Seattle Jazz Fellowship: Why in one evening,”Fellowship Wednesdays” became the most important jazz hang in Seattle

Pianist Dylan Hayes leads a tribute to Jim Knapp, for Seattle Jazz Fellowship. Dylan Hayes, piano; Jay Thomas, trumpet and sax; Michael Glynn, bass; Xavier Lecouturier, drums;

It was 5 PM on a crisp Wednesday afternoon on December 1, and thirty people sat casually in the brick lined digs of Vermillion Art Gallery and Bar on Capitol Hill, intently listening to the soft spoken musings of jazz legend, Julian Priester. The historic trombonist was playing selections from his storied career that continually over the course of seven decades has stood at the progressive forefront of the music. This afternoon it was his work with Dave Holland and Herbie Hancock that was featured. His historical and cultural anecdotes were thrilling to hear, providing weekly attendees a unique perspective on the music that they had become passionate about.  

There are a variety of ways to enjoy jazz music performed at its highest level of artistry in Seattle. Many of those options include a cover and a high end price tag for dinner and drinks. Those venues tend to lack a major component of jazz culture- the hang. It is during that time before, between and after sets that cultivates community and enables fellowship. 

The Seattle Jazz Fellowship weekly offers Priester’s free listening session, and two sets featuring two separate ensembles of the finest resident jazz musicians in Seattle for a reasonable cover. Vermillion serves fine drinks at a very reasonable price. If you need to eat, you can pop over to Mario’s for a slice, or head around the corner to grab a burrito. The music is the focus, and because of the organization’s non-profit status, it can book and curate music that is not ruled by the age old “butts in the seats” mentality, but with the idea of artistry in music first and foremost. At the front door, vaccination status is checked, and a twenty dollar cover charged. Fellowship founder Thomas Marriott remarked at one point, “It’s a twenty dollar cover, if you can swing it.” The important thing to Marriott and the Fellowship, is that you are there in the first place, that the evening is treated as a sacred place of music for the entire community. 

The seventh edition of “Fellowship Wednesdays at Vermillion” featured young pianist/arranger Dylan Hayes performing a set of his quartet arrangements of the music of recently departed composer Jim Knapp, followed by the Nathan Breedlove Quartet. Hayes was joined by Seattle jazz icon and Knapp associate, Jay Thomas, first-call bassist Michael Glynn and drummer Xavier Lecouturier. Thomas, a 55 year veteran of the Seattle scene, played brilliantly, putting a shine on Hayes’ perfect arrangements. The focus and drive of the band revealed what has been a commonality with all fourteen sets presented thus far by the SJF–that the musicians bring their “A” game to the set, that the vibe of the room was one that invites and appreciates artistry. 

l to r: Xavier Lecouturier, Michael Glynn, Dylan Hayes                 Jim Levitt photo
Jay Thomas                                                 Jim Levitt photo
l to r: Xavier Lecouturier, Michael Glynn, Jay Thomas             Jim Levitt photo

Between sets, the hang was thick, with many of the city’s top musicians present, as well as a jazz audience that spanned generations. New players on the scene, now especially unknown due to the pandemic, emerge and become acquainted with their new community. Younger players are mentored by the more experienced players. The audience is able to interact with the musicians in a meaningful way. They are truly a part of the performance, of the evening’s activities. The room itself has a warm glow, an intimate, welcoming vibe. The all ages policy invites younger players and fans, and allows parents to share the music with their children. 

Just before hitting the stage for his set, veteran trumpeter Nathan Breedlove informed us that Delfeayo Marsalis would be dropping by. Indeed he did, playing most of the set with this assemblage of veterans that included pianist Ron Perillo, bassist Phil Sparks and drummer Brian Kirk. Marsalis and Perillo played both dynamically and melodically, with the live nature of the room projecting the sound through the narrow gallery to the rear of the club, through the doors, and out into the Capitol Hill night. Marsalis’ presence brought the striking realization that in only seven total nights of operation, the hang at Vermillion was gaining significant notoriety for all the right reasons. 

Delfeayo Marsalis                                              Jim Levitt photo
l to r: Brian KIrk, Phil Sparks, Nathan Breedlove                                    Jim Levitt photo
Brian Kirk                                                 Jim Levitt photo
l to r: Nathan Breedlove, Phil Sparks, Delfeayo Marsalis

With the playing of the last note of the evening, the room was electric, the vibration of the music still stirring in the room and in the souls of all those that attended. Old friends and new acquaintances were united in fellowship, which of course, is the point. SJF wants you to be there, to help create a sacred place for the music. One departs the room with an overwhelming sense of community, a true feeling of belonging to something sacred, historic and sustainable. With current economnic times in direct conflict with the proliferation of art, the model presented by Marriot and the SJF is proving to be one that promotes artistry and accessibility. It is a foundational source of fellowship as its name portends, within the framework of a community that has sustained itself over a century of time. The ambitions of the group to expand to five nights a week in a permanent home is the light that shows the way to the present and future of the Seattle jazz scene. The music, the gathering of friends and the emotional and spiritual high experienced by those fortunate enough to attend speaks loudly and clearly to that. 

Scroll down to On the Scene: Live Jazz Previews for December to see the full schedule of the Seattle Jazz Fellowship. Next week: Iconic jazz vocal artist Greta Matassa, and Latin Jazz piano firebrand Julio Jauregui lead their respective bands to the Vermillion stage. https://seattlejazzfellowship.org/

Nathan Breedlove                                        Jim Levitt photo
Phil Sparks (b), Ron Perillo (p)                               Jim Levitt photo

Jazz Returns to Seattle’s Central District: Two Evenings of Black Brilliance

Giveton Gelin                                                          Lisa Hagen Glynn photo

There is a miracle on the corner of 12th Avenue and Jackson St. in what is now Seattle’s “Little Saigon.” In what was a traditional African American and Jewish community before the influx of Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian immigrants after the war in Southeast Asia in the early 1980’s, this urban crossroads was the main pulse of an integrated nightclub scene in the 1930’s, ’40s and ’50s that featured dozens of late-night jazz clubs that not only housed the city’s thriving African American musicians, but attracted many musicians after hours from their respective gigs Downtown that featured only white audiences. 

A fully integrated jazz nightclub scene was a rarity on a national scale, perhaps only fully realized along Jackson Street in Seattle, and Central Avenue in Los Angeles. The respective scenes attracted Black musicians from the Jim Crow south, in search of work and the ability to achieve artistry untethered by the tyranny experienced in southern music cities such as Atlanta, Memphis and New Orleans. Even {{Jelly Roll Morton}} lived a spell in Seattle, as early as 1919. Neither prohibition, nor the Great Depression could cap the enthusiasm of the city’s bottle clubs along Jackson Street, many of which were operated by Black entrepreneurs. The most notable of these club owners was E. Russell “Noodles” Smith, who along with partner Burr “Blackie” Williams would operate the legendary Black and Tan nightclub in the basement of the aforementioned “miracle” on the corner of 12th and Jackson. In 1920, they opened The Entertainers Club in the upstairs portion of the building, and the late night Alhambra club in the basement. The downstairs nightspot then was renamed the Black and Tan, noted for its integrated, black and white clientele. Smith had arrived in Seattle in 1909, and had a sharp eye for business. With the town rife with cash from the shipyards and lumber mills following the Great War, Jackson Street was able to withstand the onslaught of prohibition, and later as mentioned, the Great Depression. To continue reading, click this link
https://www.allaboutjazz.com/jazz-returns-to-seattles-central-district-two-evenings-of-black-brilliance-immanuel-wilkins




On the Scene: Live Jazz Previews for December

The month of December qualifies as the gloomiest month on the Seattle calendar. My view has always been that this is a sign to reserve more time for books, introspection and yes, jazz music in both recorded form and live performance. Generally speaking, the month tends to be one of the slowest in terms of live jazz. The city seems to take a collective deep breath after the Earshot Jazz Festival passes. The holidays are another factor. The jam sessions continue however, and this year, the new non-profit Seattle Jazz Fellowship offers weekly programming for all ages. With the new year almost upon us, perhaps it is a good time to sample something new, and indulge oneself socially into the community surrounding the music. Here are a few offerings. 

Lisa Hagen-Glynn photo

Seattle Jazz Fellowship: Fellowship Wednesdays at Vermillion

The SJF continues its launch with weekly presentations at Vermillion on Capitol Hill. Thomas Marriott’s work to provide the Seattle jazz scene with a sustainable model for live local jazz is perhaps the most important thing happening in Seattle concerning the future of its resident jazz scene. The Fellowship aims to bring top quality performances, provide mentorship, and pay our resident musicians a decent wage. The evening session starts up at 7 PM with some hang time, followed by two sets. Preceding the evening event, a 5 PM listening session with jazz great Julian Priester takes place. This is a free event for all ages. Mr. Priester plays albums he has appeared on, and provides incites and discussion about the history of the music surrounding the recording. The leaders for the performances for December include pianist/composer/arranger Dylan Hayes, who will present a tribute to our friend Jim Knapp on the first of the month. Knapp transitioned on November 14. This performance will fill seats quickly, so be sure to show up a bit early. Artist-in Residence Julian Priester will perform with veterans Nathan Breedlove, Phil Sparks and Brian Kirk on the same evening. Latin jazz pianist Julio Jauregui performs on December 8 with Spanish Harlem Orchestra lead vocalist Carlos Cascante, bassist Dean Schmidt and drummer/percussionist Jeff Busch. Greta Matassa, the finest jazz singer in Seattle this side of Ernestine Anderson appears in a sextet setting as well. Origin recording artists Scenes appears on December 15, with blistering trumpeter Jason Chambliss opening. Iconic Brazilian pianist/composer Jovino Santos Neto brings in his trio on December 22, with special guest, New York flutist Elsa Nilsson.   Note: No event on 12/29 due to the holidayshttps://seattlejazzfellowship.org/

Dec 1: A Tribute to Jim Knapp featuring Jay Thomas, Dylan Hayes, Michael Glynn & Xavier Lecouturier

Nu Trio with special guest Julian Priester with Phil Sparks, Nathan Breedlove and Brian Kirk

The Nu Trio plays a show at the Royal Room in Seattle, Washington, on Aug. 4, 2018. (Photo: Carolyn Bick)
Julian Priester                                                        Daniel Sheehan photo

Dec. 8 Julio Jauregui Quartet with Carlos Cascante, Jeff Busch and Dean Schmidt

Greta Matassa Sextet with Clipper Anderson, Alexy Nikolaev, Brian Monroney, Mark Ivester & David Deacon-Joyner

Dec 15: Scenes with John Stowell, Jeff Johnson, John Bishop & Rick Mandyck

Jason Chambliss Quintet with Jeremy Shaskus, Nick Quitevis, Luiggi Chancafe & Noah Graham

Dec 22: Jovino Santos Neto Trio with special guest Elsa Nilsson- with Chuck Deardorf and Jeff Busch

Tim Kennedy Band featuring Paul Gabrielson, D’Vonne Lewis and Special Guests

Tim Kennedy photo by Daniel Sheehan

Dec 29  The Fellowship Septet featuring Thomas Marriott, Marina Albero, Hans Teuber, D’Vonne Lewis, Alex Dugdale, Trevor Ford and David Marriott, Jr. 

Thomas Marriott                                                JIm Levitt photo
Marina Albero                                                     Lisa Hagen Glynn photo

Marcus Miller

Thu Dec 2- Sun Dec 5, 7:30 & 9:30 PM/ Jazz Alley

Electric bass virtuoso Marcus Miller comes to town with forty years of a career to draw from. Miller brings trumpeter Russell Gunn, saxophonist Alex Han, keyboardist Brett Williams and drummer Alex Bailey to town with him, performing new material alongside Miller classics that began with his legendary run with Miles Davis. https://www.jazzalley.com/www-home/artist.jsp?shownum=5254

Racer Sessions: Wayne Horvitz/Briggan Krauss Duo

Sun Dec 5, 7 PM/ Cafe Racer

The legendary Racer Sessions are back, in their new digs at the new Cafe Racer on Capitol Hill. Unlike the Adam Kessler/Phil Sparks session that hit on Thursdays for over a decade in this same room, then Barca, this gig is more sound art, or improvised art, than jazz. The spirit of innovation and the thrill of uncharted territory is the draw most nights, and especially so with this billing. Curated by Table and Chairs. http://www.racersessions.com/

Jazzmeia Horn

Mon Dec 6- Tue Dec 7, 7:30 PM/ Jazz Alley

Few jazz vocalists have made their mark on the music so quickly and clearly, as has Jazzmeia Horn. On the heels of her big band release, Dear Love, she arrives at Jazz Alley toting her trio with pianist Keith Brown, bassist Rashaan Carter and drummer Russell Carter. Horn combines perfect pitch with a creative interpretive approach to the narrative of each of her tunes. Her appearance amounts to one of the true highlights on the jazz calendar this year in the jazz vocal category. https://www.jazzalley.com/www-home/artist.jsp?shownum=5250

Mike Stern and Jeff Lorber Fusion

Wed Dec 8- Thu Dec 9, 7:30 PM

Well, well, it appears that keyboardist Jeff Lorber has stepped up in the jazz world. Forty years ago, he was on the same bill as Miles Davis at the old Mercer Arena, as part of the Kool Jazz Festival. That’s right, a jazz festival sponsored by a cigarette brand, a touring troupe from the Newport Jazz Festival. Davis’ guitarist that night was none other than Mike Stern. Miles opened, and left the room before Lorber, or Herbie Hancock’s band, would play a note. Lorber’s performance featured a young Kenny G, and was a spectacular letdown following Miles and Herbie. Stern in the meantime, has become a consistent voice of innovation in fusion jazz over four decades, and is playing better than ever. The question here is whether Lorber and his mates, bassist Jimmy Haslip and drummer Gary Novak, can step up to the plate and produce. Loud, fun stuff. https://www.jazzalley.com/www-home/artist.jsp?shownum=5252

Daniel Godinez Band with Joe Doria & Ehssan Karimi

Fri Dec 10, 8 PM/ North City Bistro

Giving Daniel Godinez the opportunity to shred within an organ trio is a circumstance that makes this gig worthwhile attending in the first place. That fact that his mates are B-3 virtuoso Joe Doria and energetic drummer Ehssan Karimi is just piling it on. Another interesting factor is whether NCB proprietor Ray Bloom can manage to keep all of the bottles of wine that line the walls of the north end eatery on the shelf. This room is not quite used to vibrating at this level! This is a dinner club, so take the time to sample the fine food and wine that NCG offers. Then prepare to be thrashed. https://northcitybistro.com/

Skyler Floe Abstraction Album Release Party

Mon Dec 20, 7 PM/ Royal Room

Seattle’s own Skyler Floe comes home for the holidays from his current digs in New York, to launch his debut recording, joined by four Seattle musicians. Floe, often compared stylistically and tonally to players like Jim Rotondi and Alex Sipiagin, will be joined by saxophonist Jory Tindall, pianist Matt Williams, bassist Greg Feingold and drummer Xavier Lecouturier. The interest here includes seeing a promising young player who headed east, returning home with a whole new toolbox to get to work with. 

