jazz

Labor Records reissues Heiner Stadler’s album Tribute to Bird and Monk

A truly groundbreaking landmark recording, Tribute To Bird and Monk, was widely lauded when it was first released in 1978 – credited as one of the best and most unusual albums of that year by Neil Tesser in a Jazz Magazine article that noted the record’s “tough, bright, innovative resiliency” and earning the coveted five star (highest) rating in a Downbeat review by critic Jerry de Muth (who called the two LP set “a brilliant mixture of arranged and free jazz”) and garnering arranger-producer Heiner Stadler a place in the magazine’s Annual Critic’s Poll as a Talent Deserving Wider Recognition.  More than thirty years later, the album originally released on Tomato Records, is a coveted collectors item whose importance has only been compounded with time, while Stadler’s pioneering conception continues to be a talent very much deserving of wider recognition.  Now reissued as a compact disc on his own Labor Records imprint, it is likely that Stadler’s unique talent will again be heard as deserving increased attention and the music will once more be praised on a level comparable to when it first appeared. The considerable artistic success of Stadler’s pioneering project can be credited as much to his visionary assembling of a truly distinctive ensemble to perform his inventive orchestrations, described by de Muth as “far more than arrangements,” noting that “recompositions would be a better term.”

In selecting veteran cornetist Thad Jones, a Monk alumnus and one of the most renowned arrangers of his day, to be an important member of the band filled out by much younger musicians who were closely associated with more modernist, even avant garde aspects of the jazz genre, Stadler imbued the date with an intriguing traditionalist facet at atime when tradition and innovation were virtually at war.  Tenor saxophonist George Adams, most recognized for his work with Charles Mingus made him at home in both camps, but his fierce uninhibited sound was certainly heard as being outside the mainstream.  The youngest member of the group, trombonist George Lewis as a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians was clearly recognized as a member of the avant garde.  Stadler’s choice of rhythm section mates could be considered most astute, with multitalented pianist Stanley Cowell as one of the few players of his instrument to find a place in the post Ornette realm of forward looking modernism. Virtuoso bassist Reggie Workman, a veteran of Coltrane’s innovative band and  then a member of Max Roach’s creative quartet was extending both the range and the role of the bass.  While Lenny White, known for his pioneering fusion work on Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew and Chick Corea’s Return To Forever, proved to be a propulsive force, capable of swinging with fiery power.  The addition of percussionist Warren Smith on tympani for a pair of tracks further contributes to the band’s uncommon sound.

In his introductory comments for the reissue Tribute To Bird and Monk (prefacing the late Robert Palmer’s original liner notes) Jazz Journalist Association President Howard Mandel observes,  “By casting a unique sextet of New York City’s best improvising instrumentalists to explore the potentialities and retain the essences of music by two great jazz modernists composer-producer Stadler proved prescient. In 2010 tribute projects proliferate, though few take the dramatic leaps to create new art from indestructible aspects of established creations that Stadler’s does.” With remixed sound by the brilliant engineer Malcolm Addey listeners can now appreciate more the nuances of Stadler’s polytonal arrangements and the soloists’ daring improvisations on the six tracks split evenly between Monk and Parker compositions.

As Palmer points out in his liner notes (now reprinted) Parker’s opening “Air Conditioning” begins, “deceptively as it turns out, with a unison theme statement in C.”  Deceptively, as it is, because Stadler’s “polytonal manipulations on the theme …especially evident in the horn backgrounds that frame the solos.”  Each of the sextet members improvise boldly with Jones kicking things off with one of the date’s most conventional statements, followed by Lewis who pushes things a bit further out, preceding Adams who gradually takes things into space, with the ensembles raucous backgrounds deftly referring to Parker’s melodic line.  Cowell’s outing is particularly adventurous, proving himself to be one of the very few keyboardists who wasable to interpolate the vocabulary of Cecil Taylor into the more traditional language of bebop.  Workman, whopowerfully pushes the unit throughout, acquits the bass as an instrument quite capable of holding its own in the spotlight, while White solos musically, hearkening to Max Roach’s work with Bird.

Drums dramatically open Monk’s “Ba-lue Bolivar Ba-lues-are,” followed by Workman’s vigorously bowed bass and the horn section’s statement of the theme, which begins ominously before morphing into a carnival-like mood reflecting the composer’s sly sense of humor. Cowell, the lone remaining soloist, improvises lengthily here – referencing Monk frequently, occasionally with verbatim phraseology -- as horns enter and exit at odd intervals chime in with backgrounds transcribed from Monk’s original piano solo with Cecil Bridgewater (subbing for the snowbound Jones) playing with free spirited assurance.  Palmer notes the performance seems to be a particularly radical recomposition with each phrase of the theme voiced polytonally and separated from the next by a free collective improvisation, with Stadler’s score warning “don’t improvise too long in order to avoid losing the continuity of the melody.”

