The news about my old high-school classmate's new band is interesting, but
scroll down a paragraph for some great Al Green news.
A Serious Jazz Band Rises in San Francisco
By BEN RATLIFF
LAST spring, SF Jazz ? the organization behind the San Francisco jazz
festival for 20 years, which is now programming events year-round ?
announced the formation of its own band, the SF Modern Jazz Collective. It
will be an imposing eight-piece group led by the saxophonist Joshua Redman;
it includes Bobby Hutcherson (vibraphone), Miguel Zenon (saxophones), Renee
Rosnes (piano), Nicholas Payton (trumpet), Joshua Roseman (trombone),
Robert Hurst (bass) and Brian Blade (drums).
As a repertory band, its emphasis will be postwar jazz, a fitting choice
for San Francisco, which had hardly any jazz until the late 40's. It will
play original music as well, commissioned from the members of the group,
who are all composers. The band starts performing in San Francisco in
March. In the spirit of healthy competition, it will be good for this group
to be finding some cohesion just as Jazz at Lincoln Center opens its new
complex in New York.
Good news: Al Green's next album is a secular one, the first such in nearly
a decade. But the significant news is that it's produced by the brilliant
Willie Mitchell, whom Mr. Green hasn't worked with since the early 80's.
The record, which will be released in November, is still untitled and will
be on the Blue Note label; it will have all new original songs, recorded at
Royal Studios in Memphis with some of the musicians who used to work on Mr.
Green's records for the Hi label in the 1970's and 80's. (Note: on Sept.
16, EMI will release a boxed set of Mr. Green's entire output on Hi.)
In the 80's, Jerry Gonzalez, the Bronx-born boricua trumpeter, set the
course for the radical Latinization of jazz, through his band, Fort Apache,
and albums like "Rumba Para Monk." But in 2000, just when he could have
been the prow for a new movement, he lit out for Madrid, trying to find the
same collaborative spark with flamenco musicians. He found it, and made an
excellent album in Spain, yet to be released here. He will play with the
pulse-quickening Spanish band Los Piratas del Flamenco at Aaron Davis Hall
on Oct. 18. The Fort Apache band, with his brother, the bassist Andy
Gonzalez, will play a set during the evening as well.