Correspondence: When Mike And Joe Dug Herb

In response to last month's post Herb Geller At 80, Rifftides reader Mike Baughan sent the following account of hearing Geller under fortuitous circumstances. On a 'post-divorce find-myself-solo vacation' to Norway in 2002, I was fortunate enough to attend some events of the Oslo Jazz Festival. Saw the Swedish guitarist Ulf Wakenius perform a lively set. At the show's conclusion they invited those interested to meet at The Oslo Grand Hotel for a jam session. Traveling alone, I had no tight … [Read more...]

Other Places: Blumenfeld On Shorter

Wayne Shorter turned seventy-five in August and played a delayed celebratory concert this week in Carnegie Hall. He was with his working rhythm section of pianist Danilo Perez, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade. The remarkable Imani Winds also played a set with Shorter. I wasn't there, worse luck, but fellow artsjournal.com blogger Larry Blumenfeld was. He filed a moving report on his Listen Good. Excerpts: It's as if Shorter has simply liberated each song from its … [Read more...]

Patience, Please…

The Rifftides staff is knee-deep, at least, in an article about Ralph Rainger. It will appear soon in a national publication. Ralph Rainger? Here are two clues: People say you rule me with one wave of your hand. Darling, its grand. They just don't understand You might have been a headache, but you never were a bore... I'll get back to blogging soon. In the meantime, please explore the Rifftides archives, which now have more than three-and-a-half years of material. Time flies when you're … [Read more...]

Take Ten

Michael Ricci, the proprietor of the All About Jazz web site, asked me to contribute (in the true sense of the word) something about "Take Ten," the piece Paul Desmond hoped would become as big a hit as its predecessor, "Take Five." Michael and I worked together to adapt a substantial portion of the chapter of my Desmond biography that deals with "Take Ten." AAJ put it up today, with a bonus in the form of illustrated audio of Desmond, Jim Hall, Gene Cherico and Connie Kay playing "Samba de … [Read more...]

The Al Cohn Collection

The Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania in the northeast United States are home to musicians who like peace and quiet but must be near New York City and Philadelphia, where the work is. The Delaware Water Gap area of the Poconos has become famous in jazz circles for residents including Phil Woods, Urbie Green, Bob Dorough, David Liebman, John Coates, Jr., Bill Goodwin, Steve Gilmore and Hal Galper, and for the Deer Head Inn, the region's jazz headquarters. It was at the Deer Head in 1978 that … [Read more...]

Three Octets

As I pointed out here and here earlier this year in surveys of medium-sized bands, Six to eleven pieces allow arrangers freedom that the conventions and sheer size of sixteen-piece bands tend to limit. Medium-sized groups have been important since the beginnings of jazz. They continue to be important. Here are three recent examples, quite different from one another. Felipe Salles, South American Suite (Curare Records). Salles performs on several reed instruments. He is exceptional in his … [Read more...]