Our big three feature subjects this month know all about the tube, albeit in various shapes and with varying twists and turns. Trumpeter/flugelhorn player Tom Harrell (On The Cover) brings his four-plus-feet of tubing to Village Vanguard this month for two weeks with different groups, including one celebrating his new HighNote release Something Gold, Something Blue. Saxophonist Sam Newsome (Interview) made the brave tubular shift to solely soprano some years ago and will perform throughout the city this month, including solo at Threes Brewing. And Jason Stein (Artist Feature) is among the few dedicated exclusively to the wood-metal hybrid tube also known as the bass clarinet. He can be heard this month in a CD release concert at Greenwich House Music School and at Madison Square Garden (no typo!).
The test tube is a staple of scientific research. These instruments are all part of the jazz laboratory.
On the Cover: TOM HARRELL
By Ken Dryden; photos by Salvatore Corso and Angela Harris
Tom Harrell is among the most heralded jazz trumpeters and flugelhornists active today. His harmonically sophisticated compositions are noteworthy for their strong melodies and continue to surprise listeners as he pushes into new frontiers as a composer. Harrell's Something Gold, Something Blue is at Village Vanguard Oct. 11th-16th and Harrell's TRIP is there Oct. 18th-23rd.
Interview: SAM NEWSOME
By Kurt Gottschalk; photo courtesy of the artist
Sam Newsome came to acclaim as a member of Terence Blanchard's band, playing on four of the trumpeter's albums between 1991-95. While an uptown career may well have awaited the now-exclusively-soprano saxophonist, Newsome made the decision to follow his muse, study extended technique and head downtown in search of more unusual sounds. With an adventurous spirit and staggering technique, he has crafted his own sound, applying new ideas to the standards while writing his own, barrier-crossing compositions. His solo sessions in particular are something to behold, either live or on record. Newsome is solo at Threes Brewing Oct. 5th, First Street Green Oct. 8th with New AfroHORN and 9th as a co-leader and The Stone Oct. 16th with Brian Marsella.
Artist Feature: JASON STEIN
By Ken Waxman; photo by Peter Gannushkin
Serendipity plays a large part in musicians' careers. Jason Stein has recently been performing for large arena audiences because the bass clarinetist, 39, is the brother of comedy superstar Amy Schumer and his Locksmith Isidore trio has become her opening act, regularly playing for tens of thousands. Stein is at Madison Square Garden Oct. 18th and Greenwich House Music School Oct. 19th.
Encore: HANK ROBERTS
By Thomas Conrad
Jazz musicians today are ever in quest of new sounds. One result is the proliferation of atypical instruments. There are more tubas and bassoons and sopranino saxophones and accordions out there than ever before. Add to this list the cello, integral to Western music but relatively rare in jazz. Erik Friedlander, Anja Lechner, Tomeka Reid and Hank Roberts are among the cellists now much in demand. Roberts is at Greenwich House Music School Oct. 15th with his sextet and Barbès Oct. 25th.
Lest We Forget: FRANKIE TRUMBAUER
By Scott Yanow
Frankie Trumbauer occupies an unusual place in jazz history. He was the master of the C-melody saxophone; voiced between the alto and the tenor, on record it has often been mistaken for both instruments. With the rise of the saxophone section in the late '20s-early '30s, it was felt that the C-melody got in the way of the altos and tenors and it was not used in Swing Era big bands. Yet while his instrument went out of vogue, Trumbauer's light-toned and quietly witty style lived on in the playing of Lester Young and the many cool-toned tenors who followed. A Trumbauer tribute led by Patrick Bartley is at Dizzy's Club Oct. 28th.
Record Label Spotlight: SPOREPRINT
By Ken Waxman
Drummer Jörg Fischer is on a mission to demonstrate that great improvisers exist not only in Berlin, New York and London, but also in small and medium-sized cities, especially in his native Germany. That's why the Wiesbaden-based percussionist founded his boutique CD label Sporeprint in late 2013.
In Memoriam: BOBBY HUTCHERSON
Testimonials about the late vibraphonist from Kenny Barron, Gary Burton, George Cables, Joe Chambers, Stanley Cowell, Richard Davis, Herbie Hancock, Stefon Harris, Jay Hoggard, Steve Nelson, Renee Rosnes, Buster Williams and Warren Wolf.
(this month's performance venues in parentheses):
John Scofield -- Country for Old Men Impulse (Blue Note)
TEST -- Always Coming From The Love Side Eremite
Nicolas Letman-Burtinovic -- Closeness Duets Petit Label
Darcy James Argue -- Real Enemies New Amsterdam (National Sawdust)
Duck Baker -- Outside Emanem (The Stone)
Duck Baker -- Deja Vouty Fulica (The Stone)
Duck Baker -- Shades of Blue Fulica (The Stone)
Miles Davis -- Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 5 Columbia-Legacy
Ben Webster/Piet Noordijk -- Johnny Come Lately (Live in Groningen 1973) Nederlands Jazz Archief
Pablo Ziegler & Quique Sinesi -- Desperate Dance Enja/Yellowbird
Carlos Franzetti -- Argentum Sunnyside (Manhattan School of Music)
New Rumours and Other Noises -- The Moonlight Nightcall Casco
Lew Tabackin -- Soundscapes s/r (Dizzy's Club)
The Hot Sardines -- French Fries + Champagne Decca (Highline Ballroom)
Mehmet Ali Sanlikol & Whatsnext? -- Resolution DÜNYA (Joe's Pub)
Amina Claudine Myers -- Sama Rou: Songs From My Soul Amina C (Community Church of New York)
Peter Evans -- Lifeblood More is More (Pioneer Works)
Ken Fowser -- Standing Tall Posi-Tone (Fat Cat; The Django; Smalls)
Steve Fidyk -- Allied Forces Posi-Tone (Club Bonafide)
Jon Davis -- Changes Over Time Posi-Tone (Smalls)
Cameron Mizell -- Negative Spaces Destiny (Rockwood Music Hall)
Bill Frisell -- When You Wish Upon A Star OKeh (Blue Note)
Dave Douglas/Monash Art Ensemble -- Fabliaux Greenleaf Music (VIllage Vanguard)
Roxy Coss -- Restless Idealism Origin (Smalls)
Bria Skonberg -- Bria OKeh (BRIC Jazzfest)
Ben Allison -- Quiet Revolution Newvelle (Smoke)
Frank Kimbrough -- Meantime Newvelle (Jazz at Kitano; Spectrum)
I Am Three -- Mingus, Mingus, Mingus Leo
Jane Monheit -- The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald Emerald City (Birdland)
Nova Express Quintet -- Andras: Book of Angels, Vol. 28 Tzadik