from The Seattle Times:

The last few years of tenor saxophonist Hadley Caliman’s career have been among his most productive, after decades spent off the radar in prison, in recovery — both the result of his past drug addiction — and quietly teaching music while living in the Columbia River town of Cathlamet.

Caliman, who will perform Saturday at the annual Ballard Jazz Festival, is awaiting the release of his third album in two years (a yet unnamed recording with longtime friend Pete Christlieb), which follows “Gratitude” in 2008 and this year’s “Straight Ahead.” In early April, the album peaked at No. 2 on the JazzWeek Jazz Chart — a measure of radio airplay in North America.

Caliman and his quartet from “Straight Ahead” (trumpeter Thomas Marriott, pianist Eric Verlinde, bassist Phil Sparks, drummer Matt Jorgensen) will open the Mainstage Concert at 7:30 p.m. They will be followed by the festival’s headliner, Brazilian trumpeter Claudio Roditi, who will play with Seattle-based pianist Jovino Santos-Neto, also a Brazilian native. Bassist Chuck Deardorf and drummer Mark Ivester make up the rest of the rhythm section.

The festival, in its eighth year, has matured to reliable form, featuring the area’s best jazz musicians and five days of performances all over downtown Ballard. As usual, the festival brought in a prominent player from outside the area, Roditi, a New Yorker and a regular at the Lionel Hampton festival in Idaho. Singer Greta Matassa will perform at a jazz brunch Sunday, expanded to include two seatings at 10 a.m. and noon.

But most of the sentiment surrounds Caliman, 78, for whom the past few years have also been a time of narrowing focus for reasons unrelated to playing jazz.

Caliman has liver cancer.

“I’m almost 79, how much more time am I supposed to get, 30 more years?” Caliman said, laughing gently. “Give me a break. You just have to face it … It will just take care of itself.

Continue reading at The Seattle Times.

Seattle Jazz