By Alex Henderson; photos by Devin DeHaven/Courtesy of Concord Music Group
In 2013, Poncho Sanchez typically hears phrases like "elder statesman of AfroCuban jazz" or "standard-bearer of the AfroCuban tradition" used to describe him. When Sanchez visits New York City these days, people in the Latin jazz/salsa community roll out the red carpet for the veteran conguero. And he has the credentials to back it up: 34 years of recording as a leader and a long résumé that includes playing alongside Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Mongo Santamaría, Arturo Sandoval, Cal Tjader and many other Latin jazz and salsa heavyweights. Sanchez is at BB King's Blues Bar Jun. 10th as part of Blue Note Jazz Festival.
Interview: BOB DOROUGH
By Ken Dryden; photo by Jack Vartoogian
Bob Dorough will celebrate his 90th birthday this December, yet he seems eternally young and very happy with his life. The pianist, vocalist and composer came of age during the '50s and had an early hit with his "Devil May Care". Some of his other notable songs include "Small Day Tomorrow", "Nothing Like You" and "Blue Xmas" (both recorded with Miles Davis), along with several pieces written for the educational TV series Schoolhouse Rock. Dorough had just returned from Germany prior to our conversation and was battling a slight cough, though he was in great spirits. Dorough is at Jazz at Kitano Jun. 7th-8th.
Artist Feature: NATE WOOLEY
By Stuart Broomer; photo by Scott Friedlander
Since settling in New York in 2001, Nate Wooley has developed a wide-ranging practice as both trumpeter and composer. On the explicitly jazz-oriented front he works regularly in Daniel Levin's Quartet and Harris Eisenstadt's Canada Day, as well as leading his own quintet. On the free improvisation side, Wooley has ongoing duo partnerships with drummer Paul Lytton, guitarist Joe Morris and trumpeter Peter Evans. Along with Evans and Axel Dörner, Wooley is in the vanguard of a revolution in trumpet technique and he's produced a remarkable series of solo pieces as well. He's also the composer of a piece called Seven Storey Mountain, a major work that he's been revisiting and recasting since 2009. Wooley's Seven Storey Mountain is at Issue Project Room Jun. 6th. He is also at Issue Project Room Jun. 1st with Bojan Vuletic, Roulette Jun. 3rd with C. Spencer Yeh and Jun. 30th with Bill Horvitz and The Stone Jun. 25th with Zeena Parkins.
Encore: KAMAU ADILIFU
By Brad Farberman
Kamau Adilifu, who, before 1980, was known as Charles Sullivan, has bounced back and forth between jazz hands and jazz bands, recording with The Wiz and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum but also Bennie Maupin, Carlos Garnett and the McCoy Tyner Big Band. Recently retired from the Broadway game and contemplating putting a new jazz group together, Adilifu has spent the last few years doing what has always brought him peace: "Practicing." Adilifu is at Smoke Jun. 14th-15th with Sonny Fortune as part of the club's Miles Davis Festival.
Lest We Forget: VOLKER KRIEGEL
By Donald Elfman
Volker Kriegel was many things: a jazz guitarist and composer often considered the prime mover in the jazz-rock craze that swept Europe in the '70s; a cartoonist; an author; a sociology student of the celebrated philosopher Theodor W. Adorno and a translator of fiction and books on music.
Megaphone: Improvisation and Gestalt Therapy: A Comparison
By Edward T. Daniel, Jr. MSW, LCSW
I'd like to look at music not for its ability to treat a particular dysfunction but how and what an improvising musician experiences emotionally throughout their music performance. How does the experience of improvising within a band parallel a similar process of a client working with a therapist? Daniel is at Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center Jun. 1st.
Record Label Spotlight: IMPROVISING BEINGS
By Ken Waxman
A combination of altruism, friendship and obsession are behind Paris' Improvising Beings (IB) label, which, in less than three years, has produced 20 CDs, featuring a cross-section of deeply committed French, American and Japanese sound experimenters. Many more discs will appear in the next months, because, as artistic director Julien Palomo says: "I'm not producing records. I am documenting lives at a particular moment." Artists performing this month include François Tusques and Sonny Simmons at Roulette Jun. 14th and 15th, respectively, as part of Vision Festival.
(this month's performance venues in parentheses):
Eliane Elias -- I Thought About You (A Tribute to Chet Baker) Concord Picante (Birdland)
Terence Blanchard -- Magnetic Blue Note (Jazz Standard)
Mara Rosenbloom -- Songs From the Ground Fresh Sound-New Talent (Spectrum)
Yvonnick Prené -- Jour de Fete SteepleChase Lookout (Somethin' Jazz Club)
Uri Caine/Han Bennink -- Sonic Boom 816 Music (Birdland)
Miles Davis -- Swiss Radio Days Jazz Series, Vol. 31 TCB (Smoke)
Stan Getz -- Swiss Radio Days Jazz Series, Vol. 29 TCB
Oscar Peterson -- Swiss Radio Days Jazz Series, Vol. 30 TCB
Yang Jing/Christy Doran -- No. 9 Leo
Luo Ning -- Unknown Journey (Jazz Music in China) RuiMingYinYue
Peter Brötzmann & Improvising Ensemble of Qianxingzhe -- China Live: In Beijing 2011 Jazzhus Disk