Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

US club guide 20-26 May

Jason Marsalis Vibes Duo Snug Harbor, New Orleans Mon 20 May Ryan Devlin Quartet Chris' Jazz Cafe, Philadelphia Tues 21 May David Murray Quartet Village Vanguard, New York Tues 21 May, Wed 22 May, Thurs 23 May, Fri 24 May, Sat 25 May, Sun 26 May

Published: 20 May 2024. Updated: 2 months.

A formidable group touring new album Francesca (Intakt) filled with Murray compositions plus a cover of the great pianist Don Pullen's 'Richard's Tune' - a tune dedicated to AACM pater familias and inspiration Muhal Richard Abrams. The Virginia born Don Pullen (1941-1995) recorded his Muhal dedicated tune that appeared on the outstanding 1974 release, Solo Piano Album (Sackville). And the World Saxophone Quartet master David Murray - think an avant-garde version of Ben Webster and you are half way there towards appreciating the globe trotting Californian - is on tenor saxophone and bass clarinet playing so immaculately with fine avant pianist Marta Sánchez whose own trio album Perpetual Void is also recent, Luke Stewart of Irreversible Entanglements on double bass and one of DC's finest Russell Carter on drums, Francesca proves as warm and enlightening as the delights in another context of 2022's Seriana Promethea. Recorded in a studio 20km from Zurich over two days last November, tunes range in length from just over 6 minutes for 'Am Gone Get Some' - a little longer and more expansive than the Seriana Promethea treatment of the piece recorded with Brad Jones and Hamid Drake - to a speck under 11 mins, the latter an awesome title track named for the jewel tie designer Francesca Cinelli Murray. Derek Schilling in the album notes says: ''Murray's art celebrates the magic of the hook, the deep groove.'' And he is 100 per cent correct in this. Highlights include bass clarinet feature 'Shenzhen.'

  • Terrace Martin feat. James Fauntelroy Blue Note, New York Thurs 23 May, Fri 24 May, Sat 25 May

  • Kurt Rosenwinkel, Mark Turner, Ben Street, Jeff Ballard Dazzle, Denver Thurs 23 May

  • Russell Malone Smoke, New York Thurs 23 May, Fri 24 May, Sat 25 May, Sun 26 May

Guitar great Russell Malone - known for his swinging work with Diana Krall and on last year's Rickie Lee Jones album Pieces of Treasure - at Smoke with pianist Rick Germanson, bassist Vincent DuPont and drummer Neal Smith.

  • Joe Farnsworth Quartet with Sarah Hanahan, Peter Washington and Luther Allison Jazz Showcase, Chicago Thurs 23 May, Fri 24 May, Sat 25 May, Sun 26 May

Tunes like 'Prima Materia' in pianist Connie Han's hands are always highly listenable. A player whose star power has increased year on year certainly since Iron Starlet if you gravitate to Chick Corea and especially Return to Forever's early period you will be in your element. Sunny, cosmic, as much a daytime as a cool breeze-of-the-evening listen 'Prima Materia' has an open feel and the sound develops organically. Drawn from the ancient civilisation of Sumer themed Secrets of Inanna, flautist Katisse Buckingham, Wayne Shorter quartet bass icon John Patitucci, tenorist Rich Perry and drummer Bill Wysaske joined the pianist on the 2022 album.

Cellist Tomeka Reid - known to UK jazz fans for her work with Alexander Hawkins - in Chicago with guitar innovator Mary Halvorson, bassist Jason Roebke and drummer Tomas Fujiwara.


The great singer Carmen Lundy with pianist Julius Rodriguez, bassist Ben Williams known for his work with Pat Metheny in the Unity band, guitarist Andrew Renfroe and drummer Terreon Gully - ''Tank'' is known for his work on Christian McBride electric classic Vertical Vision from 2003.

  • Matt Wilson's Good Trouble Birdland, New York Fri 24 May, Sat 25 May, Sun 26 May

  • Noah Haidu trio with Buster Williams and Lenny White Catalina Jazz Club, Los Angeles Sun 26 May

  • Russ Lossing trio [Deerhead Inn, Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania] Sun 26 May

Jason Marsalis, pictured, plays Snug Harbor in New Orleans tonight


In Sligo for the jazz - Freddie Hendrix

READY FOR FREDDIE: One of the most anticipated names to appear this summer for the first time on the faculty and in performance at Ireland's top jazz festival and summer school held in spiritual Sligo annually is the appearance of the swinging …

Published: 19 May 2024. Updated: 2 months.

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One of the most anticipated names to appear this summer for the first time on the faculty and in performance at Ireland's top jazz festival and summer school held in spiritual Sligo annually is the appearance of the swinging hard bop and AfroCuban attuned trumpeter and flugelhorn player, out of Teaneck, New Jersey - Freddie Hendrix.

We asked Eddie Lee, the No Crows bassist and artistic director of the festival & summer school, how Eddie had heard word of Freddie's prowess that then prompted him to invite him into the west this summer for the jazz days gathering come July down by the Garavogue.

''I heard of Freddie,'' Eddie explains, ''from work he did with Rufus Reid actually, and then when we booked Elio Villafranca as artist in residence (I saw Elio in Lincoln Center last spring where he premiered a specially commissioned suite 'Tres Aguas' for Jazz at Lincoln Center) - Elio said he’d like to have sympathetic musicians around him so Freddie was one of those along with Alejandro [Aviles], sax, Dion [Parson] drums [readers may recall Dion was on Samuel Blaser's tremendous Don Drummond skazz tribute Routes last year] and Manel [Fortià] bass. Basically we have a band in residence!''


Elio and the Jass Syncopators' Caribbean Tinge (Motéma) proved a fairly lively affair recorded in 2011 and 2012 at Dizzy’s in Jazz at Lincoln Center. The Cuban pianist drew on early-jazz inspirations including the “Spanish tinge” of Jelly Roll Morton, Ellington (note the “jass” in the band name) and Caribbean styles, not sounding like a period piece at all. All the tunes and arrangements are the pianist’s, Villafranca’s band including alternating bassists Carlos Henriquez and Gregg August, and again alternating drummers Willie Jones III and Lewis Nash. The album also bristles with bustling horn players, including trumpeters Sean Jones and Terell Stafford, and saxophonists Greg Tardy and Vincent Herring, plus plenty of congas and bongos adding to the percussive sound. Ultimately even though there is plenty of heat to it it is quite a polite and nuanced presentation. Tunes take inspiration variously from Congo Square, Paris, and even Afro-Puerto Rican rhythms. ‘Mambo Vivo’ is dedicated to the father of mambo,

Freddie Hendrix, photo: via Adams. Click for more faculty news on Sligo 24. Freddie Hendrix listening above from inside the Christian McBride Big Band on The Good Feeling (2011), We Are the Jazz Brigade (2022), Standing by the Crossroads (2023) and most recently on fine crooner John Dokes' bouncing Our Day (2024) reviewed on marlbank