Tag Archives: hard bop

News | Smithsonian trains Take 5! spotlight on local musicians and legendary composers

Donvonte McCoy performs tonight as part of the Take 5! series at the American Art Museum. Giovanni Russonello/CapitalBop

by Luke Stewart
Editorial board

The Smithsonian Institution has a long legacy of immortalizing history in innovative ways, and tonight it will begin a run of diverse and challenging jazz performances that aim to do just that.

The Smithsonian’s Take 5! series isn’t news – for years, it has presented a free jazz concert at the American Art Museum on the third Thursday of every month. But starting tonight and continuing indefinitely, the series will take on a new focus, bringing some of the most prominent D.C.-area musicians to pay homage to their musical heroes. It’s an excellent way to present the music of some of jazz’s lesser-known legends to a wide audience while spotlighting hometown talents.

The idea began as a collaborative effort between jazz historian Bertrand Uberall and Smithsonian Public Programs Coordinator Laurel Fehrenbach. Friendly conversations turned into brainstorming sessions with musicians, and suddenly all the elements were in place for a set of performances. Continue reading

Celebrating a year of swingin’ and spreading the gospel: CapitalBop’s first anniversary

Cricket Fusion performs at the D.C. Jazz Loft on Sep. 11. Carlyle V. Smith/CapitalBop

by Giovanni Russonello
Editor-in-chief

This past Sunday, Sep. 11, while the nation honored a sorrowful anniversary, CapitalBop was celebrating a landmark of our own. That day, as we hosted another of our D.C. Jazz Lofts at Red Door, this website was turning one year old.

Over the past year, we’ve watched a lot of encouraging occurrences on the D.C. jazz scene; while we mourned the closing of one club that was crucial to the resurgence of jazz in this city, we also saw two other promising venues open, in Black Fox Lounge and Bayou.

D.C.’s only resident big band, the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, came into its own in the past 12 months, as did Bohemian, which now books the nation’s top acts when it’s not spotlighting formidable District-area talent. The club also reinstated the Hang jam session late every Saturday night. Twins Jazz has opened itself up to innovative, artist-originated programming, from the splendid but short-lived Sunday Jazz Lounge to the current series of Lyle Link Tuesdays. Continue reading

Live review | Katy Roberts Quintet conjures the spirit of hard-bop greats (and one in particular)

Katy Roberts leads her group at Twins Jazz. Carlyle V. Smith/CapitalBop

by David Reed
Contributing writer

Katy Roberts Quintet
Twins Jazz
Friday, Sep. 2, 2011

Katy Roberts took up jazz piano after studying African music in Ghana, and she has lived in France since 1990. Given that the French jazz scene is hip to the crosscurrents of world music, I was expecting some kind of global fusion at her quintet’s Twins Jazz show on Friday night. I couldn’t have been more mistaken. This was a hard-driving master class in straight-ahead jazz.
 
The early set started with a martial drum riff, the opening of Woody Shaw’s “Zoltan.” Over the course of the night, Roberts proved herself to be a major fan of Shaw, that final figure in the lineage of great hard-bop trumpeters. The set included “Moontrane,” also by him, and Roberts’ tribute, “Waltz for Woody.” These tunes all showcased her piano style — bright cascades strategically punctuated with chords, all applied with a sound rhythmic judgment. She swung on “Zoltan,” but switched to a propulsive, high-energy groove for “Moontrane.”
 
Reedist Salim Washington was featured prominently, playing saxophone on most of the set’s six songs, including a great, boppish turn on “Moontrane.” He switched to flute for his own composition, “Blossom,” an easygoing number reminiscent of West Coast cool jazz. His flute portrayed the blossom, while Tom Williams on a buzzy, muted trumpet played the bee. Cute, sure, but more impressive was the sophisticated polyphony between the two near the end of “Zoltan.” For Charles Mingus’ “Self Portrait in Three Colors,” Washington used an oboe, recalling certain serpentine clarinet solos from the swing era. Continue reading

News | Atlas Performing Arts Center introduces wide-ranging jazz series on H Street NE

The Atlas' new jazz series starts in September. Courtesy Michael Moran

by Luke Stewart
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H Street NE is ground zero for urban development in D.C. In only the past few years, the historic avenue has transformed from a forgotten corridor, home to liquor stores and carry-outs, to a main drag filled with chic restaurants and bars. The area’s new identity is sparking wide discussions on larger questions of urban development and gentrification. Inarguably, there’s a fresh vibrancy, and that has attracted new venues such as the popular jazz club HR-57, which relocated from 14th Street NW this year. This fall, the club will cease to be the only place to hear jazz regularly on H Street: The recently refurbished, iconic Atlas Theater is joining the fray.

