Jazz Northwest | KNKX

Jazz Northwest

Shorty Rogers, Bud Shank and the Lighthouse All-Stars
William Claxton

Jazz Northwest is celebrating Canada and US national holidays this first weekend of July. We have a brand-new rendition of "O Canada" in a virtual performance from all ten provinces played by the O Canada Jazz Orchestra arranged and conducted by Daniel Hersog for an opener. Then, an extended performance of "America the Beautiful" by the Lighthouse All Stars at Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend in 1991. The group includes some of the best L.A. musicians from the heyday of "West Coast Jazz" co-led by Shorty Rogers and Bud Shank.

This week's show includes music by Dan Balmer from Portland, Kelby MacNayr from Victoria, The Endemic Ensemble, Jay Thomas and Kelley Johnson from Seattle. There's also a never published recording of Ernestine Anderson singing "Georgia" in a Seattle club engagement and more.

While we are still denied the pleasure of attending live jazz performances with our friends, we have lots of enjoyable recordings made on location during concerts. We have two examples on this week's Jazz Northwest. The Jack Wilson Quartet with Roy Ayers on vibes is heard from a 1966 performance at The Penthouse on Pioneer Square in Seattle. The album came out on CD last year, but has just been re-issued in a limited edition 2 LP vinyl set. Also on this week's show, the Jay Thomas Quartet is heard from an Art of Jazz concert at the Seattle Art Museum in 2012.  

This week's Jazz Northwest starts in Ellensburg, with Barney McClure at the Hammond B3 and the Central Washington University Big Band playing a Phil Kelly arrangement of Barney's tune, "Spot."  Also this week, recordist and studio owner David Lange is featured on accordion with Pearl Django from a recent release, and vintage live recordings of Cannonball Adderley in Seattle and Ernestine Anderson in Culver City, CA. 

Daniel Hersog Jazz Orchestra
Robert Iannone

A rich collection of original compositions and arrangements by Daniel Hersog has just been issued on a new CD "Night Devoid of Stars" to be issued this week. Recorded in Vancouver BC, the orchestra includes some outstanding talent from Western Canada and a pair of pieces from the album will be featured today on Jazz Northwest. 

Also on this week's show are recent releases by Kate Olson's KO Ensemble at The Royal Room, Jenny Davis with Jovino Santos Neto, and a classic Floyd Standifer performance at the New Orleans Creole Restaurant in 1996, and more. 

Francesco Crosara on tour in Japan, 2008
Julia Crosara

Italian pianist Francesco Crosara became a part of the Seattle music community three years ago and had been gaining more public recognition here until public performances came to a halt with the pandemic. Fortunately, we have some representative performances on CDs and some recent streaming shows to enjoy. On this week's Jazz Northwest, we'll hear him playing a solo rendition of the ballad "Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most."

Christlieb - Caliman
Jim Levitt

A memorable evening at the Ballard Jazz Walk in 2009 brought tenor saxophonists Pete Christlieb and Hadley Caliman together again to cap a week that also saw them make their first, and only, album together. The two veteran saxophonists first played together as young men at Marty's in L.A. and there was an obvious mutual admiration society when you saw and heard them together. Another historical note on this week's Jazz Northwest is the great singer Joe Williams performing in a live radio broadcast from The Penthouse in Seattle in 1965.  

Ray Larsen
Andrew JS

There's more attention given to recording and streaming with performance venues closed due to the pandemic. It provides an opportunity to grow, stretch out, create new music, exemplified by a couple of creative releases from Seattle musicians from different generations.

…and so is Jazz Northwest. This week's show features the title music from The Westerlies brass quartet's new album "Wherein Lies the Good."  It's a 15-minute suite originally composed for piano by Robin Holcomb but here arranged by Andy Clausen for brass quartet with two trumpets and two trombones.  It's a slice of Americana played by a quartet that the New York Times described as “an arty quartet…mixing ideas from jazz, new classical, and Appalachian folk”.

David Hazeltine, Ken Lister, Cory Weeds, Jesse Cahill
Jodi Kaldestad

Vancouver alto saxophonist Cory Weeds and Seattle soprano saxophonist Kate Olson are both featured in new releases on this week's episode of Jazz Northwest. Cory Weeds has just issued a second release with New York pianist David Hazeltine who has made several visits to Vancouver to play and record with Cory Weeds.  The new album "Day by Day" features mostly standards.