Added bonus: The performance precedes the weekly jam session with Thomas Marriott that begins at 9 PM. The hottest session in town is not a bad way to cap off the evening. https://theroyalroomseattle.com/calendar-2/

SRJO: Duke Ellington’s Sacred Music

Sun Dec 26, 7:30 PM/ Town Hall

The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra’s annual presentation of Ellington’s beautiful spiritual work that embraces all faiths, is an annual highlight on the Seattle jazz calendar. This year will feature vocalists Dee Daniels and Jacqueline Tabor, and tap dancer Alex Dugdale. Of course, Dugdale will also occupy the baritone saxophone chair in the band. Town Hall lends a grand asthetic for this performance. https://www.earshot.org/event/concert-of-duke-ellingtons-sacred-music-in-person/

New Year’s Eve with The Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band

Fri Dec 31, 7:30 PM/ Jazz Alley

Conguero Poncho Sanchez leads a top shelf band in celebration of his first studio album in seven year, Trane’s Delight!. His 27th album for Concord is a collection of re-imaginings of the music of the master, John Coltrane. Bands Members include– Poncho Sanchez (congas/vocals), Ross Schodek (bass), Ron Blake (trumpet and flugelhorn), Robert Hardt (alto/tenor saxophones and flute), Francisco Torres (trombone), Jose Perez (timbales), Giancarlo Anderson (bongos/percussion) and Andy Langham (piano).https://www.jazzalley.com/www-home/artist.jsp?shownum=5264

Monday Night Jam at the Royal Room with Thomas Marriott

Mondays at 9 PM/ Royal Room

The Monday session in Columbia City begins with trumpeter Thomas Marriott leading an all-star assemblage of Seattle musicians and then opening it up into a jam session. On most nights, the session follows the Wayne Horvitz led Royal Room Collective Music Ensemble. The new session is well attended by quality players, leading to some interesting combos. Great sense of community means a great cross generational hang. Sign up sheet keeps the session moving, and stage presence balanced. The session sports a Steinway highlighted back line, and an audience that listens.https://theroyalroomseattle.com/calendar-2/

Tuesday Night Jam at the Owl

Tuesday nights at 9:30 PM/ Owl ‘n Thistle

Twenty five years in, the “Bebop and Destruction” session is still running strong. A great place to see up and comers play with veteran players. One of the all-time hangs in Seattle, acting as a clubhouse of sorts for the Seattle jazz scene. Led for sixteen years by pianist Eric Verlinde, the house band plays a sixty minute set, followed by an open jam with no sign up sheet. The session tends to take on the vibe of whatever music Verlinde curates for the opener. The jam has more of a “anything goes” vibe compared to most sessions, a tradition set by the session founders. https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=tuesday%20night%20jams%20at%20the%20owl.

Calluna- A Jazz Supper Club in Ravenna

Live jazz weekly, Wed-Sat

Former Tula’s managers Jason Moore and Heather Bourne present jazz in an intimate dinner setting in Ravenna. The parameters of the room calls for smaller combos, mostly duos and trios, but recently branching out as they become more familiar with the sound capabilities of the space. The food is first class, as is the selection of wines and liquors. Moore and Bourne have drawn from their experience at Tula’s, resulting in attracting top tier talent to the venue. Definitely a dinner experience, not a hang in the traditional sense, though the vibe is friendly and warm. A welcome addition to the variety of jazz experiences around the city. 

Bassist and long time Overton Berry collaborator Bruce Phares appears on December 1, beginning a week that also features bands led by bassist Birch Pereira, flugelhorn virtuoso Dmitri Metheny and vocalist Stephanie Porter. Pianist Tim Kennedy kicks off week two on December 8, followed by swing singer David Francis, vocal artist Gail Pettis and nationally celebrated trumpeter Thomas Marriott.

The eatery stretches out when pianist Jeremy Bacon appears on December 15, joined by saxophonist Alexey Nikolaev, bassist Chris Symer and drummer Stefan Schatz. Following Bacon that week will be bassist Ben Feldman in trio with drummer Xavier Lecouturier and pianist Jenny Xu, and vocalist Nancy Erickson with bassist Greg Feingold and guitarist Brian Monroney. Vocalist Stephanie Porter returns for Christmas Eve. https://callunaseattle.com/music-calendar/



Seattle Jazz Fellowship: One Small Step at Vermillion, One Giant Step for the Seattle Jazz Scene

Xavier Lecouturier Group performs at the first Seattle Jazz Fellowship “Fellowship Wednesday” event, at Vermillion Art Bar.Matt Williams, vibes;Noah Halpern, trumpet;Martin Budde, guitar;Dylan Hayes, piano;Xavier Lecouturier, drums;  Jinm Levitt photo

History and historical change happens incrementally. An able writer could expound exponentially about the life changes that added up to Louis Armstrong being the first great messenger of jazz music, step by step, before ever mentioning Duke Ellington. In the history of jazz in Seattle, one evening last week has the huge potential of being the first incremental phase of live, local jazz moving forward in the new jazz century, in such a way that allows more meaningful access for the fans, and a creative outlet for artists that compensates them fairly. It has the potential of uniting in a meaningful way, the musicians of this very social art form, and the patrons that support it. For those patrons, it as well allows them to put their hard earned dollars more directly into the musician’s pockets, impacting the creative process in such a way that positively leads to innovation in the music itself. For those of us who love the music, and see it as an integral part of our lives and culture, October 20, 2021 is the date where a giant step was taken towards a goal of vibrance and stability for the Seattle jazz scene. It was the first live incarnation of the Seattle Jazz Fellowship, and its weekly affair at Vermillion on Capitol Hill.

Trumpeter Thomas Marriott welcomes the audience to the first “Fellowship Wednesday” at Vermillion Art Bar, on behalf of the Seattle Jazz Fellowship. Jim Levitt photo

Trumpeter Thomas Marriott, one of the most impactful jazz musicians in recent Seattle memory, has envisioned a movement like this for a number of years. During the deepest, darkest days of the Covid-19 pandemic, he put his ideas on paper, effectively charting the future for post-pandemic, live, resident jazz in Seattle. With the eventual goal being a five night a week venture in a permanent home, the Seattle Jazz Fellowship has taken its first incremental step towards that goal, forming a Wednesday night partnership with Vermillion, an art gallery and bar that has mainly hosted music from the city’s avant-garde and improvised music community. Marriott purchased a piano and a PA system, and began operations in Vermillion’s brick lined digs. The room is quite vibrant acoustically, and the music was able to take place without electronic assistance with the exception of light amplification for bass and electric keyboards. The piano was not mic’d. 

The Marc Seales Group opens the first Seattle Jazz Fellowship “Fellowship Wednesday” event, at Vermillion Art Bar. Thomas Marriott, trumpet; Marc Seales, keyboards; Chuck Deardorf, bass; Gary Hobbs, drums;

As a 501(c)3 non-profit, the fellowship cannot charge a cover, but has a twenty dollar suggested donation that includes two sets of music from the best Seattle jazz has to offer. The programming however, actually starts in the afternoon at 5 PM, with a free listening event designed for students and jazz fans alike. Historic trombonist and jazz icon, Julian Priester, spends an hour playing albums he appears on, and discusses the historical aspects of that recording. Mr. Priester has appeared on albums and toured with Max Roach, Abbey Lincoln, John Coltrane, Sun Ra, Herbie Hancock, Duke Ellington and more. His own records on ECM and Riverside will be explored as well. 

On his first go-around, Priester played and expounded on his 1960 Riverside date, Keep Swingin’, and shared wonderful stories about his time with such greats as Roach, Lincoln, and Tommy Flanagan. To sit in a quiet room, talking about a session that took place over sixty years ago with one of the participants was magical, an opportunity not to be missed. Unfortunately, the audience consisted of twenty six musicians, and not a single high school student. The hope is certainly that students will begin to take advantage of this rare opportunity to share time with Priester.

Gary Hiobbs (d), Chuck Deardorf (b)        Jim Levitt photo

At 7 PM, the club opened officially for an hour of hang time prior to the first set. Vermillion had been shuttered since the beginning of the pandemic, and it took a little work to create the space the event required. Many familiar faces checked in, as well as many new, young faces, all covered in masks. Vaccination ID was checked at the door, adding a layer of social comfort to the event. 

Xavier Lecouturier         Jim Levitt photo

From the first note, the room was resonant, the sound projecting out of the bar, and down the long corridor that is the art gallery. People walking through the front door could hear the acoustical brilliance of the room, with the piano of Marc Seales coloring the sound with gorgeous voicings. Drummer Gary Hobbs, up from Portland for the evening, chimed in at first, and then dug in, being his usual swinging self. So appropriately, bassist Chuck Deardorf was on the gig, and sounding better than ever, literally. Deardorf has been a first-call musician in this town since the early seventies, playing often at clubs like the original Jazz Alley in the U District, Parnell’s, The Rainbow and the Pioneer Banque, all of which are swept away into the dustbin of history. Marriott’s trumpet sound was in perfect tune with the physical aspects of the room, his resonant tone rising and projecting immensely. The quartet was in perfect tune with the human vibe in the room, as fifty people filled the tiny, brick lined digs at the Capitol Hill club. 

Noah Halpern                           Jim Levitt photo

A short break between sets provided more time for people to enjoy the fellowship of community, in many cases, greeting long time friends not seen since the pandemic shut down live music eighteen months ago. The diversity of the crowd itself was stunning in terms of age–being so indicative of the long term multi-generational nature of jazz scenes around the globe. Those attracted are not done so by generational trends, or corporatized marketing. The music is the thing, the appreciation of beauty, the immersion into something that elevates us emotionally and spiritually. There were no expensive dinners to buy, no craft cocktails required. Hungry patrons took advantage of Mario’s across the street. Vermillion owner Diana Adams provided drinks and friendly service. It was obvious she was there for the art, the music itself, just as everyone else in her bar. 

Xavier Lecouturier (d), Matt Williams (v), Noah Halpern (t)

Drummer/composer Xavier Lecouturier led his quartet the second set, a bassless ensemble that morphed into a quintet with the last minute addition of trumpeter Noah Halpern. Some of the usual suspects were on the gig, with Meridian Odyssey bandmates Martin Budde (guitar), and Dylan Hayes (piano, keyboards). Vibraphonist Matt Williams, known more prominently as a pianist, but as well highly skilled on vibes, completed the band. With the bassline maintained collectively by Hayes, Budde and Halpern, soloists were free to explore with less visible and audible parameters, creating a unique, orchestral sound. Halpern’s ardent tonality was rich and warm, giving the evening an extraoridinary two trumpet hit. Budde’s playing was free, probing yet thoughtful, as his evolution continues to unfold before us. Lecouturier acted as a leader should, often kicking rhe music in another direction with his confident playing that embraces the entirety of the jazz tradition. Noticeable of course, was like the audience, the group of musicians playing that evening spanned four generations. If you include Priester into the mix, there was sixty five years of separation between the most highly regarded elder, and the youngest player on the gig. There is beauty and value in that beyond measure. 

Guitarist Martin Budde                          Jim Levitt photo

The Seattle Jazz Fellowship could not have hoped for a better result the first time out of the gate. The evening was competing with the Earshot Jazz Festival and Jazz Alley, and received an audience that was attentive, mature, joyous, engaged and aware of the value of masking and being vaccinated. The music was thrilling, the vibe generous and positive and our hosts at Vermillion, kind, helpful and all in on the music.

