BoMuse News, vol. 16, no. 2
BoMuse News is a monthly newsletter from BoMuse Music. It presents items of interest related to jazz, and advocacy for music education, as well as news of releases from BoMuse Music and the performing activities of Paul Combs. Questions and comments should be sent by visiting “Contact” at Paul Combs’ Web-site.
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1. Upcoming Gigs, Handlery Hotel, Dizzy’s
2. Washington DC Adventure
3. Jazz Summt
4. Jazz At Chit Chat
5. Tadd Dameron Radio Show
6. Joe Field and reflections on Geri Allen
1. Thank you everyone who came out to hear us at the Jazz Happy Hour at the Handlery Hotel last Friday, July 28. If you missed it, or are too far away, I was joined by bassist extraordinaire Rob Thorsen, and the very fine young pianist Hugo Suarez. We had a ball! The Jazz Happy Hour takes place every Friday from 5:30-7:30. If you have not discovered the Jazz Happy Hour, you are missing out on a really remarkable series. As a listener, I never concern myself with who will be playing there as I am never disappointed. Needless to say, I feel truly honored to be playing a Jazz Happy Hour at the Handlery. The hotel is located at 950 Hotel Circle North, San Diego. There is no cover, the parking is free, and the drinks and appetizers are offered at happy hour prices.
Early next month, I will be playing with my Dameron Project Quintet at Dizzy’s. Dizzy’s is a long running concert series presented by Chuck Perrin, currently at the Musicians Association Hall, 1717 Morena Boulevard, San Diego. As at the Jazz Live concert in February I will have the pleasure of being joined by trumpeter Derek Cannon. The rhythm section is Kamau Kenyatta, piano, Rob Thorsen, bass, and Richard Sellers, drums.
2. In April I had the pleasure of performing at the Art Museums of the Smithsonian Institution with a band of very fine local Washington D.C. musicians: vocalist Danielle Wertz, guitarist Steve Herberman, bassist Eliot Seppa, and drummer Ele Rubenstein. I also gave a talk on Tadd Dameron and his music at the University of the District of Columbia. It part of the Jazz Forum series hosted by the Felix E. Grant Jazz Archives. As I mentioned in the last newsletter, my host there was Judith Korey, who directs the Archive. As I mentioned last month, Judith was acknowledge by the Jazz Journalists Association for her advocacy of jazz music, jazz musicians, and the history of the music. I was also interviewed by broadcaster Randy Hassan for the University’s video archives.
3. In a couple of weeks it will be time for the Jazz Summit, organized by Jazz Week. This annual gathering of jazz radio, record production and promotion folks, as well as a few of us artists has been a highlight of my summer for several years. Not only has it been important for me professionally, but it has brought me wonderful friends. If I have any regret it is that I only get to see most of these folks once a year. One of the things that makes this such a fine community to be part of is the fact that no one gets involved with jazz (or classical, or folk, or any other idiom scorned by the industry as marginal) without having a deep love for this music, and a commitment to it socially and spiritually.
As always, the conference is scheduled in connection with a festival. This year, as in the last four, we get to go to the San Jose Summer Festival as well.
4. For those of you readers in the Eastern New England area, I encourage you to “like” and follow Jazz At Chit Chat on Facebook. Even if you do not use Facebook, I believe you can go there to see who will be playing on the next Sunday. I started Jazz At Chit Chat fifteen years ago, and I am so delighted to see that it is still going. Some of the best musicians in the Northeast of Massachusetts, and Southeast of New Hampshire play there, and of course, the Pocket Big Band plays there a couple ofttimes a month.
5. Broadcaster David Brent Johnson of Indiana Public Media sent me a link to a special he did on the music of Tadd Dameron and the blog post that goes with it. It is about an hour long and I’m sharing it with you here. Thank you David for a job well done.
6. As I mentioned above, one has to have deep love for jazz to get involved with it professionally. This s true not only of performers, but of those who’s work supports the performers. We lost Joe Fields this last month, and while you may not know who he was, you cannot have listened to jazz in the last five decades without having heard his work. Joe created a series of important jazz record labels, and operated them with integrity. Two of them, High Note and Savant continue to release excellent recordings under the leadership of Joe’s son Barney. While I cannot say I got to know him well, Joe was one of those good folks I met over the years at the Jazz Summit, and I can attest to his warmth and dignity as a person. He will be sorely missed, but his good work will live on. You can read a couple of remembrances of Joe here, and below.
Jazz is a relatively small community, but not so small that there are not very significant people like Joe Fields or, regrettably, Geri Allen, who we lost last month, who are not universally known by those who consider themselves jazz fans, or even musicians. I suppose some of this comes from how much jazz has grown as an idiom, with several clearly identifiable sub-genres. Thinking about this brings to mind the long standing tension may of us musicians have with the very word “jazz.” Duke Ellington preferred to avoid the word. John Coltrane felt that his late work may well have not been categorizable as jazz. I myself cannot give a solid definition, but there is a tradition of music making which informs those of us who play this music, and perhaps a sense of connection to that tradition is the best I can offer. Of course, listeners and players both, will have an individual take just what that connection is.
Still, there can be little question that Geri Allen was a jazz musician, and one of the very finest of her generation. While she had a very successful career, many who consider themselves to be jazz fans, and even jazz musicians did not know who she was. This seems to be a result of the tension between a notion of jazz being something very specific stylistically, and the jazz tradition that encourages exploration and experimentation. This is further complicated by the proliferation of recordings and the people making them.
I suppose the situation of any of us not being able to keep up with all that is going on in the world of jazz, small as it is, will only persist with population growth, and the increase in global communication. The population of the United States has more than doubled since I was in grade school, some sixty years ago. The number of artists of all kinds has at least doubled, as well. All this creative activity is a good thing, but it makes it very difficult to keep up with. All I can do is urge everyone, myself as well, to keep our senses open, and always be ready for surprises.
Wed., August 2, 5:30 – 8:30 pm, Dene Davidson/Paul Combs Duo, Cafe Mazen, Carlsbad Village Faire, 300 Carlsbad Dr., Carlsbad, CA
Thu. August 17, 7:30 – 10:30 pm, Fred Hardy Quartet, Cafe Bar Europa, 873 Turquoise St., San Diego, CA
Wed. August 23, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm, Dene Davidson Trio, Carlsbad Village Faire, 300 Carlsbad Dr., Carlabad CA
Thu. August 24, 7:30 – 10:30 pm Fred Hardy Quartet, Cafe Bar Europa, 873 Turquoise St., San Diego, CA
Thu. August 31, 7:30 – 10:30 pm Fred Hardy Quartet, Cafe Bar Europa, 873 Turquoise St., San Diego, CA
Wed. September 6, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm, Dene Davidson Trio, Carlsbad Village Faire, 300 Carlsbad Dr., Carlabad CA
*Thu. September 7, 7:30 – 10:30 pm Fred Hardy Quartet, Cafe Bar Europa, 873 Turquoise St., San Diego, CA
* Fri. September 8, 8:00 – 9:45 pm, Paul Combs 5tet Plays Tadd Dameron, Dizzy’s, 1717 Morena Blvd. San Diego CA
As always, thank you for supporting LIVE MUSIC!