On the Lookout: McBride/Holmes/Allyson/Baevsky/Cinema/Douglas
Thankfully, there's plenty of jazz action in the Valley these days. Here's a heads-up on a few must-see events.
This week's Iron Horse mailing alerted me to an appearance tomorrow night (Oct. 25) by Christian McBride's Inside Straight. I'll be anchoring the I-Pledge fund drive at WFCR, so I'll miss the show. But after you've made your pledge (hint, hint), be sure to catch this dynamite band. It includes veteran saxophonist Steve Wilson, and the young masters Christian Sands, piano; Warren Wolf, vibes; and Ulysses Owens, drums. This is the kind of state-of-the-art jazz that's important to support on the local front.
Sands, who channels Oscar Peterson, Ahmad Jamal, i.e., the masters, attended Jazz in July at UMass for several years and was mentored by Billy Taylor. I caught him and Owens laying down swinging grooves and marches two weeks ago at Smalls Jazz Club in New York City. And I saw McBride's trio with Sands and Owens last month at Tanglewood, and wrote about it here.
I also wrote about Jeff Holmes's new release Of One's Own a couple of weeks ago. Holmes directs the Jazz Studies program at UMass, and his quartet with saxophonist Adam Kolker, bassist James Cammack, and drummer Steve Johns will be at the Horse on Monday night at 7.
Here's Kolker at Iridium earlier this year.
Karrin Allyson, who sang with Holmes and the New England Jazz Ensemble on two local concerts last month, will grace the Jazz Workshop series at the Clarion Hotel in Northampton on Tuesday evening at 7:30. Another personal favorite, alto saxophonist Dmitry Baevsky, will be at the Clarion on November 13. Dmitry is a native of St. Petersburg, Russia, where Holmes first heard him at age 15 in 1991. He spent part of his teens living in Greenfield before attending the New School, and now divides his time between New York and Paris. He's released a couple of fine dates on Sharp Nine Records, and here he is at Smalls with another keeper of the flame, pianist Ehud Asherie, playing Bud Powell's "Strictly Confidential."
On November 5, the Jazz a la Mode Film Series presents the area premiere of The Girls in the Band, Judy Chaiken's powerful and informative documentary about women in jazz. I watched the movie a few months ago and was moved by its archival footage and poignant stories of yore, and heartened by the attention Chaiken pays to the legions of female jazz artists on the scene today. Here's a glimpse...
Looking ahead to November 14, Dave Douglas's Quintet, featuring vocalist Aoife O’Donovan, will be at the Unitarian Meetinghouse in Northampton, and at the Regattabar in Cambridge on the 15th. I wrote about Douglas's new recording Be Still last month. His appearance at the UU is one of the first presentations of the subscriber organization Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares.