Anita O’Day comes back to life tonight. Read Mel Minter’s story about it here: Susan Abod honors the Jezebel of jazz.
The Tribute Trio Unhooks Itself
The Tribute Trio—John Rangel (piano), Michael Glynn (bass) and Cal Haines (drums)—paid homage to iconic jazz pianists/composers in a series of monthly concerts from May 2010 to April 2011. Each focused on a particular pianist—except for the last. That final concert celebrated the release of the trio’s first album, Dedications, Vol. 1, which featured original compositions inspired by some of the pianists they’d been exploring. This week, they release Dedications, Vol. 2, with original compositions that find their inspiration across a wider landscape. On Vol. 2, the trio unhooks itself from specific pianists’ styles and explores its own identity with greater freedom. The high point comes in a tender homage to the trio’s artistic director, Victoria Rogers. Written by Rangel, the composition walks a line between jazz and classical terrains, offering an unguarded musical expression of gratitude that’s full of endearing quirks à la Satie (and à la Rogers). What the new release says more than anything is that the trio is its own man, with compositional skills and musicianship worthy of wider attention. You can catch an earful at the album release concert, where the CD will be available for a discounted price.
The Jezebel of Jazz Redux
Susan Abod honors Anita O'Day
Vocalist and songwriter Susan Abod has been working hard on her upcoming Anita O’Day tribute concert, but her commitment goes only so far. She’s immersed herself in O’Day’s recordings and videos, read her autobiography, been rehearsing the material night and day, and even gone in search of a wide-brimmed hat and white gloves to recall the singer’s iconic appearance at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival. She has, however, steadfastly refused to tour the country in dance marathons, marry her drummer, have her uvula excised by a sloppy surgeon, or explore heroine and alcohol addiction—all of which marked the life of O’Day.
The Jazz Gospel According to Charlie Christian
Michael Anthony, Bobby Shew and friends celebrate guitarist’s innovations
Using a newfangled contraption, the electric guitar, and a mesmerizing facility for improvisation, Charlie Christian, born in 1916, helped transform the role of the guitar in jazz. The Oklahoma City native first made his mark in the swing era, joining Benny Goodman’s sextet and orchestra in 1939. (As the third black man hired by Goodman, he helped bury bandstand segregation.) He then helped transform jazz itself, collaborating with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk as they worked out the rules of a brand-new musical language: bebop. He managed to accomplish all of this in just 25 years, passing away in 1942, a victim of tuberculosis.
SuperSax New Mexico Expands on Charlie Parker
Group revives historic charts from the ’70s and '80s
Bobby Shew and John Proulx jazz up Disney
A Jazz Tribute (x 12)
Cal Haines’ Tribute Trio—John Rangel (piano), Michael Glynn (bass) and Cal Haines (drums)—will honor Horace Silver on the inaugural night of a 12-concert series to be performed once a month. The series will be staged at different places in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, from jazz clubs to colleges to guerrilla performing arts venues. Each concert will explore the work of a single jazz pianist, among them Chick Corea, Thelonious Monk, Oscar Peterson, Bud Powell, Bobby Timmons, Lennie Tristano and McCoy Tyner. “The trio is interested in keeping this music alive,” says concert coordinator Victoria Rogers, and it has a special interest in drawing the attention of young fans to these composers. For more information on what promises to be an entertaining and informative survey course in modern jazz piano, visit tributetrio.com.