The Lewis Porter/Phil Scarff Group: Three Minutes to Four Jazz Weekly Review

By: George Harris, December 4, 2017

Lewis Porter plays piano while Phil Scarff mixes tenor, soprano and sopranino sax with the Indian strung tamboura as they co-lead a quartet of originals with John Funkouser/b and Bertram Lehmann/dr. With the tamboura, Scarff creates some South Asian moods that mix well with jazz as on the “Raga Bhairavi” with his soprano sax and the “Skies of South Africa Suite” that have him on tenor and soprano as the rhythm team lurks with luminosity. Porter’s piano leads on the cantering “Journey” and delivers mysterious mood for Scarff’s serpentine tenor on “Oliver” with the team bops and Funkhouser delivers a deep groove on the Indian bopper “Bageshri.” Intriguing and exotic without a hint of gimmickry.

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Greg Abate review: “A bebopper through and through”

December 12, Ken Franckling

Greg Abate got hooked on the 1950s hard-bop style that evolved from bebop, and he has made himself a career of bringing that intense sound to audiences across the U.S. and around the globe. Much like two other alto sax players with whom he has recorded, Richie Cole and the late Phil Woods, Abate developed into one of the genre’s significant modern ambassadors.

Greg Abate

He brought that sound to the Charlotte County Jazz Society’s concert series in Port Charlotte FL on Monday, December 11, for a high-powered quartet performance. His Florida rhythm section included Richard Drexler on piano, Steve Gilmore on bass and Barry Smith on drums.

This was Rhode Island native Abate’s fifth visit to Port Charlotte in nine concert seasons – and it was memorable for the way the band clicked throughout the night. Each player got significant solo space and made the most of it.

It was a night for Abate to dig deep into anthemic bop tunes, including Tadd Dameron’s “Lady Bird,” trumpeter Lee Morgan’s “Ceora” and bebop co-founder Charlie Parker’s classic “Yardbird Suite,” as well as imprint bebop flourishes on other standards from the jazz canon. The latter tunes included “Star Eyes,” “You Don’t Know What Love Is,” “I Remember April,” “All The Things You Are” and Frank Foster’s Basie band staple “Shiny Stockings.”

Steve Gilmore

He shifted to flute for the poignant waltz “Some Time Ago” and his original minor blues “Contemplation,” which he recorded with Woods.in 2012. “Buddy’s Rendezvous,” written for a longtime friend, was Abate’s other original tune shared at this concert.

Gilmore, who now lives in the Florida Panhandle, was Phil Woods’ bassist for 40 years. He was a wonderful inclusion in this band. His sound is both robust and melodic – and his solos are filled with creative ideas. The society’s concerts have featured many excellent bassists over the years. None have been better than Gilmore.

Richard Drexler, Greg Abate

The band roared through versions of Sonny Stitt’s “The Eternal Triangle,”  a splendid showcase for Smith’s drumming, and “Yardbird Suite,” which included terrific interplay as Abate and Drexler passed the melody back and forth several times.

Barry Smith

The hard bop style is notable for its blistering, emotional cascades of notes – and for the soloists’ seamless inclusion of familiar melodic lines from other tunes that fit the moment.

Bands featured at the society’s December 2016 and 2015 concerts put jazz twists on holiday tunes as part of their programming. At this concert, Abate and Gilmore reversed that concept. They dropped brief melodic lines from holiday fare into at least five tunes over the course of the evening. For example, Gilmore quoted “Frosty the Snowman” and Abate followed with a snippet of “Sleigh Ride” in their solos on “Ceora.” Gilmore dropped a bit of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” into his solo on Abate’s “Contemplation.”

The concert drew about 230 attendees to the Cultural Center of Charlotte County’s William H. Wakeman III Theater.

Richard Drexler, Greg Abate, Steve Gilmore, Barry Smith

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Vance Gilbert to Play in a 3 day streak in January!

Your favorite artist will be busy next month. Vance gilbert is playing 3 shows in 3 days in 3 locations, so make sure to find which show is closest to you and get your tickets! January 12, 13, and 14, check the links down below to get the information on how to get your tickets!