Songs for Jude

Apr 19, 2020
Jim Wilke

"Songs for Jude" will be featured this week on Jazz Northwest. Judy Cites was a concert organizer, promoter and producer, tour manager, ticket maven, active fan and patron of music, dance and theatre. Hers was a familiar face in most of this area’s concert halls, theatres and other performance spaces. She loved jazz, especially standards and we’ll play some of her favorites in tribute - Songs for Jude, played or sung by Dave Peck, Nancy King & Fred Hersch, Chuck Deardorf, The Garfield Jazz Ensemble, Kelley Johnson, Bill Anschell and Don Lanphere. 

Jay Thomas
Daniel Sheehan

Multi-instrumentalist Jay Thomas was named a Seattle Jazz Hero recently by the national Jazz Journalists Association, and will be featured on today’s episode with a pair of pieces drawn from Jay's recent album "High Crimes and Misdemeanors." The Jazz Journalists Association is a national organization that names a list of those who are "activists, advocates, altruists, aiders and abettors of jazz" every year. This year's list named 27 individuals in 23 U.S. cities, who in many cases have careers that extend far beyond their local region.

Musicians from Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, and elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest are featured today on Jazz Northwest. Johnaye Kendrick was to have been featured in a concert at Seattle Art Museum last month so we're including one of her songs along with music by Randy Halberstadt, Cory Weeds Little Big Band, Kerry Politzer, Jenny Davis and others.

Radio continues to be your best source for jazz and we focus on regional artists on Jazz Northwest.  Virtually all live performance venues are closed, but some artists are mounting their own virtual performances, see the KNKX Calendar for details. Meanwhile, we'll feature an hour with Jay Thomas, Marina Albero, Gail Pettis, Chuck Deardorf, Danny Kolke & Pete Christlieb, Charlie Porter, Kiki Valera and a new CD from Pearl Django today on Jazz Northwest.  

Bill Smith
Virginia Paquette Smith

Internationally renowned clarinetist, composer, educator and musical experimentalist Bill Smith died last weekend at the age of 93.  A varied selection of his music will be heard on today’s episode of Jazz Northwest. Smith came to Seattle in 1966 to start The Contemporary Group, an experimental music ensemble which he co-led with trombonist Stuart Dempster for many years. 

Marc Seales performs at Jazz Alley in Seattle, Wash.
Jim Levitt

KNKX and Dimitriou's Jazz Alley are teaming up to present a monthly series featuring top Northwest regional artists on the last Monday of each month. February's event featured the Marc Seales Quintet playing a program of mostly original music by Marc. The concert was recorded for radio, and the first part will air today on Jazz Northwest. Playing for an enthusiastic full house at Jazz Alley, the group includes Marc Seales, piano and keyboards, Jesse Seales, guitar, Thomas Marriott, trumpet, Chuck Deardorf, basses and Moyes Lucas, drums. 

The prolific Jay Thomas has a new album, and it's all about getting together with good friends and playing some favorite tunes. Despite the provocative title, the album focuses on jazz standards by Fats Navarro, Horace Silver, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and others as well as two originals by Thomas himself. We'll play a couple of tunes from this new album as well as music by Greta Matassa, Marina Albero, Charlie Porter, and Edmonton altoist PJ Perry this week on Jazz Northwest. 

Jim Levitt

Saxophonist Alex Dugdale brought his Fade Quintet to the February Art of Jazz concert at the Seattle Art 

Museum and entertained an enthusiastic crowd in the Brotman Forum. Playing saxophones and tap dancing in duets with members of the group, Alex Dugdale featured mostly his appealing original music.

The Westerlies

The Westerlies is a brass quartet including 3 former Seattle residents who formed the group when they were students at Juilliard and the Manhattan School of music. The quartet of two trumpets and two trombones is unusual in jazz, with no rhythm section or chordal instrument. Their repertoire is also unusually wide-ranging, including Americana, 20th century composers such as Bartok and Ives, original music and in their new album, spirituals inspired by the Golden Gate Quartet.

Jimmy Heath
Roger Galloway

The late saxophonist and composer Jimmy Heath appeared in Seattle several times, with The Heath Brothers and with The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra. He was commissioned by the SRJO to compose a suite "The Endless Search" which the orchestra premiered in 2006 at a concert in Benaroya Hall. He returned a year later to make a studio recording of the suite with SRJO.  Parts 2 and 3 of the suites will be featured on today’s episode of Jazz Northwest. 