Parker’s ” Au Privave” features the trombone of George Lewis whose years of experience playing numerous uptempo Bird songs with Anthony Braxton finds him well prepared for his exemplary work here.  Adams plays the opening theme over Workman’s bass walking (in a different key) joined shortly thereafter by the horns. Lewis improvises marvelously, following Stadler’s instructions to vary his tempo, playing either slightly faster or slower than half time, while the rhythm sections plays in the set tempo.  The result is in Palmer’s words “constantly shifting mosaic of tempos … and each tempo swings.”

Workman and White open up Monk’s “Straight No Chaser” before the horns begin playing fragments of the well known melody with the various separate components linked by collectively improvised horn ensembles. Jones solos first, playing with an inspired abandon Palmer described at the time of the original release as “his most exciting and creative recorded work in years.”  Cowell again proves himself to be one of the most creative soloists of his generation improvising in tandem with the primordial Workman in a manner recalling Monk, while White’s drums run the gamut from New Orleans to out(er space) in a rhythmic duel with the horns’ staccato background. Workman’s extended unaccompanied bass solo brings the horns back in and the bassist walks things to a close

“Misterioso,” the final Monk exploration again begins with a Lenny White solo, his drums here joined by Warren Smith’s tympani, as various members of the ensemble play fragments of the bluesy theme to frame their percussion discussion, with Cowell’s piano clearly drawing the line between Monk and Cecil Taylor.  Workman’s bass is in the spotlight again, displaying a vast sonic array with incredible pizzicato and arco sections that are sensitively backed by the rest of the band on a truly masterful interpretation of the Monk classic engendered by Stadler’s daring arrangement which concludes with a return to the percussion section’s buoying of the theme.

Parker’s “Perhaps” ends the date on one of its lighter notes, with brass playing the not so widely known Bird line to open things up for Adams’ breathy flute as the rhythm section swings over Workman’s fast walking bass, joined intermittedly by trumpet and trombone, breaking up thetempo before Adams lets loose on tenor playing with a full emotional range -- from terrifying to tender -- that leads to a final ensemble statement of the theme with an almost conventional tone that offers an unexpected final relief.

The durability of this music, as daringly modern todayas it was when it was made more than three decades ago, stands as a tribute not just to Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk, but also to Heiner Stadler, whose sympathetic vision of the two great composer’s creativity has brought their sound into the future while paying homage to the tradition from where it sprang.  As Mandel notes, “Tribute is a fair indication of Stadler’s powers. In it, he demonstrates that Bird and Monk wrote immutably multi-faceted music from which inspired individuals can generate kaleidoscopic variations, and that their music has inspired him to stretch form in a manner indisputably wed to content. There is no higher tribute than an artist making something new and enduring out of sources he admires and acknowledges.” This is the splendor Heiner Stadler provides to us with his Tribute to Bird and Monk.”

2011 Backbeat Jazzfest Series

The Backbeat Jazzfest Series will present its sixth annual consecutive series of evening concerts from April 29 - May 8, 2011 coinciding with the weeks of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. This series celebrates the music and spirit of New Orleans and showcases internationally renowned bands and the best in local New Orleans music in a manner that encourages collaboration to create those magical musical moments for the audience and performers alike. As in past years, the 2011 Backbeat Jazzfest Series is an evening destination for music lovers across the country craving late night entertainment after a day filled with musical celebration at Jazzfest.

This year the Backbeat Jazzfest Series will feature shows at its usual spots, Blue Nile and Tipitina's French Quarter, plus venues new to the series Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré, 12 Bar, The Temple (also known as the Scottish Rite Temple.) and Tipitina's Uptown.

Woodcock Group Debuts 'Water Stories'

Woodcock Group's trio gives jazz listeners a piece of music works that evoke a great characteristic of eloquence impressive for an artist that has not even released its debut CD to stores, until now with Sunset Jazz. This Serbian jazz trio also composes and arranges its music and every song on this ten (10) song full length CD. Woodcock Group’s new debut album, Water Stories (Sunset Jazz Recordings) gives jazz aficionados great evidence there are new music artists in jazz that can carry a wide-ranged music of original songs taken as a conceptual, the album is now available to pre order at Amazon. The Jazz label is continuing to set up the full length CD for the May 3rd street day, with its' Sunset Classics & Jazz (SC&J) division, Sunset Distribution Company and then via Republic Universal for digital distribution into stores.

