Drum Roll, Please: Jazz, keeping it alive

Every year, Jazz Pensacola sponsors a Student Jazz Competition, and every year we go through the moves to make it a great success — not only for Jazz Pensacola, but also for the young musicians who are truly reaching the goal of playing jazz in front of an audience.

They are playing themselves. Yes, they are playing standards, but for at least two choruses, they get to shine. They tell us who they are by their note selection … how they feel at that very moment. They are expressing themselves to us in a way that may not ever happen again.

It is priceless, it is history, it is honest. It is jazz!

This is why we do this.

Peace

Fred Domulot

President, Jazz Pensacola

Click here to learn more about the upcoming Student Jazz Competition.

Student Jazz Competition winner Jackson Willis performs at a Jazz Pensacola Jazz Gumbo event at Seville Quarter. Since winning the competition, Willis has gone on to become one of the most requested jazz trombonists in the area.

CD Review: ‘The Definition of Insanity,’ Tony Monaco

The Definition of Insanity
Tony Monaco- Hammond B3, piano, accordion and voice
Chicken Coop Records—Release date January 18, 2019

Monaco, a Hammond B3 artist, has done it again. With his usual small-group format, which includes guitarist Derek Decenzo, and drummer Tony McClung, he also uses his wife Asake Monaco on piano on a single number, Never Let Me Go.

Monaco is a personal favorite and he earned more converts when he was a featured soloist with his trio at a Pensacola JazzFest in the early 2000s.

The selection of 11 tunes is eclectic. Cars, Trucks and Buses, by keyboardist Page McConnell, is the opener on the CD. Jimmy Smith’s “Root Down” is executed more or less faithfully to the Smith version except that Smith used a bass player whereas Monaco plays the bass part with left hand. Never Let Me Go is a lovely ballad by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans and features Monaco also on vocals and his wife Asake on piano.

Monaco’s only original tune, Awar Athar has a Middle Eastern flavor and uses the Turkish scale, which he learned from one of his Turkish students. He sings in Italian and also plays accordion on Non Ti Scordare Di Me a traditional Neapolitan song. Monaco’s rendition of Floyd Cramer’s big hit, Last Date is also memorable. His finale, A Song for You, Leon Russell’s composition, which has been frequently recorded by many artists, is rendered as a vocal as well as keyboard piece.

This CD was a joy to hear and to review. It will be placed in the Jazz Room of the West Florida Public Library for patrons to check out and enjoy as well.

CD Review: ‘Eric Dolphy, Musical Prophet’

There’s a saying some circles: There are two kinds of music, TRAD and STAD. (S—t, that ain’t Dixieland.) If you’re a strict adherent to the former, then this review won’t appeal to you.

However, for the rest of you musically adventurous souls, this may or may not appeal to you. I was aware of Eric Dolphy’s multi-instrumentalism and his important place as a jazz icon, but that was about the extent of my knowledge. The full title of this three-CD set is “Eric Dolphy Musical Prophet; The Expanded 1963 New York Studio Sessions.” It is released by Renaissance Records and produced by Zev Feldman and flautist James Newton. The set is accompanied by a 100-page CD size booklet complete with commentary by various artists. Two of the three recordings are reproduced on CD with supplemental recordings to make an approximate one hour each. The third CD features alternate takes from the previous two recordings, previously unreleased. All are mono-track recordings.

The two recordings previously released are entitled Conversations and Iron Man. The accompanying 100-page booklet includes photographs, description of how the recordings came to be made as well as commentary from various artists about Dolphy’s life and musical artistry. Besides Dolphy, who performs on alto sax, flute and bass clarinet, are the following: William “Prince” Lasha, flute; Huey “Sonny” Simmons, alto sax; Clifford Jordan, soprano sax; Woody Shaw, trumpet; Garvin Bushell, bassoon; Bobby Hutcherson, vibraphone; bassists Richard Davis and Eddie Kahn; and drummers J.C. Moses and Charles Moffett.

