“BETWEEN A SMILE AND A TEAR” – A TRIBUTE TO TOOTS THIELEMANS
This tribute to the great TOOTS THIELEMANS features Toots’s heir apparent on the harmonica, GREGOIRE MARET, and Toots’s longtime pianist KENNY WERNER, in duo or in quartet with bass and drums. Gregoire and Kenny already did such a tribute with great success at SFJAZZ, shortly after Toots retired. As those who followed Toots’s long career know, he wanted to play with musicians who had their own identities and who challenged him to continue to grow musically until the end. Toots took a special interest in Gregoire because Gregoire had his own sound and style, and while influenced by Toots, never sought to copy him. Accordingly, his and Kenny’s tribute will feature SONGS TOOTS LOVED TO PLAY, including his standard Bluesette, of course, but in their own way, with new harmonies, rhythms, and arrangements. As Gregoire puts it, they will “try to find new places where HIS SPIRIT IS TRULY HONORED but his music is being played through a new prism.” IF YOU LOVED TOOTS, I’M SURE YOU’LL LOVE THIS TOO.
SYMPHONY LOUNGE with CHAISE LOUNGE
Who knew that Chaise Lounge bandleader CHARLIE BARNETT is also a classical composer of substance and depth? Well, anyone who heard the Chaise Lounge concerts at DC’s Atlas Theater with the Capital City Symphony certainly knows. The first half of the program featured the Symphony playing Charlie’s composition The Tarot, and the second half, now available on the live CD Symphony Lounge, featured the sextet doing a dozen of their most popular tunes, backed by the Symphony playing Charlie’s original orchestrations. If you have an orchestra in your town, consider a SYMPHONY LOUNGE concert. This program has something for everyone who likes music, period.
I’m now also representing the explosive big bands of OLIVER LAKE and ANDREW CYRILLE, as well as Andrew’s duo with saxophonist Bill McHenry, and his quartet with Bill Frisell, Richard Teitelbaum, and Ben Street, touring off the buzz created by NPR’s laudatory reviews of the duo CD Proximity, and the quartet CD Declaration of Musical Independence. Andrew’s 21st CENTURY BIG BAND UNLIMITED features his original compositions arranged and orchestrated by Mark Masters of the American Jazz Institute. The OLIVER LAKE BIG BAND focuses on Oliver’s arrangements of his own compositions, has two great recordings out, and already has festival concerts lined up next summer in Philly, DC, and New York. These are two of my favorite big bands working today, and they want to play, so let’s make a deal to get one to your venue this year. If you can’t afford to bring the band but have a great local big band, bring Andrew or Oliver and their charts.