Woodcock Group is a band that is no doubt aware of its mixing modern jazz with traditional jazz music influenced by, among others, Thelonious Monk, McCoy Tyner, Dizzy Gillespie, Bill Evans and Art Blakey. Born and raised in Belgrade, Serbia, in the spring of 2009 pianist and composer Aleksandar Jovanovic founded the "Woodcock Group." What is now a trio with (Aleksandar) Jovanovic, Marko Fabry is on the bass while Aleksandar Cvetkovic does the drum work on the ten (10) song CD. Their first performance was at the "Umbria Jazz Balcanic Windows" Music Festival 2009 in Belgrade, which they won in a competition winning over 28 bands from the south-eastern Europe regions. Not to mention, they were listed in the top six as best young jazz band in Eastern Europe this year. "I not only plan on using this album to springboard a new sense of direction at Sunset Jazz (Recordings)", says label head, Don Lichterman, "we are also in hope of using Alex's (Aleksandar Jovanovic) A&R chops to gain more jazz acts for the label."

The debut album being released at Sunset (Jazz) is inspired by "water" as in a state of a "form" and (Don) Lichterman says that he, "loves the concept" of it. He (Lichterman) goes on to say that he also "loves the deep traditional style of this band (Woodcock Group)." Woodcock Group's debut recording entitled, Water Stories, has already gained international radio play with "Vrelo," the first song being worked to radio this year. And the CD has received great critical acclaim after the label released its initial press to blogs and social networks. Look for the CD to be available in stores everywhere that sells cds along with being made available at every retailer that sells downloads, ringtones and streams, on May 3rd this year!

Halie Loren Releases "In Time (Hope for Healing)" to Benefit Japan Relief Fund

In many countries, the name Halie Loren is not well known.  However, in Japan, the talented Jazz/Pop singer's name is as well known and her CDs and concert tickets sell as well as Norah Jones and other popular singers in similar genres.

The events in Japan over the last few weeks have affected everyone around the world, including Loren. She has turned energies and her talent and popularity in Japan to raise money with an original song called ‘In Time (Hope for Healing)’, that in just a few days has become a major hit.  When asked about the song, Loren said, "I wrote 'In Time (Hope for Healing)' about rising above hardship and sadness, rebuilding our lives, and being even better for all we come through.  I dedicate it to Japan's people, in solidarity with them during their healing process, and in belief that they can once again feel safe and whole."

‘In Time (Hope for Healing)’, which is currently only available on Amazon.JP as a download, donates all money directly to Red Cross Japan and is already the most popular download on the site after only a few days.  Northwest-based Loren has visited Japan three times in the last seven months, most recently playing in support of her latest CD release ‘After Dark’ to sold-out audiences at the Cotton Club and the Blue Note.  She records in Japan for JVC/Victor and in the United States for White Moon Productions distributed by Burnside Distribution.  More information on Halie Loren, including an update on additional websites carrying the song, can be found at www.halieloren.com or by following her on Facebook or Twitter.

National Jazz Museum in Harlem Events, April 4 - April 10, 2011

Upcoming events at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem for this week include:

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Monday, April 4, 2011

Jazz for Curious Readers

Art Taylor: Notes and Tones, a celebration

7:00 – 8:30pm

Location: NJMH Visitors Center

(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)

FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Notes and Tones is one of the most controversial, honest, and insightful books ever written about jazz. As a black musician himself, Arthur Taylor asked his subjects hard questions about the role of black artists in a majority white society. Free to speak their minds, these musicians offer startling insights into their music, their lives, and the creative process itself. Notes and Tones consists of twenty-nine no-holds-barred conversations which drummer Arthur Taylor held with some of the most influential jazz musicians in jazz—including: Thelonious Monk, Erroll Garner, Elvin Jones, Nina Simone, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and Dexter Gordon.

Arthur Taylor drummed with Coleman Hawkins, Bud Powell, Sonny Rollins, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, and dozens of others. He was called ”one of the great drummers to come out of the fertile Harlem bebop scene” (New York Times) and ”one of the best bandleaders living or dead” (Village Voice). His band, Taylor’s Wailers, recorded several albums, and was based in New York City up until Taylor's death in 1995.

We welcome you to join this celebration of a classic of jazz literature.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners

It Don't Mean a Thing: Great Jazz Rhythm Sections

7:00 – 8:30pm

Location: NJMH Visitors Center

(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)

FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Count Basie's All American 4

The Count Basie Orchestra's All American rhythm section appropriately initiates our focus this month on great rhythm sections. Basie (piano), Walter Page (bass), Jo Jones (drums), and Freddie Green (guitar) together perfected what, after Louis Armstrong's style modeled it, became known as swing. From the mid-30's to early 40's, the Count Basie Orchestra popularized this feeling, contributing to the period of American history called the Swing Era. These four men blended into a "cohesive whole greater than the sum of its parts," as Loren Schoenberg, Executive Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem put it in The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Jazz.

We invite you to swing on through to our Visitor's Center for this free event in which the sounds of Lester Young and the All American rhythm section will reign once again.

