Big fun news: Santana weds Blackman, Herbie & Wayne play

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The rare notable jazz wedding to celebrate: Beyond-jazz, rock & Latin guitarist Carlos Santana to drummer Cindy Blackman, who's had a great recording year, issuing Another Lifetime, her smashing tribute to the late Tony Williams) and driving Organ Monk, Greg Lewis's trio album that made my top 10.Santana's best albums after the first one always have had a outward reach -- Abraxis, Caravanserai, his spiritualized rave up Love, Devotion and Surrender with John McLaughlin and organist Larry (Khalid Yasin) … [Read more...]

Video for fans of Sonny Rollins & harmolodics

Too good to not post: Ornette Coleman was surprise guest with Sonny Rollins at his fast-become-famous Beacon Theater 80th birthday party on September 10 (backstage there was birthday cake shaped like a saxophone, made of marzipan). Note SR's quote at about 10 minutes in of "I'll Take Manhattan," which he certainly did. [[As of 9/15/2010 this video has been removed from Youtube by it's "user." Research will follow.  … [Read more...]

Miles’ beyond jazz, today and tomorrow

Miles Davis is still at it -- in Prospect Park, the Highline Ballroom, (le) Poisson Rouge, Carefusion Jazz Festival's Carnegie Hall concerts, also overflowing the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, as per my City Arts - New York column and enriching the glorious Festival International de Jazz de Montreal (June 25 - July 5).  Though he died of exacerbated living at age 65 in 1991, the influence of Miles' trumpet and his breakthrough "directions in music" vibrates through urbane international cultural as strongly now as ever. … [Read more...]

Eddie Palmieri sets Jazz at Lincoln Center afire

Eddie Palmieri, the genius and prophet of Afro-Caribbean jazz, showed Herbie Hancock, maybe Wynton Marsalis and certainly the roaring audience at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Hall a thing or three last weekend. His band La Perfecta II, reconstituting the instrumentation and compositions for mambo, cha-cha and pachanga dancing Palmieri introduced in 1961, blew the lid off the joint as I've heard no other band do since it opened in 2004, establishing Latin music's clavé rhythm for all time at the core of what Marsalis likes to call "the house … [Read more...]

Herbie enriches Joni

A decade ago, pianist Herbie Hancock established his "New Standards" initiative, aiming to wed sophisticated improvisation to a contemporary American pop songbook (post-Berlin, Gershwin, Porter, et al). At last, after several disastrous attempts, he's justified such a project with River: The Joni Letters -- infusing well-known high art pop songs by inimitable Joni Mitchell with the depth of lyrical, inspired jazz. … [Read more...]