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Straight No Chaser - A Jazz Show

Welcome to Straight No Chaser, the Award-winning Podcast hosted by Jeffrey Siegel

Oct 18, 2011

The 9th Annual Festival of New Trumpet Music (FONT) series will be held at the Jazz Standard in New York from Thursday, October 20, through Sunday, October 23  This year, the FONT series celebrates Kenny Wheeler, one of the most creative and iconic of progressive trumpeters. Wheeler (pictured above), a Canadian residing in the UK since 1952, celebrated his 81st birthday this year. He will make a rare New York appearance in this series devoted to his music and vision.

The Festival also presents a cadre of progressive New York trumpeters, among them Ingrid Jensen, Shane Endsley, Nate Wooley, Jonathan Finlayson, Tony Kadleck, and Jon Owens. As part of this celebration, Kenny Wheeler will be featured with Ingrid Jensen + Brass, will play his music alongside John Hollenbeck’s Large Ensemble, and will also convene a New York Quintet, featuring Jon Irabagon, Craig Taborn, Rudy Royston, and special guest Dave Holland. A complete lineup can be found here

The Festival of New Trumpet Music, a nonprofit founded in 2003 by Dave Douglas and Roy Campbell, Jr. was designed to encourage creative brass music. Wheeler will be  presented its Award of Recognition  during the week’s run. Previous recipients include Wadada Leo Smith and Bobby Bradford.

I spoke to Dave Douglas about FONT, the music of Kenny Wheeler, and his recent musical projects, which include a summer appearance at Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival and the readying of a 3 CD set of new recordings. Click here to listen to our conversaion, including musical interludes by:

Kenny Wheeler – “Smatter” from Gnu High. A seminal ECM release from 1975 features the all-star lineup of Wheeler on flugelhorn, Keith Jarrett on piano, Dave Holland on bass and Jack DeJohnette on drums.

Kenny Wheeler – “Don the Dreamer” from Windmill Tilter. Recorded in London in 1968, this amazing recording has finally been released on CD. The large ensemble included, among others,  Dave Holland on bass, John Spooner on drums, John McLaughlin on guitar, John Dankworth on sax and Dick Hart on tuba.

Christine Jensen –  “Dropoff” from Treelines. I spoke well of this CD earlier this year, and Christine’s sister Igrid will lead a band with Kenny Wheeler to start off the celebration. Personnel for this track, which features an Ingrid flugelhorn solo include Christine Jensen on saxophone and an 18-piece jazz orchestra, featuring Martin Auguste (drums), Chet Doxas, Joel Miller, Eric Hove (saxophones), Jean-Nicolas Trottier, David Grott (trombones). Steve Amirault (piano), and Fraser Hollins (bass).

Kenny Wheeler Quintet – “We Salute the Night” from Flutter By, Butterfly. Since the celebration ends with a Wheeler-led quintet, here’s a session from 1987 that has Holland on bass, a spot he will hold down in the new quintet. Others on the recording are Bill Elgart on bass, John Taylor on piano, and Stan Sulzmann on saxophones and flute.

Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstacy – “United Front” from United Front: Brass Ecstasy at Newport. One of Douglas’ prime projects of late, this updated brass band has a more accessible sound than some of Douglas’ more creative recordings. The band is Dave Douglas on trumpet; Luis Bonilla on trombone; Vincent Chancey on French horn; Marcus Rojas on tuba; and Nasheet Waits on drums.

Dave Douglas – “Lush Life” from Greenleaf Portable Series, Vol. 1 – Rare Metals. A reworking of the Billy Strayhorn standard by Brass Ecstasy from a CD released earlier this year. The personnel is the same as on “United Front”.