Gary Hobbs (d), Thomas Marriott (t)

The Seattle Jazz Fellowship offers a weekly opportunity to show your support for local Seattle jazz, hear vibrant and important music and gather in fellowship with friends. Best of all, it won’t cost you half your weekly paycheck to attend. It is an organization for the music, and the community that embraces it. Musicians and patrons alike are equal partners in this most social music. October 20, 2021, mark it down. It is step one of a journey that very well could determine the future of the Seattle jazz scene. https://seattlejazzfellowship.org/


On the Scene: Live Jazz Previews For November

The month of October has plain rushed by, leaving in its wake an enlivened Seattle jazz scene. The Earshot jazz festival is back with a live audience, the Seattle Jazz Fellowship has taken off with a Wednesday night offering at Vermillion. Jazz Alley is full on back in action, and Calluna in the north end is offering a genteel jazz supper club with top resident talent. For November previews, I offer a glimpse into 15 performances I highly recommend, and invite you to dig much, much deeper into what the city has to offer as we go into winter. I invite you as well to support the non-profit organizations that are bringing the music to us. Earshot continues to deliver, and has gravitated even more so towards supporting the resident jazz scene in Seattle. The Thomas Marriott inspired Seattle Jazz Fellowship is in its infancy, and needs your support to establish a five night a week program supporting resident musicians and paying them a decent wage. The life of jazz music in Seattle is literally in your hands. I hope to see you soon at a gig near you!– Paul

Thomas Marriott              Jim Levitt photo

Monday Night Jam at the Royal Room with Thomas Marriott

Mon Nov 1,8, 15, 22, 29/ Royal Room

Through the first four weeks of its existence, the Monday night affair in Columbia City has drawn some of the best players in town. Many younger, less known musicians have had the opportunity to play with Seattle heavy-hitters such as Thomas Marriott himself. The hang is the thing of course, and that as well harbors a great sense of community and fellowship. In other words, the session is doing everything a community jam session is supposed to, and more. 

The organization provided by Marriott is crisp and orderly, with a sign up sheet saving valuable stage time for music. The opening set, by a quartet formed by Marriott, is short and sweet. The house band sticks around to play as well, thus providing younger players the opportunity to not just play with friends in the same age category, but with community elders and more established players on the Seattle scene. 

The session follows a 90 minute set by the Royal Room Composers and Improvisers Orchestra, under the baton of Wayne Horvitz. The band includes James Falzone, Hans Teuber, Eric Eagle, David Marriott, Kate Olson, Samantha Boshnack, Ray Larsen, Geoff Harper and other prominent Seattle players. Many tend to stick around and take in the session. In all, it’s a wonderful evening that takes in a huge swath of the Seattle jazz and improvised music scene. https://theroyalroomseattle.com/calendar-2/

Seattle Jazz Fellowship: Fellowship Wednesdays at Vermillion

The brand new jazz non-profit continues its launch with weekly presentations at Vermillion on Capitol Hill. Watch for a feature on these pages soon about the historic first evening. Thomas Marriott’s work to provide the Seattle jazz scene with a sustainable model for live local jazz is perhaps the most important thing happening in Seattle concerning the future of its resident jazz scene. The Fellowship aims to bring top quality performances, provide mentorship, and pay our resident musicians a decent wage. The evening session starts up at 7 PM with an hour of hang time, followed by two sets. Preceding the evening event, a 5 PM listening session with jazz great Julian Priester takes place. This is a free event for all ages. Mr. Priester plays albums he has appeared on, and provides incites and discussion about the history of the music surrounding the recording. The leaders for the performances for November:  

Nov 3   D’Vonne Lewis & EarthtoneSkytone with Kelsey Mines, Carlos Snaider, Antoine Martel & Chris Icasiano

Jim Levitt photo

Nov 10  Marina Albero/ Chuck Deardorf

Marina Albero
Chuck Deardorf

Nov 17 Alex Dugdale/ Johnaye Kendrick

Alex Dugdale        Jim Levitt photo

 https://seattlejazzfellowship.org/

Johnaye Kendrick                     Lisa Hagen Glynn photo




Benny Green Solo

Thu Nov 4, 7 PM/ Town Hall Forum

Benny Green                             Rolf Kisling photo

Known as an accompanist to many jazz icons, Benny Green brings his other-worldly talent, and prolific understanding of harmony to the Forum stage for a rare solo performance in Seattle. Green’s playing is full of emotion, from joy to sheer tragedy.  There is a forceful presence to this emotive sense of purpose, that combined with astonishing facility, creates a resonance that is unique and generational. 

Green’s work with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Betty Carter, Stanley Turrentine and others has left its mark on his playing, of course. How that translates to solo piano performance will be an interesting aspect to this special evening. https://www.earshot.org/project/2021-10-festival-previews-week-4/

Marina Albero Trio featuring Ganesh Rajagopalan

Friday November 5, 7:00pm/Town Hall Forum

Marina Albero and Ganesh Rajagopalan      Marina Albero photo by Lisa Hagen Glynn

Festival Artist-In-Residence Marina Albero embarks on her greatest adventure of the festival, performing with renowned Indian classical violinist Ganesh Rajagopolan. With electric bassist Tim Carey and drummer Xavier Lecouturier joining, the band represents a joyful collision of two diverse musical currents. With the focus being on the modal, improvisational world of Ganesh, Albero is free to draw from her lifelong journey in music in a new, exciting and ultimately free way. Lecouturier will be applying aspects of tabla playing to his work behind the drum set, acting as the tie that binds Ganesh’s music to the jazz tradition. Albero, with roots in classical, Cuban, jazz and flamenco forms adds yet another dynamic aspect to her musical identity in a quartet she senses is on the precipice of something new and innovative.

“I had a blast, he’s a rock star,” says Albero enthusiastically. “This to me is very special, because I feel that it is the beginning of something.”https://www.earshot.org/project/2021-10-festival-previews-week-4/

Ravi Coltrane Cosmic Music- The Music of Alice Coltrane and John Coltrane

Ravi Coltrane

Saxophonist Ravi Coltrane was just two years old when his father, the transcendent musician John Coltrane passed away, His main musical influence growing up was his mother, the pianist and composer, Alice Coltrane. Over time, both as a leader and a sideman, he has forged a musical identity that draws strongly from familial elements, with leanings towards spiritual exploration through sound. In this incarnation of his band, Coltrane explores the cosmic explorations of his parents through his own very personal lens, performing with transcendent guitarist David Gilmore, bassist Lonnie Plaxico, bassist Gadi Lehavi and drummer Ele Howell. https://www.jazzalley.com/www-home/artist.jsp?shownum=5249

Ernestine Anderson: A Musical Tribute

Sat Nov 13, 7 PM/ Langston Hughes

Ernestine Anderson                        Photo courtesy of Billboard

In celebration of the city proclamation honoring Seattle’s international jazz icon, Ernestine Anderson, modern day Seattle musicians take the stage in the heart of the Central District to pay homage. October saw the Langston stage honor young Black artists Immanuel Wilkens, Giveton Gelis, Samara Joy and Sullivan Fortner, while November presents the opportunity to look back into the storied history of the Jackson St. jazz scene of the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, of which Anderson was a major part. Just a few blocks west of Langston, Anderson sang in a bebop band that featured pianist Ray Charles and trumpeter Quincy Jones. On this night, Stix Hooper, Eugenie Jones, Gail Pettis, Darrius Willrich, Alex Dugdale, Paul Gabrielson and Jamael Nance make the sounds of history come to life, with John Gilbreath and Jim Wilke adding context. https://celebratingernestineanderson.org/

Eliane Elias Quartet

Mon, Tue Nov 15,16- 7:30 PM/ Triple Door

Eliane Elias                             photo courtesy of New York Latin Cuklture

The Triple Door is back in full swing, and finally hitting a jazz tone along the way. Pianist Eliane Elias can present many different sides of her musical persona in concert, though at this point her bandmates have not been revealed. Safe to say Marc Johnson will be on bass, and the pianist will explore Brazilian themes, straying just as easily towards the Bill Evans side of jazz piano. Her imaginative playing and flawless chops are grand partners at times, making any of her performances worth wading into. https://tickets.thetripledoor.net/eventperformances.asp?evt=884

Taj Mahal Quartet

Fri Nov 19- Sun Nov 28, 7:30 & 9:30 PM/ Jazz Alley

Taj Mahal

Talk about a return to normalcy. Sure, we’ll be sporting masks and verifying vaccination status at the door, but Taj is back for his traditional Thanksgiving stay at the Alley, and life is good, people! 

Taj brings to life the roots elements of the blues. His music has always brought the music of the delta together with all ports of call in the Caribean. His creative focus has broadened as the years have rolled by, acting as a musical gatherer, adding sounds from West Africa into his gumbo of musical culture. He will be joined by guitarist Bobby Ingano, bassist Bill Rich and drummer Kester Smith. Pick a date and go, opportunities to see esteemed elders of our community are few and far between. https://www.jazzalley.com/www-home/artist.jsp?shownum=5240

Jeff Busch Quartet

Sat Nov 13, 8:00PM/ North City Bistro

Jeff Busch

Seattle area music fans are used to seeing drummer/percussionist Jeff Busch accompanying a myriad of local and international artists over the years. We are accustomed to his neat work on drum kit, and seeing him literally litter a stage with percussion instruments from around the world, and find a way to use every one of them creatively over the course of a ninety minute set. But what if this magician of jazz and world sounds were given the keys to his own ambitions as a leader, with a band consisting of the musicians that have provided him his most fertile moments in music? 

That’s exactly what you’re looking at, when Busch is joined by transcendent pianist Marina Albero, master multi-reedist Hans Teuber, and trailblazing bassist, Jeff Johnson. This is a small venue, with the audience and band in close proximity. The vibe is very intimate, though this performance may produce a white flash that fills the room in overwhelming fashion. Bravo to the folks at NC Bistro to host this show. https://northcitybistro.com/event/jeff-busch-quartet/

Greta Matassa Quintet

Sun Nov 21, 7 PM/ Royal Room

Greta Matassa

With the doors of Tula’s closing two years ago, and the pandemic ending live performances for eighteen months, jazz fans might wonder where the city’s greatest jazz singer since Ernestine Anderson might land after that grand twenty six year run. The answer to that would be “many places,” though for this evening, she takes residence on Rainier Avenue at the Royal Room.

Matassa has a slight change-up in her lineup, with guitarist Brian Monroney joining the band. Bassist Clipper Anderson, drummer Mark Ivester and saxophonist Alexey Nikolaev return, with Nikolaev playing a major role as soloist. Matassa is a great musician and bandleader, added to her grand superlatives as a vocalist of worldwide renown. Her creative spontaneity disallows her to perform any tune the same twice. Her continual habit of challenging herself artistically over the years has seen her arrive at this point of time not only maintaining her chops, but expanding them exponentially. Her range and articulation are simply second to none. If you have seen her perform, then you know, and you are likely to attend. If not, here’s your chance in the comfortable digs of the Royal Room. https://www.strangertickets.com/events/115553853/greta-matassa-quintet

KNKX Presents- Piano Starts Here: Marc Seales

Sun Nov 17, 7:30 PM/ Royal Room

Marc Seales                          Lisa Hagen Glynn photo

Seattle’s Marc Seales is iconic in the city’s historic landscape, as a ground breaking pianist, bandleader and educator. He is equally comfortable with piano and electric keyboards. Seattle jazz fans are accustomed to Seales’ performances with the best of the Seattle scene, normally surrounded by the likes of Thomas Marriott, Chuck Deardorf, Gary Hobbs or Ernie Watts. The fine nuances of his playing will be on plain display in the solo format of this program curated by Alex Guilbert and Wayne Horvitz. Seales draws from a deep well of harmonic understanding and cultural awareness, bringing to the surface the jazz tradition in modern terms. He will be joined by noted students performing his original compositions. https://theroyalroomseattle.com/event/knkx-presents-piano-starts-here-marc-seales/?instance_id=3586

Mike Clark with Skerik, Thomas Marriott, Wayne Horvitz and Geoff Harper

Fri Nov 19, 8 PM/ Royal Room

Mike Clark

Revered drummer Mike Clark made a name for himself as a jazz/funk drummer in the seventies performing with Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters. His versatile approach has landed him on stage with Brand X, with Phil Collins. Here he is neck deep in an eclectic group of Seattle musicians. 

Experience tells me that this is fertile ground for Skerik’s ravaging irreverance. Not that music that falls on the funk side is especially beneficial to his broad ranging style. Skerik’s mad immersions are all extremely musical and at times, profoundly original. Thomas Marriott has been playing at a consistently high level for years now, and somehow continues to up his game at a meteoric pace. Geoff Harper is a bassist and a presence that can meld into any musical situation, from free jazz to hard bop. How Wayne Horvitz fits into the equation is the mystery here. Both he and his bandmates have the added benefit of Clark pushing the cart forward. This is one of those convergences that tend to slide under the radar. HERE IS YOUR RADAR DETECTOR. This one will be just plain fun. https://www.strangertickets.com/events/115789777/mike-clark

Tuesday Jams at the Owl

Tuesdays at 9:30 PM/ Owl ‘n Thistle 


A jam session with a 26 year history in a city is rare. The Owl jam is one such jewel. The social center of the Seattle jazz scene, the proceedings begin with a set from the host band led by pianist Eric Verlinde and special guests, followed by an open jam. The session has been a huge source of opportunity for new players on the scene to display their chops for established city players, and has seen a plethora of significant drop-ins from touring stars such as Wynton Marsalis, Nicholas Payton, Roy Hargrove, Ethan Cohen and the Spanish Harlem Orchestra. If the hang is the thing for you, and I know that it is, the Owl is a must. 

Calluna: A Jazz Supper Club Springs to Life in Ravenna

Stephanie Porter

Calluna is officially a thing, with jazz accompanying fine cuisine, cocktails and wine at the north end establishment operated by Tula’s managers, Jason Moore and Heather Bourne. The small intimate venue seats under 40, so be sure to make reservations in advance. Featured are duos and trios with the top shelf of the Seattle jazz community. 