On Sept. 14, the inaugural season of “Jazz at the Atlas” begins, a new series curated by saxophonist Brad Linde. “I want to highlight music that represents a larger picture of jazz than just straight-ahead,” he said. “Much of the programming this year comes from other styles including third-stream and free jazz.” Continue reading

News | Announcing the U St. All-Stars at Bayou, presented by CapitalBop

Click for a hi-res version of the flyer.

by Giovanni Russonello
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Our mission with CapitalBop has always been to build something new – a wider jazz audience, a scene where musicians have more places to play that encourage innovation – while drawing on the traditions of this legendary jazz town that is D.C.

That’s why we’re especially excited to announce our concert at Bayou on Friday, Apr. 22, featuring the U St. All-Stars.

 
Dig this: Any jazzbo who was in D.C. during the 1980s and ’90s will tell you the One Step Down was the place to be. National stars came through on weekends to play at the Pennsylvania Ave. club, and on weeknights local legends like Lawrence Wheatley led jam sessions. The spot had a jukebox stacked with the great hard-bop recordings – tunes by Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. Pianist George Colligan recalls that in D.C., “the One Step was the REAL jazz club.” Continue reading

Weekend in Jazz | 1.21-1.23: Jazz from all angles with Eddie Palmieri, Khan Jamal, Buck Hill

Philadelphia vibes pioneer Khan Jamal turns Red Door on its ear this Saturday. Courtesy All About Jazz

by Giovanni Russonello
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Welcome to this week’s installation of “Weekend in Jazz,” our list of every D.C. jazz show on our radar. Our favorite shows have a label. As always, you can read CapitalBop’s full listings directly at our monthly calendar, if you’d rather. Happy hunting!

FRIDAY, JAN. 21

cb picks:

  • Jazz Night’s 12th Anniversary Celebration, Westminster Presbyterian, 6 p.m.
  • Eddie Palmieri-Brian Lynch Quartet, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m.
  • Lyle Link Quartet, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th Street Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

Jazz Night’s 12th Anniversary Celebration, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m. | If ever a D.C. jazz tradition deserved a birthday celebration, Jazz Night surely does. This tradition began as an experiment exactly 12 years ago, and continues today. Every Friday night, Westminster Presbyterian Church’s “Jazz Night” is a hub for fish frying, communing and jamming on straight-ahead jazz. This week’s birthday bash band features the legendary Buck Hill, Arnold Sterling and Antonio Parker on saxophones, Vince Evans on piano, Herman Burney on bass and Nasar Abadey on drums. $5 cover for adults, no cover for attendees under 16, no minimum. View event on calendar | Westminster Presbyterian Church website

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Video | From the D.C. Jazz Loft

The Elliott Levin Trio jams at the D.C. Jazz Loft on Dec. 5. Kyoko Takenaka/CapitalBop

by Giovanni Russonello
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Invite a broad array of D.C.’s greatest jazz players into a cozy studio nestled in the heart of the city – free of pomp, frills or clinking glasses – to feed off each other’s energy. Everything else will take care of itself.

Or at least, that was the theory behind CapitalBop’s first D.C. Jazz Loft, which went down at Red Door on Dec. 5. From the Tri-O Trio’s (a.k.a. OOO) fiery free jazz to the swingin’ soloists in the U Street All-Stars, the whole night was proof that this city’s improvisers just need fertile ground on which to grow and thrive, and they’ll wow you. As a final recap, here are videos from each performance, plus one downloadable track from each. Enjoy!

