savory

National Jazz Museum in Harlem Nov. 15 - Nov. 21, 2010 Schedule

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

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Savory Collection Part 2: Count Basie – 1930s
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300
The Savory Collection may well redefine the critical view of jazz in the late 1930s. Dan Morgenstern, Director of the Institute of Jazz Studies, provides proof of this claim in the New York Times by "citing the case of Herschel Evans, a saxophonist who played in the Count Basie Orchestra but who died early in 1939, just before his 30th birthday. Evans played alongside Lester Young, who was one of the giants of the saxophone and constantly overshadowed Evans on the Basie group’s studio recordings.

“There can never be too much Lester Young, and there is some wonderful new Lester Young on these discs,” Mr. Morgenstern said. “But there are also some things where you can really hear Herschel, who is woefully under-represented on record and who, until now, we hardly ever got to hear stretched out. What I’ve heard really gives us a much better picture of what he was all about.”

That's just one of the wonders of Basie you'll hear tonight!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Harlem in the Himalayas
Meg Okura / Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
For tickets: RMA Box Office <http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=-1&amp;msgid=0&amp;act=11111&amp;c=246760&amp;destination=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rmanyc.org%2Fharleminthehimalayas%2F>  or call 212-620-5000 ext. 344
Meg Okura is “the queen of chamber jazz,” says Dan Bilawsky in All About Jazz. In her Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble, Okura skillfully balances her roles as violin virtuoso, prolific composer, and master erhu player. Comprised of a group of young virtuosi, the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble brilliantly weaves together jazz, classical, and traditional Japanese music to create their own unique blend of world-chamber jazz. They have been hailed by the New York Times as “vibrant” and “sophisticated.” See and hear why this evening in the intimate setting of the acoustically rich theater at the Rubin Museum of Art.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Saturday Panels
Savory Saturday
12:00 – 4:00PM
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300
Come have an extended listening session and hear live music, all based around new discoveries unheard for 70 years. By now, if you're a jazz fan attuned to history, you're aware of the Savory Collection. But whether you're a long time fan, or a newbie, you owe it to yourself to experience this gold mine find from the vaults of jazz lore.

Jazz Museum in Harlem Featured on BBC

A feature piece on the NJMH’s acquisition of and programming around the BILL SAVORY collection with be broadcast Wednesday, September 29th on the  7 p.m. broadcast (most local times) on both BBC AMERICA and BBC WORLD.

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is dedicated to preserving and perpetuating jazz as a living entity that stretches as far into the future as it does into the past. NJMH programs currently attract several thousand visitors a year. This event is the Museum’s largest and most important annual fundraising effort. Proceeds from the gala will support the Museum’s mission.

As you may have seen in the August 17th New York Times cover story, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem made a acquisition of a historic collection of never-before-heard recordings, including live performances of great American jazz icons from 1935-1941.  The collection of 975 aluminum and vinyl discs, encompassing over 100 hours of material, was created by William Savory, a recording engineer and Harvard-educated physicist who worked at a radio transcription service in New York and used the equipment his job afforded him to record hundreds of hours of material directly off the radio. The collection includes performances by jazz icons such as Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Lionel Hampton, Fats Waller, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, and more, as well as classical broadcasts including Toscanini, Ormandy, and Kirsten Flagstad. The quality of the discs is extraordinary for the time, as most jazz enthusiasts in the 1930s did not have the access to the professional equipment that Savory enjoyed. You can sample some these newly discovered treasures at the Museum’s website.

The search for, and cultivation of, this collection is an exemplary example of the Museum’s commitment to preserve the history of jazz, while nurturing its evolution for future generations.  It also comes at a fortuitous time in the Museum’s development as we are currently preparing to build a permanent home at Mart 125 – a historic landmark in Upper Manhattan which stands directly across from the famed Apollo Theatre on Harlem’s 125th Street.

National Jazz Museum in Harlem September 2010 Schedule

Coming off the heels of the greatest archaeological find in jazz in decades, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem invites you to share in the treasures of the Savory Collection, featuring jazz legends of the Swing Era.

