September's Live Jazz Picks
September 1, 1999
September's Live Jazz Picks
by Philip Ehrensaft
Event of the Month:
Guitarist/composer Sonny Greenwich is in a league by himself, and he joins forces with the central figure on the Toronto jazz scene, pianist Don Thompson, as well as Jazz Report award-winner Barry Elmes on drums. Upstairs, September 17 & 18.
Not to be missed:
The Oliver Jones Trio, featuring Wali Mohammed on drums. Théatre de la Vielle Chapelle, L'Ascension, September 10; 3230 rue Sicotte, Ste-Hyacinthe, October 2.
Time Warp, the acoustic quartet that features Barry Elmes on drums together with two other Jazz Report award-winners, saxophonists Mike Murley and trumpeter Kevin Turcotte, backed by Al Henderson on bass. Upstairs, September 10 and 11.
Peter Hum Trio. After Eight (Ottawa's parallel to Upstairs) September 10 and 11. Pianist Hum, a McGill jazz department alumnus, is the crime reporter for the Ottawa Citizen by day and a fine jazz musician by night.
Pianist Jan Jarczyk, just back from a sabbatical in Europe, joins forces with Michel Donato on bass and Dave Laing on drums. Pollack Hall, McGill University, September 24.
D.E.W. East: Drummer Barry Elmes plus Alex Dean on sax and Stephen Wallace on bass. Upstairs, October 1 & 2.
Radio / Website of the Month
One way to keep abreast of jazz is to listen to WGBO, the US public radio station which broadcasts jazz around the clock from Newark, New Jersey. Thanks to the Internet, WGBO is now an international station (www.wgbo.org). With RealAudio computer software one can hear scratchy but acceptable sound, certain to improve as the station takes advantage of faster Internet transmission and modems. WGBO's web page also offers a fine set of links to other jazz information on the Net.
Future Jazz by Howard Mandel, president of the Jazz Journalists' Association and a former editor at Down Beat, was published in June this year by Oxford University Press. The core of the book is a series of strategically chosen interviews with the movers and shakers of the current jazz renaissance. Sometimes this is a radical future, like the "downtown scene" of John Zorn and company. Sometimes the voices are neo-conservatives, e.g. Wynton Marsalis. Mandel skillfully arranges them in counterpoint. Although an impressive amount of information and analysis of contemporary jazz is packed into only 207 pages, the book does not feel like a heavy read. Even the chapter titles can be brilliantly informative, e.g. "Good Old Avant Garde", which points to the fact that the revolutionaries of the sixties and their younger recruits are still playing much as they did 30 years ago. A companion CD with musical examples is available from Knitting Factory Records. If you only buy one jazz book this year, Future Jazz is the way to go.