Music is presented Wednesday- Sunday at 7:30 PM. Vocalist Stephanie Porter is joined by pianist Tony Foster on November 3. Bands led by Tim Kennedy, Marc Seales, Thomas Marriott, Brian Kirk, Paul Gabrielson and Gail Pettis fill the calendar between November 4-13.

Saxophonist Frank Catalano visits from Chicago in trio with pianist Bill Anschell and bassist Jeff Johnson November 16-19. Greta Matassa appears with Alexey Nikolaev and Clipper Anderson on November 27, the tail end of a weekend that begins on November 26 with an all-star duo of trumpeter Thomas Marriott and pianist Bill Anschell. https://callunaseattle.com/music-calendar/

Jared Hall Quintet, Seen on the Scene CD Release

Sun Nov 28, 7:30 PM/ Royal Room

Origin Records

Trumpeter Jared Hall celebrates his new Origin Records release with a performance at the Royal Room in Columbia City. Hall is joined by an all-star rhythm section featuring drummer Matt Jorgensen, bassist Michael Glynn and pianist John Hansen. Alto saxophonist Mark Taylor occupies the front line with Hall. 

The quintet will perform music from the new album, including Hall originals, and innovative takes on music by Tadd Dameron and Francis Lai. Hall’s evolution as a player over his time in Seattle has been remarkable, including a lengthy residency at the now shuttered Tula’s. Hansen, Glynn, Jorgensen and Taylor have performed and recorded with him for much of that journey and so have developed a comfort level with Hall’s original tunes that allows the music to be played freely. An evening of celebration for a well regarded member of the Seattle jazz community. https://theroyalroomseattle.com/calendar-2/


Live Review: East-West Trumpet Summit at Meydenbauer Center Theatre- Oct 9, 2021

Lisa Hagen Glynn photo

Two trumpet quintets in jazz are rare, historically and presently. The alliances most commonly mentioned are the bop era tandem of Fats Navarro and Howard McGhee and their post-bop descendents, Freddie Hubbard and Woody Shaw. The individual players in both these pairings had similar qualities in terms of style and approach.

Ray Vega                   Lisa Hagen Glynn photo

The pairing of Bronx born trumpeter Ray Vega, and his younger partner, Seattle’s Thomas MarriottT, as well have their musical commonalities. It is where the differences lie between the two that provides the intrigue around their recordings and live performances.The age-old belief that the east coast version of jazz is commonly more intense, and the west coast approach more laid back, has not been completely eradicated by modern travel, and in recent times, social media. Vega’s move from the Bronx and New York City to Burlington, Vermont has certainly redefined the “east” portion of the equation, while Marriott is now suddenly the more urban of the two, residing in the city of Seattle. Musical styles aside, the true story of this historic pairing has much more to do with friendship, with mentorship, and a long time friendship and bond that has seen Vega name his youngest son after Marriott. A little background therefore, is necessary to be able to appreciate the magnitude of this latest meeting in Seattle, performing at the Bellevue Blues and Jazz Festival. To continue reading, click on this link:https://www.allaboutjazz.com/east-west-trumpet-summit-at-meydenbauer-center-theatre-thomas-marriott-and-ray-vega

Thomas Marriott              Lisa Hagen Glynn photo
Roy McCurdy                         Lisa Hagen Glynn photo
Lisa Hagen Glynn photo
L to R- Thomas Marriott, Ray Vega                    Lisa Hagen Glynn photo
L to R- Ray Vega, Orrin Evans, Thomas Marriott
Roy McCurdy, Michael Glynn                        Lisa Hagen Glynn photo
The rhythm section- Orrin Evans, Roy McCurdy, Michael Glynn
L to R- Orrin Evans, Thomas Marriott, Michael Glynn, Ray Vega, Roy McCurdy

Live Review: The Cookers at Jazz Alley- 9/22/2021

Performance Photos by Lisa Hagen Glynn

The Cookers at Jazz Alley on 9/22/2021

The third week of September turned out to be quite the week for jazz in Seattle. On Tuesday September 21, Herbie Hancock appeared at the Paramount Theatre, performing a thrilling two hour set with bassist James Genus, flutist Elena Pinderhughes and drummer Justin Tyson. The following night, The Cookers were at Jazz Alley, and I went not only to hear some great jazz music, put to pay homage to a group of jazz elders that are hugely influential in the music I had come to be passionate about. This was personal and I wasn’t alone in that feeling. Pianist George Cables is not only one of the great jazz pianists of our time, he is a man with tremendous humility and humanity. Eddie Henderson is on the list of most underappreciated trumpeters historically, with his brilliant melodic sense and tonal elegance. Drummer Billy Hart is still, at age eight one, a force of nature. Mr. Cecil Mc Bee? The master bassist is on records I have come to treasure that date back to the early sixties. Just seeing the great McBee enjoying a glass of wine after the gig was a bit of a surreal experience in itself for an admittedly over-the-top jazz fan like myself. 

I was insistent on attending the performance as a civilian–I wanted to enjoy these master musicians without checking on a set list, without jotting down notes. I was however, accompanied by photographer Lisa Hagen Glynn, who wanted to document the event with her very fine skills as a live performance photographer. She knew the room well, so her plan of attack would no doubt bring excellent results. As you can see from the photgraphs below, that indeed was the case. 

A review might simply point out that Billy Harper is still letting it fly on tenor, that Cables is playing as well, or better than he ever has. It would state the obvious that Hart would set the pace with his physical and articulate style. It would cite McBee as the foundational impulse of the band, playing with understated elegance. It would mention that Donald Harrison would bring a bit of New Orleans with him, acting as a tonal counterpoint to Harper’s snarling, biting attack. David Weiss would fill in the gaps, solo madly and be the band’s designated spokesman. 

For the audience, there was a prominent feeling of  rebirth, that somehow through the fog of now almost two years of social isolation, these jazz apostles are still on the road, still sharing their gifts with us. We felt not only joyous, but fortunate to be sharing space with them. 

Our friend, the iconic trombonist Julian Priester, sat at a table right up against stage left. It occured to me that three members of Hancock’s Mwandishi Band would be in the house, after having seen Hancock the night before. Priester was there unbeknowst to his Mwandishi brothers, Hart and Henderson. As the Cookers were being announced and entering the stage, Hart spotted Priester and got down on his knees to lean over the stage and embrace his old friend. The emotion of the moment was only surpassed by its beauty. 

Julian Priester (L) and Bill Hart (R)    Lisa Hagen Glynn photo

The hang is always the thing–an unequivocal fact in the jazz community, that somehow felt even more relevant that evening. To be seated with Priester, Hart and Henderson, or sharing a drink with McBee is an honor. Young musicians, such as saxophonist Jackson Cotugno, were able to meet and briefly chat with these legendary and historic musicians. That generational bridge is always something wonderful to behold. 

As for my friend Lisa Hagen Glynn, she captured the energy of the evening perfectly. Many, many thanks to her for sharing this treasure trove of jazz history with us. You can catch and support her fine work covering the music scene in Seattle, both inside jazz and out, at her new blogsite https://hardlyraining.com

Tenor saxophonist Billy Harper and bassist Cecil McBee      Lisa Hagen Glynn photo

The great Billy Hart                            Lisa Hagen Glynn photo 

Alto saxophonist Donald Harrison       Lisa Hagen Glynn photo

Bassist, the great Cecil McBee           Lisa Hagen Glynn photo

George Cables with the Cookers at Jazz Alley, 9/22/2021          Lisa Hagen Glynn photo
L to R- George Cables, Billy Harper, David Weiss, Eddie Henderson, Cecil McBee, Donald Harrison, Billy Hart  at Jazz Alley 9/22/2021         LIsa Hagen Glynn photo
Cecil McBee (bass) and Eddie Henderson (trumpet)     Lisa Hagen Glynn photo
Billy Hart drum solo at Jazz Alley with the Cookers- 9/22/2021    Lisa Hagen Glynn photo
Dr. Eddie Henderson        Lisa Hagen Glynn photo

The great George Cables       Lisa Hagen Glynn photo


Mwandishi brothers- Julian Priester, Billy Hart, Eddie Henderson       Ken Steiner photo

On the Scene: Live Jazz Previews for October

Each month, I feature 12-15 jazz performances, releasing them a week or so before the end of the previous month. They are merely suggestions based on forty years of attending gigs in Seattle. I recommend diving even deeper into the amazing wealth of jazz talent we have in our Seattle community. The entire purpose here is to get you out of the house, and support live jazz and the musicians that make the music. Or, as an old friend of mine used to say, to “get off your dupa.” We could all use a little of that after the haze of the past eighteen months or so. Enjoy, and happy gig hopping!

Calluna in Ravenna: An Intimate Jazz Dinner Club Offers Jazz Four Nights a Week, Wednesday-Saturday

Calluna proprietors Jason Moore and Heather Bourne know a thing or two about presenting jazz. After eight years at the helm of Tula’s, the now shuttered iconic jazz spot in Belltown, the couple has settled into an intimate setting on University Way in Ravenna. Following a brief hiatus from presenting music, they invested in a Yamaha C-3 piano, and set out to book top jazz talent in Seattle. The size and setting of the room is several notches more intimate than Tula’s, where everything from trios to big band was presented. At Calluna, duos and trios will be presented, without drums for the most part. Top end talent will be performing in configurations not usually accessible at a club or theatre date. The relationship between performer and patron, between fine cuisine and drink and the music itself, will be very personal. 

Moore, who typically ran Tula’s from behind the bar, while serving up some of Seattle’s finest cocktails, will be where his talents are most realized- in the kitchen. His made-from-scratch desserts fortunately traveled with him from Belltown to Calluna.

One glimpse at the schedule for October illustrates the level of talent appearing at the Ravenna eatery. October 1 & 2 for example, will feature ace trumpeter Thomas Marriott, Seattle first call bassist Paul Gabrielson and Ron Perillo, a formidable pianist  who relocated here from Chicago at the dawn of the pandemic. 

Showtimes are at 7:30 PM, and I recommended that you arrive earlier to dine. Cover charges range from $15- $20. 

Pianist Eric Verlinde will perform with multi-reedist Hans Teuber on Friday October 8, with Seattle piano legend Marc Seales completing the weekend fare on October 9. Seales returns to perform on October 30. Trumpeter Jared Hall, on the release of his new Origin Records release, Seen on the Scene, will appear in trio with pianist John Hansen and bassist Michael Glynn on October 15 & 16. Seattle’s iconic vocalist Greta Matassa appears on October 22, while pianist Bill Anschell, who appeared more than any other artist as a headliner at Tula’s, performs on October 29. The venue adds events as the month procedes, so check the music calendar by following this link: https://callunaseattle.com/music-calendar/

East-West Trumpet Summit featuring Orrin Evans, Roy McCurdy and Michael Glynn

October 9, 7:30 PM/ Meydenbauer Center Theatre

Knkx 88.5

When Seattle born and bred Thomas Marriott met fellow trumpeter Ray Vega when he moved to New York as a young musician, and benefited greatly from his mentorship and friendship. The Bronx born trumpeter seemed to straddle two worlds, working straight ahead jazz gigs as well as a wide variety of significant engagements on the Latin jazz scene. 

Orrin Evans   Lisa Hagen Glynn photo

The two trumpet front line creation, East West Trumpet Summit first convened in 2010, with the release of their album of the same name on Origin Records, employing a standard rhythm section with pianist Travis Shook, bassist Jeff Johnson and drummer Matt Jorrgensen. In 2014, Return of the East West Trumpet Summit (Origin, 2014) matched the trumpet duo with George Colligan on Hammond B-3 organ, with Jorgensen once again in tow. 

Roy McCurdy    photo courtesy of Stanford Jazz Workshop

The most recent incarnation brings Grammy nominated pianist Orrin Evans to the stage at Meydenbauer, along with iconic jazz drummer Roy McCurdy, and Seattle first call bassist, Michael Glynn. Evans, fresh from a two year stint with The Bad Plus, is coming off consecutive Grammy nods for his Captain Black Big Band. His friendship with Marriott has been documented not only with CBBB, but on two Marriott releases, with another to come. McCurdy is still swinging hard at age 85. His historic career has seen him be a prominent member of ensembles led by Cannonball Adderly, Bobby Timmons, Betty Carter, Sonny Rollins and the Art Farmer-Benny Golson Jazztet. 

The concert is part of the Bellevue Jazz Festival, running this year in October instead of its usual place in May due to Covid-19. This historic confluence of three generations of jazz artistry is a rare gem that should not be missed. https://www.bellevuedowntown.com/events/jazz-and-blues-music-series

Gail Pettis Quartet

Sat Oct. 9, 8 PM/ North City Bistro

Gail Pettis  Jim Levitt photo

A trip to the north end is worth your trouble to become acquainted with, or reacquainted with vocal artist Gail Pettis. Her natural, unforced style delivers a song with grace and style, with a deep connection to the blues. 