During the month of September 2010 our Jazz for Curious Listeners series and our special Saturday Panel on Bill Savory will open the vaults to selections from the 100 hours of live music that until now has been hidden in jazz lore.

Instead of resting on those laurels, we are happy to also present free public programs such as: Harlem Speaks (interviews with alto saxophonists Lou Donaldson and Steve Wilson), Jazz for Curious Readers (Langston Hughes on record with jazz music and artists), and Jazz at the Studio Museum in Harlem (the visual art of Pee Wee Russell and George Wettling, plus the NJMH All Stars).

For just a small fee you can witness the impeccable artistry of elder statesman pianist and composer Randy Weston, and the open-ended duet of bassist Henry Grimes and pianist Marilyn Crispell at the Rubin Museum of Art for the Harlem in the Himalayas program.

We invite you to share in the bounty of jazz at the National Museum in Harlem this month: you'll come away with priceless memories.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
The Savory Collection: Exploring a buried treasure-NEW sounds from 1935- 1940
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300
You Won't Believe It: An Overview

If you appreciate jazz and American history, then you've heard about the acquisition of the Savory Collection by the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. News outlets from the New York Times and NPR to WNYC and Newsweek have covered this truly historical find, which museum Executive Director Loren Schoenberg had been tracking down intrepidly for 30 years. His efforts paid off; some of these recordings may cause scholars to adjust their take of this period of the jazz idiom's historical accounting.

Come early to claim your seat at the Visitor's Center . . . we expect a full house who will hear samples from the Savory Collection as well as the tale of this investigative find as told by Mr. Schoenberg.


Monday, September 13, 2010 (note date change)
Jazz for Curious Readers
Langston Hughes: The Recordings
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Back in the day Langston Hughes was called the voice of Harlem and even the poet laureate of Negro Americans. Hughes imbued his lines with the echoes of jazz and gospel, and may have been akin to a 20th-century Chaucer, capturing common experiences in bold new rhythms. He once said, "I tried to write poems like the songs they sang on Seventh Street... (these songs) had the pulse beat of the people who keep on going."

In 1926 he wrote the now classic "Weary Blues." In 1958 he took part in a recording of this work (which includes the famous "A Dream Deferred") paired it with compositions written in collaboration with Charles Mingus, Leonard Feather, and Horace Parlan. Mingus’s compositional style combined with Hughes “cool” prose and poetry, written with rhythms straight out of Harlem, made for a revealing outing.

Come hear this synthesis of music and poetry and more at the Visitor's Center of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Tenor Madness: Lester Young/Coleman Hawkins/Chu Berry/Herschel Evans

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

The Savory Collection featured songs and solos played by the two men who defined the sound and style on tenor saxophone in the first decades of the dispersal of jazz on record and in clubs and stages around the world: Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young. Yet Chu Berry and Herschel Evans were also two very important musicians on tenor from those years in the late '30s, now too often sidestepped by critics and fans that focus solely on Prez and Hawk.

Come experience each of these tenor greats at the height of their considerable powers and discover the context and place of each in the estimable history of jazz.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

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

Lou Donaldson, one of the true keepers of the classic jazz, is a witty raconteur with stories galore. His distinctive, blues-based tone has been heard in a variety of small-group settings, and he has recorded dozens of worthy and spirited sets throughout the years.
He began playing clarinet at 15, and soon switched to the alto sax. He attended college and performed in a Navy band while in the military. Donaldson first gained attention in 1952, when he started recording for Blue Note as a leader. At the age of 25, his style was fully formed, and although it would continue growing in depth through the years, Donaldson had already found his sound. In 1954, he participated in a notable gig with Art Blakey, Clifford Brown, Horace Silver and Tommy Potter that Blue Note records documented extensively, and which directly preceded the Jazz Messengers. He recorded as a sideman in the 1950s and occasionally with Thelonious Monk, Milt Jackson and Jimmy Smith, among others, yet he has been a bandleader from the mid-1950s up to now.

