from The Seattle Times:

The anticipated highlights at Centrum’s Jazz Port Townsend on Saturday — the afternoon big-band segment at Fort Worden’s McCurdy Pavilion featuring songwriter and arranger Johnny Mandel conducting his own tunes and the “round midnight” set at the Upstage by pianist George Cables — handily lived up to expectations. Even better, there were some pleasant surprises, including the premiere of a new piece by artistic director John Clayton.

The crowd greeted 86-year-old Mandel with a standing ovation as he walked gingerly to the podium with the aid of a cane, having broken his hip last year. Mandel showed no signs of frailty in his patter, however, cracking wise in a residual New York accent.

“That tune was one I wrote for [Count] Basie called ‘Low Life,’ ” he said after the barn-burning opener. “It’s autobiographical.

Continue reading at The Seattle Times.

Seattle Jazz