Pettis’ approach as a bandleader is to let the cats play, always backing up that philosophy with a collection of Seattle’s best on the bandstand with her. Pianist Tony Foster has been a mainstay of her band. A master accompanist, and imaginative soloist, he has developed a chemistry with Pettis that allows the vocalist to take a song where she wills it in the moment. Bassist Chuck Deardorf has been the first call bassist in Seattle since Jazz Alley’s University District incarnation in the late 1970’s. He is a rock on the bottom end for sure, but a prolific practitioner of melodic improvisation as well. Drummer/percussionist Jeff Busch brings with him a literal world of experience–his world travels gathering global rhythms and the instruments that implement them speaks to his approach behind the kit as a jazz drummer. This gig should be compelling instrumentally, with Pettis adding a vocal touch with perfect pitch and genuine soul. https://northcitybistro.com/

Royal Room Monday Night Jam with Thomas Marriott

Mondays at 9 PM

Thomas Marriott  Jim Levitt photo

A jam session in the south end, with a legitimate backline at the Royal Room brings with it a myriad of possibilities. Having Thomas Marriott on the gig makes it that much more legit. The jam follows the weekly Monday night performance of the Royal Room Collective Music Ensemble under the baton of Wayne Horvitz

The jam presents the opportunity for great music and great fellowship. It allows for the natural course of the mentorship cycle to take place. It creates new musical acquaintances, and renews those already made. The only ingredient needed is support, both for the session, and for the Royal Room. With jazz jam sessions largely concentrated downtown and the north end, this session brings the jam back to the south end in Columbia City. A house band will open the session, with an open jam to follow.

*With week one now in the books following a nice crowd, with great music and hang, the jam is off to a running start! https://theroyalroomseattle.com/

Theo Croker BLK2LIFE

Wed Oct 13, 7:30 PM/ Langston Hughes

Theo Croker 

Theo Croker is a storyteller, trumpeter and creator of shape shifting music that blends traditional jazz musings with pop and hip-hop inflections of the modern era. He is the grandson of jazz trumpet legend Doc Cheatham. The music of Croker could very well be described as experimental, but in the process, he has developed a trumpet style that is very much in the modern jazz tradition. He hails from a generation of artists who grew up with hip-hop, and incorporates its ideas into jazz music. In his five previous recordings, including his 2019 release, Star People Nation, he utilized sonic textures from hip-hop, but mostly emphasized his improvisational skills as a trumpet player. His sixth release, BLK2LIFE, is a deeper dive into heavily produced hip-hop, and features guests that include Wyclef Jean. Croker diversified his skill set for this music as a spoken word artist and producer. This performance is part of the 2021 Earshot Jazz Festival. Check out the full calendar here. https://www.earshot.org/

Marina Albero Quintet

Fri Oct 15, 7 PM/ Town Hall Forum

Marina Albero    Lisa Hagen Glynn photo

Pianist Marina Albero in her first of four performances as the Artist in Residence of the 2021 Earshot Jazz Festival, convenes the all-star quintet that has been with her across the seven years she has resided in Seattle. Drummer D’Vonne Lewis, percussionist Jeff Busch, bassist Jeff Johnson and multi-reedist Hans Teuber have a great understanding of Albero’s music whose musical DNA includes traces of jazz, flamenco, classical and Afro-Cuban jazz. 

Albero’s ability to gather musical influences continues to shape her sound, making each reunion with her quintet a new experience for her audience. She will appear on h

ammered dulcimer as well, an instrument she has pioneered in jazz and improvised music. There is always the possibility of vibes working their way into the picture as well. 

Albero’s presence in Seattle over the past seven years has given the Seattle jazz scene a unique cross-current of musical culture. Her splendid virtuosity is opne thing, her ability to apply it emotionally is special and original. Her vibe onstage is an infectious positive influence on her bandmates and her audience. A can’t miss date at this year’s festival. https://www.earshot.org/

Meridian Odyssey featuring Xavier Lecouturier, Ben Feldman, Santosh Sharma, Martin Budde, Dylan Hayes & Noah Halpern

Fri Oct 15, 8:30 PM/ Royal Room

A band born out of friendship and isolation during the worldwide pandemic, Meridian Odyssey gathers in celebration of their first album, Second Wave (Origin, 2020), and their new recording in the works. The band gathered in an airplane hangar at the Alaska home of Budde’s father when the pandemic first broke, and recorded a session of original music that transcends genre, drawing elements from jazz, rock, funk and r&b, but in a very forward thinking sense. All members of the band contribute original tunes, to be probed and reimagined by this group of innovative improvisers. Lecouturier has been a force on the scene in Seattle for the past half dozen years or so, with his own highly regarded release, Carrier (Origin, 2019). Seattle natives Feldman, Sharma and Halpern have been making their mark on the scene in New York. Budde is making a name for himself as a shape shifting guitarist and modernist composer, bouncing back and forth between Seattle, and Alaska. Hayes has been sequestered in Oregon during the pandemic, but has made his mark with his Dylan Hayes Electric Band, his various projects with Lecouturier and working with the legacy of composer Jim Knapp.  https://theroyalroomseattle.com/

Jamie Baum Septet +

Sun Oct 17, 7 PM/ Town Hall Forum

Jamie Baum     WBGO

Renowned flutist Jamie Baum lands in Seattle with her New York septet featuring Seattle reared guitarist, Brad Shepik. Baum, whose artistry and reputation have historic implications in legacy of her instrument, is supported by the splendid ensemble of Jonathan Finlayson (trumpet), Aaron Irwin (also sax/bass clarinets), Chris Komer (French horn), John Escreet (piano), Ricky Rodriguez (bass, singing bowls), and Jeff Hirshfield (drums). A rare and must see concert in an intimate setting for all jazz fans, but especially those with a close relationship with the flute. Baum’s appearance is rare and welcomed. https://www.earshot.org/

Immanuel Wilkins Quartet

Fri Oct 22, 7:30 PM/ Langston Hughes

Long before his premier BlueNote Records release, Omega, in 2020, alto saxophonist Immanuel Wilkens was making an impression in modern jazz that tabbed him as a generational talent. The Philadelphia born and raised Wilkens grew up musically around that city’s historic and vibrant jazz culture that included a place in the “village” of musicians connected to pianist Orrin Evans’ Grammy-nominated Captain Black Big Band. His move to New York to study at the esteemed Julliard School of Music exposed his rare gifts to Gotham artists such as trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, who assisted the young saxophonist in navigating the scene in New York. The connections he made at this time enabled him to tour with ground breaking pianist Jason Moran, and impressively record his debut release on BlueNote. He has since worked with Wynton Marsalis, Gerald Clayton, Solange Knowles, Aaron Parks, Joel Ross, and most recently, with pianist Orrin Evans on his release, The Magic of Now, perhaps the most revealing glimpse into his playing as the main soloist in a quartet setting with Bill Stewart and Vincente Archer. While Omega featured Wilkins’ adroit compositional prowess and social awareness, his role in his mentor’s quartet gave the jazz world a strong impression into his improvisers mind in an open setting.

With his focus on the humanity and cultural specificity of jazz, Wilkins sees the music as a means to bring people together through cooperative engagement in his art. The personal humility that accompanies his profound virtuosity allows his music to touch those vital aspects of the art of jazz, and its historically present state of being. 
Wilkins will be performing with his New York quartet that is featured on Omega. Pianist Micah Thomas, much like Wilkins, is an ascendant generational artist, and a musical associate during their time together at Juilliard. Taking his Omega quartet on the road will provide the opportunity to hear and see the music evolve in front of us, and the rise of the next phase of jazz innovation moving forward. Bassist Daryl Johns and drummer Kweku Sumbry round out this groundbreaking quartet whose sound may portend the directional impulse for jazz music in the decade ahead.- Paul Rauch, Earshot Jazz Festival Previews 
https://www.earshot.org/

Seattle Jazz Fellowship Wednesdays at Vermillion

Beginning Wed Oct 20, 4 PM, 7PM. 8PM

10/20- featuring Julian Priester, Marc Seales and Xavier Lecouturier

Julian Priester

The new jazz non-profit, the Seattle Jazz Fellowship, takes off with a weekly slate of events each Wednesday at Vermillion on Capitol Hill. The activities commence at 4 PM with an album listening session, followed by a hang at 7 PM, and two sets from two Seattle jazz artists to follow, starting at 8 PM. 

Marc Seales    Lisa Hagen Glynn photo

To get the ball rolling, the Fellowship has named iconic trombonist Julian Priester as its Artist-In-Residence. Mr. Priester will host the 4 PM listening sessions, playing and discussing classic albums he has played on, including John Coltrane’s Africa Brass, Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi, and We Insist with Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln. Of course, Mr. Priester will introduce his own recordings that include such jazz icons as Booker Little, Mal Waldron and Eric Dolphy to mention but a few. 


Xavier Lecouturier   Jim Levitt photo   Ballard JF

The cover charge is $20 for the full slate, first come, first serve. This is an important event to support, to launch the Seattle Jazz Fellowship on its journey to find a permanent home. The October 20 opener will feature separate sets from Xavier Lecouturier and Marc Sealeshttps://seattlejazzfellowship.org/


Alex Dugdale CD Release- The Dugout

Tue Oct 28, 7& 9 PM/ Egan’s Ballard Jam House

Alex Dugdale    Daniel Sheehan photo Earshot Jazz

At long last, Seattle jazz fans have an Alex Dugdale album to celebrate! Featuring his formidable Fade Quintet, Dugdale is featured on saxophones and as a tap artist. At times, he may drift over to the brass side of things and play trumpet. But have no doubt, Dugdale’s artistry is best expressed on tenor saxophone with alto running a close second. He holds down the baritone saxophone chair in the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra as well. 

Dugdale’s long time mates, bassist Greg Feingold and drummer Max Holmberg are on board for this one in the intimate confines of Egan’s Ballard Jam House. Pianist John Hansen has been a frequent contributor as well, while trumpeter Jun Iida is new to the band, having arrived in town from Los Angeles just before the Covid-19 shutdown. Dugdale will incorporate his substantial chops on tap just as he would as an instrumental soloist, a unique and original quality to his performances. https://www.earshot.org/2021-festival/

Scenes with John Stowell, John Bishop, Jeff Johnson & Rick Mandyck

10/29, 7:00 PM/ Town Hall Forum

John Stowell    Jim Levitt photo

A band that took root at a weekly gig in Ballard in the early 1990’s, Scenes has seven releases to their credit on the highly regarded Origin Records label, and has toured off and on since that inaugural gig on Ballard Ave. some thirty years ago.

John Bishop    Lisa Hagen Glynn photo

The band began as a trio, with eclectic saxophonist Rick Mandyck, bassist Jeff Johnson and drummer John Bishop. Shortly after their first release in 2001, Scenes, Mandyck went on a fourteen year hiatus from the saxophone due to an injury. Scenes then went on to gain a reputation as a trio, featuring Stowell’s vignette style compositions, and his guitar style that featured an advanced conception of harmony. By then, Johnson and Bishop were gaining a worldwide reputation as an expert tandem in the trio format. Aside from Stowell, the duo has been part of trios led by pianists Jessica Williams, Hal Galper and Chano Dominguez. Stowell’s spacious style allows both to play freely with a liberal sense of time and space. 

Jeff Johnson     knkx

For their latest release, Trapeze (Origin, 2020), Mandyck returns, after a re-engagement with the tenor saxophone. He contributes as a composer as well, with compositions based on simple melodies that provice ample space for improvisation. His rich and powerful sound adds a completely different texture, and provides a steely edge to the ethereal leanings of the band. The quartet is four of the finest players to emerge on the jazz front in the Pacific Northwest over the past forty years, playing at a very high level. https://www.earshot.org/2021-festival/

Rick Mandyck with Jeff Johnson    Jim Levitt photo









A Night On the Town with The Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio

DLO 3 on stage with friends at Jazz Alley. Photo Credit: Lisa Hagen Glynn


The stage at the esteemed Seattle jazz club, Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley, holds special meaning for local musicians who are brought up through the traditions of the city’s historically vibrant jazz scene. The majority of the performers who grace the Belltown nightspot’s hallowed podium are national and international touring artists, who over the years have included Dexter Gordon, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Chick Corea, Branford Marsalis, Betty Carter and Cecile McLorin Salvant to mention but a few. On occasion, the club has set aside nights for its resident jazz elite, including the great Ernestine Anderson.

Delvon Lamarr at Jazz Alley. Photo Credit: Lisa Hagen Glynn

Before the worldwide pandemic brought the live performance world to a screeching halt, Jazz Alley began featuring resident artists on Monday nights (the reference to ‘resident’ artists as opposed to ‘local’ was inspired by Seattle jazz great Julian Priester, who explained that the term local could be interpreted as pedestrian). With live music at the club re-igniting in the summer of 2021, the club decided to take a chance on Seattle’s best, booking Thomas Marriott, Greta Matassa, Marc Seales and Ari Joshua with positive results both in terms of performance and attendance. It was quite striking to see a full club in on every note for Seattle veteran pianist Seales for example, with a band that featured Seattleites Marriott and Jeff Johnson. 

The Seattle based Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio took to the Jazz Alley stage to begin a two night, sold out engagement on August 24th, a Tuesday evening with a full house on hand. Many in the audience were about to experience live music for the first time since the pandemic induced shutdown. There was a sense of rejuvenation, of celebration in the room, as Lamarr escorted his mother, brother and sister in law to their table suspended over the stage in the front of the balcony. The soulful R&B and blues guitarist Jimmy James was his usual sharp witted and comical self. “Do you know how to tell if someone is not from Seattle,” he quipped. “When they ask how to get on THE five!” James is all south end Seattle, just as Lamarr’s roots run deep in the Emerald City. New drummer Dan Weiss, who hails from Reno, was getting a full dose of the immensity of the moment, of his Seattle bandmates about to take stage on the city’s most prestigious jazz precipice. The trio had enjoyed a degree of commercial success prior to the shutdown, and had drawn well in their previous visit to the club. 

