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...]

Sonny the sax king

At age 80, Sonny Rollins is indisputably the greatest living jazz tenor saxophonist, proved last night throughout a 2-hour set at New York's sold-out Beacon Theater in which harmolodic sage Ornette Coleman sat in, backed by drummer Roy Haynes and bassist Christian McBride, on "Tenor Madness."  "Sonnymoon For Two". Rollins was hunched and hobbled when he came onstage, but once he started blowing he stood upright and blasted his big bold sound with energy that brooked no diminishment of strength or inspiration, bending only to fire … [Read more...]