From Doug Ramsey’s preview for The Yakima Herald
A weeklong festival of this quality would make a splash in any major city, including New York and Los Angeles. The Seasons has managed to put it together in a high-desert town of 85,000 people in the upper left corner of the nation.
Eric Alexander Quartet
Alexander is a tenor saxophonist with facility, a generous tone and a commitment to swinging. He grew up In Olympia, went to college in the Midwest and East, established himself in Chicago and has lived in New York since 1991. He travels the world and has recorded a couple of dozen CDs.
His work is informed by John Coltrane and Joe Henderson, and he has an encyclopedic knowledge of the tradition that stems from Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and other innovators who changed jazz in the 40s and 50s. Alexander just turned 40, but he still qualifies as one of the leading young lions in jazz. His pianist and bassist are New Yorkers David Hazeltine and John Webber. Seattle’s Matt Jorgensen will substitute for Alexander’s regular drummer, Joe Farnsworth.
Friday, Oct. 10. Wine-Tasting Gala and Red Carpet at 6:30 p.m.; concert at 7:30 p.m.
Yakima Symphony Orchestra
At the Capitol Theatre, the YSO and the Finisterra Piano Trio will perform Daron Hagen’s Triple Concerto, “Orpheus and Eurydice.” I haven’t heard the piece, but Chicago Tribune critic John von Rhein has. From his review: Hagen’s “Triple Concerto is music that’s easy to apate at first hearing, but not because its tonal grammar talks down to the listener. Like his teacher Ned Rorem (to whose elegant craftsmanship Hagen’s music owes a clear debt), the latter reimagines traditional melodic and harmonic contexts in all sorts of fresh, charming and even surprising ways.” Mendelssohn, Bizet and two works by new young composers are also on the program.
Saturday, Oct. 11, 7:30 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre.
Daron Hagen’s ‘Cradle Song, A Love Story’
The composer will be present for the world premiere of his chamber opera in one scene. Soprano Gilda Lyons and tenor Robert Frankenberry star. One of the highlights of last year’s festival was the world premiere of Hagen’s “Piano Trio No. 4, Angel Band,” by The Seasons’ resident chamber group, the Finisterra Trio. Finisterra’s members — violinist Kwan Bin Park, cellist Kevin Krentz and pianist Tanya Stambuck — are integral to this new Hagen work.
Sunday, Oct. 12, 4 p.m.
Bill Mays Trio
The Mays group gave The Seasons its inauert exactly three years ago this night. One of the most versatile and sought-after pianists in jazz, Mays is noted for his harmonic depth, hard swing, humor and engaging manner with an audience.
Martin Wind is a classically-trained German who has become a master of jazz bass. Admired among other bassists for his formidable bowing technique, Wind will be appearing at his third Fall Festival with this trio. Mays’ customary drummer, Matt Wilson, has another commitment. The versatile Matt Jorgenson will occupy the drum chair.
Monday, Oct. 13. Doors open and birthday cake at 6 p.m.; concert at 7 p.m.
The Inventions Trio
Mays, trumpeter Marvin Stamm and cellist Alisa Horn delighted the audience at last year’s festival with their melding of jazz and classical sensibilities. Mays has written — may still be writing — a new composition to open this concert. The repertoire will also include his adaptation of Maurice Ravel’s “Mother Goose Suite.” In the Ravel, a violin (Kwan Bin Park), an additional cello (Kevintz), and a string bass (Martin Wind) will expand the trio to the Inventions Sextet.
Full disclosure and fair warning about two pieces in this concert: Mays asked me to read a passage from “Poodie James” and has composed a strings background for it. Despite having heard me play, Stamm has asked me to do a trumpet duet with him, arranged by Mays for the two horns and strings. It’s not too late to start a recall petition.
Tuesday, Oct. 14, 7 p.m.
I first heard Anderson in 1953 at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre when she was with Lionel Hampton’s big band. I must confess that I was intrigued, in part, because in her red gown she was so beautiful that she lit up the stage. More important, she sang like an angel. Then she recorded the definitive version of Gigi Gryce’s “Social Call” and followed it with her imperishable 1956 album “Hot Cargo!” I was hooked on her singing and have remained so more than 30 albums later.
Just short of her 80th birthday, Ernestine is full of musicality and piz Her accompanists, all familiar at The Seasons, will be pianist John Hansen, bassist Jon Hamar and drummer Greg Williamson.
Wednesday, Oct. 15, 7 p.m.
Jovino Santos Neto Quinteto
Born in Rio de Janeiro, pianist, composer and flutist Santos Neto is a student and former colleague of Hermeto Pascal, a national hero of music in Brazil. With Seattle as his base, Santos Neto ranges the world with his harmonic sophistication and rhythmic excitement, at the cutting edge of modern Brazilian music. With him will be bassist Chuck Deardorf, drummer Mark Ivester, percussionist Jeff Busch, and Harvey Wainapel playing saxophones and clarinet. At 6 p.m., Santos Neto will deliver from the piano one of his fascinating pre-concert lecture-demonstrations about the history and influence of Brazilian and Caribbean music.
Thursday, Oct. 16, 7 p.m.
Jerry Gonzalez & The Fort Apache Band
The Fort Apache Band came into its own in 1988 with “Rumba Para Monk,” a brilliant CD interpretation of Thelonious Monk’s music. Revier Jazz Times, I wrote, “… Gonzalez has done considerably more than graft Latin elements onto Monk tunes. He has analyzed the natures of the compositions and infused them with the Latin rhythms he finds inherent in them.” Since then, the trumpeter-percussionist and his quintet have been a focal point of the increasingly important Latin music movement sometimes called Nuyorican.
From the beginning, this band has included Larry Willis, one of the greatest living jazz pianists. Joe Ford is the saxophonist, Steve Berrios the drummer. Jerry’s bassist brother Andy Gonzalez is unable to attend. He is sending his rising young protégé, Luques Curtis.
Friday, Oct. 17, 7:30 p.m.
Tierney Sutton Band
Sutton is a singer willing to take chances. She supports her infectious sense of discovery with perfect taste, time and intonation. One of her albums is titled “I’m With The Band.” The antithesis of the stereotypical vacuous chick singer, she is a complete musician, with the band in every sense.
In more than a decade, Sutton and her colleagues, all leaders on their own, have arrived at an uncanny level of rapport. The other members are pianist Christian Jacob, bassist Kevin Axt and drummer Ray Brinker. This will be their third time at The Seasons. If they came back again a week later, it wouldn’t be a moment too soon.
Saturday, Oct. 18, 7:30 p.m.