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Harlem Speaks

James Spaulding, flutist/saxophonist

6:30 – 8:30pm

Location: NJMH Visitors Center

(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)

FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

James Spaulding has established his reputation as a masterful soloist for ensemble performances, and for many years was among the busier sidemen for Blue Note Records. An exceptional saxophonist and flutist, he is one of the many fine artists to come out of the Indianapolis, Indiana area. James is a modernist, with solid roots in classical jazz; his saxophone style is an extension of the Charlie Parker influence, but his overall concept incorporates much of the broad jazz saxophone heritage.

Spaulding's musical training started early, as he came from a musical family in his place of birth Indiana (his father was a professional musician who played the guitar and led his own big band, traveling throughout the country). James began playing a bugle when he was in grade school. He later took up the trumpet and saxophone on his own, and while in high school studied clarinet. He made his professional debut playing around Indianapolis with an R&B group.

From 1954 to 1957, Spaulding was in the army playing in service bands. When he was discharged, he settled in Chicago where he performed in clubs leading his own group, and had a stay with the Sun Ra Orchestra. He also furthered his flute studies there at the Chicago Cosmopolitan School of Music. In 1962, he arrived in New York City, and subsequently was associated with notables such as Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson, Max Roach and the Ellington Orchestra.

In 1975, he received a bachelor's degree in music from Livingston College in New Jersey where he taught flute as an adjunct professor. James' daughters, Gina and Yvonne Spaulding were on the cover of his very first recording: The Legacy of Duke Ellington, recorded in 1975. Mr. Spaulding's range of performance experiences extends nationally and internationally, from the concert stage to jazz clubs to colleges and street fairs. His original music, a suite entitled "A Song of Courage," was performed by him with full orchestra and choir at the Voorhees Chapel at the Rutgers University campus from funds awarded him by the National Endowment for the Arts. He has been recorded on over 100 recordings.

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Special Event: Mingus on Film with Loren Schoenberg

Sunday, April 10, 2011 | 2:00pm

Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University

328 Lomita Drive, Stanford, CA 94305

FREE|for more information: 650-723-4177

Loren Schoenberg, Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, concludes the Remember Mingus series with an afternoon of rare film footage, live concert clips, and lively discussion about Charles Mingus’ music, life and legacy.

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Loren Schoenberg with the Gunn School Jazz Band, Music of Jazz Great Charles Mingus

Community School of Music and Arts at Finn Center

230 San Antonio Circle, Mountain View, CA 94040

FREE|for more information: 650-917-6800

Stanford Lively Arts performance offering musical excerpts and conversation with Loren Schoenberg.

Colin Stetson Releases Live Video On Pitchfork

Colin Stetson is a horn player of uncommon strength, skill and genre-defying creativity. He composes and performs otherworldly songs that combine a mastery of circular breathing technique with percussive valve-work and reed vocalisations, making a polyphonic solo music that combines influences as diverse as Bach, early metal, American pre-war Gospel, and the explorations of Jimi Hendrix, Peter Brotzman and Albert Ayler.
New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges is Stetson's second solo record and his first for Constellation.  Colin has been making his mark as a staggering solo performer for several years now, in front of audiences small and large, from intimate jazz and experimental music venues to big stages, whether opening for Arcade Fire or The National, or playing at jazz and new music festivals like Moers and London Jazz. His talents have been widely recognised and employed by artists as diverse as Tom Waits, Laurie Anderson, TV On The Radio and Bon Iver.  Colin also plays in Belle Orchestre and Sway Machinery.
The music on New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges was captured entirely live in single takes at Montréal's Hotel2Tango studio, with no overdubs or looping, using over 20 mics positioned close and far throughout the live room. Guest vocals by Laurie Anderson and Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) are the only exceptions to this rule, along with one brief french horn that was multi-tracked.
The Judges sessions were co-produced by Stetson and Shahzad Ismaily and engineered by Efrim Menuck at the Hotel2Tango, then taken to Greenhouse StudiosBen Frost.
The result is a highly original, experimental, euphoric record that fires on all levels: a document of an astoundingly strong and gifted player; a compositional tour-de-force; and a studio production bursting with intensity and inventiveness.

New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges features cover art by Tracy Maurice and will be issued on CD in custom 100% recycled paperboard gatefold jacket and on 180gLP with a limited edition screenprinted poster contained in the first pressing. The album will also be available digitally.

National Jazz Museum in Harlem Events, April 2011

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem cordially invites you to our April public programs, which we promise will warm your hearts as much as the weather of spring brings miles of smiles to your face.

Our bi-weekly discussion series first features flutist/saxophonist James Spaulding and then composer Maria Schneider, who will be premiering a large-scale works at Carnegie Hall in May. We continue in the spirit of celebration for our once-a-month Jazz for Curious Readers session, focusing on drummer Art Taylor's classic book of interviews, Notes and Tones.

For live performances, we direct you to The Rubin Museum's cherrywood-lined acoustic performance space, where Fred Hersch will play solo piano, and Scott Robinson will lead a quartet the likes of which you've never seen -  before for Harlem in the Himalayas. The Players Club is yet another beautiful setting for jazz players, which is why we point to this month's show by the National Jazz Museum in Harlem All Stars!

