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Gavin Walker's "The Jazz Show" - April features
Gavin Walker's "The Jazz Show" is heard Mondays 9PM to midnight on CITR 101.9 FM and online.
Recent shows are also available as Podcasts. Subscribe
Each show features an entire album at 11PM.
Album features for April:
April 2: Bobby Hutcherson. “Inner Glow”.
April 9: Andrew Hill. “Andrew”.
April 16: Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. “Olympia Theatre Concert May 13, 1961”
April 23: Joey DeFrancesco. “The Philadelphia Connection”.
April 30: J. J. Johnson. “The total J.J.”
April 2: Vibist and marimbaist Bobby Hutcherson (born in Los Angeles on January 27, 1941) is on tap tonight with a rare recording for Blue Note released only in Japan called “Inner Glow”. Bobby was one of the stars of last year’s Jazz Festival and at age 66 seems more active than ever in a career that goes from playing ‘straight-ahead’ to the outer limits of the jazz spectrum. Inner glow is a fine recording from the mid-seventies that was recorded in L.A. with a horn section on some tracks and a quartet on others. The horns are the great Harold Land on tenor saxophone and flute (Bobby and Harold co-led a fine band from 1968 to 1972) and trombonist Thurmon Green and trumpeter Oscar Brashear on some tunes. The quartet tracks have Bobby with pianist Dwight Dickerson, bassist Kent Brinkley and the late Larry Hancock (no relation to Herbie) on drums. With the exception of the title track which was written by pianist George Cables the other four originals are by Bobby and as usual they are a fascinating study into the mind of one of the great living geniuses of modern jazz.....Bobby Hutcherson. A rare treat tonight with “Inner Glow”.
April 9: In honour of his up and coming appearance in Vancouver with his trio the Jazz Show presents the music of Andrew Hill. Andrew and his trio are playing on April 12 at Christ Church Cathedral presented by the Coastal Jazz and Blues Society. Our feature is an intimate look into the off-beat and quirky musical mind of pianist/composer/genius Andrew Hill. The feature album is called simply “Andrew” and has Hill playing with vibist Bobby Hutcherson (featured last week) and a rare appearance outside of the Sun Ra fold by tenor saxophone master John Gilmore. Gilmore brings to the table his own sound and concept and we’ll hear how this Chicago-born tenorist was a great influence on Coltrane. The bassist is Andrew’s then favourite: the amazing Richard Davis. The ever-creative Joe Chambers in on drums for this set of Hill originals that cover so many moods from dark and rich to light and swinging. Andrew’s off-kilter rhythmic sense is as always intriguing and ear-catching. Mr. Hill is a deep study and always worth your time.....see you tonight.
April 16: Tonight we revisit one of the great bands in modern jazz history recorded when they were having an amazing night at the Olympia Theatre in Paris on a warm spring night in May of 1961. This edition of drummer/leader Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers was his all time favourite band and it’s easy to hear why. The chemistry in this group was outstanding as were the players. The front line consisted of the young terror of the trumpet Lee Morgan who by that time had developed his own unmistakable concept and he was only 23 when this concert was played. The musical director was tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter who even at this early stage of his long career was writing great tunes and had established his voice on the tenor. Shorter here is so animated and intense that his horn sounds like it’s going to blow apart. Pianist Bobby Timmons is sadly today an undeservedly forgotten giant. Timmons’ compositions and piano work that was funky and always had a dancing quality to it is heard at his best in this band. Finally “The workhorse of the band”, as Blakey would say is Philadelphian bassist Hymie Merritt whose big sound and solid beat matched Blakey’s pyro-technics. This band recorded many albums for Blue Note and other labels both live and in the studio but none matched this evening’s concert. The Jazz Messengers at their best were the heart and soul of this music that still influences young players today. Blakey set the standard with this his favourite edition.
April 23: The appearance at the Cellar (restaurant and jazz club) on West Broadway by Hammond organ virtuoso and keeper of the flame, Joey DeFrancesco is an event everyone is looking forward to. Joey will be there with his own trio for three nights: April 27 to 29 with Canadian guitarist Jake Langley. Go to www.cellarjazz.com for information. To honour “Joey D” the Jazz Show presents as a feature “The Philadelphia Connection” which is a tribute to the late organist Don Patterson (who is the favourite of Jazz Show host Gavin Walker). Joey intimates without imitating some great tunes associated with Patterson (who died in 1988). Joey, who was born in Springfield, Pennsylvania on April 10, 1971 was raised in Philadelphia by his parents who were very musical (Joey’s dad is a professional organist) really understands the tradition of the jazz organ and studied and learned from all the greats especially jazz pioneer Jimmy Smith. At age 36 Joey has a career and a stature in the jazz world that most people would envy and he is regarded as a true “keeper of the flame”. Joey is also a trumpet player and vocalist of note (or notes). Joey D on tonight’s feature is with a trio (his favourite setting) with long-time buddies Paul Bollenback on guitar and drummer Byron “Wookie” Landham. This evening’s feature is a prelude to Joey’s shows at the Cellar.....see y’all there!
April 30: We end the month with a feature by trombone pioneer J. J. Johnson called “The total J. J.” and the reason it’s called that is because all of Johnson’s immense talents are on view here. His playing, his composing and his arranging as well as his leadership qualities are all evident tonight. J. J. Johnson’s trombone playing marked him as a pioneer of modern jazz as J. J. was to the trombone as Charlie Parker was to the alto saxophone and Dizzy Gillespie was to the trumpet and so on. Less well documented was his writing and arranging skills. To show those off J. J.’s hand picked band of New York’s finest (not the police) do justice to Johnson’s pieces. The total J. J. is just that and represents concert jazz at it’s very best!
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