Jazz Summer 2005

 'Music of Frank Zappa': Ed Palermo Big Band
June 1, 8, 15, 22

Iridium, 1650 Bway, 212-582-2121. Capital-M Music trumps satire when Palermo and company delve into Zappa's bad-Santa bag of instrumental inventions. Keep an ear open for the excentrifical treasures from FZ's early-'70s psychedelic-jazz period captured on the hallmark albums The Grand Wazoo and Waka/Jawaka. Few big-band books can top it. GEHR

James Carter
photo: Courtesy James Carter
James Carter


'Voice' Jazz Supplement

Institutionalized: JAZZ and the retailer/record label/arts center/museum/university/conservatory

  • Post-Bop Shopping
    by Francis Davis

  • Uncharted World of Independent Labels
    by Tom Hull

  • Beyond Clubland—and Repertory
    by Larry Blumenfeld

  • Jazz Goes to College
    by Nate Chinen

  • The New Apprenticeship
    by D.D. Jackson
  • Wayne Krantz
    June 2

    55 Bar, 55 Christopher, 212-929-9883. The hyperinventive guitarist leads a trio and a devoted cult following through look-out-below improvisations that dangle tantalizingly on the cusp of chaos and ecstasy. The rhythm section changes, but try to catch him with longtime mind-meld partners Tim Lefebvre (bass) and Keith Carlock (drums) at least once. GEHR

    The Headhunters
    June 9-12

    Iridium, 1650 Bway, 212-582-2121. Robert Walter, formerly of the Greyboy Allstars, takes over the keyboard hot seat formerly filled by Herbie Hancock in the latest incarnation of this jazz-funk juggernaut led by drummer Mike Clark. And with saxophonist Donald Harrison and percussionist Bill Summers on hand, God may indeed make them funky. GEHR

    Tim Berne, Tom Rainey & Sylvie Courvoisier
    June 14

    Tonic, 107 Norfolk, 212-358-7501. This new Berne trio features old friend Tom Rainey on the drums and new collaborator Sylvie Courvoisier on piano. Berne's as good a composer as he is a player, and his pieces have a nice dynamic ebb and flow that balance the energy and wonder of improvisation with a sophisticated sense of structure and harmony. HENDRICKSON

    Joseph Jarman Opening Invocation+Henry Grimes Quartet+WARM: Reggie Workman, Pheeroan akLaff, Sam Rivers & Roscoe Mitchell+Jorge Sylvester and Nora McCarthy Conceptual Motion Orchestra+Bejeweled+the Gift
    June 14

    Vision Festival, Angel Orensanz Art Center, 172 Norfolk, 212-780-0175. Jarman solemnly starts things off as always at this festival. And with intriguing groupings like Reggie Workman and Roscoe Mitchell as well as the recently resurrected Henry Grimes (who upon rediscovery wondered how Albert Ayler was doing now) with Sun Ra Arkestra's Marshall Allen, this should be a memorable opening night. A 20-piece band qualifies as a jazz orchestra, and one that's led by a provocative poet like McCarthy is especially noteworthy. Besides her educational work, Terry Jenoure acts as a one-woman multimedia phenom with violin, poetry, vocals, and "projected paintings" in Bejeweled. Any band with trumpeter Roy Campbell deserves to be called the Gift. GROSS

    '100 Years and a Day: Doc Cheatham Centennial Jazz Party'
    June 14

    JVC Jazz Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Frederick P. Rose Hall, Time Warner Center, 60th & Bway, 212-721-6500. The trumpeter had power. He had stage awareness in the '50s and a prolific career in the '60s and '70s, then off he went. He'd be 100 now, and the best way to celebrate is this explosively tight performance by some of the country's colossal improvisers—Clark Terry, Nicholas Payton, Frank Wess, Randy Sandke, Jimmy Heath, Jimmy Owens, Benny Powell, and numerous others. KING

    Charles Gayle Trio+Oliver Lake Trio+Steve Dalachinsky & Matthew Shipp+Roy Campbell's Pyramid Trio+Mat Maneri, Dave Burrell, Drew Gress & Randy Peterson
    June 15

    Vision Festival, Angel Orensanz Art Center, 172 Norfolk, 212-780-0175. Maybe the only thing more enticing than an ensemble featuring the free-meets-funk Lake is the fierce sound of Charles Gayle, who's outspoken not just with his philosophical musings but also his equally volatile saxophone playing. You might say that he could give Bill Clinton a run for his money, but the ex-prez is a charmer while Gayle is a firebrand. Brainy, nimble-fingered pianist Shipp definitely deserves several showcases of his own besides this evening's performance, and here he's easily a match for Dalachinsky's beat witticisms. Rounding out the evening is trumpeter Campbell's multimedia dance and video ensemble (also featuring his stalwart trumpet) and tireless bandleader and sideman violaist Maneri. Also Wayne Horvitz's Some Order Long Understood. GROSS

    'Piano Masters Salute Piano Legends'
    June 15

    JVC Jazz Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Frederick P. Rose Hall, Time Warner Center, 60th & Bway, 212-721-6500. No stage could hold them, but they're joining forces: The thrilling, charged Randy Weston, Geri Allen, Kenny Barron, and Uri Caine step forward in group tribute to the tunes of Ellington, Monk, Hancock, and Evans. Count it among the summer's most intelligently billed, satisfying lineups, strengthened by the quick reflexes of Al Foster and Ray Drummond. KING

    Joseph Jarman, Fred Anderson, Alvin Fielder & Tatsu Aoki+Joseph Jarman Ensemble+Fred Anderson, Kidd Jordan, William Parker & Hamid Drake+Thurman Barker's Strike Force+Nicole Mitchell Trio
    June 16

    Vision Festival, Angel Orensanz Art Center, 172 Norfolk, 212-780-0175. For anyone who needs a fix of former Art Ensemble leader Joseph Jarman, this is the festival night to attend, though the big-band pieces he's done at previous Vision showcases are missed. Whatever kind of ensemble he leads, his humanity always shines through. Festival staples Drake and Parker are worth hearing with AACM vet Anderson and kindred spirit Jordan. Also, Barker leads an impressive percussion ensemble and has played programs called "Give the Drummer Some"—no doubt that James Brown would be proud. Flutist Mitchell has led a variety of larger bands that have the complexity and fullness of Dollar Brand and Carlos Ward, but her Black Earth Ensemble works just as effectively as a three-piece. GROSS

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