Jazz Northwest | KNKX

Jazz Northwest

Marina Albero and Jeff Johnson at Seattle Art Museum
Courtesy of Lisa Hagen Glynn photography

This month's Art of Jazz concert presented by Earshot Jazz at The Seattle Art Museum featured the duo of pianist Marina Albero and bassist Jeff Johnson. Both contributed original music and shared improvisations on jazz classics by Wayne Shorter, Bill Evans and Thelonious Monk. In addition to the piano-bass duo, Albero also performed a solo on hammered dulcimer. 

Probably the next best thing to hearing a jazz group playing live in a jazz club is a good recording of that performance. That's the latest offering from Vancouver, B.C., musician, presenter and label owner Cory Weeds.

This quintet plays some relatively unfamiliar titles by Lee Morgan, Mal Waldron, Jackie McLean, Walter Davis Jr. and others in a new CD recorded in performance at Frankie's Jazz Club in Vancouver, B.C. 

Jacqueline Tabor with Randy Halberstadt on piano.
Courtesy of Jim Levitt

Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Williams, Sarah Vaughan were among the great singers of their generation. They all shared a love for the deep swing of the Count Basie Orchestra and made some great records with Basie. That was the inspiration for a recent set of concerts played by the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, as part of their season series.  

Kendra Shank performing at Seattle Art Museum.
Courtesy of Jim Levitt

Today on Jazz Northwest we highlight this month's Art of Jazz concert, which fell on Valentine's Day and featured an intimate duo with singer Kendra Shank and guitarist John Stowell.

We have recent releases ranging from traditional to modern this week on Jazz Northwest.

Chuck Deardorf performing in the KNKX studios from Sept. 2015.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Jazz Northwest features some of the most prominent Northwest jazz stars this week.  It's also the week of Valentine's Day, and that means lots of singers are performing around the region.  

Nicole Veneé Eskridge | Jazz Northwest on KNKX
Courtesy of Jim Levitt

The 30th annual Duke Ellington's Sacred Music concert was presented by Earshot Jazz on Dec. 28 and recorded in its entirety for Jazz Northwest. 

Duke Ellington wrote three suites of sacred music for his orchestra, chorus and soloists late in his career and performed them in many of the great cathedrals of the world.

Jack Wilson 1967
Photo by Francis Wolff and design by Jason Derek Williams

This week's show debuts new releases by bassist Chuck Deardorf and another night at The Penthouse with Jack Wilson Quartet in 1966.

Stephen Newby at Ellington concert
Courtesy of Jim Levitt

The 30th annual presentation of the Sacred Music of Duke Ellington took place Dec. 28 at St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle, featuring vocal soloists Stephen Newby and Nichol Veneé Eskrdge, the Northwest Chamber Chorus and the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra conducted by Michael Brockman. Part 1, recorded for radio, aired Sunday on Jazz Northwest. Part 2 airs Feb. 3. 

Last week, Jazz Northwest shared some favorite jazz CDs from the past year. These are some we regarded as standouts, and we'll go back to again and again.  

Bill Anschell, Jeff Johnson, D'Vonne Lewis at Seattle Art Museum
Jim Wilke / KNKX

The final Art of Jazz concert for 2018 featured the Bill Anschell Standards Trio at The Seattle Art Museum. The trio is well know for its original approach to well-known standard repertoire and songs by Cole Porter, Jimmy Van Heusen, Antonio Carlos Jobim and others. The trio has recorded a CD "Shifting Standards," and Bill has been featured on over a dozen albums as soloist, co-leader, sideman and leader.  This trio often plays at Tula's in Seattle. Their next appearance at Tula’s will take place on Sunday, Dec. 30.


 Ingrid Jensen and Steve Treseler live at The Royal Room.
Courtesy of Jim Levitt

This week's show features several recent releases including Ingrid Jensen and Steve Treseler playing music by the late Canadian composer Kenny Wheeler in performance at the Royal Room in Seattle, and two recent recordings by Jay Thomas with Oliver Groenewald Newnet, and with Michael Van Bebber in a quintet.