Several personal take-aways: the previously unreleased “Muses for Richard Davis” was intriguing duet for Davis’ bass and Dolphy’s bass clarinet. Also, a discussion about how Dolphy would practice flute and birds would respond, so Dolphy’s practice might be interrupted by a flute-bird conversation. This reminded me of my own flute and chromatic harmonica bird conversations. Dolphy was a straight-arrow who avoided the drug/alcohol problems of so many musicians of that era. He was engaged to a Parisian dancer but died in 1964 at age 36 of undiagnosed, untreated diabetic coma in a Berlin hospital.

This is not a recording that is likely to leave the casual listener humming a familiar tune. But it will leave the perceptive listener was a greater appreciation of the talent and skill of multi-instrumentalist Dolphy and his talented performers.

Pensacola library patrons may check out this valuable recording from the Jazz Room of West Florida Public Library.

Drum Roll, Please: If you missed Annie Sellick and Chris Walters … too bad

Annie Sellick, center, and Chris Walters, left, perform for an appreciative audience at the Nov. 12 Super Jazz Gumbo at Phineas Phogg’s, Seville Quarter. Photo by Alice Crann Good.

Too bad …

If you were not at our Foo Foo sponsored gumbo this past Monday, too bad.

Annie Sellick and Chris Walters Big Time Band … unbelievable

If you decided to watch Monday Night Football (no offense to Giant and 49er fans), too bad.

If you think you can find this kind of jazz anywhere in town, any given night, wrong … too bad. If you missed the eclipse last year, too bad. If you think you’ve heard Bob Maksympko, George Petropoulos and Jackson Willis sit in with national touring jazz artists in town, wrong … too bad. They played like they were touring with Annie and Chris!

If you missed it, you’ll never know. It was one of those … you had to be there!

Pensacola … wake up!!! Jazz is alive!

Come support it!!! If you felt like it wasn’t your kind of “jazz” … too bad … too bad.

Here’s the thing: Every time there is a world-class act, make time to support it. Moments like this do not happen every week, or month.

Jazz Pensacola will be bringing in more world-class jazz to the area. You will get another chance to hear and see some of the best in the world of jazz today! And that is not “too bad.”

We really can be a great city for jazz.

That’s all.

Peace

“Give Peace A Chance”
Fred Domulot
AFM Local 389

Drum Roll, Please: November Foo Foo show not to be missed

Annie Sellick and Chris Walters

It was a few years back …

The Guffman Trio was playing around town and the regional area quite often.

We were even threatening to record a long awaited CD … I did say threatening. My wife, and one of my favorite all time musicians, Cynthia, found a very cool version of the Lambert, Hendricks and Ross tune Cloudburst, written by Jimmy Harris and Leroy Kirkland. I remember saying, “Who is this?” She replied, “Annie Sellick.” Wow!

We became fans! It became a much requested tune in our set list. We went to the JEN Conference later and got to hear Annie live! It was awesome…It was amazing!

After I got involved with Jazz Pensacola and was asked to be part of the planning of booking acts, Annie Sellick was first on my list. The Gulf Coast was lucky to have her at the festival a couple of years ago, now we are lucky to have her at our November Foo Foo Festival concert, 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 12 at Phineas Phogg’s, Seville Quarter, 130 E. Government St.

Not only are we lucky to have Annie, we also get Chris Walters on piano and their Big Time Band!!!! Chris also is the music director/pianist for JD Souther. He is also a member of Jeff Coffins Mu’tet. Chris is the real deal.

This is definitely a show that should not be missed.

Wake up Pensacola!!!! Jazz is in your house!!!!

Peace

Fred Domulot
“Give Peace A Chance”

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW! All tickets are $25. Cash, credit cards and checks are accepted. Purchase tickets at the door, at Schmidt’s Music, 105 N. Palafox St., or by calling Jazz Pensacola at (850) 433-8382.