Well, we have this years jazz Grammy nominees. I used to enjoy the Grammy’s, the spectacle of it, but not much anymore. They do a fantastic job of recognizing jazz artists (Herbie! Maria Schneider!) and helping identify great young jazz artists (the Grammy in the schools program). But I don’t get jazz awards in general, especially at this level. Awarding someone who plays the best recorded solo? I don’t get it. Not sure there is ever a sastifying result. Plenty of other jazz news though including another jazz biopic (it seems like there is a new one every week!) and some jazz for the holidays.
Soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy had a long and diverse career. Possibly known more for the projects he led in the second half of his life, Lacy also performed and recorded with many musicians associated with the ‘Trad,’ Bebop, and Swing styles. These included pianists Thelonious Monk, Mal Waldron, and Wynton Kelly, drummers Elvin Jones, Billy Higgins, and Roy Haynes, among others. Lacy’s career began during an era of change in modern jazz music and he was a part of this change, performing and recording with Cecil Taylor early in the pianist’s career. Evidence, the solo examined in this piece, is the title track from a 1961 recording featuring other musicians active in that time’s musical evolution. (more…)
‘Tis the season for Jazz books! Several new jazz books were announced or released over the holiday including works on Frank Foster, Gigi Gryce and current jazz stars. Here are some links to interesting jazz items from the past week:
Here is a list of jazz concerts streaming for free this weekend. Notable performances include: Ellis Marsalis Birthday Celebration at Lincoln Center and Jason Jackson at Smalls. Click on the link to be redirected to the website where the stream is available. (more…)
Herb Pomeroy was a Boston based trumpeter that is infrequently discussed in the history of jazz. This is not due to his performance abilities as they have been highly thought of by many musicians, including the great saxophonist Charlie Parker. It was Pomeroy’s abilities as a trumpeter that led Parker to hire him when he was performing in Boston based clubs like Storyville or the Hi-Hat. One such date in 1953 was recorded and released as the BlueNote album, “Charlie Parker Live at Storyville.”
Pomeroy’s solos on this date show a very detailed and thoughtful approach to harmony as well as a way of playing the trumpet that seemed to be in vogue at the time. His playing is frequently in the middle and low registers of the instrument, features a dark yet brassy tone, and a ‘laid-back’ approach in his time-feel. These aspects were not uncommon among trumpeters hired by Parker such as Miles Davis or Chet Baker. Of the material on “Charlie Parker Live at Storyville,” Pomeroy’s solo on the Parker blues, Now’s The Time shows the overall finesse which the former brings to these recordings.