June 12, 2003 |
The New York avant-garde jazz scene of the '60s would not have been the same without Henry Grimes. Although the bassist had established solid credentials as a mainstream player in the late '50s with Gerry Mulligan and Sonny Rollins, he quickly embraced the startling, ever-shifting new music forms bursting onto the scene in the next decade.
April 26, 1995 |
A performance from Trilok Gurtu is a visual as well as audible delight.
December 16, 1994 |
"Stolen Moments" is the hip-hop generation's "Fathers and Sons," as a variety of rap and pop stars jam with the jazz players whose music they've absorbed. Of the two CDs, the first is tipped decidedly in the pop direction, the second, with Branford Marsalis' tribute to John Coltrane and vintage recordings of Pharoah Sanders and Alice Coltrane, looks the other way. The best numbers jump out from the mundane few. M.C.
March 11, 1994 |
What if they gave an all-star jazz party and no trumpeters came? More than any other instrument, the horn would be conspicuous by its absence. From the beginning of time--jazz time, that is--the trumpet or cornet has been central to the music. Trumpeters functioned as actual or de facto leaders of the most influential groups. Legend tells us the first jazz soloist was Buddy Bolden, 1877-1931, a New Orleans cornetist whose band played the honky-tonks of Storyville a century ago.
April 30, 1998 |
Artistic identity is as vital to jazz as it is to the other arts. The capacity to generate an expressive singularity, one that is instantly identifiable, is as important to a jazz improviser as it is to a novelist, painter or dancer. In his early years, saxophonist Charles Lloyd, who opened a five-night run at Catalina Bar & Grill on Tuesday before a full, responsive crowd, was often linked with John Coltrane. But his resurgence in the '90s has produced a far more personal sound and style.
September 6, 1996 |
Most American jazz musicians in the '90s have focused strongly upon restoring the mainstream styles of the '50s and '60s. Ironically, at the same time, many jazz players from other parts of the world have moved away from the mainstream, taking the music into intriguing areas of exploration and discovery. Indian percussionist Trilok Gurtu, who appeared with his quartet at LunaPark Wednesday night, has never been quite like any other drummer.
September 10, 1990 |
The promised reunion of the original Ornette Coleman Quartet at the Orpheum Theatre on Friday night turned out to be one headliner short. Trumpeter Don Cherry, described as ill after dental work, failed to show for the Los Angeles Festival event. His absence put only a slight damper on an otherwise fascinating musical event. The Coleman Quartet--with Billy Higgins on drums and Charlie Haden on bass--was a catalytic factor in the many changes taking place in jazz in the late '50s and early '60s.
April 4, 1989 |
Let's start with the name. The group DO'AH, according to co-leader and guitarist Randy Armstrong, is a Persian word signifying a call to prayer. A bit esoteric, perhaps, for a pop or jazz group, but, as its Sunday-night opening set at At My Place made amply clear, New Hampshire-based New Age group DO'AH has lofty aspirations--most notably to blend jazz and pop with what might loosely (if somewhat inaccurately) be described as "world music."
January 15, 1991 |
Was it a case of the emperor's new clothes or a brief look inside the essence of the creative process? Don Cherry's solo performance at McCabe's Friday night appeared to promote the latter. But there were many moments when one expected an unconvinced observer to stand up and shout, "Nothing's happening here!" Best known, perhaps, for his role in the '60s as Ornette Coleman's pocket trumpet-playing sidekick, Cherry has traveled an iconoclastic path in the intervening years.
October 2, 2000 |
Percussionist Adam Rudolph has been one of the improvisational world's more adventurous players. He has, for example, worked for many years in tandem with veteran saxophone/woodwind artist Yusef Lateef in a continuing exploration of the cross-cultural linkages between jazz and a variety of world musics.