August 29, 2012 |
LOS ANGELES - The cavernous dance club in downtown L.A. is hopping, and the weekend is still a day away. The club is ordinarily a hotbed of thumping house music, but tonight, the headliner - Houston-born jazz pianist and bandleader Robert Glasper - is switching things up. Behind a bank of keyboards, Glasper leads his quartet through a restless swirl of searching piano melody, causing the crowd to sway under the hazy colored lights. As the song gathers into focus, one musician begins repeating an unmistakable, 40-year-old refrain, his voice shaded by electronics: "A love supreme . . . A love supreme . . . " This introduction of John Coltrane (or at least the sounds he inspired)
May 17, 1996 |
STANLEY TURRENTINE, "Jazz in the Sanctuary. " Featuring the Clayton White Singers and Trudy Pitts & Mr. C with Lee Smith. Mother Bethel AME Church, 419 S. 6th St. Sunday, 7 p.m. Tickets: $20. Info: 215-893-9912. Stanley Turrentine remembers he was on a gig at Count Basie's club in New York City when the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed. James Earl Ray's bullet silenced an elegant voice, triggered urban riots and, says Turrentine, killed jazz in the black neighborhood.
December 26, 1996 |
Back in the 1930s and '40s, jazz was a popular source of entertainment. People flocked to large ballrooms to listen, dance and marvel at the skills of the musicians. But the presentation and packaging changed. Jazz became the exclusive province of the cerebral chic and cheap club owners. The music that best "reflects the American democratic idea," was banished to "dark, little, stinky clubs," says T.S. Monk, son of the late jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk. And T.S. Monk, a former funk and R&B drummer who now plays jazz, believes the only way for jazz to reconnect with Americans is to get it on television, not in the usual historical or cultural shows, but as pure entertainment - with lighting, staging, drama, excitement.
July 25, 1999 |
It's one of the top-selling jazz records of all time. Week in, week out, it sells more copies than many pop records - and it has for years. It is important because it brought together four of the greatest soloists of all time, as well as a top drummer and bassist, all of whom played at their peak on the record's six cuts, a couple of which have become jazz classics. It is Miles Davis' Kind of Blue, and on Aug. 17, the world of jazz will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of its recording.
December 18, 1996 |
Jazz, as an influence on music of this century, has a history that resembles the business cycle. Its chart shows surges and relapses, highs and lows, but an insistent presence. Speculum Musicae played from those charts Monday in a one-nighter at the Settlement Music School when three of its members performed jazz-based music written in the last 50 years. Stravinsky and Bohuslav Martinu spoke for the mid-century surge of jazz-based music; composers Edward Jacobs, Richard Festinger and Jonathan Harvey stood up for jazz as a vehicle to carry music into the new millennium.
June 20, 1986 |
The Mellon Jazz Festival rolled on last night at the Academy of Music with performances by two of the biggest question marks in the series, Michael Franks and Stanley Clarke. Never mind that it appeared to be an odd-couple booking; there were those who wondered just what either of these guys was doing at a jazz festival. As it turned out, Franks and Clarke came prepared with the answer. Clarke, of course, is the bass virtuoso whose jazz roots cannot be denied. As a member of Chick Corea's Return to Forever group and later on his own, Clarke was a vital force in the forging of fusion jazz in the early 1970s.
October 3, 1994 |
Jazz elements in non-jazz idioms keep a listener engaged, even when they lead to the most jarring dissonance and ambiguous tonality. I conclude this after attending a concert of contemporary classical compositions Friday at Temple University's Rock Hall. Parnassus, a virtuoso New York ensemble, presented four works, three of which received premieres. October by Temple professor Maurice Wright and Combo by Parnassus conductor Anthony Korf included at least a modicum of jazz elements (e.g.
June 2, 2000 |
THE AT&T INTERNATIONAL WOMEN IN MUSIC FESTIVAL. 3 p.m. Sunday, Mann Center for Performing Arts, 52nd Street and Parkside Avenue in West Fairmount Park. Tickets: $20, $25 and $30. PhilaCharge: 215-878-7707. They solo with the finesse of a Jean-Luc Ponty, wail with the same wallop as the big bands of Buddy Rich and Woody Herman, yet get only a fraction of the respect. Such is the fate when you're young, gifted, and a woman, treading in the male-dominated world of jazz. This Sunday, the first (hopefully annual)
September 1, 2000 |
I'm sure when Peter J. McGuire first thought up the idea of Labor Day in the early 1880s, his motive was good -we should honor America's workers. But like the holidays set aside to honor veterans, presidents and Christopher Columbus, Labor Day has become simply another day off, a chance to earn some overtime or catch a sale. It marks the end of summer, the start of school and the celebration of jazz. OK, so I made the last one up. What the heck, jazz should get a day of recognition, and not just when some famous dead guy's birthday rolls around.
July 7, 1992 |
It was another humdrum Tuesday at the Shore; not exactly the hottest night of the week for jaded nightlife aficionados. That is, unless you happened to be at Rosa's Southern Dining, a homey little oasis in a quiet residential neighborhood at the far end of Atlantic City's New York Avenue. A variety of patrons, ranging from local celebs to just plain folks, could be found munching on melt-in-your-mouth cornbread, crispy Southern fried chicken and sweet potato pie in the small, bright dining room festooned with sunny iris wallpaper and matching window treatments.