On the West Coast, at Stanford University, Executive Director Loren Schoenberg will lead a special class of Charles Mingus on film. And right here, at the Visitor's Center of the museum, we feature classes on the role of the rhythm section in jazz, from the 1930's to the 60's, in four Jazz for Curious Listeners sessions as well as our Saturday Panel, in which the Jonathan Batiste Trio will swing for you, and explain it at the same time.

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Friday, April 1, 2011

Harlem in the Himalayas

Fred Hersch, solo piano

7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door | 
For tickets: RMA Box Office or call 212-620-5000 ext. 344

Pianist and composer Fred Hersch has been called "one of the small handful of brilliant musicians of his generation" by Downbeat and has earned a place among the foremost jazz artists in the world today. From the late 70's onward as a sideman to jazz legends including Joe Henderson, Art Farmer and Stan Getz, he has solidified a reputation as a versatile master of jazz piano, as well as a relentlessly probing composer and conceptualist. His career as a performer has been greatly enhanced by his composing activities, a vital part of nearly all of his live concerts and recordings May of 2011 will see the premiere of My Coma Dreams for actor/singer, animation/multimedia and mixed ensemble. Hersch is considered to be the most prolific and widely-praised solo jazz pianist of his generation. Palmetto has just released Alone at the Vanguard which documents his second solo engagement at the legendary club.  An early review in All Music Guide calls it "a once-in-a-decade album that will stay with you long after the final track fades out."

Don't miss this opportunity!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Jazz for Curious Readers

Art Taylor: Notes and Tones, a celebration
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Notes and Tones is one of the most controversial, honest, and insightful books ever written about jazz. As a black musician himself, Arthur Taylor asked his subjects hard questions about the role of black artists in a majority white society. Free to speak their minds, these musicians offer startling insights into their music, their lives, and the creative process itself. Notes and Tones consists of twenty-nine no-holds-barred conversations which drummer Arthur Taylor held with some of the most influential jazz musicians in jazz—including: Thelonious Monk, Erroll Garner, Elvin Jones, Nina Simone, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and Dexter Gordon.

Arthur Taylor drummed with Coleman Hawkins, Bud Powell, Sonny Rollins, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, and dozens of others. He was called ”one of the great drummers to come out of the fertile Harlem bebop scene” (New York Times) and ”one of the best bandleaders living or dead” (Village Voice). His band, Taylor’s Wailers, recorded several albums, and was based in New York City up until Taylor's death in 1995.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners

It Don't Mean a Thing: Great Jazz Rhythm Sections

7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Count Basie's All American 4

The Count Basie Orchestra's All American rhythm section appropriately initiates our focus this month on great rhythm sections. Basie (piano), Walter Page (bass), Jo Jones (drums), and Freddie Green (guitar) together perfected what, after Louis Armstrong's style modeled it, became known as swing. From the mid-30's to early 40's, the Count Basie Orchestra popularized this feeling, contributing to the period of American history called the Swing Era. These four men blended into a "cohesive whole greater than the sum of its parts," as Loren Schoenberg, Executive Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem put it in The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Jazz.

We invite you to swing on through to our Visitor's Center for this free event in which the sounds of Lester Young and the All American rhythm section will reign once again.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Harlem Speaks

James Spaulding, flutist/saxophonist

6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

James Spaulding has established his reputation as a masterful soloist for ensemble performances, and for many years was among the busier sidemen for Blue Note Records. An exceptional saxophonist and flutist, he is one of the many fine artists to come out of the Indianapolis, Indiana area. James is a modernist, with solid roots in classical jazz; his saxophone style is an extension of the Charlie Parker influence, but his overall concept incorporates much of the broad jazz saxophone heritage.

Spaulding's musical training started early, as he came from a musical family in his place of birth Indiana (his father was a professional musician who played the guitar and led his own big band, traveling throughout the country). Jamesbegan playing a bugle when he was in grade school. He later took up the trumpet and saxophone on his own, and while in high school studied clarinet. He made his professional debut playing around Indianapolis with an R&B group.

From 1954 to 1957, Spaulding was in the army playing in service bands. When he was discharged, he settled in Chicago where he performed in clubs leading his own group, and had a stay with the Sun Ra Orchestra. He also furthered his flute studies there at the Chicago Cosmopolitan School of Music. In 1962, he arrived in New York City, and subsequently was associated with notables such as Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson, Max Roach and the Ellington Orchestra.

