from The Seattle TImes:

A few years ago, when West Coast composer Bill Holman met Cuban clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera for the first time, Holman had quite a shock.

“It was the funniest thing,” said the 84-year-old NEA Jazz Master in a phone interview. “When we were introduced, he said, ‘Bill Holman!’ and proceeded to sing the whole first chorus of a piece I’d written for Buddy Rich. Nothing left out, no pauses.”

D’Rivera explained to the astonished Holman that his teacher had made him learn to play — and sing — the piece. It was called “Ready Mix.”

Now the venerated arranger and composer has written a spanking new composition for D’Rivera himself, a three-part concerto for clarinet and jazz big band called “Northwest Passage.” The piece has its world premiere Saturday at Jazz Port Townsend.

The new work was commissioned by Port Townsend arts nonprofit Centrum through a grant from the NEA Jazz Masters Live program, thanks to festival program manager Gregg Miller, a clarinet player himself.

Continue reading at The Seattle TImes.

Category:
Seattle Jazz

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  1. Been listening to Bill Holman since about 1956. Great cat — especially when playing with the Kenton band. His solo in Kenton’s “My Old Flame” (an authentic grunt) cracked me up as being totally appropriate for the mood and the song. He and Niehaus are a couple of my favorite arranger/composers.

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