Buddy Catlett, Seattle jazz legend, dies

Note: Make sure and pick up a copy of Saturday’s print edition of The Seattle Times for obituary on Buddy Catlett

From The Seattle Times:

George James “Buddy” Catlett, one of the most illustrious musicians to come up on Seattle’s Jackson Street jazz scene of the 1940s, died Wednesday, Nov. 12. Catlett was 81. He had been living at the Leon Sullivan Health Care Center in Seattle’s Central District and had not performed for some time.

Best known as a swinging, “in the pocket” bassist with a muscular, full-bodied sound, Mr. Catlett anchored the bands of  Count Basie, Quincy Jones and Louis Armstrong for long stints, recording with them, as well.

Born in Long Beach, Pacific County, Mr. Catlett grew up in Seattle and came from a family of black pioneers that traces its history back to the early 1900s. The diminutive, rotund musician —  nicknamed “Bumblebee” by his friends — attended Garfield High School and started out on alto saxophone, which he played with Jones in a band led by their classmate, Charles Taylor. However, in 1950, the young sax man was struck with pleurisy, which his doctor feared was tuberculosis, so he was advised to stop playing a wind instrument. This led to his taking up the bass fiddle.

After “paying his dues” in local bands led by trumpeter Floyd Standifer and others, Catlett left town in 1956 to join Horace Henderson (Fletcher Henderson’s brother). Mr. Catlett subsequently worked with guitarist Johnny Smith and Latin vibraphonist Cal Tjader. In 1959, the bassist’s former classmate Jones hired Mr. Catlett in a new big band, which Jones took to Europe as part of a musical called “Free and Easy,” starring Sammy Davis Jr. The show folded after a few performances, but the band — which also featured Standifer and Seattle pianist Patti Bown — stayed in Europe for eight months.

Jones’ big band — legendary in the annals of modern jazz and rivaled at the time by only Basie and Ellington – was economically unsustainable, but it nevertheless recorded highly-regarded albums, notably “Birth of a Band.” With Basie, Mr. Catlett also recorded a classic album with Frank Sinatra, “With Rose Colored Glasses,” and subsequently worked with pianists Red Garland and JuniorMance, drummer Chico Hamilton and saxophonists Coleman Hawkins,  Johnny Griffin and Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis.

In the late ’60s, Mr. Catlett was hired by Armstrong, with whom he played, recorded and toured until 1969.

Throughout his early life and middle age, Mr. Catlett struggled with alcohol. In the ’70s, when jazz work became scarce, he dropped out of music for a while, and decided to come back to Seattle to recover. Gradually, he re-entered the jazz world on the home front, becoming an important part of the local scene, working at now-defunct clubs such as the New Orleans Restaurant and Lofurno’s, where national figures from his days on the road, such as Clark Terry and Jones, would regularly drop by. His accomplishments were celebrated by the Seattle jazz non-profit Earshot Jazz when it inducted Mr. Catlett into the Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame, in 1991.

Miguel Zenón among Earshot’s remaining don’t-miss acts

From The Seattle Times:

The Earshot Jazz Festival has served up a panorama of wildly divergent styles the past four weeks, from big band and Afro-pop to ethno-punk and Latin jazz. Its concluding week features two saxophonists who ought not to be missed — Pharaoh Sanders and Miguel Zenón.

This past Sunday, Nov. 2, at the Kirkland Performance Center’s sweet little theater, the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, led by saxophonist Michael Brockman and drummer Clarence Acox, paid a finger-popping tribute to Seattle’s two most illustrious Jackson Street era veterans, Quincy Jones and Ray Charles.

The band played with panache and accuracy, offering such favorites as Jones’ “Stockholm Sweetnin’ ” and Charles’ “One Mint Julep.” Guest shots by Hammond B-3 organ ace Delvon Lamarr and vocalist Reggie Goings brought a tangy taste of barbecue to the proceedings.

Clarinetist Beth Fleenor’s performance at Barboza Monday, Nov. 3, with her cheekily named Crystal Beth & the Boom Boom Band, lived up to that Capitol Hill venue’s hipster rep, though the small crowd thinned rapidly once old-school fans discovered what Fleenor was really up to. Best known as a superb jazz clarinetist — she brought both her B flat and bass — she primarily sang with Crystal Beth, offering fare perhaps best described as world music from an imaginary planet — or at least one recently visited by Yoko Ono.

Shrieking and stuttering over long, modal vamps and jagged punk rhythms, Fleenor offered a nonstop hour of new material she called “scenic overpasses” in a “liberation ritual.” Overall, it was quite compelling and magical, though it could do with a little editing.