In 1975, he received a bachelor's degree in music from Livingston College in New Jerseywhere he taught flute as an adjunct professor. James' daughters, Gina and Yvonne Spaulding were on the cover of his very first recording: The Legacy of Duke Ellington, recorded in 1975. Mr. Spaulding's range of performance experiences extends nationally and internationally, from the concert stage to jazz clubs to colleges and street fairs. His original music, a suite entitled "A Song of Courage," was performed by him with full orchestra and choir at the Voorhees Chapel at the RutgersUniversitycampus from funds awarded him by the National Endowment for the Arts. He has been recorded on over 100 recordings.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Special Event: Mingus on Film with Loren Schoenberg

Sunday, April 10, 2011 | 2:00pm
Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University | FREE

Loren Schoenberg, Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, concludes the Remember Mingus series with an afternoon of rare film footage, live concert clips, and lively discussion about Charles Mingus’ music, life and legacy.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners

It Don't Mean a Thing: Great Jazz Rhythm Sections

7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Duke Jordan/Tommy Potter/Max Roach

After Charlie "Bird" Parker and Dizzy Gillespie parted ways on the bandstand, Bird formed a quintet featuring Miles Davis and Jordan (piano), Potter (bass) and Roach (drums). Although they maintained the swing of their forebears as heard in last week's class, the way they dealt with accents and tempo transformed to perform the style that became known as bebop. Join us to hear the sonic transformation that revolutionized jazz.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Jazz at the Players

Melba Joyce and The National Jazz Museum in Harlem All Stars 7:00pm

Location: The Players

(16 Gramercy Park S. | get directions)
$20 | Reservations: reservations@theplayersnyc.org or 212-475-6116

If you've never been to the elegant setting of The Players, we urge you to reserve a seat asap, because the down-home swing of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem All Stars will make you tap your feet with glee, most happily, and swing your troubles away.

Melba Joyce was born in Dallas, Texas where she grew up under the warm and instructive musical influence of her mother and grand-parents.  Her father, Melvin Moore, a prominent vocalist with the jazz and swing bands of his era (including Dizzy Gillespie, with whom he toured and recorded )was also one of Melba's influences. After her family moved to Los Angeles, Melba was immediately noticed by musicians and soon found herself opening for such renowned artists as Miles Davis, Freddy Hubbard and Smokey Robinson & the Miracles.

Melba tirelessly toured the war-torn fields of Vietnam to entertain the troops at the height of that horrid conflict, an experience that raised her social conscience to new heights.  When Melba returned, she was appointed panelist for the Congressional Black Caucus of Women in Jazz Forum. She produced the first Women in Jazz Festival at Harlem's Schomburg Center for Black Culture; and became a principal in the Day of the Child Series for UNICEF.  With funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, Ms. Joyce produced Jazz For Special People, a musical education series for the handicapped.

In 2008, The Central Park Conservancy presented Melba with a very special recognition through the City of New York for creating and producing The First Women's Jazz Festival. The program, held in Harlem at the park's Dana House, featured  Kunle Abodunde reading of a chapter from his unreleased book.  During Melba's tour assignment in Nigeria as a Jazz Ambassador, Abodunde  attended her performance and being deeply impressed included a chapter in the book describing what he felt about the evening.

Her long and impressive career has spanned three decades in the company of and sharing top billing with such giants of the music world as Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughn, Louis Jordan, Lionel Hampton, Tony Bennett, Joe Williams, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and so many others.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Harlem in the Himalayas

Scott Robinson Quartet

7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door | 
For tickets: RMA Box Office or call 212-620-5000 ext. 344

Scott Robinson, bass saxophone
JD Parran, basssaxophone
Vinny Golia, bass saxophone
Warren Smith, drums, percussion

A respected performer in all areas of jazz, from traditional to avant-garde, Scott Robinson brings audiences an unusual pairing of three bass saxophones with percussion for this raucous and soulful concert—his encore performance at the Rubin Museum. The recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, Robinson, who is known for his work on unusual and obscure styles of saxophones, has been the winner of a number ofDown Beat Critics Polls and Jazz Journalists Association awards in recent years.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners

It Don't Mean a Thing: Great Jazz Rhythm Sections

7:00 – 8:30pm

Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Red Garland/Paul Chambers/Philly Joe Jones

Miles Davis was a key member of the Charlie Parker Quintet, whose rhythm section was the focus of last week's class. This week we'll hear how Davis and other giants came into their own with the solid yet flexible support of one of the most grooving and soulful rhythm sections in the history of the idiom. The mid-50’s classics we'll listen to tonight are never old, but hearing them could make you feel younger. Don't miss it!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Harlem Speaks

Maria Schneider, Composer

6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Maria Schneider’s music has been hailed by critics as “evocative, majestic, magical, heart-stoppingly gorgeous, and beyond categorization.” She and her orchestra became widely known starting in 1994 when they released their debut recording, Evanescence. With that recording, Schneider began to develop a highly personal way of writing for her 17-member collective, tailoring her compositions to distinctly highlight the unique voices of the group. Subsequently, the Maria Schneider Orchestra has performed at festivals and concert halls worldwide. She has received numerous commissions and guest conducting invites, working with more than 85 groups from over 30 countries spanning Europe, South America, Australia, Asia and North America.