Donaldson's early Blue Note recordings were straight-ahead bop dates. In 1958 he began to incorporate a conga player, and from 1961 his bands often used an organist rather than a pianist. His blues-drenched style became a staple of soul-jazz, the musical context he's best known for by the jazz public. His association with Blue Note (1952-63) was succeeded by some excellent (if now-scarce) sets for Cadet and Argo (1963-66). Donaldson returned to Blue Note in 1967 and ventured into the more commercial leanings of the label; in this vein, he played an electronic Varitone sax, which some critics say watered down his sound. Yet, the success of "Alligator Boogaloo" in 1967 belied such criticism.

In the early '80s began recording soul-jazz and hard bop dates for Muse, Timeless and Milestone, which found him once again in prime form, not diminished to this very day. For proof of this claim, hear him proclaim that "Kenny G shouldn't try this," at one of his concerts, as he launches into a furious up-tempo number that he handles with aplomb, with blues and bebop lines and even occasional references to "Flight of the Bumblebee."

Friday, September 17, 2010

Harlem in the Himalayas
Randy Weston: 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

After 60 years of musical inspiration and African diasporic verve, Randy Weston remains one of the world's foremost pianists and composers today, a true innovator and visionary.

Encompassing the vast rhythmic heritage of Africa, his global creations continue to musically inform and inspire. "Weston has the biggest sound of any jazz pianist since Ellington and Monk, as well as the richest most inventive beat," declared jazz critic Stanley Crouch, "but his art is more than projection and time; it's the result of a studious and inspired intelligence...an intelligence that is creating a fresh synthesis of African elements with jazz technique".

Songs such as his "Little Niles" and "Hi Fly" are perennial contributions to the repertoire of the jazz songbook. In his solo performance tonight expect to hear such classics as well as others that embody the sound of surprise.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Jazz at The Studio
The Paintings of Pee Wee Russell and George Wettling 2:00 – 4:00pm
Location: The Studio Museum in Harlem
(144 West 125th Street)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

AN AFTERNOON IN HARLEM WITH GEORGE AND PEE WEE

Pee Wee Russell, one of jazz' most idiosyncratic clarinetists and George Wettling, one of its most swinging drummers, were also painters. The NJMH All Stars explore the swirling world of the 1920's that produced their mature works of the 1940's and 50's. Rare canvases by Russell and Wettling will be shown.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010  

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Trumpet Titans: Louis Armstrong/Roy Eldridge/Harry James/Bunny Berigan
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

As with the tenor giants discussed in last week's Jazz for Curious Listeners, two of the four men in this week's class have a firm place in the collective memories of jazz lovers. Louis Armstrong, the father of the idiom as it came through early small group and big band styling via his overwhelming approach to rhythm and sound on trumpet, his swing being irresistible. Whereas Armstrong made his mark starting in the 20s, Roy Eldridge came to prominence in the 30s with a style more akin to the facility of saxophonists that yet stayed true to the high-note range established by Armstrong.

We’ll also hear superlative jazz from trumpeters Harry James and Bunny Berigan—were also brass virtuosos worthy of historical reconsideration, as will occur tonight via excerpts of their work from the Savory Collection.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Harlem in the Himalayas
Henry Grimes with Marilyn Crispell
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

Master bassist Henry Grimes, missing from the music world since the late 1960s, has made an unprecedented comeback after receiving the gift of a bass  from William Parker in December 2002, replacing the instrument Grimes had been forced to give up some 30 years earlier. Between the mid-'50s and the mid-'60s, the Philadelphia-born, Juilliard-educated Grimes played brilliantly on more than 50 albums with an enormous range of musicians, including Albert Ayler, Don Cherry, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Haynes, Lee Konitz, Steve Lacy, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan, Sunny Murray, Sonny Rollins, Roswell Rudd, Pharaoh Sanders, Archie Shepp, Cecil Taylor, Charles Tyler, McCoy Tyner, and many others. Then, one day, for reasons largely related to troubles in the music world at the time, he disappeared. Many years passed with nothing heard from him, yet recently, with his new bass, he reemerged to begin playing music again.

