Bill’s Place, Birdland, Camille Gainer Jones
New York Amsterdam » Jazz Notes
by Ron Scott
4d ago
The saxophonist and flautist Frank Wess played a major role in bringing the flute into the jazz mainstream. The native of Kansas City toured the globe, performing everywhere from Japan to Germany and Europe. He was a regular at New York’s Birdland, the Blue Note and St. Peter’s Church in Manhattan.  Wess’s infectious solos on both flute and tenor saxophone made him an invaluable member of Count Basie’s band in the early 1950s and ’60s; later, he became an impressive composer and arranger. Basie liked his flute for its colorful tones. Today it remains a toss up on which instrument Wess wa ..read more
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David Murray, Sista’s Place, Ron Carter, Harlem Stage
New York Amsterdam » Jazz Notes
by Ron Scott
1w ago
David Murray, the prolific tenor saxophonist, can take you on a journey into the depths of avant garde, whirling in honks and wails that find their way into a stream of blues as he does on his “Organic Saxophone” live solo album (Palm Records, 1978). And with the same fiery tenor, he pulls out harmonies delivering you to the Baptist pulpit. On his album, “Speaking in Tongues,” featuring Fontella Bass, the R&B singer (Justin Time Records, 1999), he plays some jazzy soul on gospel standbys like “Amazing Grace” and “A Closer Walk with Thee.”  Murray is an inventive maverick, whose music ..read more
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January equals Winter JazzFest
New York Amsterdam » Jazz Notes
by Ron Scott
3w ago
The tenor saxophonist and composer Dexter Gordon, in his debonaire manner, once said, “Jazz made New York a swinging affair.” Today, Gordon’s words have blossomed into the New York Winter JazzFest, to be held this year from January 12–18 with performances at more than 14 venues from Harlem to the West Village and Brooklyn. The event has only extended the jazz vernacular and its love for Gotham.  The string of seven-day performances features the family jazz genres of straight-ahead with ingredients of classical, soul, far-of-out and in avant garde with such performers as trumpeter Adam O ..read more
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Jazz Gallery, Birdland, Dizzy’s, Ryan Lee Gallery, Spectrum
New York Amsterdam » Jazz Notes
by Ron Scott
1M ago
During these brisk holidays, scurrying shoppers may need some live jazz to break the hustle-bustle from grabbing all those bargain items and making sure the children get the right gifts. The Jazz Gallery, that cozy little oasis with the most comfortable bar lounge in the city, presents musicians whose music reflects the emotional intensity of life without boundaries. December 22-23, such a band will grace the stage, a place they are very familiar with as The Jazz Gallery All-Stars. These young musicians, bandleaders and composers, who have deep connections with the Jazz Gallery, grew up right ..read more
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Carmen Lundy, Staten Island Jazz
New York Amsterdam » Jazz Notes
by Ron Scott
1M ago
Carmen Lundy is a special voice, a smoked honey filtered vocal instrument that intoxicates. She will display her attributes as one of the 21st century’s great female vocalists on Dec. 16, Aaron Davis Hall at City College (129 Convent Ave. at West 135th Street), 7 p.m.   Lundy’s ensemble, another generation of musicians, who are already outstanding but still rising to their zenith, will include pianist Julius Rodriguez, organist and keyboardist Matthew Whitaker, guitarist Andrew Renfroe, saxophonist Camille Thurman, bassists Curtis Lundy and Ben Webster, trumpeter Wallace Roney Jr. a ..read more
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REVIEWS: Ishmael Reed, Matthew Shipp
New York Amsterdam » Jazz Notes
by Ron Scott
1M ago
Ishmael Reed, the poet, novelist and playwright whose creative works habitually uncover the real truths of the social structure, is also acknowledged as a jazz musician. Only a few of his ilk held such a chair in jazz, such as Greg Tate, Melvin Van Peebles and Amiri Baraka (he wasn’t a musician, but he led his Blue Ark Band). As a prolific writer, Reed has to make space for jazz, which he did during the pandemic when he arranged and composed the music for his second album, “The Hands of Grace” (10 tracks) on his label (Reading Group, 2022). Some of the compositions recorded here are from his ..read more
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Sax Colossus, Panthers, WeFreeStrings
New York Amsterdam » Jazz Notes
by Ron Scott
2M ago
That deep bold hypnotic tone is immediately recognized as the NEA Jazz Master tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins. After recording more than 60 albums as a leader, in his seven-decade career, he is easily considered one of the most significant jazz musicians in history. Some of his many compositions such as “St. Thomas,” Doxy,” “Oleo” and “Pent-Up House” have become jazz standards. In 1958, he appeared in Art Kane’s “A Great Day in Harlem” photograph of 57 jazz musicians, who gathered in front of 17 E. 126th St. (between Fifth and Madison Avenue). He and Benny Golson are the only two surviving mu ..read more
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Adelco Awards celebrate 50th anniversary, Groovitude
New York Amsterdam » Jazz Notes
by Ron Scott
2M ago
The 50th annual Vivian Robinson Audelco Recognition Awards “The Viv” for Excellence in Black Theatre will take place Nov. 28 at Tribeca Performing Arts Center, 199 Chambers St., from 7:30 p.m.-10 p.m.  Some of the many award presentations will include the Pioneer Awards to Peggy Alston, Ben Horney, filmmaker and educator Jamaal Joseph, and LaZette McCants. McCants became a volunteer for AUDELCO in 1983 after meeting Flora Polk, who was the organization’s volunteer coordinator. Over the past 40 years, McCants has worn a variety of AUDELCO hats, including a member of the Board of Directors ..read more
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Jazz Libre, Eunice Newkirk, BLKBOK, jazz art, TJG auction
New York Amsterdam » Jazz Notes
by Ron Scott
2M ago
Arts for Art, the non-profit organization on the Lower East Side, is dedicated to bringing jazz to the community in its unapologetic revolutionary state no smooth no cool just straight-up what it is, truth music.  November 10-12, AFA will continue the second day of its mission with their presentation of JAZZ LIBRE: Multi-Cultural FreeJazz, highlighting music of the African diaspora and Latin America. “In a World of Division—AFA brings Art that stands for Truth and Tolerance.” As Hispanic/Latin Heritage Month comes to a close, come listen enjoy music, dance and poetry. The event, now ..read more
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Rafee Kamaal entrepreneur and pioneer TV producer dies at 75
New York Amsterdam » Jazz Notes
by Ron Scott
3M ago
Rafee Kamaal, whose primary goal as an entrepreneur and television producer was to enrich the lives of African Americans and the Diaspora with such television shows as “In the Black: Keys to Success” one of the first financial empowerment and healthcare series of its kind, made his transition on October 3, in Mt. Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. He was 75. His nephew Kyle Williams confirmed, Kamaal died after a long bout with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  Kamaal was a man of integrity, a gentleman, who only had positive things to say and was willing to assist or give advice to those in the busine ..read more
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