it's june. it's new york. it's jazz.

Along with longer days, sunnier skies and warmer weather -- it's outdoor basketball season, at last -- June brings a wealth of great musicians to this already jazz-rich city. I'll fill you on singer Cassandra Wilson's brilliant Central Park concert to open the annual Summerstage series later. And saxophonist Sonny Fortune's harmonically advanced blasts were some the best sounds I've heard in a decade of attending the annual Gracie Mansion backyard picnic to kick off the JVC Jazz Festival.
Now, if I miss being in New Orleans -- and I do --

all I need do -- and will -- is head to Town Hall this evening. JVC's opening night features Preservation Hall Jazz Band of New Orleans, founded in 1961, and still an essential part of the city's cultural landscape, not to mention one of several sources of post-Katrina comfort and aid to musicians. Tom Sancton's recent memoir gives and interesting window into the history and meaning of this all (see my review for Entertainment Weekly; the boxed set Made in New Orleans offers some first-hand documentation. At Town Hall, the Preservation Hall band shares the stage with another New Orleans cultural institution, keyboardist, singer, songwriter and producer Allen Toussaint, as well as with two New York-based musicians, violinist Jenny Scheinman and the saxophonist Steve Wilson.

The Vision Festival, the wonderland of improvised-music that runs concurrently with JVC, ends with New Orleans-flavored flair too, on June 24th: saxophonist Kidd Jordan -- who has taught generations of musicians the rules of game, then broken them all brilliantly with his ever-questing playing -- is featured in a quartet led by drummer Louis Moholo, with bassist William Parker and pianist Dave Burrell.

June 19, 2007 2:29 PM | | Comments (1)



I really enjoy "smooth" jazz. Kim Waters, Acoustic Alchemy, Paul Taylor, Joyce Cooling, etc Is there any place in NYC to hear stuff like that? What jazz (all jazz) bars would you recommend? :)

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Evan Christopher Django à la Créole (Lejazzetal) 

Clarinetist Evan Christopher, a California native, moved to New Orleans in 1994. In his frequent duets with Tom McDermott, and as a standout member of trumpeter Irvin Mayfield's New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, his erudite and personalized approach to traditional jazz commands attention.

Dr. Michael White Blue Crescent (Basin Street) 

Long before the floods that devastated his city, clarinetist Michael White wrestled with the challenge of preserving New Orleans traditional jazz without embalming it. He sought to write tunes built on time-honored local forms that spoke to the here-and-now. But Dr. White struggled to compose anything at all during the past three years--until late 2007, when original music began pouring forth.

Dee Dee Bridgewater
Red Earth: A Malian Journey (DDB Records/Emarcy/Universal) Despite her place in the top rank of American jazz vocalists and her crossover success, Dee Dee Bridgewater has often felt displaced. "I'm always trying to fit in somewhere," she once told me. This new disc, which finds Ms. Bridgewater and her band in collaboration with a cast of Malian musicians and singers, is no further pose:
David Murray Black Saint Quartet featuring Cassandra Wilson Sacred Ground (Justin Time) 
Long among the strongest, most adventurous reedmen in jazz,
Joe Zawinul Brown Street (Heads Up) 
The list of great Viennese composers must include Zawinul--same for the honor roll of jazz innovators.
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This page contains a single entry by ListenGood published on June 19, 2007 2:29 PM.

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