One of the festival’s unusual highlights came Saturday, Oct. 25, when drummer Barry Altschul’s trio, “3dom Factor,” played an entire set at Cornish College’s Poncho Concert Hall in the dark — sans microphones, thanks to a power outage. So who needs electricity? Altschul flowed flawlessly with round-toned bassist Joe Fonda and alto saxophonist Hayes Greenfield in a program of deliciously multidirectional originals.

Poncho offered the only real disappointment, when virtuoso saxophonist Greg Osby delivered a spiritless concert with a trio of young musicians not in his league. Leaving early felt like a good option.

Anyone who has never bathed in the shimmering light of Sanders’ tenor saxophone should take the opportunity now that he is 74 to see him at Town Hall Friday, Nov. 7. Ferocious and abrasive when he came up under the aegis of John Coltrane, Sanders later migrated to a milder place more inspired by Trane’s “After the Rain” than by “Live in Japan.”

Puerto Rican alto saxophonist Zenón’s unusual new album, “Identities are Changeable,” explores the fluid self-image of Puerto Ricans who, unlike, Zenón, were born in the U.S. The writing is layered and sparkling, but the interview material interspersed throughout gives it a National Public Radio feel. Presumably there will be no chatter during his set Monday, Nov. 10, at Poncho, a concert worth attending if only for Zenon’s thundering pianist, Luis Perdomo.

Friday Jazz

EARSHOT JAZZ FESTIVAL

Pharoah SandersTown Hall Seattle, 8pm
Pharoah Sanders Quartet
With his unmistakable questing, yearning tone, this legendary saxophonist has pursued a master plan through the major turns in jazz history of the last 50 years. His early classic recordings with John Coltrane, and then under his own leadership, explosively liberated jazz form and expectations, yet also embraced timeless melody and sonorities — and his intensity has never waned. His quartet includes pianist William Henderson, bassist Nat Reeves, and drummer Joe Farnsworth. $26 general; $24 members & seniors; $13 students & veterans. $36 preferred seating   BUY NOW

Anton SchwartzTula’s Restaurant & Jazz Club, 7:30pm
Anton Schwartz Quintet
Anton Schwartz creates brainy jazz that also thrills with “upbeat vibe, strong melodies, and unflagging sense of swing” (Jazziz). No less a master than Illinois Jacquet has said of Schwartz: “You play the tenor sax like it’s meant to be played.” He performs the music of his much radio-played Flashmob with George Colligan (piano), Lorca Hart (drums), Jon Hamar (bass), and Thomas Marriott (trumpet). $16 general; $14 members & seniors; $8 students & veterans
Reservations at 206-443-4221 or email hidden; JavaScript is required


 

JAZZ ALLEY: Euge Groove
2033 6th Ave, 206-441-9729, 7:30 & 10:00pm

LATONA PUB: Phil Sparks Trio
6423 Latona Avenue NE, 5:00 – 7:00pm, No Cover, 21+

BOXLEY’S: Ham Carson Quartet
101 West North Bend Way, North Bend, WA, 425-292-9307, 7:00pm

SERAFINA: Alex Guilbert Duo
2043 Eastlake Ave E, 206-323-0807, 9:00pm

DUOS LOUNGE: Jeff Ferguson’s Triangular Jazztet
2940 SW Avalon Way, 206-452-2452, 7:30pm

VITOS: The Sweet Spot Combo
927 9th Ave, Seattle, 9:00pm

GRAZIE: Edward Paul Trio
23207 Bothell-Everett Hwy, Bothell, 425-402-9600, 7:00pm

NORTH CITY BISTRO: Jazz Pearls
1520 NE 177th St, Shoreline. 206-365-4447, 7:30pm

SHUGA JAZZ BISTRO: Josephine Howell
317 Main Avenue South, Renton, 8:30pm

EGAN’S BALLARD JAM HOUSE:
7pm – Kevin Jones and Larry Murante
9pm – The Seattle Guitar Society presents guitarist Frank Kohl, bassist Jeff Johnson and drummer Greg Williamson.
1707 NW Market Street, Seattle, (206) 789-1621

Bad Luck returns to Seattle this Saturday

BadLuck

The sax-drum duo Bad Luck (featuring Neil Welch and Chris Icasiano) returns to Seattle to cap off an extended US Tour this Saturday, November 8, with a performance at Vermillion Art Gallery. The show is part of the Earshot Jazz Festival.

Saturday, November 8,
Vermillion Art Gallery & Bar, 8pm

Bad Luck
Scott Cutshall / John Gross Duo

$5-15 sliding scale   BUY NOW

This summer, the world lost Charlie Haden, one of the true monsters, mentors, and masters of jazz. Haden once said, “Before music there was silence, and the duet format lets you build from that silence in a very special way.” November 8 will be a testament to those words as Bad Luck and John Gross & Scott Cutshall explore the sonic territory surrounding the silence.