Schneider’s music blurs the lines between genres, and as a result, her long list of commissioners has become quite varied. They include the Norrbotten Big Band and Danish Radio Orchestra with Toots Thielemans and Ivan Lins, the Metropole Orchestra in the Netherlands (several works), Orchestra National de Jazz (Recapitulation), Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra (El Viento), Monterey Jazz Festival (Scenes from Childhood, Willow Lake), The American Dance Festival (for dance company, Pilobolus–Dissolution), University of Miami Concert Jazz Band (Three Romances), Jazz at Lincoln Center (Buleria, Soleá y Rumba), Los Angeles Philharmonic Association (Aires de Lando), Peter Sellars’ New Crowned Hope Festival (Vienna’s Mozart Festival–Cerulean Skies), Kronos Quartet (String Quartet No. 1) and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra with soprano, Dawn Upshaw (Carlos Drummond de Andrade Stories), a work that will receive its New York premiere at Carnegie Hall, May 13th, 2011, conducted by Schneider.

Schneider’s most recent work (premiering June 12th, 2011), co-commissioned by the Ojai Festival, The Australian Chamber Orchestra and Cal Performances, will blur boundaries further as it features the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Dawn Upshaw, and two musicians long associated with Schneider’s own orchestra: pianist Frank Kimbrough, and multi-instrumentalist Scott Robinson. For this work, she is incorporating poems by poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Ted Kooser, from his book ”Winter Morning Walks.”

Schneider continues to be a pioneer in funding her projects. She recently composed two works for her own orchestra with the involvement of commissioners, not from arts organizations, but directly from her ArtistShare® fan base. "Concert in the Garden" and her orchestra’s latest album, "Sky Blue" (on which Cerulean Skies was recorded) were both named “Jazz Album of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association and the DOWNBEAT Critics Poll.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Saturday Panels

The Beat Goes On: The Jonathan Batiste Trio Demonstrates What The Rhythm Section does

12:00 – 4:00pm

Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

This Saturday panel is a perfect complement to and extension of our Jazz for Curious Listener's focus on great rhythm sections. Jonathan Batiste’s Trio will demonstrate how the piano comps, the bass walks and the drums ride the cymbals, yes, but that's only the start. You'll witness, live, how the bass and drums lock-in together creating the basis for the swing; how the trio ebbs and flows and communicates non-verbally to create musical magic. Not only should this class not be missed, it's also a chance to introduce jazz music to those curious about it, but haven't heard it up close and personal enough yet to connect with it. Do them and yourself a favor!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners

It Don't Mean a Thing: Great Jazz Rhythm Sections

7:00 – 8:30pm

Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

 McCoy Tyner/Jimmy Garrison/Elvin Jones

We started in the 30's with the rhythm section fronted by Count Basie, then moved to the 40's with a foundational group of three, and thereafter transitioned to the 50's. For our last session of this month's Great Jazz Rhythm Sections theme, we land on the doorstep of a classic 60's rhythm section that supported the Great John Coltrane. McCoy's percussive style, with Garrison's booming bass, and Jones' polyrhythmic fire combined to change the course of the music yet again.

Chicago vocalist Alison Ruble is featured this week on 12th STREET JUMP

12th STREET JUMP, public radio’s weekly jazz, blues and comedy jam, continues with guest appearances by Chicago vocalist Alison Ruble and guitarist John McLean this Saturday night, March 12 at midnight Central Time (1am Eastern, 11pm Mountain, 10PM Pacific). The popular radio show, recorded live on Kansas City's famed 12th Street Strip,  is syndicated on the Public Radio Exchange and streamed live.

Alison Ruble is a Chicagoland favorite with several hot CDs to her credit, including the most recent. Musical director John McLean joins Ruble direct from sessions and tours with Grammy winning vocalist Kurt Elling.

Award-winning tenor saxman Bobby Watson appears on the April 9 tribute to pianist Herbie Hancock. Trumpet player Stan Kessler and reedmen Kerry Strayer and Kim Park are also featured in upcoming weeks on the show.

Hosted by Pete Weber and Pearl MacDonald, 12th STREET JUMP features vocalists David Basse and Nedra Dixon, musical director Joe Cartwright on piano, Tyrone Clark on bass and Mike Warren on drums in a fast-paced hour of jazz, blues and topical sketch comedy. "It's sort of like a jazz and blues 'Prairie Home Companion' or SNL," explained Exec Producer Mark Edelman.