These days, he lives, works, and teaches in New York City and has been working almost exclusively as a leader with Marshall Allen, Fred Anderson, Rob Brown, Roy Campbell Jr., Daniel Carter, Marilyn Crispell, Andrew Cyrille, Bill Dixon, Hamid Drake, Charles Gayle, Edward "Kidd" Jordan, Joe Lovano, Sabir Mateen, Bennie Maupin, Jemeel Moondoc, David Murray, William Parker, and Marc Ribot, among others. Since 2003, Grimes has played and toured extensively in Europe, Canada, and the U.S. The recipient of a prestigious "Meet the Composer" award in 2003 and two more in 2005, Grimes was designated "Musician of the Year" by All About Jazz in 2004. One of his trios was chosen Best Jazz Trio of 2004 by New York Press, and one of his concerts, at HotHouse in Chicago, was named one of the 10 best of 2005 by Time Out/Chicago. Grimes's gentle, humble bearing and courageous life story have inspired all those privileged to know, hear, and play music with him.

"Hearing Marilyn Crispell play solo piano is like monitoring an active volcano. She is one of a very few pianists who rise to the challenge of free jazz," wrote Jon Pareles of the New York Times. Crispell, a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, where she studied classical piano and composition, came to Woodstock, New York, in 1977 to study and teach at the Creative Music Studio, and has lived there ever since. She discovered jazz through the music of John Coltrane, Cecil Taylor, and other contemporary jazz players and composers. She has been a member of the Anthony Braxton Quartet, the Reggie Workman Ensemble, the Barry Guy New Orchestra (and guest with his London Jazz Composers Orchestra), the Henry Grimes Trio, Quartet Noir (with Urs Leimgruber, Fritz Hauser, and Joelle Leandre), and Anders Jormin's Bortom Quintet. In 2005 she performed and recorded with the NOW Orchestra in Vancouver.

Besides working as a soloist and leader of her own groups, Crispell has performed and recorded extensively with well-known players on the American and international jazz scene as well as music by contemporary composers Robert Cogan, Pozzi Escot, John Cage, Pauline Oliveros, Manfred Niehaus, and Anthony Davis (including four performances of his opera X with the New York City Opera). In addition to performing, she has taught improvisation workshops and given lecture/demonstrations at universities and art centers in the U.S., Europe, Canada, and New Zealand, and has collaborated with videographers, filmmakers, dancers, and poets. In 1996 she was given an Outstanding Alumni Award by the New England Conservatory, and in 2004 was cited as being one of their 100 most outstanding alumni of the past 100 years.

Come expecting to hear and feel the fireworks and wisdom of an open conception to music.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday Panels
Who Was Bill Savory?
Guest panelists: Gene Savory, George Avakian, Larry Appelbaum, Larry Rohter and others

12:00 – 4:00pm    Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

"For decades jazz cognoscenti have talked reverently of “the Savory Collection.” Recorded from radio broadcasts in the late 1930s by an audio engineer named William Savory, it was known to include extended live performances by some of the most honored names in jazz — but only a handful of people had ever heard even the smallest fraction of that music, adding to its mystique.

After 70 years that wait has now ended," begins the story reported in the New York Times (by Larry Rohter) on August 16, 2010.

Today's panel discussion will uncover the identity of this audio engineer whose 100 hours of fine-tuned recording will breathe new life into the archival imperative of jazz music. The National Jazz Museum in Harlem is proud to have this treasure trove as part of its collection, and invite you to learn more about the man who museum executive director Loren Schoenberg describes as "a musician and a technical genius" as well as the music he captured for posterity.

Guests include Savory’ son Gene, who rescued the collection from oblivion, legendary record producer and life-long Bill Savory friend George Avakian, NY Times writer Larry Rohter, who broke the story, Larry Appelbaum, archivist at The Library of Congress, and professor Susan Schmidt Horning, who interviewed Bill Savory as part of her research into his innovations.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010  

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Jam Sessions: Benny Goodman/Bobby Hackett/Lionel Hampton/Slim and Slam
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Benny Goodman, clarinet virtuoso, "King of Swing," and social pioneer as regards racial integration is captured in rare form in the Savory Collection, as are cornetist and trumpeter Bobby Hackett, vibraphone king Lionel Hampton, and Slim Gaillard (vocals, guitar, piano) and bassist Slam Stewart.