DLO3 at jazz Alley. Photo Credit: Lisa Hagen Glynn

Seattle’s reputation of being a remote and unique cultural outpost is perhaps a bit outdated in its modern incarnation, but nonetheless steeped in historical accuracy. When Jazz Alley opened, it would often feature a national touring artist accompanied by Seattle musicians. In the seventies and eighties, it was common to see such Seattle stalwarts as Chuck Deardorf and Dean Hodges manning the rhythm section for notables like Kenny Burrell or Mose Allison. The resident artists could be found full time at clubs like The New Orleans, or Tula’s beginning in the nineties. But headliners at the old Jazz Alley on University Way, or the current Belltown location, were clearly the exception, not the rule.

Lamarr is what some might refer to as a “natural” musician, one that has an innate understanding of music as a base point for his personal musical progression. In middle school, he came to play in the band by chance, by clearly showing his teacher and mentor Sam Chambliss his ability. 

“One day I saw a horn on the floor, and didn’t even know what it was. I told Mr. Chambliss, ‘I can play that.’ He said, ‘Good, I’ll put you in band.’ It was a baritone horn. I picked it up and played it naturally right away. I couldn’t read music, so I would just copy the person next to me. Whatever they played, I played,” he recalls. 

Lamarr settled on B-3 after playing drums in the band of Seattle B-3 master, Joe Doria. A year of simply observing his bandleader from behind the kit, allowed him to casually sit down and play the complex instrument.

“I had been watching Joe play it for a year, and literally sat down and played it like I had been playing it my whole life,” says Lamarr.

Lamarr was, and is, a jazz first musician no matter what musical tradition he employs. There is an intuitive eclecticism about his art that transcends form. The influences of his first love, R&B and soul, speaks through his music as well. Taking those elements of his musical personality, and creating a concept that not only would be sufficiently expressive for a genius musician like Lamarr, and as well supply ample opportunity to make a living, eventually became the domain of Amy Novo, Lamarr’s wife, life partner and manager. 

“She literally owns DLO3,” exclaimed Lamarr from the Jazz Alley stage that night. “She came up with the idea, and made it happen in every way. I just have to play music.”

Novo worked tirelessly, while her husband created music that would land them with the esteemed Kurland Agency. They found an audience that, like the music, transcended genre. The potent recipe of jazz, rhythm and blues and rock pulled in a sizable crowd that enabled the band to play venues like the Blue Note in New York, worldwide festivals and of course, Seattle’s Jazz Alley. Guitarist James provided the punch that incorporated that which encompasses all of Lamarr’s stylistic indulgences- the blues. The band’s sound has been represented well on the studio albums Close But No Cigar (Colemine, 2018) and I Told You So (Colemine,2021) for Colemine Records, and the live offering Live at KEXP (Colemine, 2018). 

Guitarist Jimmy James and drummer Dan Weiss at Jazz Alley with DLO3. Photo Credit: Lisa Hagen Glynn

That “sound” has a historical lineage, perhaps unknown to Lamarr at the beginning stages of the band’s development. In the fifties and sixties, Seattle Hammond B-3 artist Dave Lewis had a multitude of hit records with what was being referred to at the time as the “Seattle Sound.” It was instrumental, organ based music, that had markings of  jazz, rhythm and blues and the hybrid form taking hold of the airwaves in those days– rock and roll. Lewis’ band would eventually have a huge impact sociologically by playing north end gigs that were the exclusive domain of white bands. This would put an end to musical segregation in the city, which included separate unions for white and black musicians. The unity exhibited by late night jam sessions on Jackson St., now had legal and ethical legitimacy by practice among venue owners. The “sound” would have an impact on Seattle jazz, as well as artists in all blues based styles, including Jimi Hendrix. DLO3 has received a large degree of popularity and commercial success with their own unique organ based sound, that much like Lewis’ combo, is an open door for guest artists to enter and leave their mark. It is a style that is constantly in motion and inviting new musical notions. Whether performing for a sit down audience at Jazz Alley, or accommodating a dance crowd, the band has the unique ability to satisfy multiple audiences, a luxury seldom afforded by jazz artists. 

Lamarr’s solo work, and his minimalist comping style, are unmistakingly tied to his roots as a jazz musician. His dual persona in a way, is like an artistic aperture allowing the entire blues tradition into the mix. So much is the same, so much is different. “When I play DLO3 music versus swinging jazz, the approach is completely different. I intertwine the soul with jazz and make sense of it,” he explains. It is not, however, groove dance music, no matter how thick and comfortable drummer Weiss makes that pocket seem. Lamarr’s thought processes arrive musically from the jazz lexicon, smothered in blues based soul and funk. “It’s undeniable that music is better when it speaks to somebody’s soul instead of just hearing a beat,” he points out. 

The trio’s open door welcomed in India Arie bassist Khari Simmons, and Polyrhythmic’s guitarist Ben Bloom on this Tuesday evening engagement in Seattle. Relieved of bass line duties, Lamarr is able to ascend as a soloist to new heights, and for two tunes, as a vocalist. Until this opening night in Seattle, Lamarr had never dared to sing in public. He soulfully rendered two new compositions to accommodate this new, very personal revelation. “No Walk in the Park,” and “Can’t Win For Losing,” unmasked the organist’s inner creative sanctum, leaving himself completely vulnerable to an audience that included family, long time friends and some of the city’s top music scribes. That comfortable vibe, that which one feels when surrounded by loved ones, by being home, gathered all the loose ends of the evening into one, enlightened space. The jovial nonchalance of Lamarr’s outward personality, and his deep, soul searching inner musical self came to a singular state of being. This wasn’t another ordinary stop on a long tour–it was Seattle, it was Jazz Alley, this was about neighborhood and being home.

Delvon Lamarr at the Owl jam session. 8/24/21

The afternoon preceding DLO3’s opener at Jazz Alley, Lamar and Novo set up a B-3 at the Owl ‘n Thistle, an Irish dive bar in Seattle’s Pioneer Square, with intentions of returning after the Jazz Alley hit to attend a weekly jam session that has taken place at the Owl for more than two decades. The jam is the social focal point of the Seattle jazz scene, and where Lamarr would come to match his chops with the best players in town. In those days, the young Lamarr would play trumpet and drums at the session. Two weeks prior, he had dropped in at the Owl after a gig at Woodland Park, with Novo and Simmons in tow. He played drums a bit, but mostly just enjoyed the hang tremendously. He realized how shut in socially he could be, between touring and ultimately, due to Covid-19. Knowing that he would be playing the house B-3 at Jazz Alley, he set up his own equipment at the Owl, and arrived around 10 PM, just as the house band led by pianist Eric Verlinde was finishing up its set. The trio played a few tunes for the jam packed (pun intended) audience in the small, brick lined room. Soon, Lamarr was at the organ with a rapidly changing cast of musicians at the open session, clearly enjoying himself. While Lamarr is an affable sort, his normal positive self seemed to play into a state of heightened joy and repose. Novo as well sported a look of knowing she was in the right place at the right time. Normally a whirlwind during a gig, dealing with the business portion of the band, she as well could just revel in the sense of normalcy, of fellowship and community, that was so clearly at hand. 

DLO 3 plays the Owl jam session, after their opening night set at Jazz Alley 8/24/21 Photo Credit: Lisa Hagen Glynn

Of course, the evening would end with Lamarr and Novo once again loading one hulk of a musical instrument into their van. There was another night at Jazz Alley to traverse, and whatever else comes literally down the road as things slowly return to normal. There is the uncertainty of the Delta variant, of course, yet over two nights at their city’s most esteemed club, every seat is full, every audience member engaged and content. There is hope in the air, that we will rise above a two year pandemic hiatus, and find our stride musically, and inevitably, socially.

Drummer Dan Weiss in the pocket at Jazz Alley with DLO3 Photo Credit: Lisa Hagen Glynn


A single evening saw the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio in front of a full house, and then immersed in the hang, that which in the end really matters. A return to normalcy means so much more than audience being reunited with artist. Rising above the fray of a worldwide pandemic, that place where none of us had ever resided, is more about being reunited with each other. Of feeling that embrace. On one Tuesday evening in Seattle, the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio and family felt the embrace that only home can bring. —Paul Rauch

There’s a New Jazz Spot in Ravenna

There’s a new spot in North Seattle for an intimate evening of jazz. Calluna restaurant, a casual European American restaurant at 5628 University Way NE in the Ravenna neighborhood, will offer live jazz Wednesday-Sunday beginning in September.

Calluna was opened by familiar faces on the jazz scene in Seattle in former Tula’s manager Jason Moore and his partner, Heather Bourne. With Tula’s ending its 26 year run in October of 2019, they were looking to open a restaurant outside of the music business. The restaurant opened in December of 2019, just three months before the world shut down due to Covid-19. After close to two years in their new digs, they realized how much they missed the music. They knew post-pandemic, they had to breathe some life into the intimate, homespun room.

“I missed the music, I missed the culture and the musicians themselves” says Moore. Very much like they did at Tula’s, Moore and Bourne took on the task of renovating their new space, from painting and cleaning, to the huge step of committing finances to a piano and acoustic revisions to the room. Experience told them that a room in Ravenna was going to have to draw people in with something special and welcoming. This isn’t Belltown, and lack of foot traffic in the north end neighborhood makes Calluna a destination venue, needing top end talent and superior ambience to attract a crowd. 

L to R Heather Bourne, Jason Moore. Lisa Hagen Glynn photo

Knowing the room was not suitable for more volumnus bands, they decided on a duo/trio format, with solo acts a possibility as well. The recently shuttered New York club, Bradley’s, was cited as an example to follow. While Calluna doesn’t plan on being the late night hang that the iconic Bradley’s was known for, it will offer top tier Seattle jazz musicians performing in duos and trios without drums, just right for the cozy living room vibe that best describes the Ravenna eatery. Moore brought in a Yamaha C-3 piano, and invited the best players in town to join in on the fun.

September will bring in a large strand of Seattle’s top jazz musicians, including Bill Anschell, Jeff Johnson, Greta Matassa, Stephanie Porter, Kelley Johnson, Rick Mandyck, and a special John Coltrane birthday celebration with Alex Dugdale. Anschell will square off in a duo with bassist Jeff Johnson, a fine example of the programming at Calluna. The marvelous jazz vocalist Matassa will perform with Clipper Anderson on bass and Alexey Nikolaev on saxophones. The demands the room places on the musicians in terms of intimacy will create an environment unlike what one might experience at a larger venue. The fine food and drink and Moore’s standard and understanding of live jazz performance will be a big plus. 

Pianist Bill Anschell, who closed Tula’s, will open Calluna with bassist Jeff Johnson.
Bassist Jeff Johnson    knkx.org

Calluna adds to nightly opportunities for Seattle jazz fans. From the Royal Room in Columbia City and Egan’s in Ballard, to Jazz Alley and the arrival of the new Seattle Jazz Fellowship, the landscape for live jazz, post-pandemic, is beginning to take shape. For more information on Calluna, and a full music calendar, follow the link below.   

https://callunaseattle.com/music-calendar/


Photo Review: Marc Seales Quintet at Jazz Alley- 8/17/2021

Pianist Marc Seales. Lisa Hagen Glynn photo

One of the recent positive marks on the Seattle jazz scene is that Jazz Alley, the city’s premier spot for touring acts, has been featuring some resident artists. The shows have been well attended, featuring iconic Seattle artists such as Greta Matassa, Marc Seales, Thomas Marriott and Delvon Lamarr. 

The Seattle jazz community has been well documented in recent years photographically, thanks in large part to veteran jazz photog, Jim Levitt. Long known for his work for the Ballard Jazz Festival, Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra and Jazz Port Townsend, Levitt can often be found at a gig near you. He may be hiding behind a curtain, or slithering along the ground like a shutterbug snake. He may find the empty chair at your table, taking a few shots before disappearing again, toting his stuffed to the gills bag of camera equipment. 

Levitt has mentored the next gen photog on the scene, Lisa Hagen Glynn, who as well can often be found working around stages and audiences in several genres of the city music scene, most notably the jazz world where she typically resides. Her initial interest in photographing jazz performances came by attending gigs played by her husband, Seattle first call bassist, Michael Glynn. She has a unique, perhaps innate sense of the moment, often catching musicians at the height of their emotional arc. Her remarkable ability to seem almost invisible, yet find superior angles to shoot, makes her work stand out much in the way of her mentor. Many thanks to Jim and Lisa for bringing the music to life in pictures. 

L to R- guitarist Jesse Seales, drummer Moyes Lucas, bassist Jeff Johnson, pianist Marc Seales and trumpeter Thomas Marriott. Lisa Hagen Glynn photo’

The tall stranger- bassist Jeff Johnson. Lisa Hagen Glynn photo


Thomas Marriott on flugelhorn. Lisa Hagen Glynn photo

Marc Seales and Thomas Marriott. Jim Levitt photo

Jeff Johnson and Marc Seales. Jim Levitt photo

The always expressive Marc Seales. Jim Levitt photo

Drummer Moyes Lucas. Lisa Hagen Glynn photo.


