Thursday, May 13, 2010

Brothers & The Band + New Music Preview

Ahh... the Brothers Heath, Jimmy (left) and "Tootie" (right) come to Hartford, CT, this weekend (5/13-15) to take part in the The Artists Collective Jackie McLean International Arts Festival.  The first event is actually the opening of "Expressions in Sounds and Motion", an exhibition of the photography of Maurice D. Robertson and takes place from 5 - 8 p.m. in the Atrium of the Collective located at 1200 Albany Avenue. Maurice has been involved in the creative music scene in the Hartford area for over 3 decades and his images are among the finest contemporary work.

On Friday, Jimmy Heath will be in residence from 4 - 5 p.m. at the Hartford Public Library, 500 Main Street, to sign copies of his newly-published memoir, "I Walked With Giants" (Temple University Press).  Heath, an irascible wit, fine composer, arranger and saxophonist, has been involved with jazz for nearly 7 decades, has known and blown with many of the greats of be-bop and "hard" bop eras.  He's quite candid about his drug us and subsequent jailing that nearly derailed his career.  Nowadays, he still plays with urgency yet has a demeanor mellowed with and by his myriad experiences.

Following the signing from 5 - 7 p.m., the Library will host a number of performances including the Artists Collective African Connection, the Hartt School Community Division String Quartet and Dance Ensemble, the Hartt School Jazz Ensemble, Chris Casey, director, the Jackie McLean Institute Music Ensembles, Rene McLean, director, and the Jackie McLean Youth Jazz Orchestra.  These events are free and open to the public.

The fun starts early on Saturday at 1200 Albany Avenue with the Artists Collective's Music Student Showcase running from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.  Jimmy Heath will conduct a "Master Workshop" from 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.  Both events are free.

At 8 p.m, the Heath Brothers Quartet, featuring Jeb Patton (piano), David Wong (bass) and "Tootie" (drums), will perform in the Collective's concert space.  If you've never see them play, it's truly a treat.  Had the opportunity to catch them at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago several weeks ago and had just the finest time - you can read about that here. Let's just say, you'll have a good time. Tickes are available by calling 860-527-3205.

Ran across a track from the new CD by alto saxophonist/composer Sarah Manning the other day (which I'll share below) and really enjoyed it.  The disk, "Dandelion Clock", is on Posi-Tone Records and deserves your attention.  Featuring Art Hirahira (piano), Kyle Struve (drums) and Linda Oh (bass), the music is forward-thinking, melodic and rhythmic and moves in unexpected directions. Ms. Manning's tone has bite yet tempered with an understanding of and love for the blues.  Turns out to be her 3rd CD (her debut was issued in 2004) and is already garnering positive reviews.  I look forward to hearing the rest of this music.

Here's a taste of "Marble", courtesy of IODA Promonet and Posi-tone Records. To discover the artist and hear more of her music, go to

Marble (mp3)

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