Michael Glynn, Xavier Lecouturier
Lisa Hagen Glynn Photography

This month's Art of Jazz concert presented by Earshot and The Seattle Art Museum featured exciting new compositions and arrangements for octet by Dylan Hayes and Xavier Lecouturier. The DX-Tet, co-led by Hayes and Lecouturier, played a rich program for four horns, piano, guitar, bass and drums. The co-leaders grew up in the Bay area and have lived in Seattle the last four years while attending Cornish College of the Arts. 

Barcelona-born pianist Marina Albero's ambitious 3 CD album featuring her piano and compositions is among recent releases on this week's episode of Jazz Northwest. Also on this show are Cuban cuatro player Kiki Valera, singers Jenny Davis and Kelley Johnson and Portland pianist Kerry Politzer. We also tap the way back machine for Floyd Standifer with the Local 493 Reunion Band, and Cannonball Adderley at The Penthouse.

Portland-based trumpet player and composer Charlie Porter has composed and recorded an ambitious suite of original music titled "Immigration Nation." The suite takes up an entire CD and is divided into two large sections, "Leaving Home" and "New Beginnings." We'll sample the suite today on Jazz Northwest. 

Also on this week's show are Dave Peterson, Greta Matassa, Cory Weeds Little Big Band and more from a 1962 live aircheck of Johnny Griffin and Lockjaw Davis playing at The Penthouse in Seattle. Best bets for live jazz in the coming week are also included. 

Origin Records

This week's Jazz Northwest features some of our favorite CD releases from 2019 by resident Northwest Jazz artists. Included on the show are selections by Kiki Valera, Xavier Lecouturier, Kelley Johnson, Chuck Deardorf, Marina Albero, and others.  

SRJO & chorus at St.Mark's in 2018.
Jim Levitt

Holiday music by regional jazz artists and some highlights from The Sacred Music of Duke Ellington as performed by The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra last year at St. Mark's Cathedral in Seattle. The SRJO with chorus and soloists will perform the Ellington Sacred Music again on December 28 this year at Town Hall Seattle. This week's Jazz Northwest also includes seasonal music by Don Lanphere, B3 Kings, Karin Plato, Greta Matassa, Anton Schwartz and Dave Peterson and best bets for live jazz in the coming week.

SRJO in concert at Edmonds Center for the Arts
Jim Levitt

In November concerts, The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra played big band Jazz of the Harlem Renaissance. This is music created by some of the greatest African-American jazz orchestras led by Jimmy Lunceford, Horace Henderson, Fletcher Henderson, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington and others.  It comes from a period in the 1920s and 30s known as The Harlem Renaissance, a great flowering of the arts in Harlem, NYC, including music, poetry, literature, painting, and dance.

Live Seattle radio broadcasts by Johnny Griffin and Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis from 1962 provide source material for a new release on the Reel to Real label from Vancouver BC. The broadcasts were part of a long-running weekly radio series featuring major touring jazz artists from the Pioneer Square jazz club. Two complete half-hour broadcasts are presented back to back on the new release "OW!" which was just released on a limited edition double vinyl LP on Record Store Day/Black Friday, and the polycarbonate CD will be released on December 6.

Kate Olson and Naomi Siegel at Seattle Art Museum
Lisa Hagen Glynn Photo

 

Saxophonist Kate Olson brought her KO Ensemble to The Seattle Art Museum for November's Art of Jazz concert presented by Earshot. The concert was one of a series marking a reunion of Kate Olson with trombonist Naomi Moon Siegel. The KO Ensemble also included Alex Guilbert, piano, Chris Symer, bass and Chris Icasiano on drums. The concert featured original music by Olson, Siegel and Guilbert and was recorded for today’s episode.

Gilllian Margot at Jazz Port Townsend 2019
Jim Levitt

Singer Gillian Margot and pianist Geoffrey Keezer performed as a duo on the last night of the 2019 Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend and their concert will air on this week’s episode of Jazz Northwest. Together, they performed a selection of songs including some of their original songs as well as popular standards by Jimmy Webb, Michel LeGrand and Stevie Wonder. Gillian Margot and Geoffrey Keezer included some songs from their 2018 album "On My Way To You." Both were on the jazz faculty for the Jazz Workshop preceding Jazz Port Townsend on the last weekend of July each year.

On the eve of what would be her 91st birthday, Ernestine Anderson is remembered with a selection of early, middle and late career recordings this Sunday on Jazz Northwest. In a career spanning more than six decades, she made over 30 albums and received four Grammy nominations. She began in Seattle at Garfield High School with Bumps Blackwell's Youth band which included Quincy Jones and Ray Charles.

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