 

January 12th at the Avalon theatre, MD

January 13th at Stone room Concerts, VA

January 14th at World Cafe Live, PA

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Night Journey Rewind with Saxophonist Eric Wyatt part 2 -1

12/4/2017

listen to the interview here
To buy Eric Wyatt’s New album, Look to the Sky, click here
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Eric Wyatt is a saxophonist born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He was introduced to the sax by his father Charles Wyatt, who played tenor and hung out with many of the great jazz icons: Charlie Parker, Gary Bartz, George Braith, Wilber Eric Wyatt is a saxophonist born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He was introduced to the sax by his father Charles Wyatt, who played tenor and hung out with many of the great jazz icons: Charlie Parker, Gary Bartz, George Braith, Wilber Ware, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, and more.Sonny Rollins also helped Eric record his first CD for King Records (Japan) titled ”
God Son”, with the great Al Foster on drums, Rufus Reid on bass and pianist Mark Soskin from Sonny’s band.
Eric has been recording and traveling the world as both leader and sideman and continues to build an impressive, solid resume.HIGHLIGHTS of his perfomances in 2015 Eric was invited to perform at the Kuala Lumpur International Arts Festival .performing music from his new cd Borough of Kings . He also was invited to perform in Singapore at several jazz venues during this tour . He did several workshops an master classes at Lasalle College an the World Arts University. Also was the spoecial guest of master bassist Christy Smith at several venues Sing Jazz club an Blu Jazz.He also was invited to perform at the Apollo for the Sonny Rollins Lifetime Achievement Award were he performed with Kenny Garrett , Rene Mclean an many jazz legends Oct 22. There is a video on youtube Dont Stop the Carnival 2015 were the event was documented. He has played with and recorded on records with Jeff Tain Watts, Robert Glasper, Kenny Garrett, Wynton Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Donald Vega, Branford Marsalis, Bob Cranshaw, James Spaulding, Keyon Harrold, E. J. Strickland, Jeremy Pelt, Willie Jones III, Clifton Anderson, Warren Wolf, Monty Alexander, Benito Gonzalez, Larry Willis, Stephen Scott, Justin Robinson and many others. ​This is a must hear interview He talks about the struggles of this music and the business, but also show his love for this music.  Eric the real deal
​EnjoyEric Wyatt is a saxophonist born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He was introduced to the sax by his father Charles Wyatt, who played tenor and hung out with many of the great jazz icons: Charlie Parker, Gary Bartz, George Braith, Wilber Ware, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, and more.Eric Wyatt is a saxophonist born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He was introduced to the sax by his father Charles Wyatt, who played tenor and hung out with many of the great jazz icons: Charlie Parker, Gary Bartz, George Braith, Wilber Ware, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, and more.
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Rename the Williamsburg Bridge as the Sonny Rollins Williamsburg Bridge

Sign the petition here to have the Williamsburg bridge renamed the Sonny Rollins bridge here

Support renaming the Williamsburg Bridge as the Sonny Rollins Williamsburg Bridge in honor of an outstanding New Yorker, the jazz legend Sonny Rollins, who practiced daily on the Williamsburg Bridge from the summer of 1959 to the fall of 1961. At that time, Mr. Rollins was living at 400 Grand Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, and through reflection and discipline, adjusted his path and purpose, becoming a model of self-determination and resilience for all New Yorkers.

About the Williamsburg Bridge:
The Williamsburg Bridge is one of the major crossings of the East River, carrying approximately 140,000 motorists, 92,000 transit riders, 600 cyclists, and 500 pedestrians daily between the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn, and serving some of the busiest arteries in New York City. Currently, the bridge carries four two-lane vehicular roadways, a south roadway (inner and outer) and north roadway (inner and outer), with two rapid transit tracks (J, M, and Z subway lines) in between. A walkway and a bikeway also run across the bridge.

About Sonny Rollins:
Sonny Rollins is a jazz tenor saxophonist, composer, and bandleader who has been making music for over six decades. Born in Harlem in 1930, Mr. Rollins is a musical pioneer who has helped jazz bridge the different eras of bebop, hard bop, fusion, free jazz, avant-garde, and post bop. He is considered by many to be the greatest improviser to have ever lived. Rollins is currently 87 years and a living legend from the golden age of jazz.

About the Sonny Rollins Bridge Project:
The Sonny Rollins Bridge Project seeks to rename the Williamsburg Bridge to commemorate Rollins’ musical sabbatical there from 1959-1961. The project was begun in March 2016 and the effort has received news coverage around the world, including publications in Brazil, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The project is working closely with New York City and State representatives to introduce legislation to officially rename the bridge to the Sonny Rollins Williamsburg Bridge.

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