A few more images from The Jazz Cruise
Ken Franckling's Jazz Notes
by Ken Franckling
1d ago
Matt Wilson  Here are a few more of my favorite images from the 2023 edition of The Jazz Cruise aboard the Celebrity Millennium. It sailed January 6-13 out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida to and from the Caribbean, after a two-year pandemic-related pause. Jason Brown, Monty Alexander     Dee Dee Bridgewater, Christian McBride, Benny Green Christian Tamburr, Clint Holmes Bria Skonberg, Nicki Parrott, Niki Haris Sullivan Fortner John Hart Marvin Sewell Axel Tosca Samara Joy Eti ..read more
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Sharing the joy - and exuberant swing - of jazz guitar
Ken Franckling's Jazz Notes
by Ken Franckling
3d ago
Mark Whitfield Mark Whitfield puts his heart and soul into his guitar playing. And as an observer, listener, you can't miss it. He bends and reshapes notes, adds a soulful blues feeling, and rearranges familiar tunes to make them his own - at least for the moment.  And then there is the ever-present body English. He spins, he raises and lowers his beautiful red D'Angelico hollow-bodied guitar to accentuate the sounds he draws from it. His facial expressions run the gamut from intense grimaces to joyous, beaming smiles, shifting in an instant with the musical mood. That - and more ..read more
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The Jazz Cruise is back with vigor and surprises
Ken Franckling's Jazz Notes
by Ken Franckling
1w ago
After two years of pandemic-prompted cancellations, The Jazz Cruise picked up right where it left off in January 2020. This year's January 6-13 sailing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to the Caribbean was loaded with talent, peerless playing and a few splendid surprises. How to describe it in a nutshell? The finest jazz performed in varied combinations between early afternoon and 1 a.m. On several days, the music began before noon. And that doesn't count  lectures, interviews, and daily passenger jam sessions that stretched from 9:30 a.m.  to 2:30 p.m. More than 100 musicians were aboa ..read more
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2022: The Year in Jazz
Ken Franckling's Jazz Notes
by Ken Franckling
1M ago
All About Jazz has published my comprehensive look back at happenings in the jazz world during 2022. At more than 14,000 words, it's not for the faint of heart. Here's the summary lead: Current events impacted the jazz world in significant ways throughout 2022. In its third year, the coronavirus pandemic continued to lurk in some settings, while others recovered in robust fashion. Russia's war on Ukraine was felt by musicians and triggered an outpouring of support for its victims. Initiatives to ensure greater equity in jazz advanced.  The 11th annual International Jazz Day blended in-pe ..read more
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A jazzed winter wonderland
Ken Franckling's Jazz Notes
by Ken Franckling
1M ago
Saxophonist and singer Valerie Gillespie added a full holiday twist to the Charlotte County Jazz Society's concert season on Monday, December 12 in Punta Gorda FL. She and her talented sextet from the Tampa Bay area coursed through 15 winter- or Christmas-themed musical chestnuts before closing with a brief salute to another holiday.  Valerie Gillespie There was a wide variety to the music, performed with both cohesiveness and strong solos. Her band included trumpeter James Suggs and three new faces on the CCJS stage: pianist Jody Marsh, bassist Steve Boisen and drummer Dave Rudo ..read more
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Favorite jazz recordings of 2022
Ken Franckling's Jazz Notes
by Ken Franckling
2M ago
‘Tis the season for the outpouring of Top 10 lists, and their many variations, for jazz, world events, etc. The jazz lists have a lot of variation depending on the individual reviewer's personal tastes, as well as what they listened to during the year. Bottom line, all are extremely subjective. My favorite choices below (aside from the favorite new songs of the year) are being submitted to the Jazz Journalists Association and Jazz Critics Poll 2022 compilations. The latter is the 17th annual Francis Davis-founded and Tom Hull-produced poll has been published by the Boston-based online arts jou ..read more
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The joy of piano personified
Ken Franckling's Jazz Notes
by Ken Franckling
2M ago
Pianist Bobby van Deusen returned to southwest Florida on Friday, November 22 with a long-overdue performance that celebrated his mastery of virtually every keyboard style - delivered with joy and enthusiasm. The Pensacola-based keyboard marvel hadn't performed locally in nearly four years, thanks to pandemic and hurricane postponements.That made his performance in Morrie Trumble's South County Jazz With Morrie series even more special. Over nearly two hours, van Deusen covered a lot of territory, both stylistically and in the sourcing of his material. "I'm gonna play a lot of tunes everybody ..read more
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Letting the good times roll
Ken Franckling's Jazz Notes
by Ken Franckling
2M ago
Singer Ronnie Leigh celebrated the kinship between jazz, the blues and R&B in his Monday, November 14 appearance in Punta Gorda, FL for the Charlotte County Jazz Society. Ronnie Leigh The suave, engaging entertainer from upstate New York made his CCJS debut with a performance that dug into the Great American Songbook and more-modern jazz and R&B sources, including material from Gregory Porter, the late Al Jarreau and even Steely Dan. Leigh and his tight seven-piece jazz band put extended interpretations on all of the material. The band included saxophonist David MacKenzie, tru ..read more
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Charles McPherson's both sides now
Ken Franckling's Jazz Notes
by Ken Franckling
2M ago
It took two and a half-years, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic lull, but alto saxophonist Charles McPherson finally got back to Artis-Naples. He appeared with the Naples Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra on Wednesday, November 9 in the quintet's All That Jazz series. His last visit to Naples was about 10 years ago. Charles McPherson On this night, he treated the audience to two sides of his musical psyche: a fine composer with wide-ranging material, and a true-blue bebopper who can add high-energy artistry and rapidly shifting ideas to most any tune. The top-notch band supporting him this ni ..read more
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A holiday gift, delivered 50 years after its creation
Ken Franckling's Jazz Notes
by Ken Franckling
3M ago
A couple of months before his death on July 6, 1971, beloved jazz trumpeter and popular entertainer Louis Armstrong made what turned out to be his final recording. It's never been heard by the public until now Armstrong turned on the reel-to-reel tape recorded in his home in the Corona section of Queens NY recorded a nostalgic spoken-word version of the classic Samuel Clement Moore poem “A Visit From St. Nicholas.” Nobody is certain of his motivation. As a busy, traveling artist, he never had much time for Christmas merriment. But this long-neglected recording is now the fitting finale on Arms ..read more
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