Updated: Scroll all the way down to access the full audio playlist, via SoundCloud.
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Photos | Shots from the Jazz Loft

In the midst of his stirring free jazz set, saxophonist Aaron Martin pauses to listen to the rhythm section in his Tri-O Trio (OOO). Giovanni Russonello/CapitalBop

by Giovanni Russonello and Kyoko Takenaka
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Thanks to everyone who braved the cold last night, the D.C. Jazz Loft was a resounding, swingin’ success. Five wildly diverse jazz groups, chock full of the top local talent, played mind-expanding music, and it all culminated in an open jam led by U Street’s finest. Videos of full performances are forthcoming, but in the meantime enjoy these shots from the loft.  Continue reading

Weekend in Jazz | 12.3-12.5: CapitalBop’s first D.C. Jazz Loft, and much more

Some of the musicians performing at this Sunday's D.C. Jazz Loft, clockwise from top left: Noble Jolley (U St. All-Stars), Bobby Muncy, Elijah Jamal Balbed (U St. All-Stars), Elliott Levin, Brent Birckhead (U St. All-Stars) and Ed Ricart (Matta Gawa).

by Giovanni Russonello
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Welcome to this week’s installation of “Weekend in Jazz,” a full list of every D.C. jazz show that we can get our hands on. If you’re just breezing through, check for the shows with a label — those are our favorites. This week, we’ve got one particular gig that’s nearest to our hearts: CapitalBop’s own D.C. Jazz Loft. Scroll down to Sunday to check it out, or click here for previews and endorsements by the Washington Post, City Paper and Borderstan. We hope to see many of you out at the loft!

As always, you can read CapitalBop’s full listings directly at our monthly calendar, if you prefer. Happy hunting!

FRIDAY, DEC. 3

cb picks:

  • Alan Palmer’s New Soil, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Chuchito Valdés, HR-57, 9 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th St. Lounge, 11 p.m.

Straight-Ahead Soul, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m. | What began as an experiment over a decade ago continues today as one of Washington’s greatest weekly traditions: Westminster Presbyterian Church’s “Jazz Night.” Every Friday night, the house of God becomes a hub for fish frying, communing and jamming on straight-ahead jazz. This week’s performers are a cast of high-profile local jazz musicians, who will put a soulful and appropriately gospel-tinged touch on their straight-ahead jazz. The group includes Paul Carr on saxophone, Allyn Johnson on piano, Paul Pieper on guitar, Michael Bowie on bass and Harold Summey on drums. $5 cover for adults, no cover for attendees under 16, no minimum. View event on calendar | Westminster Presbyterian Church website

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Weekend in Jazz | 12.3-12.5: CapitalBop’s first D.C. Jazz Loft, and much more

Some of the musicians performing at this Sunday's D.C. Jazz Loft, clockwise from top left: Noble Jolley (U St. All-Stars), Bobby Muncy, Elijah Jamal Balbed (U St. All-Stars), Elliott Levin, Brent Birckhead (U St. All-Stars) and Ed Ricart (Matta Gawa).

by Giovanni Russonello
Bookmark and Share

Welcome to this week’s installation of “Weekend in Jazz,” a full list of every D.C. jazz show that we can get our hands on. If you’re just breezing through, check for the shows with a label — those are our favorites. This week, we’ve got one particular gig that’s nearest to our hearts: CapitalBop’s own D.C. Jazz Loft. Scroll down to Sunday to check it out, or click here for previews and endorsements by the Washington Post, City Paper and Borderstan. We hope to see many of you out at the loft!

As always, you can read CapitalBop’s full listings directly at our monthly calendar, if you prefer. Happy hunting!

FRIDAY, DEC. 3

cb picks:

  • Alan Palmer’s New Soil, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Chuchito Valdés, HR-57, 9 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th St. Lounge, 11 p.m.

Straight-Ahead Soul, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m. | What began as an experiment over a decade ago continues today as one of Washington’s greatest weekly traditions: Westminster Presbyterian Church’s “Jazz Night.” Every Friday night, the house of God becomes a hub for fish frying, communing and jamming on straight-ahead jazz. This week’s performers are a cast of high-profile local jazz musicians, who will put a soulful and appropriately gospel-tinged touch on their straight-ahead jazz. The group includes Paul Carr on saxophone, Allyn Johnson on piano, Paul Pieper on guitar, Michael Bowie on bass and Harold Summey on drums. $5 cover for adults, no cover for attendees under 16, no minimum. View event on calendar | Westminster Presbyterian Church website

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