Bad Luck, the duo of Chris Icasiano (drums) and Neil Welch (saxophone), are Seattle mainstays whose sound has gained the attention of All About Jazz and the New York Jazz Record. Described as “powerful and virtuosic” and “hard-edged and audacious,” Icasiano’s demanding drums and Welch’s waves of sound traverse from the bombastic to the wandering, creating an impressively diverse dynamic and sonic pallet for two instrumentalists.

Legendary saxophonist John Gross and drummer Scott Cutshall, who perform as part of the John Gross Trio, will be making the trip up from Portland to present their determined yet introspective improvisational explorations. Gross is heralded for his calm delivery and convincing ideas on the saxophone, and has been touted as one of the most significant players on the scene by the Saxophone Journal. Gross’s serenity creates a sharp contrast with Cutshall’s dry and feverish drumming, but forges a dynamic that is invigorating and pulsating with life. From the silence, both duos are sure to build tremendous and exceptional impressions of sound.

Wednesday Jazz

JAZZ ALLEY: Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet
2033 6th Ave, 206-441-9729, 7:30pm

TRIPLE DOOR MAINSTAGE: Emily Asher’s Garden Party
216 Union Street, Seattle, 7:30pm
Seattle Times Concert Preview

TULA’S JAZZ CLUB: Smith/Staelens Big Band
2214 2nd Ave, 206-443-4221, 7:30pm

NORTH CITY BISTRO: Jazz Jam w/ Darin Clendenin Trio
1520 NE 177th St, Shoreline, 206-365-4447, 7:30m

VITOS: Synthesis
927 9th Ave, Seattle, 9:00pm

EGAN’S BALLARD JAM HOUSE:
7pm – Elizabeth Perrera (vocals), with Geoff Harper (bass), Ryan Burns (piano) and Reade Whitwell (drums)
9pm – Ron Stilwell (vocals) and John Hansen (piano) – a tribute to the artistry of Tony Bennett and Bill Evans
1707 NW Market Street, Seattle, (206) 789-1621

BOXLEY’S: 5:00pm: Future Jazz Heads; 7:00pm: CWU Combo Night
101 West North Bend Way, North Bend, WA, 425-292-9307

THE PINK DOOR: Casey MacGill Trio
1919 Post Alley, Seattle, 8:00pm

BAKE’S PLACE: Gotz/Lowe Duo
155 108th Ave NE, Bellevue, 425.454.2776, 6:00pm

Anton Schwartz this weekend at Tula’s

Friday, November 7 & Saturday, November 8
Tula’s Restaurant & Jazz Club, 7:30pm

Anton Schwartz Quintet

$16 general; $14 members & seniors; $8 students & veterans
Reservations at 206-443-4221 or email hidden; JavaScript is required

Anton Schwartz creates brainy jazz that also thrills with “upbeat vibe, strong melodies, and unflagging sense of swing” (Jazziz). No less a master than Illinois Jacquet has said of Schwartz: “You play the tenor sax like it’s meant to be played.” He performs the music of his much radio-played Flashmob with George Colligan (piano), Lorca Hart (drums), Thomas Marriott (trumpet), and Jon Hamar (bass).

Since 1995, Anton Schwartz has gained an enthusiastic following, as fans respond to what the San Francisco Chronicle calls his “warm, generous tone, impeccably developed solos and infectious performance energy.” Over the years, Anton has won over listeners and critics at high-profile jazz venues across the country, including the Blue Note in New York, Yoshi’s in Oakland and San Francisco, Washington DC’s Blues Alley and the Monterey Jazz Festival. He recently performed an hour-long concert of unaccompanied saxophone at the San Francisco Jazz Festival (2013) and at Boston Symphony Hall as a featured soloist with the Boston Pops (2014).

Schwartz is also in great demand as a teacher. He is a longtime faculty member of The Jazzschool and Stanford Jazz Workshop, a clinician at the Brubeck Institute, and has been artist-in-residence at Harvard University and the Brubeck Institute Summer Jazz Colony.

