At the very end of the month I’m premiering my first suite of big band music, Bud Powell in the 21st Century, at the winter Umbria Jazz Festival. It’s a kind of “concerto” for a quintet of Ingrid Jensen, Dayna Stephens, Ben Street, Lewis Nash, and myself plus local horn players. Sincere thanks to Carlo Pagnotta, Enzo Capua, and Manuele Morbidini for the gift of this project. Thanks also to Darcy James Argue, who gave me a quick lesson in orchestration and Finale wrangling, and Brian Krock, who did the editing.
On February 28th I’ll be doing the same program with an all-student orchestra at NEC in Boston.
As DTM readers know, Hall Overton is my main man, and in some ways I emulate Overton’s arrangements of Thelonious Monk for my big band version of Powell, at least to begin with. (Halfway through the charts I start letting my hands go a little bit.) After all, Bud’s music is so great, how can we improve it? There are three pieces I regard as the most significant piano improvisations in the idiom made when Powell was a leader in the studio, “Cherokee,” “Tempus Fugit,” and “Celia.” I’ll play the Bud solos on the first two and the saxes have Bud’s flawless chorus “Celia.” The core quintet will play more or less exact versions of the only original pieces Bud wrote for horns (the session with Fats Navarro and Sonny Rollins) interspersed with original music, and there is a glamorous french horn feature on “I’ll Keep Loving You.”
(DTM: Bud Powell Anthology.)
Tuesday December 18 at 10:30 I’m at Korzo with Dayna Stephens, Ben Street, and Eric McPherson playing my tunes and a standard or two. 9 PM is Jim Carney with Ravi Coltrane, Chris Lightcap, and Mark Ferber.
Wednesday 19 I’m a sideman with Kyle Nasser’s group with Rich Perry, Pablo Menares, and Jeff Hirshfield at Cornelia St. Cafe. Perry and Hirshfield are a little bit the “elders” here, I’ve always admired their playing and am really curious to see how this goes…
After this week Korzo is no longer going to be hosting Jim Carney’s Konceptions series; Cornelia St. is closing next month. We all pray that more venues open and flourish for the thousands of great jazz musicians in this city.
New pages this year on DTM:
NewMusicBox: The Syncopated Stylings of Charles Wuorinen
I think this is it on DTM until January: I gotta practice “Tempus Fugit” and “Cherokee.” Thanks for reading and listening.