Guitarist Jesse Seales and drummer Moyes Lucas. Lisa Hagen Glynn photo

Marc Seales Quintet at Jazz Alley

All eyes on the leader. Jim Levitt photo


On the Scene: Live Music Previews for September

Grace Kelly 

9/1- 7:30 PM/ Jazz Alley

Since her appearance at the inauguration of President Barak Obama at age 16, alto saxophonist Grace Kelly has been turning heads in the jazz world. Starting out more in the bebop tradition in the musical lineage of alto predecessors Charlie Parker and Cannonball Adderly, Kelly has added electronics, vocals and dance moves to her resume, amping up her pop image within the jazz genre. Kelly is still an impressive technician of her instrument, whether or not you admire the new aspect to her performance will determine whether or not this gig is for you. https://www.jazzalley.com/www-home/artist.jsp?shownum=5245

Tuesday Night Jams at the Owl

Tuesday Nights- 9:30 PM/ Owl ‘n Thistle

26 years in, the Owl jam has evolved into the social center of the jazz scene in Seattle. Coming out of the Covid-19 shutdown, the importance of the late Tuesday night session became that much more important. This summer has seen the session feature such Seattle jazz luminaries as Thomas Marriott, Hans Teuber, Eric Verlinde, Jared Hall, Matt Jorgensen, John Bishop, Marina Albero and Rick Mandyck to scratch the surface. An absolute must to feel the pulse of jazz in Seattle. Once touring bands begin to frequent the city, drop ins may again be the norm, having seen Wynton Marsalis, Roy Hargrove and Nicholas Payton among others who have spontaneously sat in with the host band. Pianist Eric Verlinde, who has hosted the session since 2005, keeps the vibe celebratory and upbeat. https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=tuesday%20night%20jams%20at%20the%20owl.


The Beaver Sessions

Sunday Nights- 9 PM/ The Angry Beaver

There is no overestimating the importance of the neighborhood jam session in the jazz lineage. This is true, even when that session is held in a hockey bar that is otherwise unattached to live music in the north end Greenwood neighborhood. 

The session has long been the domain of the 200 Trio, featuring guitarist Cole Schuster, bassist Greg Feingold and drummer Max Holmberg. The evening begins with a host band of rotating musicians that include Jean Chamont, Kareem Kandi, Reuel Lubag Brian Kirk and the aforementioned members of the 200 Trio. The turnout is not quite as massive as the Tuesday night session at the Owl, but that contributes to the comfortable and fun vibe. The session is attended well, and the music beginning with the hosts is very good. A bit out of the way for south enders, but the #5 metro bus does take you practically to the doorstep of the classic hockey bar. This is one yours truly is going to pay more attention to going forward, after all–Seattle is now part of the NHL family! https://beaversessions.com/


Royal Room Opening Night: Piano Starts Here

Wed 9/15, 7:30 PM/ Royal Room

Columbia City will come just a little bit more to life this particular evening, as The Royal Room swings into action with perhaps its most noble undertaking– “Piano Starts Here.” The interpretive program features area pianists engaging with historic jazz pianists, in many ways defining the mission statement of the club on this, its opening night celebration. For this installment, KNKX and Abe Beeson will present the music of Earl Hines, Teddy Wilson, Duke Ellington, Carla Bley and Cole Porter, interpreted by Jose Gonzales, Alex Guilbert, Darrius Willrich, Ann Reynolds and Ray Skjelbred.

“I think ‘Piano Starts Here’ represents the best of the Royal Room. It’s local, it’s great music, and it’s also curatorial,” says Wayne Horvitz. He will play his own compositions and essentially interpret himself, an idea hatched by Guilbert, the event’s host.

The Royal Room’s presence on the scene will be that much more vital with the loss of several venues over the past few years. https://theroyalroomseattle.com/event/knkx-presents-piano-starts-here-re-opening-night-mc-knkxs-abe-beeson/?instance_id=2495

photo courtesy of salon.com

Pat Metheny Side Eye

9/16-19, 7:30 & 9:30 PM/ Jazz Alley

Seeing guitar great Pat Metheny in the intimate confines of Jazz Alley is a rare chance to witness genius close up. The eclectic guitarist/composer is more commonly seen around town at venues like The Paramount, The Moore and McCaw Hall. This time around, Metheny features a trio featuring two of the most exciting young stars in jazz- keyboardist/pianist James Francies and New Orleans drummer, Joe Dyson.

Side-Eye is a project matching Metheny up with an array of young, intrepid voices that have included Anwar Marshall, Eric Harland and Marcus Gilmore. Francies and Dyson continue this progression. Metheny has always been unpredictable in terms of his recording history and his ambitious touring adventures. For more than forty years we have seen the iconic Pat Metheny Group, a number of trios and the Unity Band with Antonio Sanchez and Chris Potter. Seeing him work from the intimate sight lines of Jazz Alley is a special opportunity in a special time. 

 “I wanted to create an ongoing platform to host a rotating cast of the newer generations of musicians who have particularly caught my interest along the way. From my earliest days in Kansas City onward, I was the beneficiary of so many older musicians hiring me, which gave me a chance to develop through the prism of their experiences and the particular demands of what their music implied.”- Pat Metheny https://www.jazzalley.com/www-home/artist.jsp?shownum=5206

h

earshotjazz.org

Entremundos Quarteto with Adriana Giordano

9/17. 8PM/ North City Bistro

Blending Brazilian and traditional jazz forms, vocalist Adriana Giordano and pianist Eric Verlinde lead Entremundos into NCB for a dinner performance. Seattle’s go-to electric bassist Dean Schmidt, and all-world drummer/percussionist Jeff Busch complete this quartet that now has an extensive history together. Whether accompanying Giordano, or playing as a trio, this rhythm section that performs together in Verlinde’s projects as well, has marvelous chemistry and musical intuition. The diversity of musical styles that cross during an Entremundos performance are a reflection of the band members and their divergent separate paths. Their performances at the north end bistro have helped establish the tradition of live music at NCB. https://northcitybistro.com/

Douglas Kirkland photo

Herbie Hancock

9/21- 7:30 PM/ Paramount Theatre

To claim that pianist/keyboardist/composer Herbie Hancock is an icon of American music is a safe assumption. From his early days with Miles Davis’ second great quintet, to his fusion persona via Mwandishi and The Headhunters, Hancock has viewed innovation as an elemental aspect of his music. Now 80 years old, his prowess as a musician and composer is undiminished in terms of imagination, execution and innovation. This tour celebrates a performing career that has now touched seven decades. Though the band to this point has not been announced, it is generally assumed that he will be accompanied by drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, bassist James Genus, guitarist Lionel Loueke and keyboardist/saxophonist Terrace Martin. 

Aside from his historic impact on jazz piano and composition, Hancock has had great success in such divergent activities as film scoring, but most importantly, his embrace of generational musicians who have followed in his footsteps have received the benefit of his wisdom and grace. He, along with Wayne Shorter, represent the very best of humanity, casting a guiding light for generations of musicians and fans alike. His performances are generally a highlight reel of his entire career, with the compositions that fall into line performed in new and innovative fashion. This is one not to be missed. Watch out for the ticket sharks, and purchase your tickets through STG/Ticketmaster from the link below.  https://www.stgpresents.org/calendar/6798/herbie-hancock

The Cookers

9/21-22, 7:30 PM/ Jazz Alley

The hard hitting septet returns to Seattle featuring some of the all time great figures in modern jazz history. Pianist George Cables is one of the great pianists as well as one of the truly transcendent people in jazz. Bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Billy Hart hold down the backline as they have since their younger days paying their dues in the bands of Miles Davis, Wes Montgomery, Alice Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Smith, Herbie Hancock and Joanne Brackeen to name a few.

Trumpeters David Weiss and Eddie Henderson have emerged from a similar pedigree, and along with burning tenor giant Billy Harper and New Orleans born and bred altoist Donald Harrison, form a historic front line unmatched in jazz today. 

Assembling an all-star cast does not guarantee a grandiose result. In the case of The Cookers, the assemblage is one of music, friendship and love. That much is obvious at any one of their performances. It is rare to witness a working band of this quality in any genre, much less in jazz, a musical world often embraced by genius. An absolute can’t miss two nights at the Alley. https://www.jazzalley.com/www-home/artist.jsp?shownum=5241

William Kitchings photo

Julian Lage

Tue 9/21, 7:30 PM/ Neumo’s

Julian Lage comes to Seattle in celebration of his new album, Squint. The guitarist has been playing with the legendary Charles Lloyd from his early days as a Northern California guitar prodigy, and that aesthetic is clearly expressed in his work. The trio features bassist Jorge Roeder and drummer Eric Doob in a format that finds three musicians revolving around a common center, allowing the sparks to fly as they may. 

Squint is Lage’s first recording as a leader on the prestigious BlueNote label. He is clearly humbled by that designation and attachment to a legendary history of recordings. 

“I felt like this was an opportunity to present new music born out of the Blue Note tradition as I’ve interpreted it,” explains Lage, who previously recorded for the label with The Nels Cline 4’s Currents, Constellations and Charles Lloyd’s celebratory 8: Kindred Spirits.

A master class is being planned as well, so keep an eye out for that. This performance will be at Neumo’s, which holds the possibility of listening being more difficult outside of the traditional trappings of a jazz audience. The dynamics of the trio tend to be soft, precise and ethereal, requiring an audience that can take to that vibe.  https://www.stgpresents.org/calendar/event/3968

Jovino Santos Neto Quinteto

9/24, 8PM/ North City Bistro

Creeping just over the city line, the north end venue continues its support of jazz, in this case, Brazilian Jazz, by bringing in the Brazilian piano legend Jovino Santos Neto and his longtime, sure-fire quintet. The band features Seattle bass legend Chuck Deardorf, drummer Mark Ivester, percussionist Jeff Busch and vibraphonist Ben Thomas. 

The quinteto is as close to a sure thing as there is on the Seattle music scene. The music incorporates the jazz tradition into Jovino’s music that grew from the pianist’s many years playing in the band of Brazilian music icon, Hermeto Pascoal. The music is a pure release of joy and celebration, enhanced by the pure artistry of this top shelf band. This is a sit down dinner club, so come prepared for good food, fine wine and a grand performance. If you enjoy dancing to Brazilian music, this is not the venue. As a concert performance, the quinteto will make you dance inside! https://northcitybistro.com/

Jim Levitt photo

Monday Night Jam at The Royal Room with Thomas Marriott

Mondays beginning 9/20- 9PM 

Monday nights will find two jam sessions bookending the weekly performance of The Royal Room Collective Music Ensemble at the Columbia City nightspot. Saxophonist Stuart MacDonald will host a late afternoon jam session for younger players, featuring musicians from the area’s celebrated school music programs. Trumpeter Thomas Marriott will follow RRCME with an open jam session that will begin with a short set from host musicians at 9 PM. 

The addition of the south end jam is now the third weekly session in Seattle, following the Beaver Sessions on Sundays in Greenwood, and the iconic Owl Jam in Pioneer Square. All three are in the hands of musicians that will no doubt skillfully curate these community sessions. More opportunities for music and fellowship is always a positive. There is a huge backline advantage for this session, especially with the club’s resident Steinway B.  https://theroyalroomseattle.com/

Paquito D’Rivera

9/28-29, 7:30 PM/ Jazz Alley

Cuban born alto saxophonist, clarinetist and composer Paquito D’Rivera is a historic presence in the world of Latin jazz. A frequent visitor to Seattle, D’Rivera always plays with focused joy and virtuosity. He is joined by pianist Alex Brown, bassist Oscar Stagnaro, trumpeter Diego Urcola, and drummer Mark Walker. 

D’Rivera’s music is a reflection of his wide ranging musical interests that can often move towards the eclectic side. This is especially true in his work as a composer. The artist and his current lineup have the chops to explore all of the aspects of the leader’s musical persona.  https://www.jazzalley.com/www-home/artist.jsp?shownum=5247

Seattle Trumpeter Jared Hall Drops New Album Seen on the Scene on Origin Records

The title Seen on the Scene in many ways encapsulates trumpeter Jared Hall’s story leading up to the studio session in 2018 that resulted in this, his sophomore release. The Spokane, Washington native arrived in Seattle in 2015 after completing studies with mercurial trumpet ace Brian Lynch, almost immediately scoring a residency at Tula’s, the city’s legendary jazz spot. Sporting new compositions and a new recording on Lynch’s Hollistic MusicWorks label, Hall went about establishing himself on the vibrant Seattle scene, establishing working and social relationships with such Emerald City stalwarts as pianist John Hansen, bassist Michael Glynn and drummer Matt Jorgensen. Jorgensen is, as well, a principal of the highly regarded Origin Records label. Hall in the process began to shake off the sediment of jazz education and chance upon his own original sound by playing and interacting socially with his new community via jam sessions and gigs as a sideman for a variety of resident artists in his new city. Becoming a new father in the process necessitated he be employed in education extensively, all the while grinding and performing his way towards the top of Seattle’s impressive roster of jazz elite. Continue reading at All About Jazz https://www.allaboutjazz.com/seen-on-the-scene-jared-hall-origin-records__16108


CD Review: Nicole McCabe- Introducing Nicole McCabe

If you were a young and talented jazz musician in Portland, Oregon, you would make yourself highly visible on the local scene to gain invaluable experience playing with the best the city had to offer. In addition to your more formal studies, you would extend your musical outreach from post-bop modernism to the avant-garde. Most importantly, you would constantly be rubbing musical shoulders with the elders who have mentored you to the point of having professional aspirations.