Tuesday Jazz

EARSHOT JAZZ

Hal GalperPONCHO Concert Hall, Cornish College of the Arts, 8pm
Hal Galper Trio w/ Jeff Johnson and John Bishop
Veteran bebop pianist Hal Galper, renowned since his collaborations with Chet Baker, Cannonball Adderley, and Phil Woods, joins the seasoned bass-and-drums pairing of Jeff Johnson and John Bishop for a night of what their 2006 Origin Records release of time-shifting originals and standards aptly called Furious Rubato. $16 general; $14 members & seniors; $8 students & veterans   BUY NOW

Grace KellyTriple Door, 7:30pm
Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra featuring Grace Kelly
SWOJO has been showcasing our region’s talented female jazz artists for 14 years. This evening, the ensemble welcomes special guest Grace Kelly, already a master saxophonist at 22. The concert also includes two world premiere performances from the orchestra’s second annual competition for women jazz composers. (Presented in partnership w/ SWOJO. Supported by 4Culture.) $20 general; $18 members & seniors; $10 students & veterans   BUY NOW


JAZZ ALLEY: Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet
2033 6th Ave, 206-441-9729, 7:30pm

TULA’S JAZZ CLUB: Jay Thomas Usual Suspects Big Band
2214 2nd Ave, 206-443-4221, 7:30pm

BOXLEY’S: Jazz Vocal Jam Hosted by Kelly Eisenhour
101 West North Bend Way, North Bend, WA, 425-292-9307, 7:00pm

OWL ‘N THISTLE: Jam w/ Eric Verlinde
808 Post Ave, 206-621-7777, 10:00pm

SEAMONSTER LOUNGE: McTuff
2202 N 45th St, (206) 992-1120, 10:00pm

THE PINK DOOR: Casey MacGill Trio
1919 Post Alley, Seattle, 8:00pm

BAKE’S PLACE: Gotz / Lowe Duo
155 108th Ave NE, Bellevue WA 98004, 425.454.2776, 7:00pm

Saturday Jazz

EARSHOT JAZZ FESTIVAL

Frank CatalanoTula’s Restaurant & Jazz Club, 7:30pm
Frank Catalano Quartet
The brawny Chicago saxophonist ranges from tempered swing to the rapid-fire energy that has won him gigs with both Santana and Ministry. On the heels of two new recordings, the rock-solid quartet lights up two evenings at Seattle’s classic jazz club. $18 general; $16 members & seniors; $9 students & veterans     Reservations at 206-443-4221 or email hidden; JavaScript is required

Jacob FredRoyal Room, 8pm
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey & McTuff
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey is the acclaimed, road-sharpened trio of Brian Haas (piano/Fender Rhodes/bass Moog/synth), Chris Combs (electric guitar/lap steel guitar/synth), and Josh Raymer (drums). “It swings, it sways, but the jazz trio form in their hands has an almost primitive, inside-your-head, idiosyncratic quality” (DownBeat). McTuff, Joe Doria’s full-bore organ trio with the impeccable Andy Coe on guitar and the dazzling Tarik Abouzied on drums, is becoming a Seattle legend. $18 general; $16 members & seniors; $9 students & veterans   BUY NOW

Battle TranceChapel Performance Space, 8pm
Battle Trance
In a “battle trance” this genre-defying tenor saxophone quartet of Travis Laplante, Matthew Nelson, Jeremy Viner, and Patrick Breiner reveals, as on their Palace of Wind debut album, a kinship with Evan Parker’s whirling soundscapes “with the ephemeral and unquestionable logic of a dream” (AdHoc). $14 general; $12 members & seniors; $7 students & veterans   BUY NOW

SRJONordstrom Recital Hall, 7:30pm
Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra
Celebrating its 20th anniversary season, the region’s all-star big band salutes Seattle’s jazz innovators with “Quincy and Ray on Jackson Street.” Directed by Michael Brockman and Clarence Acox, SRJO has become a Seattle institution featuring many of the region’s jazz standouts and, for this weekend, vocalist Reggie Goings. (Presented by Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra.) $47 general; $44 seniors; $15 under 25   BUY NOW


 

JAZZ ALLEY: Karrin Allyson
2033 6th Ave, 206-441-9729, 7:30 & 10:00pm

THE TRIPLE DOOR MUSICQUARIUM: Money Jungle
216 Union Street, Seattle, 206-838-4333, 9:00pm

SERAFINA: Sue Nixon Quartet
2043 Eastlake Ave E, 206-323-0807, 9:00pm

EGAN’S BALLARD JAM HOUSE:
7pm – Karin Blaine
9pm – Downtown Mountain Boys
1707 NW Market Street, Seattle, (206) 789-1621

BOXLEY’S: Kelley Johnson Quartet
101 West North Bend Way, North Bend, WA, 425-292-9307, 7:00pm

VITO’S: 6:00pm: The Tarantellas; 9:00pm: The Pornadoes
927 9th Ave, Seattle, 206-682-2695

GRAZIE: Quiet Fire
23207 Bothell-Everett Hwy, Bothell, 425-402-9600, 7:00pm