The 12th STREET JUMP line up of featured artists and special guests includes the following (all dates are Saturdays):

CELEBRATING THE BIRTHDAY OF         WITH SPECIAL GUEST 

March 12               Nat King Cole                                    Alison Ruble & John McLean

March 19               King Pleasure                                    Kim Park

March 26               Thad Jones                                       Stan Kessler

April 2                   Gerry Mulligan                                    Kerry Strayer

April 9                   Herbie Hancock                                  Ken Lovern

April 16                 Lionel Hampton                                  Peter Schlamb

April 23                 Otis Rush & Albert King                      Bill Dye

April 30                 Groove Holmes                                   Everette DeVan

Broadcast live from the 12th Street Jazz Walk of Fame, Kansas City’s jazz, blues and honky-tonk heart, 12th STREET JUMP continues that tradition on the same street where Count Basie tickled the ivories at the Reno Club and Big Joe Turner shouted the blues.”

Stanley Clarke & Victor Wooten @ the Boulder Theater

STANLEY CLARKE BAND Exploding into the jazz world in 1971, Stanley was a lanky teenager from the Philadelphia Academy of Music. He arrived in New York City and immediately landed jobs with famous bandleaders such as: Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon, Joe Henderson, Pharaoh Saunders, Gil Evans, Stan Getz, and a budding young pianist composer named Chick Corea.

All of these musicians recognized immediately the ferocious dexterity and complete musicality the young Clarke possessed on the acoustic bass. Not only was he expert at crafting bass lines and functioning as a timekeeper in the bass- traditional role, Stanley also possessed a sense of lyricism and melody gained from his bass heroes Charles Mingus, Scott LaFaro, and others, including non-bass players like John Coltrane. Clarke recognized the opportunity to propel the bass into a viable melodic soloist role and was uniquely qualified to do just that.

Stanley Clarke became the first bassist in history to headline tours, selling out shows worldwide, and have his albums certified gold. The word "legend" was used to describe Stanley by the time he was 25 years old. In 1997 Epic/Sony released: By this tender young age, Stanley was already a celebrated pioneer in fusion jazz music. He was also the first bassist in history to double on acoustic and electric bass with equal virtuosity, power, and fire. His artistry has spanned classical, jazz, R&B and pop idioms. He has already succeeded in a multitude of diverse careers, any one of which would be satisfactory to anyone else. Yet he still pushes on, as invigorated and as passionate about music as that teenage prodigy from Philadelphia with a dream. The Biography of this incredible musician, like Stanley himself, is a continuing work in process.

VICTOR WOOTEN He is an innovator, composer, arranger, lecturer, producer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist. He is a skilled naturalist and teacher, a published author, a magician, husband and father of four, and a five-time Grammy award winner. But those gifts only begin to tell the tale of this Tennessee titan.

Victor, known for his solo recordings and tours, and as a member of the Grammy-winning super group, Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, has won most every major award given to a bass guitarist. He was voted Bassist of the year by Bass Player Magazine three times and is the only person to have won the award more than once.

Continuing to grow as a person, artist, and teacher, Victor Wooten is always willing to share his gifts with all who desire to learn. Offering CDs, DVDs, lectures, workshops, and camps, as well as his groundbreaking novel The Music Lesson (Berklee Publishing - a division of the Penguin Group) Victor Lemonte Wooten is guaranteed to remain a positive force in the music industry.

More Info / Buy Tickets

National Jazz Museum in Harlem March 7 - March 13, 2011

Upcoming events at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem for this week include:

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National Jazz Museum in Harlem

March 7 - March 13, 2011

Schedule

Monday, March 7, 2011

Jazz for Curious Readers

Ethel Waters: His Eye Is On The Sparrow, a celebration
Host: Father Peter J. O’Brien

7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

His Eye Is On The Sparrow is rightfully acclaimed as one of the greatest autobiographies by an American female singer; with the able assistance of noted journalist andbiographer Charles Samuels, Ethel Water's life and career journey is captured there in all of its joy, sorrow, bitterness, forgiveness, and spirit of perseverance no matter what she faced.

Tonight we celebrate the book and remember the bright star that was Ethel Waters.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners

FILM SHOW: Sing Me A Swing Song: Great Jazz Vocalists – Ethel Waters

Host: Father Peter J. O’Brien

7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: Maysles Cinema - 343 Lenox Avenue between 127th & 128th Street
DONATION SUGGESTED| For more information: 212-348-8300

Vocalist and actress Ethel Waters (1896-1977) was a key figure in the development of African American culture between the two world wars. She broke barrier after barrier, becoming the first black woman heard on the radio, the first black singer to perform on television, the first African American to perform in an integrated cast on Broadway, and the first black woman to perform in a lead dramatic role on Broadway. As a singer Waters introduced over 50 songs that became hits, including standards of the magnitude of "St. Louis Blues" and "Stormy Weather." Her jazzy yet controlled vocal style influenced a generation of vocalists, black and white, and her career, encompassing stage, song, and screen, flowered several times in comebacks after tumbling to lowpoints.

See Ethel Waters perform on film andearn about the rise and fall and rise again of a great American artist of song, and hear recordings that document the sound and style that made Ethel Waters such an influence.