Gaps in jazz lore are filled to overflowing in the Savory Collection. Come listen and be one of the first to hear these fascinating records.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

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

Steve Wilson's creativity on alto saxophonist and dependability as a musical professional has allowed him to carve a prominent position on the bandstand and in the studio with the greatest names in jazz, as well as critical acclaim as a bandleader in his own right. A musician's musician, Wilson has brought his distinctive sound to more than 100 recordings led by such celebrated and wide-ranging artists as Chick Corea, George Duke, Michael Brecker, Dave Holland, Dianne Reeves, Bill Bruford, Gerald Wilson, Maria Schneider, Joe Henderson, Charlie Byrd, Billy Childs, Karrin Allyson, Don Byron, Bill Stewart, James Williams, and Mulgrew Miller among many others. Wilson has seven recordings under his own name, leading and collaborating with such stellar musicians as Lewis Nash, Carl Allen, Steve Nelson, Cyrus Chestnut, Greg Hutchinson, Dennis Irwin, James Genus, Larry Grenadier, Ray Drummond, Ben Riley, and Nicholas Payton.

A native of Hampton, Virginia, Wilson began his formal training at age 12. Playing saxophone, oboe, and drums in school bands, he also played in various R&B and funk bands throughout his teens, and went on to a year-long stint with singer Stephanie Mills. He then decided to major in music at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, affording him opportunities to perform and/or study with Jimmy and Percy Heath, Jon Hendricks, Jaki Byard, John Hicks, Frank Foster and Ellis Marsalis. In 1986, he landed a chair with O.T.B (Out of the Blue), a sextet of promising young players recording on Blue Note Records. In 1987 he moved to New York and the following year toured the US and Europe with Lionel Hampton. Becoming a first-call choice for veteran and emerging artists alike, Wilson was the subject of a New York Times profile "A Sideman's Life", highlighting his work with Ralph Peterson, Jr., Michele Rosewoman, Renee Rosnes, Marvin "Smitty" Smith, Joanne Brackeen, The American Jazz Orchestra, The Mingus Big Band, The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, Leon Parker, and Buster Williams' Quintet "Something More". In 1996 he joined the acclaimed Dave Holland Quintet, and from 1998-2001 he was a member of Chick Corea's Grammy winning sextet "Origin".

Wilson was a featured guest with Dr. Billy Taylor in his series "Jazz at the Kennedy Center" which is broadcast on NPR. He was artistic consultant to Harvey Keitel for the film "Lulu On The Bridge" as well as being featured on the soundtrack. He has been Artist-In-Residence at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Hamilton College, Old Dominion University, and for the 2002/2003 season with the award winning arts organization CITYFOLK in Dayton, Ohio which included the performance of a commissioned work. He has been a featured performer, panelist, and clinician at conferences of the International Association of Jazz Educators, Association of Performing Arts Presenters, and Chamber Music of America. Wilson was honored with the Marc Crawford Jazz Educator Award from New York University in 2001, and the Virginia Jazz Award 2003 Musician of the Year presented by the Richmond Jazz Society, recognizing his outstanding service in the advancement of jazz and education in their respective communities. Since 1997 he has been regularly cited in the Downbeat Magazine Critics and Readers Polls in the soprano and alto saxophone categories.

Wilson continues to tour with the Steve Wilson Quartet and Generations as well as National Jazz Museum in Harlem co-director Christian McBride's group Inside Straight. He also performs in duo with his long-time friend and colleague Lewis Nash, in the Lewis Nash/Steve Wilson Duo. He is also a touring member of the Grammy winning Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, T he Buster Williams Quartet, and Mulgrew Miller's Wingspan. In July 2009, Wilson made his orchestral debut performing the Villa Lobos Fantasia for Soprano Saxophone and Chamber Orchestra with the Vermont Mozart Festival Orchestra, conducted by Gil Shohat, at the Vermont Mozart Festival in Burlington, VT.

Wilson is on the faculty at The Manhattan School of Music, SUNY Purchase, and Columbia University, and is the Artist-in-Residence at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg (Canada) for the 2008/2009 school year.