jordan (see left) to John Scofield, there was the usual smorgasbord of music that found one hopping from stage to stage all weekend. Keep an eye out for my coverage to post soon at All About Jazz. In the meantime, check out my photos at my AAJ gallery.
The highlights were many over the 17 days I spent in June traveling about in California. It was with great pleasure and profound meaning that I experienced Sunday services at The Church of St. John Coltrane on Father's Day.
Mere words do little to express the spirit of the music and of the Lord as my parents, son, and I got to know the wonderful musicians, singers, and leaders who bring the message of Christ and jazz to San Francisco every Sunday. It was quite moving and certainly something not to be missed if you planning a trip to San Francisco.
How grateful I was to also have a chance to play drums on two pieces with the church ensemble which they call Ohnedaruth. The music was uplifiting and the space is inspiring, filled as it is with many lovely icons depicting Coltrane with saxophone in hand.
Many thanks and God Bless to Archbishop King and Sister E for welcoming us to their sanctuary. What a blessed afternoon it was!
I don't know where the past five months have gone, but here we are in June. Time goes by quickly when you are raising a teenager and working at a demanding job. I am looking forward to starting my summer vacation in just a few short days. Then it's lots of roller coasters at Cedar Point and off to California for two weeks, including a stop at the San Francisco Jazz Festival. Stay tuned...