Welcome to November jazz fans, and with the changing tide weather wise, comes major changes for the Seattle jazz scene. With Tula’s and the 2019 Earshot Jazz Festival now in the rear view mirror, the jazz waters become murky, with new possibilities arising. Here’s a sampler of what is to come.
Joshua Redman Quartet- Wed Nov 20, 7:30 PM/ Triple Door
Joshua Redman is always an artist worth taking a risk with. He has been through town in recent years in both trio and quartet formats, as well as with the band James Farm and as a special guest with The Bad Plus.
While his efforts have been successful both artistically and in terms of popularity, it seems he has always been chased by the shadow of expectation to perform more on the edge, as did his late father, the great Dewey Redman. This despite playing with adventurous spirits in Aaron Parks, Eric Harland, Matt Penman, and Ethan Iverson.
Truth be told, the uber talented Redman has the ability to play with relentless freedom while still expressing the forms of the blues tradition. His performances are always enthusiastically performed, with great empathy for his fellow band members, and the audience alike.
Redman is well supported, with pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Ruben Rogers, and drummer Greg Hutchinson in tow, all from the post-bop side of the jazz tradition. This is a band with exemplary collaborative chemistry.
Blue Note Records 80th Anniversary Tour- Thu Nov 21, 7:30 PM/ Moore Theatre
Every once in a while, STG actually lives up to their calling as an arts organization. The non-profit has made a historically monumental contribution in preserving and upgrading the marvelous trio of theatres they manage in the Paramount, Moore and Neptune. The majority of dates in these historic venues however, are mostly dominated by popular music, and musicals via Broadway Across America. They as well are tremendous supporters of the local dance scene, and with the comedic arts in general.
When it comes to certain musical worlds, such as classical music, or America’s quintessential art form, jazz, the organization has fallen woefully short. They do latch on to some tours that tip the horizon, such as neo-classical innovators, The Kronos Quartet. Such is the case with the Blue Note Records 80th Anniversary Tour.
Most notably, the triple bill at the venerable Moore Theatre features the long time organ trio of Detroit saxophonist James Carter. The trio sways from funk to romantic ballads, and can swing like mad as well. Now in its 17th year, Carter is joined by rising B-3 star Gerard Gibbs, and drummer Alex White.
Vocalist/pianist Kandace Springs plays trio, with a vocal style inspired by Sarah, Ella and the like, with no attachment to emulating them. She garners a lot of attention for praise she has received from Prince, as well as several collaborations in the pop realm. Seems like fertile ground for STG, who has a historic fear of presenting the true vanguard of modern jazz.
22 year old pianist James Francies completes the roster of Blue Note artists, performing in trio. At the time of this publication, trio members aside from Francies have not been announced. https://www.stgpresents.org/calendar/4907/blue-note-records-80th-anniversary-tour
Roxy Coss NYC Quintet- Tue Nov 26, 7:30 PM/ Royal Room
New York based saxophonist Roxy Coss returns to her home neighborhood of Columbia City, to perform at the Royal Room with her New York City Quintet. In the past few years, Coss has released several albums, including her most recent, Quintet. She has as well had major impact on gender equity in jazz by establishing the Women In Jazz Organization (WIJO), and in her 2018 release, The Future Is Female.
Coss has returned home over the 12 years or so she has been back east, to perform with Seattle musicians. She has at last returned with her steady New York based quintet, featuring guitarist Alex Goodman. Pianist Miki Yamanaka, bassist Dave Baron, and rising star drummer Jimmy Macbride complete the quintet.
Coss uses guitar as a front line instrument, much like trumpet in a standard quintet. It creates a distinctive tonal quality for the band. Coss herself continues to evolve, both as a composer, and saxophonist. Her relentless energy as a bandleader and social activist makes her one of the most intriguing figures in jazz today. https://www.facebook.com/events/the-royal-room/roxy-coss-nyc-quintet-at-the-royal-room/2420378948068929/
Pacific Room Alki Emerges as a Jazz Supper Club
What in the blue blazes is going on at the Pacific Room Alki? The West Seattle supper club is taking on some of the biggest names in Seattle jazz, as well as some up and comers. Many of the resident artists from the now shuttered Tula’s Jazz Club are taking a chance on the club, as well as a variety of the other usual suspects- namely the Royal Room in Columbia City, and Egan’s in Ballard.
While one couldn’t imagine the room replacing the clubhouse vibe of Tula’s for the musicians themselves, jazz fans will be receiving about the same- a jazz supper club with a moderate cover charge, featuring high end cuisine and cocktails. In other words, this is not a hang spot, at least not yet, but a comfortable dinner club with spectacular views. It may not quell the main complaint about Tula’s- the pricetag after cover, dinner and drinks. Much is yet to be seen, but it is encouraging to see management at the club understanding the value of the music in their room. One would expect in time that they will figure out where the talent lies, and book accordingly.
Pacific Room Alki will feature a top tier Saturday night schedule, in November featuring Greta Matassa on November 2, Thomas Marriott Quintet on the 9th, Anton Schwartz Quintet on the 16th, Rex Gregory Quintet on the 23rd, and Jacqueline Tabor on November 30. In between, pianist Jonas Myers, vocalist Emma Caroline Baker, and blues shredder Rafael Tranquilino appear among others. Please see the link below to check out the full schedule through the end of the year, and plan accordingly.
There will be more to come once a few shows are attended, and the jazz public can experience the vibe of the room. More to come on the Pacific Room Alki, and other new jazz spots in Seattle here at seattlejazzscene. https://www.eventbrite.com/o/pacific-room-alki-26994130395