This is precisely what Portland-based alto saxophonist Nicole McCabe accomplished before her 2020 move to Los Angeles. Along the way she benefited from performing with the great pianist George Colligan, trumpeter Charlie Porter, bassist Jon Lakey, and veteran drummer/producer Alan Jones. For her debut recording Introducing Nicole McCabe (Minaret, 2020), she gathers all four to perform a collection of original tunes, along with two covers.
To continue reading, click here https://www.allaboutjazz.com/introducing-nicole-mccabe-nicole-mccabe-minaret

CD Review: Jay Thomas Quartet- Upside

Seattle-based musician Jay Thomas may be considered the oddest of ducks in the jazz universe. By that, I am referring to his fierce musicality expressed both on trumpet and saxophone, as well as most members of the brass and woodwind families. Inspired early in his career by the like minded veteran Ira Sullivan, Thomas in a single night will drift from trumpet to tenor, from flugelhorn to alto, and then double back on flute and soprano. He may as well play a melody in elegant style on tenor, and solo on trumpet and flute within the context of a single tune. While the demands of embouchure for each of these instruments makes Thomas’ methodology remarkable in itself, the fact that he performs with equal world-class virtuosity on each makes him, well, the oddest of ducks in the jazz universe. To continue reading, click this linkhttps://www.allaboutjazz.com/upside-jay-thomas-quartet-mcvouty-records

20 Seattle Jazz Musicians You Should Know: Matt Jorgensen

Photo Credit: Lisa Hagen Glynn

The jazz life in the twenty-first century requires a diverse and multi-skilled portfolio, requiring a resume previous generations of jazz musicians never fathomed having to deal with. Seattle’s Matt Jorgensen has spent the entirety of his career figuring out what this skill set entailed, and has navigated those waters, well, skillfully.

Jorgensen is a jazz drummer by trade, and has throughout his career composed original tunes. His entrepreneurial skills have manifested in the creation of the highly regarded indie-jazz label, Origin Records, in partnership with fellow drummer John Bishop. The label has now released close to seven hundred albums. A second label, OA2 came soon after, and Origin Classical next. The label in turn spawned the Ballard Jazz Festival, a Seattle jazz scene annual rite of spring each May since 2002. To continue reading, click this linkhttps://www.allaboutjazz.com/20-seattle-jazz-musicians-you-should-know-matt-jorgensen-matt-jorgensen

20 Seattle Jazz Musicians You Should Know: Rick Mandyck

Rick Mandyck and Thomas Marriott perform at Tula’s. Photo Credit: Jim Levitt

In venturing into writing this series of twenty notable Seattle jazz musicians, I had developed a criteria of sorts in terms of paring the notables down to a mere twenty musicians. I wanted to feature musicians living and working in Seattle in current times. In light of the international reach of All About Jazz, I was to choose artists with an international profile, who had paid dues playing with the best players, or had written and released notable recordings that AAJ readers could access worldwide. In that sense, many fine, largely local players, were not included. On the other hand, I wanted to feature players that have impacted jazz music in Seattle significantly, historically. To continue reading, click this link.
https://www.allaboutjazz.com/20-seattle-jazz-musicians-you-should-know-rick-mandyck-rick-mandyck

20 Seattle Jazz Musicians You Should Know: Thomas Marriott

From All About Jazz

from All About Jazz
Photo Credit: Lisa Hagen Glynn

A jazz fan born and raised in New York City sat in the Village Vanguard one evening, taking in a set from pianist Gerald Clayton and his quintet. He had moved to Seattle half a lifetime ago, and loved to return to his hometown to take in the jazz scene across the city. An old friend approaches, asking why he had not seen him much, for years. “I moved to Seattle, almost 40 years ago,” the gentleman replied. The old friend nodded and remarked, “Seattle, Thomas Marriott, bad dude.” True story.

Seattle is a city with a creative soul. Many great players have left Seattle, on to New York or points abroad, seeking to play with the best, to fully engage in their calling as musicians. For the purpose of this series, those players are not included, as we focus on resident Seattle players. Aaron Parks and Kassa Overall are two examples of world class Seattle musicians who have taken up residence in Gotham. To continue reading, click this linkhttps://www.allaboutjazz.com/20-seattle-jazz-musicians-you-should-know-thomas-marriott-thomas-marriott


CD Review: Scenes- Trapeze

The storyline for the Pacific Northwest-based band Scenes began in 1983, when drummer John Bishop and guitarist John Stowell began playing together in Portland and Seattle. When bassist Jeff Johnson arrived in Seattle in 1989, he began playing a weekly trio gig with Bishop and tenor saxophonist Rick Mandyck. Stowell, already frequently traveling abroad to play and teach, would drop by every so often to play.

The quartet wouldn’t get around to record until 2001, releasing Scenes on the Origin Records label Bishop had created with drummer Matt Jorgensen in 1997. Shortly thereafter, Mandyck exited the music scene, unable to play due to illness and injury. Scenes would continue to perform over two decades as a trio, releasing five more albums on Origin. On occasion, they would be joined by multi-reedist Hans Teuber, but generally the trio evolved outside of what would commonly be associated with a guitar trio. They developed an intuitive, free sound that in many ways encapsulates the Origin sound, steeped in the remoteness of the Pacific Northwest, embellished by connections in Chicago, New York and Europe. The trio developed as an equal partnership, with Johnson and Bishop having as much to say as Stowell. They largely performed Stowell’s vignette style pieces, and Johnson’s wide-open comps, designed for more free form conversation.

For their seventh release, Scenes once again becomes a quartet, with Mandyck returning to form after a long hiatus. He contributes five original compositions, all much like Johnson’s, enabling his mates to recreate at their whim. Mandyck’s distinct sound, very much lifted from the John Coltrane tradition, has a clarity and dynamic sense very much his own. With the addition of two of Johnson’s pieces, and the title track penned by Claudine Francois, Trapeze (Origin, 2020) reaches out towards the edge and defines itself within the risks and rewards the free spirit indulges.

Two of Mandycks’s pieces, “House of Ra, ” and the angular “The Reckoning,” produce the most open-ended playing on the album, particularly from guitarist Stowell. Long known for his colorfully melodic voicings, and precision playing, he spools out his solos to great melodic, spatial lengths. Johnson’s soloing incorporates fleet single note passages with exploding chordal clusters, all refined by his elegant vibrato. One of the true originals of the double bass, Johnson, in tandem with Bishop, possesses the unique ability to interpret time in the moment, and obliterate linear expectations. Intertwined with Stowell’s sparse comping, the harmonic and rhythmic firmament is fertile ground for Mandyck to play strong, rich, melodic passages in the open space.

Johnson’s “Highwaymen” swings ever so gently, while his “Pause” elicits a gorgeous interpretation of the tender melody from Mandyck. Both tunes draw strong reference to Johnson’s resume as a composer, with melody fragments that seem to be suspended in time. Every note Mandyck plays on “Pause” could be referred to as “the melody.” Much like Coltrane’s “Naima,” the melody itself is so spiritually bound, that any interpretation must in itself possess an essence of beauty that can rival that of the source. Mandyck’s playing fits that description perfectly.

The tandem of Johnson and Bishop has been well established in the groundbreaking trios of Hal Galper, Jessica Williams and Chano Dominguez, to name but a few. Both have a performance resume that includes dozens of tours and hundreds of albums. That special connection is truly “the enabler” on Trapeze.

Over the course of 30 years of friendship and of playing music together, much is revealed. Scenes, always seems to find a new and unique destination every time in the studio. It as well translates night to night on the bandstand. The addition of Mandyck is in fact, no addition at all. That sound has always been in the air.

“That was the sound that we always envisioned ourselves being. We just went through 20 years of wandering off in some other directions, doing different things. I think that connection with Rick just feels like home,” says Bishop. – Paul Rauch


“20 Seattle Jazz Musicians You Should Know” Continues With 2 New Installments

Over the course of forty weeks, All About Jazz has given front page treatment to twenty of Seattle’s bright lights in the jazz universe. This unprecedented coverage highlights artists making a splash on the national and international scene. As we begin to rise from the scorched earth created by the worldwide pandemic, we attempt to keep the home fires burning here in Seattle, by celebrating a host of our outstanding artists. This time around the block, we feature drummer/record company owner/graphic artist/ festival promoter John Bishop, and pianist/composer Marina Albero. 

John Bishop

To say that John Bishop has had a profound impact on the life of jazz music in the Pacific Northwest, and more specifically, the city of Seattle, would be a sizable understatement. His influence has cast a spotlight on the vibrant Seattle scene on an international scale. As a musician, record label owner, festival presenter, graphic designer and educator, he has contributed mightily to the profound sense of community that exists presently and historically in his home city and abroad. Photo Credit: Lisa Hagen Glynn Follow this link to continue reading.https://www.allaboutjazz.com/20-seattle-jazz-musicians-you-should-know-john-bishop-john-bishop

Marina Albero

A lot can happen in life over six long years. The past six years in the life of Marina Albero have been eventful to the point of being a revelation. She arrived here with her then partner, flamenco jazz pianist Chano Dominguez, and their two children, aged 12 and 15. It was a fresh start, with the hope of finding more work in America than was being afforded them in Europe. The children were to start school in a new country, speaking their third language, behind Catalan and Spanish. Marina would play in the house band at Teatro Zinzanni and tend to the everyday needs of their children, while Chano continued to tour internationally, as he had for a quarter century. Photo credit: Lisa Hagen Glynn Follow this link to continue readinghttps://www.allaboutjazz.com/20-seattle-jazz-musicians-you-should-know-marina-albero-marina-albero

Pandemic Blues: The Slow Withdrawal From the Abyss

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a unilateral blow to the norms of all segments of our culture. For those of us dependent on the gathering of people in clubs, theatres, arenas and the like to make a living, that blow seems especially thunderous. Through the sociological haze of the state wide stay at home order, many musicians have taken to streaming performances, bringing a much needed sense of solace and hope. Music, just as love, can remind us of what it is like to not have it, the vacuity it engenders when it is suddenly taken from us. It is something in our lives that communicates through all perceived boundaries. Kudos locally to Earshot Jazz for their Saturday night series, to the Marina Albero led Quarrantine Sessions, and all musicians worldwide for sharing their music within the quarantine from their very living rooms. 

As you can see, this is the first time I have written a word here since April 1. This site has been largely about live performances in recent times, about presenting a means to research what is happening nightly around the city. My agenda today is to bring to your attention, some things that have been brought to my attention. As well, I am providing links to a profile series I am writing for allaboutjazz.com, “20 Seattle Jazz Musicians You Should Know.” This series gives Seattle musicians an internaional spotlight at the much acclaimed site, and is linked to local websites via the musician’s member page at AAJ. I highly recommend to all who do not have such a page, to create one. That way, any CD review, feature article, interview, or profile that mentions your name will be hyperlinked to your page, and from there, anywhere you need it to go. Here is the link to get that started https://news.allaboutjazz.com/download-the-all-about-jazz-musician-starter-guide.php

As we slowly return to normal life over the next months, years, we look forward for hope. We hope to have an Earshot Jazz Festival in October, the rescheduled Ballard Jazz Festival in November. We hope that the venues that generously support the music are there when we are ready to move forward. Most of all, we hope that we are all well, and ready to HANG. The fellowship our community provides to all who care to participate, is what is missed most of all. Here are a few things to ponder……..

Our friends Ryan Burns, Cole Schuster and Max Holmberg have taken to recording remotely, and are announcing the release of two brand new singles. The always eclectic, and remarkably versatile Burns is featured on Hammond B-3, along with Schuster on guitar, and Holmberg on drums. Here is a link to the press release. https://www.artistpr.com/press-release/ryan-burns-jazz-music/?fbclid=IwAR0gJRWMm_BZ4FTx0IMhm1WrKKxBzGNEXMD13MBVXjmNQLo_-g41IvdxAAg

As I mentioned, I am in the midst of writing 20 musician profiles for AAJ. So far we have featured Jeff Johnson, Jovino Santos Neto, Brittany Anjou, Xavier Lecouturier, Rex Gregory, Gail Pettis, Christopher Icasiano, Chuck Deardorf, Jay Thomas and Samantha Boshnack. Ten down, ten to go! Here is the link to my articles at AAJ, the overwhelming majority of which cover jazz in Seattle. https://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/contributor_articles.php?id=163817

Roosevelt High School grad Chris McCarthy has been making quite a name for himself in New York. He recently released a new album on Ropeadope Records, and pre-covid, was often seen performing with several noteables, including Jerry Bergonzi and Sasha Berliner. Here is an in depth look at the album……..

CD Review: Chris McCarthy- Still Time to Quit

From 2017 to 2020, composer and pianist Chris McCarthy charted a path as a noted sideman for such notables as Jerry Bergonzi and Jason Palmer. He was often seen performing with vibraphonist Sasha Berliner and in duet with vocalist Clotilde Rullaud. In short, he has gained a reputation for imaginative and supportive playing.

McCarthy’s path has been blazed from a renowned high school program in Seattle, to the cloistered realm of the New England Conservatory, finally landing in the pressure cooker that is the New York jazz scene. His first recording, Sonder (Red Piano, 2017), could easily have categorized him as a project artist, as the music was an amalgam of forms, including spoken word and vocal parts. The music was well written and performed, but in no way did it set a trajectory for what was to come next. To continue reading, click here https://www.allaboutjazz.com/still-time-to-quit-chris-mccarthy-ropeadope

Swedish born flutist/composer Elsa Nilsson spent some years here in Seattle, studying at Cornish College of the Arts. She has become a major force on the New York scene as a musician, activist and organizer. 2020 has seen her release a new solo album, Hindsight, and a new collective recording with her trio SXNE, For Human Beings. The album is a fully improvised suite of five movements. Read the review here:

SXNE: For Human Beings

Flutist Elsa Nilsson voice performing on an instrument that has historically received secondary status in jazz music. Often the second or third instrument for saxophonists such as Eric Dolphy, Charles Lloyd, and Tia Fuller, it would seem even the most passionate fans of the genre have relegated the flute as such. Modern times in jazz have however, cast that notion aside. Flutists covering a wide musical swath through the annals of modern jazz include the eclectic sounds of Nicole Mitchell, the post-bop works of jamie Baum,  and the diverse, fearless approach to the instrument by Nilsson, a Swedish born, New York based whirlwind. Continue reading here- https://www.allaboutjazz.com/for-human-beings-sxne-bumblebee-collective