Sunday, November 8, 2015

Dave Douglas 5 Returns + CT Composer & Improvisers Fest x 10

Trumpeter, composer, and bandleader Dave Douglas is back in CT this weekend with his latest Quintet to perform at The Side Door Jazz Club this Friday November 13.  Mr. Douglas is surrounded by the youthful foursome of Rudy Royston (drums), Linda Oh (bass), Jon Irabagon (tenor saxophone) and Matt Mitchell (piano), all leaders on their own.  They're out touring in support of "Brazen Heart" (Greenleaf Music), their 3rd release in 3 years.  It's an
excellent recording, dedicated to the memory of the leader's late brother (who passed earlier this year after the CD was recorded), soulful, honest, yet with a playful streak on many cuts.  The band is so comfortable together, their interactions exciting, and the material filled with opportunities for splendid interplay and strong improvisations.

The doors open at 7:30 p.m. with the first set commencing at 8:30. The Side Door is a great setting for this band and this band is a great fit for the setting.  Call 860-434-0886 or go to for more information and reservations.

Tum Records
Bassist Joe Fonda presents his 10th Connecticut Composers & Improvisers Festival this Saturday at The Buttonwood Tree, 605 Main Street in Middletown. The evening begins at 7:30 p.m. with a set from Allan Chase (saxophones) and his partner Dominique Eade (vocals).  He teaches at the Berklee School and she at the New England Conservatory; both have had exemplary careers as musicians and educators.

At 8:30, Fonda joins forces with composer/pianist/bandleader Satoko Fujii.  Ms. Fujii is one of the busiest musicians on the planet, leading several small ensembles and also several large bands (with one each in New York City, Berlin, Germany, and Tokyo, Japan.  While she is known for her open-ended compositions, the pianist is also a brilliant improviser. This is the first time this duo has played together - in fact, they'll meet for the first time when they arrive at The Buttonwood.

The third and final set of the evening (9:30) belongs to saxophonist Jimmy Greene.  The Bloomfield, CT, native serves on the music faculty of Western Connecticut State University while continuing to keep a busy itinerary of weekend gigs.  Usually, Mr. Greene has a top-notch group but, for the festival, he'll be on his own sans rhythm section, just the man, his tenor and soprano saxophones and his creativity.

Kudos to Joe Fonda, one of the more active musicians in creative musicians, for keeping this Festival coming to Middletown every year.  Also, thanks for keeping the spirit of the music alive and making available to all listeners young and old.  For ticket information and reservations, go to or call 860-346-4957.


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