Surprises and stalwarts in an NYC jazz weekend

Five acts, all jazz headliners, in 3 hours at the Jazz Foundation of America's Loft Jazz Party, plus Chicago drummer-composer Mike Reed's thrilling People, Places & Things quartet and alto saxist Darius Jones' trio at Drom in the East Village -- bountiful blues, soul, swing, groove, creativity, tradition, big names and newcomers in NYC on Saturday and Sunday. It's like this all the time in the jazz capital of the universe, but good not to take it for granted. … [Read more...]

Jajouka-beyond-jazz, public interviews and local acts at Portland fest

The Master Musicians of Jajouka, a troupe from Morocco's Rif Mountains, stretch anyone's definition of "jazz." They sure don't make the cut according to alto saxophonist Lou Donaldson, who regaled the crowd attending his "Jazz Conversation" at the PDX Jazz Festival (Portland OR) with the opinion that he's the only real "jazz" artist on the sched during the fest's second weekend, dissing saxophonists Eric Dolphy, Ornette Coleman and Tom Scott, among others, as having "nothing to do with jazz" slighting Frank Morgan as a "phony" and Cannonball … [Read more...]