Friday, April 25, 2008

Slap me silly...

In a galaxy long, long ago and far, far away my man Rodd Zolkos introduced me to Tom Waits' Small Change and tonight I'm listening to it and I take a gander at the lineup and I notice Jim Hughart, bass, and that ain't so surprising, because TW used JH on bass regularly. But Shelley Manne on drums and Lou Tabackin on tenor? Not the least bit surprising that I've always loved this.

Nice little group...

Just happens to have Lester Young playing tenor, Walter Page and Jo Jones holding down the bass and drums spots, Mr. 5x5 Jimmy Rushing shouting (Evenin' slays me) and a guy name of Bill Basie in the piano chair. (He's playing organ on Goin' to Chicago and I'm giddy.) I hear no notes out of place anywhere and the acute sense of time is simply amazing.

New Classic Columbia, Okeh and Vocalion Lester Young with Count Basie (1936-40) set from my pals at Mosaic, which threatens to keep me up for like the next four hours anyway.

But I'll dream good.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Warm and dry at the Velvet Lounge

Kelan Phil Cohran plays
An electric kora, harp thing he made himself
And somewhere in the cosmos Sun Ra is smiling
-- From Mr. Greg's Sidekick II

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Every town should have one...

Headed back from Berkeley and languishing at O'Hare between flights.

I'll miss walking by this place on my way from motel to campus and
environs. I have to rate San Francisco as a pretty good jazz town.
-- From Mr. Greg's Sidekick II

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Sing-a-long for Fred

So I (along with the rest of the audience) got to sing happy birthday to Freddie Hubbard accompanied by Bobby Hutcherson. Now that's living. James Spaulding was great on alto and flute. They should have given some more solo space to Craig Handy on tenor. And drummer Lenny White III, who's off on tour with Chick Corea and Return to Forever this summer, was a beast.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Dinner at the Fillmore Street Cafe

Jazz legends on the walls
The house salad bops
Ready for Freddie
-- From Mr. Greg's Sidekick II

Barking dogs

I walked a long way for this view, but at least there was a free, clean
public toilet when I got there.

On to the new Yoshi's and Freddie Hubbard's 70th birthday show.
-- From Mr. Greg's Sidekick II

Sunny Sonny

Sonny Rollins' concert at Berkeley last night was my seventh time seeing Mr. Rollins and, not surprisingly, I haven't heard the same thing yet. Musically, checks in a No. 2 on my memorable list. Orchestra Hall in Chicago a few years ago is No. 1 because of the amazing, expansive flights he went on, some of them lasting nearly half an hour. (The Olympia in Paris and Carnegie Hall for his 50th anniversary performing there last September are memorable for the music and, well, because it's Paris and Carnegie Hall).

Berkeley, I think, compares to the first time I saw him, in Ann Arbor, Mich. His solos weren't as long and he let his band carry more of the load. But when he played, it was plenty long, full of interesting ideas and joyous. He made me chuckle several times last night at the clever touches he threw down and I noticed that he smiled a lot, too. I think he was having fun.

Highlight: In a Sentimental Mood, both his own playing and his comping with percussionist Kimati Dinizulu, who's really become an integral part of what he does these days, as has guitarist Bobby Broom. At one point, it struck me what a masterful comp man he is, besides being the great soloist, and that makes this concert memorable as well.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Goin' to church

Having coffee in the Fillmore Cafe across the street from Yoshi's, the new one in the Fillmore Jazz Preservation District not the old one in Oakland, and the Church of St. John Coltrane, which doesn't cut much dash in digs, it's a store-front chapel, but makes me feel pretty spiritual anyway.

Love the cross made of two soprano saxophones.

Sonny Rollins at Berkeley tonight, so it promises to be a day of
religious experiences.
-- From Mr. Greg's Sidekick II