Jazz Northwest celebrates the release of new albums ranging from the Sixties to the teens from sessions that took place in Seattle. A new gatefold double LP set recorded from live radio broadcasts in 1966-1967 features The Cannonball Adderley Quintet at The Penthouse, a jazz club in Pioneer Square during the Sixties.

Maria Schneider conducting the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra
Courtesy of Jim Levitt

The multi-award-winning composer and arranger Maria Schneider conducted The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra in two concerts of her music earlier this month.  The second concert, at Kirkland Performance Center, was recorded and excerpts will be featured on Jazz Northwest Sunday, Nov. 25 at 2 p.m. PST on 88.5 KNKX, streaming at knkx.org.  

D'Vonne Lewis performing at the Seattle Art Museum.
Courtesy of Lisa Hagen Glynn

Playing in front of a backdrop of Jodhpur, India, drummer D'Vonne Lewis and a new quartet named Passage played this month's Art of Jazz concert.  Passage blended several types of music and cultures in this concert presented by Earshot Jazz at the Seattle Art Museum. The international blend of African, South & Central American music and American Jazz provided additional international flavor to SAM's current exhibition Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India. 

George Cables at Jazz Port Townsend.
Courtesy of Jim Levitt

This week on Jazz Northwest, we feature the complete concert "Celebrating George Cables" from this year's Jazz Port Townsend that took place during the last weekend in July.  Pianist George Cables has been a perennial favorite for many years at the festival, and also during the Jazz Workshop, the week preceding the festival.  Whether in the classroom, on the main stage or an intimate club, he has long been a favorite among fans and other musicians.  

Two communities along the Northern side of Oregon were home to hundreds of blue-collar laborers in timber and shipbuilding industries and reveal an unfamiliar story about The Great Migration in the Northwest.  Maxville and Vanport no longer exist, but a stirring collection of new music celebrates an under-represented period of Black history in Oregon. The powerful music was composed by Ezra Weiss with lyrics by poet S.Renee Mitchell, and is performed by the 12-member Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble with vocalist Marilyn Keller.  The album is being released later this month.

Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra at Kirkland Performance Center
Courtesy of Jim Levitt

The opening concerts of the 2018-2019 season of The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra were played in Seattle and Kirkland on October 6 and 7. The concert program was billed as "A Night at The Village Vanguard" and features music by a few of the artists who have played at the legendary Greenwich Village jazz club, including Thad Jones, Horace Silver, Miles Davis, Bob Brookmeyer and others.  

Elena Maque, Farko Dosumov
Jim Wilke / KNKX

Saxophonist, vocalist, and composer Elena Maque was featured with her group in this month's Art of Jazz concert presented by Earshot Jazz at The Seattle Art Museum.  Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, she graduated from the Mussorgsky College of Music and played and toured with a jazz big band led by Gennady Golshtein.  Those tours took her to several surrounding countries and provided additional musical influences on her music.  She relocated to Seattle several years ago and is now established on the Seattle musical scene.

Alexey Nikolaev live at Tula's Jazz Club.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

The Axiom Quartet will be featured this week on Jazz Northwest.  The quartet was formed in 2004 to bring together the talents of saxophonist Alexey Nikolaev, pianist and composer John Hansen, Michael Glynn on bass and Phil Parisot on drums. Axiom has been playing a regular monthly gig at Tula's and has built a strong library of original compositions and arrangements. This performance recorded at Tula's last month is a good sampling of their variety of music.  

New and soon-to-be-released music is featured on a special Fall Fund Drive edition this week on Jazz Northwest. Pianist and composer Randy Halberstadt will release his new CD "Open Heart" in October, coinciding with his retirement from Cornish College of the Arts. Another member of the Cornish music faculty, Johnaye Kendrick has a recent release "Flying" is also on this show, and Jacob Zimmerman has a new CD "More of That" which recalls small band swing of the 40s.   A tune titled "Belltown" by the Axiom Quartet recorded at Tula's serves as a teaser for next week's show.

Nathan Breedlove
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Art of Jazz’s September concert at Seattle Art Museum featured the nu Trio. The trio consists of three veteran musicians, Nathan Breedlove on trumpet, Phil Sparks on bass and Brian Kirk ondrums.  The combination of trumpet, bass and drums with no chordal instrument such as guitar or piano, allows the trio to play with an open, airy feel that encourages free improvisation.  

