Congratulations to George Wein, who will be honored on Thursday with an award for Lifetime Achievement in the Humanities. The honor comes from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities in recognition of Wein’s stewardship of the Newport Jazz Festival since 1954 and the Newport Folk Festival since 1959. The council cites his launching of what “became the first jazz festival in America and started an era that has inspired music events around the world.” At 87, Wein is still organizing festivals and still playing piano with his Newport All-Stars. At the celebration in downtown Providence, Christina Bevilacqua of the Providnce Athenaeum will also be awarded a prize, for Creative Achievement in the Humanities.
News has arrived that bassist Butch Warren died over the weekend in Washington, DC. He was 74. Warren was a veteran of bands led by Kenny Dorham, Dexter Gordon, and Thelonious Monk. He recorded with them, Herbie Hancock, Donald Byrd, Sonny Clark and other stalwarts of the Blue Note label at the height of its influence. His years back in Washington, his home town, were marked by physical and psychiatric illness, interrupted by occasional returns to active music making. A Washington Post article by Marc Fisher reprises Warren’s career and recent troubles.
Warren’s strength and drive are an important element in the success of this version of Monk’s “Evidence,” taped in Japan in 1963. Charlie Rouse is the tenor saxophonist, Frankie Dunlop the drummer.
Trumpeter Bobby Shew sent a photograph made on a cruise in the Caribbean in 1994.
From left to right, we see Louie Bellson, Gerry Mulligan, Shew and bassist Keeter Betts. Mr. Shew’s note reads, in part:
No real story re: this photo, except that we were all on a jazz cruise together for Hank O’Neal. I was with Louie’s quintet as was Keeter. Somehow we were all in conversation and someone snapped this shot, luckily! I think Gerry died shortly after this photo was taken.
Mulligan died in early 1996.
(Addendum, 10/11/13: Rifftides reader Alex Cohen writes from New Zealand, “I’m the ‘someone’ who snapped this shot and sent it off to Mr Shew last week.”)
The Rifftides staff is off to Seattle to hear the Emil Viklicky Trio tomorrow evening at a new club, The Royal Room. The Czech pianist is flying in from Prague for a one-nighter with Clipper Anderson on bass and Don Kinney on drums. The same Pacific Northwest sidemen joined him for a Seattle appearance last year and one at The Seasons in Yakima in 2010. For Rifftides reports on those occasions, go here and here.
The following night, I’ll hear bassist Dave Holland’s quartet at Jazz Alley. Holland’s two-night gig is part of a tour following the release of a new CD with his quartet known as Prism, which is also the title of the album. His regular members will be along; pianist Craig Taborn, guitarist Kevin Eubanks and drummer Eric Harland. I’ll try to remember to take a note or two on each occasion and let you know if anything interesting happens.