Friday, January 13, 2006

Primary Colors in the Mercury News and at BOAS

Today's Mercury News has an article/interview about/with the Bay Area jazz duo Primary Colors, Vocalist Nate Pruitt and guitarist Rick Vandivier. Here is an excerpt. (Photography from their CD cover by Mark Howell and Nader Shakernia)

Jazz combo stays flexible
By Andrew Gilbert
Special to the Mercury News
The best jazz happens through an elaborate process of trial and error in which musicians explore various concepts while searching for an ideal blend of personalities and sounds. That was how guitarist Rick Vandivier and vocalist Nate Pruitt came to create Primary Colors, a flexible jazz combo that performs Saturday at BoAs Club Elite.

"We kind of experimented with different instrumentation, with two guitars or guitar and bass, or full rhythm section,'' Vandivier says. "Not only did we find that most of those things worked; we liked the variety.''

Primary Colors performs Saturday, January 14 at BoAs in Cupertino and March 5 at the Improv in San Jose for the San Jose Jazz Society's Sunday Series.

Mercury News Article
Primary Colors web site
BoAs Restaurant
San Jose Jazz Society

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Noe Valley Music Series

The Pink Section of today's Chronicle has an article on Larry Kassin's 25 year music series held at the Noe Valley Ministry. (Chronicle photo by Christina Koci Hernandez.)

In the interview, Larry talks of the beginnings, the artists that have started and performed there, his own music and why the series has remained what it is for so long.

With a capacity of 250, Noe Valley Ministry's rectangular, earth-tone sanctuary has played host to a mind-boggling array of artists, including the comedy troupe Culture Clash, accordionist-composer Pauline Oliveros, Warren Zevon, Gamelan Sekar Jaya, guitarist Bill Frisell, oud master Hamza El Din and Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser.

While he books numerous out-of-town acts, Kassin takes his responsibility as a community resource seriously, having discovered early on that the space could play a crucial role in an artist's creative life.

NOE VALLEY MUSIC SERIES: Ray Manzarek, Michael McClure and Larry Kassin perform at 8:15 p.m. Saturday at 1021 Sanchez St., San Francisco. $18-$20. (415) 454-5238.

Wild Bill Davison Centennial Celebration

This writing is a little late for today's show at Freight and Salvage Coffee House in Berkeley but it is worth a mention.

Coronetist Wild Bill Davison would have been 100 this year and today's show celebrates his contributions to traditional jazz. Read about this Louis Armstrong contemporary in the links below.

Wild Bill, the man to whom Louis Armstrong once declared, "Bill, if anything ever happens to me, I know you can keep on doing what I'm doing," was born in Ohio on January 5, 1906. He built his career playing in Chicago nightspots during the roaring '20s, and in the '40s and '50s he joined Eddie Condon s famed house band in New York City, where he became known as a commanding front man and a brash, intense lead cornetist. Over the course of a career that spanned seven decades and 21 countries, Wild Bill recorded 800 songs and played with world-class jazz stars like Bix Beiderbecke, Sidney Bechet and Louis Armstrong. Join some of the Bay Area's top musicians and come swing to a tasty selection of the tunes Wild Bill loved, from impassioned ballads to full-steam-ahead, high-stepping romps.

Freight and Salvage
Google search for Wild Bill Davison

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

San Jose Jazz Society Sunday Concert Series

This Sunday starts the 18th Annual Sunday Concert series presented by the San Jose Jazz Society and runs through March 26. The concerts will change venue this year as the St Claire is undergoing renovation. The new venue, The Improv, located at 62 South 2nd Street in downtown San Jose, will provide better sound and more seating, hopefully making it easier to get tickets.

The 12 concert series celebrates Bay Area musicians in a big way with Mary Stallings, Mark Levine, Kristen Strom, Clairdee and many more.

San Jose Jazz Society
The Improv

Monday, January 02, 2006

Ahmad Jamal at Yoshi's

Ahmad Jamal is already in the groove before he ever sits at the piano. The melody may have already come and gone before the song starts. It is not always clear where he is going next, even to the musicians playing with him.

Some of the things that make Ahmad different are the things that make him one of my favorite jazz pianists. Throw in his minor harmonies and his groove potential to round out the package.

You can watch Ahmad conduct his trio this week at Yoshi's, Wednesday through Sunday.

Ahmad Jamal