Sun, 9 March 2014
I must confess that there are times I wish jazz musicians would stop working their way through complicated timings, key signatures and chord voicings and go back to some of the good old soul jazz of the late Fifties and early Sixties. Give me a 4/4 beat, a cooking rhythm section, maybe a greasy Hammond B-3 organ sound, and I’m a happy man.
If you feel as I do, have I got a weekend’s worth of jazz fun for you.
The 92Y in Manhattan has announced its firstSoul Jazz Festival on Friday March 14th and Saturday march 15th. These two nights of modern music with a deep foundation in groove and melody begins with a memorable triple header on Friday, featuring DJ Logic & Friends, followed by the Brian Landrus Kaleidoscope. A Joey DeFrancesco All-Star Band closes the evening’s festivities. While not all musicians were set at press time, among the top players set to appear in these groups are Brian Lynch (trumpet), George Garzone (tenor sax), Nir Felder(guitar), Billy Hart (drums), Lonnie Plaxico (bass) and James Hurt (keyboards).
Saturday night is an evening of music presented by Esperanza Spalding, entitled “New Songs” and featuring band that will include Ms. Spalding (bass/vocals), Nadia Washington (guitar/vocals), Corey King (trombone/vocals),Ray Angry (keyboards) and the always exciting Karreim Riggins (drums).
I spoke with performer/ artistic advisor Brian Landrus about the lineups, the importance of soul jazz, both historically and today, and the fun of performing at the venerable 92Y, which hosts the “Jazz in July” series under the auspices of Bill Charlap every summer Podcast 414 features our conversation along with musical selections from the weekend performers including:
DJ Logic - "Simmer Slow" from The Zen of Logic.
Joey DeFrancesco – “After You've Gone “ from One For Rudy.
Esperanza Spalding – “Winter Sun" recorded Live in A&R Studios.
Brian Landrus Kaleidoscope – “Don’t Close Your Eyes” and "Someday" from Mirage.