 

The Earshot Jazz festival celebrates it’s 30thyear in Seattle. John Gilbreath, Executive Director of Earshot joins host Jim Wilke for a preview and sampling of some of the talent appearing at the Festival on Jazz Northwest this week. This year's festival runs from October 7 through November 4 and includes over 60 performances at various venues in and around Seattle. Violinist Regina Carter, saxophonist Tia Fuller, and pianist George Colligan are among visiting artists. This year’s resident artist is pianist and composer Jovino Santos Neto.

Some recent and soon-to-be-released new music from Vancouver BC and Portland is featured on this weeks episode.  Vancouver B.C. vocalist Karin Plato's seventh release "This Could Be The One" features her original songs and is coming out this month. Portland trumpet player and composer Charlie Porter is releasing an ambitious debut - a collection of original music for solo through sextet groups of Portland musicians.  In addition, a new album by composer-arranger Oliver Groenewald's NewNet featuring Jay Thomas which will be released with a concert at The Earshot Festival.

Centrum All Star Big Band in concert at Jazz Port Townsend, 2018
Courtesy of Jim Levitt

Always one of the highlights of Centrum's annual Jazz Port Townsend Festival is the big band performance, which takes place on Saturday afternoon.  Some of the greatest jazz composers and arrangers have directed this band in their own music, but this year was different.  Festival Artistic Director John Clayton, Jr conducted a special tribute to David Marriott, Sr., a champion of music and the arts in general, who passed at the end of April. He was the longest-serving member of the Centrum Board and had deep roots and connections with Port Townsend as well as Seattle. 

Terell Stafford at Jazz Port Townsend 2018.
Courtesy of Jim Levitt

Trumpet player Terell Stafford led an all-star quintet in concert at Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend in July. The music includes selections by the late trumpet icon Lee Morgan from Terell Stafford's CD "BrotherLee Love" celebrating Lee Morgan.  Tenor saxophonist Tim Warfield, who played on the CD is also on this concert, with pianist Dawn Clement, John Clayton on bass, and Billy Williams at the drums. Terell Stafford heads the Jazz department at Temple University and is a regular in the Vanguard Jazz Orchestras.  

Katie Thiroux and Dave Stryker
Courtesy of Jim Levitt

A series of concerts from Centrum's 2018 Jazz Port Townsend festival will air on Jazz Northwest in the coming weeks. The concerts include seven different jazz ensembles ranging from trio to an 18-piece big band. 

The first concert airing August 5 will feature an all-star trio playing together for the first time at Jazz Port Townsend. The trio includes veteran guitarist Dave Stryker, pianist Justin Kauflin and bassist and singer Katie Thiroux.  All three are recording and touring artists who also lead their own groups.

Legendary drummer Elvin Jones was special guest in "Jones for Elvin" a 1998 recording session in Seattle led by saxophonist Steve Griggs.  Music from that CD is included in this week's Jazz Northwest as a preview of a performance by the group minus the late drummer at the Royal Room on July 15.  (Milo Peterson will play drums).

Other music on the program includes selections by Cory Weeds & Jeff Hamilton, Bill Ramsay Big Band, The Three Sounds and others.  

This week we sample two of the artists appearing at Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend, guitarist Dave Stryker and trumpet player Terell Stafford who will be featured on the opening concerts on July 27 at Fort Worden.  Debuting on this week's show is Vancouver BC saxophonist Cory Weeds' latest release, an 11 piece band featuring music by Hank Mobley, Kenny Dorham and others arranged by Vancouver arrangers Bill Coon and Jill Townsend.  Also this week, The Jazz Police, Thomas Marriott, The BC Double Quartet and others along with best bets for live jazz in the coming week. 

Dee Daniels and SRJO at Kirkland Performance Center
Courtsey of Jim Levitt

"My Favorite Things" was the title of the concerts ending the 2017-18 season for the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra. Dee Daniels was the featured vocalist in a program including songs made popular by Fats Waller, Billie Holiday, Nat Cole, Marvin Gaye, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. The songs selected by Dee Daniels for this concert represent her varied interests in music and her long career that has taken her to six continents.   

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